6/16/19 Miracle City Global Father’s Day
Judah Goes First
Anna Love. Welcome and Happy Father’s Day to our fathers. And Happy Father’s Day to the Father of all. I’ve felt a call for us to come up higher, to guard our words, our thoughts and our actions, to walk in a new way. And I believe it’s taking up the mantle of Jesus. Because that’s what’s available to us. We’re in a new era and I believe the Lord is reclothing us.
Philippians 4:4 AMP. Rejoice in the Lord always. Delight and take pleasure in him. Again, I say, Rejoice.
I felt like this morning that we need to just throw off yesterday, throw off anything that happened this morning and Rejoice in the Lord because he is a good good Father. He is Sovereign and Supreme over all, so why not rejoice? If we stay stuck in our stuff or a not good place, the only person hurting is us. It’s not helping anything. It’s just making you feel worse. So the Lord is saying, Come up higher. Come up in him. Throw it off.
So :4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Delight, take pleasure in him. Again, I say, Rejoice. Let your gentle spirit, your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience be known to all people.
Anna. It’s important how we represent the Lord. In that mantling in this new season, I believe, in being clothed in who he is, it’s time for us to reflect on who he is, for us to be good representatives of Jesus Christ. So no matter what situation or circumstance we’re in, we can grid it and grid our response in that ‘What would Jesus do?’ thing. It might sound cliche or menial, but we’re really in a time to say, What would he do? How would he respond? And it’s not hard. He’s within us. All we have to do is just come up higher.
The Lord is near. :6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything but in everything, every circumstance and situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And the peace of God, that peace which reassures the hearts, that peace which transcends all understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus is yours.
We have that peace. Jesus is that peace.
:8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things. Center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart.
:9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things in daily life, and the God who is the source of peace and well-being will be with you.
:10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord, that now at last you have renewed your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned about me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. Not that I speak from any personal need, for I have learned to be content and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy regardless of my circumstances. (That’s where we need to be.)
I know how to get along and live humbly in difficult times, and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing life, whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. :13 I can do all things which he has called me to do through him who strengthens and empowers me to fulfill his purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency;
Anna. It is time for us to be self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. Think about it. If you are a born-again son of God, then Jesus Christ lives on the inside of you. The All-Sufficient One lives on the inside of you. So if you feel like you’re not sufficient, that you can’t do it, then it is time to acknowledge the One who lives on the inside of you, the All-Sufficient One.
It’s like dynamite on the inside of you. It’s anything you could possibly need, no matter what you face, it’s already on the inside of you. All you have to do is acknowledge that it’s there. If you do that, think of how much power you could be walking in just through salvation. It’s time for us to take the Lord at his word.
I am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace. :14 Nevertheless, it was right of you to share with me in my difficulties.
I want to declare verse 13 over us and this house and those watching. Lord I thank you that we can do all things through you, who has called us to do your will. I thank you that you strengthen and empower us to fulfill your purpose. I thank you that we are self-sufficient through Christ’s sufficiency.
I thank you that you are the All-Sufficient One. Lord, we are ready for anything and equal to anything through you, because you infuse us with your strength in our inner man. Lord, I thank you that you take hold of the reins this morning of your people, and of your church. We present ourselves unto you Jesus, every member of our body—spirit, soul and body, heart and mind.
Lord, we submit ourselves, we commit ourselves, we surrender unto you. We lay down our wills this morning. Father, I thank you that any place where we have been strong-willed in the flesh, in man’s effort, I thank you that you are going in and softening hearts this morning and you’re making an exchange. Lord, selfish willfulness has no place in your body. I thank you that even now you’re uprooting that.
Lord, we receive humility. We receive humility this morning and meekness, and we come up under you, Jesus. We will let you lead. We will not run ahead or drag behind, but we will be in step with you, in season with you. Any place we’ve been out of season, I call to season right now, right now, any part or piece of us, Lord. Nothing lagging behind, nothing running ahead.
Have your way this morning, Father. I thank you that you reach in right now and you rearrange those things that need to be rearranged. I thank you that you are bringing peace to situations, peace to circumstances, peace to families. Father, I thank you for this new era that we are in. I thank you that we have crossed over, that we are in the promised land. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, I thank you that by faith we are stepping in. By faith we are entering in.
Father, I thank you that it’s not a season to be a Moses, but you’ve called us to be Joshuas. We are land-takers. Lord, just as our prayer and petition has been to take ahold of our tongue, I thank you that the word of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are pleasing unto you.
Father, I thank you that this morning you will give us such a heart after you that it changes the way we even interact with people, in our families, in our workplaces, when we’re out in the world, with anyone we come into contact with. I thank you that we will take hold of the fact that we are your representatives in the earth.
Lord, I thank you that you make us ready to do kingdom business, that you make us about the kingdom. That you make us about the Father’s house. This morning Lord, I thank you that from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes we are consecrated and set apart unto you, that we do choose that narrow road, and that we follow the path you have trail-blazed before us.
Holy Spirit, come in this place. We fix our eyes and our focus on you, nothing else but you Jesus. Be the center of our hearts, Lord, in Jesus name. Amen.
?Caught up in your presence, I just want to sit here at your feet. Caught up in this holy moment, I never wanna leave. I’m not here for blessing. Jesus, you don’t owe me anything. More than anything that you can do, I just want you. I’m sorry when I just go through the motions. I’m sorry when I just sang another song. Take me back to where it started. I open up my heart to you. I’m sorry when I come with my agenda. I’m sorry when I forgot that you’re enough. Take me back to where it started. I open up my heart to you. I just want you and nothing else. Nothing else will do.
Jesus be enthroned upon the praises of our hearts. Jesus, you’re the King and you’re the center of it all. We enthrone you, Jesus. Nothing else will do. We just want you. You’re all we want, Jesus. You’re all we’ll ever need. God, all I need is you.
Betty. Father, we give you all glory and all honor this morning. It’s so good to be in our Father’s house. Jesus you said, I had to be in my Father’s house. And Jesus we love you. You are our bridegroom, the lover of our souls, the author and perfecter of our faith; you are all access to the Father. You have given your life so that we can enter into relationship with our Father. Today we stand in you Jesus and with you Jesus. And we say, Our Father. We worship you Father. This is your house. This is your house. We love your house.
?Anna. This is my Father’s house. Oh we worship you. I am my Father’s house. Make us about your business.
Betty. Just a few weeks ago the Lord had Danette look up 416 in Strong’s. It’s Bethel, House of God. A while back the Father revealed to us that this is his house, the place where he hangs his hat. We’re his presence. If it’s his house, everything that belongs to him is here, on earth as it is in heaven. We welcome you Father, or maybe you just need to welcome us to your house today. And we want to honor you as the greatest Father in the universe.
Every good and perfect gift comes down from our Father of heavenly lights in whom there is no shadow of turning. So Father, we commit and consecrate this entire day. As we gather in your house, as your sons and daughters come in, as we are celebrating Father’s Day on a national level, Lord, we want to take it up to the highest level. And we want to honor you as ?our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven in this place, in our lives.
So Father, I thank you for now worship and now word and now works. I thank you Lord God that you have set us your people apart today, and you’re just going to play us in your glory.
I thank you for Chris and Kimble, that you have put a good word in their spirit for us today. We put a demand on that word, hahaha, that you’ve stored in your sons—these ministry gifts set in the body of Christ. Holy Spirit, we say come and carry this house in glory and in honor of our Heavenly Father, in honor of Jesus, in honor of Holy Spirit. We worship you, Almighty God. We say Yes and Amen. Be it unto us this day according to your word, your will, and your way in Jesus mighty name. Amen and Amen and Amen.
Chris and Stacey Vowel are a part of this apostolic house. His word always hits the mark. So Chris, come and take your liberty. Praise God.
Chris Vowel. Happy Father’s Day all you fathers in the house. I believe this is a prophetic word in Malachi the Lord spoke years ago, but I believe he wants to speak it again.
As Anna prayed, coming through Pentecost, we’ve stepped into a whole new season. As many of us waited and prayed, I felt the Lord say to me that this is such a place of deeper intimacy with him that it doesn’t really matter who else is out there. It’s just him and each one of us. Getting to the place where we hear his voice and trusting that word more and more.
As we focus on spiritual fathers as well as earthly fathers, I think there’s so much in these verses in Malachi that the Lord is wanting us to get hold of. There are so many issues in our nation—inner city issues, fatherlessness—it’s easy to look there and focus on the ills of society, etc.
But I think this morning God wants it to come back to us. It’s easy to focus out there on all the issues but he said, If my people who are called by my name. So many things have got to come back to us doing it. It’s not just the absent fathers that’s the issue. I believe there’s a need for fathers that are right there with their wives and kids, right here in the church, to really rise up in what we’re supposed to be.
Growing up playing ball, through those years you would see those dads that tried to live through their kids, whether it was baseball, hunting, or whatever. Then you would have those moms who would try to do the same thing with the whole pageant deal. But I believe sometimes, even if we’re spiritual leaders in the house, if it’s really all about us and it’s not about the people we’re trying to minister to or father or mother, what then are the real motives of our heart? That’s what I want us to look at today, as we step into ministry, into parenting, and all this stuff.
My mom shared a story years ago. She grew up in a little town between Louisville and Philadelphia; and back in that day, 40 or 50 years ago, if a girl got pregnant they would ease them out to an aunts, out of town, out of state, to have the child. The problem really was that the parents didn’t want people looking at them. There was this shame thing—that deacon in the church, that leader in the community.
In the last 10 to 20 years it’s been those children who got into the homosexuality/lesbian type relationships. You see the fathers who don’t want people to know there’s that type of struggle or issue in their home. I believe these two stories really show the motives of the heart. If we really want people to think this (hand held up to a high level) is who we are, then we’re not to the point where we’re really ready to, off to the side, cry in the closet over that pregnant daughter or that son struggling with sexual identity issues. It’s all about us. It’s all about what people think about us.
I think it’s significant. Think about before Jesus stepped onto the scene, all those Israelites, all those Jews, had that inter-testamental period and there’s this last little passage at the end of Malachi. I believe he gives us a nugget, not just of what John the Baptist is going to do, but what’s needed as we’ve stepped into Pentecost. It’s sustainable revival, reformation, all this that’s going to happen.
I come from my harvest of Baptist background loving to see them get saved, but there’s got to be a healthy home. Like that book by Bill Johnson from Bethel, on the need for a Culture of Honor. If you’ve got spiritual leaders in places then it’s really all about when you come in the door—I make you feel good about yourself, as long as you put plenty in the plate, right? If there’s always an agenda, a reason, I’ll do as much as I have to to keep this pastoral job.
We’ve got to come back to the reason we have such unhealthy homes, and churches, all these other places, it’s really going to come down to this:
Malachi 4:5. Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching WILL turn the hearts. His preaching WILL turn the hearts. It didn’t say, Well maybe this will work. This is the end of the Old Testament. And God says there is a prophet coming like the prophet Elijah, with the spirit of Elijah on him; and when he comes his preaching is going to turn the hearts of fathers to their children.
It wasn’t just that he was going to preach this baptism of repentance. And yes those people flocked out there to the Jordan River to be baptized. But it wasn’t just, Repent of your sins. One of the things we keep seeing in Neshoba Count: A lot of good old boys in Philadelphia feel like if they stop running around on their wives, and stop drinking as much as they used to, and stop going to the casino, they have arrived spiritually.
I want you to hear me. We rejoice and celebrate that they’ve turned from that lifestyle, but there’s been a disconnect. It not just stopping the rebel rousing. No! Somebody’s got to come home, step up and be a dad.
A few weeks ago I saw remakes of Archie Bunker and The Jeffersons. I was watching that and it was taking me back. I grew up singing that Jefferson song. Moving on up! But here was my problem. Something happens. It’s the scheme of the enemy. Archie Bunker. A lot of our dads grew up thinking that was a picture of a good man. He sits back and bosses his wife around; it’s got all these racial overtones and other issues. He sits back in his chair and says, It’s all about me. It’s all about me.
God says right here in the Word, when this John the Baptist comes forth, and he preaches, people will repent and then their hearts are going to turn back. It’s like saying, I wasn’t a good ball player, so I’m going to sure live through my son and hope he is. No! My life’s in the rear view mirror. How can I help my son step up to be all that God’s called him to be?
How can I get over myself? It comes back to Jesus saying if we’re going to follow after him, we’ve got to deny ourselves, deny ourselves. We can look at the inner cities, but we’re right here in it, in this planet. The issues are not ‘out there.’
We hit Pentecost last Sunday and Tuesday night we rolled into House of Prayer, and we usually have a little handful that come in and we get in the presence. Tuesday night they just kept coming in the door. You just saw, that was back then; this is now; we’ve stepped in. Boom! One had been in rehab for a while. One had just come out. People were hungry.
Thursday night we got a call from a guy who wanted prayer. He came on his bike with glasses thick as coke bottles and his Popeyes name tag hanging down. Someone gave him my name and thought I might could help. Some lady who came for prayer gave him a $20 bill to help him out. We saw the community coming together. We prayed for him. He said his biological dad told him that he was a mistake, to get out of his face because he had no use for him. He was from southern Louisiana.
But he had a Pentecostal preacher and his wife in Louisiana adopt him when he was pretty young, raised him, and there was some hardened religious strict stuff in there. He’s going to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and rebellious children to their fathers. We got him a room and the next day he was working without a shirt. He said, Chris, you may notice I have a Marilyn Manson tattoo on my back.
I had noticed the night we prayed for him, he came in with his tough religious spirit, wanting to tell me all about his Oneness. Something rose up in me to shut that stuff down. It was a big fat religious spirit. As we were praying and loving him the wall came down. This kid in his early 30s said, I have never felt this kind of love in my life. All of it wasn’t manipulation.
This is what I learned from my religious background. Some of the people on the streets can’t come in for our 3 and 4 hour Sundays. It’s not enough to turn them around. They come get in the presence of God, but there’s something in his book that says unless fathers step up. He sounded like a little child when he said, Will you be my best friend? He’s 34 years old. I didn’t know how to take that. I said, I’ll sure try to be a good friend. I don’t know if I’ve got time to be your best friend. I’ve got a lot going on. Then he tested me the next morning and said, I really need a mentor.
In the midst of that I remembered Randy Clark, an old working guy. He said people started reaching out to him saying, Will you come father me? At first he kept shutting that down. Then God said, Randy when are you going to start stepping into what I’ve called you to do? Even with church and worship and all that we do, it’s easy to walk up in here and say, Stacey and I’ve been working all week for 2 and a half years, with ministry on top.
But this is the thing. Our life is not our own anymore. If your life is your own, you’re not near the father or mother that you could be. There’s no way. So how can we do this? Look at this verse again. His preaching WILL turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, the hearts of the children to their fathers; otherwise I’ll strike the land with a curse. I think I used to focus on the Old Testament thing of, I’ll strike the land with a curse.
But the Spirit of God was saying to us today that John the Baptist is about to come. He was going to preach. Go was going to turn the hearts. There was going to be all of this repenting, but when fathers rose up into their places, we were going to start having it at home. Can’t have it in the church if you don’t have it at home. There’s got to be fathering in both.
This is the fulfillment right after the Old Testament. This is the New Testament gospel. Luke 1:17. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He, John the Baptist, will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. Think about it. We just had Pentecost. What is God wanting to use us to do in the preparation for the coming of the Lord? I want you to grab that.
It’s not just here in the church house. I’m seeing there is more ministry to do out there at work, on the streets; the needs are everywhere. People need a prophetic word, prayer for healing, etc.
He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He WILL turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. He WILL turn the hearts. I believe this is our declaration—not just for 2000 years ago—as this harvest comes, as we preach the gospel, the whole gospel.
We had a young lady baptized in the Holy Spirit Thursday night. She got saved years ago and has had ups and downs with drugs. A girl we’ve poured a lot into has been helping her out this week and she said, I see this fire and zeal going on but I feel like there’s more. There’s something. The girl helping her said, Have you got your prayer language? Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? She said, What are you talking about? So she shows up Thursday night and fills out her sheet for the healing rooms and said, I want my prayer language.
Let me tell you, I preached revival services at a Baptist church two weeks ago and got a word that the Charismatic Movement is coming to the Baptist churches in our area. You can take it, but Neshoba County is about to get it. We’re seeing it accelerate. We had a woman come for healing Thursday night. She was healed of breast cancer but was afraid she had cancer in her bones, and something came on us as we were praying.
I’ve learned preaching in those Baptist churches that you don’t bring them the whole meal right up front. If you’ll bring them that faith message, it’s a key that begins to unlock the whole deal. I spent three years in New Orleans in seminary, and most of those folks preaching in those pulpits in those churches believe the Book. And when you start showing them it’s in the Book, this whole faith thing—According to your faith it shall be done.
When she put ‘I want my prayer language’ on that sheet, it was like something rose up in me and I thought, Honey, you’re not leaving here until you get it. There was this, Come on. John G. Lake and those healing rooms in Spokane—healthiest city in the USA. He would send people out to pray for the sick. He would tell them, Don’t come back until they’re healed.
Some of us grew up in this sucking the bottle for 40 years and it’s time to step up and say, Lord, we’re going to pull this through for her and for you. And it comes from dying to self. This past two and a half years has been probably the most painful time of my life. You talk about losing identity? You talk about, Who am I? What am I called to do?
The intimacy has come just realizing he’s my Father. Whatever orders, whatever plans I thought I had for my life are on the back burner. It’s the whole faith deal. Lord, we’re trusting as we step into this deal, that what you have for us as well as all the earth, is greater than anything I could have dreamed up myself.
If you want to be one of these fathers, He says, He WILL turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. And notice the next part. He will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the righteous. I think it’s interesting. It’s precept upon precept. If the first part is, The hearts of the fathers will turn to their children, why are we screaming at our kids and and screaming at illegitimate people in the body of Christ to get their stuff straight, if our hearts haven’t been turned to them?
We’re saying, If you would get your stuff straight and get out of my hair, I wouldn’t have (to deal with this). We’ve got to start to cry over them. To come up higher. If we’re going to have a sustainable move of God, it’s not just Boom! Holy Ghost falling on Father’s Day. And then going back to our lives. The word is, He WILL turn the hearts of the fathers. He did it then and he’s going to do it again. He’s about to do it. He’s waking us up.
One of the best ways to die to self is to give away, whether it’s out of your pocketbook, whatever the most meaningful thing in your life is; or your time, whatever it is. I spent about three hours with this guy with the Marilyn Mason tattoo. He channels. He taps into the dead.
And he’s trying to get me to understand. He said, Chris, one of the problems I have with the Word of God is that if I can help a young mother who’s lost her child know that her daughter is ok, I think that’s a good thing. And I’m telling this guy that the Word of God says, Get away from that stuff. God will give you a dream, or a vision. He’ll let you know. He’ll speak through a prophetic word.
How do you deal with this? You don’t blow up and start slinging verses at him. You just sow into them. After we worked Friday afternoon, I said, I can either give you $50 or I can get you a hotel room. I wanted to see if he would grab some drugs or whatever he was into. He said, Chris, I really need a shower for my Popeyes job tomorrow so I’ll take that room. We just kept sowing into him.
He’s on the phone with his girlfriend and he doesn’t even stop to say, Thank you. So I just asked him, Can I please get a thanks? Not for me. We do it unto the Lord, but. Next day he said, I’m sorry. I grew up never having anybody thank me for anything. But don’t cry a tear. Somebody’s got to step up, even if its a 34 year old man. He says he’s back in Neshoba County to follow his two kids—and he’s a kid himself. Something’s got to happen to these fathers.
John 3:16. For this is how God loved the world. He gave his one and only Son. Here’s the deal. The perfect Father loved in such a way that he gave his best. You and I are only looking at, If I only give that much it won’t make me vulnerable. We’ve broken the poverty spirit, but in the poverty stricken area of Mississippi we’ve got this mindset so many times, If I invest time and money, I better get a return on it.
Well God so loved that he said, I’m giving. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. You and I had a choice. There’s something about that kind of love. Not, You come to my church, put your offering in the plate, maybe we’ll do something for you. It’s all about me, me, me. No! The world is sick and tired of that. Sick and tired of it.
The world is looking for something that says, I’m willing to lay my life down. I know we’re not supposed to be doormats over and over and over, but I think some of us, because of our past, we won’t let anybody get close to stepping on us. And so we miss laying our lives down. We miss it, because we’re like, No! I’m not letting that happen again.
If we’re going to be fathers, we’ve got to be sons that are legitimate first. We got to be legitimate sons first. Is my legitimacy in who I am or how much I’ve got or what I’ve done or seen? Or is it in that intimacy with Him? There’s some real fruit that comes with that.
For God loved so much that he gave, that he gave. Know that. That he gave.
We started Crossway Community Church. It was an experience. It led us into more of the fullness of the Spirit. Praise God. A whole lot more. We said during that time we felt like God used that church plant for us more than most of those there. That was part of the plan.
But when we left that full-time church to crank up Mississippi Combine—old men dream dreams, right? I’m a dreamer. I can see some visions. My plan and my problem is that it’s sometimes way out there and I think it’s right here close. Like that mirror, things are closer than they appear. Sometimes those objects are WAY out there. No! That’s the word and it’s coming. It’s coming. It’s coming.
We have a prayer room that had a big hole in it. We fixed that and it’s been an open portal of God’s presence. Before we had air conditioning and we’d been out of the church about a month, we’d started reaching into our retirement for extra money for this and that. It was so hot that day and we were trying to get some back rooms ready, I was sort of grumbling. I left a full-time church; I’m sweating; what is this?
I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I heard in my spirit, Chris, will you lay down your life for this city? That was it. Will you lay down your life for this city? You might say, you could have been thinking a little higher about yourself; but I was sweating my backside off. And the two and a half years I’ve walked out since then, if you want to talk about me being a little full of myself, we can talk. Okay?
People want some of the anointing with the giftings and the flow. Bill Johnson said there’s no substitute for the journey he walked with God. So many of us want to step into all this stuff. We want to see the Kenneth Copeland flow of prosperity. We want to see the Benny Hinn flow of healing and anointing. But when the blood and the sweat and tears have got to be poured out, a lot of us are acting more like spoiled kids instead of the fathers. I haven’t arrived. I don’t mean that at all.
When he asked, Are you willing to lay down your life for this city? It kind of changed my tone real quick. It changed it. Lord, we stepped out into this. We’re going to have a House of Prayer, healing rooms. We want to see all this stuff done. And God kept saying, For God so loved the world that he GAVE.
How many times do you feel like, Lord haven’t I given enough? Haven’t I died enough? Haven’t I sacrificed enough for my kids, for my wife, for all this? Haven’t I given enough? And when we’re there, we’re still wandering in the wilderness grumbling, aren’t we? We’re still grumbling. I haven’t come into the promise, but good news. He’s bringing us in, right?
John 15:13. There’s no greater love than laying down your life for your friends. For God so loved that he GAVE. Greater love is to lay your life down. I believe, like so many of the prophets, we are about to see an explosion of harvest and transformation. Here’s what I think sometimes we want to jump away from. We are going to reap what we have sown.
So if we’ve spent this season of tilling up the ground, and some watering; but running from sacrifice, running and complaining when things have gotten tough, we don’t really need to think we’re going to be at the front of the line when the banquet table is laid out. Don’t hear any works type stuff in this. I want you to understand. The last shall be first.
There are some that have been hidden and stuck over here. Oh what about me? What about me? And all this kind of stuff. He’s saying, The great love is to lay down your life. There are things some of us are pioneering and planning. The harvest to come is going to be beyond what we can imagine. But the days when it’s tough, we need to have a few other followers that we can lock arms with and say, Buddy, I still hear the Lord saying, It’s going to be worth it. It’s going to be worth it.
Luke 15. The prodigal son when he comes home to that Father. I want you to see this. We talked about the father that might be ashamed of his child that got into drugs or a homosexual lifestyle, etc. It’s really all about the father instead of about the child. But that prodigal that came home, most of those good teachers and scholars will help you understand that for him, a Jewish boy, to go in to his daddy and want his share of the estate so he can go do what he wants to do, was so dishonoring. It’s a major dishonor.
A lot of good Neshoba County dads would have said something like this, He better never set foot in my door again! They say it to their buddies at the coffee shop to sound like ‘I am something.’ Those people are always saying, I am something, because they don’t know they are something. They’re always trying to convince somebody that they’re somebody. So they’re out there doing that, walking through that.
So this father, the one Jesus tells the story about, when the boy finally comes home. There’s that faith message, pulling those promises down and in. That was rhema for me. The great heroes of the faith reached up in there and pulled it down. They pulled it down by faith, right? That father kept knowing that one day, one day, the boy’s coming home. One day the boy’s coming home. As the faith built up, I think he was looking out at the land regularly. Is today the day? His faith built up. Didn’t happen. He had to keep warring like you and me. Well, I thought today might be the day. Is our hope deferred going to make our heart sick, or are we going to get back up and keep looking? Keep going?
It says he returned to his father in Luke 15:20. While he was still a long way off. It wasn’t about his daddy anymore. We want to be spiritual fathers and earthly fathers that can say, It ain’t about me no more! It ain’t about me. It says:
While he was a long way off his father saw him. He was filled with love and compassion. Make sure that all our things of stepping into the spirit that we’ve not lost the compassion of our Savior. Make sure we haven’t lost the compassion. It says he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, Father I tell you this, I’ve sinned. Let me get all my speech out. I’m not worthy. But his father said to his servants, bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals for his feet. Kill the fatted calf. We’ve got to celebrate because this son of mine was dead, but is now returned to life. He was lost, but now he’s found.
That Culture of Honor book I was telling you about—I’m so glad I was born in the Bible Belt. Sometimes in the Bible Belt when sin issues come up in the Body or in our homes, if you don’t watch, there’s a big fat religious spirit that rises up that says something like, You better nip that in the bud—like Barney Fife. You better nip it right now. And it’s not the Spirit of God. Because a real father comes with love and compassion. Why don’t we listen? Why don’t we talk? The father had to work his stuff out or he never could have loved like that. It could have been, I’m going to keep you away from my money here on out. You already got your half. But the father had compassion and love.
I Chronicles 21. This ties a little bow in the knot for me. I was reading a prophetic word on Elijah List yesterday about going and stepping in and this just rang my bell. Paul said in I Corinthians, you’ve got a lot of spiritual advisors and teachers, but I’m the only spiritual father. He throws that our there and says, I’ve been brutally beaten, haven’t had enough to eat sometimes, life’s been tough, I’ve gone through all this. There’s a testimony that goes with being a good father. There are bumps and scuffs and things we’ve learned from, things we’ve messed up. So Paul was giving an example of that.
In I Chronicles 21, David took a census. It was not a good thing. Joab said, David you’re not going to do that. You’re not going to count the men. What’s going on with you? But David went ahead and did it.
:7 God was very displeased with the census and he punished Israel for it. He gave him three choices. David said, I’d rather go after the mercy of God. How about a three-day plague? Killed a lot of people.
:18 Then the angle of the Lord told Gad, Instruct David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. So David did as Gad told him in obedience to God’s command.
:22 David said to Araunah, “Let me buy this threshing floor from you at its full price so I can build an altar and stop the plague.
I want you to see this nugget. A lot of us, when we’ve been willing to sacrifice, something comes in. Some of us are pretty good business people. When we’ve really been willing to sacrifice, then somebody else says, I’ll make the sacrifice. That must be a word from God. That must be a blessing that’s come down from heaven, right? He’s saving me, right? I was willing to do it and God said, No, no, don’t do it. (Laugher) So here’s what happened.
:23 Take it, my Lord the king and use it as you wish. I will give the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing boards for wood for the fire, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give it all to you, my king.
David has messed up on the census. Everything’s about over and he could have said, God, you’ve already (commanded a lot). I think some of us are going to be used in a harvest like we could never imagine. When the enemy sometimes says, Here’s a shortcut. Here’s an easier way. Here’s a cheaper way. Instead of really having to pay the price. There’s a temptation for us to take it.
Here’s what happened. King David replied, No. I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. He says, I will not take what didn’t cost me anything and bring it to the Lord. So you and I are saying, I want to go from sonship to fatherhood. I don’t want it to cost me anything. I want it to be over in a couple of weeks. I don’t want any tears. I don’t want any struggles. I just want to go there.
And David says, I’m not bringing that kind of sacrifice if it didn’t cost me anything. God so loved that he GAVE. He GAVE. That’s what brought the change. John the Baptist comes, and he WILL turn the hearts. I’m 46 years old. I’m going to see it in my day. Fathers. It’s already happening. In Mississippi. Poverty spirits coming down. Religious spirits coming down. All this big stuff. But fathers.
We’re not just going to be talking about fatherlessness over across the tracks and inner cities. We’re about to see fathers in the church houses that start teaching these folks everywhere else—when they’re at work, pouring it in; pouring it in.
I think one of the things we need to say is, Lord by faith I pull those fathers in, earthly fathers, spiritual fathers. It does no good to keep tearing your husband down, tearing down that dad, granddad. It does no good to keep tearing them down. Us men, our greatest need it to be respected. So if we’re getting ripped down, and you don’t think we can ever step up. We call it in by faith. I believe like Randy Clark, God is going to take little old men and use them as spiritual fathers. He’s going to be a spiritual father? God’s raising them up. God’s raising them up. Because we’ve got some orphans that need homes, don’t they?
Father, thank you for the example that you laid out for us. You love this world. You love us so much that you GAVE. You gave your best. And Lord, even though we’re from Philadelphia, we love Hattiesburg. We love the state of Mississippi. And Father, we love the United States of America.
Father, we see that the way to fix things is to lay our lives down. To give. To love. Whether it’s those prayer warriors that are pouring it in, interceding and crying. Father, whether it’s those giving their ear, and giving their time. They’re giving things that are really worth a lot of money, but they’re giving it away. Father, help us to be those that sow good seed and keep sowing, Lord, because there’s a harvest coming, just like David.
Lord, we say, Forgive us for times we’ve tried to bring sacrifices and it didn’t cost us much of anything. Father, help us to be men after God’s own heart just like David. That righteousness rises up and we say, Lord here we are. Send us. Here we are. Send us.
Father, by faith we call down those spiritual fathers, those earthly fathers, those fathers to adopt, those fathers to foster, those stepfathers that step into those spots, Lord. We step up and be all that you call us to be.
Father, right now we say, Forgive us for how we’ve spoken and torn down, whether they were fathers or grandfathers or spiritual fathers or pastors. Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that washes you clean. We want to leave the past in the past and today, Raise up in Jesus name fathers, good fathers. In Jesus name. Amen.
Betty. If you are a father or you’re a young man in this house and you hope to one day to be a husband and a father, now, I think every father needs to fill this altar. Every father. I believe that Chris is carrying an anointing of the Father to carry to each one of you. If you need healing, I am believing for an impartation. All the way back at conception. Whatever has happened in your life to this point. Whatever influences, ungodly influences, godly influences, any place that you need impartation, whatever you need from the Father, you’re going to get it today.
At the preaching of this word, we decree and declare that the hearts of the fathers WILL turn, into every spiritual influence that God has ordained for you.
?Anna. You gave your love freely withholding nothing, Jesus. My Jesus. Extravagant. It doesn’t make sense. How much you love us. Only heaven knows just how far you go to say you love us. Here is all my love. It’s yours. No conditions. When you pull me close, I won’t resist it. How deep the Father’s love for us. Given without measure. To say you love us. Oh the Father’s love is pouring out. I’ve never known a love like this before. Let this be a sacrifice. Let me dedicate my life to worship you.
Let the hearts of the fathers be turned to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Oh let it be. He’s raising up the fathers. Let the fathers arise. The sons of God arise in this hour. Let love arise in this hour. Oh the Father’s love. Receive it. It’s more than enough for me. Oh it’s enough. It’s calling me up and out. There’s a love raising us up to more than we can be.
Love lift us up where we belong. Lift us up Lord. We’ll never comprehend the way you love us. How far you go to say you love us.
Betty. Father, I thank you for all you’ve released in this house this morning. To sons and daughters, your Father heart, for what you’re going to release. I thank you for Chris and Stacey, that they are part of this house. I thank you for the word that Chris brought and the ministry of the impartation of your heart to these fathers and future fathers. Lord, I thank you that it accomplishes the word and the prayer, all that you’ve sent it to do today, in Jesus mighty name. Amen and Amen.
?He is my faithful Father calling me out of the dark. My firm foundation. My anchor won’t be moved. Wind listen to the sound of power on my lips. Jesus has broken the curse. He has never lost a battle. Who are you great mountain that you should not bow low? Jesus defeated the darkness. He has never lost a battle.
You are the Lord. The famous one. Great is your name in all the earth. The heavens declare You are glorious, glorious. Great is your fame is all the earth.
Kimble Love. Praise the Lord and welcome to Miracle City Global today. We’re so glad you’re here. We’re here today to celebrate Father’s Day. We bless all you gentlemen that have had the fortunate experience of being fathers. I want to encourage you young men that one day you will be there. So look forward with a great expectation of all the Father’s going to do.
Isn’t it awesome that Jesus has never lost a battle? And more awesome than that—he never will lose. He never will lose. And with him, we can’t lose. Because he is our hope; he is our future; he is our very great reward. He is the one who goes before us and makes a way where there seems to be no way. He’s the one who can take nothing and make something.
Have you every felt you’re nothing, but God will touch you and you become something? You walk in that place. You step in line with what he called you to do. Walk in accordance with his will. He’s a good good Father.
Again, we welcome you here today. We’re going to step into worship and receive the Father’s blessing. I thank Chris for the word he brought and the ministry. He’s my brother that I love dearly and he primed the pump. He stirred up some stuff in me this morning. So it’s just going to be increase.
So Father, we just step in this morning with an expectant heart to celebrate the fathers in this house, to celebrate the annual Father’s Day we celebrate in this country. But Father, most of all we want to celebrate The Father of all fathers, the original Father, the best Dad in this whole universe.
Abba, we cry unto you today, release your heart, release your grace, release your love into our inmost being. Raise us up to be godly fathers in the earth, not only to our own, but to those you put in our path. Father, I thank you that your hand is upon us and that you are arranging things even as I speak, that you are preparing hearts and minds, that you are raising up men and women, boys and girls that we don’t even know of and have never met that you will allow to cross our path, that are looking for the love of the Father.
Father, I thank you that you’ve raised us up for such a time as this. To fill those empty places, to step into those gaps, to bring your heart to this world once again. Father, I’m in total agreement with your word, that the hearts of the fathers will be turned unto the children and children’s hearts unto the fathers.
So Lord, we say come and have your way today. Show yourself mighty. Do what only you can do. We receive your grace, your mercy, and your faithfulness in Jesus name. Amen and Amen.
?Faithful you are. Faithful forever you will be. All your promises are yes and amen. I will rest in your promises. My confidence is your faithfulness. Every promise is true. We take you at your word Lord. You’re never gonna let me down. All your promises are yes and amen.
All glory to your name. All glory and honor. Son of God. Son of man. Right where you are. I want to be with you. Into your arms. I’m coming after you. You’re my home. Ohohoh. Sings my soul. Ohohoh. Jesus. Overflowing, cover me like flood. Heart exploding; cover me in your love.
Nita Maselle. Since coming in here early this morning I began to feel the presence of the Father. The presence of the Father became more real than the natural. It’s like his face filled the room. It’s like the Father became more real to me than a natural person. He’s that real. He’s that present. He’s that near. And he was saying to me, Why do you seek to impress men? Why do you want to impress men?
It’s like I’m more aware of the people around and they seek to impress men and they seek to impress the leadership. They seek to impress that and he is like, Just seek to impress Me. Just seek me. If you seek the Father, you’ll get his heart. And you’ll make an impression on people that you couldn’t have made before.
You want to be a father? You want to be a real father? Or maybe for you women who didn’t have much of a father, or you don’t have a father right now, you have a Real Father. He’s more real than a natural father and he is ever present and he is here. And he’s more substantial. Just seek his heart. Seek to impress him, not men. We’re not to be man pleasers. We’re not to try to fulfill a picture that a person has of what we should be looking like or being like. You know, follow this program or this rule or that.
Just seek to impress the Father and you’ll have the Father’s heart, and then hearts will flood through and bring an impression to other people. And that’s what he’s wanting to do. That’s the Father’s heart that he wants to impress upon people. And the way you get it is by being impressed by him and you seek him, not the accolades of men, not the accolades of leaders.
I love Betty and Kimble. I’m not just seeking to impress them, though. I seek to impress my Father, who is so right here. He’s so real you might find out how real he is. He’s right here, real. His face is right here.
Father, forgive us for where we have sought to impress men. Father, forgive us where we have set the bar so low that we would try to be people pleasers, that we would try to be leader pleasers, that we would try to be whatever men thought we should be.
Forgive us Lord. Forgive us for that. Father, we choose today to set our hearts on the Father’s heart. We choose this day to set our heart on impressing you by seeking your heart for us. In Jesus name we thank you Lord.
?You say to us, seek my face. Our hearts reply, your face we seek. Come teach us Lord. Reveal your ways. Anoint us Lord. We are gathered as one. Come and fill this place. We seek your face. We wait for you to come and show your glory here today. Oh we wait for you. Come and fill this room. I can feel the heart of the Father and he’s calling to the children. Fix your eyes on Me. We fix our eyes on you Father. On Jesus.
We set our hearts on you. My eyes are fixed, my heart is set in you alone. Reset me Lord.
Kimble Love. Praise the Lord. Many times in our walk, we put our eyes and our focus on people, places, or things. On man, so to speak. If our focus is on man, we’re gonna miss God. But let me tell you this, if our focus is on God, we’ll never miss man, or places, or things. Let him be your focus. Let him be your go-to. Let him be your plumb line. Let him be your all-in-all. Because he loves us so much. He doesn’t want us to strike our foot or stumble. But he wants to lead us on a good path. That clear path. That open path. That path he’s prepared for us. Where we can go forth and produce and be all that he created us to be.
Where does your help come from? Ultimately, it comes from the Lord. He uses different channels. He uses people. He uses places, things, or circumstances. But he is our source. He is our Redeemer. He is our Father that cares for us more than we care for ourselves.
So Father today we focus on you. You are the way-maker. You are the healer, deliverer. You are our provision. You are our hope and our future and our very great reward. And your Word says that no good thing will you withhold from those who walk uprightly. Lord God, may our upright walk be in obedience to you and not to please anybody else. Father, we look to you as the author and the perfecter and we say continue to have your way in our midst. In Jesus name. Amen.
As we continue in our worship today we have an opportunity to come and sow into the kingdom of God with the fruits of our labor. How many of you, your labor has been fruitful? God has given us the ability to produce wealth. According to his Word, when we bring a portion of that wealth into his house to sow into the work of the ministry, it becomes like a good measure, pressed down and shaken together and overflowing.
Our God is a supernatural God, and he can increase supernaturally. I told Wednesday night how the rolls were increased at work. I needed to cook 240 rolls. My roll pans hold 24 rolls so I needed 10 pans. So I put 24 rolls on 10 pans. The oven I cook them in will only hold 5 pans at a time. So I cooked the two batches, and when I was panning them up for delivery, I had 50 extra rolls. I checked everything and even recounted. My 240 had increased to 290.
Harvest is supernatural increase and is upon God’s people. Get ready. Get ready. Get ready. The dough is beginning to flow in Jesus name. Increase. Increase. Increase. I’m telling you. You can’t make this stuff up. I tried to figure it out for two days, but I relented and said, Thank you God. That’s the way we are. We try to figure everything out. I put it on paper. I got the calculator. I checked the pans and the oven. It was a supernatural increase.
I believe we are in the flow with the time of supernatural increase coming upon us as we walk in his preset purposes, believing his word, walking by faith, walking in obedience. We’re going to see the goodness of the Lord manifest in our lives individually and collectively. Praise God.
So as you come today and sow into the kingdom of God, I declare that supernatural, abounding vision comes back to you, supernaturally. Don’t try to figure it out. Just receive it by faith in Jesus name. I could use some of that. A lot of that, glory to God, because we’ve got lots to do. God gives the vision, so he’s going to send the provision for it to come forth.
Lord, we thank you for the provision, that you’re a supernatural God and a good good Father. In obedience, we come and bring our tithes and offerings, our first fruits, the fruit of our labor, to bring that portion into the house. We say that you take it, that you bless it, and that you supernaturally give multiplication and increase to every one of us for your house, for your people, and for this land, in Jesus name. Amen.
As we come today, we come and celebrate at the Table of the Lord. We’re going to partake of communion. We’re going to remember the saving grace, the redemption God made by giving his best, sending his one and only Son, to do what we couldn’t do, to take our place, to come in our stead, to go to the cross, to sacrifice his life so that we could have life. Abundant life. Everlasting in Jesus name.
So on the night that Jesus was betrayed he met in an upper room with his disciples to have the Last Supper as we’ve come to know it. At the supper he took bread and broke it and said, This bread is my body which is broken for you. Whenever you eat of it, do it in remembrance of me. And in like manner he took the cup and he said, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink of it, you do this in remembrance of me.
So today as we come to the table, we take his body, and we drink of his cup, the blood, and in so doing, we’re recognizing the body, the blood, his death on the cross that purchased our salvation and our redemption.
Father, today as we take these elements in our bodies, we’re saying Yes to the full benefits of the new covenant. We’re saying Yes to the elements, taking the very DNA of the body and the blood of Jesus into our bodies, supping with you and walking in fullness. Father, I thank you that you have redeemed us by the blood of the Lamb. I thank you that we are saved, healed, delivered and set free.
I thank you that we are empowered and anointed and mantled to go forth and produce. Father, raise up the sons and daughters, the fathers and mothers, to speak life into and release love into this world in which we’re in. We declare that the blood-covered light of Jesus dispels the darkness, and that your glory covers this earth as the waters cover the sea. In Jesus name. Amen and Amen.
?You’re a good good Father. It’s who you are and I’m loved by you. It’s who I am. You are perfect in all of your ways. It’s who you are.
Kimble Love. Praise the Lord. Isn’t it good to be here today? To be in the Father’s house? Just to be refreshed in his presence. I feel kind of peaceful. I feel there’s a sweet sweet flow of the Spirit of God. And it’s because of his presence. But it’s also because of you being here, seeking his presence. And we all bring a portion. None of us is insignificant. We all bring a portion. We all have a part to play. Because God formed and fashioned us; he created us in his image. Because each one of us is different and unique. Each of us was specifically designed by the Father.
Because he’s that good. He’s the best Father. He’s the good Father. He’s the Father above all fathers. He’s the pattern of a father we need to look to and follow after and try to mold our lives in his image. Because in him there is no shadow of turning. In him there’s grace and mercy and love, compassion, long-suffering, kindness and gentleness.
And there’s forcefulness. And there’s power, dynamite. All in all, he’s a good good Father. He watches over his word to perform it in our lives. And I’m so thankful that he’s my Father. It is Father’s Day and we’re going to celebrate. It’s the day that he’s made and we will rejoice and be glad in it. I want to try to give you some old-fashioned wisdom and knowledge on how to function in this life.
Father, I thank you for this day and that you’ve called each one of us for such a time as this. I thank you that you are the way-maker, that you created each one of us in your image and that we bear your name. Father, I thank you that everything we’ve seen and been through in this life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—that you, Father, are right there with us. We acknowledge you, that you are the great teacher, the trainer, the facilitator, the provider.
You are our strength, our hope and our future, and you’ve brought each one of us to such a place for such a time as this. Lord, help us to not lean on our own understanding or try to figure things out, but let us stand and rely on the mind of Christ that you put within us. On your Holy Spirit that guides and directs as we look to you Lord, in all things in Jesus name. Amen and Amen.
Galatians 3:26. You are all sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you were baptized into Christ and have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to his promise.
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father. So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are his son, God has made you also an heir. A joint-heir with Jesus.
When you think of Jesus where is he right now? He’s right here. The Word says his Spirit is within us. But he’s also sitting at the right hand of God the Father in the heavenly kingdom. Can you think of anything Jesus doesn’t have? Good things. He has no bad things. Well, we are heirs of Christ, therefore, we have all things. Good things. Great things. Mighty things. Supernatural things. We shouldn’t have a care in the world. That’s what the Word says. We’re heirs with him.
A good father knows how to give good gifts to his children. If the child asks for bread does the father give him a stone? No. Our Father’s good and he always gives what we need. But there’s the rub. A lot of times the things we think we need, God doesn’t want us to have. That’s not what we need. We need to train ourselves to know that Father knows best. That will date some of you folks. Remember the tv show? Father Knows Best.
Well, that phrase today applies to our Heavenly Father. He knows best. And I thank God that he knows best. And I thank God that he hasn’t given me all that I’ve requested over the course of my life. Amen? I can look back and see that it would have been very detrimental. On the other hand, there are things I’ve asked for that I know I need—and he knows I need them. But he’s going to give them to me at the proper time.
I was very fortunate in life. I was born into a family with a dad and a mom. Not just a father, but a dad. Anybody can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. Praise God I had a father that was a dad. He raised me up I the way that I should go. Was he perfect? Absolutely not. But he did the best he knew how to do. I look back and I had a great childhood.
I grew up in the Presbyterian Church—was born saved! Haha! Some of y’all get that. The frozen chosen, predestined, glory to God. I was raised in church and taught about Jesus. I was familiar with the death, burial, crucifixion, resurrection of the Lord. And I knew ALL about it!
I could relate to the good old boys. They had them in Warren County where I grew up. And God bless them. But my dad took interest in us. I’m the oldest of seven children. I have three brothers and three sisters. Dad was a pediatrician, a children’s doctor. He always said he had so many children so he could have job security. I tell Lane all the time he had all these children—talk about congregation growth! All these new tithers coming up! Spiritual leaders in the house.
When I was young my dad was in medical school. And sometimes he was on call and had to stay at the hospital. He would come home from a stint. I know he was tired and weary but when you’re a kid you don’t think about dad being tired. He’s Superman. He would make a pallet on the floor and we’d have championship wrestling right there in the living room. Jump off the couch and tussle. It was a good time. I would grit my teeth and he’d say, Boy don’t grit your teeth. You’re going to break them off.
As I got older he taught me how to fish. He taught us how to hunt and how to play ball, sports. I loved it. I love sports, hunting, fishing, the outdoors. I loved being with my dad. We’d hang out. We had that camaraderie, that friendship, yet he was still my dad. I always looked up to him. He was my Superman.
I can look at him and truly say, he was and still is a great man. He’s still with us on this earth, praise God. He’s a father that never tried to push you to do things that he wanted you to do. He would push you to do the right things, but as far as making decisions, where you would go and what you would do in life, goals and ambitions, he didn’t try to live his life through me. He recognized me as an individual.
He recognized that I had the ability to make right and wrong choices. And he gave me the choice to make the choice. I would love to stand here and say that every choice I made made him proud. I’m sure a lot I did, didn’t; but he gave me the ability to succeed and the ability to fail.
For whatever choice and the things I went through, every trial and temptation, every victory and success, became a life-learning experience that has brought me to where I am today. I was fortunate to have a good dad. A dad that was present. A dad that participated in our lives. Not one of those dads who wanted you to leave, to go away and leave him alone. You know, Do what you want to, just don’t bother me. If that was your dad, I’m sorry. Or if you didn’t have a dad, I’m sorry.
But we all have a Heavenly Father. A good Father. A Father who has deposited a piece of him within our heart, within our soul and within our spirit. And will speak to you. Those times when you felt like you didn’t have anybody, those hard times that you faced, those hard time that you went through, whether you understand it or believe it or not, your Heavenly Father was right there because he brought you through it. You’re here today as a living testimony. God has a plan and a purpose for your life.
I can remember when I was a young man, newly married, moving from Vicksburg to Laurel, living the life; that Sunday Christian. We weren’t bad, just social and in that life, part of the JCs and the KCs and the Gamma Os, Kiwanis and all these social things, going up the corporate ladder, so to speak, and all that goes with that.
Chris brought back a memory when he was talking about the Holy Spirit falling on the Southern Baptist. I got filled with the Holy Spirit when I was in the Presbyterian Church because we had a new preacher come in. He preached one Sunday night out of the Bible, which I believe, on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I was like, Man I need to get that Bible. I never heard that before. He taught it. I looked and found it and asked him. I never heard it taught or preached, didn’t even know it was in the Bible. And that was New Testament.
I said, You talk like that is real. He said, It is. I said, You talk like you believe it. He said, I do. I said, You said this like I can have it. He said, You can. I asked, What do I have to do? He said, Don’t seek the gifts. Seek the giver of the gifts. I said, You’re talking about Jesus aren’t you? He said, Yeah. I said, I can do that. So Betty and I started seeking Jesus and he showed up.
The gifts of the Spirit started operating in our lives and all kinds of stuff started going on in the Presbyterian Church. Our youth group went from 9 to 50 in 2 weeks. We had to move the furniture out of our living room at home to get all the teenagers in. Praise God.
Prior to this my lovely wife and I had filed for divorce. We’d gotten to the point we’d had enough of each other. We’d been living that fast life, partying, going here and there, got tired, got out of church. We’d filed and signed divorce papers, went to the bar together and got a shot of tequila. Adios amigos. See ya. Wouldn’t want to be ya. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. That’s the way it was. It was mutual consent. Our attorney said, Y’all want a divorce? We said, Yeah. He said, Y’all get along better than most happily married couples I know. But God. God always has the last say.
The Father said, No, this isn’t happening. This has come along because you cut me out of the picture. You haven’t been following me. You haven’t been serving me. You got out of church. You haven’t been walking after me. You have forgotten me. Over a course of time I went home and told her. She wouldn’t even talk to me. I’d call her and she’d hang up. We didn’t have cellphones then. We had an old wall phone. I’d see her in town and wave. She’d look the other way and drive on.
I had to go home one day and I said, Look, I’ve got something I’ve got to say. She was vacuuming the floor in the living room. I said, I’m going to say this. You can take it or leave it, listen or not. Then I’m out of here. The reason we’re in the shape we’re in is because we have forgotten God. And she keeps vacuuming. When God hit her it was like she hit a brick wall. She said, You know what? You’re right. Talk about a turnaround.
Father is good that way. It turned us around. We had done our first six years of life together our way. Our way. Looking at man. Following in the footsteps of man. Trying to impress man. Trying to get all the stuff we can so that we can ‘move on up’ and ‘get ahead.’ So God said, I’m going to tear down everything you’ve been doing and I want you to look at me. Follow me and let me be the example.
I’m going to put your feet on a Rock and we’re going to build this up the way I want it built. And hey, it didn’t happen overnight. There were still some rough patches. And some craggy mountains we had to climb. And come deep valleys we had to go down in. But yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For thy rod and thy staff comfort me. And I’m going to have to be the most tenacious joker in that valley to get through here. But God saw us through.
He began to repair. And he began to restore. Because that’s what a good Father does. Against all odds. He calls those things that are not as though they were. One of the things that excited her so much about me when we dated and got married was that I was a church boy. I was in church and she liked that. Well, I was ready to get married, and I was so sick of church that I wouldn’t have to go unless I wanted to. That was a rub at the beginning.
As the Lord was repairing and restoring and making things right, going through that process. Say, Going through the process. God started healing and mending and restoring. He really began to manifest things that had never been there, according to his purpose.
Well, Betty’s at church one day. I didn’t go. I’m restoring seats on the boat or something. I still had some of that in me. You go today. I’ll sit here and watch the house! (Betty) It was an Evangelism Explosion Seminar.
That’s right. It was on a Saturday. I was cutting the yard. They were going to teach you how to evangelize and witness to people. She comes home full of sunbeams, all excited. I’m out cutting grass, sweating, tired. She said, It was great. I learned how to witness today. Let me practice on you. Okay. If you were to die right now and you went to heaven’s gates, and they asked why I should let you in, what would you say?
That’s how you do it. Okay I’m done. She went to leave and I’m like, Wait a minute. Well, finish. Tell me what to do. My thoughts were, Well, I’ve been a good person. I haven’t killed anybody. Haven’t robbed anybody or stole too much. All these thoughts. I’ve been a pretty good guy. And she’s like, You know Jesus and the crucifixion. Do you believe that? Yeah I believe that. I had all the knowledge here (in my head), but it wasn’t here (in my heart). From that experience, it dropped from my head into my heart and became real to me. So I was really born-again again—for sure. Glory to God.
I was talking to someone yesterday and they said, Well, today is my 46th anniversary. I was thinking they weren’t old enough, and then it hit me—born-again. I said, That’s awesome that you know that. I can’t tell you what mine is. I thought you had to get saved every time you sinned. It could be a weekly thing. But it goes back to that time around 85, 86, 87. I was getting there. He was still working on me. Knocking off rough edges. He’s still knocking off rough edges today. Glory to God. I’m going to be half the man I used to be one of these days! Hallelujah! Hahaha! The Word says I must decrease so that he can increase!
She comes home from church another time. She says, Guess what? Guess who got asked to be the senior high youth leader? Who? Us! Yeah, Right!!! I’m so screwed up, how in the world am I going to minister to these young people that need to be molded and shaped and nurtured? All these thoughts are going through my head. Lord, I can’t tell these kids what to do! He spoke to me in a loud voice and he said, I know. But you can sure teach ‘em what not to do!!! I said, Well, there you go. I sure can agree with that. That was my first call into the ministry.
You see, he’s a good Father. He’ll take anybody, no matter what your status is, where you’re walking. And if you’re listening and seeking after him, he can take you and use you for his glory—if you’re willing. So many times we disqualify ourselves. Whether by past sin, or present sin, by past or present situations or circumstances. But God will use you wherever you are.
You just have to say, Wretched man that I am. Lord, just take me and use me according to your purpose. You look in the Bible at Saul of Tarsus, who probably had the biggest religious spirit operating in a man of that time. He was persecuting and killing Christians. My gosh, when Stephen got stoned to death, he was like, Here let me hold your jackets so you can throw harder. He was holding them, in approval.
Yet Jesus met him on a journey to Damascus, going to persecute Christians. I can’t help but think that Paul was having a conversation with himself. The things these believers are saying and doing that are not within the human realm, there might be something to this. I think Paul might have been having doubts and concerns, if he was doing the right thing.
I think that through that shadow of turning, that shadow of doubt, was an open door for the Spirit of God to come down and hit him and knock him off that high horse. Think about that. God isn’t a respecter of persons. There had to be a crack in the veil that had him blinded, for God to enter in. Just an opening, because he’s a good good Father. Because he’s always looking for an opening.
The devil gets a big highlight because he’s always looking for a way to slip in. To get round the gate, or under the gate, or climb the fence, or come through a crack in the door. I tell you, God does the same thing. Because the enemy can’t do anything that he didn’t see the Father do. Jesus said I can’t do anything unless I see what the Father’s doing. I can’t say anything unless I hear the Father saying it.
As dads and fathers in the earth, we have to be on our guard and watch what we do and say because we’ve got little ones that are watching us. Even though my dad was a good dad, we had lots of friends, other dads who were family acquaintances, and everything they did wasn’t godly. But yet I watched what they did and I heard what they said. Eventually I was doing and saying some of the same things they were doing and saying. And here was the deal. It was socially accepted. Children learn what they live. Children speak what they hear.
First grade. Went to school. Millington South Elementary, Tennessee, grades 1-6. I remember one of the older kids on the bus came up to me and said, Whatever I say, you say ‘it’ at the end of it. That’s all I’m going to say. You can use your imagination. We went through about three things and the last thing they said, I said ‘it’ and they laughed. I didn’t even know what they were talking about. I didn’t know bad words at that time, curse words.
I get off the bus and I’m playing the things he said over in my head. Walk up the driveway, through the carport, into the house. Mama’s in the kitchen. Let that third word out. She went, Oh my and started at me. What did I do? I didn’t know. I knew after that. Lord, have mercy. I was just repeating what I heard. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. I was just doing what had been explained to me.
Well, Mama didn’t laugh. Everybody else laughed. It was funny. It wasn’t funny at home. But praise God, he’s not going to set you up. Whatever you hear the Father say, you can repeat. Whatever you see the Father doing, you can do. You can walk in the fullness thereof. God has placed us in this earth to be examples, created in his image, to walk his walk and to talk his talk, no matter what the circumstance is.
I want to share a story with you. This is a good lesson for all of us, whether a mother or father, young or old. It bears witness with my spirit.
Once this young man went to his grandfather. He told him about his life and how things were hard. How nothing seemed to be going right. Whatever he did, it never turned out the way it was supposed to. He was devastated and at the point he wanted to give up. He was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that if one problem was solved, two more would pop up. Anybody relate? The struggle is real.
So the grandfather said, Come with me. And he took him into the kitchen. He took three boilers and filled them with water. He put them on the stove on high, and after a few minutes they began to boil. In the first pot he put some carrots. In the second pot he put some eggs. And in the third pot he put some fresh ground coffee. And he let it simmer for about 20 minutes, and didn’t sat a word.
After the time he turned off the fire and poured out the pots. He scooped carrots into a bowl, put the eggs in a bowl, and poured the coffee into a bowl. He asked his grandson, What do you see? I see a bowl of carrots, and a bowl of eggs, and a bowl of coffee. The grandfather said, I want you to examine the carrots. He did and noticed they were now soft. He told him to take an egg and crack it open. He peeled it and noticed that it was hard boiled. It had become hard.
He told him to sip the coffee. He smiled as he tasted it and smelled the rich aroma coming from that bowl. He asked, What does all this mean? He explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water. Have you ever felt like you’re in boiling water? And each reacted differently.
The carrot went from strong and hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it had softened and become weak. The egg had been fragile. It’s thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior; but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. Come on, now. Which are you? The grandfather asked. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? Think of this. Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with heat. Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death or breakup, a financial hardship, any type of confrontation or trial, have I become hardened and stiffened to everything? Does my shell look the same? But on the inside I’m tough and bitter, and I have a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water—the very circumstance that brings the pain and adversity. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and the flavor of the coffee bean. If you are like the bean when things are at their worst, you get better and you change the situation around you. When the hour is at the darkest and trials are at their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? You have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. Stop living your life in the rearview mirror. Don’t allow your past to be detrimental to the future that God has for you. That past has been your stepping stone or your ‘leg-up’ to your next in God’s perfect plan. You can’t go forward in life until you let go of the past failures and the past heartaches.
When you were born you were crying and everybody was smiling. Live your life so that at the end, you’re smiling and everybody else is crying. Allow the father heart of God to come and fill those empty and hard places in your life, and don’t let life’s circumstances dictate your reactions. You be the change agent to your life circumstances by allowing the father heart of God to operate in your life. Don’t be changed by the water. But you change the water.
Dads, men, young men, come up here. You’re going to get a double blessing today. I want to declare over each one of you that you are a coffee bean. I call forth the father heart of God to rise up within you, to be imparted to you, to be made alive whether you know it or not, where you will be a change agent in your family, in your walk, in your life, wherever you go. And that you can produce sons and daughters wherever you are. If you change circumstances, then circumstances don’t change you.
Psalm 127, 128. Hear the word of the Lord. Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen watch in vain. In vain you rise up early and stay up late toiling for food to eat. For he grants sleep to those he loves.
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor. Blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house. Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Amen and Amen.
Father, I just bless these men, that they walk in the full provision of your provision. I thank you for an impartation of your heart, of your grace, your mercy, and your love. Fill them to overflowing with the fullness of who you are. Father, if they don’t see you clearly, I thank you for clear vision. I thank you for revelation, for an understanding, that they can see and hear you, Lord. Father, that they experience you on a continuous daily basis.
Father, I thank you that you give them words and wisdom beyond their abilities. I thank you that you open the eyes of their hearts, that they see what you do and do it. That they hear what you say and they speak it. I thank you that you surround them with your favor and they go forth producing sons and daughters that will walk uprightly, displaying your glory and living the life that you ordained and purposed in Jesus name. Amen and Amen. So be it. Bless you guys.
We want to bless Larry and Gail Gilbert today. They’ve been a part of our ministry for longer than I can remember. For years and years. They’ve been faithful in their walk and their commitment to Betty and me and to Miracle City Global, to New Covenant before we came to Miracle City, to Love Ministries.
They are at a point in their walk with the Lord they they’re going to be plugging in in their hometown, where they live and move and have their being. These are great people. God-loving people. But they have to follow the voice of the Lord and do what God commands them to do, and we want to bless them and release into that.
Betty Love. They’re not leaving Miracle City. I want to clarify. They have been part of the core and they have been traveling here weekly for a long time to be with us. And it has been a blessing, especially when we shifted to Hattiesburg.
Larry travels on the road and his job is a great demand. So it has really been a laying down of their lives to come. There are seasons that the Lord gives us where the grace is there to do that. They are shifting, not away from us. This is the month about alignment, so what they are doing is rather than being here on a weekly basis, they are shifting to a monthly alignment like Beau and Marion Neill, and Chris and Stacey, and Tara and David. Some are able to be here every time for first fruits, sometimes more than that.
They will be joining us for first fruits. We are their apostolic house. We are their apostles and their connection. Gail started out early traveling with me on the road in Love Ministries as an Armor Bearer, and she has held up my arms, and she has had my back. They are our friends, brother and sister in the Lord. They have supported us at some of the hardest places, and I’m so thankful that we’re not standing here saying they’re leaving. Because they’re not.
They feel at this point in their lives that because they are community minded and family oriented, they feel at this season of their lives they need to connect there on a weekly basis. At the same time, they will be traveling here for special services, for first fruits and as Holy Spirit directs. This is not an all-of-a-sudden. As the apostle, as a prophet, I’ve known in my knower since December. And they knew. The Lord never does anything the he doesn’t reveal. So it’s not a surprise. And we want to honor them.
We want to bless them and ask the Lord to direct their steps and connect them there, where they’re supposed to plug in. As a Miracle City family, we are an apostolic hub, and there are people who have many different relationships with us. This is really what an apostolic hub is. It’s about seeding, supplying, and sending. If we can’t send, and if we can’t release people at different times and seasons in their lives, then we’re really not apostolic. At the same time, there are people coming in that are connecting and saying, I’m supposed to be here every week.
Chris and Stacey drive a little over two hours. Beau and Marion Neill are traveling three hours. JC and Craig Wright come monthly and sometimes more than that. They’re traveling from Tupelo. We are a state regional hub. We are so thankful. Nita travels from Brandon, and Mallory. We travel 40 minutes to be here. So when the grace is there to do that, yay God. But when your season shifts, you shift. And you might not ever. We have apostolic leaders and ministries in alignment with us some of you as a house have never seen. Again, we want to honor and bless them.
Father, I thank you for the seed sowers and for the faithfulness of this couple. We honor them today. I’m so thankful for the shoulder to shoulder in the spirit realm. That will never change. It’s an eternal connection.
We want to honor them in this season of their lives. Father, we thank you that even now you have gone before them and you have prepared the way. You are opening up an effective door and you’re going to settle them in that sweet spot. I decree and declare it’s a sweet spot. It’s a prepared place where they will welcome you in and it will be the right fit. Yay God. Hahahahaha.
Father, I thank you for their faithfulness and commitment to you, to the kingdom of God, to the Body of Christ. Lord, I thank you for that mothering/fathering anointing, that mentoring that you have put within them, the heart that you have given them for the body of Christ.
Lord, we bless them. We thank you as their apostolic hub and house; as their apostles we release your apostolic anointing. We thank you for a re-mantling, a fresh impartation, a second wind, and a second breath. As they have made the sacrifice, we thank you that you open up the way and they see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. We bless them to go out and come in and go out and come in and go out and come in, and there will be no break. They’ll just pick up where they left off. Yay God. Father, we thank you for this family. As a community we join as one in sending them forth in glory, in power and in promise in Jesus name.
Kimble. Father, I bless Larry and I bless Gail. I pray that you show them their next. Where to live and move and have their being. Who they’re to plug into, who is going to be their local ministry so they can plug in and be a part. Father God, I thank you that they can fulfill their place. I thank you that they are ministry gifts, our brother and sister. I release them into their purpose, into their ministry. Father, I thank you that they are aligned with us and will always be aligned. Because you have knit our hearts and our spirits together. We have like-mind, like-heart and like-spirit.
We ask that you take them, Father, into their area, into their place, into their home and that you release the fullness of your purpose, the fullness of their purpose, that they can operate in their destiny and see fulfillment come. And may they be satisfied in what they do, in ministries that you’ve given them. Father, I bless them in Jesus name. Amen.