We pursue relationship with spiritual fathers and mothers and desire them to speak into our lives.
Scripture Reading: Acts 16:13-15 (Also 2 Kings 2:9-13;1 Corinthians 4:15; Titus 2:1-15)
When my first son was born there was a heightened intensity of the purpose of life! Every event took on new meaning: smiling, laughing, eating, speaking, walking, learning, playing, celebrating. It was as if everything was discovered again for the first time. My purpose in life somehow included his purpose in life. I was determined to give him the best of life; he seemed determined to receive it from me. What made it special was his eagerness to learn from us. I can’t claim that all that we experienced together was perfect, but it was right– and very godly!
The last promise of the Old Testament concerning the forerunner’s preparation for the Kingdom of God was that “he would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6). God’s plan had always been family. To prepare us for life in the physical realm, God
Generosity and gratefulness are two gateways for us to experience the promises of God in our lives and in our church.
Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-11 (Also Acts 10:2-3; Psalm 100:4; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
Mary of Bethany was overwhelmed. How could she have ever doubted this man who did not heal her brother– instead, he raised him from the dead! She took her most valuable possession, one that was inherited and was being saved for a dowry or a rainy day. It was costly perfume, one that one would equal an average person’s annual income. She took it and poured it over Jesus, much to the consternation of those present. When criticized, Jesus rebuked them saying that wherever the gospel was preached throughout history, this event would be retold!
WHY? Because Mary’s act demonstrated two of the most important aspects to experiencing an open heaven here on earth: gratitude and generosity. Psalm 100:4 tells us that
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; therefore we place a high value on declaring the great things God has done.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:1-4 (Also Exodus 16:32-35; 25: 21-22; 40:20-21; Numbers 17:8-10; Hebrews 9:4; Revelation 19:10)
Jesus was approached by a leper with a challenge: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean!” This is the one place in scripture where the will of God concerning healing is addressed. Jesus spoke what his actions always demonstrated– He was willing! After touching him and commanding his healing, Jesus says something that may sound unusual to us– “But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” The priest who observed this healing was confronted with the testimony of a God who worked in the present, not just the past. In sending the leper, Jesus was