Meet Jesus: Persecuted To Life Matthew 5:10

When you are truly persecuted because you represent a higher standard of living and love than another, you can triumph.  The kingdom of heaven is about living in love in this world regardless of circumstance.

 Matthew 5: 10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.unshakeable

Persecution is a tough concept. Persecution because you represent a higher frame of living than your persecutors is not as common as some think.  But it is more common than we want to believe.  There are people convicted by their own selfishness that will trap those living in love and service.  Love is the higher standard.  Service is the higher standard.   Reward comes.

Maybe an employer toughens your work and restricts your freedom because you live to a higher standard.   It is common.  There is no law enforceable against it.  It happens.   Reward comes.

Persecution does not mean having a hard life.  Persecution is specific restriction and abuse.   Some persecute because they have been persecuted.  They live out their pain against others.  Some persecute because they want control. They enslave others to do their bidding.  Some persecute out of ignorance and socialization to please another in some warped sense of reality.

Maybe the legal system toughens your expression and strangles your voice because you choose to serve.  It is common.  The law supports it.  Law may not be fair.  Reward comes.

Persecution because you represent a higher standard of love and service is what Jesus represents.   Sure those that wanted control came against him.  Some were just ignorant. Some were serving their own misguided belief systems.  But some attacked because Jesus dared to love and serve.  They just could not stand to see love and acceptance that was not based on fear and control.

Maybe family sneers and scoffs and questions your motives.  It happens.   Live and love them anyway.  You may have to stand alone.  Reward comes.

Jesus stood above His persecutors.   That is where the kingdom survives.  Persecutors can’t take it away.  It is a matter of the heart.  The kingdom of love and service survives persecution and lives for another day and hour.  The reward comes.

Persecuted?  Keep loving.  Keep serving.  Live through it to the next hour.  Tough?  You bet it is.  The kingdom is in you.  There is reward ahead.

Father, what a day in which You have placed us.  There are so many sources of power and control that want to restrict and contain love and service. It should not be this way.

But, Father, You know this world acts this way.  You have seen nations abuse nations.  You see ideals squash love and acceptance.  You witness the inhumanity of people against those they cannot understand and do not wish to accept because of a higher law of love that they live in You.

Relieve those that are persecuted for righteousness and those persecuted for love and those persecuted for service. Restore their fortunes and their heart and loose restrictions.  Bring reward in this life, Father. Let them see Your hand in this life, Father.

For these specifically persecuted I pray, Father.  Release their love and service that they might be a blessing to the rest of us.  For that is what these are, Father.  They are meant to be a blessing.  Release their joy to bless us.  Deliver us from such evil.  For Yours is the kingdom.

Meet Jesus: Intense with Evil Matthew 12:28

PosterclipsmallestMatthew 12:28-29 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house
Jesus has a determined streak in His approach. If you read the stories surrounding this little snippet, you find He was daily “casting out demons”. Now maybe we would like that piece of who He is to go away. Kinda scary. We would rather have a Grimm like the popular TV series or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or even Abe Lincoln. But we all know that evil is real and it is bigger than the world we look at every day.

Jesus just steps into that other world and deals with it. We find him wrestling with the ol’ Devil, Satan, himself in the desert in Luke’s stories. A small child that was jumping into fires is rescued in another story. Two raving mad men in a graveyard are restored on a trip. Jesus does not back down from real evil.

In the last two days I have had some rather intense spiritual experiences. The unusual aspect of those has been the clarity and the subject. Being intensely spiritual is not a new thing. The experiences are certainly not new to me. The nature and intensity back to back is revelatory of a present danger and present reality.

The first was on Monday morning early in the am. At least three times I awoke to the sense of strong evil in my room. None of these disturbed me, but alerted me. It seemed there as a source of confrontation against me and my family and my leadership.  Like it was there to stop me and threaten the health of family and finances. Of course, I rebuked this presence and told it to leave and went back to sleep each time.

It impressed me that each time I woke, there it was. I don’t know if it came and went or just stayed the night. But by morning it was gone and peace continued to reign. Never was I overly disturbed. Of course, anyone would be startled by such an occurence, but it did not overly disturb me or my sleep.

This morning was followed by a similar occurence in a dream. It was a most vivid and accurate dream. In the dream, which had many scenes, I was with a team struggling to accomplish their goal. We were researching in a library/resource facility for answers. After having gone to many rooms, we were stymied and standing together. Then it dawned on me to go check another area of the facility as a voice said, “We are over here.” As I entered the room, there was a leading evil entity surrounded by several others. They were in concerted effort to interfere with us and quite open to talk. The leader said, “I wondered when you would come find us. Of course, we are the ones that have been stopping you.” It was a matter of fact conversation. There was no conclusion to the dream as I stood there and they defied.

I don’t know what you believe about such things and maybe you think I just had some bad pizza or that there is more a bit of gravy than the grave as Scrooge called it when the Marley’s visited in A Christmas Carol. But all the rest of the information you will read is just fact. And you can accept fact, right?

This morning on rising, I posted specific prayer information out to a thousand folk. That would be the third intense situation. People take time to pray and respond like anything else. Only two of a thousand have responded so far. It is not common for me to solicit prayer in such a manner, yet I did similar yesterday via directing people to a slideshare on praying for fathers. No feedback on that. Only six of hundreds clicked to notice it.

So this morning, I pray for prayers. That is right. I need more real prayers. Why are people so reticent to pray It is deliriously frustrating work. And it needs done. It needs done daily and weekly and monthly and regularly and irregularly.

Here I am in a high center situation that needs concerted prayer to break through. This is not a game. This is serious.

At a meeting yesterday the idea was put forward that we only need 150 new foster homes in Oklahoma City to take care of all the children. Yet of the 553 that are in existence, a third will probably fall out in a short time. So really we need 300 new foster homes and support networks for all 703 that must stay on the wall and a constant supply of new foster homes and support for them and healing for the ones that fall out and healing for the natural families so kids have a permanent home to which to return and support for them to stay faithful so the kids won’t go back into foster care because of danger and suffering.

So let me count:
We need 853 prayer warriors just to have one per foster home in need.
We need 703 prayer warriors just for the kids in the system we are targeting.
We need 703 prayer warriors for the families of the kids in the system we are targeting.
We need 50 prayer warriors for the social workers and investigators and judges and other officials.
We need another 30% increase in prayer warriors a year to handle influx and change.

So 853+703+703+50+800 = 2309 prayer warriors.

This morning, when I asked a thousand to join me in prayer for fathers, 2 responded. These thousand are people who have received thousands of prayers from me to them. Of course a good prayer warrior can cover a father, a child, a home, a social worker, a judge, an investigator, a counselor, and a foster home all at the same time so maybe I only need 853. So all I have to do is ask 500,000 and we can get them. At least one time I can get them.

Every prayer warrior I know is overburdened. What we need is new ones. What we needed is trained, praying saints.

At first, what looked to be a simple task, 150 new foster homes, is looking much more complex. There are only a million people in our metro. Only 25% are regular church folk, so that is 250,000. Of those, maybe 20% are doers. So that is 50,000. There are not even 500,000 people to ask.
And don’t forget, we need maybe another 4000 folks to help with foster parent night outs and furniture help and entertainment help and friendship and a shoulder to cry on and, and, and,…….

So It would not be unreasonable to say we need about 6000 people out of a field of 50,000 and we don’t know who those 50,000 are as they are hidden and protected in the church roles of 1200 churches.

So, we need prayer.
Will you pray for us?

Fathers in the homes.
Children safe and secure and confident in a good future.
Strength for foster parents and resources.
Blessing for children of foster parents who are giving up some of their portion that another would be blessed.
Investigators and case workers and judges and officials who will make right and compassionate decisions.

Prayer: Father, we really do need You. There is evil in this world that is resistant to normal efforts. It is real. It is intense. It is present. We must find ways to deal with it. Teach us to confront with wisdom.Teach us to not be overly enamored with evil but seek to replace evil with good. That works most times.But, Father, there are situations that just reek and resist goodness. They need the intensity of Jesus that only comes with prayer and fasting.Cover us. Protect us. Deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory.