A Better Future – Part 4

The level of faith required to forgive as the Lord forgives is surely mountainous.

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Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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Let me say it once again.  Forgiveness is not an event; it is a process.  Step one is releasing the offender.  Step two is forgetting the offense.  Step three is forgetting that you had to forgive.  That’s the way God does it, and we are to forgive even as God does for the sake of Christ.  Note closely my last statement.  God forgives, not for the sake of Jesus, but for Christ’s (the Anointing’s) sake.  The anointing and presence of the Anointed One being fully active in your life is worth so much more than you harboring vengeance, or the will to get even, in your life.

Let’s consider, for a moment, the full picture of God’s forgiveness process.  It begins with the release.  When a believer sins, if he confesses his sin, Father is faithful and just to forgive that sin, and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness.  In simple terms, He lets the person who sinned go free from that sin, and allows the blood to cleanse the believer of all sin.  For that to be fully manifest, the Lord not only release the offender, but He must cast that sin away from them as far as the east is from the west, into the depths of the sea.  The Lord MUST forget the sin.  But it doesn’t stop there.

Think about this.  Suppose you sin.  Quickly after you sin, you confess that sin to Jesus.  What does He do?  He forgives the sin and cleanses you from all unrighteousness.  But then, a few days later, you fall prey to the same sin.  When you confess, does Jesus say, “Alright, I’ll forgive you, but you did the same thing four days ago.  You must stop that.”?  The answer is, “Absolutely not.”  He has forgotten that accepts you as though this was the first time.  But let’s dive deeper.  Neither will His response be, “You know, you’ve got to stop this sin stuff.  It seems to me you did something recently, and yet, here you are again.”  You see, when God forgives, He releases you fully from that sin when you confess it.  And then, in order to complete the forgiveness process, He forgets the offense, and then He forgets that He had to forgive in the first place.  That, my dear friend, is Biblical forgiveness.

We are to imitate that pattern of forgiveness when we are called upon to forgive others.  But there’s the rub, isn’t it?  As tough as it may seem, letting go of the offender is the easy part.  To fully release the offense, it is necessary to forget it.  Yet how does one forgive and offense when the scar from the offense is ever present?   It requires major faith, and only the God-kind of faith will do the job.  Then faith must be continually applied to forget that you had to forgive and forget.  Feast on the Word, my friend.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20;                2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10; Luke 17:1-10; 1 John 1:9; Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12

A Better Future – Part 3

You are about to enter into one of the deepest faith realms in which you will ever walk.

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phesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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Walking in faith is NOT something you automatically do.  It is learned through sound teaching, deep study, life-long experience, and the exercise of a determined will that refuses to turn back from that faith walk.  It requires a strong will that is anchored and committed to walking out the Word of God daily in your life.  While I cannot tell you that I have succeeded at my every endeavor to walk by faith, I can tell you that as long as I have remained true to it, my God has NEVER failed me in the slightest measure.  Our heavenly Father IS faithful.

In this series, I am writing about “forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  This is far more than a string of thirteen words.  This is one of the most difficult commands anywhere in the pages of God’s Word.  And it requires a faith commitment that is commiserate in depth with the difficulty of the command.  Step one was to forgive; to simply let go of the offense and the offender, not so the offender goes free, but for the offended party to go free.  Today we examine step two.  This is the act of FORGETTING and offense that was perpetrated against you.  And that, dear one, requires an enormous step of faith that you may have to follow through on for a long time.

When God forgives, the Scriptures declare that He casts the sin forgiven into the sea, never to be remembered against you.  Another comparison is “as far as the east is from the west.”  That is an infinite distance.  That requires faith at a level that is not regularly seen in the world.  We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  And to achieve the level of faith we are describing will require your personal commitment to the Word of God as your constant companion.  In this we see that step two in the forgiveness process is to FORGET the offense.  There is NO natural means by which that can ever be accomplished.  It will require you exercising your faith, calling things that be not as though they are until they become, and trusting the Lord to sustain you in that walk.  Father WILL NOT fail you, but you must remain steadfast in your faith.  Satan will see to that you have every opportunity to remember what was done to you.  Every time such a thought comes to you, you must bring that thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  You CAN do it, and in that manner you WILL overcome.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20;                2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10; Luke 17:1-10; 1 John 1:9; Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12

A Better Future – Part 2

The work of forgiveness is a process.  It is NOT a one step action.

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Ephesians 4:22 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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For most of my life as a Christian, I have heard people speak about forgiveness as an event that just suddenly happens.  It’s just something you do; without thought; without understanding; with no mention of faith.  But such thinking, and the preaching that goes along with it grossly misses the mark in accuracy and understanding of the process of forgiveness.  Look closely at the final two phrases of our Text for Today; “ . . . forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Do you see it?  We are to forgive one another in precisely the same manner that God forgives us.  Let’s look at God’s process of true forgiveness.

The first step in God’s process of forgiving is the release.  When, as a believer, one sins, that process is initiated when the sin is confessed.  But where you and I are concerned as being the offended party, that is, the person who is done wrong; the one against whom the trespass has taken place.  We are commanded to forgive, regardless of whether the offender repents or not.  In both cases, whether it is God forgiving you, or you forgiving an offender, the first step is to release the offender.  That means you are not the party holding them accountable; that is Father’s job, and His alone!  We can see that in one of the great faith teaching passages.  When Jesus spoke of it in Mark 11:22-24, He immediately went on to command forgiveness towards anyone who has offended you, and the time for that is any time you pray.  If, when you pray, you are aware of someone who has offended you, but you have not released, you must release them THEN.  There must be NO delay. 

It is by releasing the person who has offended you that you are immediately released from the snare of strife in which “envy” and “confusion and every evil work” is contained.  That is a horrible state of affairs in which any believer could be entrapped.  In that place, one is held captive in Satan’s snare, and even Father Himself is blocked from setting them free.  That, my dear friend, is a trap far more powerful than that from which you can free yourself.  Unforgiveness is the opening to just such a trap.  Avoid it as you would a plague.  Not if, but WHEN you are wronged, give no place to the devil.  Make the forgiveness release immediately.  Don’t risk a single second in the enemy’s snare.  For to make the final two steps that now become absolutely necessary in the forgiveness process, you must rise to a level of faith that not that many Christians have truly sought.  More to come.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20;                2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10; Luke 17:1-10; 1 John 1:9

A Better Future – Part 1

Forgiveness won’t change the past, but it can certainly help create a better future.

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Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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One of the greatest lessons every believer needs to learn about forgiveness is this.  Forgiveness does NOT release the offender.  It releases the offended.  Jesus said that if you are offended, you must forgive the offender if you expect to be forgiven by Father when you sin.  What we must recognize is that being in right standing with Father is far more important than having someone who has offended you try to make things right with you. 

I have been wronged by people, as I am sure you have.  What I discovered was that until I released whoever offended me by forgiving them, whether they asked for forgiveness or not, I myself was not free to move forward.  You see, to harbor something in my heart towards any other person is to be in strife.  I encourage you to read what I find to be one of the most frightening passages of Scripture in the Bible.  It’s part of our Manna for Today2 Timothy 2:24-26.  Can you imagine being a Spirit filled Christian, and all the while being entangled in the snare of Satan who can take you captive any time he chooses, while at the same time blocking Father from doing anything to save you?  You may want to read that question a few more times as you read the passage.  My friend, that is a frightening place, a horrifying position in  which to be found.  For that reason, the believer should ALWAYS discipline himself/herself to commit to living a life of forgiveness towards anyone else.

When you hold to the unforgiveness, you are ensnared in strife.  When you are ensnared in strife, rather than forgiving, you will ultimately seek for a way to get even with your offender.  Now you are seeking for vengeance, and that, dear friend is a place no Christian belongs.  Always remember Father’s stand regarding vengeance.  He has clearly stated, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”  Father God has given you the power, tools, and complete ability to forgive, but He has NOT given you the right, duty, or responsibility to mete out vengeance.  That is totally in His domain.  Release it fully to Him, dear one, and walk freely in the realm of forgiveness. 

The Scriptures clearly speak to us concerning that which we are called to do.  We are told to abide in our calling.  That speaks to a stability in our calling.  The kind of stability in which one stands to truly forgive is a stability that arises out of process.  It is that process that we will pursue in the coming Second Milers.  Stay tuned.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20;                2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10

The Torment of Fear

Recognizing the cause of fear makes it completely defeatable.

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1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

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It was movie mogul and producer, Alfred Hitchcock who said, “The terror is not in the bang.  The terror is in the anticipation of the bang.”  What he said is absolutely true.  Allow me to explain how it works.  First, allow me to talk about faith.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  And furthermore, faith is “now.”  Think for a moment.  Imagine have a strong desire for something in your life.  Now go further and imagine having such a strong belief in faith that after you’ve asked God for it, you are fully convinced that it is your possession, though at this moment, there is no physical evidence that you possess.  Remember here, YOU ARE CONVINCED; COMPLETELY.  Would you be worrying about it, doubting it, or even being remorseful that you don’t see it at the moment?  Of course not.  If you truly and fully believed it, you would have an attitude of elation, thankfulness, and exuberance.

Now follow me further.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  Fear comes in the same manner, but it would be stated thusly; fear comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of the devil (or some ungodly voice).  So, with faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, then fear is the false substance of things undesired and the non-existent evidence of things not seen.  In other words, when one is operating in fear, it is the belief of false evidence, but acted upon and received as though it truly existed.  Fear is not an issue of the past, but one of believing what cannot be proven will manifest itself in one’s life.

Now keep in mind that every good and perfect gift comes down from our heavenly Father, the Father of lights.  In that same train of thought, every evil and flawed gift comes from Satan, the enemy of your soul,  Faith produces a loving, positive, life-giving expectation, while fear produces a hateful, negative, life-stealing expectation.  God’s Word is true.  If God says it, that settles it.  Satan’s word is a lie, coming from the father of lies.  If Satan says it, nothing is settled, except for the fact that he lied.  Therefore, we should in NO WAY expect what he says to come to pass.  The torment of Satan is not what Satan accomplishes, but the anticipation of what he says he can do.  The longer and greater the anticipation, the greater the torment.  Your personal imagination is so powerful.  That is why we must have the mind of Christ, and think ONLY of those things that are pure, just, lovely, true, of good report, and praiseworthy.

Manna for Today – 1 John 4:7-21; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 10:17; Philippians 4:6-8

Iron Sharpens Iron


In this hour, we desperately need Christians with steel in their backbones
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Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

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My heart is saddened to write my next words, but we must awaken to the fact that many Christians seem to demonstrate a lifestyle that is without backbone, like jellyfish, conforming to the tides, currents, and motions of all the water about them.   They are like clouds driven by the winds over a great desert, but dropping no life-giving rain that could transform a desert into a paradise.

The church of this hour is in desperate need of Christians, and especially Christian leaders and those in offices of the five-fold ministry, to be people with steel in their backbones, who will not bend, bow, or break under the pressures of our time, but will stand true to God’s Word, speak the Word, live the Word, and model the Word before those who hear and see them. 

Furthermore, we need men and women with steel in their backbones to engage one another for the divine function of sharpening one another, to converse regularly with others of strong faith, to encourage one another and to provoke one another to the good words that must be done in this hour.  While I truly understand the need to handle some sheep, especially lambs, with a gentle hand, the man of God of this hour CANNOT pull back from speaking the truth at all times.  Consider the earthly ministry of Jesus.  He always spoke truth.  Yes, there were times when He would not share certain things, because they could not bear it.  But we must remember they during His earthly ministry, those who followed Him were NOT born again.  They still lived under the Old Covenant.  Still, there were times when the truth He spoke to them was so strong, that many of His followers turned away from Him and ceased to follow Him.  Even His Own mother, brothers, and sisters were among that number.  Still, Jesus spoke the truth

In this hour, the speaking, teaching, and preaching of God’s Word to the church sorely needs to be sharpened.  It will not happen in seminary.  It will not happen from reading the latest books or listening to the latest battery of prophecies that are coming forth.  My statement IN NO WAY puts down or makes light of the office of the prophet and their place in the five-fold ministry.  But the work that needs to be done in this hour will not occur just by listening.  We must diligently guard our hearing to assure what we hear is Biblically accurate.  We must come to a place in prayer where communion with Father is more important than shortening church services to accommodate current lifestyles.  Prayer as an individual is important, can be powerful, and is most definitely needed.  However, a praying body of believers carries a church and world-shaking potential that only comes when we forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.  It is there that we sharpen one another for the battle at hand.  A dull sword is only a club, and cuts nothing.  It’s time to get sharp.

Manna for Today – Hebrews 10:24; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Proverbs 6:20-22; James 1:22

Free Does Not Mean “No Cost”

Every free thing you have received that is truly a treasure cost SOMEONE who loved you enough to pay.

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Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

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As I thought upon our Text for Today, the Lord gave me the following brief rhyme.  One may even call it a poem.  

Look up, look down . . . you’ll find Him all around.

Just look and see . . . His life for you is free.

In my nearly 72-years of life, I have come to own many treasured possessions.  Some of them I have purchased with my own money.  Some of them have been given to me by my sons, thought at the time, I was actually the one who gave them the money to buy what they chose.  Still, when they gave that purchase to me, it became a prized possession.  Other things that are precious to me have been bought specifically for me by someone dear to me.  A few of those prized possessions were things I earned through diligence, training, and at time, even enduring some pain (such as my black belts in martial arts).  And then there are those things that someone prized as their own possessions for a time, and at some point, chose to give them to me.  One of those, for example, is a .22 caliber rifle given to me by one of the greatest men of God I have ever known.  He bought it when I was five years old, promised it to me, and then presented it to me when I was 25-years old.

But I can assure you that all the prized possessions I have that were given to me freely, with no financial investment of my own, each of them came with a cost.  At times that cost was great.  And even if the cost were small, there was still a cost.  And when that thing that became my prized possession was highly prized by the giver, its cost greater still, and I look upon it as even more highly prized.

Now consider the following.  Your salvation cost you nothing.  There is no amount of money that could have purchased it for you, of for any one person throughout all of time.  It took the amazing sacrifice of Jesus and the shedding of His holy blood to pay for your salvation.  Once again, it cost you nothing, yet the cost was beyond all calculation.  As one songwriter penned, “He paid a price He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay; I needed someone to wash my sin away.”  The gift of salvation is priceless indeed.  No human being could pay it, but Jesus did.  It was completely free to me, yet its cost was beyond all human calculation.  And He did not do it for only me.  He did it for you, too, and for every man, woman, and child that has ever lived.  But while it is beyond payment, perhaps we can begin to do the best we can to serve Him with gladness, and pay all we can pay in love and service to Him and His kingdom.

Manna for Today – Psalm 19; Psalm 100; Psalm 150; John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21;         Hebrews 4:12

Lenders and Law

This is available to the church if we will prepare for it.

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Deuteronomy 28:12-13 – The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.  And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

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My place in the five-fold ministry is not the office of a prophet, though I do prophesy as Holy Spirit desires it.  However, I am what some would call “an old man,” and therefore meet the qualification of a dreamer.  The Scriptures declare that “old men shall dream dreams,” and I do, at times, receive dreams I am sure are from the Lord.  What I share today came, I am convinced, from one such dream. 

I was in a church service.  The power of the Lord was moving.  I knew the name of the church, know it well, and am close friends with that pastor.  He is a powerful man of God who has served the work of pastor for more than 40-years, and that very faithfully, accurately teaching the truth of God’s Word.  As the service progressed, I saw two groups of people.  One was about a dozen men dressed in dark suits, exuding ability and prowess in handling money at a high level.  The other was a group of law enforcement people, male and female, all wearing uniforms indicating depth of authority, excellence of service, and presence of knowledge.

I asked the Lord who they were.  He indicated to me that the people in suits represented people who knew how to handle finances at a high level, banker-types, who understood lending and had the power to do so.  The law enforcement group were people of high spiritual authority, strength of character, and powerful ability to enforce spiritual laws in excellence of procedure.

I asked what they represented.  The Lord indicated they represent the people He is about to raise up in His church where the Word is rightly divided and declared, and given full reign.  He us about to raise up men and women who know how to give, and how to handle finance in a manner that makes them channels of His blessings to His church for the work of the kingdom.  He is also preparing a people of strong spiritual might who know how to follow His lead, who will not give in to deception and carnality, who are trained in spiritual warfare, who know how to deal with spiritual wrongdoing in the church, and are dressed in the authority of God to carry out His directions.

What are we to do concerning this?  Get into a Bible-believing church.  Hold fast to the Word of God.  Obey His Word.  Serve as He directs you to serve.  Serve without fear, and in the fullness of faith.  Be a part of the church of the Lord Jesus as He makes it a church of “holy lenders and keepers of His law (doers of His Word).”

Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Isaiah 54:17; Deuteronomy 8:18; Joshua 1:6-9

Higher Acceptability


Every believer should seek to rise higher in acceptability to the Lord.

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Proverbs 21:3 – To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

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Take a moment to read our Text for Today once more, and then seriously consider what it is saying to you.  There are sacrifices that are called for by the Lord, and when offered, are as highly acceptable to Him as anything else.  Such is the “sacrifice of praise.”  When done in obedience to the Word, such sacrifice is an offering of true love (agape) to Father.  However, if the sacrifice is made while failing to walk in obedience to the Word, then such sacrifice holds little, if any, affect on the Lord.  In all legitimate sacrifice, obedience is one of the key ingredients to make the sacrifice acceptable.

But there is a sacrifice that many Christians have become accustomed to making, especially during the issues faced across the world in the last year.  My heart is saddened by these sacrifices, and I am sure it likewise saddens our Father’s heart.  Allow me to offer this statement, and some brief comments following.  So many Christians have sacrificed fellowship and obedience on the altar of government, and failed in obedience to the Word of God.  My dear reader friend, this must be turned around, and it will require the great hand of Father God in the process.  But to bring the great hand of Father God to bear in this matter, it will also require Christians, you and me, Christian leaders, and ministers to put their (our) “hand to the plow” and NOT look back.

When government, employer, church, and even family leaders call for the Christian to do that which God calls sin, or when government, employer, church, and even family calls for the Christian to NOT do that which God commands, the Christian has both the right and responsibility to draw the line and say “NO” to whatever authority contradicts the Lord and His Word.  At this point there is no debate, no discussion, and no room for any other decision.  Obedience to the Word of God is a MUST!  There is no other way that is acceptable to the Lord.  Sadly, in this arena, the church has developed a habit over the years of failing to comply with the Lord.  We have generally winked at abortion.  We knew it was sin, and called it so, but have generally sat by and allowed it to continue without any real contestation.  We have done the same with homosexual marriage and lifestyle.  That is why it has been so easy for the church to pull back from meeting together during what the world calls the COVID pandemic.  We have been too long silent and largely inactive about these issues, and regaining that spiritual footing will not be easy or cheap.  There will be a cost, but if we will pay the price, a higher plane of acceptability by Father will see His power and majesty displayed in ways far greater than we’ve ever witnessed.  Let’s pay up, live up to the standards, and rise up as the army of the Lord, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”

Manna for Today – 1 John 5:3; 1 Samuel 15:22-23; Jeremiah 33:11; Hebrews 13:15; Luke 9:51-62

Something New

When God says something is “new,” He means NEW!  Even if it’s rebuilt, it’s still totally new.

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Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

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Read our Text for Today again.  This is so powerful, and should instill a marvelous hope and faith in our hearts.  When we consider the past 12 months in our entire world, dealing with all kinds of political upheaval, and especially COVID-19, my heart is crying out to see our Text for Today fulfilled, and that right quickly.  Allow me to speak to you purely from the church perspective.  Church, as we have known it in the last three decades is over, and in large part, I am glad.  While what I share today is a harsh reality for many, church over the past 30-years, and in reality, much longer, has not been a true manifestation of the redeemed church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (I speak of the church in general, for there are congregations that are truly on fire.)  Yes, we have come together on Sunday (but with most Sunday evening and mid-week services either cancelled or socialized), but to what end.  Some would say we come together to worship the Lord.  It is good that we worship the Lord, but that should be a daily function of every believer.  Others might say we come together for preaching, or discipling, or fellowship.  Once again, all that is good.  But my question is, “Where is the supernatural that should be manifest in our midst?”  Sadly, much of what we have called church over recent decades has been a mere formal, and lately very informal, gathering so we could say “we attended church.”  My friend, while I do not intend to be harsh or condemning in any way, that is really not what church is to do in the earth.

I am convinced that the “new thing” the Lord is about to do is to bring the church to a place where the power of God is truly manifest, but in a manner that surpasses all that is known of the past.  In Scripture we read of the early and latter rains of Holy Spirit.  That would be the mighty manifestations of Holy Ghost in the Old Testament (early rain), and the might manifestations of Holy Spirit in the church age until now.  We also read of the early and latter rains being poured out together, and that in a short time.  That, dear reader, will be a new thing indeed, the likes of which have never before been seen.  Toward that I look with great anticipation and expectancy.  I am convinced in my spirit man that we are presently stepping into that time when those of God’s people who are prepared and ready will be used by Him in the mightiest manifestations of power, glory, and majesty the world has ever witnessed.  The early (former) and latter rains will be poured out together in, upon, and through His church.  Get ready, my friend.  A new thing is here!

Manna for Today – Isaiah 43; James 5:7; Deuteronomy 11:4; Job 29:23; Jeremiah3:1-5; Hosea 6:3;  Joel 2:23