Faithful To Your Family

Most of us value our families above all else because they are actually part of us. Nothing will change a person like becoming a parent. You find a love you never knew was even possible for a human to experience as you look upon that child made of your own flesh and blood. I think there is a parallel truth here for Christians who are born again and part of God’s Eternal Family. We are now “bone of his bone and flesh”, just as Eve was taken as a rib from Adam’s side, the Bride (Body) of Christ was taken from His wounded side when He was pierced by a Roman spear where blood and water flowed out. Think of it, when Jesus looks at you, He sees someone that came from his own flesh and blood, and He loves you. 

There is something that happens when we are born again and become part of His Family, we share the same DNA with all those who are born again as well, and we find a new love for these family members we never knew. As Jesus said “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, because you love ONE ANOTHER” John 13:35. This is not a natural love because we may have personality differences (and other issues) that make us unlikable to others at times. But in spite of all this, there is the love of God in our hearts that overlooks things and has compassion instead of complaints about people in the Family.

There is a love you discover as you grow together with others in Christ that you may not at this time even know is possible. But this love grows as we “live in community” with others and are faithful to our family relationships in Christ.

Here is an amazing verse that shows us the love that is possible to experience as we learn to live together, serve together, pray together, eat together, learn together, and worship together,

“Hereby perceive we the love of God,  because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16

This is a great love that is more thrilling to experience for the one loving, than the one being loved. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. We have achieved a great level in God when we grow to this point.

We are the “Family of God” as Paul said in Ephesians 3:15, “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” This is God’s Family, and you are part of it forever.

As we comprehend these deep truths, we will start to relate to the “family” with faithfulness, we will care for one another, watching out for one another’s spiritual well being. We will come to worship services because we love one another and have the “family spirit” that seeks community and relationship. Joining a small group will be something we desire in order to grow in our love of one another.  Being part of God’s Family is so much more than attending an occasional worship service because we “need some Word this week,” or “we need to show up so no one thinks we have backslid.” This type of thinking reveals ignorance of what God intends for His Children, and is missing the greater life of love that is only the result of “Living In Community” and being Faithful To The Family.

At Faith Church International, our motto is “Learn The Word, Live in Community, Leave a Legacy.” If we an help people achieve these things, we will see God’s Name be glorified in the earth.

Dr. John Polis

The Call To Prayer

37086006 - hands of praying young man on a wooden desk background.

When it comes to prayer you will usually see more women joining the meeting than men. Although it was “The Man” Jesus who prayed and taught 12 MEN the necessity and methods of prayer. It was Abraham who prayed for Sodom Gomorrah, it was Moses who prayed for rebellious Israel, on and on men in the Bible prayed.

So what has happened to men today that makes them reluctant to take the lead in the ministry of prayer. Jesus tells us in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked the disciples to pray with Him for one hour, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41. Men must learn to let their spirit have mastery over their flesh, they must learn to have good performance not just good intentions. This is a matter of spiritual maturity as Paul tells us when he speaks to the Corinthians who were “fleshly or carnal.” Carnal people are dominated by the desires of the flesh, and the flesh never wants to pray, it wants to watch tv, play golf, go hunting and fishing, drink beer, have sex and so on. There is no getting around it, prayer left up to the women in the Church is clue to the carnality of the men. The men in the New Testament didn’t neglect prayer and that’s why they had such a powerful move of God to change the world. The leadership were faithful to pray (Acts 6:1-4), the men prayed (Acts 1:14), and the whole church prayed together (Acts 4:23-31). The great leaders of Awakening and Revival were men of prayer, Martin Luther, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley, and so on. They had revival because they were dependent on God, evidenced by the realization that God would respond to their devoted prayer life.

A young boy will follow his father’s example; if Dad prays, the boy will pray. Many men in the world today view Christianity as a women’s religion because they don’t see MEN taking the lead in spiritual things, like prayer and fasting. It is the women who know that things won’t work if someone doesn’t pray, so they pray. The most manly thing you can do is PRAY.

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” Acts 1:14.

MEN, YOU ARE BEING CALLED TO PRAY, not PLAY!

We see Muslim men answering the call to pray by the millions and they are giving the Western world a rough time right now, they are praying for Shariah Law to rule the world. Where are the Christian men praying for “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” If Islam wins the battle, here is the reason why…they are devoted to the cause as evidenced by their call to prayer.

I am pleading for Christian men to get out of the flesh and into the Spirit of God, become men of prayer. This is the only hope for victory.

Dr. John Polis

Guaranteed Growth

41369318_sWill 2016 be a year of marked increase in your spiritual life? Will you be able to look back at the end of the year and see the progress you have made? If this is your desire, then you must have goals to reach the result.

 

GOD DESIRES GROWTH in our lives as His children, just like any parent wants to see their children growing at a normal and healthy rate. “…desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” 1 Peter 2:2 KJV.

GROWTH OCCURS NATURALLY as we take in the proper nutrients, get the necessary exercise, and rest. A regular diet of anointed teaching, bible reading, prayer, serving, and relationship building will all result in steady growth into the fruitful Christian life.

GROWTH CAN BE HINDERED by continuing to practice sin after we have been born again. “…let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us…” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV. Sin is like the weeds in a garden that eventually outgrow and choke the living plants that would otherwise produce fruit. It must be eliminated.

GROWTH RESULTS IN GREATER PRODUCTIVITY as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Vine and Branches. “By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples” John 15:8 NKJV. Being productive as a Christian means I am ever increasing in faith and the love that attracts and wins others to Christ.

GROWTH BRINGS THE GREATEST REWARDS in life as we are promoted in every area where we have achieved another level of maturity, wisdom, and skill. The people who enjoy life the most and add value to the lives of others, are the people who have the desire to grow and have set goals to reach the desired result.

GROWTH WAS THE GOAL of Jesus Christ while living on the earth and fulfilling the will of God for his life. “And Jesus increased (grew) in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 NKJV.

Broke or Broken

11793555_sThe Bible speaks of two types of poverty, “spiritual” and “material” poverty. Most believers have heard the message of Biblical Prosperity and know how to advance themselves in material possessions; however, there is a lack of understanding of spiritual poverty and how to be rich in spiritual things as well.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelations 3:17-18 NKJV

According to these verses, we can be materially rich, and yet be living in spiritual poverty, we can be broke spiritually. If we see material possessions as the hallmark of God’s blessing, then in fact we have become Materialists who have a “spirit of mammon.” Materialism exists in our lives when we are trying to meet spiritual needs with material possessions, something God denounces in the Word. When we focus on our material accumulation at the expense of our spiritual richness, we are called “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked,” these are not the things I want to hear spoken over my life or ministry and yet, many believers have never progressed beyond the pursuit of material blessings.

Being spiritually rich means that I have an abundance of revelation of God’s Word in my heart and that I have sought and learned how to flow in the Gifts of the Spirit in order to fulfill the ministry of Christ in this world. There is only one way to become spiritually rich, we must be broken vessels before the Lord. We do have a treasure in these earthen vessels as scripture says, but for the anointing to flow in our lives and be released to others, we must have a “broken and contrite spirit.” (see Psalms 51:17) This is simply a heart that is fully yielded to God in submission and obedience to His will. The story of the Woman with the Alabaster Box illustrates the fact that God wants our full surrender, a will that is completely submitted to His will before He will bring us into the abundant spiritual life in Christ. We are not talking here about  a doctrine or works but being in position for God to work in and through us for His own glory. We are either broke or broken when it comes to our relationship with God. Which are you?

God Wants To Promote You

33068939_sOne of the most important traits Christ sought to develop in His followers was the characteristic of faithfulness. This is the quality that is the most rewarded by God, and is the source of the believer’s unending joy.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” NKJV Matthew 25:21

Notice three things that result from faithfulness in our lives:

  1. Commendation. “…Well done…”
  2. Promotion. “…ruler over many things…”
  3. Joy. “Enter into the joy of your lord”

So what exactly is this essential quality in a believer’s life? The word “faithful” actually means to be “dependable” or “trustworthy.” God’s way of developing and testing our faithfulness is by giving us responsibility as He did the three men in the Parable of the Talents where this verse is taken from. (Matthew 25:14-29)

Developing Faithfulness

 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:10-12

When God is developing faithfulness, dependability, and trustworthiness in us, He will test us in the three following areas:

  1. With something small. “…faithful in that which is least…”
  2. With material possessions. “…unrighteous mammon…”
  3. With what belongs to someone else. “…what is another man’s…”

As faithfulness is developed in our lives, it eliminates at least three aspects of our “old man” that correspond to the above, which are pride, love of money and disloyalty. God desires to promote us all and bring us into everlasting joy, but first He must work this great quality of faithfulness into our lives.

Obedience

38863682_sStep two in your Christian walk, after faith, is obedience.  We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9); we start out with faith and learn to receive “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” (GRACE).  That is great, but can become very one-sided if it’s all about “what He did for ME.”  Many believers never get beyond the faith and grace message because they never get beyond self.

We can be extremely blessed because of God’s grace that we receive by faith (not works), but never become mature Christians because maturity doesn’t come by faith, it comes by obedience.  Faith is all about what He did for me, but obedience is all about what I do for Him.  Maturity means taking responsibility for the work that Christ commanded (not suggested) that we do on His behalf (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).  Obedient people take responsibility for the work of evangelism, discipleship and shepherding the flock of God.  The people who are mature are ones that God promotes in His kingdom work, giving them favor and influence that turns people’s lives to God.  Don’t be deceived into thinking you are a mature believer because of God”s blessings of health and wealth.  You are mature when your hand is on the plough and you are working in the vineyard.  Not a popular message, but truth anyway.

Where are the laborers who are serious about obeying Christ?  If you teach people how to receive all God has for them, they will shout your praises, but when we start recruiting laborers for the harvest, the tone often changes.  I suggest every believer do a word study in the New Testament on “work” and “works”, not just faith and grace.  You will be shocked to find out that obedience and work are spoken of as much as faith and grace.

It’s time to stop postponing obedience while we are building the good life for self.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.  You are NEEDED in the work of God (Matthew 9:35-38).

Your Ministry Connection

26311742_sDo you have a calling on your life for a leadership role in God’s Church?  If so, it is vitally important that you understand the connection that God uses to prepare and release you into destiny.  The disciples had to maintain the connection with Jesus as their mentor in ministry because satan will always try to separate you from the anointing you are called to sit under until release comes.  Many people move themselves out from under the place where God set them and at that point they stop the process of development for the call.  You can’t take these things into your own hands and divide yourself from the spiritual relationships that God has ordained for your life.  (Read Luke 22:31-32 and Mark 10:9.)

Many are called, but few are chosen.  After over 40 years serving God, much of that time has been spent in training and raising up leaders.  I have seen many more get sifted out of relationship and end up living far below what God intended for them than those who went all the way.  We must understand what spiritual parenting is all about from the Word of God.  You didn’t choose your natural parents, or trade them in for someone else, you remain their children for life.  Paul said, “you have many teachers, but not many fathers, follow me therefore..” (1 Corinthians 4:15-17).  There is so much religion in spirit-filled believers and so little understanding of the Bible and the ways of the Lord.

Also, there is an independent spirit that doesn’t listen to any other voice but its own, thinking it is God.  The Bible says, “let every matter be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses” because we can be deceived by our own agenda (self).  I know this goes out to a lot of people, and that’s good because the problem is widespread.  We need people who go all the way in the process and don’t take themselves out, because the harvest is great but the (real) laborers are few.  My heart’s cry is for spiritual sons and daughters to maintain in the process until they hear the prophetic word from leadership in their life (Acts 13:1-4, 1 Timothy 4:14).  I have would-be sons and daughters in many places that I hope will read and heed this word.