Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He Makes Masterpieces!

Snapshot judgments are when we we take a picture of someone's life ...

.....a failure, a sin, a mistake they've made ....

.... and we judge and condemn the whole person's life and character by that one act or incident.  

We sum up our thoughts, opinions and beliefs about a person that is not God's heart, purpose or intent for them.  

We allow no room for failure and growth.  Mistakes and learning.  Not realizing life is an ebb and flow of failure and growth.  Maturing means failing and learning (or re-learning) to do things God's way.

We should not be focusing on that one picture or event in someone's life and condemn the whole person rather ....  we should be watching home videos - to see the beauty that is displayed in the whole of one's life. 

There is beauty in everyone.  People are sacred to God.  Even those who have blown it and need a new start.  God can take any broken piece and make a collage of beauty ... a masterpiece ... from any broken moment.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."  
Matthew 5:7

Friday, May 17, 2013


"See how I love your precepts, O Lord, 
in keeping with your grace, revive me." 
Psalm 119:159

The first Hebrew letter of word REVIVE is the script Chet (gate), the same as that used for grace, love, freedom and wisdom. That OT gateway where the blood of the lamb was coated during the first Passover. Or in NT, the eye of the needle! Chet is the gateway to that light from heaven, that light descending from God. That symbol of a higher life that comes from a devotion transformed by grace and wisdom.

Alphabet letter Chet is made up of Hebrew scripts Vav (people) and Zayin (time), joined at the top with a thin connecting line, yoking a direct light from God to man's conscience. Good-will is the disposition of love, grace, mercy, and private conscience.

Chet, to revive, is the concept of to breath, to be alive, to live well, to flourish, to continue safe and sound, to be healed, to give life, to save from death, to become new, to renew, to restore, to be, to be strong.

To revive is to become yoked to God, filling the soul with God's grace, mercy, and love! Bonding heaven to earth! 

By Larry G. Rowe (my dad)


The Christian buzz word these days is the word "Revival".  I've been pondering that word a lot lately in my quiet times since it seems to be a popular word lately.  I opened up the Bible to see what God had to say about the one word revival.   

In what I read, it seemed like revival was a lifestyle that was lived out through the Gospels and then the Book of Acts.  It was a daily life style that was lived by Jesus and the early disciples; aka Christians. 

Jesus' seemed to follow some basic precepts for revival:

PRAYER + LISTEN & OBEY + UNLEASH COMPASSION + EQUIP + EMPOWER OTHERS = Revival (Life-Change & Transformation for People/Cities)

1) PRAYER (Silence & Solitude).
Jesus went away to pray in solitude and silence.  It was in this place away from people, Jesus could hear what was on the Father's heart for people each day.  He did not spend His whole days and nights in the temple.  He went away - to be fueled up each day for the ministry that was before Him.  This place of being alone with God was his "gas station"! 

Jesus heard, saw and did the things the Father in heaven was doing (John 12:49-50). By connecting with God each day, Jesus could get a sense of what was on the Father's heart for any given day (John 10:5).  Jesus would listen & obey and the miracles would followed.  Lives and cities were transformed!

3) COMPASSION ("It is not about you" - Rick Warren).  
Jesus connected with Father and then with explosive movement He went out to unleash compassion in the lives of people - which ultimately transformed cities, regions and the world (Acts 1:8)!  BY Faith, be it unto you! (Hebrews 11). 

If we are connecting with God in prayer then our hearts should be exploding with compassion for the world.  If we are spending countless hours in prayer and our heart is not growing in love for the world - we are probably just becoming religious.  Prayer should cultivate in us a love for the world - so we are willing to lay down our lives for it! 

As one pastor ...who  I respect so much put on twitter the other day - "we need to be salt that is living outside of the salt shaker!" (paraphrased).

When unleashing compassion - Jesus spent time with the hurting, the broken, the tormented and the sick.  He was not afraid to enter into the lives of messy people. (Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli).  He wasn't afraid of those with demons.  He ate in their homes.  He was controlled by a supernatural love for people.  He looked into the hearts of the sheep - like the woman at the well.  He stopped to encourage her and lead her back into LIFE.  Jesus was a shepherd - he smelled like sheep because He was willing to be with them in daily life.
4)  EQUIP.  
Jesus living this daily lifestyle ... then also trained, equipped and prepared the disciples to be like Him.  He empowered them immediately to do the ministry while coaching them along the way.  Yes, at times rebuking them and their unbelief.  There were not staff people or volunteers - or titles that seperated them.  There was one word that bound them together as a force against evil - "Disciples".  Disciples equipped to unleash compassion; to make more disciples!  Teach them to walk as He walked.  To do what He did.  To impact others and help them lead a thriving, high-impact life!

5)  EMPOWER.  
Jesus did not care about his own position, title or influence.  He did not want to keep the Holy Spirit or the impact He was making to Himself.  Jesus, makes a bold statement to His disciples - "I want you to do MORE than I have done!  Your impact should be greater than mine".  Great leaders raise up and empower other great leaders.  Saul, on the other hand - sought to kill God's plans and purposes in the young David.  

Believe it or not, Jesus wants to see all disciples of His - equipped and empowered to do greater works then He did because He knows that this is a win-win for God's purposes in reaching more people for Christ.   

Jesus was not building a ministry for Himself  - He was unleashing the ministry of God to flow in and through the body of Christ.

To me, revival is much more than waiting for God to show up in a prayer meeting.   It is the strategic and intentional effort of discipleship that will unleash compassion which will result in an inner revival in the hearts of people, that will then change our cities, our region and our world.  Acts 1:8.

  • Do we know where our own blockages are to any of these areas?  
  • Do we have a hard time being silent or quiet?  
  • Can we easily surrender our will to His?  
  • Can we hear His voice and discern His will?  
  • Do we care more about others then we do about ourselves?
  • Are we driven by self and selfish ambitions?  
  • Are we mentoring, equipping, teaching others?  
  • Are we ourselves being mentored or equipped?
  • Are we empowering people with ministry or does jealousy take over our hearts and ... so we discredit those who are called by God?  Are we like Jesus or do we tend to be like Saul - wanting the limelight for ourselves?
  • What step does God want us to do in our hearts so He can flow more powerfully through our lives?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stephen; Surrendered to God

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God ... Acts 7:55

In the midst of our troubling, hard circumstances ... do we focus on those things or do we open our hearts to God; to fill us, to control us and ... for us to gaze upon Him and His glory?