Archive for January, 2012

Fuel for the Fire, #4: THROUGH FIRE

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Purified, Strengthened, Prepared – through Fire

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:2, 3

You and I are like gold to God – precious, chosen, costly… and requiring fire to make our lives pure, beautiful, and strong for His glory.   

OUCH!  We know firsthand that fire hurts – and many of God’s people are passing through the fires of affliction in the form of long and painful trials right now. 

Why would a loving Father allow His children to suffer thus?  He loves you too much to waste a trial or allow needless suffering in your life.  His goal is to make you strong, faithful, and unafraid of anything the devil or the world can throw at you.  He desires for you to possess unshakeable faith – because that is the only type of faith that will stand in the evil day: 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13 

 God has ordained for your victory ~ but victory requires a battle!  And God has a GOOD plan for the battle you’re in right now. 

Truly, God is making us ready for the “perilous times” ahead through the very trials we are facing now. As you submit to God in all He is allowing to touch your life, there is a precious work of purifying, strengthening, and preparing you for the days ahead without which you would be lacking.  Remember God’s promise for His children in the day of trouble:   

 “…the people who know their God shall be strong,  and carry out great exploits.”

Daniel 11:32

 

So don’t be discouraged by the battle before you, and don’t get disappointed with God – His plan for you is for GOOD and for GLORY: 

 

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12, 13

 

Jesus our Messiah is returning in glory! And every cost we count for Him now will seem insignificant in the light of His awesome majesty and glorious power on that day. Keep spending time with Him, keep trusting His heart of love for you, and keep giving Him praise and thanks.

For Prayer:

The devil seeks to wear down God’s people through prolonged attack. Pray for God to revive and strengthen them through the battle, and to refresh the faith of our brothers and sisters in the American Church and all over the world.   

 

 

Fuel for the Fire, Part 3

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

“I HAVE LOVED YOU,” says the Lord.

Malachi 1:2

This is God’s opening statement in the Book of Malachi, one of the most thorough and detailed words of correction in the Bible.  It was given to people who had compromised, disobeyed, and been halfhearted toward God. And He begins by saying, “I have loved you.”      

My point?  Even in times of correction – He loves us.  Even in times of discipline – He loves us.  Even in times of valleys low and trials long – surely His goodness and mercy shall follow you all your days (Psalm 23:6)

The Father IS love (see 1 John 4:8), and all that He does is in your life is from a heart of love for you

You probably agree with the previous statement.  And yet, our belief in His love is put to the test in times of deep sorrow, unexpected loss, hope deferred, shattered dreams… These are the “litmus tests” that show us if we really believe His love for us. 

In describing the price our Father paid to save us, Paul wrote these words:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…” Ephesians 2:4

And John paints this picture of Jesus’ love for His disciples:

“…having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

John 13:1

Endless love, matchless love, costly love, faithful love, forgiving love, relentless love – that is how you and I are loved by God

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.”

Psalm 42:8

He’ll never fail or forsake us, never leave or abandon us – in fact, He is with you now, desiring that you receive and rest in His love:  

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

” As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

John 15:9  

Such love demands a response from you and I:

1)     Receiving His love

2)     Reciprocating His love (loving Him back)

3)     Sharing His love (giving His love away to others who need it)

If you build your life on those three principles, you will “bear much fruit” as Jesus promised. 

FOR PRAYER:

Countless Christians live their daily lives apart from the experience of Jesus’ love.  They’re running on good intentions and good works… and soon they’re running on fumes. 

Pray for a revival in the lives of Believers all over our country, that they would experience their Father’s love afresh and anew.  As we begin to really experience God’s love again, our lives change!  And soon we are overflowing with the love and power of the Holy Spirit.  This is true personal revival which soon leads to corporate revival in our churches and fellowships. 

May the Lord bless YOU with a fresh experience of the Father’s love for you, and may it overflow to a dying, hurting world around you.

Much love in Jesus,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries

Fuel for the Fire, part 2: THE ESSENCE OF REVIVAL

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

Revelation 2:4, 5 NKJV

THE ESSENCE OF REVIVAL

Here’s a personal and vital question for you: do you delight in the Lord like you did when you first met Him?  Does your spirit hunger for His nearness?  Do you set aside regular time to be with Him?  Are you tending the fire of your “first love,” or is it growing dim through neglect?

As a pastor, I’ve witnessed a tragic truth: most American Christians live largely void of His presence and power, struggling instead on our own strength and effort to make it through the wilderness of this world.  And as the struggle toils on, our first love – the vibrancy and joy of our friendship with Jesus – slowly dies. 

This is a perilous time in which we’re living.  Jesus said of this age, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12 NKJV).  You and I cannot afford to neglect our relationship with Jesus, especially now.  The great “falling away” (see 2 Thess. 2:3) has begun, and deception continues to seep into the Church.  I adjure you: make your first love your first priority.  Make time to enjoy your Father’s love, to cultivate a deeper friendship with Him.  Meditate on His Word, and invite His Spirit to fill you afresh with His love and power.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God…” (Jude 1:20, 21 NKJV).

The essence of revival is a return to our first love. Will you join me – right now, and this week – in praying for genuine revival among the people of God in our land?  Our need is desperate… let’s ask God to fall with fresh fire on our lives and churches once again. 

Much love to you in our precious Savior,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2012

 

Fuel for the Fire, part 1

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Fuel for the Fire

Refreshing Faith, Rekindling First Love, & Praying for Revival

 Dear Friends,

As we enter into the New Year, I sense an increasing urgency for Springs of Life Ministries to do 3 things:

1.      Refresh the faith of God’s people.

2.      Help a holy remnant rekindle their first love for Jesus.

3.      Call God’s people to consistent prayer for revival.

My friends, I do not believe that we in the West will experience “business as usual” Christianity for much longer.  I believe the day of judgment for our nation is drawing nearer, and that America’s only hope is a genuine revival of Biblical proportions. 

The unavoidable truth is that our current impotent brand of Evangelical Christianity will never get us there – every year the Church comes up with new programs and petitions, new crusades and festivals, but every year the Church follows the nation in a moral freefall.  We have lost the battle for the soul of our nation – now the last battle is for souls in our nation.  God will never turn a deaf ear to His royal priests (see 1 Peter 2:9) who approach His throne of grace in the Name and authority of His own Son.  We are Blood-bought, chosen, and precious to Him – and He has promised to hear our prayers.  You and I can make a difference as we love Jesus and pray for America. 

I want to repeat: America’s only hope is in a genuine, Biblical revival.  And only a praying remnant of followers of Jesus can “stand in the gap” (see Ezekiel 22:30) for our nation and pray down such a move of the Most High God. 

For this cause, I will be sharing a weekly word of encouragement and exhortation in 2012.  It is called “Fuel for the Fire,” and it is my sincere prayer that it will be used of God to strengthen your faith and stir you to love & prayer. 

The day is dark, and we have witnessed dramatic changes in America in a short period of time.  Religious freedoms have been under attack, and an agenda of lawlessness has been promoted at every level.  And yet a remnant of God’s people who persist in prayer can have a tremendous impact on our country in the days ahead.  Souls hang in the balance, and the hour is later than we realize. 

For that reason, I am asking you to prayerfully consider doing 3 things this year as you read these “Fuel for the Fire” words:

  1. Check the sincerity and passion of your love for Jesus – do you love Him more than ever?  Is your life surrendered to Him?  Are you investing time regularly to build your friendship with Him?  I exhort you: don’t allow for any lukewarmth in your heart. 
  2. If these exhortations are an encouragement to you, then share them with your friends
  3. Set aside weekly time to pray for revival in our nation.

If we will pray and seek Him, I believe God will send revival.  We will find once again that although our country deserves such terrible judgment, yet our God is merciful, and that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). 

Let’s remember the words spoken through the prophet Hosea – they’re especially timely for our nation and for the people of God: 

Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy;

Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord,

Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. 

Hosea 10:12 

Please join me on this journey of refreshing faith, rekindling love, and praying for revival in 2012.  I would love to hear from you, and know that God is stirring a remnant all across this land. 

For the glory of our King and the revival of His Church,

Matthew Casey