Shepherd (3)

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As I sat with the Lord in prayer last week, He gave me a picture of three doorsWith the exception of our quiet times, these three doors are meant to remain open, the Presence of God accompanying us as we pass through each door into different spheres of influence. 

The first door was the door to our hearts, or our "innermost room." Jesus called believers to go into this innermost place and close the door so that we could commune with the Father in secret. The Passion Translation describes this place as the "resting place of His love" (Ephesians 3:17), the source and root of all that we do.

It is like the "Holy of Holies" - a sacred space where there is a divine exchange of our sin for His righteousness, our unworthiness for His love, and our humanness for His supernatural Spirit.
 It is the only place in Scripture I know of where we are told to close the door, seal ourselves off, and be alone. We "cap" our well, so to speak, for the sake of replenishing and purifying what He has placed within us. 

The second door opened to those closest to us: family and friends with whom we live our daily lives. This represented our secondary ministry, second only to God. 

The third door opened to the world of our communities, churches, and nations; our "metron" or expanded sphere of ministry. While many believers place this sphere first, that is not the biblical pattern. (See 1 Timothy 5:8.)

What exactly is this ministry? It is the ministry of 
reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).

The beautiful truth of the New Testament is that God's "door" is always open. The veil that separated us from intimacy with Him was torn at Christ's death, and we are now able to boldly approach His throne through Jesus's righteousness! Hallelujah! 

Paul said he "resolved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2) The message of Christ is our ministry! For our message to be authentic and powerful, we must ourselves be ministered to by the Lord. 

2 Corinthians 3, 4, and 5 describe a new perspective on ministry. Ministry at its best is not an "office" or a title, but a position of servanthood. Here is what one of the most qualified Jewish leaders of Bible times thought about Christian ministry once he was converted: 

The lives of the people you minister to are your "letters of recommendation."

As you minister to people, Christ writes "living letters" on the tablets of their hearts by the Holy Spirit, His "pen."

Any competence or skill you have (think of Paul's amazing qualifications, all of which he counted loss!) is the direct result of Christ's empowering Presence. HE makes you an adequate minister, not your works. 

You are sent forth by God with pure motives, speaking out of your union with Christ. You are an Ambassador for Christ, yet everything you say and do is heard and seen by your governing King! 

You are a mirror which brightly reflects the glory of God. If your gaze is not directed towards His brilliance you will reflect only darkness. 

It is because of God's mercy alone that you are entrusted with New Covenant ministry!

You preach Jesus crucified, not yourself glorified. You give yourself as a servant to those you desire to lead. 

At times you won't know what to do, but quitting is not an option. Failure is not an option, either, when you are listening to the Lord and following His strategies. 

You may be persecuted by people, but God does not forsake you.

Your body may be wasting away but your inner man is renewed day by day.

You don't live a self-absorbed life but a generous and poured-out life, because you follow Christ's example. 

You no longer evaluate or judge people by their external appearances. Your new perspective in the Spirit enables you to discern the heart. 


In short, God has entrusted you with the ministry of OPENING DOORS to Him, however you do it. The flavors of ministry are as varied as the people God calls! You might paint a picture, write a word, grow a garden, cook a meal, counsel the hurting, teach the ignorant, fight for justice, build for the homeless or give to the poor.

Yet no matter how you reach out, you are opening the door to what you have seen and understood about Jesus in your relationship with the Word. You are lifting the veil for someone else. Through you, God is pleading with the world to be reconciled to Him. This is ministry!

I pray that you will take time this week to reflect on why you do what you do as a believer and a leader. I pray that your ministry will always be authentic, borne out of a love for Jesus that is cultivated in the secret place of the closed door. I pray that you will emerge from your "Holy of Holies" full of the Presence of the Lord, flinging wide every other door that might be a barrier to someone else who needs Him. May you have a ministry of opening doors for those around you, so that all may be reconciled to God! 

Picture: Pastor/Shepherd Download Link
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PTAP: Pray for Yemen during Ramadan

Ramadan Prayer
As Muslims pray and fast during Ramadan, we pray for them.
June 29, 2016
 
Yemen  
"From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us."  - Acts 17:26-27
 
"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations."  - Psalm 22:27-28
 
Christians focused on Yemen are asking for prayer based on Acts 17:26-27 and Psalm 22:27-28.
There are at least four major factions fighting in Yemen with outside forces also involved. However, the situation changes daily. Pray for stability across the country. In the absence of electricity, water and medical supplies - in addition to escalating food and transport costs - there is a critical need for humanitarian aid to be able to enter the country.
 
Pray for the groups of believers meeting in the two main cities and for the scattered believers in other areas, that they would be established in Christ. Pray local believers would become family to one another, forgiving and including one another. Pray God would help them focus on being trustworthy, that they would desire to give honor rather than seek it, and that they would count others as more important than themselves. Pray for Christians inside Yemen to set an example by modeling a lifestyle of holiness.  If foreign workers are able to return, pray they would live out and model to local believers how to love one another in spirit and in truth.
Source: Christians who lived in Yemen
 
Bless Yemen with peace, for they have known so much fighting and war.
Bless them with rains that will nourish their crops and bring an increase of food, providing for the poor.
Bless the Church with deep fellowship together, great worship of the Father and with strength to live in these hard times.
Father, bless them with You as their shepherd, knowing that in You they will lack nothing; bless them with green pastures and quiet waters. (Prayer based on Psalm 23:1-2, 2 Chronicles 7:14 the Holy Bible)
Source: WIN International Network
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DAYS 1-15 FOUND HERE

DAY SIXTEEN:
VERSES:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm 23:1)

PRAYER

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O most Merciful, Compassionate and Holy God, Your Name is Wonderful. Your Name is too Wonderful and being in Your Presence is too awe-inspiring to behold. I thank you for this new day of mercies, compassion and love because of Your Great Faithfulness, they never cease as You give rest and renewal to Your beloved in our sleep.

Oh Good Shepherd, we are in so grateful that You lead us, care for us, rescue us, nourish, guide and direct us. Your supernatural instincts is that none should perish, that none should be lost, that none should fall into a trap set by the foxes of this world. But Your pre-determined plan was, is and will always be for us to follow You, to stay out of the thicket of sin and to dwell in the green pastures You have ordained for Your elect, Your people.

We live in times where every one does what is right in their own eyes. We are surrounded by the false doctrine of the gods and the lost of this world who say that all religions, all systems no matter how vile, violent or void of any sort of human decency, love and mercy, those people, from the top of most so-called religious to the rulers of this world, say these things lead to You. And they are correct, these systems dreamed up by man do lead to You. They have an appointment before the Holy High Priest of Heaven and His Great White Throne when all the books are open and Judgment begins. 

But yea, though Your people are persecuted, have their churches and villages burned and their children beheaded or sold into slavery, yea, do they and too many oppressed in their spirit - those who are captives all over to world, to sin, self and satan...yea though they walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, may they fear no evil. Because by the hook of Your Shepherd's rod, we know You doth pull us out of the pit. We know that Thy Rod and Thy Staff comfort the broken-hearted; keeps the temporarily blind and disobedient from falling into a trap and keeps us moving in the direction we should go.

Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your Amazing Plan to send the Good Shepherd Jesus, for His Work, while finished on the Cross for the Salvation of the World, continues even now as He intercedes and advocates our case minute by minute before Thy Throne, since we are His flock. Father, thank You with all our hearts, that the Great Lamb of God, sacrificed and sent to us, is now the Great Shepherd of His little lambs. I would rather be one of His Sheep, following my Master, resting in the Truth of His leadership of my life, than a king or a rich man in this dirty dying world of sinful death. The Lord, He is my Shepherd, and I will never want any other, or any other thing. In that promise, I abide in my leader, and am thus, able to need nothing else, but Jesus and it is in His Name I pray, amen. Oh thank You, most Gracious God, thank You. Amen.

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