Language Translation

Books I'm Reading

  • "Surviving the Anointing" by David Ravenhill

Books I've Read

  • "Revival God's Way" by Leonard Ravenhill
  • "Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room" by Kenneth E. Hagin
  • "The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit & You" by Rick Renner

Monday, August 29, 2011

Give Me That Old Time Religion

I recently came across a book that has become a welcome addition to my library, J.B. Phillips' The Young Church in Action. This book, published in 1955, is a translation of the Book of Acts and is a forerunner to his New Testament in Modern English. While I've had his New Testament in Modern English translation as a part of my library for 30+ years, having The Young Church in Action excites me because this book adds something that wasn't included in his translation of the entire New Testament, Phillips' preface to his translation. After reading this preface, I knew that I needed to share a brief excerpt from the writings of an individual who had lived and breathed Luke's writing about the Early Church.

"It is impossible to spend several months in close study of the remarkable short book, conventionally known as the Acts of the Apostles, without being profoundly stirred and, to be honest, disturbed. The reader is stirred because he is seeing Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history .... Here we are seeing the Church in its first youth, valiant and unspoiled - a body of ordinary men and women joined in an unconquerable fellowship never before seen on this earth.'

'Yet we cannot help feeling disturbed as well as moved, for this surely is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or musclebound by overorganization. These men did not make "acts of faith," they believed; they did not "say their prayers," they really prayed. They did not hold conferences on psychosomatic medicine, they simply healed the sick. But if they were uncomplicated and naive by modern standards, we have ruefully to admit that they were open on the God-ward side in a way that is almost unknown today."

It's me again ... After reading Phillips' observation, I cried a prayer of repentance. We are undeniably so far removed from the Church birthed on the Day of Pentecost. I had to repent and ask Jesus to forgive us for what we have done to His Church. Then, it was imperative for me to ask for a new outpouring of His Spirit so that we can once again become the Church that we were meant to be. It is from this fresh Upper Room outpouring that will enable us to once again become the people who will turn our world upside down.

Will you join me? Let's start afresh and anew by crying out for the fire of the Holy Ghost that fell some 2000 years ago. To borrow from a song that I sang as a little boy, "Give me that old time religion, that old time religion. Give me that old time religion. It's good enough for me."

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dunamis Factor

Let me give you a warning before reading this week's blog entry ... be seated and, if possible, put on your seat belt to restrain you from becoming too emotionally uncontrollable. Also, forewarn those around you to not become too concerned. You are fully aware that you've lost your mind and that you are extremely confident that you don't want it back. So, with that being said, on with this week's blog entry.

Take a second to read and then reread this verse:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

Like you, I have preached this verse and used it in umpteen dozen lessons over the years. I’ve preached and taught this verse in every possible way. But this past week, I saw something that I’ve never noticed before.

While I have always shared that the word power is taken from the Greek word dunamis and emphasized that this Greek word is the foundation for our English word dynamite, for the first time I saw in my studies that Jesus was emphasizing far more than supernatural power. What Jesus is telling His followers is that this dunamis has a threefold definition. The infilling of the Holy Ghost will provide:
  1. Supernatural spiritual ability. This dunamis enables you to supernaturally exceed your human giftings and abilities.
  2. Supernatural spiritual strength. This dunamis provides the supernatural oomph needed to persevere and stand strong, creating a spiritual dynamo to be reckoned with.
  3. Supernatural spiritual authority. This dunamis delivers the unrelenting backbone needed to withstand naysayers and critics and the spiritual right to back up what you preach with heaven-provided, heaven-authorized demonstrations of the Holy Ghost.
I’ll close by authenticating this week’s blog teaching by sharing from the Amplified Translation:

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might)
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …

I’ll quit typing so that you will stop reading. Now, undo the seat belt, allow these few thoughts to roll around in your spirit and then join me in demonstrating this dunamis!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Let's Take a Walk

You may not believe this, but as a child, my elementary school report cards often had comments from the teacher informing my parents that I was an excessive talker. I often joke that my teacher’s favorite day of the school year was the day that I didn’t come to school. While my academic marks were quite good, my deportment or conduct marks showed that I needed to strengthen my ability to refrain from talking and making funny comments. Believe me when I say that my parents took the teacher’s comments to heart (or, pardon the pun – to bottom), and got down to the bottom of the problem (in more ways than one) and changed my desire to be the student who always had something funny to say.

Fortunately, I learned a long time ago to not give the Holy Spirit a negative deportment grade for excessive talking. In fact, I continually urge Him to kick it into overdrive and talk and talk and talk to me. It was during one of these times this week that I heard Him remind me of a truth that I had been neglecting. Consider this:

"The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted. Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you.”
Genesis 13:14-17 (The Amplified Translation)

As I read this, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that His movement in our children’s ministry is limited by what I can see and where I walk. As God told Abraham, we are to change our point of view (“life up your eyes”) and look beyond our present location and “reality” and to begin to see what He sees. Next, God told Abraham that what he could see would affect both him and his children. Then, after changing what we can see, we are to get up (“arise”) and to begin to be the forerunner and walk in and experience this new land.

I could easily write several paragraphs and take several minutes of your time to enlarge upon the truths shared by the Holy Spirit. But, upon your request, the same Holy Spirit who spoke to me can and will speak to you. After hearing His voice, you will see afresh and anew His passion for moving in and among the children and also be challenged to begin to travel into the realm of the Spirit so that your children can follow you into the heavenlies.

Now, close this program, turn off the computer and ask the Holy Spirit to begin to talk to you. Then, begin to listen to Him. Then, begin to dream and see through His eyes. Then, get up and start walking. Believe me, you are long overdue for a good long walk.

Selah … Billy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You Jesus?

I had one of the cutest things happen a few weeks ago in our mid-week 4-year-old class. I came by the room that night to check on and communicate with the teachers for a couple of minutes and in doing so, I became engaged in conversation with an adorable little boy who was enjoying playing with Play Dough. After a talking for a while, I asked him, "Do you know who I am?" Looking up at me with the most loving eyes, he said, "Jesus?"

At first, the cuteness factor was almost too much. I wanted to laugh out loud at his statement. Me? Jesus? Was he kidding? But later, the Holy Spirit reminded me that on that particular evening, I had been given the opportunity to be Jesus' representative. To that little boy, I was Jesus-in-the-flesh.

While this blog entry isn't my typical blog telling of flowing with the Holy Spirit, it is a gentle reminder of my need for being dependent upon Him. After all, on that particular Wednesday night, I was His agent for representing Jesus. Think about it ....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Are You Limiting the Holy Spirit?

Just a quick thought for you ... are you limiting the Holy Spirit? This Comforter (Greek wordParakletos) is sent from the Father with the purpose of being your counselor, helper, advocate, intercessor, strengthener, and standby. In other words, He is sent to fortify and enlarge upon your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.

The purpose for this week's blog is to remind you of the reality that the Holy Spirit only comes and works by invitation. Without invitation, He will stand to the side and see you operate in your own strengths all the while remorsefully acknowledging that your strengths will only produce temporary success and fruit. Without invitation, He will stand to the side and see you operate in and suffer because of your weaknesses remorsefully acknowledging that your weaknesses will produce little if any fruit.

Are you allowing Him to fulfill His assignment? No matter what stage of ministry that might be experiencing right now, it is prudent to insure that you are walking side-by-side with Him. In the times when everything is flourishing, is He present and guiding you or are you accomplishing these feats in your own giftings? When He is fulfilling His assignments, He will enable you to supersede your abilities and giftings. In the times of "God where are You?", can you sense His presence? It could well be that in these times He is waiting for you to ask Him to step in and fulfill His heavenly assignment.

Today, let's stop and confirm our dependence upon Him. He is waiting on your invitation!