The Other Side

BreakthroughOvercoming

Who cares about the other side when your boat’s about to sink?  True, if you reach the shore you’ll be safe from the storm, but it is too far to swim, and the boat is quickly filling with water.  The wind has torn the sails, the waves have long since knocked the starch out of your shirt, and those around you have that terror-stricken look of defeat in their eyes.  It seems that your destiny is in danger.  You were told to go to the other side, but you are about to sink in the middle of the sea.  Reaching your destiny no longer seems possible.  Survival is your only thought, and that hope also seems to be fading quickly.  What do you do now?  You must do exactly what the disciples of Jesus did so long ago.  Remember Jesus!  The Master is on board the ship, He set the goal, and He will get you there!

Remember Jesus! The Master is on board the ship, He set the goal, and He will get you there! Click To Tweet

I love the way Mark describes this particular stormy night.  After a full day of teaching, preaching, and working miracles, Jesus says to the disciples, “Let us go cross to the other side.” [Mark 4:35] Physically exhausted from the intensity of ministry, Jesus reclines on a pillow in the back and sleeps.  The disciples calmly go about the business of sailing the Sea of Galilee, conversing with one another as they work.  Can you see it?  Can you put yourself in their sandals? You are content knowing you are pursuing the will of the Master and all is well.  Then out of nowhere, the storm arises.  A peaceful night quickly becomes a nightmare.

Four of these men are seasoned fishermen, veterans of Galilee’s frequent storms.  At first, they exude the confidence bred of experience.  Soon they realize that something is different about this night.  Within moments, the ferocity of the wind and waves beat these confident men into near basket cases.  The sails ripping apart by angry winds, and waves anxiously seeking to catch a ride on the ship.  With the water rapidly rising inside and not enough buckets to bail it out; the disciples lose hope.  Then someone remembers Jesus.  Perhaps it is John turning to Peter who says, “Wake Jesus!  We’re going to die unless He does something!” The Bible says, “He was in the stern asleep on a pillow. They woke Him and said, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” [Mark 4:38] I can almost hear the disciples’ thoughts: “How can He sleep through this storm? Doesn’t anything bother Him? He doesn’t even care that we’re going to die out here! “As they wake Him, Jesus simply stretches, yawns, steps to the bow of the ship and speaks three words: “Peace, be still!” [Mark 4:39] Instant obedience!  The wind and the waves recognize the voice of the Creator and humbly obey.  Suddenly!  There is a great calm, and the ship proceeds victoriously to the other side.

The Other Side –for the disciples on this particular night, the other side is the region known as the Gadarenes. It is a place of great deliverance for the demonized with the legion.  And he is the first fruit of significant breakthrough for the entire region. For you, the other side also represents a place of considerable advance, a place where your God-given vision becomes fulfilled. But don’t be naïve! Every move you make closer to the release of God’s plan for your life will be fought with increased intensity!

But don’t be naïve! Every move you make closer to the release of God’s plan for your life will be fought with increased intensity! Click To Tweet

God’s word of promise always meets with warfare from the enemy! But He promises that everything will work together for your good. [See Romans 8:26-29] One way it works for good, is that you discover your abilities, intelligence, strength, will-power, and experience are not enough to withstand every storm. The journey often highlights inadequacies and forces you to trust Jesus on new levels.

God’s word of promise always meets with warfare from the enemy! But He promises that everything will work together for your good. Click To Tweet

 You and I must learn to trust His word! Jesus has spoken!  Andre Crouch said it best, “Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”  He charted the course, knowing the storm would come attempting to discourage, defeat and destroy you. Remember Jesus! He said, “Let us cross to the other side…”  HE HAS YOU even if it appears to you that He is asleep! He isn’t! He never sleeps! Psalm 121:3 proclaims, “He who keeps you will not slumber.”

The ferocious storms of life are not enough to defeat you!  Jesus is with you!  He has given you His purpose and His grace, which enables you to fulfill the mission.  [See 2 Timothy 1:9] You can overcome whatever you are facing.  If the season you’re in right now so highlights your weakness that you feel incapable of speaking to the storm yourself,  you can still call on Jesus! Even if He rebukes you for your lack of faith, know first that He will rebuke the storm that seeks to stop you! Call His name in prayer and watch Him move to the forefront of your life and speak the creative words, “Peace, be still!”  [Mark 4:39] GET READY FOR YOUR BREAKTHROUGH! It’s time!  Let’s go – to the other side!

 

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Expansion

Keith NIxThe Lift Church

What’s the big deal about entering another year? After all, it’s just a date on the calendar. And the calendar we go by is the Gregorian calendar, not God’s!  There is certainly nothing magical about entering a new year. But it gives us a reset button. It is a “get ready, set, go” mark on our calendar; a fresh opportunity for us to experience a better year and to become better people.

In 2016, the Lord spoke to me that 2017 would be the Year of the Open Door for us. And it has been in so many ways. Amazing doors opened for us! Each door God opened enabled us to reach thousands more with the anointing and message of truth. God is ever faithful to fulfill HIs word.

Now as we prepare to enter into 2018, the Lord spoke to me that this is the season to walk through the open door.  More doors are open for us that merely requires us to walk through. In Revelation 3:8, our Lord Jesus says, “See, I have set before you an open door, and no man can close it..”  The many times I read this verse I only envisioned the door as standing wide open with me only needing to step through. And many times that has been precisely the way.

But I realized that sometimes the message is a bit different. There are times when the door is in the closed position. We stand before it and knock, waiting for it to open, and we hear someone say, “Come on in. It’s open.”  Open? No, it is closed. We can’t see beyond the door. We are still stuck on the same side! But the voice insists! “It’s open. Come on in!”

Doors that remain in the closed position but are unlocked are considered open. We stand right now in front of doors that God has supernaturally unlocked for us. All that is separating us from stepping through is an act of obedience. So, we choose to believe and obey. I declare that 2018 is for us and you, The Year of Stepping Through the Open Door!

Six to eight weeks ago, the Lord spoke to Margie one word that complements the word the Lord gave me: “EXPANSION”! As we step through the open door, we will experience expansion. Isaiah 54:2-3 speaks of what 2018 will look like: “Enlarge the place of your tent. And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings: Do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations and make the desolate cities inhabited.”

 It’s time for expansion!  We must prepare!  We must by faith, turn the knob, push the door and see it swing wide in front of us. Then we step through and believe for His glory!

Just the beginning of this month, Margie, in prayer again heard the Lord say, “It’s time to go on TV now.” We’ve been praying about this for a long time but waiting for the timing of the Lord. I had already been in talks with the station manager and tentatively set a date for early 2017, but this word came as a clear confirmation. The Lord followed it with a vision where Margie saw my dad as a little boy in front of a TV set! The implications are clear! There is a “Larry Nix” out there somewhere who will encounter Jesus through our media outreach! Just think of the multiplied thousands God has touched through Dad’s ministry, and it all began in front of a TV set. This is what expansion looks like!

Three days following that vision, I received word that our airtime is paid for!  Hallelujah!  And we are stepping through this open door. But we need to upgrade some of our video equipment, we need a new media computer, we must add more lights, and we need to make some changes to our stage design, including floor covering, sound panels, etc. These upgrades alone will literally be in the thousands of dollars. These upgrades will enable us to produce a quality and anointed program that will impact tens of thousands through our streaming, TV and other media outreaches.

And it is time to step into a new dimension of what I call, facility security. The wonderful building, we are currently leasing is still up for sale with an ugly “For Sale” sign, in the front yard. This sign must come down! It is time for the status quo to change! Stepping through the open doors requires faith and obedience on our part and the release of miracle power on God’s part.

Will you help us “stretch the curtains?” I am asking you to pray concerning an end of the year financial gift to help us in this expansion season. Your donation of any amount will be huge for us right now! I believe that your faith-filled prayers and your financial gift will add just what is needed. You and a company of others will stretch the curtains, so many more will experience the goodness of our Lord Jesus!

We will not spare or hold back!  Now is the time to walk through these doors the Lord is unlocking before us. Thank you again!  Together we will see His glory impact this generation in GREAT AWAKENING!

 

 

 

Immanuel – God With Us!

IncarnationRedeemed

All is lost
and yet
A bruised reed
He will not break

The light is gone
and yet,
A smoking lamp
He will not snuff out

Hope is given
A Promise is spoken

Woven into the skins that cover us
A glimmer of light
A glimpse forward

Restoration foretold
The Seed
Will prevail

The Redeemer (Ga’al)
Will pay the ransom price

Abraham’s descendant
David’s Son
Israel’s Hope
The Suffering Servant
The King of Kings

A Sign is given
Impossibility made possible
Miracle of miracles
A virgin conceives

The Baby belongs to Yahweh
The Child is Yahweh
God in skin

Silence is shattered
The Babe cries
The roar of a conquering King

The beginning is humble
Seemingly weak
Almost fragile

And yet
All will be made NEW

The lost found
Paradise restored
The GLORY returned
HE has come

His coming is not as we imagined
The Word among us
The Word one of us
Immanuel – God With Us!

Simply Jesus: This Is Worship!

JesusWorship

“One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. She had put it aside, one cent and then another and then another, in her careful buying of meat and other food. Della counted it three times. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was nothing to do but fall on the bed and cry. So Della did.”

So begins the classic tale titled, The Gift of the Magi, written by O’Henry and published December 10, 1905. It has been in print ever since and adapted multiple times and ways in books, theater, and movies. You most likely remember the story of a young couple entirely in love with each other who each wanted to buy the other something meaningful for Christmas. They were living on the edge of poverty and had no money to purchase what they wanted, so Della sold locks of her beautiful hair to buy Jim an exquisite chain for the expensive pocket watch given to him by his grandfather. Meanwhile, Jim pawned his precious pocket watch to purchase hair combs for her hair.

Although they were each holding gifts that were no longer useful to them, the irony of their extravagant purchases paled in the light of the love they held for one another. Jim and Della Young powerfully demonstrate that true love is unselfish and sacrificially giving.

The great missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, said, “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” I am in awe of the Magi. They traveled 900 miles motivated to worship simply Jesus. They considered it the highest honor to see the baby and to give Him gifts. They weren’t inspired by what they would receive but what they could provide. This is worship.

Whenever someone says, “I love you.” There is in the statement an implied question, “Do you love me?” Think about it. We love our children unconditionally and communicate our love in a myriad of ways they will never comprehend until they grow to our age. And still, when we say, “I love you” to the little darlings, we enjoy hearing it returned to us. I know Margie, and I do.

God has emphatically declared His love for us in a myriad of ways, but the highest expression is on the Cross! There on Golgotha’s hill, Jesus forever shouts, “I love you!” to all humanity! Corrie Ten Boom once said, “The measure of a life, after all, is not it’s duration but it’s donation.” How do we measure the life and love of God then? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

Corrie Ten Boom once said, “The measure of a life, after all, is not it’s duration but it’s donation.” Click To Tweet

Our response to God’s “I love you” is called worship! Worship is our “I love you, too!” Its expression includes singing, the raising of hands, clapping, jumping, and dancing. But worship is far more than what typically defines it in modern Christianity. In reality, worship is a lifestyle.

The lifestyle of worship includes singing and all the above, but at its core, it reaches further inward. Holiness is worship. Prayer is worship. Devotion is worship. Giving is worship. Doing good for others is worship. Simply put, the way I live my life every day when no one is looking is the expression of my worship. Loving God with my life is my response to God’s great “I love you” to me!

Worship Isn’t Always Convenient

I am in awe of the Magi. They traveled 900 miles! Simply to find Jesus and worship. [See Matthew: 2:1-12] The leading religious leaders and scholars were a mere five miles away from where Jesus was born but never made an effort to find Him. Moses didn’t encounter the Almighty in the burning bush until he turned aside from his usual path. [See Exodus 3:3-4] King David, who understood worship like few others, declared that He would not offer anything to God that didn’t cost him personally.

Worship Is An Offering

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Acts 20:35] This phrase, especially in the Aramaic, carries the idea that those who try to give more than they receive are the blessed ones! Indeed this is true of the Magi who made the inconvenient and uncomfortable journey to Bethlehem. They came to worship! And they worshipped by not only bowing low before the King, but they gave gifts of their substance to Him. Gold in recognition that He is King. Frankincense was acknowledging that He is the Great High Priest. And myrrh, rejoicing that His death would bring life to all who believe and receive!

Worship Is Its Own Reward!

Like the Magi of old, true worshippers today consider the blessing of worship to be the right of participation! There is no record of anything they received. We don’t even know if the Child smiled at them. I, of course, assume He did, but I don’t know for sure. What did these men who invested so much of their time, substance, and energy hope to receive from their act of worship? Their joy was merely in the knowledge that they were privileged to recognize Jesus and give themselves to His purpose and plan. THIS IS WORSHIP!

Like the Magi of old, true worshippers today consider the blessing of worship to be the right of participation! Click To Tweet

What about you and me? Are we more focused on what we will receive than what we can give? Does the auditorium need to look a certain way? Does the music have to be our style? Does the attire of the singers have to be pleasing to our eyes before we can enter in and truly worship? Are we conscious of His presence in the ordinary mundane moments of living or only in a more important setting with a concert feel?

Do we need convincing of the return on our investment before we can let it leave our hand? Do we need our names on plaques of recognition to motivate our generosity? Are we gladly scheduling family gatherings, office parties and gatherings with friends during the holiday seasons but reluctant to add worship services, prayer gatherings or ministry outreaches?

I am in awe of these unnamed Magi who vanish in history after their act of worship to the King who was but a babe when they saw Him. I too, want to be a wise worshipper and love God as they did, only more! I pray the core of my life will always be, simply Jesus. How about you?

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