Ministry of Life

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  • 2 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    HOPE DEFERRED MAKES THE HEART SICK
     
    This comes from Proverbs 13:12. God’s logic is simple and yet it evades us so often: If our hope is deferred, if our heart is sick, it is because we are hoping in the wrong things. There are so many things to hope in that are false hopes ... things that don’t satisfy. There’s no shame in being in that condition.
     
    We are all learners in this life ... learning what works, what doesn’t. Matthew 18:3 says, “Unless you change and become like a child, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.” What are children? They are learners. They are soaking up information, learning how to walk and talk and play. So, to be an effective learner when our hope is deferred, we must ask ourself: What are we hoping in really? What do I want right now that I am not getting? Let’s get to the bottom of this and see why it is not satisfying.
     
    The deception is that we are at the End - that there is no where else to go. And yet, is it not really the beginning? Jesus also stated: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs IS the kingdom of God.”
     
    And so that brings us to the second part of this verse that most people don’t even know exists. I share it to GIVE hope. It says,
     
    BUT A DESIRE FULFILLED IS THE TREE OF LIFE.
     
    Again, the logic is simple. There are desires that can NOT be deferred and they are found in THE Tree of Life ... a symbol from the book of Genesis of our original design. It’s a life that is in union with God (e.g., never alone), a life without shame, a life with purpose and value. The Lord Jesus made it possible for us to experience it again and that is why He calls us to become His disciples ... He grafts us back into this Tree and we become learners together with Him on how to live with true hope.
     
    I used to be frustrated with the fact that I was not satisfied. I now see it as a calling to seek out that which is lasting ... to get a bit less tangled up. This path is not always easy but it sure makes a Difference not to live in Deference.
     
    From one learner to another. From one willing friend to another.
    HOPE DEFERRED MAKES THE HEART SICKThis comes from Proverbs 13:12. Go
  • 4 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    Genesis 1:4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
     
    -- When God divides Light and Darkness, true "good" comes.
    -- Man, on the other hand, is blind to light and darkness and instead seeks its own good and avoid its own evil, which is the rooted in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good/Evil. This pursuit is vanity. It always fails.
  • 38 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    Truth!
    Goalcast
  • 39 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    The purpose of inspiration, Fred Pruitt: "... the only reason we see something 'about' Christ, is because that same Life is in us and all those 'inspirational thoughts' are not just meant to titillate the intellect, but to work Christ in us toward revelation. Without this entering in, our library becomes a bottomless pit of “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of truth.” (2 Tim 3: 8), since what goes in, never comes back out again."
  • 42 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    Thoughts on How Jesus Illustrated the Lord's Prayer:
     
    Jesus was the great story teller using stories to illustrate His teachings. Isn’t it interesting that the story which follows His model prayer, referred to as the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:1-13) does not relate to asking for one’s own needs but another person’s needs - a friend? “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight ...” I believe that is because in Jesus’ understanding, He assumes that we know that our needs are already met by our Father. He had earlier taught on that subject: “But your Father knows that you need these things” and “All that I have is yours”.
     
    We all start our spiritual lives with a need to learn to trust in God’s goodness, His provision. If we are attuned to the Lord, we discover that He is ever faithful in all the situations of life. That which we once feared, we no longer fear. We comprehend that God is at work in our lives working ALL things together for a good end. In all of this, His desire is to raise up mature “sons” who then can not only trust Him for their own lives but for others as well. To mature in prayer, then, is to learn to share our faith in God in order to meet other’s needs. And, since WE don’t have what is necessary to meet that other person’s need (e.g., this assumes that we have come to the end of our self sufficiency - that we can fix others), we go to a third party, another friend, and ask for that need.
     
    In reality, then, the illustration story of the Lord’s Prayer is really about three friends. This is interesting especially since the first friend is referred to as “a bothering friend”, coming to us at midnight, when we’re safe and cozy and in bed. Inconvenient to say the least. I’m sure that is why the Lord’s Prayer includes a request for forgiveness (which really is letting go of the irritation considering our own ability to be inconvenient at times as well). In God’s eyes, we are all related. No one person is greater or lesser and no one is really an irritation.
     
    So, in order to pray God’s prayer, we must recognize that all parties are friends, not foes. We simply are the middle party bringing about a connection between two others, our Father friend and the (initially perceived) irritating or inconvenient friend. Further, the purpose is to exercise our faith on behalf of the other. Our prayer becomes:
     
    Loving Father in heaven (who is behind the curtain/canopy - another word for heaven - which is opened up to us through Jesus)
     
    Not our kingdom but your kingdom (which Jesus says elsewhere is at hand, always available, just in the next room, as Dallas Willard* interprets that statement)
     
    Come for my friend (not foe)
     
    Lead us (Just as you have been faithful to me, lead my friend to learn that Christ is all in all - working all things for good - turning negatives into positives as Norman Grubb** says)
     
    Not to enter into temptation (seeing the irritation as being the final end instead of trusting God’s provision)
     
    But deliver us from evil (responding in pain or with pain - assigning wrong motives about others, making it all about us or seeking ways to irritate back)
     
    Give US our daily (Again, just as You have always provided that which is sufficient for every situation, do the same for my friend)
     
    Bread (Jesus said elsewhere, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” So, Lord bring my friend Your revelation or perspective of how You want to turn the situation that seems like an irritation into an opportunity while bringing Your Loving provision.)
     
    Similar to the irritant that causes a pearl to develop, our greatest opportunities originate with irritants. How we interpret them is why we pray. And, if we respond as friends, not foes, perhaps we would see the the kingdom, the power and the eternal glory that we so long to see.
     
    So ask, seek, knock (that’s all that is required) trusting that our Father (friend) has good things for both us and our other friend.
     
    In Luke’s gospel, the ultimate provision is the Holy Spirit, not the three loaves. “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” We start out thinking we need “things” in order to solve our problems. But the ultimate answer is that we need to know His Presence in the midst of whatever we are going through. Perfect love casts out fear.
     
    The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Father and the Son. Described elsewhere as our Helper, the One who comes alongside, who transforms our minds and hearts. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit is also described as wind, not knowing where it is coming from or where it is going. How descriptive of both how life comes at us and how God works things in directions we know not. Every situation is different. There are no rules to follow. Each situation requires its own asking/seeking/knocking. Each situation necessitates a Holy Spirit encounter who comes alongside and transforms what initially seems like an irritation into something God can use for our good.
     
    The disciples start this discourse with: “Teach us to pray as John’s disciples taught them.” I wonder what John’s model prayer sounded like as he was still under the Law. Luke 7:28 says, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” Why is that? Because, Jesus came to fulfill and share the Law (of Love) to us, in us, through us, and as us, via the Holy Spirit that the Father faithfully gives us. Praise to God who lavishly gives us all we need in every circumstance.
     
    *dwillard.org
    **normangrubb.com
  • 45 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    The goal of our connection with God is to truly know and experience His Love - both in the receiving and the giving. It's not a sentimental love. It satisfies the cry of our being. We were designed to receive and give His love. 1 Jn 2:5
  • 49 weeks ago by Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.

    Ministry of Life Fellowship & Ministries, Inc.
    "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." Matthew 5:48 The Message