Relentless Pt. 10

Today marks our final “Relentless” post. If you missed the last post you may want to catch up by reading

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/relentless-pt-9/.

As you recall Garrick Brewer, who wrote this section of the “Relentless” devotions finished the last blog with a challenge.

I challenge you to think and pray…. for God to lay a person on your heart.And with fire and passion… pursue the salvation of that person.

Today Garrick writes: 

… Dedicate yourself to the salvation of that person, every time you talk to them, tell them about Jesus. Every time you pray, pray for their salvation. At every chance offer to take them to church. Make their salvation your personal crusade. And even if it takes a week, a month, a year, or a decade, never give up on that person. Never relent in your pursuit of their salvation. And on the day that person is saved, rejoice for Luke 15:10 says the angels are rejoicing in heaven at their salvation….

When you are done rejoicing, do it all again. Find the next one God has laid on your heart and pursue their salvation…. For you are working for the glory of God, Christ, and Heaven.

The Japanese have a saying: “A person may spend their whole life searching for the perfect cherry blossom and never find it, yet it is a life well spent.” … In perspective of that, how amazing is the life …dedicated to pursuing the salvation of soul after soul, without rest, without break, a relentless pursuit to glorify the Kingdom of God which is truly beautiful, and truly perfect, like the God who created it and the people who will one day inhabit it? …Begin to feel the call on your heart. Listen… for God speaking to you. Find the one God points out from all the others, and pursue with tenacity and stubborn purpose….Remember, the longer and harder the battle, the more bitter and drawn out, the sweeter the victory!

What one thing have you gleaned about being relentless?

Relentless Pt. 9

Garrick Brewer is a young preacher and writer coming up through the ranks of Cornerstone church. He recently shared the pulpit with me. Here are excerpts of his exhortation…

Revelation 21: 3-4 says: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them, they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”

For most of us here today… what is described in Rev 21: 3-4 is our future, the eternal glory of the kingdom of Heaven… and a face to face relationship with our lord Jesus Christ. What a glorious future to look forward to! We get all of that because “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Our God is an amazing God. He’s a loving God. A forgiving God!… He is also a Just and fair God. And if embracing Jesus Christ and loving him with all our hearts gets us what I Cor 2:9 calls a glorious eternity beyond what we could ever even imagine, what happens to those who reject him? … That is no mystery to us. The Bible is very plain about it as a matter of fact. Revelations 20:15 reveals… “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

…Verse 10 tells us that those thrown into the lake of fire will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Those lost souls, those souls damned to an eternity of pain and suffering are the focus of this message. They are the focus because it is for their sake I issue a challenge to every person reading today….This challenge should light a fire in your heart, mind, and soul, because this challenge will bring you closer to God; It will fulfill orders by the scriptures, and it will bring glory to and build the Kingdom of Heaven….

Go relentlessly after the one!

I challenge you to think and pray…. for God to lay a person on your heart.And with fire and passion… pursue the salvation of that person.

Who came to mind as you read this? More from Garrick tomorrow.

Relentless Pt. 8

Today we are continuing our conversation about becoming relentless in righteousness. If you are just tuning in catch up here…

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/relentless-pt-7/?preview=true

      Church, while we live in the day of increasing wickedness, we cannot let the increase draw us away. On the other hand, we cannot by our own strength hope to defeat sin for that becomes nothing more than legalism. History has shown us that all our  attempts to program holiness don’t work. We can’t four step or two-step or twelve step our way to freedom. Because righteousness, holiness, and deliverance do not start with us; They start with God. The answer doesn’t start with a program it starts at an altar. It starts at the foot of the cross. It begins by calling on God for help and letting Him move into the area that you are struggling with. Just like you couldn’t save yourself, you cannot fix yourself. You have to let God begin the process by asking Him  and then believing that He has helped you. You have to believe you are free not because you feel free but because the Bible says you are free.

Once you have gone to him and asked for freedom Then you begin to cooperate with God in freedom. It is after the altar that you begin to walk with God through the four steps, the two steps and the twelve steps. Going to God is always step  1. In the twelve steps of AA the first three steps involve what we call confession and repentance before God and that is coming to God. Then you move forward into what you can do! Begin with the help of the supernatural and then do what you can in the natural. This is the increase of holiness we need. True holiness isn’t good versus bad it’s about going to God versus turning to your own strength.

If we are to be relentless in righteousness we must become relentless about turning everything over to God.

These are the days of Elijah! I believe it. Great and mighty things are going to happen but as they do the call of God is going out to be relentless in praise in ministry and in righteousness!

Relentless Pt. 7

We have been talking about the world’s need to see us as relentless Christians. I said at the end of my last “relentless” post that a young friend would be writing about being relentless in ministry. Well he is still working on his post so we are going to move relentlessly on to the subject of being relentless in righteousness! I will come back to the idea of relentless ministry in the posts to come. For now if you need to catch up…

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/relentless-pt-6/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/relentless-pt-5/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/relentless-pt-4/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/relentless-pt-3/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/3445/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/relentless-pt-1/

                We have to be relentless in righteousness. Paul wrote, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” I Cor. 9:27

He wasn’t talking about self-abuse. He was talking about making the body, which wants nothing more than to sin,  obey God and refuse sin!

To the Romans He wrote:  “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” Rom 6:9-13

And the writer to the Hebrews tells us this: “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.” Heb. 12:12-16

Church we are being called to a greater level of righteousness and holiness. The time for greasy grace has come and gone just as the time for legalistic holiness has come and gone. Now it is time for the ministry of reconciliation to come into play. It is time for people to walk the pathways of restoration and when they fall to rise again and press forward into ever-deepening righteousness!

Relentless Pt. 6

Over the last several posts we have been talking about being “relentless Christians”. We have established that it is necessary to be relentless in praise!

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/relentless-pt-4/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/relentless-pt-5/?preview=true

But aside from praise…

 In these days like never before we need to be relentless in ministry because…

It is time! I am excited for revival! Great things happen in revival! People get healed from cancer in revival! Drug addicts and sex addicts get gloriously delivered in revival! Hard hearted sinners melt and give their hearts to Jesus in revival! God moves in worship during revival! People get excited about God I mean really excited! Miracles happen! Demons flee!

Yes God works mightily in revival and so do His people. Revival is coming  and every Christian will be called to a ministry in the church. God has  plans for us and they are ministry in the church and mission in the world. Every blood bought Christian will get his or her marching orders. They will be things we can do but  will seem impossible! As soon as we step forward in obedience life will try to get in the way.  Saint, you will have to be relentless to take up your ministry! A young friend of mine is going to post about this subject for me tomorrow. Hope you will tune in!

Relentless Pt. 5

Over the last several posts we have been speaking about the need for the church to get relentless. In yesterday’s post we spoke about the need to be relentless in private praise.

Yet it is not enough to be  relentless in private praise. Church, we need to begin to become relentless in public praise as well. OK this might get a little preachy so hold onto your hats! As a worship leader I have noticed that there is a rising tide of praise in Christendom. People of God are beginning to walk in freedom. In our church I have watched as one time staid saints  are daring to raise up their hands in service. Some who once stood and stared have started to open mouths to sing. Others have begun singing in the Spirit as the Holy Ghost leads.  There is a rising tide of audible worship between the songs. and that audible atmosphere of praise is the power that shuts the devil down and releases the supernatural move of God in the body! The  more free we get in praise the more miracles will take place during our church services; So we need to become relentless in public praise!

But I am not  just speaking about praise in church. We need to dare to praise God in public. Let me dare you dear reader…When something goes right at work  say “Praise Jesus! Hallelujah!” Right out loud.  If you want to change the atmosphere in the work place bring the power of praising Jesus up against the power of cursing Jesus.

Some of you just said “Are you kidding? I would never hear the end of it if I said that at work!”

Dare! You might face persecution. You will also begin to see the world change. And isn’t that what we are after, after all?

Listen to this and then tell me your thoughts!

Relentless Pt. 4

Today we continue with excerpts from a recent sermon I preached at Cornerstone Church. If you have missed out on the beginning of the relentless posts here are the links:

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/relentless-pt-1/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/3445/

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/relentless-pt-3/

We have been discussing our need to be relentless in praise. For many of us praising God is  difficult. I understand that our ability or inability to praise God is bound up in a complex series of issues including upbringing, past experience and even personality make-up. So I hesitate to oversimplify but one reason we struggle to praise God is because we do not practice intentional praise in our private prayer time.

I once went through a battle so thick that every one of my devotions turned into a moan and groan session. I came before God. I  read the Bible and complained to Him that none of His promises were being answered.

Then one day as I sat in the middle of my  moaning God stopped me and said “Get a notebook.”

I said “A notebook haven’t you been listening God! I am hurting and you need to do something. I don’t feel like writing right now.”

God said “Notebook!”

So I got a notebook and He told me “Write down all the blessings you have.”

I said “Blessings didn’t you hear me! I am hurting and I need you to fix this before I can thank you for anything else.”

Then I begin to hear the words to this old hymn playing in the back of my mind.

Soon I had a list of ten blessings that I still possessed even in the midst of my terrible circumstance. God then began to show me some of the blessings I had been given because of the circumstance.

God said to me “I do not want you to pray about the problem anymore I want you to thank me for the possible answers.”

If you are caught in a place of negativity and you are finding it hard to praise God use your next private devotion to make a thanksgiving list. Stop talking to Him about problems and start thanking Him for the answers He is going to bring!

Relentless Pt. 3

Over the past three days we have been setting up a conversation about becoming relentless Christians. Today we are going to be talking about being relentless in praise

Church, Times are tough. Money is tight. Families are falling apart. The world is at war. Disease is spreading.  So Now is the time to praise God!

Just as it seems like we have every reason to doubt our Creator, now is the time when we must become even more powerful in praise! The power of praise makes our pathway easier, unleashes the provision of God, heals broken hearts and restores broken relationships! Praise brings peace in the midst of any storm, and releases the healing of Jesus. But for it to do that we must praise God at the beginning of the battle. We cannot wait until  the battle is over  to praise Him because if we do the end of the battle will never come.

It is praise alone that engages us in battle and brings us through to the victory. So many are holding back their praise waiting for God to do something good.

We say ‘Impress me God and then I will praise you.”

That may be the way it works with your children or your spouse but it is not the way it works with God. Praise is the air through which the Holy Spirit moves. It is the vehicle He rides in on. If you want the answer then begin to praise Him for it!

We will speak more about this soon. In the meantime can you tell me of a time when praising God took you through a rough spot?

Relentless Pt. 2

If you missed yesterday’s post you may want to look at it before going on.

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/relentless-pt-1/?preview=true

Dear Saints, while I do believe the days which lie ahead will be some of the most effective days the church of Jesus Christ has ever seen, I also see a great danger for the church.

Ma 24:12, 13 says that “In the last days because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold but he who endures to the end will be saved.”

I see that the increase of wickedness is upon us and that is causing many to lose hope. The wickedness of the world is leading many to give up…I hear weary voices crying: “It’s a lost cause. We just need to withdraw  hide out behind our walls until Jesus comes.”

“Stay inside the world is bad and scary and there is nothing we can do.”

These are lies designed by the Devil to keep the church from walking in power and strength. It’s lies like this that made Paul say,

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running  aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” I Cor. 9:24-27

Saints, the time has come for us to force our bodies and our minds into submission, to tell ourselves we will not let the wickedness around us frighten us into losing our witness or our reward because we have read the end of the book. Guess what? We win! We were once the lost sheep and Jesus pursued us relentlessly. Now we are found. We must pursue Him in turn. To pursue him means to go after Him relentlessly as He came after us in three areas:

I. We must be relentless in praise

II. We must be relentless in ministry

III. We must be relentless in righteousness

More on this tomorrow!

Relentless Pt. 1

In light of what I have been writing the last few days…

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/heaven-pt-58/?preview=true

https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/heaven-pt-58a/?preview=true

…and because God is a covenant making God we must begin to pursue Him relentlessly; This is not only for our benefit but for all those who have not yet come to understand the importance of keeping His covenant!

What follows is an excerpt from a recent sermon I preached called “Go Relentlessly After the One!”

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Mat. 18:12

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself  will not be disqualified for the prize.” I Cor. 9:24-27

I do a lot of talking about the end of the world. God has brought me up short on that recently. An end is coming and soon but it is not the end of the world. It is the end of an age. The church of Jesus Christ stands today on the brink of a great change of age. The world as we know it is groaning and changing and when the change is complete things will never be the same. Now, the Bible is clear that some of this change is going to be pretty cataclysmic; But I have some good news for you. The church of Jesus Christ survives and prospers through this change. The days we live in are not days of hopelessness and despair. These are not the days to be afraid or to run and hide. I believe that the days that lie ahead are going to be some of the church’s best days, challenging yes but supernatural in scope and experience.

I have heard it said we are in the post-Christian era . That is wrong thinking because Christ is the center of history and there is no post-Christ. He is the same yesterday and today and forever and we are not at the end of Christianity. I believe we are standing at the foot of one of the planet’s greatest revivals, because Jesus Christ is not finished. He’s just getting ready to come again! Church now is not the time for fear. It is the time for faith because God is on the march and He is about to go after His lost sheep relentlessly…just like He came after you and just like He came after me! God is on the look out for thousands of lost sheep.  Jesus has not changed at all. He got a hold of our lives and now He is out going after others and He intends to use us to do it!

Watch this!

More tomorrow!