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Posts Tagged ‘sermon on the mount’

I live about 25 minutes from the prayer room now. I moved about a month ago. So it is taking some time to get used to having to leave about a half and hour earlier! Needless to say, I have been late quite a few times.

Well, this morning I was out the door early! So I decided to treat myself to some McDonald’s. 🙂 I had just enough time to run through the drive thru and grab something. I counted the cash that I had and knew I could get 3 $1 items. So I ordered my food and even had my money ready before hand (impressive) and happily stretched my hand out my window to the nice lady waiting.

She sweetly smiled at me and said “It’s been taken care of.” I kind of just looked at her confused for a minute. She continued, “The lady in the car in front of you took care of it.”

A huge smile spread across my face as it dawned on me…

God cares for me and is my Provider!

Yesterday morning I taught a Sunday school class to the 5 year olds in my church. The whole lesson was on God caring for us. The memory verse was 1 Peter 5:7- “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” The bible story was Matt. 6 where Jesus exhorts us to not worry but understand that God loves us more than the birds, so He will take care of us!

So I asked has anyone ever been worried? It was fairly amusing watching a 5 year old trying to come up with a worry. It is almost non-existent. They completely trust and have faith that their parents are going to provide for EVERY ONE of their needs and they never doubt. It is incredible the faith that children have! I learned a lesson from them!

So during our prayer, I asked the Lord to help them understand how much He cares for them, and that this truth would take root even when they are 30 and have to pay the bills! They all laughed at that.

God is continually reminding me how much He cares for me, and how He can provide in even the most surprising and fun ways!

Thanks for the McDonald’s, Lord!! 🙂

In what ways is the Lord providing for you…look for it in EVERYTHING!

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I desire….

To be more like Jesus.

For the murdering of millions of babies to end.

For love to abound in me.

For meekness and humility to arise and pour forth.

For the Bride of Christ to be pure and spotless.

To enjoy fasting.

To be unknown.

To love myself.

To never forget and always remember what my Jesus has done for me.

For you to know the love of the Father and the Love that Jesus Christ has for you.

To pray forever and never give up.

To serve.

To bless someone and them never know who it is from.

To be a shining and burning light.

To have the oil of intimacy.

For anger and frustration to never rise in my heart.

For my soul (mind, will, and emotions) to come into submission to His Spirit.

To be in Uganda.

To live a Sermon on the Mount lifestyle.

For your life to be radically changed by Jesus Christ.

To waste my life, all for love, on Jesus.

What are some things you desire? Ask, according to His heart, and He will give it to you!

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The more I sit in the prayer room, the more I sit in the Lord’s presence, the more I see how easy it is for me to walk according to the flesh! My ultimate desire is to be like Jesus, and yet so many times I find myself acting completely the opposite!

Tonight at Life Fellowship’s bible study, David Gordon (director of IHOP-AC) was teaching on the third core value of the Kingdom. Matt. 5:5. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Gentle can also be translated meek, or humble. One of the biggest things I struggle with is PRIDE! So often I want things done the way I want, or I want to tell people what I think about them. Like I am some judge, and so much better then them. But I am not! So tonight we looked at what an amazingly HUMBLE GOD WE HAVE! Jesus Christ became HUMAN! And then DIED! (Phil. 2:8)  Two of the lowest things He could have ever done! He came as a servant, He washed all of His disciples feet. When He is God! He didn’t have to, but He came to show us how to live! It convicted me so much. I do not live like Jesus Christ. I do not live like He is calling me to. I make excuses, and water down what He said and showed us to do. He layed down all of His privileges and rights and submitted to the will of His Father, and submitted to His earthly parents. WHAT AN AMAZING GOD WE SERVE!

All I know is that this Humble Servant is so worth my devotion and love. And my heart LONGS and DESIRES to be what HE wants me to be! So I seek humility. I want my flesh and pride to be crushed. KILL ME JESUS! Not so I can check something off of a list, but because I love Jesus and I want to be the woman He created me to be! Its all for You Jesus! So if anyone ever wants to pray for me…pray that I walk in humility and meekness as my Bridegroom did! Do this in ALL of us God!

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The first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of every month is the Global Bridegroom Fast. You can go to IHOP-AC’s website on the right to find out more about this fast.

The staff and interns at IHOP-AC have been reading the book “The Rewards of Fasting” by Mike Bickle. It has really been sirring my heart towards more of a hunger for Jesus and I just wanted to share it with you.

So I am just going to share what I have gotten so far out of the first 4 chapters. Basically I want more of God and fasting humbles us to receive God! Fasting reveals what controls us, therefore as we see what is in the way, we can repent and get rid of the things that are hindering us from having more of God! It is so beautiful, except that our western culture tells us to do the complete opposite. Our culture does not accept weakness. The more powerful and successful you are the better you are. Not so in the KINGDOM OF GOD! It is the UPSIDE DOWN KINGDOM! If we are truly living according to the Kingdom of God then our lives should look completely opposite of the world!

Fasting is voluntary weakness. You are making yourself weak by giving up food, therefore having to rely on God. As we say no to our flesh (which tells us to eat) then our spirits will be alive to hear from God. Romans 8:6 says “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace!” How amazing is that! Fasting is a quick way to put the flesh to death and live according to the Spirit.

Every Christian should be living a lifestyle of fasting. Unless by the doctors orders you can not. Fasting is a value in the Kingdom of God. Matt. 6 speaks of 3 very essential things in the Kingdom of God; giving, praying and fasting. There ya go. There is your reason.

Fasting is also a way of mourning. In the Old Testament almost every reference to fasting is associated with mourning, and mourning over their sins.We should fast because we realize the depravity of our soul. We are sinners and we need God! We fast in mourning over our sins, asking for more of God’s presence. And as we humble ourselves in voluntary weakness, our spirits will be tenderized to the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, and reveals Jesus to us!

Jesus talked about fasting in Matt. 9:14-15. John the baptist’s disciples asked Jesus why He and His disciples did not fast. Jesus then talked about Himself as the Bridegroom! He said “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Wow. His disciples did not need to fast because HE WAS WITH THEM! We need to fast, in mourning because we should long for the RETURN OF JESUS!!! We want HIS PHYSICAL PRESENCE! We should be so lovesick for our Beloved that we fast and mourn for Him to return.

So all of this is convicting the crap out of me, why? BECAUSE I DON’T LIVE THIS WAY! My flesh so many times rules over my spirit. Ugh! Its really annoying! And I want it to stop! I want my soul, my mind, will and emotions, to come into submission to the Holy Spirit. I want to put my flesh to DEATH! So that my spirit may be alive and hunger for Jesus Christ!

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Yesterday IHOP-AC took a field trip down to Charlotte, NC to Zadok House of Prayer. We had an amazing time just sitting before the Lord in prayer and worship. It was a long day, but well worth it. We stayed until about 10 and as we were getting ready to leave a couple of us went into the book store. I saw a book that I had been wanting for a while. It is Billy Humphrey’s book “The Culture of the Kingdom”, a book written on the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle. And so I was going to buy it, but a friend took the book and said he would buy it for me. And the same moment my phone rang and my dad told me that my parents wanted to buy me a laptop for my birthday! THIS IS AMAZING NEWS BECAUSE THESE ARE TWO THINGS I HAD BEEN ASKING FROM THE LORD! I had asked the Lord for the Billy Humphrey book as well as a laptop. In almost the exact moment both of those prayers were answered! This morning in the prayer room I was praising the Lord for what He had given me, but not just because I received those two things. But because in Matt. 7:7-12 Jesus is talking about how God wants to give His children good gifts if they ask! ANd here God is giving me gifts! HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS! He is a Father who gives the PERFECT gifts to His children! He is truth!

 My next prayer was that I wouldn’t just remember how amazing He is during the joyful times, but that no matter the circumstance or situation, GOD IS STILL WHO HE SAYS HE IS! Wow…there is none like God.

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Just the past two years have I really started reading my bible, for real. Not just reading through my bible in a year, but actually reading it and asking the Lord to give me understanding of what He is trying to say. I started to study Matthew, and I found that the book of Matt. contains the essentials for Christianity, and yet I had never heard most of these taught. The values of the kingdom of God are laid out in this book and yet I def. wasn’t living them, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know they were there. So began my journey to live a Sermon on the Mount lifestyle. And the Lord is challenging me, daily, to live according to His kingdom and not according to the kingdom of this world. I can tell you that this is the biggest struggle of my life. To live in this world, hear and see all that they teach and to not live according to it.

So how then shall we live?

Jesus clearly lays out the way of His kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5, 6 & 7.

As I continue to study the Sermon on the Mount, I am burdened that this lifestyle is, as my director would say, Christianity 101 not Christianity 401. But most of these values laid out in these chapters are thought of as “radical” Christianity, not “normal” Christianity. But these are the values that came out of the very lips of the man we say we follow. Jesus Christ. Here are the core values:

1. Spiritual Poverty (Matt. 5:3)- understanding the absence of God in our lives, and the presence of sin. We are nothing, God is everything and yet HE LOVES US! This will lead to the kingdom of heaven.

2. Mourning (Matt. 5:4)- when we realize the absence of God in our lives, and the presence of sin we will move into mourning. We will mourn for the PRESENCE of God and the ABSENCE of sin. We also need to be mourning now for Jesus to come back, John 16:16-24. Those who mourn will be comforted.

3. Meekness (Matt. 5:5)- walking in humility in all that we do. Dying to ourselves, taking up our cross daily to follow Christ. Spiritual poverty and mourning both lead to meekness, because doing these two things causes us to be weak. To rely on Christ and not on our own strength. When we realize we are nothing and God is everything and we believe this and live according to this we will be humble. The meek will inherit the earth.

4. Hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6)- when you begin to live a life of spiritual poverty and realize the presence of sin in your life, and the HOLINESS of God you will want to be holy as He is holy. To be like Jesus. Jesus is righteousness! We need to HUNGER AND THIRST for righteousness. Not just say it, or pray it but to LIVE IT! For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied.

5. Merciful (Matt. 5:7)- to have mercy on those around us. For those that are merciful will receive mercy.

6. Pure in heart (Matt. 5:8)- to have a pure and clean heart. With no wrong motives, knowing what is on the heart of the Father and living it. For those that are pure in heart will see God.

7. Peacemakers (Matt. 5:9)- in all that you do to promote peace. No conflict with people, but to go out of your way to make peace. To humble ourselves, even if we are right, to make peace with a person. Matt. 5:43-48 talks about loving your enemies. This is the best way to make peace. Both of these passages say if you make peace and love your enemies you will be sons of God.

The next two verse of the beatitudes talk about persecution. If you live according to these values, according to the Kingdom of God you will be persecuted. Matt. 5:10,11 say that if you are persecuted yours is the kingdom of heaven. WOW! We will have the kingdom of heaven if we are persecuted. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness! This is incredible. And yes, God will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. If we live this lifestyle that we are meant, we will do that very thing.

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