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!



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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

 


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Christian?

Christians

You can find them in almost every geographical region of the world. They are present in every sphere of society. They are poor, wealthy, educated, and uneducated. Their skin tone varies from black to white and includes every hue in between.  Some are tall, and some are short. Many are physically fit and many are not. Experts predict that by 2050 these people will constitute 3 billion of the world’s population.

Who are they? Christians. At least, this is what they call themselves. Some may identify as being Christian based on their place of birth, their cultural tradition or another form of societal influence. But many, many others use the term to sincerely and boldly proclaim that they have decided to follow Jesus. The reality is that if you ask ten people, “What is a Christian?” You may get ten differing answers.  So let’s take a brief look at what being a Christian means.

The reality is that if you ask ten people, “What is a Christian?” You may get ten differing answers. So let's take a brief look at what being a Christian means. Click To Tweet

Acts 11:26 records, “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”  Historians say that the inhabitants of Antioch in the first century were known as people who liked to give out nicknames. And so as they observed the followers of Jesus they decided they should be called, “Christians.” Later in His epistle, Peter uses the term, and because of his use of the title, it stuck. (See I Peter 4:16)

The nickname of Christian is beautiful and powerful in its meaning. Let me briefly highlight the three principal truths of the name:

First, it means “of Christ.” To be a true Christian, you must be “of” Him. It isn’t about being born into a Christian family or culture where people are traditionally Christian; you must be born of God. You must have His blood, His DNA! John records the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus as they met around a campfire. Jesus shocks the religious leader by telling him, “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The phrase “born again” literally can be translated as “born from above.” Later John wrote, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” [I John 5:1] Just as you and I possess our parents DNA because we are “of” them, so those who believe in Jesus are born of God and possess His DNA. No wonder John goes on to write, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”  [I John 5:4]

Those who believe in Jesus possess His DNA. Click To Tweet

Secondly, the word Christian means “belonging to Christ.” Those who are “of Christ” belong to Him. We can boldly claim the promise found in Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Hallelujah! Because I belong to Jesus, I will not lack or fail! Just as I am responsible for taking care of my daughter, the Lord bears the responsibility to take care of all who put their faith in Him and become His family! He has “bought us” with the price of His life, and He who began this good work will bring it to completion! [See I Corinthians 6:20 and Philippians 1:6]

The third definition of the word Christian is the most widely used inside the Church. To be a Christian means to be “like Christ.” This is the heart cry of every true believer in Jesus. We want to be like Him: Like Him in character and like Him in action.  And if we are truly born of Him and belong to Him, it naturally follows that we will indeed be like Him. Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” [John 15:8] It is by bearing the fruit of His Spirit that we are indeed known as His! [See Galatians 5:22-25] And then Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also…” [John 14:12]

This is who we Christians are! We are the sons and daughters of God Most High. We are born from above and given the power to be like Him in character and action. We are His body on the earth and called to proclaim Him in power among the nations! Let’s rise and be Jesus in this generation. 

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