Snooze and Lose

awakeningJosiah Generation

Is the alarm clock your enemy or your friend? If I am real, most of my life it seemed more like an enemy than a friend. What about you? Are you a “morning person?” I’m not! At least, not naturally born. I often need to set my alarms [yes, plural] an hour in advance of when I need to get up. And for some crazy reason, sleep seems sweeter after you are supposed to be up. Crazy! Whoever invented the snooze button is my friend for life!


Once I am finally up physically, it still takes me a good bit of time to wake up. My voice doesn’t sound pleasant for at least 30 minutes, and the closest I want to get to a conversation is, “Spark, please.” However, I discover that when I am looking forward to the day, it is so much easier to wake up. The alarm clock, my enemy from the day before, is my friend today because of what awaits me. Motivation is of vital importance to my perspective.


Our generation is in trouble. A brief review of the news on any given day speaks of the myriad of challenges facing us. The world is spiraling downward further and further into the chaos of wars and rumors of wars. Peace and true love appear out of reach. The truth is no longer considered a constant but a moving target that varies with the mood of the moment. There is an all out attempt to redefine borders and reassign morality.


The truth is no longer considered a constant but a moving target that varies with the mood of the moment. Click To Tweet

There is an answer! It is the Church! Jesus said, “…On this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 16:18] The Church is the body of Christ in the Earth: His hands, His feet, and possessing His heart and Spirit! And yet, If you look at what is happening around the world, the church appears to be falling way short of the intended goal. What’s the issue?
It isn’t an issue of authority or power. The church today is not powerless, just asleep. The problem isn’t that we don’t know the Bible. The church is not Biblically illiterate, but asleep. It isn’t that the church is not loving; but, sleepy people care more about their comfort than the needs of others. The issue is that too many in the church are asleep!


The church today is not powerless, just asleep. Click To Tweet

It is time for the church to wake up! It is past time! The alarms are sounding, and we have hit the snooze button for far too long. Look at the way Kenneth Wuest translated Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:11, “And this, knowing the strategic season, that it is an hour now for you to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”


This is one of the most strategic seasons of our lives! We cannot afford to sleep through another day. If we snooze we will lose a generation! The prophetic promise of Isaiah 60: 1-3 is upon us, “Arise, shine: For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” The Church must rise up in the light of His glory! We will stop hitting the snooze button and motivated by the Glory, we rise and shine.


This is one of the most strategic seasons of our lives! If we snooze we will lose a generation! Click To Tweet

Mark writes in his gospel the account of the Synagogue leader Jairus’ daughter’s illness. {Mark 5} In numerous ways this generation of young men and women resemble Jairus’ daughter. Many voices are declaring that they are dead and saying all we can do is mourn their demise. But I believe that Jesus’ words concerning the little girl are relevant and prophetic of today, “The child is not dead, but sleeping.” [Mark 5:39] The same anointing is available now to awaken a generation. This anointing is working right now to awaken a generation that is destined to experience His greatest glory! Stop hitting the snooze button! Make the decision! Pay the price of the discomfort. Pull the covers back, throw your legs over the edge and get up! A generation is waiting!



* indicates required


What Size Is Your Heart?

Keith NIx

Years of labor by dozens of skilled craftsmen with an incredible budget produced one of the most beautiful and exquisitely decorated ships ever. Also, armed “to the teeth” with bronze cannons it was arguably the most powerful vessel in the world. King Gustavo Adolphus sought to lift Sweden to the ranks of the great naval powers of England, France, and Spain in the 17th century. It appeared accomplished on August 10, 1628, as the newly commissioned Vasa set sail with great fanfare and over 100 members of Swedish nobility on board.

Tragically, the Vasa sailed less than one nautical mile before a gust of wind pushed the top-heavy vessel dangerously close to tipping. The sailors were able to correct it only to have a second gust of wind push it over again this time with water filling the open gun portholes. Within a matter of minutes, Sweden’s finest ship lay beneath 100 feet of water in the Stockholm port with more than thirty dead. The Vasa became a maritime disaster!

The greater tragedy is that it didn’t have to happen. An Admiral had earlier tested the Vasa’s seaworthiness and found it to be too top heavy. Others who worked on it knew that the weight of the cannons added with the opulence of the decorations created a disastrous future. They knew the Vasa could still be a mighty vessel, but they needed more time to make the necessary adjustments. None would dare approach the King with their concerns. Aldophus was unapproachable. His ego would not allow questions. His demanding attitude would not allow for more time. The smallness of his heart would cause him to be remembered more for failure than success.

The smallness of his heart would cause him to be remembered more for failure than success. What about you? What will your legacy be? Click To Tweet

What about you? What will your legacy be? Is your heart large or small? Of course, I’m not asking about the muscle that pumps blood but the spirit that is the real you. Is your heart large and loving or small and suffocating? Is your ego bigger than your heart? Or do you live with an increasing sense of God living big inside you and enabling you to live big?

Live big? What does that even mean? It simply means to live the life God intends for you to live. The Psalmist prayed it this way, “I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.” [Psalm 119:32] It isn’t possible to live God’s way without the Lord expanding your heart’s capacity to receive and love.

If your heart is small, it is suffocating the life in you and those around you. If your heart is large, it is allowing life to flow freely through you – increasing you and those around you. A powerful way to gauge the size of your heart is by asking yourself this question: How do I react when I am questioned or challenged in what I believe? Do I become defensive and argumentative? Do I turn off and away from anything that suggests I need to take a fresh look at something? Or do I listen with an openness to learn and a willingness to yield to reason?

If your heart is small, it is suffocating the life in you and those around you. Click To Tweet

James instructs us that so-called “wisdom” in a heart that is envious, bitter and filled with selfish ambition is not true wisdom but originates from an earthly, sensual and demonic source. “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle.) [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity.)” [James 3:17 Amp(c)]

I encourage you today to check your heart. Ask the Lord to make it larger. Stretch yourself out before in Him in humility and honesty. He delights in growing us up into His thoughts and ways!

Stretch yourself out before in Him in humility and honesty. He delights in growing us up into His thoughts and ways! Click To Tweet

Take some time to listen to the full message I taught recently at The Lift and let God STRETCH YOUR HEART:


* indicates required


We Have Today!

Abundant LifeThe Awakening

Benjamin Franklin once said, “One day, today, is worth two tomorrows.” The Apostle Paul may have had this thought in mind when he wrote to the Roman church, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”(Ro. 13:11 ESV) Tomorrow is coming for most of us, but we all have today! What are we going to do with today? We cannot afford to sleep through our God-given opportunities. It is time for the church in 2017 to awake to our calling to impact the world for Jesus!

Benjamin Franklin once said, “One day, today, is worth two tomorrows.” Click To Tweet

World changers have always been dreamers. You must “see it” on the inside before it ever becomes your reality on the outside. Vision is key to living a life of impact.  Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish:” [Prov. 29:18] Joseph certainly understood this truth. Remember how God gave Joseph dreams about his future?  If you know the story, then you know that these dreams sustained Joseph through the tough days he endured. [Take a look at Gen. 37 – 41] What about Moses? The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “…he was looking to the reward.  By faith….he (Moses) endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” [Heb. 11:26-27]

Vision is key to living a life of impact Click To Tweet

Hebrews 11:13 speaks of the patriarchs who “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them and embraced them…” We too must be people of vision. We must dare to dream the dreams that God gives us. Not just “small” dreams either. God is looking for men and women who will dare to dream the impossible and trust that if it is His will, “all things are possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23)

Vision is the birthing place for great accomplishments. But it takes more than dreams.  “World Changers” are not just those who dream but those whose faith moves them to act upon their dreams. Hebrews 11 records the victories of men and women who envisioned future “promises” and saw them become a reality by faith. Faith puts into action what it imagines! Faith seizes the opportunities of today and if there doesn’t seem to be any opportunities; faith in God creates them! Faith is never passive. Faith always produces action. (See James 2:18)

Dreaming (or vision) is a necessity to accomplishing anything great for God but as John Mason said, “To only dream of the person you want to be is to waste the person you are.” We cannot afford to waste the moment we have under the guise of waiting for God. Seize today! “This is the day which the Lord has made;” (Ps. 118:24) Yesterday can be a great teacher, tomorrow can be a great motivator, but today is the great opportunity. We have today! What will we do for God today?

Yesterday can be a great teacher, tomorrow can be a great motivator, but today is the great opportunity. Click To Tweet

Never stop dreaming but remember tomorrow’s dreams will never happen if we don’t do all we can do today. It is time for the church to awake to purposes of God for our lives. This is our day. 2017 is the year of the Open Door. Walk through it! As Moses prayed so we pray, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) We have TODAY!

Remember, tomorrow’s dreams will never happen if we don’t do all we can do today. Click To Tweet

 


* indicates required


What I Learned From the Wise Men

Keith Nix Ministries

Have you ever seen a satellite in space? Most likely, you have and didn’t realize it. I recently read that twenty-seven satellites on six different orbital planes at an altitude of 12,400 miles circle the earth at 8,640 miles per hour. They each circle twice a day, with four of them visible at all times everywhere on the earth, sending signals to radar stations around the world. These amazing machines form the Global Positioning Satellite system which is amazingly accurate and help make this the most mobile generation in history.

Many people travel more than 30 miles each day, but in the time of the birth of Christ, the average person never traveled beyond a 30-mile radius of their birthplace; this makes the story recorded in Matthew 2 all the more amazing:

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are no longer least among the princes of Judah; for out of you shall come a Governor, who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, carefully inquired of them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, so that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed. And the star which they saw in the east went before them until it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great excitement. And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary, His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Mt. 2:1-11 MEV

While most believe this happened as just part of the Christmas season, in reality, these wise men didn’t show up at the birth of Jesus but at while later. Sorry, but they were not gathered with the Shepherds around the manger while the cattle were lowing. I take the time to point this out because the lessons I want to share with from the Wise Men are much more than nice little Christmas devotionals for the month of December.

THE WISE SEEK HIM

The first lesson seems quite obvious and has become a cliché: “Wise men seek Him!” Or another way to phrase it is: Wise men and women go out of their way to encounter God! The religious scholars lived just 5 miles away from where Jesus was born, but not one of them traveled that short distance to see Him. Meanwhile, these Magi traveled at least 900 miles, not in a nice comfortable Cadillac but on a camel’s back. It had to be uncomfortable, but they determined it was well worth it! How about you? Are you ready to allow some discomfort in your life in this next season? Why ask this? Because, the last time you were uncomfortable was the last time you grew! To get in better shape physically requires a measure of discomfort. The same is true emotionally, mentally and spiritually. As we enjoy this season and look to enter a new year, we need to make a quality decision that being in His presence is worth every mile, every dime, every discomfort. We will spend ourselves to encounter Jesus like never before!

THE WISE LIVE BY FAITH

The second lesson is also a very familiar one: Wise men and women travel this journey with FAITH! There is no way these men would risk their reputations, their lives, and their fortune if they did not believe prophecies concerning the star and the King it represented. Faith is crucial in the lives of the wise. Hebrews 11:6 teaches that “Without faith, it is impossible to please God…” It isn’t just difficult, it is impossible, to live a life that pleases God outside of the faith place. More than once the Bible instructs that the righteous “shall live by faith.” [See Ro. 1:17, Hab. 2:4] Corrie Ten Boom described the power of faith this way, “Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” Faith honors God and God honors faith. Therefore, let’s make a quality decision that we will live like our God is bigger than our enemies and any circumstances we face. We will live like He is faithful to fulfill every promise He makes. We will live like there is nothing impossible for Him. Let this next season be the season of the big ask! Ask big, believe big and receive big for His glory!

THE WISE ARE WORSHIPPERS

The third lesson we learn from the wise men is regarding worship. The wise men were bold in proclaiming that their purpose for making the journey was simply to worship. Wise men and women understand the true essence of worship! For many today worship is about what God does for us and what we get out of it. But the wise men understood two essentials of true worship: First, true worship is not about being served but about serving. Second, true worship is not about receiving but about giving. They traveled nine hundred arduous miles to simply see the baby and give him gifts valuing hundreds of thousands in our common currencies. What did they hope to receive from their worship of Jesus? Only the honor and joy of serving and giving to Him. They considered it the highlight of their life and worth all it cost them to be part of God’s plan. They counted it an honor to use their resources for His glory.  This is worship! I pray that you and I will make a fresh and quality decision to live the lives of true worshippers.

My prayer for you is that in this season and the upcoming year, you will walk in a new and ever-increasing level of wisdom. As you put these three keys to work in your life, you will become known in Heaven and the earth as someone who is counted among the wise.

 

 

  • 1
  • 2

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Follow me on Twitter