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The Nectar of His Love by Francis Frangipane

The Nectar of His Love by Francis Frangipane
By Francis Frangipane

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The return of Christ is not simply a war story, it is a love story. We read of Christ’s love, we accept the doctrinal veracity of His promise, yet how differently we would be both in faith and action if we truly lived in the fullness of His love!

In his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, Paul prayed that church would “be strengthened with power through [God’s] Spirit in [our] inner man.” This inner empowerment is not only so we might endure but so“Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith; and that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”Ephesians 3:17-19

We read the scriptures, but they may seem like just words or poetry. Yet, truly they are so full, so rich, it is hard to assimilate them. Look at just verse 19 as rendered in the Amplified Bible.

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

This is God’s will for us, not only now, but ever more intensely as we approach the End Times. He prays that we would be “filled through all [our] being unto all the fullness of God.” What does that mean – all the fullness? What should we expect when we truly “have the richest measure of the divine Presence”? What is this eternal nectar, this incomprehensible love, that enables us to “become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself”!

A Prophetic Love Story

If God’s love is truly for us, carrying us into the depths of His heart, then how shall we respond? I am thinking of Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus. Yes, here in the love Jesus has for Mary and in her response, we see flashes of Christ’s love for the church. Mary is at Jesus’ empty tomb. The apostles came, looked into the sepulcher, and went away bewildered. But Mary lingered, weeping.

It is noteworthy that Jesus did not immediately come to the apostles; He came first to a woman. It tells us Jesus responds to love more than position; He comes first to those who want Him most. The apostles went away wondering, but there was something in Mary’s inconsolably broken heart that Jesus Himself was drawn to.

In her sorrow she did not recognize Him. He said, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”   Blinded by her tears, she supposes Jesus is the gardener.  “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni,” (which means, Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” John 20:15-17

The instant Mary sees the Lord she clings to Him. And here is the most astounding event: Christ interrupted His ascent into heaven to answer this woman’s love! Jesus said, “Stop clinging to Me….I have not yet ascended.” In His next appearance, Jesus appears to the disciples. He tells them, “Touch me.” For Mary, He broke protocol. In whatever He meant in saying, “I have not yet ascended,” He stopped His progression to be with her!

I am staggered by this response of Christ to Mary’s longing! This is the nature of His love. His passion for His bride rules His every thought and action! We are the “joy set before Him” (Heb. 12:2). For us, He endured the anguish of the cross. In so doing, Jesus demonstrated that His love for the church is the highest, most powerful law of His kingdom!

It is His passion for the church that compels Him to come for us in His second coming. Yet, as He broke protocol for Mary, so He reveals His heart to us. If we will be satisfied with nothing less than Christ, it is Christ we shall possess. He will come to us. Of all the marvels in this universe, the greatest is the love Christ has for His church.

Francis Frangipane

www.frangipane.org


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Real Koinonia Friendships by Dr. Kluane Spake

Real Koinonia Friendships by Dr. Kluane Spake
By Kluane Spake

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“No! I won’t do it!” I insisted while sitting out the outside steps pouting. I still remember how mad I was at her.

My mom told me I had to go outside and play. “All little kids play outside. You’re four years old now and you have to learn to play outside.”

I tried to sneak into my room to play and all of a sudden she grabbed me up and sat me on the steps outside the front door. Then, she shut the door and locked it!

Well… here I sat for a long time reciting, “No, I won’t do it.”

After a while the neighbor boy came over. He told me his name was Joey and asked if I wanted to play? Begrudgingly, I followed him to the play yard next door. We sat on the swing for a while and then went to the little sandbox area.

Joey was funny and made me laugh. Then, he said, “Close your eyes and open your mouth! I have a surprise for you.”

Ohhhhhh! That sounded exciting. So, I closed my eyes and opened my mouth. Joey then stuffed a big handful of dirt in my mouth and ran away laughing.

I ran home totally disillusioned – mud dripping down my face and onto my newest shirt. I banged on the door and screamed. Distressed, my mom let me back in the house and she never made me go outside again.

Continue to Hope in Koinonea

I wonder how many Christians have had friends that have disappointed them. Have you longed to find someone who won’t disillusion your hopes? And when they do, is there a forgiveness and an ability to press toward continuing with them?

How many of us go home and resist venturing out into the place of trusting someone again? How many people have you shut the door on and just quit seeing, saying, “That’s it! I won’t be hurt again.”

Truth is, we will get hurt again and again. Still, we have to remain vulnerable and open. God has a plan for us WITH them…

We MUST allow ourselves to continue to hope in Koinonea.

Scripture says that “Greater love (agape, the God kind of love) has no man (or woman, a demonstrative word without defined gender) than this, that he (or she) lay down his (or her) life for his (or her) friends (philos).” (John 15:13)

My friend, do you know this kind of love? The true lasting mutuality of commitment?

Will you STAND as a friend, even through great disappointment? The test will surely come…

And what is the “Lay down his life for his friends?”

Ask yourself, who will YOU die for? No matter what happens between the two of you?

And then ask, WHO will die for you?

I mean, really?

Loving One Another No Matter What

Everyone has a little dirt. That’s the Adamic nature

Does TRUE Godly agape friendship and Koinonea relationship mean that much to you?

Do you understand that loving one another NO MATTER WHAT — IS THE IRREDUCIBLE MINIMUM of the Gospel?

If we don’t learn this — how can we expect to gain greater mysteries? Lasting miracles?

The bottom line is, if we don’t love each other, we DON’T know God (1 Jn. 4:7-8).

Having Love for one another IS THE GOSPEL.

We have no message to preach if we harbor unresolved conflicts and hold ourselves apart — separate and distant.

This is the hour to address our disappointments, get out of our house, and to go back outside – back to those whom we have shut the door upon – back to the SANDBOX of life – and into the hope of God manifesting His GLORY in US (plural).

The Glory won’t happen by ourselves.

Dr. Kluane Spake

www.kluane.org


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The Dangers of Revelation – The Classroom without the Lab & Other Pittfalls by Tricia Exman

The Dangers of Revelation – The Classroom without the Lab & Other Pitfalls by Tricia Exman
By Tricia Exman

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Ahhh, revelation!  Don’t we love it when the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word, unfolds mystery, and shares secrets with us?  Being awakened to Truth is so incredibly exhilarating!  However, there are dangers that we all need to be aware of and avoid.

The reality is that it is very easy to become a revelation junkie.  Let me explain what I mean by this.  To me, this danger is the most important for us to understand.  The first and primary reason the Lord grants us revelation into Truths is for application in our own lives, not just to accumulate revelation upon revelation upon revelation with a constant shout of “now that’s a good word!”  In my journey, the pattern that He has always used is what I call “from the classroom to the lab” – although sometimes He may also pull a pop quiz on me!  Every single time I have enjoyed a “classroom” time with the Lord when He is just pouring out insights and understanding, He follows it by divinely orchestrating circumstances in my life that provide me an opportunity to take that insight and apply it.  I have explained it on several occasions like this:  it’s like He guides me from the classroom and takes me to the lab, where He places me ON the Bunsen burner and turns up the heat until that revelation is baked ONTO me and I BECOME that revelation.

In the Beginning was the Word

A couple of years ago I was sharing that analogy with a friend of mine on the phone and as I was speaking that explanation out of my mouth, I heard the Lord speaking in my ear, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.  Tricia, I sent my Word in the flesh so that now I can turn your flesh into the Word.”  You see, the world doesn’t need revelation – it needs Truth!!  Truth is the manifestation of revelation in our lives.  We have the privilege of proving the perfect will of God – His will IS His Word – we get to prove His Word!  It’s the Truth we know that sets us free, but you don’t KNOW it until you DO it!!  And once you’ve done it, it is then impossible to un-know what you know.  What happens so often is that revelation is received and then taught without having been applied FIRST to that individual’s own life. There is NO authority and NO anointing that goes forth if the lab has been skipped!  This may sound harsh, but quite frankly if you don’t have a story to share that demonstrates how the Lord worked some revelation INTO & ONTO you, I’m not really interested in hearing it.  Think about it – if a scientist puts forth new insights or a new theory without actually testing the accuracy in a lab setting, we wouldn’t listen to anything he/she had to say.  If a medical researcher formulates a new wonder drug without actually testing its effectiveness in a lab setting, it wouldn’t be allowed on the market.  Stories are powerful!!!  They allow us to “see” God’s hand at work in a person’s life and His creativity in demonstrating His Truth in the midst of that individual’s circumstances.  I can’t wait to spend eternity sharing stories!!

Ok, so I think that’s the most critical danger because it can position us as hypocrites before the world if we don’t apply the revelation we receive, but just teach it as Truth. What are other pitfalls?  The follow-up danger to the one above is that if we have applied the revelation to our lives and proven it as Truth, we can assume that the lab session for that revelation will look the same for everyone.  NOT TRUE!!  The Lord is so creative and intentional with each individual – He specifically and uniquely orchestrates our lab sessions.  I love hearing how the Lord has worked the exact same revelation into others that He’s worked into me – He’s a genius at what He does and His ways are infinitely diverse!  Marvel at His creativity!! Don’t attempt to have others “learn” revelation in the same way you did – let God be God and do what He does best!!  Share your stories as an encouragement to others on their journey – not as a formula.

A third danger is pitching your tent on one revelation.  There’s MORE!!  Don’t stop!! There are some who receive revelation and then make that their entire platform and don’t move further or deeper into the mysteries and deep things of the Lord – there is layer upon layer upon layer of Truth to be excavated in His Word!!!  Keep digging for treasure – mine Him for all He’s worth!!!

Don’t Compare

Fourth, we have such a strong tendency for comparison – and revelation can be wrongly used as a measure of where we are on the journey in comparison to others.  DON’T do this!!  I explain it this way:  The Lord has been with each one of us from the beginning of our lives; He knows all of our experiences and how each one of us has been “packed”; He knows the questions that are buried deep inside of us that remain unanswered and require resolution; He knows what needs to be “unpacked” and the perfect order of that “unpacking” so that He can “repack” us with His fullness.  What can happen though is that if two people are journeying this walk together and the Lord is doing something in person A’s life right now that He did in person B’s life six months ago, person B can think they are further along in the journey than person A – they can feel superior or more spiritual. Well, at that very same time the Lord may be doing something in person B’s life that He did in person A’s life six months ago, so person A can think they are further along. Seriously, we’ve got to get over ourselves!!!  Praise the Lord that in His perfect wisdom He is working strategically in both people’s lives to accomplish their precise and perfect unpacking and repacking!!

And lastly, we must beware our own filters of interpretation whenever we receive revelation or a word from the Lord.  I’ll share a couple of my own examples that the Lord has used to teach me this lesson well.  I remember when I first felt the Lord showing me that I will have a ministry.  I proceeded to research 501c3’s to try to figure out how they work, what’s required to set one up – it all seemed like more than I wanted to tackle on my own, and quite frankly it made me tired just thinking about it.  After letting me do this for a couple of weeks, the Lord broke into my process and asked me what I was doing.  Of course, I began to explain that I was trying to understand how to set up a ministry.  (Isn’t that funny – I was explaining to Him what I was doing as He just sat there patiently and listened!)  He then asked me, “What does a 501c3 have to do with having a ministry?” You see, this is my 21st century United States of America filter – ministry = 501c3.  It felt so good just to let all that go and listen to how the Lord wanted to define ministry for me – what does it mean from His perspective.  (NOTE:  To clarify – this was my personal conversation with the Lord.  Just because He didn’t mean 501c3 for MY ministry doesn’t mean that applies to anyone else.  Remember, He’s all about each of us as individuals.)

A Spiritual Marathon

Another example happened about a year ago when the Lord said He wanted me to train for a marathon.  I had been in a fairly long season of physical training and was excited about the challenge.  My biggest obstacle was that I didn’t enjoy distance running.  During my teenage years I ran sprints and never trained for distance – the farthest I’d ever run in my life was four miles.  Nonetheless, I downloaded a training schedule and hit the pavement.  On about my fourth day of running, it’s like the Lord begins running alongside of me and asks, “What are you doing?”  I answer, “I’m running – you know – training for that marathon You said You wanted me to run.”  I’m thinking to myself (like He doesn’t know my thoughts), “Duh!!  Did He seriously forget that conversation?”  He then says, “But you hate to run.”  I’m stunned!  “Well, of course!  I know that, but I figured that if You want me to run a marathon, You would help me learn to enjoy it.”  Then He says to me, “Tricia, go sit down.  This is a spiritual marathon.  In fact, I don’t even want you working out at all during this season.”  Again, I forgot to take what the Lord was showing me or speaking to me and go BACK to Him with it and ask Him to explain to me what He meant by it.  We have a tendency to attach meaning to things based on our filters (our culture, our experiences, our perceptions, our preferences, our own desires, our own psychological and emotional makeup, etc.).  How often do we miss what He’s actually saying?  I’ve learned to just respond to pretty much everything, “Awesome – so what do You mean by that?”

Here’s the bottom line:  Revelation is an amazing gift!  Freely receive all the revelation He freely gives to you, open it completely, absorb and learn it, and go make the world believers of Truth by BECOMING that revelation!  And don’t forget to share your stories!!!

Tricia Exman

ThePresenceCoach@gmail.com

www.ThePresenceCoach.com


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The Staff of God by Francis Frangipane

The Staff of God by Francis Frangipane
By Francis Frangipane

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Imagine a church staff where each person’s primary vision is to attain Christlikeness. Picture working with this group of people: not only do they each fulfill their responsibilities, but they are also earnestly walking in both Christ’s humility and also His redemptive view of life. Add to these virtues that they are committed to unoffendable unity in their relationships. Is there any doubt that with such a team God could change the world?

Before you say the above is impossible, I’m actually describing my staff. While none of us is perfect, and we still have to match individual gifts correctly with ministry needs, the compelling vision for each person is to become Christlike.

It wasn’t always this way. We have had our share of misunderstandings and immaturity. We even suffered a couple times from “staff infection.” Over the decades, however, we have learned some things that are invaluable in creating both vision and right attitudes.

In Ancient Times

According to the dictionary, a staff is “a group of assistants to a manager, executive, or other person in authority” (The American Heritage® Dictionary). However, originally a staff was not a team of people but a strong, straight branch that was cut from a tree and sanded smooth. Upon this staff a traveler would lean as he walked. The purpose of the staff was for support, balance and also used as a weapon to protect the traveler. From this insight, perhaps we can better understand the genesis of the word staff and how a spiritual staff can provide strength, balance and protection for a leader.

Of course, when we talk about leader/staff relationships, the leader must first be passionate about personal conformity to Christ. Obviously, the leader will not be perfect, but he or she should be sincerely reaching for Christlikeness. A leader, by definition, is someone whom others follow. The more clearly leaders demonstrate that their life goal is conformity to Jesus, the more they will inspire their staff to follow them.

Amazing Power in a Godly Staff

Yet, there is further insight into the power of a Christlike staff. Remember when the Almighty appeared to Moses in the burning bush? The Lord told Moses to cast his staff to the ground. Immediately, the staff turned into a dangerous snake from which Moses fled. Rather than being the leader’s protector, it had become his enemy. My first point is this: if a staff has not been touched by God to serve a particular leader—if it still harbors jealousy and selfish ambition (see James 3:16) — then it has the capacity to suddenly turn into a serpent.

However, in the above story the Lord told Moses to pick up the serpent, and as he did, it returned again to being a staff. When we lay our staff at the feet of God, that staff will be different when the Lord tells us to lift it again. When God gives you the staff He has chosen, there will be supernatural power accompanying it. In fact, listen to what the Lord said to Moses: “You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.” (Ex. 4:17)

The Holy Spirit placed an anointing upon Moses’ staff and with the staff he worked miracles. Repeatedly we see in the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt that it wasn’t Moses alone that released miracles; the signs and wonders came through his staff. Moses pointed the staff, struck the waters with the staff, and waved it up at the sky; the staff was the instrument through which divine power manifest!

Not only that, but from that point on Moses’ staff was called by an additional name. It was now called the “staff of God” (Ex. 4:20; 17:9).

Oh, I pray this is a revelation to your heart! It is not enough for a man or woman of God to be anointed—their staff must become the staff of God. And there is no greater means to fulfilling the purpose of God than when a leader and staff all choose to pursue conformity to Christ.

Again I assure you, no one on my staff is even halfway perfect (least of all me). However, everyone has been through In Christ’s Image Training, where the clarity of attaining Christlikeness has become our common goal.

It is time to focus upon the high calling of God for our churches, which is nothing less than “to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Regardless of how successful your ministry has been in the past, imagine the success that awaits you with a staff united in their pursuit of Christ’s likeness: the staff of God!

Francis Frangipane

www.frangipane.org


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When God Breaks Through, You Break through! by John Belt

When God Breaks Through, You Breakthrough! by John Belt
By John Belt

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God knows the need for us to break through in all areas of life. Whatever it is for you… God has a breakthrough for you.

2 Samuel 5:19-20 And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand. So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.”

Break Through into His Presence

The first thing we need to do is let God breakthrough into us.  What that means is we need to continually be breaking through into His Presence.  When we are in touch with His Presence, experiencing the glory of God in our lives, then we will see breakthrough in all other areas.  I want to encourage you not to be content with where you are, but realize that there is more of God in store for you!  You may say, “John, I’m having a hard time connecting with God’s Presence right now.”  Believe me, I do understand.  There are time where we have go that extra mile to experience Him.  There are lots of dynamics that go into each and every one of our lives. They are different for every person. Just know that whatever it takes for you to breakthrough, God will give you grace and meet you there. The blood of Jesus Christ has made the way where we can come straight into His throne room to be in His Presence!  I pray spirit of wisdom, revelation, prayer and worship break through into your spirit.

Overflowing Blessings to you,

John Belt

www.liveinhispresence.com