Wounded in Pursuit of Oneness
The Bible says, "Pursue peace with all men." (Heb. 12/14). Pursue means we aggressively take the initiative to make things right. It means we act on behalf of Heaven rather than allow another's anger to serve the purpose of hell.
However, we must be realistic. When we reach out to a deeply offended person, they will likely be repulsed by our first efforts. Scripture tells us, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle" (Prov. 18:19). If a person has been hurt, they will need trust to be restored, and this process of initiating trust can actually be painful to both parties. A wounded person may lash out. You may feel like the price of restoring the offended person's trust is simply too great to pay.
What we define doctrinally as "salvation" is, in truth, the entrance, and then expansion, of Christ's presence within us. As we accept Him, Christ unites with our spirit and begins His transformational work: He begins to influence our thoughts, giving us insight into the Scriptures, convicting us of sin, and creating godly attitudes within us. He brings healing to the wounds of our past, and even our mortal bodies are quickened by His indwelling.
Our journey in Christ is, at the same time, His journey into us. We are His promised land. We can be assured that the giants in our lives, though they have humiliated us, will not humiliate Him. He shall conquer our enemies and dwell in us forever.
By Francis Frangipane
The last, great move of the Holy Spirit will be distinguished by men and women who have been prepared by God for God.
We have given ourselves in prayer for revival; we have studied and discovered the Lord's heart for the lost. Without compromising the gospel's basic truths, grace has taught us to make Christ's message relative to our times and needs. For all our preparation, though, we have yet to prepare our hearts for God Himself.
We long to be sent by the Almighty for the sake of some great task---a miracle that turns a city to repentance or some significant act of service. However, the greatest task awaiting the church is not to be sent by God but to actually come to Him.
How does God expect to use us to reach people? A key is seen in the book of Genesis. In the Garden of Eden the Lord created trees with seed in the fruit. Remember this always: the power to reproduce is in the seed and the seed is in our fruit. For fruit to be edible, it cannot be bitter or hard. Indeed, fruit that is bitter is immature or worse, poison. Our fruit must be soft and sweet, and supernatural.
Thus, if you desire to see the reality of God reproduced in your loved ones and friends, set your heart to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. The power of reproduction is in the seed, and the seed is in your fruit. And should you sin or stumble, which we all do at times, repent both to God and to those you have sinned against. A sincere repentance to an unsaved person is a sure sign the presence of God is in your life.
Rarely does a night pass without my wife and I praying for the Muslim world, and increasingly so for Iran. We are praying in agreement with millions of other Christians around the world.
I'm sure everyone knows that the world is moving toward a pivotal juncture in time. Iran's leaders are aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons while simultaneously pledging to destroy Israel. Israel, on the other hand, has sworn that Iran will not get nuclear weapons. The watching world has increased crippling sanctions on Iran, but to no avail. It seems inevitable that these two nations will meet in a war that will leave few survivors.