Monday, January 23, 2012

Praying Single-Minded

God is One, and we must be Single-Minded with Him

in Prayer.

He wakens me morning by morning...."
(Photo, Mary Hunt c. 2012).
Dear Father in the Highest Heavens, You waken us early in the morning to hear your voice and to understand what you are saying. So, I thank you that you wake me, and I can hear you speaking instruction to me. Oh, I’m hearing the Lord talk to me! Listen....

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught” (Isaiah 50:4 NIV).

You say, you want us to get rid of all uncertainty and double-mindedness. Double-mindedness limits faith and productivity, the works that come from prayer. Double-mindedness steals our firm stand upon the spoken and written word of God. It immediately puts dark spirits on notice that there is an open door for temptation. We open ourselves to be led astray or to be lied to. When God instructs us, we must come into such sure agreement with God that we can act upon that word.

We obey. We say and declare what we hear from God, and we make the word our own. We become one with it. It builds our knowledge and faith in God, increased by God himself. Romans 10:17 instructs us that faith comes from hearing the word or the message. And hearing the word of God, we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth, the word of truth is revealed to us.

The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming”(Rom 10:8 NIV). Paul referred to Psalm 116 when he said, “I believed; therefore I have spoken” (2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV).

The word comes, we receive it. But it works its effectiveness in us when we speak it and declare it back to God, and to others. It grows in us by reason of use. We must take it up, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, both logos and rhema. The rhema word, spoken in faith, quickened, enlivened by the “electricity” of the Holy Spirit, truly generates faith and removes doubt.

In the hearing of that spoken, prophesied word, faith empowers. We know we are hearing the very word of the Lord. Our spirit witnesses to the Holy Spirit. That’s how we as the Body of Christ are able to judge any word spoken in the assembly. Does it generate faith? Does it confirm and unify? Does it unsettle and divide?

The confirming, prophesied word of the Lord produces electric faith and rejoicing that God, our Wonderful Father, has spoken personally and specifically to us. We never forget it, for we are changed by it.

Mary Alice Hunt

Mary is a prophetess, an anointed worship organist, a concert pianist graduated cum laude from the University of Syracuse, School of Music. As her ministry, she teaches Adult GED to men of all ages as a career correctional educator. She and her husband, Bill, have raised their family of six children serving states including New York, Maine, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Florida.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Gospel Free of Charge, or Not?

Paul warns those who think godliness is a means to financial gain.

Some things are buried in the earth.”
(Photo by Bill Hunt c. 2011.)
Jesus, sending the disciples out to preach, teach, and heal, sent them to go in faith without basic provision, trusting for their keep.

v9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep (Mt 10:9-10 NIV).

Luke, as well as Matthew, reported this same instruction.
v3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt (Lk 9:3 NIV).
Jesus asked the disciples later if going in faith, they lacked anything.
v35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” 
Nothing,” they answered 
(Lk 22.35 NIV).

Paul the Apostle exercised the same faith, working instead to provide his own provision.

v8 Nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you (2 Th 3:8 NIV).

He mentioned his efforts at preaching free of charge different times in his epistles.

v18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel (1 Cor 9:18 NIV as also 2 Cor 11:7; 12:13; ).

Paul supported the rights of other apostles or ministers to seek provision.

v17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”and “The worker deserves his wages (1 Tim 5:17-18 NIV).”

However, Paul strongly warns against those ministers who would seek to use God's work as a means of financial gain.

v3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6

But godliness with contentment is great gain  
(1 Tim:6:3-6 NIV). is one Christian site that profiles Public Charities, church and para-church ministries. It is also a place to learn about how to be a responsible giver. Although we may not agree with some decisions, we refer you to this source for your own information and discernment.
Each year produces a list of 30 Christian ministries they believe are among the most exemplary of the many great ministries doing the Lord's work.

Each year also produces a list of 30 ministries that engage in questionable practices that should cause donors to pause before giving.

They refer to this list as "Donor Alerts" as these organizations have various red flag issues including: revocation of tax-exempt status, government investigations of their practices, extremely high salaries, ties to cultic practices and more.

Donors should prayerfully consider not giving to these organizations due to the very serious flaws highlighted in each case.

I dare say you will be sadly surprised at key ministries who do not seem to exercise transparency, open honesty, or responsible stewardship toward donated funds used for God's work. Is it possible some are gathering funds into barns to hoard for their own wealth? Good stewardship does not hide from or seek to avoid responsible oversight.

Bill Hunt

"The LORD* will bless you and He will keep you.
The LORD* will make His face to shine upon you
and He will be gracious to you.
The LORD* will lift His countenance to you
and He will establish Shalom for you"
(Num 6:24-26 One New Man Bible, from the Hebrew).

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