Impact Church

Passionately serving God and His people

Tag: reidsville

Eyes Wide Open

“And Elisha prayed, Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” 2 Kings 6:17

In a few days my daughter will dance on stage at The Carolina Theatre for the first time. She’s anticipated recital weekend since she first started dancing ten months ago. With this special event finally here, she has been talking about it nonstop. Just the other day she was sharing who she hoped would attend, where she’d like her pictures taken, and how she prefers for her hair to look. Smack in the middle of her many recital thoughts the following truth bubbled up from her heart and fell out of her mouth. “I don’t have to be scared on the stage because Jesus will be right there with me.” It pricked my heart. She didn’t pause for me to confirm if it was so. There was no question mark or shred of doubt in her words. It was simply a confident proclamation about what she believes to be true.

Faith looks like a four-year-old believing Jesus will be with her even if she can’t see him.

In 2 Kings 6 the King of Aram sends a huge army to find the prophet Elisha. Once they find him they surround the city where he is staying. Upon waking up the following morning, Elisha’s servant sees the army surrounding them and is terrified. Elisha assures him in verse 16 that, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” He then prays for the servant’s eyes to be opened so that he can see. Immediately the Lord opens the servant’s eyes and he sees “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire.”

Hebrews 11 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We won’t always see, with our natural eyes, what we believe. In fact, our close proximity to our problems can often limit our ability to see supernaturally. Yet this remains – God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He’ll do. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not so.

In 1 Timothy 6:12 we are instructed to “fight the good fight of faith.” So we know, up front, it will sometimes be a fight. Rest assured, however, it’s a fixed fight and our victory is secure. We are God’s possession, purchased with the blood of Christ, full of the Holy Spirit and armed with knowledge about how this story ends. Our hope is alive and well because He is. So when we are facing something difficult and faith doesn’t come naturally, I admonish us to war for it. May we ask the Lord to open our eyes so that we may see Him at work.

We refuse to back down or give up. Read the rest of this entry »


Eagles Soar

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Few Old Testament books are quoted in the New Testament as often as Isaiah, and chapter 40 is uniquely recognized. That repository of prophetic insights depict the day when the irremovable, irremediable burdens of mankind would be unilaterally disposed of by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

And for grace to reign thru Christ as the prophet declared it would be, any and all confidence in natural strength had to unequivocally be exposed as inept and futile. The preeminent powers and strengths heretofore trusted had to be dethroned and crushed.

And, boy, oh boy, did Isaiah take that assignment to heart!

Verse after verse, the Holy Spirit disrobed the self-righteousness of the religious proud! Line after line the haughtiness of natural thinking was condemned! Powerful nations and entrenched kingdoms were made insignificant in light of the coming King! No worldly wisdom, no governmental system, no multitude of people, and no idol would be able to compete or compare with the coming kingdom!

This coming King would have no rival, and the inhabitants of earth would soon have a Leader worthy of eternal love and trust. For this Burden-bearer would shoulder the heavy penalty of humanity’s sin, and through His death and resurrection free those perpetually enslaved and hopelessly imprisoned.

Such was Isaiah’s perspective that there’d soon be a people unwearied of mortality, unshackled from fear, and unbounded by perplexing circumstances! There’d soon be a people sustained freely by an unseen hand; and there’d soon be a people held, guided, and protected by the very God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Thus, the eagle was used by the prophet to demonstrate the way of the Spirit regarding today’s believer. To the nescient and unschooled, the eagle is admired for what is visible: his vision, wing span, impressively heavy physique, and his inimitable strength of talons and beak. But to the erudite and spiritual, what’s added to the eagle’s physicality is his unseen, but undeniably necessary, acuteness and sensitivity to wind currents and rising warm air thermals.

Boast in the eagle’s measurements and crushing strength if you’d like, but without the “elevator” currents of the thermals, that eagle would have a very short life span! It’s the eagle’s uncanny adeptness at recognizing wind currents that the eagle is able to soar at all.

Beating the air with his extraordinary wings is not the eagle’s strong suit; for he wasn’t created to soar to the heavens on his strength, but to soar with outstretched wings through the strength of One who makes the wind to blow. And from creation, it’s from superior heights that eagles build its nests and spies out its prey, as its very life is sustained only by ascending high above the elements of earth.

Maybe we all should take a breather from stressing ourselves about God’s expectations of us – and even more so, those highly visible images of culture and the many self-imposed goals that condemn us.

Maybe this is the moment we begin to rest in the One who called us, knowing that He who began a good work in us, well, He’ll be able to finish what He started!

Maybe today we take to heart once and for all the words of Jesus, “for without me you can do nothing”! And from those words learn to lean on His everlasting arms in everything!

And maybe we could glean from Pastor Jason’s sermon yesterday (if you haven’t gotten the recent messages of Jude, you should!), and soar now as if we were already there – “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

Building Homes

“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1

This week, as I was studying the Word, the above verse leapt off the page. It’s always exciting when a verse you’ve read many times before comes alive as the Holy Spirit breathes fresh revelation over it! Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and active” and goodness is it true. When we open His Word He is faithful to show up and speak to His sons and daughters, amen? We know that we possess the power to build our homes or tear them down; Proverbs 14:1 says so. The only question remaining, then, is this – will we use our God-given authority to build or demolish?

If we desire to be a home-builder, I’ve concluded, there are several important things we get to do.

  1. We speak life knowing that, “the tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21)

A home-builder takes every opportunity to use their words in a way that brings life to those they possess influence over. We know full well that the quality of life in our homes will be due, to some degree, by the words we choose to speak. Therefore, as ambassadors of God, we intentionally wield our words to bring peace, joy, and hope to those around us. Proverbs 12:25 reminds us that, “A life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”

  1. We passionately pursue God knowing that relationship with Him positively impacts our ability to build.

Jesus was in the business of building up. He was never too busy to stop and supply the needs of those around Him. He seized everyday by speaking life, teaching valuable Kingdom truths, extending healing, and lavishly loving. When we hang around someone long enough we begin speaking, thinking, and responding similarly. In the same way, the more time we spend with God, the more He refines us. As a result, we begin to walk out, in agreement, our identity in Him as light bearers. Through Him we, too, are home-builders! He calls, qualifies, and equips us for the job.

  1. We study and pray the Word of God knowing it is our primary offensive weapon.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Prayer changes things. Our prayers for our spouse, children, and loved ones have the power to stop the enemy dead in his tracks. It’s a tool that can win battles, supply strength, and provide protection. Therefore, let’s use what God has given us to claim victories in Jesus’ name!

  1. We establish a culture of praise knowing God is worthy.

We get to set the thermostat in our homes. 1 Chronicles 16:29 says, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” Praise sets the focus where it rightfully belongs; on God. Through praise, the temperature of our homes can be God-honoring.

I am praying perseverance over us as we continue building our homes on the unshakable rock that is Jesus Christ. Proverbs 14:26 promises, “Confidence and strength flood the hearts of the lovers of God who live in awe of Him, and their devotion provides their children with a place of shelter and security.” Remember, our building is not just for us, it’s also for every generation still to come. Keep going, we’re doing  a good and important work!

Autism “Action” Month

The month of April at Impact Church is special! If you were in Worship this morning then you saw everyone wearing blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month. For those who have been connected with Impact for a while, our support and ministry to children with Autism is commonplace. However, for those who are not familiar with Impact, I would like to articulate why we feel so compelled and called to serve these children and their families.

The following is a letter written by a mother of a child with Autism. Although, many of us may not know her personally, her sentiments are shared by over 900 families in Greensboro. These are stories that Sarah Althoff, Kay Davis, and Norma McLamb heard almost every day in the public school system. The reality is that believing families were looking for a place to worship but were unable to because of the church’s inability to accommodate the needs of their children. We became “aware” of the problem. However, we began to feel God’s stirring to not just be aware but to be active participants in the solution.

Excerpt from Autism and The Church by Amy Fenton Lee:

Have you ever heard of a church that turned away a little boy because he had red hair? What if a mother was greeted at the children’s ministry check-in with news her redheaded son had to go back home? No, you can’t imagine. If any church ever sent home a child because of their natural hair color it would make the evening news!

Now, have you ever heard of a church that turned away a little boy because he was on the autism spectrum? What if a mother was greeted at church check-in with the news that her son with autism couldn’t be accommodated? Yes, you can imagine. It happens.

Did you know that the percentage of Americans with red hair is roughly equal to the percentage of 8-year-old boys diagnosed with autism? I think it’s fair to say that statistically speaking, a children’s ministry should have the same number of participating boys with autism as with red hair. That’s pretty sobering. People would go nuts (justifiably) if families of redheaded kids had to figure out which churches were “redhead friendly”. The reality is that this same scenario is happening now for families of kids with autism. While many churches are working to become special needs-friendly, there is room for improvement.

Recently a church leader said to me, “We just don’t have any kids with significant special needs in our church. We haven’t seen the need to create a ministry or think about doing anything special to accommodate students with disabilities.”

In the church world, we’re at a fork in the road. Up to now, it’s been an accepted norm that not all churches could or should accommodate kids with autism and other special needs. Realistically, churches cannot all accommodate these needs to the same degree. But times are changing. It is no longer acceptable for any church to be unaware of and unprepared to welcome families with special needs. Every church needs a plan for inclusion.

These real-life experiences led Impact to consider what we could do to help and in that searching we found a calling that has given us immeasurably more than we have given it. As of now, Impact Church has certified teachers at every worship service that provide individual and appropriate instruction and care for children with Autism. On Sunday mornings, we have a time of worship and music specifically for children with special needs. Furthermore, we have a 4 week Impact Autism Summer Camp, culminating in the Autism Extravaganza (a big block party, outdoor celebration) that is providing acceptance, love, and resources for hundreds of children in our area. Lastly, we have also founded Impact Journey School, a private school for children with special needs. We currently serve 30 children with 14 staff members including ABA curriculum, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and music therapy. Praise the Lord! We are thankful for the heart of the church that makes these events and ministries possible.

Lastly, as thankful as we are for all that we have been able to do, we are willing and desiring to learn and expand as we see needs increase. Therefore, if you have any ideas as to how we can better serve children with Autism and their families please let us know. We want to be a part of the solution!

How Much More

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

A freshly-baptized disciple, flush with shameless joy and first-day-on-the-job zeal, popped the question bible teachers relish most – “Hey guys, now that I’m saved… what’s next? Where do we go from here?”

And from that childlike inquiry we sat around a bare table that night immersed, fascinated, and turned on: searching scripture, probing, testifying, teaching, encouraging… and praying!

We noticed it was prayer that intrigued the disciples to ask Jesus – “teach us to pray as John taught his disciples”. And it was from that Luke 11 exchange that Jesus spoke of prayer as ultimate access: a privileged connection to power drawn from the grace-provided relationship of earthly children and their Heavenly Father.

Rhetorically perhaps, but quite pointed nonetheless, Jesus challenged His disciples with logic:

  • Do dads give their children a bowl of rocks after they’ve asked for bread?
  • Or is there a relationship between dad and child so evil, that when requesting fish for lunch the child is given a serpent?
  • Or is there a dad so abusive that the eggs the child asks for breakfast is substituted for a dangerous scorpion?

No, of course not! There’s a natural, loving, caring concern for those we bring into the world! And there’s a committed, compassionate regard for those who depend on us for their survival! Parents have an inherent, preferential association with children that has no rival or equal; and that protective oversight flows freely from the perfect bond of love, a far greater caretaker than the oppressive bondage of mere duty.

Thus, in affirming parental affinity as something commonly expected and nothing beyond what any parent would do, Jesus advanced the natural concept and made the case spiritually for those who would believe on His Name.

If our earthly fathers (dads that have shortcomings, disposition shifts, forgetfulness, errors in judgment, etc), freely and gladly satisfy the basic needs of a child because of a father’s natural love – can we not unquestionably trust our Heavenly Father to give us any, and everything, we need? Is not our Heavenly Father love, itself; a Father birthing us after His own will and Word; a Father beyond error, and a Father who supplies needs from the limitlessness of His own creativity and power? Is not the answer to such questions an absolute, unashamed, did-you-hear-me-clearly, YES! YES! And YES!

Consequently, it’s upon this single, simple, time-honored precept of prayer that a believer’s days on earth are providentially safeguarded.

There is nothing lacking, to those who ask.
There is nothing lost, to those who seek.
There is nothing locked, to those who knock.
Whatever things we desire, when we pray, believe that we receive them, and we will have them!

So to the young man still dripping from his Jordan River experience, to the mature disciple serving faithfully in anticipation of the Lord’s return – faith filled prayers lifted to the Father determines the quality of the believer’s earthy, mortal existence.

Do not earthly fathers address their toddler’s late night fears when he hears strange sounds… especially when they’re under his bed? Yes! How much more then does our Heavenly Father assuage fears eliciting from our troubled, violent, and discordant world!

Do not earthly fathers encourage children to rise and redo, especially after that first bike ride results in an inglorious face plant? Yes! How much more then does our Heavenly Father comfort and instill fresh confidence after our “didn’t go as planned” endeavors!

Think then, of the many scenarios where earthly dads would be welcomed and needed, and from there you can count even more so of our Heavenly Father’s presence!

So, through prayer, let us include the Father’s presence and power in every facet of life, whether in the mundane or in the spectacular.

Petition Him for assurance.

Request of Him wisdom.

Call on Him in trouble.

Persist with Him when He seems unhearing.

Bug Him when you’re uncertain and doubtful.

Cry out to Him when you’re sinking.

Talk to Him when you’re lonely.

Thank Him when He listens. And He does.

Worship Him when you don’t understand.

Praise Him when you do.

Above all, pray.

All the time.

In every way.

At every intersection.

And on the open highway.

Just pray.

Just do it.

And, HOW MUCH MORE will He be everything we need… or desire!


 “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer.” 1 Peter 3:12

My three-year-old son attended his first soccer practice this week. As he stood center field, sporting his lime green soccer cleats, I noticed him watching me. Every few moments he made eye contact with his momma, ensuring I hadn’t moved from my designated spot on the sideline. He maintained this rhythm for the entire hour of practice. He was striving to keep my attention, but, oblivious to the fact he already had it. I hadn’t taken my eyes off him.

Dear ones, we can live assured, God hasn’t taken His eyes off us. We are never overlooked, alone, or insignificant even in the seasons we feel like we are. Feelings can be poor indicators of truth. Following the fall of Adam and Eve God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Before we knew we needed saving the Lord had already scripted our rescue plan. He looked more than 2,000 years into the future, saw us, and knew we were in desperate need of a Savior. The truth is this – we were completely seen, lavishly loved, and meticulously “prepared-for” long before our arrival.

Believers across the world gathered, yesterday, in joyful celebration of the single greatest event in all of human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death, burial, and resurrection will forever be the culmination of all that our hope hinges on. Romans 5:25 says, “He was handed over to be crucified for the forgiveness of our sins and was raised back to life to prove that he had made us right with God!” We gaze at the cross and empty tomb and are filled with awestruck wonder.

He saw us so He came.

He saw us so He died.

He saw us so He rose.

Every move was a part of His beautiful plan to redeem, reconcile, and restore. We no longer have to wonder if we matter to God. One glance at the cross and empty tomb tells us we do. We have always had His attention. In fact, there is never a moment when God is not paying attention to us. God, completely, meets our need to be noticed. He sees us when we are washing dishes, folding laundry, and tucking in babies. He sees us when we rise early, punch a time card, and work to provide for our family. In both the ordinary and extraordinary moments of life we can be confident that the eyes of the Lord are on us. Hear Him tenderly whisper today, “Yes, beloved, you are seen.”

Growth Requires Change

The church is alive. It moves and breathes. It can even be sick or well.  It can be wise or foolish. The church changes and grows just as believers in Christ change and grow. This is a sign of the church’s life and vitality.

The life of the church described in Acts 6 was exciting. It was in the very early days of the church, and the number of new Christians was growing daily. On one hand, growth was good and on the other it was overwhelming. Because of this rapid growth, it came to the attention of the Apostles, through the “grumbling” of the people, that certain needs within the church ministries were not being met.

The Apostles responded by appointing men to meet the need. It was not enough that the men appointed be hard workers; they needed to be “seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom.” These seven were chosen by the body, and “laid hands upon” by the Apostles.

The early church was wise and humble enough to change how things were being done so the church could continue to grow. With this change, Acts 6:7 says, “the word of God increased, the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” In addition to this, “signs and wonders” were performed by one of the seven amongst the people.

A living church will grow and change, just as the people who make it up. When a church can adapt like the church in Acts, there is no stopping God’s movement among them.

Wielding Words

“And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power!” James 3:5

The power of words is a prominent thread weaved throughout all of Scripture. In Genesis 1 that power is on full display as the Creator God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The Lord goes on to fashion the entire world using only His words. Then in Genesis 1:26, “God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Afterwards God speaks blessing and abundance over Adam and Eve.

These passages alone should be enough to convince us of how “weighty” words truly are. God spoke into nothing and created the entire universe. Furthermore, we were created in His image. Made to resemble our Father in everything we do and say. We are commissioned to rule in the same manner He does. We are hardwired to speak life, proclaim blessing, and affirm the abundance that is in Christ Jesus. Proverbs 18:21 declares, “Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life.” We often place significant emphasis on the first portion of that verse. I know as a parent I, too, am guilty of highlighting the same. I have frequently instructed my children about things they shouldn’t say. This week, however, the Holy Spirit has prompted me to change my perspective. Instead of focusing so much on what we shouldn’t do why don’t we celebrate what we GET to do? As ambassadors of Christ we get to speak words that give life!

The people in our lives are precious souls that God has intentionally entrusted to us. We are, therefore, given the responsibility of lavishly loving and speaking life into them. Words properly wielded by a heart submitted to God can be a healing balm. So let’s get loud about speaking life, favor, blessings, and abundance. Let’s proclaim how good God is. Let’s share the truth about His extravagant love and generous grace. Let’s make sure everyone knows that there’s a cure for every ailment of the heart, mind, and body and His name is Jesus!

Jesus says in John 10:10, “A thief has only one thing in mind – he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect – life in its fullness until you overflow!” One practical way to speak life is to see and speak about the abundant life we have in Christ.

Jesus came; past tense. Read the rest of this entry »

Snow From Heaven

Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11) So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth: it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Perhaps the human soul is never more tranquil than when the senses are engaged with the soothing sound of raindrops, or the silent stillness of a falling snow. It seems falling precipitation possesses a transcendence, an undefinable presence, that overwhelms the disquietude of earth’s care. At any rate, it’s likely the simple, therapeutic value of summer rains and winter snows have yet to be properly quantified, nor truly appreciated.

For example, how subtly the cluttered mind is cleared when a well-bundled body treks in solitude through solitary fields and forests under the pristine silence of falling snow? An hour of contemplation in such an environment releases immeasurable antidotal qualities; and a soul alerted to creation, cause, and Creator, through nature’s cloud-draining refreshment, can avert the missteps common in busyness.

Likewise, when nature itself is overlain with snow, our commonplace landscapes, easily unspectacular through daily routines, are magically transformed from winter’s exposed brown earth, fallen leaves, and drab fields to a seemingly unimaginable, creative display of speechless charm. Though winter cold envelops the slumbering countryside and snow conceals much of nature’s intricacy- yet innumerable, unexpected portraits of creation come into existence.

How embellished, then, are the conifer forests of green, when laden with snow’s complimentary, colorful contrast? And what brisk, gurgling brook is not picturesquely advantaged by fresh snowfall adorning its harsh rocks and sharp edges? And what tufted cardinal, though plumed majestically with the deepest of red, is not gladly photoshopped if juxtaposed on the snow-clad branch of the pine?

So it is with snow that Isaiah metaphorically elaborates on the effects of God’s immaculately delivered Word! Descending in human form to a lifeless and corrupt earth (and it spiraling uncontrollably toward terminal death), the Word became flesh and lived among the deplorable and destitute, engaging personally, impartially, and affectionately with both great and small.

Such was the hopeless ground into which this promised Snow fell. Into a world of fallen humanity, a creation separated from its Creator through disobedience, sin and death- this Life-giving substance was given the assignment of resurrecting the spirits of unworthy masses.

And, oh, what an awakening and reviving this most improbable Snow brought! What the prophet had declared centuries before is now humanity’s reality: the barren earth is now watered, the hardened seeds are now softened, and green buds are emerging all over a parched planet! Now the sowers of seeds have seeds to sow, and eaters of bread have bread to eat! And a land accustomed to poverty and shame is experiencing unmerited favor and blessings unmatched in the history of mankind! Oh, the infinite increase rising from heaven’s most enriching snow!

And there’s more! Yesterday’s foreboding mountains and problematic hills are now singing the praises of the watering One! The trees of the wood and grasses of the field are waving their hands in worship of the Blessed One! The scourging thorns and thistles unrestrained in uncultivated and barren lands are now gone, and in their place the silviculture of firs and myrtles!

And not only is the land materially blessed (sorry, sounding like one of those sleazy infomercials!), so is the crown jewel of His outpouring- The Redeemed- those chosen to inhabit the most envied of all nations, His eternal Kingdom! From that sovereign place of divine blessing- peace, joy, and glorious destinies are the promised, eternal norm! And to see all of this is contingent on descending rain and snow personified in the Son of God!

And as an additional assurance, the Word sent as rain and snow on humanity’s famished heart could never return as an unwise investment! This divine Precipitation must not return void! This Snow, sent in a season appointed by the Father, must accomplish precisely the purpose of its descent! Dust-made humanity, those creatures made in His image, must receive the life giving substance of His incomprehensible grace! And religious systems propping up mankind’s lifeless form must cease and desist under the cleansing and purging powers of an incomparable grace!

And of that Grace have many been healed! And of that Life have millions received forgiveness of sins! And of that Gift have innumerable sinners been born again! All made new for a time such as this- to demonstrate through word and deed this magnanimous life! To the hungry, bread to eat; to the filled, seeds to sow; to the worker, fields to harvest!

Now, according to prophecy and the prayer of Jesus, the glory of heaven has descended to earth; and that single, divine, gracious outpouring has the Church worshiping, angels singing, and heaven rejoicing!

Maximized Living

A few weeks ago we celebrated (if, from a comfy recliner questioning the sanity of Times Square masses huddle in ten degree weather till a ball drops is considered a celebration, then yes, we did!) the ending of one calendar year and the beginning of another. And while calendar-consciousness should never govern worship, in some subliminal way the gift of time is a reminder of grace. Since, according to Scripture a fruit-filled Life, relative to time and chance, is the great pleasure of the Father – so as life affords us opportunity, our eternal purposes are satisfied in maximizing them.

As Christ in His earthen ministry went about doing good, healing those oppressed of the devil, so those in Him are admonished to follow His example. Contrary to fleshly instincts, but true according to scripture, we find Christian duty a rather simple and doable life. So that as God always works in us, both the will and the doing of all that pleases Him, so those indwelt of His Spirit are always in acute demonstration mode!

So let’s slow down and say this little truism together:

It’s… not… that… difficult… to… be… a… spiritual… light!

Yet, should we lack inspiration or direction (it happens sometimes!), here are a few quippy confidence boosters or compass readjusters!

  • Give thanks, not only in agreeable things, but yes, in everything!
  • If it’s to be done… do it wholeheartedly!
  • Rejoice in the Lord always! And for those in the back- Rejoice!
  • Forgive, ok. But how? As God, for Christ’s sake has forgiven us!
  • In giving… Press it down, fill the corners, shake it till it runs over!
  • In blessing, pour it on thick, especially on the few who dislike you!
  • In condemning, don’t! Just don’t go there!
  • In love… it’s pretty simple… Love all, at all times and in all places!
  • And to those perceiving the times and seasons of our present day: Be filled with the Spirit! Be pure! Redeem the time! Stay woke! Be holy! Pray always! Look up! Be honest! Encourage others! Be patient! Avenge not! Grumble not! Go to work! Be like Jesus!

And how amazingly opportunistic this wonderful life becomes when the Holy Spirit is given space to stretch! Knowing the mind of God and recognizing the Day of Grace, the Spirit excels in displaying Christ through those believing! And knowing things will not always be as they presently are, and that fulfillment of all things is nearer now than when we first believed, the Holy Spirit desires, above all, an undeniable manifestation of the children of God!

Have we noticed grace poured out now in desperate places? Yes, we’re witnesses. Is there in our preaching an urgency of reconciliation with creation and Creator? Is there a longing among the Chosen to be nearer to the heart of God – further from the divisions, violence, mistrust, scandals, hate, and the evils that sever the brotherhood? Have we noticed in our churches an increased hunger for fellowship around the Word of God? Are the mists, mysteries and mazes of man-made doctrines and religions being exposed – their authors, followers, falsity, duplicity and entrapments laid bare?

Yes, the Holy Spirit is doing perfectly what Jesus said He’d do!

Do we anticipate joyfully the great day of the Lord? Are we confidently sharing the Good News? Are our fears being overcome by love, our doubts removed through a reminder of His promises? Do we live in such joyful contentment that our sanity could sometimes be questioned by those without? If so (and I believe we do!), the glory inherent in Christ is by inheritance ours through faith, and soon to be our eternal reality! This will be our greatest year ever!