Monday, January 02, 2006

Make THIS Year, YOUR Year

Isaiah 61:1-6 says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.”

I have got to tell you something, “This is my year!” It could and should very well be your year too, but I know for a fact that 2006 is a year that I have been anxiously waiting on for sometime now!

If you passed by the scriptural passage from Isaiah 61 that I have quoted to the left— read it again to yourself before going any further into this newsletter. When you read it this time, personalize it for yourself.

This is a word that the Spirit has greatly impressed upon my heart as the rally call for 2006! I believe that this year will truly be a year of new beginnings, realized promises and manifest miracles in many lives!

Consider this: When Jesus launched into His public ministry as recorded in Luke 4:18; it says that Jesus begin to teach in the synagogues and that on this occasion the Book of the Prophet Isaiah was handed to Him and He read from this portion of scripture.

From this point forward, there were things that characterized the message and ministry of our Lord and Savior. He spoke the Word in power, authority and in boldness and He moved in mighty miracles that served to confirm His Gospel.

I believe that God has been speaking to my heart that this year will truly be a breakout year for myself, the ministry and even specifically for REVIVAL here in the City of New Orleans.

Jesus said in John 14:12, “...I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

What were these works that He did? I believe we are given the basis for them right in Isaiah 61:1-6: He has “anointed” (or set aside for service) me to:

Preach - Bind up - Proclaim
Release - Comfort - Provide
Rebuild - Restore!

This is quite a spiritual laundry list in regards to the things that He has destined for us! They should serve as the description of what our personal and corporate ministries should reflect and be characterized by in this new year!

Why should this year be any different that any other year? There is really only one necessary reason to expect it: The returning of the Lord Jesus is nearer now than ever before in history!

We are primed for REVIVAL! Look at today’s headlines:
"Hurricane Katrina Ravages Gulf Coast"
“Tsunami Claims 150,000 Lives”
“Dozens Die in Bomb Attack”
“Record Hurricanes Strike Florida”
“Same-Sex Marriages Legalized In Several States”
“Catholic Church Rocked By Sexual-Abuse Scandals”

These are just a few of the headlines that have been blazed across this nations newspapers in the past recent months.

Something is happening unlike anything and at anytime. There are birth pangs reverberating throughout the world. It is time for a move of God to return the Church to it true place and back to the true heart and purpose that Jesus died for!

Consider just how relevant the words of Charles Finney, great evangelist of the second Great Awakening, are today (almost 200 years later!)

“When there is a lack of brotherly love and Christian confidence among believers, then revival is needed. Then there is a loud call for God to revive His work. Expect a revival when there are dissentions, jealousies, and evil rumors…These things show that Christians have grown far away from God. Revival is needed when there is a worldly spirit in the church. The church has sunk into a low and backslidden state when you see Christians conform to the world in dress, parties, seeking worldly amusement and reading filthy novels. When the church finds its member falling into gross and scandalous sin, then it is time to wake up and cry to God for a REVIVAL…”

This could just as easily be a description of the church of 2005 as it was of the churches contemporary to Mr. Finney (1800’s).

Divisions, bitterness, worldliness, scandal and immorality have run rampant through the professing church.

Many pastors, fearing that they may lose popularity, membership or money have chosen to turn a blind eye from the obvious and have become partakers in the offence!

Most churches operate like the world’s system rather than the KINGS SYSTEM! I have heard of dear men of God being fired from churches because their image didn’t reflect the new direction that their church was going!

Now, rather than praying until God speaks and imparts vision to the Church, we hire outside consultants to bring their slick salesmanship and market research into our churches to increase our numbers and devise strategies to fill church coffers and build more buildings to house more dead, powerless psuedo-believers.

I believe that in this coming year, that we will begin to see the TRUE CHURCH (not the true organization) begin to rise up from the ashes of complacency, compromise and self-absorption.
God is calling us to “seek Him while He may be found and to call upon Him while He is near.” He is “returning the hearts of the fathers back unto their children.”

We are poised, through the power of prayer, passion and persistence, to begin to write new headlines in 2006!

“Prayer Allowed Back in School as Supreme Court Rules to Strike Down Past Decisions.”
“Mardi Gras 2006 CANCELLED as New Orleans Becomes Hot Bed of International Revival”
“Congress Passes Constitutional Amendment to Outlaw Abortion As Republican & Democratic Law-Makers Openly Weep and Repent on Senate Floor.”
“Hunger & Homelessness Become Virtually Non-Existent in Many Cities as Churches Rally to Do the Work of the Ministry.”

The things that God is desiring to do in this New Year are truly “bigger than you think!”

I am going to hit the ground running in 2006 in expectation and obedience to those things that He has placed upon my heart.

This Year is MY year and the Lord Jesus desires to make it yours as well!

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