Tag: pastors

Three Prophetic Words For 2016

 
Three prophetic words from a casual observer, and a prophet-in-training.

Okay, so maybe I’m not a prophet, or maybe I am; but I’ve got some things to say about this coming year that need to be heard. Because I say them? No. Who’s Jan Grace, anyway? 

No, not because I say them, but because they just may come to pass. You and I need to be prepared.

Three words come to my mind, and burn intensely within my spirit. Three words I believe God is speaking to the American people, and especially His Church.

Acceleration, Depravation, Demarcation 

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.” (2 Timothy 3:1-9 ESV)


Acceleration

Throughout the ages there have been difficult, stressful times. But things are beginning to accelerate, faster and faster. Seasons are becoming mixed up, weather patterns skewed. But more importantly, the season of ministry is quickly coming to a close. 

I don’t say that because I’m calling for this year to be the year of the Lord’s return, but because of a second word I’m hearing, which I’ll share in a moment.

The things happening in the natural realm are indicators of what’s taking place in the spirit. People, even some of God’s people, are becoming mixed up, no longer bearing fruit in season. And this is being accelerated to the point where men and women are becoming picked off by the enemy at a faster rate. What we used to “get by with” now becomes a major issue overnight and unless we repent quickly, we wake up to someone we no longer recognize. Ourselves.

Why else would Peter say, “Judgment must begin in the house of God, and if it begins with us, what’s going to happen to those who don’t obey the gospel?” (1 Peter 4)

If WE are scarcely saved…? 

Peter also wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant, because YOUR adversary, the devil, goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may DEVOUR…”

Only NOW, his advances are accelerating! 

“Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:12 ESV)


Depravation

The closets are open, and everything imaginable is being released on society. Even some things beyond our imagination! 

The depravity of the unregenerate human heart is being celebrated as the new freedom, and the more perverse something is the greater it’s lauded. 

Couple this word with the first, acceleration, and 2016 will not be an easy year. You and I will not get by with a wish and a hope so. 

Depravity is like poisonous fungi, attaching itself to areas in our lives that haven’t fully embraced the life giving power of the gospel. Those areas where we’ve allowed compromise; and have tried to live for Jesus and our flesh at the same time.

In fact, fungi live on dead or decaying things. It thrives on death. It grows, multiplies on death. 

Depravity feeds on spiritual death, and perverseness paves the way for more perversity. 

“Gay rights” will soon be “tame” compared to what’s being conceived in the heart of the wicked. 

2016 will end, sadly, with many church going, bible quoting, Christians falling because they’ve succumbed to the depravation in the world.
Demarcation 

“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.” 2 Timothy 3:8 ESV)

A line, such has not been seen since the earliest days of the church, will begin to be pronounced in 2016. 

A difference will be declared, and demonstrated, by the true believers in Jesus. 

“…and that ye may make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean…” (Leviticus 10:10 ASV)

“Depart, depart, go out from there; touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11 ESV)

As it was in the Book of Acts, so will it be even in America.

“Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.” (Acts 5:12-13 ESV)

Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, and the Romans and Jews opposed the gospel. A morally deprived society opposes God on almost every issue these days. But the line has been drawn in the sand.

The word is demarcation, a clear distinction between God’s people and the rest. 

The stage is being set for a showdown. As Moses faced Pharaoh with God’s holiness and power, so it will come to pass shortly. And as the Egyptians were overjoyed when the Israelites finally left Egypt, well, this world’s gonna party like crazy when their critics are gone.

Preacher, pastor, prophet: don’t hold your tongue. You will not win the world with your silence, and you will not carry out your assignment hiding behind your 501c3 status. 

As Mordecai said to Queen Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this”(Esther 4:13-14 ESV), I believe the Lord is declaring to His witnesses today:

“If you attempt to compromise My Truth, to water it down so others will receive YOU, I WILL find others to do what I told you to do. But you will lose out.”

The line of holiness is clearly stated in the scriptures, and without holiness one cannot see the Lord. Preach it and demonstrate it. 

Acceleration, Depravation, and Demarcation

2016 is going to be quite a ride.

 

I’m Not Getting Fed

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People sometimes say stupid things. Even Christ followers.

Agree? Of course you do.

Wanna hear a real stupid one?

“My pastor isn’t feeding me.” Or, “I’m not getting fed.”

Yeah?

Oh, I think I know what they’re trying to say. But it’s still stupid.

People who say such things are mainly attempting to sound “spiritual”. At least more spiritual than their pastor. And maybe they are, but it’s doubtful.

Spiritual people don’t need to be spoon fed. They’ve learned to feed themselves. Church attendance isn’t about having THEIR needs met, but about helping others in the body grow and become more Christlike.

“My pastor doesn’t teach the deep things of God.” And why would he? Would God lead him to teach things the flock isn’t able to handle? No. The writer of Hebrews mentioned that very thing.

“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:11-14 NLT)

Are you hungry for the meat and potatoes of the Word? You don’t have to wait until Sunday. How about reading the bible on your own? Come on, sit down at the table of the Lord and grab a bite or two.

Here’s another thought. How about praying for your pastor? I’m certain the pastor would appreciate it. Paul encouraged people to pray for him.

“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 ESV)

Do you REALLY want to be fed? Try receiving the Word you’re getting, putting it to practice, and THEN watch what happens. But don’t be like the Israelites, who complained against God and pastor Moses. And why did they complain?

They weren’t being fed what they wanted! “…But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna.”” (Numbers 21:4-5 NLT)

Oh, those poor, poor babies.

Joel Doesn’t Always Smile

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People who see me out and about, wearing my ministry face, shouting hallelujahs, may not believe there’s another side of me.

I’m not always full of pep. I don’t always have my pastor cloak draped over my shoulders. Actually, there are times I simply want to be left alone so I can brood my life away.

Sometimes I have a hard time with my circumstances. They seem to run me over when I least expect it.

And yes, there are times when I beat myself up with self-condemnation. It’s like I take the sword of the Lord, God’s word, and stab myself over and over until I run out of energy.

It’s not something I’d ever advise someone doing, yet I find myself doing it. Every so often.

Too often.

Like today, for example. My stomach started bothering me yesterday, cramping and acting all goofy. The same thing it’s done for a number of years. No doctor has really been able to help me, so I quit going. I just ride them out when they happen. Until today. The pain and duration was more than I could handle, so my wife drove me to the emergency room.

Four and a half hours later…medicine to help with the symptoms. And a bill due for several hundred dollars.

Why am I telling you all this? Because you need to understand that pastors, people in ministry, DO NOT live a perfect life! They can be attacked spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, and socially…just out of the blue.

I’m sure you’ll never hear any of the big name televangelists tell of their woes on national television. However, you will receive mail asking for donations to help them pay for this or that ministry or problem.

Joel Osteen doesn’t flash that million dollar smile 24/7. TD Jakes will have days, or moments anyway, when he simply doesn’t know what to do. Kenneth Copeland can’t always be above only, and not beneath.

I’ll just bet they don’t always preach a perfect sermon. And if they don’t, they trash it. It won’t be put on the air.

No, I’m not blasting them. Great men of God, I’m sure. But they’re only men.

The men of God who’ve recently committed suicide were people well respected and admired in their cities and churches. Probably seen by all, wearing their church smiles, and ministry hallelujahs. But somewhere along the line the enemy got in and took control.

It’s not necessarily just one thing that shoves them over the edge. Many times it is a combination of events, and one proverbial last straw.

I cannot over stress the need for people like you and I to look after our pastor. We need to cover them, support them, and release them to do God’s bidding. It’s not only for their benefit but for ours as well.

Please check this book out for more ideas about how to help your pastor. “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pastor.” Available @ amazon. Also, if you’ll notice the page on this blog titled “Kindle eBooks by J.Grace”, click on the page and it will open up with links to amazon.com.

Don’t let a flashy smile or an expensive suit fool you. Pastors need our help.

Now more than ever.

Superman Is Not A Pastor

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Superman isn’t real.

Neither is Batman, Robin, the Hulk, Aquaman, Spiderman, or any other “Super-Hero”. There IS such a person as Bat Boy, but no one’s ever called him a hero.

Fantasy! Pure, unadulterated fantasy.

I’m not condemning such activity as falderal. I’m only using America’s obsession with superheroes to make a point or two.

Point #1. People who spend most of their time living in a make believe world do not function well in the real world.

A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. (Proverbs 28:19 NLT)

Fantasyland is a great place in which to escape, once in a while. Entertainment can be a great way to relax and recharge one’s batteries. Temporarily. Not permanently.

Point #2. It seems to me, maybe you haven’t recognized it, the superhero phenomenon has found its way into the church.

Pastors, evangelists, and teachers are looked upon by many as supermen and women, able to tackle any and every problem that comes their way.

Oh, and let’s not forget the worship leaders. Many have been elevated to the superstar status (even though they have not sought such a position or status). Whenever Lex Luthor or the Riddler begin causing havoc in the church, all our superhero needs to do is don their cape and the enemy flees.

Of course people need to esteem their spiritual leaders highly, for their work’s sake. But leaders aren’t heroes. God never intended for them to fight our battles FOR us, but WITH us. Leaders lead as people walk and work with them.

When is the last time you ever saw Superman ask someone for help? “Relax, Lois, I can handle this.” “Jimmy, put the phone down. I don’t need the national guard.”

I’m concerned for our spiritual leaders. Especially our pastors. With a nation obsessed with fantasy movies, fantasy games, fantasy football, fantasy, fantasy, fantasy; is there any wonder people expect their pastors to be perfect? And that only adds pressure to the lives of those who don’t, and can’t, measure up.

I don’t believe I have ever read a DC comic book that has a pastor as the super dude.

I’ve lost track of how many pastors have committed suicide within the last year, but there have been many. “Successful” pastors with large ministries have finished their lives before their course was completed. I am NOT speaking of them in a disparaging manner at all. I AM trying to speak of the pressure and deep spiritual warfare they have to endure.

And treating them like a superhero doesn’t help.

Superheroes have to live in fantasyland. They could not survive in this real, nasty, ugly world. Yes, they knock the snot out the villains in Metropolis and Gotham City. But bring them into the world you and I live in and they fall apart.

Fantasies limit what can be accomplished in the real world. “They who chase fantasies end up flat busted and broke.”

It’s time to help our pastors.

I have written a book called “How to get the most out of your pastor”. It’s available @ amazon.com, as a Kindle eBook. One of the main reasons I wrote the book is this: if we will support our pastor as the scriptures instruct us to, God can minister to and through the leader as he said he would.

As I said, it’s time to help our pastors.

Help them to understand we don’t expect them to be our hero. We don’t look to them as our deliverer. We already have one. His Name is Jesus!

When we want a hero, we’ll go check out a movie or read the comics.

Otherwise, we’ll live in the same world as our pastor, upholding them in prayer and supporting them in every way possible.

Like allowing them to burn their Superman suit, and be real.

Unlike Superman.

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