Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)
TITLE: Lift up Jesus
By Jeff Lowe
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It's time for the church to focus on outreach. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Sending out more to the mission field.
In 1995 80% of the 3.3 trillion dollar income of the churches was spent inside the walls of the church (property, salaries, etc.) 1.7% on outreach and advertising with 1% to evangelize the world.
In 2005 out of $5,000,000,000,000 .7% was used on outreach. If the churches took their money out of banks the world economy would collapse quickly. Could the love of money be the root of evil (or plans different than God's plan) in some churches? Could some leaders care more about money than souls? God forbid. It's time to lift up Jesus.
Here in the U.S., according to the finances they take in, it takes over $1,450,000 per soul saved. In some countries it's less than $1,500. It's time for change. Of course, if only 2% of people who profess to be Christian have ever led someone to Christ, and only 11% have ever given out a tract, it's time to lift up Jesus.
There is only one way to draw all men to God. It's to lift up Jesus from the grave. Raise Him up from the dead. The only way that is done is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Having the Word is not good enough (look at the Pharisees). The letter kills (2 Cor 3:6). The Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost are one (1 John 5:8). When the Spirit is separated from Jesus he's dead. When we use the word without the Spirit of God leading us, the word has no life (Matt 10:19,Prov 25:11). There are no routines that work the same way every time.
God wants you to be totally dependent on his Holy Spirit and not yourself (Prov 3:5,6).To the unbeliever, the word must be revelation, not just information. Faith comes by hearing the Living word (rhema) of God from one who is sent (Rom 10:14-17). Testimonies (things that God has done for us) help encourage unbelievers. The testimony of Jesus (a life where God consistently abides in us John 15:4-6) is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10). So we don't just speak Jesus, we live Jesus by the power of another Comforter, the Holy Spirit who teaches us how to praise, worship, live and teach other men how to please God. Faith without works is dead. Lift up Jesus.
We hear about 30,000 words a day on average. If 5% of your time is listening Godly things and 95% is listening to the world (news, music, media, talk shows, unholy friends etc this leaves you with 28,500 lifeless words from the tree of knowledge), you must first raise Jesus from the dead in your own life (2 Cor 10:6). Don't 'leave Him in the grave.' Be like Isaiah and say 'Lord, here am I, send me'. 'Tell me what to say and I'll say it.' He just wants a wiling vessel.
Don't let the world keep you too busy. Its purpose is to steal your time, kill your dreams, destroy your life, and help you bury your talent (God's investment of the word of life in you) in the earth (Matt 25:25). Sometimes you have to get off your knees and get on your feet. God loves your praise and worship, but wouldn't it be nicer to get someone to join you? Get your 'talent' out the earth and let the Word rise. Do you want a 'squirt gun' of living waters flowing from you or a fire hose?
But if you lift up the name of Jesus; you'll find that He rewards those who diligently seek him (Heb 11:6). He will rise up in your life with power and the evidence that you've been with Him. This evidence draws men. When you lift up Jesus in your life and the life of others; expect miracles, expect a word of knowledge and wisdom. Expect devils to shake when you step in the room. Expect sickness and disease to cower at your presence of the living God in you. Expect even your enemies to be at peace with you. Expect the boldness and confidence that comes from being the disciple with perfect attendance. A dying world needs a living, resurrected Jesus. The church, or body of Christ needs to rise and rise now!
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