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

A Profitable New Year

47188658_s2016 can be our best year by following the instructions God has provided to insure profit in every part of life. Isaiah 48:17 ESV declares

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’”

Here are six ways that you can insure a profitable year.

1. Profit from your Birthright. Genesis 25:32 KJV “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: what PROFIT shall this birthright do to me?” Esau was profane, irreverent, secular and temporal, and he had no appetite for spiritual things. Jacob had a spiritual appetite and was rewarded even though he had obvious character flaws. Jacob profited from his spiritual hunger which led to a great change of heart and blessed life. We have a birthright as well, being “joint heirs” with the “Firstborn of many brethren” Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17, 29). Maintaining spiritual hunger will result in a deepening relationship with Father God and entrance into all that belongs to us in Christ.

2. Profit from Faith. Hebrews 4:2 KJV “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well a unto them: but the word preached did not PROFIT them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” How do we mix faith with the message we have heard? By putting our faith into action as James said in James 2:17 Moffatt’s Translation, “Faith without corresponding actions is dead”. The Ten Lepers of Luke 17:11 put faith into action when they believed the word of Jesus and proceeded to “go show themselves to the priests”, acting as though they were “already healed.” Faith “calls the things that do not exist as though they already do.” Romans 4:17-20

3. Profit from Revelation. John 6:63 “the flesh PROFITS nothing, the word that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus meant that His words didn’t come from human reason but revelation from the Spirit of God. His words could impart spiritual life to the followers. When we meditate on God’s Word, the information can become revelation to us. It is that revelation knowledge that brings impartation and transformation to our lives. We gain maximum PROFIT from revelation of the Word.

4. Profit from Chastisement. Hebrews 12:10 KJV “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our PROFIT, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Our manner of life in Christ is just as important as our position of life in Christ. Every person born again will encounter the discipline of our Loving Heavenly Father who seeks to have His children bear His Image. This discipline keeps us from “turning aside to our own ways” resulting in unnecessary hardships we bring upon ourselves (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). Having a manner of life that reflects who He is in us is great gain. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 KJV

5. Profit from Good Works. Titus 3:8 KJV “…be careful to maintain good works… these things are good and PROFITABLE unto men.” We gain access into the lives of others by our good works among them, giving us the opportunity to share our faith and lead others to Christ. Good works do not improve our position in Christ, but good works improve our relationships with people of the earth. We may not be remembered for what we have believed, but we will be remembered for what we have done for others in His Name.

6. Profit from the Supernatural. I Corinthians12:7 KJV “For the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to PROFIT withal.” The nine Gifts of the Spirit are available to all believers to equip them for supernatural service in Christ’s Kingdom. When the Spirit of God is in manifestation everyone profits according to the teaching of the Apostle. The operations of the Spirit are the standard equipment of the New Testament believer, available for the asking, seeking and knocking. “Follow after charity, but desire spiritual gifts.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV

Follow these biblical instructions for a Profitable 2016!

Dr. John Polis

Being Confident

43205743_sConfidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.” (Wikipedia) When it comes to having confidence as a Christian, our confidence is not based upon a theory or unsubstantiated promises but on the very character and nature of our loving Father God. I have noted at least four areas in scripture where we are encouraged to have confidence as a result of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Confidence in Adversity. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident” Psalm 27:1-3. David trusted God to be his “light”, the source of illumination and direction. He also trusted God to be his “salvation”, meaning his total deliverance. He was confident that no matter what the odds, God would show him the path of deliverance.

Confidence in Answered Prayer. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petition we have desired of Him” 1 John 5:14-15. Knowing God’s will before we pray is the source of our confidence that our prayer will be answered. We can know God’s will from the Written Word, and from the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us always.

Confidence in Completion. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6. The word perform  means to “fulfill completely” and refers to the good work of redemption God has begun in our lives. No need to worry if you will make it to the end because it was the Father who began the work in our lives and it is He who will complete it and bring us into the fullest manifestation as “sons of god” Romans 8:19.

Confidence in Continuance. “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith” Philippians 1:25. Satan tried to take Paul out time and again but could never succeed because Paul knew that his assignment was not over, as he indicated in this verse. When Paul had “finished the course” God has prepared for him, he voluntarily “offered” himself up and left this world confidently that there was a great reward awaiting him in heaven (2 Timothy 4). We may all have the confidence that we shall continue in this life until our work is done, escaping every evil work that Satan attempts against us. We are “more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans 8:37).

Are You Lukewarm?

35050637_sOne thing that God doesn’t tolerate for long is a lukewarm believer (Revelation 3). Jesus warned the Laodicean believers that remaining lukewarm would result in being spewed out of God’s mouth (Revelation 3:16). This is strong imagery used to emphasize the seriousness of the matter. Imagine taking a drink of supposedly hot coffee or tea and finding it lukewarm, what would otherwise be satisfying now becomes nauseating and is not swallowed but rejected. What is a lukewarm believer anyhow? The text makes it obvious; it is trying to remain in neutral without making progress in one direction or the other. Many believers are in this category, trying to avoid any serious sins but not passionately seeking to advance in relationship with God. God says to us, “I will have you either hot or cold,” remaining lukewarm is not an option for a believer in Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:15). God will allow the lukewarm churchgoer to remain comfortable for awhile but will soon begin the promptings of Holy Spirit to relight the fires of passion for God by fasting, prayer, bible study, and fellowship with believers who are also passionate for Him. If the lukewarm believer resists the grace work of Holy Spirit to get moving again towards God with passion, Father God will remove some favor resulting in difficulties occurring that will cause the stubborn one to move towards God again. This would not out of desire for Him, but out of desperation for His favor to be restored. The Church of today is largely lukewarm. Few attend prayer meetings and others miss church randomly as though commitment to corporate activity among christians is optional. Many others spend God’s tithe on things other than what it is designated for by God, resulting in closed heavens over their lives. These kind of challenging things are not often mentioned because of the intimidation pastors feel. They often feel they will be accused of not having love or being legalistic. How then, do you explain these words of Christ in scripture? Can we just ignore them and continue on in a nauseating spiritual condition in the eyes of God and still think that we as individuals will enjoy all the blessings of the Kingdom, and we as a Nation of Christians will see God’s favor on our Country? That would be mocking God, and “God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7). God is a loving Father for sure, He is the model of all parenting. He loves His children passionately and desires that same passionate response from them. As a parent, He doesn’t enjoy having to deal in discipline any more than I, as a parent would (Hebrews 12). But it is necessary because when we are living in neutral, we are also very vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. Not to mention that we are not useful in the Kingdom of God as ambassadors sent to disciple nations (Matthew 28:18-20). When we are living in neutral, we are forfeiting the rewards that could be obtained for faithful service to the King, for we will all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ to give an account of our lives as believers and be rewarded accordingly (2 Corinthians 5). How are you doing with this? God loves you too much to leave you in a lukewarm condition. I strongly urge each one to do as Jesus said if you are trying to live in neutral, “Repent and do your first works over again” (Revelation 2:5). Get back to your prayer life, bible study, church attendance, and giving, these are Christian vital signs, not rules and regulations. You will be glad when the fire of God is burning brightly in your heart and God is your first love again.

The Three Most Important Decisions in Life

29910411_s Life doesn’t give people what they want, but what they believe. Everyone wants nice things, good health, and happy days, but they don’t happen automatically.  Making right choices is what determines how life treats us.  God has given us the “right of choice”, but are we making the “right choices”?  Here are three areas that matter most in our lives:

OUR MASTER

Who will be Master of our lives?  Will we chose to be “lord of our own life”, or will we give that place to Jesus Christ?  Many people have accepted the fact that Jesus is the only way to God, and have received Him as their personal Savior, but not all of these believers have made Jesus the Lord and Master of all of life.  There is really only one thing we can give to God, and that is the surrender of our will to Him.  It was man’s will that got him into trouble to start with by deliberately disobeying the Lord’s instructions in the Garden of Eden.  The surrendered will means that we have given Christ the right to guide us according to His will for our lives, and while we are living in the will of God, He is Master and things will work for our good.

OUR MATE

Who will be our Mate in life?  I have seen many people make the wrong decision when it came to marriage, sometimes because of loneliness, sometimes because of stubbornness, and sometimes just because of plain old lust.  I have often told people that it is better to be alone than to be with the wrong person.  There are worse things than loneliness and celibacy, like abuse, violence, and betrayal, for example.  Choosing a life partner should be approached according to scriptural guidelines, the consultation of parental and spiritual authority, and above all the leading of the Spirit of God in one’s heart.  What God joins together will be fruitful and without doubt the best thing that could happen to us.

OUR MISSION

What will be our Mission in life?  God has created us all with gifts and callings that empower us to fulfill the mission intended by Him.  The stages of life include Survival, Success and Significance.  When we are young, we are trying to survive the cost of education, the raising of children and all that life throws our way.  When we have reached midlife, we usually have achieved some measure of success in terms of having a nice home, car and some money in the bank.  But as we grow older we think of what our legacy will be:  what are we leaving for the benefit of future generations?  How have we added value to the lives of others, and how will our legacy continue to do so after we are gone?  What is our real significance?  Determining our ultimate mission usually takes place after some years of trial and error and learning some wisdom from experiencing life.  This is something we should all think about – God has a mission prepared for us all that will result in Significance.

If we make the right choices in these three areas, life will be lived to the fullest and God will be glorified.

3G Christians

32014371_sIn the cell phone world there is 3G and 4G service allowing us to connect with one another at any time and place (usually).  I happened to think about 3G’s relating to believers in Jesus Christ the other day and thought others might be blessed by them.  As a pastor/teacher, part of my spiritual gifts include receiving and giving messages to the Body of Christ, so here goes.

GOING TO HEAVEN

As Christians we know that we are “Going to Heaven” because of the shed Blood of Christ, and that is our first “G”.  This “G” corresponds to what I call “babyhood faith,” because as new believers this is about the extent of our revelation.  But hopefully, we will not remain spiritual babes for long, but will get into the Word of God and start growing up in Christ.

GROWING UP

This brings us to our second “G” – “Growing Up”, or what I call “maturing faith.”  The Bible speaks of Moses “when he came to years” (Hebrews 11:24-27) as having made some mature choices that resulted in him becoming the leader who brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  The Word says that Moses“chose to suffer affliction with God’s people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of Egypt.”  As we grow up in Christ, we must realize that confessing Christ publicly may result in some persecution as well, but we embrace it by the grace of God.  Moses also had spiritual values because he “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.”  How true it is that when we encounter the Living Christ, our appetites change and we consider Him our greatest treasure.  Finally, Moses demonstrates the level of maturity he had reached by “not fearing the wrath of the king (Pharaoh), for he endured seeing Him who is invisible.”  Moses lost the fear of Pharaoh when he had revelation of his God Who was greater than all the kings of the Earth.  We also can grow spiritually to live like Moses did even during hardship, persecution, and unfavorable circumstances (like having an army chasing you into the sea).

GOING INTO THE WORLD

The last “G” is “Going into the World.”  I call this “ministry faith.”  We have “babyhood faith,” “maturing faith,” and “ministry faith.”  Our spiritual growth is not complete until we have reached this third dimension, where we are actually doing the “works of Jesus” by going into all the world with the Good News and proclaiming it to others.  We not only share the Gospel with others, but we do what Jesus did by praying for healing, deliverance and miracles that will exalt God and confirm our message of faith in the resurrected Christ.

Are you a 3G Christian yet?

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).