Three weeks ago, in June 2004, I had the privilege of speaking before a group of politicians and generals, some of whom--all are Christians now--had blood on their hands, in one case the blood of thousands.
Here's an abbreviated account of my speech to that group. More?
We'll study three groups of people react in three different ways to the news that the saviour of the world, that Messiah has come. More?
With a special regard to the ongoing war on terror let me share a word today about how to solve conflicts.
In the word of God we find that Jesus solved conflicts in one of three ways. More?
Well, I actually intended to write about our great crusades in India and the awesome miracles that happen every night, but the shocking developments in New York of course captivate our attention at this time. The two passenger airplanes which were crashed into the World Trade Center's twin towers on Tuesday, 11. September 2001, were not just an attack on the USA, but rather one more crazy attack upon all of us. More?
Most people confuse joy with happiness. But there is a vast difference. Happiness is grounded in favourable circumstances. When everything goes well, the camper is happy. Joy on the other hand is rooted in the spirit. It is an attitude of life. It remains present as an undercurrent even when things aren't exactly dandy. More?
God's will for all christians is peace. As a matter of fact his concern for our peace is so great that Jesus promised us in John 16, 13 that he would send the Holy Spirit who would speak reassuringly into our stressful situations. He even said: "He will disclose to you what is to come!"
The Holy Spirit will show us things to come because he wants to prepare us for upcoming changes. He wants us to have peace even in times of change. More?
Let me share a brief word on revelation knowledge with you today.
Christians long to know God and to receive revelations from him. So called prophetic movements will always spark interest among believers. Men want to experience the supernatural, they want to encounter God.
Visions and dreams are thoroughly biblical and we should not knock them. However, I feel led to share some helpful insights on how to proceed biblically. There is a way to properly prepare yourself for true revelations. You can open yourself up for them and receive them as God sees fit. Let me share how. More?
Every christian desires to live in a close, personal relationship with God. To experience the manifest presence of the Spirit is what we truly desire. We love it when our heart is assured of his affirming nod in our direction. The soul is at ease when it is flush with warm emotions because God took the initiative and spoke to our spirits. Experiencing answers to prayer, seeing his hand at work in our lives, inspires our faith and lets us reach yet higher highs.
Yet every christian knows periods of drought in his spiritual life. Every once in a while there are those times when God seems to be far, far away, when our prayers fall powerlessly to the ground, when we listlessly thumb through our bibles. Sometimes a wall seems to stand between us and our father in heaven.
Wouldn't it be wonderful, if the Lord would take the initiative in situations like that and just break through? It would be great, if he by his own volition would come and grasp us and lift us up. Is there anything we can do in moments like these?
Is there a way out of the desert?
How can we attract God's attention? More?
Let us finish our little study on success today which we started last month.
Jesus is the most successful individual that ever walked the earth. Here is somebody who always did what he wanted and always wanted what was pleasing to God. That's how come God was always with him. In John 8, 29 he says: "And he who sent me is with me, he has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." More?
Let's look at something today that moves everybody.
Everybody wants success.
The desire for it drives entire industries: motivators and communicators try to tell us how to acieve it. And people pay prodigious amounts of money to learn it's secrets. They want to be members of the elite that have arrived ...
Well, what is success to begin with? More?
Let me share a brief word on grace today, God's amazing grace.
The Lord hates sin, but he loves the sinner.
If a sinner hardens himself and remains unrepentant, his sin will neutralize the love of God for him. God's tender loving care will not manifest in his life. Judgment will certainly come upon him sooner or later.
Upon his death he will descend into the lake of fire, the ultimate place of rejection.
(If you reject Jesus, God will reject you.)
But let's suppose the sinner is loath of what he's doing. His acts repell him. He finds his condition repugnant. He suffers in his tarnished soul and yearns for a new start.
In his heart he turns to God.
In this case God will never reject him. The sinner will receive forgiveness and a new beginning. More?
Jamisee! (That's Praise the Lord for you non-Nepali speakers.)
My recent trip into the Himalayas went real well. And, believe it or not: I have seen Mount Everest, or Sagarmatha, as the inhabitants of yonder place call it. It was just a knob on the horizon, but I have seen it!
Since I spoke on leadership to a generation of future pastors in Nepal, let me share a couple of nuggets out of that series with you today.
You see, all leaders -especially pastors - face the challenge some time or other, that somebody else in their organization is more popular than they are. People often follow somebody else rather than the official leader. (Especially new pastors face that challenge.)
The true leader in your organisation may not bear the title 'leader.' More?
Greetings in the name of Bwana Jesus.
(As you can tell, I'm getting ready to venture into black Africa.)
Today I would like to present to you a couple of bible truths on how God leads his people. This might actually knock your socks off.
Have you ever met a charismatic who insisted that he heard from the Lord, yet it was obvious to the whole world that he was mistaken? More?
Greetings in this frigid Golden October. I trust all is well with you.
(Yesterday it was so cold that I donned my superthick Himalayan yak-wool sweater for the first time. Somebody said I looked like an overgrown Sherpa.)
My little message for you today is entitled: "How to Supercharge your Life."
Let's jump right in:
Every human being is created for a purpose.
We are all made to achieve.
God sets goals for every one of us that are in accordance with our specific mix of abilities and desires. More?
Today I'm hailing from Tulsa in Oklahoma where I attend a very blessed pastor's conference at Grace Fellowship: "The Church to the World." Pastor Bob Yandian spoke tonight. Bob is my pastor. Years ago he ordained me into the ministry. I have lived in Tulsa for several years, so I have many friends here.
In January Tulsa is a weird place. You can see people walk around in shorts and t-shirts. The next moment a blizzardy snowstorm is blowing through. Then these people in shorts and t-shirts go out into their yards and build snow men. It's hilarious.
We had one of those storms tonight. Coming out of the conference building one particularly heavy snow flake hit me right in the eye.
Since many of you, my esteemed readers, are pastors, - and I'm also at a pastor's conference here - I thought of dedicating the article to you this time. I love pastors. They're my heroes.
The Lord has been dealing with me about the five fundamental pillars of the church. More?
Last month I spent a few days in north eastern Germany. I also had the privilege to minister in Sczcecin, Poland. However, I wasn't there long enough to learn how to say "Merry Christmas!" in Polish. We had a good time, though.
Edwin Louis Cole once wrote: God does everything according to a pattern and based on a principle. This is surely true. Just consider these two scriptures out of Proverbs:
"The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16, 4.) This is not to say that God made the wicked to be wicked. It rather means that if you choose to be wicked, God ordained a day of evil for you. That's a pattern based on a principle.
If you ride the wicked-train, you'll wind up in judgment-station.
Of course you can change trains. More?
Greetings in the awesome name.
I'm back from Africa where something truly amazing has transpired!
Did you ever shake the hand of a living, walking, breathing person who shortly before had been cold in death? I did just that in Bujumbura, Burundi (south of Rwanda).
Jesus brought a dead lady back to life again last month!
I met her. I sat in her house. I talked to her. I shook her hand.
Her name is Martine. Her husband is one of the police chiefs of Bujumbura.
Let me tell you what happened barely two weeks ago right in the center of the black continent. More?
The first King of Israel, Saul, was God's chosen man for the hour. But commonly we don't associate Saul's reign with glorious deeds of faith. We are mindful of his final rejection by God and of his tragic end on the battlefield.
Even though Saul was the "Anointed of the Lord," his reign was characterized by two things: passivity and fear. That should not have been so. More?
In some parts of the world you find more preachers of the gospel of wealth, it seems, than preachers of good old salvation. While money is important, - as is healing -, the most important aspect of salvation is still the saving of the soul from sin.
However, it is true: you can't build God's kingdom without money. And along this line a verse of scripture has fascinated me for more than a month now. In Deuteronomy 8, 18 God says: "But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
God gave believers the power to create wealth!
Recently I stumbled over a flabberghasting feature of biblical christianity that I had largely overlooked so far: the popular and well known law of sowing and reaping is undiscriminating. It has a scarily wide range of effectiveness. Let me explain:
In Galatians 6, verse 7 we read: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Whatever you sow you will reap in the end. Be it good or bad.
That's the statement of our verse.
This is one of the main reasons why people suffer.
People suffer because they carry a wrong notion about grace. Many actually think that a little sin doesn't matter much. After all, Jesus is longsuffering and full of mercy. In Christ forgiveness is readily available. Grace flows as squanderously as soda-pop flows at the All-U-Can-Eat. And Jesus already picked up the tab. They won't have to pay for anything. He'll forgive them at the drop of a hat. And everything will be as hunky-dory it was before. Their sin will have no further consequences. "Flip the channel and let's watch some more of that ... show!"
It's not that easy.
Here's my shock-inducing finding: More?
Greetings and a blessed, happy New Year. For most of December we had the same weather as we did in July: 12° centigrade and lots of rain. The last few days however we had snow. My son (5) got so excited, he ran outside to literally wallow in it.
Let's go wallow in the word of God.
Were you ever in a situation where other people made it abundantly clear that they wished you were somewhere else? Like, on the bottom of the ocean? Did you ever get the could shoulder treatment? Did you ever have to suffer rejection?
I have. Sure you have too. More?
Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas.
May God's light shine brightly on you in these, the darkest days of the year.
This December we here in southern Germany are actually enjoying a white Christmas! I went outside just a minute ago (to fetch the gift for my wife from the car) and checked the snow. It is a tad soggy. Packs well, though. Ideal for building Frosties. (My daughter Melanie (1) loves mini-snowmen looking in from the window sill.)
Since today is Christmas Eve, it is only relevant to study an aspect of the Christmas story in this edition of Teaching News.
So bear with me.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea his parents settled in that village for a season. That came natural, sort of, since their families were from there. Both came from David's line.
While they lived in Bethlehem, wise men from the east came to pay baby Jesus homage, for they had seen his star in their land. They believed him to be the new king of the Jews.
Did you realize that the original Greek word for wise men in Matthew 2, verse 1 is magoi, meaning magicians?
Who were those magicians, those wise men from the east? More?
Today we'll briefly explore the Trinity.
As early as 60 A.D. people had divisive arguments about the Trinity of theGodhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). They started to think of the Godhead as three distinct Gods. Teachers like Arius in the fourth century proclaimed Jesus not to be fully divine like the Father. Others like Marcion even stated that Jesus was not born of a woman but appeared in the synagoge at Capernaum one bright Sabbath morning as fully grown. The Gnostics held thatJesus only seemed to be human. They believed that he was just a visible spirit, much like a phantom. In more recent times a national German newsmagazine had a headline reading: "Mary to become the fourth Godhead, poll suggests." The heretics were repudiated, of course, but many christians do have sincere questions.
So let's have a biblical look at the subject of Trinity. More?
Merhaba. (That's hello! in Turkish.)
Greetings in the name of Isa Mesih.
Now for an odd question: where was Jesus and what exactly did he do on the third Saturday of February this year at 2 o'clock in the morning?
Well, he was in Istanbul and helped me with a miracle! Praise God.
You see, it was very cold on the Bosporus that night. In fact, it was the coldest night of their winter so far. The ice was treacherous, the streets were slick.
And I was on the road.
My old friend Larry Mills - God's special (travel) agent - and I were driving up a steep hill, which was entirely covered with a thin sheet of ice. We had almost mastered half of the hill, when suddenly there was that dreaded whining noise: the wheels of Larry's van were spinning, the motor was humming, but we wouldn't move.
We were stuck!
After quite a while of no progress, - just artfully sliding from one side of the street to the other -, it dawned on our tired minds, and butterflies started to wobble in our stomachs: we'd have to stay here!
Marooned on the slope of an icy hill in Istanbul at 2 in the morning! More?
This is a short piece on signs and our ability to do them.
Just recently I concluded a blessed gospel crusade with Rev. Billy Smith of Ft. Worth, Tx, in our church. Attendance tripled within that week. What was so outstanding about it was the number of people who were healed not by slow, progressive healings but by spontaneous miracles. Scores of others received healing as they went.
Some people travelled hundreds of kilometers. One man came all the way from Berlin and was healed of diabetes. Others had healing fires shoot through their scoliotic spines. Sceletal sufferings were especially prominent on the miracle list.
Billy's approach was very simple but also very effective. He is a bold man of faith. He got me to study Mark 16, 17-18 again."These signs shall follow them that believe... More?
Spring is finally upon us, Hallelujah. Just yesterday I sat outside in my garden full of beautiful yellow weeds. My wife wants me to cut them down, but I enjoy them too much. My children and I like to make chains out of dandelion stems, or shred them and throw them into water to watch them curl up ...
I guess, tomorrow I'll have to mow.
In these days where pastors are severely criticized and many are giving up, I feel a strong need for prayer-partnerships between pastors and their congregations.
Prayer is something wonderful.
Prayer forms a bridge between our world and God's: Requests go up, blessings come down.
When God answers our prayer our joy is increased and our self-worth is enhanced: God heard us. Obviously we are in good standing with him. We count answered prayer to be a sign of divine favor. Prayer! More?
Last Sunday we had our church picknick. It was the only warm day without rain in this entire month of July. That's what I call divine favour. On Monday it promptly poured down torrents once again.
Since I'm currently editing the manuscript of my new book "Gemeinsam glücklich werden", - something like "Being happy together" in English -, I thought of sharing an interesting piece on marriage in this edition of Teaching News.
I myself am happily married. But probably every unwed christian wonders if there is somebody out there in that vast sea of humanity specially created for him. The perfect partner.
Is that so? Are there matches made in heaven? Is there such a thing as the perfect, God-ordained partner? I mean, with Adam the case is clear. But what about us? Is there someone out there, who, if we find him ensures that we will never experience stress in our relationship? More?
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