Church – OUT OF THE BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, if you’re like me (BR), the word “church” creates certain images.  The very, very first image it creates for me is when I was 7-8 years old, we had a home-coming meeting in Tennessee.  I still remember the outdoor, open air area and tables where massive amounts of food was served.  I remember the music, the exuberance, the preaching, the food, the laughter, etc.  Church for me was an exciting, renewing experience, revivalistic in nature.

New Covenant is so unique in that it has captured a revivalistic power, love and exuberance that not many churches experience, and we say that with great reverential fear and humilty.  We’re not sure what has created that dynamic except for the Grace and Mercy of God, the passion of the members for God and Holiness, and the uncompromising position on the Word of God.  We are so blessed, and we are so thankful for all that God is doing.

Now, it’s time for all of us, NCCA and CN churches and ministries to stretch ourselves.  The enemy, Satan, loves to get people weary, offended, hurt, angry, tired, feeling fruitless and useless, etc.  However, regardless of the cries of the enemy and/or our flesh, we have to step up and begin to stretch.  We hear things like “Revival,” “Apostolic,” “Prophetic,” “Sponteneous Worship,” “Breaker Anointings,” “Passion,” “Presence Ministry,” “Manifestations,” “Warfare” etc, and we get excited, but have we pushed through to actually “PRACTICE” those things?  To step out and move in those anointings and experiences?

We’ve begun a new season – even though it’s not 2012, yet; it is the beginning of our new year.  It’s time for us to step forward and begin to flow, we must learn how to “surf the waves of God’s Glory,” learning how to move with each ebb and flow of His Presence, being sensitive to what He desires from us day-to-day and in our corporate assemblies.  What will all of this look like?????  We’re NOT COMPLETELY SURE!!!!!!!!!!! But we do know this, church for us is obliterating institutionalism and pattern-orientations (stand up sit down, do this, do that all by 12:30).  We are becoming more and more “Laboratory-like” – trying things, listening, being willing to step out in faith and try new things, being ready to receive correction and cultivation and all the while seeking, passionately seeking after the pleasure of our King, all while in alignment and submission to spiritual authority that God has set in place. 

Recently, a “new thing” has been the shifting from home groups to midweek service, temporarily.  Wow, what a moment!!!  This past Wednesday people experienced the overwhelming Presence of God, some spoke in tongues and released sounds they’ve never uttered before in God’s Presence.  This is an example of breaking out of comfort zones and trying new things.  A good question to ask is “how have I responded to this temporary shift? and how can I learn from this to respond more powerfully to future permanant shifts in other areas of my life and walk with God? Am I passing God’s tests when He’s changing me from glory-to-glory to become more like Him?”

Shiftings are exciting, stepping out for the first time in any area is a little scary but also very, very exciting.  We want to challenge everyone at NCCA and CN churches to start gathering around the altar at the beginning of service, begin praying, begin worshipping, begin warring for more and more of God, place a petition to God, ask Him to begin to show us more of Himself, to reveal more of His power, more of His Presence, more of His Prophetic Power and giftings, more healings, miracles, salvations, etc.  Let a new sound come out and start thinking of “Church – OUT OF THE BOX!!!!”  STTTTTTREEEEETCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Satanic Devices… Don’t Get Distracted

We cannot let “Satan … take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). 

The modern church has forgotten something.  She’s forgotten that she has an enemy…  Many believers walk through life thinking that every thought they have is their own thought, thinking that every event is random, thinking that every distraction or offense is simply “status quo,” but we must, must, must remember something, there is a devil, and he seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) the people of God. 

This enemy is NOT omnipresent.  Satan is a fallen angel.  Like all other angels, he can’t be all places at once.  He is not like God.  However, he has multitudes of soldiers under his command, demonic forces that fell with him from heaven during his rebellion.  These principalities, powers, and rulers of wickedness in heavenly places have been assigned to us, and they know what sets us off.  They know what hurts us, gets us angry, offended, discouraged… oh they know us well. 

Why is all this important?  Because it is the enemy’s primary strategy to distract us from the mission of Kingdom work.  Satan’s kingdom of darkness is at war with Jesus’ Kingdom of light (Col. 1:13).  The good news is Satan has already been defeated by Jesus on the Cross (Col. 2:14-15).  However, the warfare is now over individual’s destinies.  Satan’s devices or strategies are always geared toward getting you “Off track,” distracting you from who God has called you to be and doing what God has called you to do – all of which is focused around the impact of the Kingdom of God on earth. 

The Lord wants His Kingdom manifesting on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). 

Here is a scenerio of Satan’s strategies – God wants His Kingdom manifesting in your workplace.  Satan wants to stop that expansion of the Kindom into your workplace.  So, what does Satan do?  He assigns demonic forces to torment you at work using any coworker, meeting, policy, etc that he can.  He attempts to keep you from smiling, laughing, and experiencing God’s life and joy at work.  He plays on your emotions and thoughts – “I’d rather be on the beach than here right now…” “Uh, if my boss would just quit, this place would be awesome…”  “Yuck, another customer…”  Satan torments with thoughts and feelings that tear at the fabric of why God has put you into the place you are in, until you become paralyzed spiritually and drained to the point of having no impact.

When we become aware of these devices of the enemy, we can begin to shut them down.  How?  By the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  Your Bible is the most important physical possession you have.  It is God’s Logos (logic, thoughts, words) in printed form.  When Jesus was about to enter into His ministry, Satan came against Him and began to play on Jesus’ needs and desires (see Matthew 4).  Every time Satan brought a distraction up before Jesus, Jesus simply responded with “It is written…” and Jesus would drive back Satan by the Word of God.

Today, become aware of Satan’s distractions in your life.  Has he tried to steal from you?  Has he tried to rob you of spiritual blessings?  Has he taken relationships from you?  Whatever Satan has done or is trying to do, it is all about getting you distracted from the Kingdom and Presence of God.  Don’t let him cause you to stumble or fall away.

Pray with me:  “In the Name of Jesus, Father, thank you that you have given me authority over the enemy by the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, and the Word of God.  Right now, I declare that I am aware of satan’s devices and strategies, and I will not give in to those.  Father, thank you for discernment and for protection, In Jesus name.  Amen.”

The Sound of Rejoicing … Could be Heard Far Away – Neh. 12:43

What an amazing sound it must have been.  In Nehemiah, the people of God had restored the walls and gates of the city as well as the temple of God.  They were so elated they let out a sound that could be heard far away.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if the people of God today could recapture that cry-that sound of rejoicing?  It is possible!!!  Several things led up to the restoration in Nehemiah, and I want to share those things with you:

  • They heard, LOVED, and responded to The Word of God (Neh. 8:1-9)

Read chapter 8, from start to finish, the honored subject is the Word of God being read to the people.  Interestingly enough, reading chapter 8 of Nehemiah reminds me of our weekly church services.  There was worship, preaching, fellowship, and response, a whole ordered service.  The Word of God was the priority – hearing what God had revealed, sharing it, and responding to it.  The modern church, LGBT-affirming church, must recapture a passion and love for the Word of God.  There will be NO SOUND OF REJOICING WITHOUT IT.  The Word gives us cause to rejoice, so we must always have a passion for it.

  • They confessed their sins, repented, and separated themselves from sin (Neh. 9:2)

When they heard the Word, they realized that in order to have God’s Presence and the Restoration of their lives, they had to repent of anything they had been doing that may have grieved God.  Sin and worldliness grieve God.  The people of God even separated themselves from the practices around them (v. 2).  There will be NO SOUND OF REJOICING UNTIL WE LEARN THE POWER OF REPENTANCE.  God loves us and because of that love, He convicts us of sin.  Thank God for His Precious Spirit’s convicting power.  Today, if there is any sin in your life, repent.  Ask Him to forgive you.  And as you do, you are one step closer to hearing the sound of rejoicing!!!

  • They worshipped (Neh. 11:23; 12:27-31)

Worship IS THE SOUND OF REJOICING!  The Bible tells us that “in His presence is the fullness of joy” (Psa. 16:11), and He inhabits the praises of His people (Psa. 22:3).  So, in order for us to release the sound of rejoicing, we need His presence, and His Presence is drawn to the sound of worship.  It is time to release the sound of worship!

  • They committed themselves to God (Neh. 10)

Nehemiah 10 is about a nation of people going before God and signing a covenant that basically said, “whatever it takes…”  God wants a people who will covenant with Him to do whatever it takes.  He wants Abrahamic people who are willing to give up that which is most precious for the cause of the Kingdom; He wants Estheric people who are willing to risk everything so that some might be saved; He wants Nehemaic people who will release a sound of rejoicing so loud that it can be heard far away.  This level of committment isn’t easy.  One must be willing to give up comfort, traditions, dignity…  Salvation is free, but a certain sound, a sound of rejoicing is costly.

Today, I encourage you, give your life to Jesus, get your heart right before Him, and let a sound of rejoicing be heard so loud that it can be heard through your day-to-day actions, let a spiritual sound be released that is so loud that family and friends hear it, and that it is a witness to all around you, THAT YOU SERVE A RESTORING, REBUILDING KING

The Power of The Word of God

Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]? (Jeremiah 23:29).

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (Isa. 55:11 AMP).

God’s Word, has creative power that will change situations and lives, but itself can not be overcome.  The Word of God, when applied by faith to situations, will change those situations.  The Word of God, when applied by faith, will change spiritual and natural atmospheres.  Today, as I’ve been meditating on the Word of God and listening to the Word of God being preached, for the past several hours, my faith has been stirred in the Power of the Word of God. 

I’ve heard many people over the past few months struggling, emotionally, financially, relationally, etc.  As I’ve listened, I’ve gone before the Lord over-and-over again.  I’ve asked Him, “What is the solution?”  Everytime, I hear the same answer, without fail, “MY WORD.”  When I’ve prayed for those who struggle financially, I hear Him say, “I shall supply all of the needs according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).  When I’ve prayed for those who struggle emotionally, I hear Him say, “I give them a ‘peace that passes all understanding,’ and I “will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are stayed upon Me'” (Isa. 26:3 and Phil. 4:7).  When I pray for those who are stuggling with their jobs, I hear the Lord say, “I surround them with favor, and by my favor, they will receive promotion, in my timing.”

 The more I pray for needs, the more I realize, it’s time for us to anchor ourselves, once again, to God’s Unchanging, Precious Word

The more I pray for needs, the more I realize, it’s time for us to anchor ourselves, once again, to God’s Unchanging, Precious Word.  No apostle, no prophet, no pastor, teacher, or evangelist can truly supply what all that is NEEDED.  We can EQUIP with revelation knowledge on “how to get what is needed,” and the only authentic equipping is based on the power of the Word of God.  The Word of God, prayer, and listening to the Holy Spirit will cause a life to flourish with direction, revelation knowledge, and power for living a full, extrodinary, supernatural lifestyle that is constantly flooded with personal strength and revival.

I encourage everyone, today, set the Word of God as a high priority in your life.  Take what you read and speak it, pray it, sing it, and celebrate it.  As you do, your faith will rise, and God will demonstrate powerfully on your behalf.

Speak this out loud today:

I meditate in the Word of God day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).  My mind is renewed by the Word of God (Eph. 4:23 / Romans 12:2).  The Word of God brings health to my body (Proverbs 4:20-23).  Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Living Word who lives in me (John 1:1-5, 14).  Lord, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path, giving me direction, insight, and favor (Psalm 119:105)

Father, in the Name of Jesus, thank you that the Holy Spirit teaches me, instructs me, and gives me insight, daily into the Word of Truth.  Amen.



The Most Important Message Ever – and I don’t want this to sound like some nice sermon closer!!!

 
Warning:  This Message IS ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY LGBTS-AFFIRMING

There are so many ideas, words, doctrines, etc floating around in the earth today.  However, there is no message more important than the message known simply as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus wants to have a relationship with you.  And I never mean that to sound like some nice sermon closer to get you to make some emotional response to a particular method of coming to Jesus.  Today, I say it again, “Jesus wants to have a relationship with you.”  He’s passionate about you.  He’s constantly aware of who you are, where you are, why you are!!! 
The One whose Name is higher than any other name, the One whose Name is more powerful than any other name, the One who created all things wants you to know Him and relate to Him like a spouse relates to a spouse – an intimacy like no other.
Today, the most important message you will ever hear IS NOT:
What the world needs now is love sweet love
All religions are basically the same
Jesus was a good man
All you have to do is act your best and be good

No, today, the most important message you will ever hear IS:
Jesus died for you
Jesus rose from the dead for you
Jesus loves you
Jesus’ love is the love that the world needs now
Jesus’ Name is available to you to call on – right now
Jesus is not waiting for you to change, He’s simply waiting for you to come to Him
Jesus is right now, right now, right now, available for you to call on Him
Acts 2:21 – And it shall come to pass , that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved
Acts 16:31 – Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household
Acts 2:38 – Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
Mark 16:16a – Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved
John 3:17 – God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved
John 10:9a – (Jesus said,) Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved
Romans 5:9 – Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him
Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
1 Cor. 6:11b – you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God
Hebrews 13:15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name


God bless, and know that the most important message you will ever hear, for all eternity, was just digitized and blogged.  🙂  You are loved,

AR

Possess the Land

Those who trust in the LORD will possess the land (Psalm 37:9b NLT)

Those who are gentle and lowly will possess the land; they will live in prosperous security (Psalm 37:11 NLT)

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land to possess it, you must pronounce a blessing from Mount Gerizim and a curse from Mount Ebal” (Dt. 11:29 NLT)

He will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. He will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors (Dt. 30:5 NLT)

“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors” (Joshua 1:6 NLT)

God is all about His people expanding His Kingdom into ALLLLLL the earth.  No matter who you are or where you are, God wants you to “possess the land” around you.  What does that mean?  Does that mean that God wants you to be everyone’s boss and tell them what to do?  NO.  He wants to be the ONE LORD and King over all.  There are some people, who if they can’t tell everyone what to do and how to do it, get mad and that’s it.  However, in order to possess the land, God isn’t looking for a bunch of bosses and earthly, political kings who are interested in having their own way.  God is looking for servants who will possess the land, spiritually, and rule under His authority and dominion.

What do “dominion” and “authority” look like?  What does “possessing the land” really mean?

The more we possess the land (the spiritual atmosphere around us), the more we see Satan’s influence and illegal authority decrease.  We begin to see people becoming more loving, whole, healed, passionate about the things of God, and they begin to hunger for others to experience what they themselves have experienced.  We begin to see PEACE REIGN when the Prince of Peace is set on His Throne in every area by His Bride, the church

When we begin to walk in the authority God has called us to, we begin to understand that principalities, powers, and rulers of wickedness (demonic influences) are being dispossessed – they are actually LOSING GROUND.  Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10), and as we begin to possess the land FOR JESUS, we begin to discover that destruction, deadly emotions, theft of both natural and spiritual substances begin to lessen (though attacks may increase for a time as a ‘last ditch effort’ by the enemy).  The more we possess the land (the spiritual atmosphere around us), the more we see Satan’s influence and illegal authority decrease.  We begin to see people becoming more loving, whole, healed, passionate about the things of God, and they begin to hunger for others to experience what they themselves have experienced.  We begin to see PEACE REIGN when the Prince of Peace is set on His Throne in every area by His Bride, the church.

There is a spiritual realm, and that spiritual realm is very real.  The land that we are to possess is a spiritual land, with spiritual harvests, and spiritual benefits.  Those spiritual benefits will begin to manifest as natural realities, such as healings, needs being met, and miracles.  So, in order for us to begin to see that reality manifest, we must first begin to live, walk, and talk in the spirit.  We must look beyond the natural issues and see that we are “possessing a spiritual promised land,” and that God is demonstrating His power to rule and reign through us in heavenly places.

New Covenant’s Move

New Covenant Church of Atlanta has moved right into an amazing area in Atlanta, GA.  We are now meeting off of Cheshire Bridge Road and Faulkner Road.  This area has historically been known for its nightlife and adult entertainment.  We are here to declare that Jesus is Lord.  We are here to stand as a light and as a point of hope for all those who may not know that God is for them and loves them so much.  We are here to possess the spiritual atmosphere and see the Kingdom of God come on earth as it is in heaven.  We are here not by our own desire or our own planning, but we are here to the Glory of God and to display God’s unconditional, passionate love to the heavenly realm in this area, and as we do, people will see and know that Jesus loves them and reaches out to them, and is available to them, right now.

We are possessing the land that God has promised us.

Prayer

Let’s Pray:  Lord Jesus, help us to be the Royal People you’ve called us to be.  Help us to become Warrior Kings, a people who overcome and live life daily overcoming the enemy and possessing land that first belonged to you.  We bless you, Lord, and we confess that we are able, by your Spirit, to go up and possess the land you have called us to, In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

“What Am I Called to Do?” A look at Matthew 28:18-20 – The Great Commission – Day 9 of “90 Days to Inheritance”

We all have wondered “What am I called to do” at some point in our lives.  We’ve asked the questions, we’ve been concerned, “am I fulfilling what God wants from me?”  Today, I want us to look at what God has called us to do, individually and corporately.

The condition of the world, the condition of personal experiences, famine, heartache, pain, etc, none of these things contradict the dominion and authority of Jesus Christ – He is King, no matter what circumstances may say

Jesus started His commission to all of us by saying, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (v. 18).  Christ’s dominion has been won.  This is not a future reference, this is a past tense experience for Him and for us.  The condition of the world, the condition of personal experiences, famine, heartache, pain, etc, none of these things contradict the dominion and authority of Jesus Christ – He is King, no matter what circumstances may say.  Jesus has been given ALL AUTHORITY. 

Now, that we understand that, we must then ask the question, “why are things the way they are?”  A very good question.  It goes back to the original creation.  When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them dominion and authority over the earth realm.  They in turn released that authority to Satan by obeying Satan and disobeying God (Genesis 2:15-3:24) [more on this later…] but it is important to understand that Satan kills, steals, and destroys (John 10:10), and that is why things are the way they are, where disasters are concerned in the earth realm.

Jesus came, resisted temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), fully submitted to the Will of the Father (1 Peter 2:21-22), and reclaimed the authority that was originally intended for humanity (Matthew 28:18). 

The next phrase in Matthew 28:19 is vital for us to understand our role in the expansion of the Kingdom of God in the earth.  Jesus said, “(You) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus received all authority in heaven and in earth, and then He released us to GO!!!  We are called by God to Go into all the earth and expand the Kingdom of God by declaring the Lordship of Jesus Christ to all nations and baptizing them.

Since we’ve been given authority and power by Jesus, it now becomes our job, our calling to enforce the defeat of Satan that Jesus won.  Wherever we see Satan destroying lives, we are called to enforce his defeat by declaring with our words and actions the Lordship of Jesus Christ over those situations.  When we see cancer invading a body, we must understand that is Satan at work, and we must declare the Name and Authority of Jesus Christ over that situation (Isa. 53:5, Mark 16:17-18, and James 5:15).  When we see Satan destroying God’s People’s finances, we must declare the Name and Authority of Jesus Christ over that situation.  We declare, “in the Name of Jesus, God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory” (Phil. 4:19). 

We become God’s vessels of enforcing His Authority and Power over the enemy in the earth.

You have been given a great commission.  You serve an all powerful King.  Now, use your words to declare His Lordship.  Use your actions to declare His Lordship.  And be the vessel that establishes the Kingdom of God in every circumstance.  That is a major part of your calling as a member of the Body of Christ.

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