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Discipleship Healing Jesus Preaching Kingdom of God Ministry Miracles Prayer Success

Jesus Taught a Progression: An Overview

Jesus taught lots of things; in particular, there is an important series of things to do in order to minister more like Jesus. From one point of view, here’s an overview:

First, it’s valuable to know what an Ecclesia is. That’s a Greek word frequently translated as “church” in many bibles, today. And that can be confusing because the meaning has changed over the years.

When the Roman’s conquered a new territory, one of the things they would do was to appoint people to transform the local culture to Roman culture. To teach them how to talk, dress and in many other ways act like Romans. So that when the Emperor would come, he would feel at comfortable and at home. These people were backed up by the power of the Roman Empire.

Jesus apparently borrowed the term and used it to mean local Christians, disciples, who would meet in small groups – such as peoples homes (in addition to public places). Encourage and build each other up. Teach and help one another And, to change and transform the surrounding culture – into becoming a Christian culture with lots of disciples. An Ecclesia is backed up by the Kingdom of God, led by Jesus – our King.

This was a period of extremely rapid growth of the Body of Christ, and this was a huge method of helping that to happen. Ecclesia’s made of disciples were very important to the rapid spread of Christianity.

They practiced what is now called “Marketplace Ministry”. Not in local churches with separate buildings where they sat passively as one mostly person spoke. Everyone participated and many were business owners – fishing business, sheep business, a tax collector. Jesus was a worker of wood – making many different things. Later St. Paul was a tentmaker. At that same time there was also a dealer in expensive dyes. And others….

How were such disciples made? Through Ministry. It went something like this:

-Jesus and later his disciples always began with prayer. Prayer, prayer and more prayer. Always much prayer before growth in numbers ad in effective ministry happened.

Then to go. Going for the Harvest of souls. Going took several forms, which we will explore later. The key point: people were sent.

-Then the Proclamation or Preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

-Then in that context, the healing of the sick, freeing those bound by unclean spirits; and also the cleansing of lepers and raising the dead. (I often speak of this as being healing the sick and freeing the bound for a shorter phrasing as well as focusing on what is more usual these days. The other two items are still valid.) This attracted lots more people!

-Then was the making of disciples (of all ethnos, – all people groups). People who learned and who applied and practiced what they were learning. And reported back to a rabbi for more instruction as needed. Most people went on with their lives, happy for the ministry help. A few even said, thanks. A much smaller number were open to learning and to applying what they were learning. The custom among in Israel at that time (where Jesus was ministering) was that a rabbi would teach, disciples would go practice and report back to the rabbi. Who would give more teaching to help, as needed.

-The disciples would in turn become sent ones, who prayed for their areas, then were sent to represent the Kingdom and make more disciples by going through this progression of steps.

-The disciples who were going through this progression and making more disciples would also meet to encourage, help, minister to, and teach one another. All participated. Leadership had the purpose of helping them achieve unity in the faith, maturity in Christ, and to prepare these people for ministry – and more. Ministry was to be done by people helped by leadership to be prepared to do such ministry. This was the biblical pattern.

And this was the progression. Prayer, then going to help gather the harvest – sent in a few but somewhat various ways. Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Healing sick, freeing the bound – prisoners and captives. Making disciples of all people groups. Planting Ecclesia’s who prayed massively for the local area, ministered generously – who shared the Gospel, healed the sick, freed the bound (attracting many people), making disciples who again applied this progression that Jesus taught – and who made yet more disciples. Then ecclesia’s were planted who continued these continuing cycles leading to rapid growth.

When this pattern is followed, evangelization and ministry spreads faster better and more powerfully than any other method I have ever heard of. This is what Jesus taught. It’s Scriptural. It works powerfully. It helps Missionaries avoid money trouble, when the other methods of sending are added. (Can’t wait? See Luke 10; and also Matthew 10.)

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Angels Discipleship Hearing God Holy Spirit Intercession Ministry Miracles Prayer, Intercession, Angels,

Always Praying

It is more practical to continue praying and to be praying always than many of us have thought. It’s easy, it’s good to do – and it can be important, even life saving.

The first time this happened, and I was led with conscious awareness by Holy Spirit was after my father collapsed and threw up a rather large amount of blood.

He was rushed to the hospital, and immediately sent to emergency surgery. Which took a surprisingly long number of hours.

I prayed for him and for his surgery to go well and for his healing. Holy Spirit was directing me. I saw a star, a smallish star, and I knew I was to keep my attention on this star as a part of my prayer.

So where ever I was, what ever I was doing, I kept part of my attention on this “star”, as I was being gifted and led to do.

I was helping, I was praying, and I would be learning from this.

It turns out that when they thought they were finished with the surgery, they miscounted sponges and thought they were missing one. So they opened him up and looked for it.

As they were looking for this sponge, they found a small artery that was bleeding. They said it would have killed him, but was small enough so that there would be no dramatic symptoms right away – which would delay or even keep them from knowing they had to cut him open again to find the bleed and save his life.

The found the small bleeding artery, closed it, and closed him up. Surgery was successful, and he lived.

He not only lived, he went on to change his life in other good and needed ways – which gave him a longer life and a better one. That’s another story.

From what I could tell, the time I the star and the flow of intention and dunamos energy stopped was about the same time the opened him up again, found the bleeding artery and fixed it.

The timing was to teach me something about how prayer goes.

And I learned consciously how to pray in the Spirit, with my spirit. How to notice and respond to the signals I was given, to obey and continue. Until it was done.

You can do this too. Pray in the Spirit, noticing and paying attention, obeying what is given you, until it is done.

You will be praying continuously, and can continue until it is complete: until the prayer work is done. You will know when it’s done, because a part of you is still and continuously paying attention.

You can pray in the Spirit. With your spirit. Notice what you are given to do, led to do; and to obey until it is complete.

You will over the course of your lifetime, by doing this, help many people in many situations. Including following Holy Spirit as someone heals. Lives will sometimes be saved. Other blessings will accrue.

Pray in the Spirit as directed until it is done and complete. You can do this, and our Lord wants you to do so.

Thus you will be doing what you are shown, and ministering more like Jesus.

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Discipleship Discipleship, Getting Help Hearing God Holy Spirit Joy Kingdom of God Miracles Prayer Presence of God

From a Leg Cramp to No Canes

This morning I slept a bit later than usual, then woke with a cramp. It was sharp, and hurt. Fortunately, it was a small muscle leg cramp.

I remembered something Al Mack wrote on Facebook yesterday about the importance of keeping our attention on God. So I called on Holy Spirit and asked for help.

The more I kept attention on Holy Spirit, the less it hurt. This was good. Then more happened….

I felt muscles shift throughout the middle of my body. First, this helped the cramping, reducing it nicely. Then something even better happened, as I kept my attention on Holy Spirit.

I felt muscles continue to shift, the balance of my body changed, also. And I knew I could walk without my rolling walker, and even without canes.

I tested this out. It felt wonderful – much better to stand and walk with such freedom. It felt strange, not having walked like this in more years than I clearly remember at the moment.

Since then I’ve been testing this out. Strange and wonderful it is to walk with my hands free to carry or do things. The joy of very every day things has multiplied. Handling soap, going to the sink, walking with my dogs so I can let them out of the house in the morning — all done with a fair amount of joy.

I hope I keep on noticing and paying attention to such every day joy. I have asked for this, too; and I have confidence that this is mine. I used to be this way and now am experiencing joy in every day things again. Hallelujah!

I am being careful with muscles. I have been getting stronger, but some muscles have not been used much for some years now. So I am being conscious not to over do walking too much while I continue to get stronger.

I was amazed and grateful when I was, a few years ago, able to stand and walk right, hips and legs not being an obstacle to that. I rejoiced and was glad. I knew I was healed, and I walked. And I knew healing would continue to show up.

And I rejoice and am glad now.

And there are muscles to use and strengthen; a body to get used to again. And joy to be had that these things are so.

The power of keeping our attention on Holy Spirit can and does release miracles, just doing that. And a wonderful companionship. Walking with Jesus is the same…there is a certain energy and understanding love that comes through him that always surprises and is amazing. And it is hugely wonderful to walk with him.

Now I can walk with him while I metaphorically walk with him. I have no words for this, so I’ll stop writing, now.

Categories
Discipleship Getting Help Kingdom of God Miracles

Good Success – Guaranteed!

Love, in the context of the issue.

So…you have an issue, problem, or something you are concerned about: this is a context, a situation within which you are experiencing stuff.

You may experience doubt, concern, anxiety, fear….

And there is a way to certain success. In NKJV, Romans 28:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Love God. Love God in this situation, in this context.

Discover for yourself: do you have confidence and therefore faith because of the promise? That all things work together for good, to those who love God?

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Discipleship Getting Help Hearing God Intercession Kingdom of God Miracles Prayer

Calling the Miracle

You can minister to others or receive your own miracle – by calling for the miracle.

How? Call on Jesus. Hear Jesus respond via Holy Spirit.

When you know what miracle is called for, you can ask Holy Spirit.

Your response will be yes, or something better. Occasionally a “not now”. (A “not now” is extremely rare. Only heard that once. I didn’t know Still Small Voice could be so loud. Hard to explain. Maybe more on that later.)

You might begin to realize it is not appropriate, right or good. Take the feedback! Do not continue unless it is good and right.

You will be shown what to do, hear what to do, or otherwise led by Holy Spirit. Obey. Act.

You may have to set the stage first, when ministering to others. You may have to interrupt events already in progress. You may have to tell a surprising story that opens your hearers hearts. That prepares the way, smooths the way. Levels the road. If so, you’ll be led to do that, too. You want their complete attention if they are to receive their miracle.

When you call on a miracle, or call on God for a miracle – you are literally calling. Like speaking to your mountain — youspeaktoit.

You will get a response. Be quiet and listen for a response. A non-response is not a yes. Although it could be a yes that you did not hear. It also may be best to try again later.

When you call a pet or a person, you expect a response and you pay attention so you can notice – a response. Or notice that you are not noticing anything. You want and maybe even need to know; and these are different – so pay attention.

It’s a form of call and response; only not in church or with an audience – it’s you calling and paying attention for your response.

You can call with strong and pure intent. Be really sincere. A child or cat will not come when you call but they know you do not really mean it. Why would a miracle come when you do not mean it?

Be single minded. Be sincere. Mean it when you call for anything, including a miracle big or small.

Pay attention to your response. Act on that response.

For many of us, it is easier to be single minded, sincere and congruent when we ask out loud. There are times (especially when ministering to someone else) that it may be best to call your miracle to come, to manifest, silently. Notice the response. Then, as appropriate, ask out loud. This can be a best way to go when ministering to others.

Of course, if others hear you calling for something, and they even sometimes all perceive a response soon, then you are teaching about how to do something important and valuable. By example, teaching or giving a sermon. Or, depending on who is learning – you may even be engaged in disciple-making.

I hope so! In fact, I call on you to do so.

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Discipleship Getting Help Hearing God Jesus Preaching Kingdom of God Miracles Presence of God

Giving Freedom to Holy Spirit

Jesus often did the unexpected. Told stories and preached things – unexpected. He broke up the social order frequently. He interrupted people with actions and stories and parables that taught unexpected and surprising things.

He disturbed the social order, disturbed Pharisees, threw people out before raising the dead.

All, virtually all of his miracles were unexpected: surprising.

Churches that had a lot of miracles sometimes become complacent. Get comfortable having done a lot. Routine sets in, local church culture solidifies. Miracles stop happening: fewer risks are taken, less faith acted upon. Fewer opportunities given for Holy Spirit to operate and do what is not usual.

Because the usual is the worldly order of things. Customs. Habits. Safety. Corporate culture where there is gradually less and less creativity and surprises.

Holy Spirit needs freedom to operate. Holy Spirit needs us to make room, to allow, to risk with faith; to listen and obey more than do what is customary and safe.

Rules, safety, comfort, complacency – all get in the way of Holy Spirit having freedom to operate.

To have miracles, for faith to operate well – for us to hear God and do what God says – all require us to make room, to give more space to Holy Spirit to operate.

Requires us to give freedom to Holy Spirit to operate.

Then miracles can happen more often.

Let’s create openings. Tell stories, do things: interrupt what has been normal. So the unusual and abnormal – the miraculous – can happen. Listen to Holy Spirit — and do what we are shown, or what we hear.