speaker-jimGod is more powerful than anybody’s past, no matter how wretched. He can make us forget – not by erasing the memory but by taking the sting and paralyzing effect out of it.

No church, including the one I pastor, should be measured by its attendance.

God nowhere asks anyone to have a large church. He only calls us to do his work, proclaiming his Word to people he loves under anointing power of the Holy Spirit to produce results that only he can bring about.

What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?”

The reason “other churches” don’t grow: “Jim, the truth is, I couldn’t have a real prayer meeting in my church. I’d be embarrassed at the smallness of the crowd…”

The first century money changers were in the temple, but they didn’t have the spirit of the temple… They were out of sync with the whole purpose of the Lord’s house. “The atmosphere of my Father’s house,” Jesus seemed to say, “is to be prayer. The aroma around my Father must be that of people opening their hearts in worship and supplication. This is not a place to make a buck. This is a house for calling on the Lord.

The Bible does say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Preaching, music, the reading of the Word–these things are fine–but they must never override prayer as the defining mark of God’s dwelling.

God says to us, “Pray, because I have all kinds of things for you; and when you ask, you will receive. I have all this grace, and you live with scarcity. Come unto me, all you who labor. Why are you so rushed? Where are you running now? Everything you need, I have.

Jesus called fishermen, not graduates of rabbinical schools. The main requirement was to be natural and sincere.

It may not seem obvious at first glance, but the way we make decisions in life tells a lot about the kind of faith we have in Jesus Christ.

I have since learned that the most mature believer is the one who is bent over, leaning most heavily on the Lord, and admitting his total inability to do anything without Christ. The greatest Christian is not the one who has achieved the most but rather the one who has received the most.

God has given us a very simple equation if only we have the faith to reach out and experience it:

1. The Holy Spirit’s power is our greatest need.
2. This power and blessing is freely promised to all of God’s people.
3. This promise can only be fully received through sincere praying in faith and through waiting on God for his blessing to come. This is what happened in the New Testament, and this is the only thing that will satisfy our souls’ thirst.

Oh, how we need to wake up to the fact that the Holy Spirit’s blessing and power is the key to everything.

The devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we begin to lift up our hearts to God.

I am aware that some people shy away from the Holy Spirit because they have grown up in churches where his name is almost politically incorrect. Instead, the focus has been solely upon the Word of God–studying it, dissecting it, memorizing it, comparing one version against another, analyzing the Hebrew and Greek texts, making promises to obey the Bible in all things… Yes, we all must honor and love the Word of God, but there is no getting around the fact that the Bible makes tremendous statements about the Spirit of God!

When strangers visit our churches today, they need to see something happening that reinforces the message of salvation.

We are probably organized far too much. The early church had a beautiful spontaneity and freshness, without being chaotic or disorderly.

Let’s forget the novelties. If we prevail in prayer, God will do only what he can do. How he does things, when he does them, and in what manner are up to him. The name of Jesus, the power of his blood, and the prayer of faith have never lost their power over the centuries.

How long has it been in many of our churches since God ‘did awesome things that we did not expect’? What stops us today from drawing a line in the sand and setting our hearts toward God in fervent prayer that he will come and revive his work in us as well as in our churches? Why don’t we stop rationalizing and justifying the spiritual impotence all around us? Why not rather humble ourselves and seek God with all our heart for ‘something from heaven’?

Without doubt the emphasis in Christian teaching today should be on worship. There is little danger that we shall become merely worshipers and neglect the practical implications of the gospel. No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist. Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed.

The very mention of God’s promise of ‘something from heaven’ makes people nervous if it seems that the boat might get rocked or if there might be a departure from the order of service printed in the church bulletin.

Let’s forget the novelties. If we prevail in prayer, God will do only what he can do. How he does things, when he does them, and in what manner are up to him. The name of Jesus, the power of his blood, and the prayer of faith have never lost their power over the centuries.

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