Friday, July 24, 2009

Ambassadors Missing in Action by Robert Ricciardelli

The more I learn of God’s Kingdom the more goodness I see, the more love I see, and the more I want to endlessly live in His realm. Living in His realm allows you to see the world as Father sees it, above the noise, the chatter, the evil, the fear, and all the stuff that consumes us, and tries to take us away from His glorious presence.

We have a Father who is not moved by the plans and devices of men. The world today is not catching Him by surprise. His plan, His Kingdom, continues to come until one day, all kings and kingdoms bow to Him. As part of His plan, we are the ambassadors that He has chosen to bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. It is good news that He has chosen those who believe, and it is good news we must bring to those who have yet to believe in our King of kings, and our Lord of lords.

Hebrews 12 talks about how everything that can be shaken will be shaken, so that all that cannot be shaken will remain, and the only thing that cannot be shaken is His Kingdom, which will never be shaken. The challenge is that we have many ambassadors who do not yet know who they are, and are not living in His Kingdom reality. They are in fact missing in action, all kinds of action, but often not the actions becoming as sons and daughters of the Living God.

Missing in the actions of wrongful focus.

As kingly and priestly ambassadors of good to the world, many of God’s people are displaced by the cares of this present age. Many have been swept away by doctrines of men, and the doctrines of demons. We are following ineffectual pursuits that please the flesh and yet have no Kingdom value.

We have many who have embraced Christian religious activities, but are not moving in the love of the Father through their daily lives. These activities are not bad, as they are just inadequate in light of His Kingdom, and Fathers desire for us to be Jesus to the world. Being Jesus to the world may include some of these activities, but unfortunately many times people have been stuck in the limitations of these activities. This has mostly made our Christian expression irrelevant to the very people we are supposed to reach. Fathers intentions has always been to dwell with His people in everyday life, and bringing His loving presence to the earth.

During this shaking, we seem to be just as anxious as those who do not have Holy Spirit indwelt lives. We seem to be “of the Shaken world” rather than “of His Immovable Kingdom.” It is a process, it is a journey, and thankfully some of us have embraced the narrow way that brings glory to God and His victorious life. I am encouraged to see this during the most challenging times many of us have ever faced. Praise God!

We need to thank God to be alive in such a season as this. We must continue to think less of self, and become a lot more thankful in embracing Fathers Immovable Kingdom through Christ. Kingdom hearts are hearts filled with gratitude, and hearts motivated far beyond self. Kingdom priests that do not rely on what the natural eye can see. We must give way to the eyes of His Spirit in what we are seeing all around us. Our motivation must be, to be obediently pleasing the Father in all of our ways.

This is probably the greatest season of opportunity in our lifetime to cling to, and advance His Eternal Kingdom. The things people used to rely on, they can no longer falsely rely upon. It is more evident than ever that they cannot rely on the things that literally are crumbling before their very eyes. Securities of the past are no longer secure, and false foundations are being exposed as such.

Many Americans have been deceived in believing that the USA government was somehow immune to evil. Because of Americas past godly principled foundations, many did not see the deception that has eroded these godly foundations for more than 100 years.

The world seemed to notice before many Americans did, a government that did not operate under the principles of the God they professed. We are thankful we still have the quote “In God We Trust” on our currency, but the majority of hearts are far from it in the political arena.

I would gladly remove the quote from our currency if we could have godly character to lead our nation. This is about the system more than the people. By the grace of God, we have had many godly people be a light to the world over the years in the midst of a godly professed government in decline.

Many religious systems and churches have operated very much in line with worldly systems rather than a Spirit led Kingdom army for good. So we pray for godly ambassadors who know their identity, to rise up, and bring truth, and godly principled influence into government and every fabric of society.

Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her. This shaking is for everyone, and especially for the church, in aligning us with His will. His Kingdom will come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His church is waking up out of the fruitless slumber of religion and increasingly engaging by His Spirit into the work of the Lord for this season.

I am committed to the journey and continuing to grow in Fathers wisdom, stature and favor. As we seek Him and His Kingdom, His righteousness exposes the weights that so easily beset us. As He reveals the things that we must move away from, and deposits the substance of heaven, we can bring Him more glory. As we bring Him glory, His glory is revealed through our lives in power, and will transform others we engage with in His presence.

Will you join me and embrace your calling like never before and join the reality of His Kingdom life? He is not looking for perfect, but He is looking for willing hearts who will surrender their lives for His. Let’s be willing for all that He has for us in Jesus name.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ground Zero Theology by Robert Ricciardelli

Joyce and I recently chatted with friends about what the Lord has been showing us. Here was Joyce’s reply that I whole heartily agree with;

“God has been reducing my theology to loving Him with all that I am, and loving others with His love. “

Matthew 22:37-40
37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.

Jesus gave His life to fulfill all the law, and all the commandments that we could never fulfill, and then presented us with His new commandment, that we love.

It seems like theology and doctrine that does not bring life needs to be reconsidered. We have created quite a mess in the messed up mindsets of doctrine, theology, and religion. We have had a severe famine in the agape love of God, the very thing Jesus said was everything.

1John 4:19- We love each other because he loved us first.
It is time we come down to ground zero of our faith as He takes us from the pinnacle of powerless religious activities to becoming ambassadors of His divine nature, and His Glorious Kingdom.

It takes God to love God!
Our love can only join His as we engage in loving Him and loving others in His “Most Excellent Way.” Everything of the Kingdom originates with God. Father is Agape… He is Love. The essence of the Kingdom is returning to the Father, His love in the purest form, 30, 60, 100 fold, for His glory.

I have heard of a ship that is now built that is fueled with Plutonium. The Ship does not need to be refueled for 35 years. The Plutonium of God is His agape love, and as His people we need to be fueled for every good work, by His divine agape.

Jesus plus nothing is Everything!
Jesus said that if you had seen Him, you had seen the Father, and that He and the Father are one. By His obedience, death, and ressurection, we have been included in the mix;

John 17:22-23
22“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me, and that you love them as much as you love me.

Jesus was the Incarnate of the Father and now has established us as the Incarnate of the Father to bring His government to the earth. How is this done? By His Agape presence within us and His Agape presence as we relate to a hurting world.

The Kingdom of God does not need or want revival. It just is… Revivals often turn into man centered and man controlled environments, and then they end. They are not bad, just inadequate in light of His Kingdom. The Kingdom has no end, so that is what I am pursuing.

Matthew 6:33
Seek first the Kingdom of God, and live in His righteousness, and Father will give you everything you need.

Religion loses its plutonium, (agape) and functions on principles… Gifts that the Lord has given us can be operated outside of love, and can manifest through personal agenda’s in the form of manipulation and control.

Faith plus anything without Love is Dead

Galatians 5:4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love

May we all seek after His “Most Excellent Way”, the way of His Kingdom, and an authentic visitation that overwhelms us in the embrace of His Agape…..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Foundational Prayer Before Crisis or Blessing by Robert Ricciardelli

Foundational Prayer Before Crisis or Blessing

Living by the Spirit of the Lord is something we all pursue in our every day life. How we do this, can be a challenge for sure. Jesus lived a life of prayer, and when He needed dedicated prayer time, He would even send crowds and most likely potential resources away, so that He could be with the Father. As a result, He would not move, speak, or do anything that the Father did not ask Him to do.

As I think of prayer and how often we come to the Father during a crisis, I am thankful that our Loving Father responds to hearing our cry. I am also reminded that prayer is really for us to connect with Him, His nature, and a conduit for His peace and joy to flow through us. His Spirit never leaves us, but we must participate and engage relationally with Him in order for His presence to manifest through our lives in power. This happens most often through prayer and spending time with Him.

I also want to make a distinction between prayer and talking or listening to God. Prayer is a focused time, and talking and listening to the Father should be a continuum or seamless activity. When we are in conversation with anyone we should ask the Lord “Father what do you want me to hear, and Father how would you desire me to respond.” When we are consciously doing this, the Lord will do amazing things, and you will find that you are now giving God glory in many more conversations, and releasing His love more abundantly to others.

When prayer is foundational and we allow His will to supersede our will, every day activities take on a new light. I begin to see as He sees, I begin to hear His voice more clearly, and I begin to respond to life’s successes and challenges to the glory of God, our Father. I have also found that prayer times for me, is tuning everything elase out so I can hear from Him. I make my petitions known before God, but more importantly I listen for His petitions to become reality for me and for others, according to His will, and His plans. Below our some quotes that will encourage you to pursue prayer in an increased fashion, and watch the Father do, what only He can do.

Richard Sibbes said, "God can pick sense out of a confused prayer."

Thomas Watson said, "The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel."

Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.”

Andrew Murray said, “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God's voice is its most essential part. Listening to God's voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”

Abraham Lincoln said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day."

This one's from John Bunyan, the imprisoned pastor who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress: “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

Robert Murray McCheyne said, "What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more."

E. Stanley Jones said, "Prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat-hook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God."

And now the story, from the life of George Mueller:

Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller's orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home's account.

Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said that before the milk spoiled, he would like to give it to the children.

Looking at George Mueller’s ability to know that Father would provide, makes it very clear that prayer preceded the miracle that was about to happen. Through prayer, and revelation, George knew that His Father would provide, and activated the faith in others, while preparing the table for the miracle.

“Prayer is not pulling God to our will, but the aligning of our will to the will of God." May we all pray like never before, in the midst of crisis or blessings, and begin to prepare the table for His miracles to appear in our lives, and the lives of others, in Jesus name.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Growing Together "As One" by Robert Ricciardelli

Growing Together "As One"

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)

I want to talk on unity here. This scripture says “Till we all come in the unity of the faith”. If we're ever going to truly advance the kingdom of God, if we're ever going to transform our communities, cities and nations for Christ, we're going to have to grow up together “as one” Body of Christ.

It is not enough for some of us to come into relationship and further revelation in Jesus and not be concerned with the needed contribution of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. It has never and will never work that way. We're a part of each other. The Bible calls us to be one body...the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When one of us is prosperous in the kingdom, the whole body prospers. When one of us quits or is defeated, the whole body of Christ suffers. How can that be so, because we are one body and all one in Him. Well, how significant can my little ministry be? How can the small things I do make a difference. You may not even have a clue on how big a difference you can truly make.

Some women have on of the greatest ministries of all, to raise their children. What a tremendous ministry of birthing, and raising up the next generation of Christ’s Body upon the earth for His glory. If that is all the ministry God may call them too, praise God for their faithfulness in preparing the future Bride .

They are making a difference in the kingdom of God by fulfilling the role that the Lord has asked them to fulfill. Do they get world adulation in leading their children in the ways of their Savior? Certainly not, but she receives even greater adulation and comfort in pleasing Almighty God & Father who has given her a key place in His advancing kingdom.

Before I go on, I would also like to note that I could not fulfill all that the Lord has called me to do with out the bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh woman the Lord has blessed me with in Joyce. Joyce is an incredible woman of God and together we make a difference as we die to our ways and agenda’s to fulfill His ways and His agenda’s together “as one”

Have you ever tried to walk with a broken or sprained little toe. It truly is difficult to keep your balance and yet it is just such a small part of our body. Such is the significance with every believer. They can advance the kingdom of God by fulfilling their part of obedience to the word and will of God. Or they can sadly hinder the body by not fulfilling the word nor will of God for their life.

I am talking to all of us, I am encouraging all of us to seek after Him like never before in fulfilling all that the Lord has for us. You truly are significant in the kingdom of our Lord. If you are a mother, then you have the ability to multiply what the Lord has given you in your children and they will become multipliers in the harvest of souls for years to come. That is significant! If you work in healthcare, business, finance, education, etc. , you can be radical transformers to the glory of God.

Always remember, we're not islands unto ourselves. I can't do anything without affecting you. You can't do anything without affecting me. We're joined together by God and held together Him through one another (Eph. 4:16). We can only grow up...together!

Learn to walk in the love of Christ. Do not fall prey to division and isolation. Feed on the Word daily and encourage your brothers and sisters by feeding it to them too, so we can all grow up to be "a perfect [or mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

And finally…… the Message says this so well….

1 Corinthians 12: 13-28
13By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain--his Spirit--where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves--labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free--are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.
14I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together.
15If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so?
16If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body?
17If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell?
18As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
19But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster.
20What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own.
21Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"?
22As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way--the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach.
23When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons.
24If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?
25The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't,
26the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
27You are Christ's body--that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything.
28You're familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his "body":

This includes you, wherever your ministry may be,
parents, family, healthcare, education, business, government, church organizations, missions, environment, law…. Do all as part of the whole of His Body, and do all to the glory of the One God & Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. "As One" beloved!