LITTLE CHILDREN

LITTLE CHILDREN

And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet.

Mk 7:24,25

When your children are hurting, you are hurting. This gentile mom was at her wits end. Her child was tormented, there was no rest for anyone in their home. Their only hope was a miracle. When Jesus came into her region, she took immediate action, even an apparent denial from the Lord wasn’t going to stop her. She wanted nothing less than a miracle.
We recently met a lady and her son with a similar problem, her little boy had not slept more than three hours in any night for ten years. Her son was tired, she was tired, and their whole world was captive to this dilemma. This mom needed a miracle. Her pastor announced our revival meetings in her church in Bendigo, Australia. She decided to take action. She began three weeks of fasting and prayer in anticipation of these meetings. When the meetings started, night after night they were in the prayer lines. From the very first night he began to sleep. His mom testified that she had to wake him each morning, he was catching up on some much needed rest. For the first time in ten years, this whole family is getting some sleep.
Maybe you are at the end of yourself, or maybe you feel like you need some rest. Just as Jesus met the gentile from Tyre and the little boy and his mom from Bendigo, He will meet you in the midst of your struggle. What will it take? In both cases it required persistence. Many times lifes delays appear like denials from the Lord. That is the time to take action. In Bendigo, it was three weeks of fasting preparing for a meeting, for the Caananite woman it was an intrusion into the Lord’s time of rest. Both acts of persistent faith did not go unrewarded. The little girl was freed in Tyre, and in Bendigo a young boy is sleeping. Today is the day for you to put feet to your faith. Get under the anointing in church, soak yourself in prayer and worship, recruit your friends to fast and pray. As you do, you will enter into the Lord’s rest.

CHANGED INTO ANOTHER MAN

CHANGED INTO ANOTHER MAN

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:14-16

This would be a day no one would soon forget. It began as the last nine days had begun, waiting. The followers of Jesus were waiting for “the Promise of the Father”. They were not quite sure what kind of promise that was, but they waited none the less. That tenth day, suddenly the very atmosphere in that upper chamber seemed to come alive. The room began to swirl with a wind that was more than a wind. It was the breath of God. Next, strange languages began to flow from deep within, these were not ordinary languages, these were the very words of God. As this strange blessing began to spread, the sound of celebration and joy began to attract a crowd in the streets below.
” These people are all drunk!” someone shouted. Before you knew it, Peter was in the street, lifting up his voice, ” These men are not drunk as you suppose, this is the fulfillment of what the prophet Joel said”.
Peter had been turned into another man. Just a few days earlier, Peter had denied ever knowing Christ, but now things were different, now Peter was different. He was speaking like a man from another world.
What had changed? Where had this new courage come from? Peter had received the “Promise of the Father”. Peter had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He was a different man. He had been transformed by the touch of God into an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter’s life would never be the same. Is this blessing still available today? Can we experience this same transformation? In this very same message, Peter gives us the answer.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”.
Acts 2:38,39
Yes, you too can be turned into another man. How will it happen? When you are clothed with power from on high. Ask the Lord today for this change, listen carefully, you just might hear the sound of a rushing, mighty wind.

THE FRAGRANCE OF HIS NAME

THE FRAGRANCE OF HIS NAME

1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

2 The Shulamite*
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth –
For your* love is better than wine.
3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,
Your name is ointment poured forth;
Therefore the virgins love you.

SONG OF SOLOMON 1:1-3

This song is about the incredible spiritual attraction of Christ. Just as our physical senses are deeply effected by the things we love in this world,
our spiritual senses pick up the attractiveness of Christ. Solomon is starting this song talking about being drawn to his lover, and the bride talking about the strange attraction of the bridegroom. “Draw me and I will run after you”, she says, “your name is like ointment poured forth”.
There is something about hearing the name of your lover. The bride said her bridegroom’s name was like fragrant anointing oil. She was describing the irresistible attraction seen in the mention of his name.
Of course this is how it is with Jesus for us. When someone mentions His Name, we begin to have a sense of His powerful presence. We are reminded of His love for us displayed on the cross. The mention of His Name reminds us of His love revealed to us in His Presence, after all, Paul said the love of God is poured out upon us by the Holy Spirit. In His Name there is peace, protection, healing, deliverance, guidance, and life itself.
One Thanksgiving, many years ago, Parris and I were away from home and had dinner with a precious, Pentecostal, elderly couple. They invited us into their home for the Thanksgiving meal. The house was filled with the smells of Thanksgiving; the turkey and dressing, pumpkin and pecan pie, potatoes and gravy, the fragrances were irresistible. But the greatest fragrance of all in that house that day, was the fragrance of Christ. This couple loved Him and welcomed Him into their home. He was at the table with us. Our host would say, “Thank you Jesus” all throughout the dinner conversation. His words were not just cliches. How did I know? I smelled the fragrance every time he spoke. “Thank you Jesus”. His name is like ointment poured forth. Breath deeply, maybe you will catch a whiff of His Goodness.

DRINK YOUR FILL

DRINK YOUR FILL

I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk. Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!
Song of Solomon 5:1

Solomon’s Song is filled with the language of drinking and of love. Now this is not the kind of drinking you might be thinking of, Solomon is talking about another kind of drinking. This Song of Songs is speaking of spiritual drinking. You may not be familiar with this kind of drinking, this is what Jesus described in John 7, “If any one is thirsty, let him come unto Me and drink”. This is the drinking of spiritual intimacy. This spiritual intimacy flows from the throne of our glorified Savior and is available for anyone who is thirsty.
Now in the natural world, there are limitations placed on drinking. There may be cultural limitations, or governmental regulations (such as drinking and driving), or establishment limitations on excessive drinking. Spiritual drinking has no such limitations, because the results of “excessive” spiritual drinking are actually quite beneficial. The KJV version brings out Solomon”s acceptance, actually his encouragement, of drinking large quantities of this heavenly drink.
“I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”
Song of Solomon 5:1 KJV
Drink abundantly, actually this literally means drink until you are intoxicated. This is describing the effects of drinking, coming under the influence of His heavenly affection. When you come under this kind of influence, all sorts of good things can happen. What kinds of things? A strange kind of attraction and love for Jesus is the first and greatest effect of this influence. Also, there is changed behavior; kindness, gentleness, love, joy, peace and all sorts of internal changes to our lives. Healings, physical and emotional, are also connected to spiritual drinking.
So what is the conclusion? Drink your fill of His love. Drink abundantly, don’t hold back. Drink until you are drunk with love. Join into this new life of love, remember, there are no limitations. Drink your fill of the Savior’s cup.

HEAVEN’S KISSES

HEAVEN’S KISSES

His words are kisses, his kisses words.

Everything about him delights me, thrills me

through and through!

That’s my lover, that’s my man,

dear Jerusalem sisters.

THE MESSAGE
SOS 5:16

I love this verse in the MESSAGE BIBLE. “His words are kisses, his kisses words”. The natural man cannot take this intimate language, it is just too personal for him. That is the way the Lord is, personal. His love is more intimate than a kiss. This is the language of Solomon’s Song, Solomon speaks to us in the language of lovers. He talks about midnight meetings, intimate conversations, unusual terms of endearment, walks in the garden; he talks like someone desperately in love, because he is.
In the beginning of Solomon’s Song he says, “draw me, and I will run after you.” This is exactly what Jesus does. The Holy Spirit unveils the beautiful attributes of Christ that become strangely irresistible to His elect.
This is seen in the story of Zacheus. He was a man with everything, everything but happiness. His heart was empty. He heard the strange stories about Jesus; the miracles, the healings, the forgiven sinners. He could not get Jesus out of his head. He was being drawn by that irresistible love. This love drug him up a tree, and gained him a special guest for dinner. When Jesus came to Zacheus’ house it was all over, Zacheus found Jesus ALTOGETHER LOVELY. From that day, he found a new kind of love, he had been won over by heaven’s kiss.
The Bridegroom is looking for His lovers, maybe you are one of them. Don’t be afraid of the personal nature of His love, this is what you have longed for all of your life. As you feel this strange heavenly attraction, the chase begins. Don’t be afraid of the risk involved with such personal language or uncomfortable with the personal nature of this spiritual intimacy. Now you, like Solomon, can enter this heavenly romance.

DRUNK WITH LOVE

DRUNK WITH LOVE

I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk. Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!

SONG OF SOLOMON 5:1

Drunk with love, have you ever experienced such a thing. It is said that the dove becomes intoxicated with the love of it’s mate. Actually, the hebrew word for dove is associated with their word for wine. That is one of the similarities between the dove and the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the manifestation or outpouring of the love of God.
Jonathan Edwards has an interesting view of the Holy Spirit and the love of God. He describes the eternal love relationship between the Father and His Son as a powerful display of the Father’s love. He says just as Jesus is an expression of the Father’s idea (word) of Himself expressed in a person, the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the Father’s love for His Son expressed in a distinct person. This is what is described at Jesus baptism as the Father declared Christ as the Son of His Love, and the manifestation of the dove was seen by John the Baptist.
How does this effect our lives today? As a Christian, we are clothed with the garments of Christ, naturally the Father’s love is directed toward His Son, therefore, we become the recipients of this love by faith in Christ Jesus. The effect upon our lives is staggering. We become suddenly aware of the beauty of Christ as we experience this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Christ becomes strangely attractive to us, and actually takes on an irresistible nature to us. As we drink deeply of this love, we begin to experience the spiritual intoxication described in Solomon’s Song.
In the passage above Solomon describes this love in powerful spiritual symbols. He says this love is like the fragrance of a garden, the sweetness of honey and the honeycomb, nourishing as milk, and intoxicating like wine. He then goes on to say we can drink as much as we like. Have you tasted of His love today? Wait, I think I hear Him calling your name. “Come away my love to the mountain of spices. Come and drink of My Love. Come with Me and be drunk with love.”

ALTOGETHER LOVELY

ALTOGETHER LOVELY

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 5:16

What an amazing description of Jesus, He is altogether lovely. David also spoke of this loveliness in Psalms 27. David said, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of the Lord to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” (my paraphrase). Now here comes the strange part. Isaiah says that he has no form or majesty that we should look on Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. This is an apparent contradiction, or is it?
Actually, Jesus was just an ordinary looking guy according to physical observation. There was nothing physically than made Him stand out. That is where the normal ends. There was a different kind of beauty in Christ that not everyone could see. The religious leaders missed it, Pilate and Herod missed it, honestly, most people saw him as rather ordinary. The beauty of the Lord does not come from casual observation. This beauty is only seen by spiritual revelation. But when someone catches a glimpse of His Glory, everything is suddenly changed.
What is this beauty of the Lord? How is it that Solomon called Him altogether lovely? This beauty is the outshining of the excellent nature of our Lord. His character is pure perfection. The love, joy, peace,and purity of the Lord shine out from Him more brilliantly than the noonday sun. The brilliance of His Glory is absolutely stunning, but many cannot see it at all. Have you caught a glimpse of His Glory? Have you joined together with the voices of the redeemed from every generation crying out, “You are altogether lovely”? One glimpse, one taste, and you are finished. You will be singing with Solomon, “His mouth is most sweet:yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

CHAINS- THE MAN FROM GADARA

CHAINS – THE MAN FROM GADARA

And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.
MK 5: 2-5

Chains were the story of his life. Chains of bondage and chains of love. This man from Gadara was tormented from his youth. He had become so overcome with violent behavior, he had been banished from civilization. Sin and the dark powers of this world had destroyed his life. Luke says that this man was guarded, probably in some sort of place for the criminally insane. Neither the guards or the chains could subdue him. Obviously this man’s soul was in chains, there was nothing anyone could do to help him. That is, not any normal person could help him. Jesus, in many ways, was anything but normal. When Jesus came to the shores of Gadara, this man confronted Jesus, thinking He would run away like so many others had done. But Jesus was different. He had no fear in Him.
“Come out of him”, the Gadarene heard Jesus say. Suddenly, the chains of anger and fear were broken, the young man from Gadara was finally free. The torment was over.
Then he heard that sweet, yet powerful, voice once again, “Go tell your friends what the Lord has done for you”.
He found Himself going all about Decapolis (ten cities) telling everyone about how the Lord had shown mercy upon him. He began to experience new chains upon his life. These were a different kind of chains, chains of freedom, chains of love. These were the chains of a bond servant of Jesus, enslaved now to the love of God.
What kind of chains are you wearing today? After all, we all have to serve somebody. Are you enslaved to fear, depression, anger or maybe alcohol or lust? Or have you tasted the freedom, and yes, the chains of love found in Christ. Today can be the beginning of your brand new life, go and tell your friends what Jesus has done for you.

LEGION

LEGION

And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.

Mk.5:2-5

It had been a long time since he had experienced peace of any kind. All he could remember was abuse, anger, and darkness, the kind of darkness that overpowers every part of your life. All he wanted was to get rid of this pain. he really didn’t care how. Multiple times he had tried to end his life with no success. Then he turned his hostility and frustration on others until he was put out of town. All he had known for months were chains, bitterness, and pain. Of course there were the “others” like him, these were the only voices he had heard for months, but they were of no help. Their misery seemed to just amplify his own. Death couldn’t come soon enough.
Then the day of all days came. He saw a boat approaching with a number of men, and like usual, he began to turn his hatred upon them. But this was different than all the others that he had terrified, especially the One they called Jesus. “Their was no fear in Him. It was as if something, or someone, inside of me recognized this man,” the Gadarene thought. Suddenly, that something was speaking out of him, “Are you the Holy One of God coming to torment us before our time?” Then he heard that voice, “Come out of him”.
Suddenly, everything changed. The fear was gone, the anger was gone, all the hatred was gone, he was a new man. Then he saw Him, I mean really saw Him for the first time. This Jesus was more than a miracle worker, He is life itself. Now he knew why he couldn’t die, the Lord had plans for his life. Next, he was on his knees asking if he could go with Him. “Stay here and tell everyone what the Lord has done for you”, Jesus said. And that is exactly what he did.
Like the man from Gadara, maybe you are hiding in darkness. There is a reason you are still here. God has a plan, a good plan. Listen carefully, maybe today is the day He will call your name.

THE COMING KING

THE COMING KING

Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
MK 10:46-47

Bartimaeus had heard about the coming King of Israel all his life. The jewish people all “believed” in this king, but no one really thought they would ever see him. It’s is kind of like today, all Christians “believe” in the second coming of Christ, but do they really expect that they will see Him, not really. That was how it was for Bartimaeus, at least until he heard the increasing reports about Jesus of Nazareth. He heard all sorts of rumors about miracles. At first he did not pay much attention, but over time, his faith began to come alive. Not only did Bartimaeus believe in the miracles, he came to the conclusion that this Jesus was the promised king they had been waiting for all their lives. Bartimaeus was ready, ready for his miracle, when the coming king, the son of David, appears, he would make his move.
On one ordinary day Bartimaeus heard a stir in the streets of Jericho, he asked someone in the quickly gathering crowd what was going on. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing through our town”, someone replied. This was the day he had been waiting for. Bartimaeus knew his day had come, “Jesus, son of David” he began to cry out. Suddenly, there He was, right in front of Bartimaeus, “he is calling for you!”, he heard someone say. In an instant, everything had changed, Bartimeus could see, he was following Jesus down the road. He could not take his eyes off of his King. The son of David had come, Bartimaeus had a new life.
Today, many of us say we are waiting for our King, but our lives go on as if that was just a fairy tale. Just as in Bartimaeus’s time, the reports of miracles and of His sudden appearance are increasing. Have you heard the reports? Has your faith been awakened, or are you still asleep? I hear He is passing through your town, maybe today. Are you ready for His sudden appearing? He is listening for the cry of faith like He heard in Jericho, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. Listen carefully, I think He is calling for you.