Living Out Our Lives In the Anointing

SCRIPTURE STUDY:  AMOS 3:7-8 (ESV)

WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW AND UNDERSTAND –

VERSE 7:  “SURELY the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secrets to His servants the prophets” (AMP).

We know that we can prepare boldly for what is coming because Jesus gave us the prophetic signs of our time.  He told us what we should look for and because of His words, we know that we’re living in the LAST DAYS because prophetically the Bible has shown us where the CHURCH will be in the future.  We know that it will end in glory and will end strong and not weak.

The Laodicean Church, one of the 7 churches mentioned in The Revelation to John (Rev. 3:14-17).  In this passage of scripture, Jesus spoke about the last days but it will not be the final church because the LAST CHURCH will be united and strong and will grow into the full stature of Jesus.

God is equipping and preparing us for great and mighty things so we will finish strong!  We will take the NATIONS for Jesus’ sake by PREACHING the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth!!

The DEVIL has already been defeated and although he will exert great power on the earth, his reign of terror will end in the lake of fire.

THE ENTIRE WORD OF GOD IS PROPHETIC…meaning “foretelling,” and “forth telling.”

But it is also apostolic because the word “apostolic” is a DOING word.

James 1:22 (The Message Bible)

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.  ACT on [or “DO”] what you hear.”

To be apostolic means we must be “doers”: acting on what you hear!  And what we do should extend beyond the four walls of our church by extending to the ends of the earth.

An APOSTLE is a person who performs the Word IN DEED.

At Pentecost, the disciples became apostles because they were ANOINTED to do ministry.

Jesus’ ministry was apostolic because of what He did (Acts 10:38).

[38] How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him  (AMP).

And since Jesus gave us the command to “go then and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19), as fellow disciples we are ANOINTED to do ministry.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (AMP)

[21] But it is God Who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and has consecrated and anointed us [enduing us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit];  [22] [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].

The definition of an APOSTLE is, “one who is sent forth” to represent another.

And as the ANOINTED, we, as believers are sent by God to represent heaven on earth.  We are to be the answer to a distressed world.

The true definition of the apostolic ministry is “Someone who is anointed by God [not man] to perform a supernatural task on earth by adding to God’s Kingdom.”  It implies that we can ALL be apostolic through the indwelling Holy Spirit’s power!

But are we really “doers”?

God has always been building His Kingdom or building His church which is the same thing.

Some Terminologies in the WORD May Change.

The first time the word “apostle” was used was in the New Testament.  It was never mentioned in the Old Testament, but its meaning carries the same function in the Old and New Testaments–because God has always sent man and woman to represent Him and to perform work for Him.

There are ANOINTED people who are DOING in the name of the Lord but they are not sent by God to do whatever they’re doing.  If we are not sent by God we will not be acknowledged by Him.  So it is important to DO only what God directs us to DO.  That’s what Jesus did.  He never did anything without God’s permission.

God has called each one of us to work with Him and He is building His Kingdom with us and through us.

GOD IS THE BUILDER!!!

Colossians 1:15-17 –

From this revelation in Scripture (God’s Word), we can see the great apostolic power of Jesus as the Creator and because He created everything, He has POWER and AUTHORITY over everything He created.

Those who have an apostolic anointing are also creative and the things they BUILD for God are a testimony against the kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

What God BUILDS will defeat the devil and the things we BUILD with God cannot be destroyed by the enemy.

To be APOSTOLIC…and I know there are those reading this blog who are uncomfortable using this term…is being sent in BUILDING SOMETHING that exults God and overcomes the enemy.

Anything that was built by God and His workers in the Old Testament, by definition, is APOSTOLIC and anything built by God and His workers since then is APOSTOLIC.

GOD IS NOT YET FINISHED BUILDING HIS KINGDOM!

For example, He has not yet created a new heaven and a new earth which He will do in the future.  That’s part of His future plans and we are part of His present plans.  That is why we need the BLUEPRINT for today.

God has ANOINTED every one of us to BUILD apostolically.

Everything we see in the physical or natural environment responds to WORDS.  That’s the way God’s creation is designed:  “God said…God saw”  (Genesis One).

God has given us the ability and the authority to frame our world with His Words.  Prophetic Words have POWER and can be spoken into our circumstances in order to shape our world so that it reflects the MAJESTY AND POWER of God’s Kingdom.  So watch your words!

When these spoken words are applied to God’s creation, there will be a response.  However, there’s a time to SPEAK and a time to DO things.  That’s why we need both the APOSTOLIC AND PROPHETIC ANOINTING.

Any impressive building has a CORNERSTONE to show that it is valuable.  It usually contains inscribed the names of the Architect, the Master Builder, and the Visionary.

All that God BUILDS is valuable and JESUS is the Chief Cornerstone of everything He builds (1 Peter 2:6-8).  If Jesus isn’t part of the building then it’s not worth building.  And if it is not built by Him, then it’s not His building.

When Jesus is the CORNERSTONE, what we build, whether it is our spiritual life, our marriage, our home life, our career, our businesses, the name of Jesus will always be a stumbling block to those who oppose Him because the CORNERSTONE will reflect heaven.

God wants everything to be built on His apostolic BLUEPRINT.

The reason being that it can EXALT Jesus who is the Creator and the greatest example of the APOSTOLIC ANOINTING.

Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

God wants every family to have an apostolic blueprint so that they can be built according to His plans with Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.

When others see the building, not necessarily a physical building…God will be given the GLORY.  God wants to be glorified in our families, our ministries, our businesses, and every other aspect of our lives.  But He can only be GLORIFIED if things are built according to His design.

When His name is on the building, it becomes a stumbling block to the kingdom of darkness, but LIFE and HOPE to the world.

Every Ministry Should Have An Apostolic Blueprint to Succeed.

In order to fulfill our the requirement, we need to find the BLUEPRINT of the cities and nations that God is giving us to REBUILD.  And because anything that hasn’t been built according to how God wants it built MUST be broken down and rebuilt.

AND…there’s nothing wrong with rebuilding.

Rebuilding because there are things that must be redesigned, restructured, and repositioned so that God can be given the GLORY.

If your life, my life, is not offending the kingdom of DARKNESS, that means that Jesus is not the CORNERSTONE because the Cornerstone will be the Rock of offense to everything that refuses to bow to Hum.

The laying of the CORNERSTONES is in accordance with our apostolic built-up anointing because God wants us in our ANOINTED lives to place Christ back in the cities and the nations.  And when the building is complete, Jesus is going to be the CORNERSTONE of that city or nation.

Revelation 11:15 (AMP)

The seventh angel blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The Dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and forever (for the eternities of the eternities)!

WHEN WE BUILD THINGS FOR GOD He places us into the foundation of that building as a TESTIMONY for eternity.

The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:12 & 14 (NIV)

[12] It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.  On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

[14] The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The names of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles are etched on the FOUNDATIONS of the New Jerusalem that contributed to the building.  God advanced His Kingdom through the TWELVE TRIBES of Israel who possessed the Promise Land and laid down the FOUNDATION for the nation of Israel performing their apostolic part.

After Pentecost in the New Testament, God built the CHURCH through the early apostles and they laid down the FOUNDATION of the New Covenant for Believers (that’s us) to build on and they completed their apostolic part.

Ephesians 2:20 (AMP)

You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.

What we do for God today means something and He remembers the names of those who have worked for Him and with Him.  God doesn’t merely use your life and resources and then forgets about you, but He remembers your name and blesses you and your children up to the THIRD and FOURTH generation.

When we operate prophetically and apostolically in our lives God will make sure that your name is in the FOUNDATIONS for all to see and He will send others to BUILD on that Foundation generation to generation.

You Have An Unique Anointing – 2 Corinthians 6:1 (AMP)

Laboring together [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them–do not receive it to no purpose].

That unique anointing should express itself in you PASSION.  And as an example, if you have a PASSION for seeing people HEALED…God will use you for healing.

Remember, we can’t do anything without Christ because He is the SOURCE OF THE ANOINTING.  ALWAYS!

_______________________________________________________________________________

CREDITS FOR THIS BLOG:

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Commentary:  What is the anointing?  What does it mean to be anointed? – gotQuestions?.org.

PHOTOS:  Google Image search, using the referenced Scripture verses.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP) except where noted.

 

 

 

 

Our Responsibilities as God’s “Plenipotentiary”

“Plenipotentiary” Definition:

Noun – a person, invested with the fill power of independent action on behalf of their government.

Adjective – having full power to take independent ACTION as a designated representative.

WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF A DIPLOMAT/AMBASSADOR/”PLENIPOTENTIARY”?

United States Ambassador
United States Ambassador

When United States DIPLOMATS negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler to the United States, they all have the same mission–REPRESENT THE INTERESTS and policies of the United States.

An AMBASSADOR is the President’s highest-ranking representative.

His/her qualities should be as follows:

—  A strong leader.

—  A good manager.

—  A resilient negotiator.

—  And, a respected representative of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin speaking to the qualities that should accompany a “plenipotentiary”– diplomat, said it this way:

“[The qualities of a diplomat are] sleepless tact, unmovable calmness,

and patience that no folly, no provocation, 

no blunders make shake.”

 BIBLE VERSE:

2 Corinthians 5:20

 

HOW WE BECOME GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE–CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD:

Joel Santos says it this way–If God were like me, he would have used legions of angels, proclaiming, singing, shouting his message nonstop, simultaneously around the world.  But praise God, He is NOT like me! [i footnoted].

In 2 Corinthians 5:11-20, the Apostle Paul, responding to criticisms about his ministry by giving reasons why Christians should be involved in MISSIONS.

GOD gave us ALL… the ministry of reconciliation…

This GOD-GIVEN COMMISSION is plain and clear–God’s mission of reconciling the world unto Him will be brought to completion through us, the redeemed!

Preparation For Being AMBASSADORS:

Before taking this honor as Plenipotentiaries, we need to make an honest attempt of knowing our responsibilities.  Consider the Christian as an AMBASSADOR who has a special motive of serving–the love of Jesus.

JESUS expressed LOVE in many ways, and as His AMBASSADORS, we need to take note:

He loved the lost – (Mark 10:21).

He wept over the lost – (Matthew 23:37).

He loved the outcasts of society – (Illus.: Luke 19:1-10).

The lack of love angered Him – (Mark 3:5).

He proved His love on Calvary…He died for us, so we live for Him.

A Christian Ambassador Responsibilities and Duties in the World– [ii]

1.  BE READY –

To be alert for chances to represent Christ while not backing away from a challenge or an opportunity.

2.  BE PATIENT –

Not quarrelling with others, but will listen in order to understand, then with gentleness, seek to respectfully engage those who disagree.

3.  BE REASONABLE –

Have informed convictions based on God’s Word/Scripture (not just feelings), give reasons, ask questions, aggressively seek answers, and will not be stumped by the same challenge twice.

4.  BE TACTICAL –

Adapt to each unique person and situation, maneuvering with wisdom while challenging bad thinking… presenting the TRUTH in an understanding and compelling way.

A Personal Experience of Being “Tactical”:

I have been blessed to be a part of 4 Billy Graham Crusades over the years.

As a counselor, when the Crusade Choir starts singing “Just as I am, without one plea”, was my cue to start my journey towards the center field of the football stadium.  To be qualified as “counselor”, we had to go through a week of training before Crusade began.

Mr Graham was positioned on a platform and after his message, those in attendance, started flowing down the long series of steps to the field. As counselors, we were to be sensitive to people’s needs, look forward to God-given opportunities, then to listen and share God’s Word with those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

After meeting and talking to several people one night, and as the crowds gathered on the stadium floor began to disperse,  I also turned to leave.  When out of the corner of my eye, I noticed 3 men heading towards me at a rapid pace.  Two of the men, who were giants among men, were carrying a much smaller man by his armpits, his feet not touching the ground.  As they approach, I didn’t know whether to stay frozen in place, or turn my back and quickly remove myself from their sight.  I decided to stand my ground with trepidation.

One of the men spoke up and declared, “We our Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton.  We were here last night and got saved.”

Releasing the smaller man so that his feet could touch the ground, he continued saying, “This is a fellow-Marine.  We brought him here tonight so he too can be saved!”

 I thought to myself,  “Mel, this is a unique situation with unique men.  Lord, I need to quickly adapt to and apply Your wisdom…NOW!” 

Immediately, I proceeded to explain that their “fellow-Marine” needed to make his own choices in accepting JESUS;  their forceful and insistent encouragement might do more harm than good.  Scaring someone to Christ might sound “convicting”, but no, God’s Word doesn’t tell us to do so as His Ambassadors.

I then began sharing the Gospel Message with the help of a B.G.C. (Billy Graham Crusade) tract, and the young Marine accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour.

5.  BE CLEAR – 

Being careful with our language and not relying on Christian “lingo”.  [Ex.: manifestations, glorified, the rapture, justification, reconciliation, etc.].  Keep it simple.

6.  BE FAIR –

Be sympathetic and understanding towards others, acknowledging the merits of contrary views.

7.  BE HONEST –

Being careful with the facts that will not misrepresent another’s view, overstate his own case, or underestimate the demands of the Gospel.

8.  BE HUMBLE –

Do not press a point beyond what the persons evidence allows.  Know that their understanding of the TRUTH is fallible.

9.  BE ATTRACTIVE –

Act with grace, kindness, good manners (“fruits of the Spirit”)–do nothing that will dishonor the One who has sent you on the mission.

10. BE DEPENDENT –

Know that your effectiveness requires joining your best efforts with God’s POWER.

AMBASSADORS ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION:

christian-embassy-un-logo-210x210

As Christian Ambassadors, “Plenipotentiaries”, we are to shine forth God’s Light–proclaim the message of SALVATION whenever and wherever we may be.  Sadly, Christians have lost the sense of our godly appointment in this world.  We’ve got our “ticket to heaven” punched, and we are home free!

May it never be, that as Christ’s Ambassadors, we are ordinary citizens in the world.  For if we feel that way, we will never fulfill the mission:

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion,  Your God reigns!”  (Isaiah 52:7 AMP).

 

[See previous Blog: July 8th, 2011 – https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/christ-ambassadors;-our-power-to-influence/.] 

Footnotes:  [i] Pastor/minister @Evangelical Christian Church – Network of Churches and Ministries in the Philippines.  [ii] Adapted from Greg Kouki,  “Ambassador’s Creed” and Roger Morris’ Characteristics of a Christian Ambassador.

 

 

CAUTION: Careful Thinking Before Walking On Thin Ice!

BLOG’S TEXT–1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (AMP):

[19]  “For although I am free in every way from anyone’s control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for Christ].  [20]  To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to men under the Law, [I became] as one under the Law, though not myself being under the Law, that I might win those under the Law.  [21]  To those without (outside) law I became as one without the law of God and lawless toward Him, but that I am [especially keeping] within and committed to the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.  [22]  To the weak (wanting in discernment) I have become weak (wanting in discernment) that I might win the weak and over-scrupulous.  I have [in sort] become all things to all men,in a that I might by all means (at all costs and by any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ].  [23]  And I do this for the sake of the good news (the Gospel), in order that I may become a participator in it and share in its [blessings along with you].”

THINKING BEFORE YOU TAKE A RISK IN THE “WHAT If’s” OF SOCIETY:

Spectator Sports are a big part of people’s lives everywhere.  Whether it be Soccer, Cricket, Tennis, Golf or in the Pacific Northwest this past week–Playoff Professional Football–the Seattle Seahawks.  Personally, I’m more of a baseball fan, but with Seattle’s lack of success in that area…maybe more of a Football enthusiast of late.  And you are right, just a “fair-weather” sports fan.

5887222774_7f1ccc9f3aCareful Thinking Before Taking Risks–

MY PURPOSE:

My purpose for writing this blog is NOT to “throw rocks” at churches in communities for doing things out of the ‘ordinary’ ; in being transparent ‘real people’ for Christ.  For the apostle Paul did so on many occasions.  My only purpose is to remind church leaders to READ THE CAUTION SIGNS; to THINK first before taking a risk of going against the gospel truth–stepping out on the ice regardless of what the results may be.

A few definitions of the meaning– On Taking Risks

(“Exposure to) the possibility of loss, or other adverse or unwelcome circumstance; a chance or situation involving such a possibility”~ Old English Dictionary.

And… “RISK can be seen as relating to the PROBABILITY OF UNCERTAIN FUTURE EVENTS.”

I ran across a few comments in The Seattle Times, a Seattle based newspaper on how churches would respond on a Sunday morning; when a local sports team was playing the ‘BIG GAME’ at 10 AM PST –[the set-aside time for Worship and Praise for many churches–and not the a pastor’s Message on a stage].

Let me give you just a few of their comments before I proceed with a ‘”Word detective” investigation; on THINKING FIRST before you speak or act in the community of non-believers and… the believing “sheep” of the church.

Seattle area pastors response after holding earlier services on Sunday– that will finish before kickoff and followed by a football watch party:

LOCAL PASTOR:  “…and we will get crap from other churches.”

Just a few miles from Notre Dame University, the lead Pastor  at a local community church noticed that attendance at Saturday services dropped dramatically whenever Notre Dame was playing.  So this season he invited people to watch the games at church on a big-screen TV and attend worship services just before or after the games.  The pastor quotes Scripture, noting that the apostle Paul became “all things to all people” to connect with as wide an audience as possible.  “You adjust your ministry to reach out to people in the most effective way in their culture,” he said.  Is his THINKING incorrect?  That depends and I will investigate in God’s Word regarding actions taken in the ministry of the local church.  Then you can decide.

Now you might be wondering where I’m going with all of this and what does it all have to do with 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, and that is a good question.  For quoting Scripture without putting it in CONTEXT might be seen as relating to the PROBABILITY of uncertain future…taking risks in the outcome.

Different priorities?”–Maybe…

If I saw a sign with the word “CAUTION”, I would be sure to read it in  context–thinking first before ignoring the “why’s” and “the what for’s”before ignoring the warnings.

Before returning to the Bible verses in 1 Corinthians, turn to The Gospel of Matthew to see how Jesus prioritized in a lesson taught:

[24] “When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher pay the half shekel?  [25] He answered,  Yes.  And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him [about it] first, saying,  What do you think, Simon?  From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or tribute–from their own sons or from others not of their own family?  [26] And when Peter said,  From other people not of their own family, Jesus said to him,  Then the sons are exempt.  [27] However, in order not to give offense and cause them to stumble [that is, to cause them to judge unfavorably and unjustly] go down to the sea and throw in a hook.  Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel.  Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself”  (Matthew 17:24-27 AMP).

Now Jesus certainly wasn’t libel to pay any tribute, but a lesson needed to be understood by His disciples.  I love the word, HOWEVER ” in Scripture.  It tells us that ‘in spite of what was just said…’  there is more to come.  And JESUS continues the conversation…in order not to give offense and cause them to stumble…”  (verse 27).

So the FREEDOM that comes with Christianity also comes with cautions/warnings.  And thinking about the cautions before taking a risk in an outreach ministry, can sometimes put you in a place of inaction in the community of believers.  Everyone, and I mean everyone is watching!

It’s Like Walking On A Razor’s Edge–

1 Corinthians 9:19, 22:

“I’ve made myself slave to all” (verse 19)   AND   “I have become all things to all men”  (verse 22).

CAUTION: You are on the brink of idolatry, compromise and worldliness to sin–you are walking the razor’s edge between fruitless separation and unprincipled expediency.

If you fall one way, you are no use–no connection with the world; fall the other way, you are no use because you are just like the world.

How then does a person keep their FAITH and their FREEDOM and their RADICAL ZEAL to win people to Christ and not just copy people?  The answer is, thinking hard about your relations to the Law of God–the way Paul did.

Long ago, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the philosopher prophet of the twentieth century, warned us that America had become a part of “the post-Christian culture.  Today we have almost been silenced by anti-Christian forces claiming that we are trying to impose moral values on this rampant decadence.  The truth is that they have tried to impose their immoral values on us.  They are generally doing a better job of corrupting society than we are of cleansing it.  May God help us to become the restraining influence we should be on a corrupt world.   From Tim La Haye and Jerry B. Jenkins’  A 90-Day Devotional PERHAPS Living Every Day In The Light Of Christ’s Return TODAY-page 60.

A “Priority”–

If the church spent as much time and effort on preparing to WORSHIP and PRAISE on Saturdays and Sundays–regardless of the clock–, as the world prepares to celebrate and give glory to football teams, then the churches in America would be filled to capacity–without gimmicks, or new programs.  Ask yourself the question: How are we prioritizing in ministry to reach the city for Christ?

“Gut Check”–

I once invited a co-worker to attend a morning church service with my family.  His response was somewhat shocking to me at first because I wasn’t thinking that I would get the following response:

I’ve been there done that before.  Get up on my day-off and go to church and noticed that the people in church were not any different in their actions than the people I hang out with at the local PUB on Saturday nights.  So why bother to get up on Sunday?  I’ll just have my own church at home.  Thanks for the invite, but I’ll pass.”   OUCH!

“My priority is to win unsaved people in the community and bring them to Christ–at any cost!”

A noble statement, but is it the real reason of your actions, are you thinking of the outcomes before you become an ambassador of Christ?  Is your FAITH in the outcome of your ‘doing’ activated by LOVE (Galatians 5:6) or is SELF the activator?

The ‘Frank Sinatra Syndrome’:

A lawyer asked Jesus a question to test Him:  Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principle kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light–which are heavy?]    And He replied to him,  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.    This is the great (most important, principle) and first commandment.    And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.  (Matthew 22:36-39).

What Human Needs Are–

Unless our entire body, soul, and spirit are totally in love with Jesus–we will be ineffective in loving ourselves.  And if you can’t love yourself then how can you be effective in your city, your church, etc.?

The psychologist Abraham Maslow has given us a theorist list of human needs, essentials in society:

1.  Safety/Security–the need for structure, predictability, stability and freedom from fear and anxiety.

2.  Belongingness/LOVE–the need to be accepted by others and to have strong personal ties with one’s family, friends, and identifying groups.

3.  Self-esteem–the need to be recognized by oneself and others.  Also includes the need to know that one has some effect on her/his environment.

4.  Personal fulfillment–the need to reach one’s potential in all areas of life.

5.  Identity–goes beyond a psychological “sense of self'”.  Theorists define identity as a sense of self in relation to the outside world.

6.  Cultural security–is related to identity; the need for recognition: one’s language, traditions, religion, cultural values, ideas, and concepts.

7.  FREEDOM/Liberty–is the condition of having no physical, political, or civil restraints; having the capacity to exercise choice in all aspects of one’s life.

8.  Participation–is the need to be able to actively partake in and influence society.

Now are these “HUMAN NEEDS” inclusive in TAKING RISKS?  Maybe.  When I first investigated this area of basic human needs, something jump off the viewpoints of the theorists:  SELF–“I have a need to be LOVED, to have IDENTITY, SELF-ESTEEM, ETC.”  I like to call it The ‘Frank Sinatra Syndrome’--I want to do it “my way”.  That only edifies your/my SELF IMPORTANCE and not the LOVE OF JESUS.

“CAREFUL THINKING [IN LIBERTY/FREEDOM] BEFORE TAKING RISKS”:

Galatians 5:13 AMP:

“For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom (liberty); only [do not let your] FREEDOM [LIBERTY] be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.”  (I added the word “liberty”  to the AMP).

What then is our Liberty, our freedoms in our cities as Christians?

1.  Liberty is constrained by our love of Jesus–if you do not LOVE Christ, forget all the rest of the principles and do it your way.

2.  Liberty/Freedom SHOULD NOT cause another person to stumble, be made weak, or turn from Christ–This is a MAJOR POINT!  It’s the only one that says that a person sins against Christ.  And “that person” can be a “non-believer” or a “believer” in Christ.

3.  Liberty should be edifying–does your liberty build up the body of Christ?

4.  Liberty should not be enslaving.

5.  Liberty should always glorify Jesus–does your freedom truly bring glory to Jesus?

6.  Liberty should help you toward your goal Goad has set.

7.  Liberty should be worthy of the TRUTH–the Gospel–does your liberty hinder the gospel of Christ?

Are you a C.I.N.O.? (Christians in name only):

The principles I have laid down for you [‘recognizer of God’s truth’ contained in the Gospel message] and are but CAUTION SIGNS to make you think first before stepping out on the slippery ice and taking a risk of  falling through.  There’s no such thing a “part-time Christians’ recorded in the Bible.

Self-denial first–

God’s Word confirms this principle, when the apostle Paul tells the believers in the city of Corinth:

“For the LOVE of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died;    And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 AMP).

One important characteristic for all of us who profess our belief in Christ Jesus and so necessary for church leaders is self-sacrifice: giving up our rights for the benefits of others and for the glory of God.

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Why?  Because a leaders life is so determinative, influential in the cities and on other people.  And you know if Christ Jesus and His Word are being emphasized– and it’s not all about you, then wearing a button on your shirt won’t be necessary.  The city will know who you represent.  Careful thinking first and  LIVE LIKE JESUS–SHARE HIS LOVE!