Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2015

I just came out of a minor surgery at Baylor Baptist Hospital in Dallas. Just a simple thing, but it required a few hours of recovery. I had a great time interacting with the nurses, cracking jokes, uplifting my wife who was sitting there with that look on her face that made me know that I must have looked like hell.

I can talk to anybody. Standing in line at the supermarket, sitting on a park bench, in the next row at the movies, almost anywhere people are easy to talk to. You just have to reach out and touch them. Even in a hospital.

When I had my heart attack 3 years ago, I was so in shock that I didn’t consider all that other patients on my floor also needed consideration. Even though the nurses were throwing fist every time I got out of bed, I could have taken some time to minister to the others who were there. We were all in a serious condition, but I had the Light of Life and I didn’t share it with them. I came home pretty convicted for that.

Yesterday as I was getting prepped to leave, I shouted out, “Praise God Almighty, I am free at last!” The nurse hollered from across the room, “I didn’t know you were a preacher!”

I don’t ever want to hear that again.

We overcome, the Bible says in Rev. 12:11, by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We hold a torch that should be held high in this world no matter where we go, even if we are surrounded by Christian nurses in a Baptist hospital. The world is full of darkness, pain and sorrow and only we have the answer. We should be holiding that torch up high.

I don’t ever want to hear that someone didn’t know I was saved, washed in the Blood, filled with the Holy Ghost, and glorifying God. I want to shine that Light wherever I go. If I am not primed and ready to shine in easy places like a Baptist hospital, how will I find the courage to hold up the torch in those dark places where proclaiming your faith can get you killed?

The problem is generated from our view of ourselves. If we are full of ourselves — our problems and our successes, our triumphs and our miseries – then we don’t easily notice the needs of others. It’s when we look over that personal wall we have around us to look at the others around us that we can reach through that wall and touch a person’s soul and make a difference in that person’s life that may result in changing their eternal destiny.

I’m not good at that. Most people aren’t. We have to consciously press our attention to the world around us, especially when you are holding a torch in your hand that can change the world.

It is only when we begin to make the effort to reach through that wall that we will see the bricks begin to crumble and the path to reaching the lost becomes clear and easy. Not before. We have to make the first step. God will give us the power, but we have to make the effort first. “Draw nigh to God,” James 4:8 says, “and he will draw nigh to you.” When we don’t, the consequences can be eternal.

“Charity … seeketh not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:5)

 

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

Join our mailist to receive these articles on a regular basis

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Dead Trees

This morning, I looked out over my yard and considered the great big Weeping Willow out there that had suffered terribly from last summer. It reminded me of the 1st chapter in the Book of Joel.  What the drought didn’t wither, the grasshoppers had finished off. Whole limbs stood out from the ground up to 30 feet high that were just about dead, brown, and dry.  Here and there were a few new outcroppings of growth.  A few leaves here; a few leaves there.

I stood looking at the mass of dead branches, figuring out which limbs I was going to have to cut down, and which could be spared.  I’m told that you should cut major limbs only at certain times, otherwise you’ll hurt the whole tree.  But they’ve got to come down eventually. If they don’t, they will sap the tree of its strength and potency.  All that dead weight will keep the tree from the beauty and health of vibrant growth.

How much like the Lord with His church.  The dead branches are allowed to hang in there for a while in hopes that they will sprout some new life and bear fruit. However, if they do not come back to life, they’ve got to be cut down or they will sap the entire Body of its strength.

Souls are not drawn to dead churches any more than they are drawn to dead trees.  The husbandman would not be worthy of his hire if he allowed them to remain unpruned.  No matter how nice or how easy it would be to just leave them alone, the axe has to be laid to the root of the tree if it does not bear forth good fruit.  And where do they throw the dead branches?  Into the fire.

The Lord always raises up vinekeepers to work His garden, and they are responsible to make sure the vines produce good fruit.  Theirs may be a thankless job – nobody enjoys being told that they are dead – but in the end, the plant will prosper and grow.  To not proclaim the call to righteousness and Holy Ghost conviction would make them derelict in their duty, and the tree would die.  There are those who are dying to see a Holy Ghost revival that will set the church on fire, and there are those who are content with the status quo and would rather be left alone with their comfortable churches.  We choose our own destiny.

Jesus told his disciples that they were chosen so that they would bring forth fruit and that their fruit would remain.  In other words, the whole reason you got saved was to go and tell others the Truth so that they could have Life. There has to be an excitement alive in the church to produce new growth and vibrancy.  You know you’re growing when there is a constant flow of brand-new lost souls coming in to get saved.  If there’s no moving of the Spirit to bring in new souls to Life, then the sap is not flowing, and you’re just a dead branch waving in the wind.  A branch that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is … well … it’s dead.

And you know what happens to dead branches.

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

Read Full Post »

The Kingdom of God with Power

“And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Mark 9:1

I used to ponder this scripture, wondering if He was talking about the resurrection, or the Ascension, or the outpouring at Pentecost.  Certainly, it wasn’t His final return as King of Kings because everybody that was there is dead.  But as I have come to understand more and more of the true calling of the sufferings of Christ, I have realized that it was on the Cross that the Kingdom of God with power was really manifested.  That’s where the Power of God claimed the victory over sin; that’s where Satan’s back was broken.  It was the Blood, the Blood, the Blood that won the battle for men’s souls.  The price for that victory was the life of the Son of God.

How many at that time understood?  Even His followers were clueless, but at least they knew enough to wait.  It must have been a hard test of faith for them.  Those that tenaciously hung on to the faith that had been instilled in them, in spite of how things seemed, and believed because they knew, absolutely knew, that Jesus was the Son of God, they were rewarded with the glory.

But what about the rest of Israel?  I have always believed that Israel knew the advent of the Messiah was nigh. The prophecy in Daniel had pinpointed the actual day of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. After 600 to 700 years of oppression, Israel was ready. They were starving for God.  Israel was a spiritual desert.  The prophets were long gone, there was no moving of the Spirit of God, and the souls of Israel were dead, dry and empty. The crowds flocked to Him from everywhere.

Yes, it was time, but Daniel had told of the coming of “Messiah the Prince”, and that’s who the religious leaders were looking for.  They were expecting the great Prince, the Big Kahuna, the Boss of Bosses, the Big Man, the Big Shot Somebody.  But instead, they got a nobody from Galilee.  “Search and look”, they said.  “No prophet arises out of Galilee.”  Who was this self-proclaimed heretic?  A carpenter!  Without any training or credentials or degrees?  Coming out of nowhere?  Israel was full of religious splinter groups at that time, and to their theologically trained minds, this was just another crackpot.  Were they going to submit to him?  I don’t think so!  As a matter of fact, they thought it was their duty to expose him as a heretic. They missed the whole point, didn’t they?  Very much like today.

The common people, however, had no such problems.  They recognized the power of God and could have care less about pedigrees.  They just wanted to see God.  They weren’t looking for some great conqueror on a white charger.  It was the power of God that they wanted in their lives, and this man not only had the power to heal and to raise the dead, he had the words of Life.  And it was His Blood that paid the price for the salvation of their souls.

When did the Kingdom of God come with power?  Not on some conquering white charger, but on the Cross.  And where do we find the Kingdom of God with power in our lives?  Not in some huge, fancy “feel good” ministry preaching smooth messages of peace and prosperity, but on our faces before God at the Cross.  It’s not our “crown” He asks us to pick up, but our “cross”.

The Kingdom of God with power can only be found in that lowly walk of the Nazarene, with a humble and contrite spirit, searching for lost souls to bring them to the Cross.

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

Read Full Post »