It’s the 35th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration!

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So, here we are getting ready to set sail again for the rest of this amazing journey. After 35 years at the Pentecostals of Greenville, NC, Pastor Ron and Mrs. Charlene Lappin are ready to continue in this ministry that has enriched their lives. As a church body, we can only say thanks for all that you’ve invested into our lives. You have worked through the storms of this life and still you can rest assured that Jesus Christ is guiding you every step of the way. We thank you for your commitment to reaching the lost, because we were lost until the Lord led us to this church. You led us to Christ through the preaching of the Word.

We are blessed to have had your friendship through the years. The years have multiplied, and the challenges have strengthened our character, but our faith has kept us standing even when we might have fallen if we turned our eyes away to the left or the right. When the waves tried to overwhelm us, I remember you reminding us not to quit: to keep in this race. Thank you for giving us your confidence when we may have felt disillusioned with the onslaught of negativity in the world. It was always your prayers that touched heaven when the darkness surrounded us.

Thank you. It is the seemingly insignificant gestures of kindness that I am most grateful for. When I was in a trial, or confused about some direction that I needed to take, it was you who encouraged me to find the joy in the small things. Maybe it wasn’t even noticeable to others, but God knew exactly what I needed to put life in perspective. You could sense when a word was needed, and also, when all that was needed was a prayer.

My life is blessed beyond measure and I thank you that you obeyed the Lord to come to Greenville. The Lord’s timing is excellent. So many people have been touched by your ministry. Never forget how much you are appreciated. People may not always express their gratitude effectively, but the results of your compassion for others is evident. We may never know fully how our words have impacted others, until the Lord comes, but that is okay. As you have often spoken about planting seeds, it’s not for us to worry about who or how those seeds will thrive; it is our purpose to plant the seeds, because it is God who will give the increase.

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Testimonies from the heart after twenty-four years

I entered the church in the old building at 11th and Forbes. I lived three houses down the street in a boarding house (the only female). I could sit on the front porch and hear the music from the church. I could not make out the words, but that was okay.

One evening (a Wednesday), I was in my room, and heard a voice telling me to get up and go to church. I obeyed. I knew no one there but felt welcome. I remember Zelma handing me a tissue as I sat in the pew crying due to the love I was feeling.  I do not remember what was sung, or what was said, I just remember hearing Brother Kenny Marshburn was the special speaker. It was the first day of revival. I was so touched by the feeling of God’s presence that all I could do was cry. I quietly cried throughout the entire service. When altar call was given, I may have been the first person to respond. I instantly received the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking with other tongues.

When I returned the next night, Brother Lappin came off the platform to greet me personally. Service had already started. That night I was baptized in the precious Name of Jesus. I grew up Methodist, but God had other plans. It took running away from home twice, and ultimately arriving in Greenville to find my way home. I truly believe if I had not run away the second time, then, I would not be in a Pentecostal church. Who knows, maybe not in church at all. –Jill Miller

 

God Had Given a Sign

About this time of year 33 yrs. ago a girl named Mary White invited me to church. She knew me from a cell group (of marriage-troubled people) that I had formed as a catholic.

Wayne Huntley was preaching and had brought his newly formed choir to sing. When I heard the choir I said to myself, “they can’t sing too well but they’re very excited”. When I saw some in audience worshiping I said to myself “I’ll never do that”. After service I had no intention of going back. Later around Thurs or Fri I had a lingering lump in my throat such as I would get as a kid and left home for a time (i.e. homesickness). I had physical homesick symptoms for something I knew not what! So I was unable to not go back to that church.

Over the next few weeks the services worked on me. Finally another girl (from my cell group) named Edna said she thought I was going to be baptized that Sunday before sundown. Since it was October, sundown was before church time. I sort of thought she was a prophetess. So all day Sunday I prayed if I should get baptized. I told God if I did I wanted Him to give me a sign that it was right thing to do.

I called Bro. Lappin and told him I wanted to get baptized before sundown. He wanted me to do it at evening service but I was adamant (he didn’t understand why).

When I went into water (at 4:00) I felt so amazing I would not come back out except Pastor pulled me out. Then strange sounds started to come out of my mouth. (I now know that it was the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with tongues).

God had given a sign.  Ken

God’s Way is Perfect

  1. God’s way is perfect.
  2. God is my strength and keeps me going.
  3. God is the foundation that I have built my salvation on and without Him, I wouldn’t feel like going on.

When I was first introduced to the Pentecostals it was probably in the late 70’s. I saw the differences in dress and attitudes, but I still knew nothing about what they believed. I knew that there was an emptiness in my life, but I didn’t know what it would take to fill it. I also knew it wasn’t being done in the church I attended as a child and adult. I finally stopped going to church.

Then, my daughter introduced me to the Pentecostals in 1991, and they were located on the corner of 11th and Forbes Street here in Greenville. I was taught a bible study called “Exploring God’s Word,” and I have never been the same again.

When I was filled with God’s spirit it was the most awesome experience that I’ve ever had in my life; the more I studied the Word, the more committed I became. I don’t know of anything that is more important and fulfilling than living for God. I’m just in awe of Him. Sometimes I sit back and meditate on His greatness. In my little mind, I can’t begin to comprehend His greatness, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and longsuffering and he does it for me and everyone.

When I pray, I ask God to put into my heart to be able to love as He loves, forgive as He forgives, and not to hold on to anger, bitterness, and resentment. In other words, I want to be more and more like Him every day that I live. It is down inside of me, that the most important thing in my life is God.

Don’t love the world or the things of the world, because all the world has to offer is death and destruction, and who in their right mind would desire to suffer for an eternity and on top of that, we can’t even comprehend something that never ends. I choose life with Jesus, and  I always study the Word of God, pray, and attend the Pentecostals of Greenville. If you decide to live for Him, you will never be the same again. –mc

Bible study student

In 1990, God had been drawing me and since I was pregnant, and I knew I was a sinner, I was ready to make changes in my life, so I began to cry out to Him. I wanted to know him and soon God sent Bro. Tom Miller with a bible study and while reading the scripture, God revealed His Oneness to me. As a child, I was taught trinity–baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and something never seemed right about that to me.  On the day of the bible study, God gave me the understanding and my life was forever changed–soon after I repented and was baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus–There are not enough words to describe that day when a loving God sets you free and forgives you and then, fills you with His spirit. It really is Joy unspeakable and full of glory–He has never let me down, and he has always been good to me. Thank you, Jesus! – Marina Tate

In this week’s Lattereignthe-best-is-yet-to-come, we read more about my journey to Pentecost and what this church has meant to me.

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“I Have Set Before Thee an Open Door.”

church-picture“I know thy works, behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-11).

I desire that the Lord should have confidence in me that if he asks me to follow him that I will do whatever he asks willingly and without complaint. When I can be trusted to do the will of God in the small things, he can have confidence in me and give me “an open door that no man can shut.” Before you can be a leader, you must become a humble servant. Even Jesus washed feet. There have been times when I have prayed for something that didn’t turn out at all like I had planned; but thankfully, the Lord already knew the plans that he had for me, and if it meant that some things had to change in my life, for those doors to open, so be it. Yes, no man can shut the door that God opens.

The Lord tells us “for thou hast a little strength”. He didn’t say that we were destitute and without strength, we have sufficient strength—not an abundance, maybe, by the way that we measure (If we had excess we’d probably waste it on frivolous things) but “a little strength.” It is enough strength to hold on to our relationship with God and go another step towards our destination.

When we continue to do the will of God in spite of our circumstances, it gets God’s attention, and even though we may only have a little strength, he reminds us that we have “kept the word.” Keeping the word requires a great deal of strength and determination. While Satan tries to rob us; the world and the cares of this life surround us; and the light of the gospel is being choked out of us; the Lord promises to “set before us an open door” one that compels us to come in and experience the opportunities and the blessings that he has prepared for us.

We are commended when he tells us that “thou hast not denied my name”. How many times people have denied the name of Jesus, the only name that will save us? They, in essence, are denying the only way of escape that is opened to them choosing rather to fumble through life alone.

When trials come we have many opportunities to deny the name. We could betray Jesus (and some do) like Judas Iscariot. While we may not require 30 pieces of silver we could sell out for much less: sports, drugs, prestige, vanity, worldly pleasures, position, fame, peer pressure, or acceptance by our so called friends. The riches of this life will melt with fervent heat, and we’ll all face God on Judgment Day to give an account of our lives.

Who can stand on that day? Those who have been found faithful who have kept the word and who have not denied the name. Our covenant is eternal and the benefits of that covenant can’t be bought, because they were already paid in full at Calvary. Our circumstances may look impossible because we only see the now, but keep holding on to God’s promise and in “yet a little while, it shall come to pass.”

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Remembering 9/11

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Do you remember the day that it happened? Life before 9/11 had challenges, but after, I remember that people came together to help each other. Our world is a very different place, today, and even though we sometimes face an uncertain present, as a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I can trust in my future.

At no time should I crumble when the enemy comes in like a flood because Jesus promises that I can lift up a standard against the enemy. It is difficult to take a stand sometimes and our natural response to hurt is usually retreat. During the times of retreat we learn how to wait on God and to trust him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Being rejected isn’t easy to take sometimes, and living in the shadows tends to subdue our testimony and our effectiveness for the kingdom. We can be meek and still be strong in character. It isn’t necessary to give in or give up to the world. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

It only took God’s spoken word to bring the worlds into existence. How great and mighty is the God we serve! I wonder why I limit God so when I struggle with the world? When will I begin to believe his word and act in faith without wavering? Sometimes we place the greatest obstacles in our own paths without any help from those who would despitefully use us. Obstacles of doubt, unworthiness, fear, intimidation. If only I could get a picture of the great things that the Lord has in store for me and for us as a body of believers. Not one of us would be here today without faith.

To reap good fruit, we must sow good seeds, and to allow the word to work for us we must act on the word and be in total obedience to the will of God. We can listen to God and stop his blessings from ever reaching us because we don’t abide in his word. We could sometimes be identified as haphazard Christians: when everything is going our way, we don’t have time to read the word and we enjoy the good life; when things fall apart in our lives, we turn to prayer and wonder why God allows things to happen to us while other Christians and the world in general are succeeding.

In all fairness, I must ask what makes me so different than the next person down the road? The Lord rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. He is no respecter of persons. He chose us to do his will and we need to take a good long look at life from God’s perspective. We will see the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. Maybe not during the test designed to strengthen us, but after we have overcome the trial, and pause to reflect on the goodness and mercy of God. We shall see how God will arise and his enemies will be scattered. People may mean it for evil, but God is working all things out for our good. He cares about us for all eternity.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James:5:13-16).

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit
of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews:15-16).

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:5-8).

In this week’s Lattereign we learn that being under the shadow of the Almighty is a place of refuge.

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CreditImage address: http://www.news.com.au/world/pictures-of-911-that-show-you-why-you-should-never-forget/story-fndir2ev-1226717187453

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God is Faithful

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“Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord” (Jeremiah 16:21).

While I don’t deserve a special place, did nothing for him to invite me in,   He gave me an open door and all I need to do is step in.”

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:32-36).

I can see how the hand of God is weaving each intricate strand of our lives together to make us truly united and strong. Sometimes, I forget, and instead of knowing that God is always faithful, I cry out, “Where are you, God? My cries shout to the world that I’m up against a mountain and I’m too tired to climb. If only I could remember what you tell me, “God is Faithful.”

I beg for you to send your angels to help me out of the trouble, and then forget that you have a different timepiece than I do: yours is perfect will, and you don’t always rescue me “on the double.” I need to be reminded often, in your still small voice; “God is faithful.” When you do send your angels to take me to the top, before I even have time to complain or stop, you have set me on a hill and the way is made clear. And, what have we learned? To trust? To pray for wisdom? To have faith? We don’t understand how he could have allowed it to happen, but when we look at Calvary and realize that his sacrifice purchased our salvation: we know that it was his love that held him on the cross.

If we could only see the greater picture: God’s unfailing hand at work in our lives and circumstances. When we get to a place when God is all we have, we’ll find that God is all we need. God will make a way out of no way. Today, I pray that the Lord will remind me that he is faithful, again.

I know that if I’ll learn to keep my eyes on him, I will not fall. It takes a very special anointing to handle the major ups and downs in life. I want to thank the Lord for trusting me enough to allow me to have my share of them. You have faith in me—that I will stand still and know that you are God. Always remind me of the phrase—God is faithful. There is peace in knowing that you, Lord, are directing my life, and if I’ll continue to worship you no matter what the circumstances, I can depend on you to go before me to clear the way. Do you know Jesus? Why not today?

In this week’s Lattereign, we realize that we are the sanctuary. Click the link below to read more about how.

We are the Sanctuary Give him Praise

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Refined Through the Fire

refining

In the dictionary, “refine” means several things: to reduce to a pure state, as with sugar, metal, or oil; to free from moral imperfection; to improve by pruning or polishing; or to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth, as with a refined person.

What does the Bible say about refining?

  1. Metal is refined and purified in a furnace; the Lord purifies and tests the heart. “The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3).
  2. We must be refined before our offerings are acceptable to the Lord. “But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the
    Lord an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:2-4).

  3. The Lord’s people will be tested in the furnace of affliction (or great suffering). (Read Isaiah 1:25, 4:4, 48:10 and Jeremiah 9:7)

  4. The Lord examines your heart and mind. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).

  5. Those who survive will be refined and tested by the Lord. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9).

It is in God’s plan to take us through the fire. The fire is not a pleasant thing nor is it always easy, perhaps even most dreaded; but, it is necessary to go through the fire so that you can be refined.

If we never face adversity, we’ll not be prepared to overcome conflict in our lives. I am thankful that the Lord takes the time to help us to be prepared for spiritual warfare. He hasn’t abandoned us even though we may feel that we are very much alone. I know that the Lord is with us at all times, even when we don’t understand the circumstances that brought us to a place in the wilderness.

He knows the plans that he has for us; to prosper us, and to keep us in good health. If you obey the scriptures, you’ll know that you have authority in God’s word to overcome the adversary. Stand on the word of God, and expect God’s best.

Click on the link below for this week’s Lattereign, which shows how the Israelites stayed focused on God’s purpose, even when people tried to “frustrate their purpose.”

Stay Focused on Your Purpose

 

 

 

 

image credit: through the fire

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In His Presence: The Lord’s Desire

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IN HIS PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY, AND AT HIS RIGHT HAND ARE PLEASURES FOREVERMORE! HOLD ON TO YOUR PROMISE! 

“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31).

It is the Lord’s desire that we be established in the faith and that we move beyond the infant stage (milk) and begin to desire (meat) of his Word. When we begin to get an appetite for the Word, and for Truth, we are ready to dig deep into our spiritual closets and allow the Lord to cleanse and change the things that would hinder us from serving him with our whole heart. When we search out the things that aren’t pleasing to God and get them under the blood, we’ll have revival in Jesus’ Name.

Preparing for His Presence

The more you plan; the less you stress

So stay prepared to pass the test

Pray, and when you’ve reached the end

Pray. YOU will, the victory win.

It’s up to you to take control

Of your life, your walk with God, your goals.

If they’re in line with God’s will

He’ll carry you every step up the hill.

Enter into this present joy, today,

And give the sacrifice of praise.

He’ll fill you ‘till you overflow

With blessings and the Holy Ghost.

Hold your head high and rejoice evermore

For your Savior is waiting, he is nigh the door.

Enter into his presence and you’ll be forever changed

As you reach toward heavenly places

As you learn to call on his Name.

It’s not too late to seek his face,

For he desires our worship in this place.

His mercy endureth forever, and

His grace does much more abound.

When we offer up praises; he loves the sound.

It is he who will establish and strengthen us

As we follow on to know him and learn to trust.

Never let others say that you can’t pass the trials and tests

For he has given us his very best.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily he shalt give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:3-4). It’s not about us; but it’s all about him and his purpose for our lives is for us to worship him in spirit and in truth.

Click on the link for this week’s Lattereign.  Are You Committed to God’s Purpose

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Do You Believe? All Things are Possible.

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“Jesus said unto them, If thou canst believe all things are possible to them that believe” (Mark 9:23).

How big is God?

Why do we have our minds set on expecting little, when the banquet table is spread before us, and it is an abundant supply. Too often we are fearful; when we should be faithful. Has God ever failed you? Sure, sometimes He may delay your answer to the prayer that you’ve been praying about for years. We must remember that Jesus works in a different time frame than we do; when we learn how to trust; He will teach us how to persevere.

The Lord is preparing me to be a vessel that can be used and when I get caught up in the daily routines I may forget to spend quality time with him. God is a jealous God, and He is to be your priority. Everything else is secondary, because he is God. We learn to die daily to self, and quite honestly, it isn’t always easy to wait on God, but He requires it. Every situation we’re faced with has a solution, and we’ll know when all is said and done, that God is in charge of our lives.

When we have success; it is only because God allowed it.

When we have failure; it is only because God allowed it for our good. The longer we live, the more we’ll understand that He reigns; so, we have no need to fear. What if my shield of faith is scarred with disappointments; and my vision has been battered by doubts and delays?

Should I quit trying? NEVER.

I’m not about to give up on God, or on myself. I know in whom I have believed, and he is able to deliver me, and rebuke the devourer on my behalf. When the Lord led me into the writing ministry, I followed cautiously. When He gave me the vision for a ministry, He immediately required for me to give it all back to Him. I was instructed to lay the writing ministry down at the altar, and be willing to walk away from it. My affections must be set on things above. That was twenty-one years ago, and I have been richly blessed to continue to write what the Lord gives me to share.

For me, writing is an act of worship, not just a hobby that I like to do.

If we’ll wait for the Lord’s plan for our lives to unfold, the promise will come to pass, because God can’t lie. We can waste time in worry about the future, or we can start planning to receive the future that the Lord has already worked out for us. it is our choice: Do we dream about what might have been? or, do we step out in faith and claim the promises of God?

There is a path in your walk with God that requires a greater sacrifice.

As we take steps of faith in the physical realm; a battle rages for our souls in the spiritual realm. In the intensity of this battle, we may get overwhelmed with the pressures of life. Our prayers develop into deep intercession, and the weight of our burden almost consumes us. Don’t allow it to overtake you: persevere until you have found peace.

The Lord is calling us to get out of the boat, and walk on the water.

It’s time for a deeper anointing, stronger commitment, and a steadfast unshakable faith to take us through to victory. I made a choice to serve the Lord with gladness, and I am thankful that every day that I live, I can know that I made the right decision.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18).

 

Click on the link for this week’s Lattereign. Light Overcomes the Darkness

 

 

 

 

Credit: image used: https://adedoyinjaiyesimi.wordpress.com/tag/step-out-of-the-boat/

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About My Father’s Business

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“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding”   (Proverbs 23:23).

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews:15-16).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

The Lord wants to bless us abundantly, but he is waiting on us. We’ve been given the authority to take back everything that Satan has tried to steal from us: our joy, our victory, our faith, our finances, our salvation. When we entertain Satan’s accusations and begin to believe that what he says is true, we need to realize that it is a lie, because he can’t tell the truth. So, if he says that you are sick, you know that it’s just more of his lies because the Word says: “by his stripes we are healed.”

When he tells you that you can’t make it; look him square in the eye and tell him the truth: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). When you feel like you can’t go another mile in your walk with God because you’re so weary from battling Satan day after day, remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. He goes before us, and he has already won the victory. Do not doubt the promises that he has told you, because God can not lie, and he does not fail. He said that he would meet your needs and you can depend on it. “Have faith in God.”

How many times has the Lord commanded us to put him first in our lives? Instead, we busy ourselves living our lives, working, worrying about how to pay for everything that we have acquired: somewhere along the way if we don’t watch ourselves, we’ll begin to lose some of our momentum in our walk with God.

Maybe we become apathetic and struggle to pray with the same fervency as we used to. The same could be said about our faithfulness to the house of God, or our zeal in serving him. We get so tangled up in the cares of this life that we forget that we are missing the primary keys to unlock our spiritual, physical, and financial blessings for all eternity; obedience, faith, and trust.

“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:29-32).

“I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Let’s seek him with our whole heart, today. In this week’s Lattereign we find that we have been blessed with peace in the midst of a storm.

We have been blessed with Peace

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Whose Report Will You Believe?

 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).

 When it comes right down to it, we choose to believe the things that we want to believe whether they are correct or our own wishful thinking. You would think that the Israelites would have had a better attitude when they were delivered from Egyptian bondage and led to the Promised Land; after all, they had God on their side.

 Shouldn’t going in to possess the land be a piece of cake? Didn’t God lead them out of Egypt? Didn’t the Lord part the Red Sea? And certainly, we couldn’t forget how God caused manna to rain down from heaven to feed them on a daily basis. It wasn’t a week’s supply—it was fresh every day except the Sabbath. On the day before the Sabbath, they gathered enough for two days.

They were never hungry; but still, they chose to complain. They’d lament that back in Egypt they could have all of the onions and garlic that they wanted. Or, they might say things like, if they hadn’t left from Egypt they wouldn’t be wandering around in the wilderness. Do you get the impression that maybe, the Israelites made a choice to chronically complain rather than to believe God?

Out of twelve spies sent out to search the land, only two had a positive report. The other ten spies saw the same promised land, criticized their abilities, and doubted God would give them the land. Joshua and Caleb had a different view because they looked at the situation through God’s eyes. They believed that God was able to deliver the giants into their hands and that they could go in and possess the land.

Can we possess God’s promises for this year? Whose report you believe depends on whose eyes you are looking through. I, for one, believe in the report of the Lord. There is nothing that I need that he won’t supply if I believe. If there are mountains in your life, you can speak to the mountain and tell it to move. The mountain will stay if you don’t believe, but if you believe, then you can watch the mountain crumble by the power that is within you. The spies went to search out the land that flowed with milk and honey, but their lack of confidence in God’s ability and willingness to help them cost them the promised Land!

Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord. His report says, I am healed; his report says, I am filled; his report says, I am free; his report says, victory. Joshua and Caleb gave a good report and they were the only two of the original Israelites who left out of Egypt to cross over into the Promised Land.

It’s perfect time to renew our commitments. I’m more convinced than ever that we’re living in a time where being faithful is crucial. We don’t know the day nor the hour that the Lord will return, and we aren’t guaranteed that we’ll even have enough time to do the work that he’s called us to do if he delays his coming. What we can know is that until he comes, we must work!

Whose report will you believe? It’s not too late to start building a legacy with fresh commitments and a new vision; aren’t you ready to invest in something that will reward you for eternity? Here are some scriptures that have encouraged me when I felt that I was losing the battle:

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,  that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:8-18, King James Version (KJV)

The things in our lives that used to weigh us down with the cares of this world, no longer have a hold on us, when we learn to trust God. In this week’s Lattereign we discuss the awesome power of God that can destroy the yoke through the anointing.

Yoke is Destroyed Because of the Anointing

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First Fruits-To be Half-committed is no Commitment at All.

o taste and see

Could God trust me to still be faithful to him after he gives me the desires of my heart? Building trust takes time. The Lord is getting ready to move some mountains in our lives, because the time is short before his return. My desire is to do God’s will. There is no backing down or turning back, I am committed to step out in faith and trust God.

To be half-committed is no commitment at all.

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction….Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isaiah 48:10, 17).

The Lord has brought us through trial after trial and we are still here, learning to trust him, seek him, and believe him. It doesn’t matter that we have had some challenges to face this year; sometimes we may have felt like quitting the race. We have continued to give sacrificially. Looking back on this past year, I have come to understand that anything that we have sacrificed pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ did at Calvary. The only thing that does matter, in the end, is the realization that we made it by keeping the faith, leaning on the Lord, and trusting in his holy word, because he’s never failed us yet! He is faithful. Keep holding on to his promise and you will see your prayers answered in the very near future.

Backing out of the race isn’t an option, nor is focusing on all of the things that didn’t go well this past year. What can we do? We can look at our situation through God’s eyes to gain a totally different perspective. We can learn how to be thankful for the many times the Lord has spared our lives from tragedy: not everyone can say that. We can be thankful for every day that the Lord gives us strength, wisdom, and the willpower to complete any task that he sets before us. We can’t measure our successes using the same yardstick that the world uses, but we can thank the Lord for leading us through the “furnace of affliction.” Did I read this right? Affliction?

It’s true; the Lord selects us from the “furnace of affliction” so that we can declare his glory. He wants us to fully commit our lives to his service, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but because we love Him, and we want to serve Him to the uttermost. The question we should be asking ourselves is: can we be trusted? The Lord would share so much more with us if we could be trusted to handle both the good and the bad without panicking every step of the way.

The Israelites would have had “peace as a river” if they had “hearkened to the commandments” of the Lord, but they chose to worry and disobey instead. They wanted the peace but not the commitment that comes with serving God completely. Instead of “righteousness as the waves of the sea,” they sold out for half-hearted worship. Instead of trusting God so that their seed also had been as the sand, they were destined to walk the sands in the wilderness and eventually to have their name cut off and destroyed from the Lord (Isaiah 48:18-19).

There is a price to pay for commitment, but if you want the Lord to “teach you how to profit” you’ll be willing to pay that price, after all, hasn’t he paid a greater price for your salvation?  

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

“Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). 

Finding Strength “In Quietness and Confidence”

Isn’t it nice to have a God who knows when we have had quite enough of the front lines of battle, and he offers a respite away from the mangled crowds who are angry with demands from you. The Lord carries us to a secret place filled with his glory so that we might worship. When Moses was on the mountain to meet with God, nothing really changed about his situation in the valley. The Israelites were still murmuring and complaining. Those ungrateful people had the nerve to want to go back to Egypt to eat onions and garlic.

No, Moses’ situation didn’t change, but after a time of communion with the Lord, Moses changed, and that made all the difference in his life of leadership.

Did he still have to deal with people and situations? Yes, and did he still make mistakes, yes, but he knew that he had met with God and so he approached the monumental task, in quietness and confidence,  that he was commissioned to do. We have a monumental task, today, serving Jesus Christ in a sin-cursed world that doesn’t always receive us or God’s message of truth and life. Do we run? No. We keep moving forward in quietness and confidence” that no matter how our situation may turn out, we can trust God to intervene on our behalf and for our good.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:” (Isaiah 30:15).

When I read this verse the phrase “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” jumped out at me. Lord, do you mean to tell me that if I stay quiet when situations arise, and remain confident that you are in control of my circumstance, that my act of obedience to your word, will give me strength to endure? It got my attention! But, then I read the rest of the verse—“and ye would not” I wasn’t prepared for the reality check, here.

If we are honest with ourselves, I think we could say that sometimes we all yell when we don’t get our way (maybe not audibly but certainly in the way that we approach God). In my deepest thoughts, I rehash some old hurt or battle, or I lash out in anger and think that it isn’t fair: YOU said you’d bring it to pass, God; but, HOW LONG DO I have to WAIT, Lord?

Whether it’s out of frustration, fear of the unknown, or pure anxiety, we all have felt inadequate at times, but if I’ll learn how to remain quiet and confident that the Lord is blessing me, I can trust that the Lord is working everything out for my good. He said that I was supposed to thank him at ALL times: not only when I feel like it, or if it’s convenient; or only if I feel good; or if another saint obeys God first, and worships; but at all times.

I have to remember that when people reject me; he was rejected first; when I become sick; he has already taken stripes on his back for my healing; when I am in despair, he’s already taken the chastisement of our peace upon himself. When I fail; he is ready to forgive me and help me to repent. I must purpose in my heart to do his will because Jesus loves me, and I don’t pretend to understand why, but he does. When I think about his sacrifices for me, I can’t help but keep a song of praise on my lips at all times.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:3-5). Lift Him up.

Click on this week’s Lattereign, below to find out how to give God your best.

It’s Time to Give God our Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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