Posted by: tucsonjefe | April 8, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We’re going from faith to faith, amigo.

It has been my privilege to talk with and pray for many people in need of healing over the last 40 years. I have discovered that folks who “believe in healing,” are generally someplace along a spectrum of faith. Maybe it’s more of a progression of faith. They believe something, but they may not be at the place of receiving their healing. My job is to move them along in the progression. The first step is to get them located. To do this I ask questions, share insight, and listen to what comes out of their mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth tells me what they really believe. The progression of faith for healing goes something like this:

1. I believe in God, who saved me through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is saving faith and is “enough” to receive. Many folks doubt that they have “enough.” Romans 10:9-10 / Luke 17:6-7 / Romans 12:3.

2. I believe God can heal. He is powerful enough to do anything. There is no particular disease or condition that is too tough for Him. Jeremiah 32:27

3. I believe God does heal today. He did not stop healing people after the apostolic era. Many have been taught that God only healed until the Bible was compiled. God heals because that is who He is. Exodus 15:26 / Malachi 3:6 / Hebrews 13:8

4. I believe it is the will of God to heal. Many believe He heals some, but not others, and the reasons are a mystery we cannot know. We can see the will of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. He never refused to heal. Mark 1:40-42 / John 14:9 / Acts 10:38

5. I believe it is the will of God to heal me. The transition from the general to the personal is a difficult one for some. Condemnation and feelings of unworthiness impede many from receiving what is already theirs by grace. Luke 1:38 / Romans 5:19-21

6. I believe I am healed. I am not hoping to get healed. I don’t believe He is going to heal me someday. Healing is an accomplished fact, and I have it now. Isaiah 53:4-5 / 1 Peter 2:24 / Mark 11:24

Somebody Said: Feed your faith and starve your doubts. Kenneth E. Hagin

Scripture Reading: We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for. (1 John 5:14-15 GW)

Helping people move from a general faith in God to a specific belief in the will of God to heal is the first phase. Helping them to grasp that healing is theirs because of what Jesus accomplished in redemption is the next. The end game is helping them believe that they have it now. What a joy when we get to see the lights come on and faith become sight!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Our Tuesday Evening services are focused on faith and healing. Check us out at www.fcftucson.org

Posted by: tucsonjefe | March 31, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

A little help may be necessary, Just A.

We are people of faith. We are saved from sin by faith in the work of Jesus Christ. We also believe that God has provided healing for us in that same redemptive work. Many of us have had startling and profound experiences with divine healing. In some circles, it is considered just a bit “unspiritual” to turn to physicians for help. For many of us, however, it has been necessary from time to time to get some natural help. I have personally experienced healing from God with and without the help of medicine. I stood for twenty years for 20/20 vision. Then God spoke to someone to pay for a surgical procedure that brought the promise to fruition. Thank God, He gets the credit either way. I want to say this as emphatically as possible: It is OK to go to the doctor. Don’t let pride or condemnation or fear cause you to sit around in misery.

Keys for going to the doctor successfully:

1. The doctor is on your side. He wants you to be well, and if he doesn’t think he can make you well, he will try to do what he can to make you comfortable or to prolong your life. Many health care professionals see their job as a calling, and have devoted years to preparation. James 1:17

2. Find a doctor you trust. If you don’t have a doctor who you know has your best interest at heart, then you need a different doctor. Talk to other believers and get a name from someone in whom you have confidence. Proverbs 11:14

3. Go to the doctor in faith. Pray and ask the Lord to give him wisdom to give you good information. When you are there, listen to him and to your own heart. You are still led by the Spirit, not your doctor. Romans 8:14

4. Don’t argue with your doctor. It doesn’t matter if he believes you are healed. He is not who you have to convince. He is simply relaying his best understanding of the natural facts. James 3:16-18

5. Be kind and respectful. You are under no obligation to do what he suggests, but you are under a biblical mandate to be kind. If the doctor gives you some news you don’t like, don’t yell at him. It is fine to say, “Thank you. I am going to take some time and consult my family, my Pastor, and the Lord, then make a decision.” Proverbs 29:22-23

6. Be prepared. If you are in great pain, groggy form lack of sleep, or under the influence of medications of some kind, take someone with you to help you listen accurately. Make a written list of questions before you go and refer to it in your appointment. Don’t trust your memory under the stress of the physician’s presence. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

7. Talk to the spiritual authorities in your life. This is a big decision, and you are under the stress of physical symptoms. Allow the pastoral gift to speak into your life. If you are married, include your spouse in this conversation. (If you don’t have a pastor, find one.) Hebrews 13:17

8. Lean on the power of agreement. Once you are settled on a course of action, get in agreement with your church family and let them help you carry the faith load. If you choose treatment such as medications, surgeries or physical therapies, believe that the technicians are anointed and that God moves through them to help your body recover. Matthew 18:19

Scripture Reading: When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” (Matthew 9:12 NLT)

God is the Healer. Medical science is available to help us when we have symptoms that make us uncomfortable, or when our faith is stretched as far as it will go. There is no condemnation in using it. Jesus said sick people need a doctor. The key is to be wise, hear God, and believe God no matter what course you choose. Let’s quit arguing and start getting healed!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Our Tuesday Evening services are focused on faith and healing. Check us out at www.fcftucson.org

Posted by: tucsonjefe | March 18, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We’re getting better at helping people, amigo.

“You just need to believe.” “Listen to these tapes over and over.” “Oh, don’t say that!” “Turn off the secular TV and watch Brother So-and-so.” “You need more faith.” These and a hundred others are common phrases I hear from faith folks who are trying to help someone get healed. There may be a grain of truth in each of them. The people who say them are probably genuinely concerned for their friends. The problem is that this approach, preaching sermonettes to sick people, is rarely effective. We are often answering our own questions, not theirs, and in the process adding to the burden of guilt and inadequacy they are already carrying. Amazingly, God, in His infinite mercy, often manages to get people healed anyway. A couple of thoughts if you really want to help people:

1. You can’t “try to believe.” I don’t even know what that means. It implies that there is some emotional or mental effort that I am not exercising. Faced with unbelief, Jesus responded by teaching. (Mark 6:5-6) The only remedy for unbelief is to feed the heart on the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) For the person struggling with sickness, a sermon on how they should work harder at believing is not generally useful. The implication is that they are not “doing it” properly. Don’t let your frustration become their condemnation. The truth can become law, and thus bring death. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

2. If a person is a Christian, he already has faith. Learning to use it is a place to begin. When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith (they had been hearing the Word teach the Word every day), He told them to use the faith they had. The amount of faith could be as small as the mustard seed. No matter how small your faith, you can use it by speaking to the problem. (Luke 17:5-6) Faith is exercised by speaking, not about the problem, but to the problem. “I believe I am healed, therefore, pain (or nausea, or fear, or whatever), go!” If you want to help, give them Bible assurance that they have faith, then ask if you can help them learn to use it.

3. Jesus came to take our sin and sickness upon Himself, then rose again to dwell with us forever. Healing ministry springs from relationship. Begin by listening to people long enough to hear what is in their heart, and what questions and doubts they are dealing with. (Luke 6:45) Find out where they are and meet them there. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter. The Greek concordance says the word means “one called alongside to help.” If we want to join in the healing ministry with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we can begin to walk with people rather than preach at people.

Somebody Said: “Christians do not take advantage of what belongs to them. Either they do not know how to take advantage of what belongs to them, or they do not know what belongs to them.” Kenneth E. Hagin

Scripture Reading: The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!” (Luke 17:5-6 NLT)

I believe we are on the cusp of a great revival. Healing the sick will be a key aspect of this move of God. I want to be really good at helping people receive. Let’s do this!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Our Tuesday Evening services are focused on faith and healing. Check us out at www.fcftucson.org

Posted by: tucsonjefe | March 15, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Time to pray, Just A.

If perchance, you are setting your watch by the regularity of these weekly notes, you should know that I may be a bit off for the next week or two. I leave very early tomorrow (Wednesday) for a two-week mission adventure to Jamaica and Haiti. In both places, I will be doing FCF Leadership Summits, bringing ideas and inspiration on the nature of the Gospel, and the equipping of believers to fulfill their ministry. Those are subjects very close to my heart. I truly believe that the success of a ministry is gauged by how many folks do something with what they hear.

I will do my best to keep you posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as I find spots with Wi-Fi along the way. Your part is to pray for me and the folks to whom I minister: My body will be strong, the Holy Ghost will guide my words, and those who hear will have open hearts. Thanking God for His angels that He has given charge over me to keep me in all my ways.

Somebody Said: “”As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!”” David Brainerd

Scripture Reading: Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NLT)

See you on the flipside. (Hope the young folks know what a flipside is)

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Looking for a church that teaches the Bible, loves the Holy Spirit, and reaches the lost? Check us out at www.fcftucson.org

Posted by: tucsonjefe | March 10, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Here’s something you need to know, amigo

What you don’t know can hurt you, or at least keep you from getting healed. Sometimes we have been taught wrong things that keep us from getting healed. Ronald Reagan said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” The same is true of many Christians. Since 1980 I have prayed for thousands of people. Thank God, many receive and walk away whole. But there are those who don’t. I cry for them. Often, I can tell right away who will and who won’t be healed. Their words and their attitude give them away. They say things like, “If it’s His will,” or “I sure hope He heals me,” or “I believe God is going to heal me.” Others say “Oh, yes, I’m healed!” But there is a whine in their voice that gives away their masquerade. Through the years, I have identified three specific bits of knowledge that are vital to grabbing hold of God’s healing promise:

1. It is God’s will to heal you. I am reminded of the leper who came to Jesus in Mark Chapter one. He questioned Jesus’s willingness to heal him. Jesus responded, “I am willing.” (Mark 1:41) He healed a leper, the outcast of outcasts, the very image of uncleanness. He is willing to heal you, too. (See last week’s OOTA for more on the subject of God’s will to heal)

2. You are righteous. You have been forgiven of all your sins, but more than that, you have been changed into a new person. The new you is righteous by nature. You have the privilege to stand before

God without shame or fear. You can come boldly to the throne and ask for what you want. Hebrews 4:14-16 / Romans 5:19 / Ephesians 4:24

3. Faith is always now. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He introduced Himself as “I AM.” We often relegate Him to the past, “God used to heal,” or the future, “I hope He is going to heal me,” but we shudder to say “I am healed.” Faith receives the promise of God right now. Hope is tomorrow, regret is yesterday, faith is now because that is where God is. Mark 11:24 / 2 Corinthians 4:13

Somebody Said: “There is no sickness problem. There is simply a problem of the believer’s coming to know his inheritance in Christ.” E. W. Kenyon

Scripture Reading: A leper came to him, begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.” Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy. (Mark 1:40-42 MSG)

It’s a good day to quit lamenting past faith failures or looking longingly to a nebulous fantasy of future deliverance. Begin laying foundations for the next victory. Begin by meditating on the healing scriptures until you are convinced of His will to heal you. Next, move on to righteousness verses. Look for every blessing promised to the just or the righteous. That is who you are. Finally, begin to meditate on Mark 11:24 and 2 Corinthians 4:13. When you see something in the Word that belongs to you, believe it, then say it out loud, “It’s mine I have it now!” Let’s do this!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Need a great Bible course designed for regular humans? Check us out at FMTI.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | March 6, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

God wants you healed, Just A.

Shortly after I came to the Lord, I was watching a preacher on TV. He was talking about praying the prayer of faith from Mark 11:24 and receiving healing. I had never really thought much about the subject of healing, just sort of assuming that God was in control, and He would heal some and use disease to teach others. This guy said something different, that it was the will of God to heal , and that I could receive healing by faith. Sounded good to me, so I tried it out on an injured shoulder I had suffered with for more than a year. It hurt terribly, and I couldn’t lift my right arm above shoulder high. I prayed just like he said, and something warm came over my shoulder. After just a few moments, the pain was gone and motion was restored. Hallelujah!

What made the difference that moved me to a place of receiving healing? I found out that God wants to heal me. That is the first thing we have to settle in our hearts before we go very far in helping folks get healed. We have three great evidences of God’s will to heal:

1. Healing is His nature. He calls Himself Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our Healer. (Exodus 15:26) Sickness is always characterized as a curse. Jesus came for the express purpose

of redeeming us from the curse. (Galatians 3:13) In fact, God is very clear that He is good. (Psalm 136) Healing is also referred to repeatedly as “good.” A good God is a healing God. (Acts 10:38)

2. Healing is part of redemption. Sin and sickness are linked throughout Scripture. Forgiveness of sin is also linked to the healing of the body. The same faith that brings forgiveness also brings healing. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Psalm 103:3; Luke 5:23-24)

3. Healing is the example of Jesus. The Lord told His disciples, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” John said that Jesus has revealed God to us. In no instance did Jesus make anyone sick, of refuse to heal anyone who came to Him for healing. (John 1L18; 14:9; Acts 10:38)

When healing doesn’t come, the will of God is never the issue. Never. When that is settled, we can start looking for other hindrances to receiving what God desires for us.

Somebody Said: Jesus, in His earth walk, was the will of God in action. If you want to know what God thinks about sickness – look at Jesus! He went about healing the sick! Kenneth E. Hagin

Scripture Reading: And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38 NLT).

Once the issue of the overarching will of God is settled, we can begin looking for other variables, and there are many. We live in a cursed world, and we are fallible people, so sometimes there are variables we don’t see. Our role is to help people receive healing, rejoice with them when they do, and weep with them when they don’t. It is never to condemn or accuse. There is much we have to learn in fulfilling that role, so let’s learn it and apply it with compassion and humility.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

For a powerful bible course on divine healing, check out “Healing Truth” at Faith Ministry Training Institute.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | February 25, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s weep with them that weep, Just A.

I had been a Christian only a few weeks when I visited a rather large church in Oklahoma City. The worship pastor there had only recently passed away. He was a man in his forties with young children at home. The tone was very sad, but with the standard Christian veneer, that is, “he is in Heaven and happy now.” In addition, of course, there were the feeble efforts at attributing motive to God in “taking him.” My favorite was, “God needed his talents in Heaven to lead worship.” Really? I was very new and very unsophisticated, but that just didn’t make sense. The God that saved me, delivered me from addiction, and restored me to favor with employers and family is killing nice people? In particular, He is killing men who have served Him faithfully and who have small children and a wife to care for? Please!

For me, this has been a week of listening to stories of people who love God, who believe in healing, yet have been faced with terrible loss and disappointment when healing didn’t come. My belief in the will of God to heal is unshakeable. I have been healed of so many things I lose count. I have prayed for folks who experienced documented healings. Most importantly, I

see it in the Bible. Yet, as a pastor, my most difficult moments are in trying to comfort those who have lost a loved one. They feel many understandable emotions: guilt, anger, despair, etc. How could God allow this? Did I do something wrong? What else could I have done? Is God really who I thought He was? Can I believe Him in the next battle? You get the point. I know a few things for sure:

· God didn’t do it. John 10:10

· We live in a cursed world because of Adam. Romans 5:12

· We don’t know everything. 1 Corinthians 13:12

· Life without an eternal perspective is hopeless. Ecclesiastes, the whole book.

· We live on what we do know and trust the rest to God. Deuteronomy 29:29

Somebody Said: Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief? William Blake

Scripture Reading: Some things are hidden. They belong to the LORD our God. But the things that have been revealed in these teachings belong to us and to our children forever. We must obey every word of these teachings. (Deuteronomy 29:29 GW)

“Gee, some things we just don’t know,” is cold comfort to those in the throes of grief. In those times the best we can do is pray earnestly for them, make ourselves available to them, and try to avoid giving them our best theological interpretation of their tragedy. Save your preaching, give your compassion. That being said, in the next few installments of Out of the Abundance, I will be addressing a few things we need to know about faith, failure, and feelings in this wonderful and challengeing life of faith.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Need a great Bible course designed for regular humans? Check us out at FMTI.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | February 18, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, February 19, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We are on a mission, amigo.

This week we are celebrating 13 years as a church. Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson had its first public service on February 22nd, 2004 in an old tavern on 1st Avenue. Turnout was pretty sparse, but we just kept at it, and it has been an adventure. This is the fourth church that Judy and I have pastored, being in on the ground floor of the last three. Each of them has had a little different flavor, as God’s mission for each one has been slightly different. Whether you are an individual or you are starting a church, it is incredibly important that you

know what God told you to do, and that you have a vision of how to go about it. For FCF Tucson, He said, “Open a fountain of my healing power in this place.” That has been the backdrop to all we have done here: building an atmosphere where God can do His healing work in the whole person. To that end, we have a specific operating philosophy and a set of values that keep us on course.

FCF Tucson Operating System: CPR

· Celebrate the goodness of God. God is good all the time. He wants the best for every person who comes in our doors. Health is good, sickness is bad. Abundance is good, lack is bad. Joy is good, depression is bad. Peace is good, torment is bad. You get the point. Sunday morning is particularly geared to celebrate and cast the vision of what a good God looks like. John 10:10

· Prepare willing people. Every Christian has a gift and a place of service. Part of the pastoral ministry is to prepare people to fulfill that purpose. We have our in-house ministry school, FMTI, with classes scheduled on Thursdays and Fridays at regular times throughout the year to do exactly that. Ephesians 4:11-12.

· Repair broken lives. Our culture produces broken people at a remarkable pace. In addition to physical healing, folks come to us in all kinds of personal disrepair: addictions, marital calamities, abuse survivors, financial chaos, etc. On Tuesday evenings, we get down to brass tacks on the subject of faith and healing. In addition, we have practical training seminars on the second Saturday of the month to offer usable information in all these areas. Psalm 103:1-5

Our Values: The Word and the Spirit, Keepin’ it Real.

The written Word of God in the Bible is the measure and source of all faith and practice. We value accurate, simple, practical Bible teaching. We look to Scripture as final authority in life and ministry. We value and promote the ministry of the Holy Spirit in all His gifts and manifestations. We are an actively, publicly, and unashamedly Spirit-filled church. In all we do we want to be genuine and transparent. We are not here to provide entertainment. We are here to worship God, reach the lost, and disciple believers. To the best of our ability, what you see is what you get, and it reflects who we really are.

Somebody Said: Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission. Zig Ziglar

Scripture Reading: Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38 NLT)

I wrote this to introduce you to FCFT if you don’t know us, to stir you up if you are a part of FCFT, and to inspire you if you don’t have a mission. If you are starting a business, a church, or a life, spend some time with God defining who you are, what you do, and what’s important to you. Let those things guide you in your daily decision-making and you will

have a hard time failing.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Need a great Bible course designed for regular humans? Check out Faith Ministry Training Institute.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | February 11, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Don’t quit, amigo!

Following God is not always easy. Last week, I spoke to someone who believes she is called to the ministry. She said, “I can’t believe how much resistance I am getting!” I was reminded of my first official assignment in ministry after one year of Bible school. A friend wanted to introduce me to one of the patriarchs of the Charismatic move in our city. I was brand new, feeling inadequate, and I really wanted this guy to like me. This pastor, who didn’t’ know me or anything about me, looked at me and said, “You won’t make it. None of you guys do. You’ll quit in

a year.” Well, that was 36 years ago, but then he was a pastor, not a prophet. He did have a point, however: Most folks quit. It’s just too tough. Whether they are called to preach or cook or sweep or sing, the enemy will try to stop the work of God.
My point is that not everyone will be supportive, or even neutral, toward your attempts to obey God in your life. The question is, who do you want to please? As Christians, we each have divinely assigned functions, and grace-given gifts. When you take steps to find and fulfill your function, there will always be resistance. This frequently takes the form of negative responses from people, especially family and friends. Your job is twofold. First, every one of us needs a clear sense of our gifts and callings. If you don’t believe you are on a mission from God, you will quit. Second, you have to know whom you are striving to please. I love people, I serve people, I am polite (most of the time) to people, but I obey God. His approval is the only thing that really counts in the long haul. What did God tell you to do? What did He put in your heart? That must be your priority. He won’t quit loving you if you quit, but you will miss the joy of a race well-run, and the blessings that go with it.
Somebody Said: I always want to listen to people and receive good criticism, but I just don’t have to answer to them; I have to answer to God. Joel Osteen
Scripture Reading: So they called the two apostles back in and told them that they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus. Peter and John answered, “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20 CEV)
There’s no question in my mind that God called me and gave me an assignment. There’s also no question in my mind that I’m human and can miss God’s intent by mixing in my own thinking and desires. Because of the God part, I refuse to quit. Because of the human part, I seek input from trusted advisors who know me, know God, and who have demonstrated that they have my best interest at heart. That’s a pretty good formula.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Got some difficult people in your life? Check out “Diagnosis and Treatment of Fools” in our online Bookstore.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | February 4, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, February 5, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Hey, amigo, thank God for the Holy Spirit!

Way back in the Spring of 1980, I sat on a couch in the living room of a duplex in Oklahoma City. My future wife was there, along with her mother and aunt. They were on a mission to get me filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Mission accomplished! I am eternally grateful to God for His gift, and to those ladies for their love and determination. What a blessing it is to be able to pray in a God-given, heavenly language. It transformed my Christian walk. Unfortunately, that power-from-glory-experience is increasingly rare, even in our s0-called Spirit-filled churches.

Part of the problem is our dumbed-down society. In many churches, folks don’t even carry a Bible, much less look at it. The scriptures, if there are any, are on a TV screen with fancy graphics and flashing lights. The translations read by most people are in “modern” or “contemporary” language. Therein lies the rub. Many of the more recent translations gloss over

the topic of tongues in such a way that it is basically a non-issue. They give the impression that this was an interesting ability given to special people to speak human languages, but now we have schools to teach us, so we don’t need it any more.

Compare the King James to the very popular New Living Translation of Acts 2: 4:

KJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

NLT: And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

The NLT is more true to the text in 1 Corinthians 14, but in 1 Corinthians 12:10, where the King James has “divers kinds of tongues,” the New Living has “the ability to speak in unknown languages.” Many of the newer translations use the term “languages” all the way through. Combine this with the fact that many churches no longer mention the subject at all, and you have a generation that is woefully ignorant of the things of the Spirit. The question is, if we don’t tell them about it, who do we think is going to do it?

· Pastors: Talk about the Holy Spirit, tongues, and spiritual gifts. Give opportunity to hear people speaking in tongues. Offer prayer for the Baptism of the Spirit. Educate your people on the differences in translations and paraphrases.

· Parents: Speak in tongues around your kids. Allow it to the norm for them. Be aware of what Bible translation you provide them. As soon as they express curiosity, lead them into the Baptism with the Spirit. Don’t force it, demonstrate it. Explain the different beliefs about tongues as soon as they are old enough to grasp it. We don’t want them to be argumentative, but we do want them to be informed.

Somebody Said: Praying in tongues charges your spirit like a battery charger charges a battery. Kenneth E. Hagin

Scripture Reading: I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. (1 Corinthians 14:18 NLT)

Paul said he wanted everyone to experience this wonderful blessing (1 Corinthians 14:5). I feel the same way. If I don’t tell anyone else, I am either ashamed or selfish. I don’t like the sound of either one. I’m gonna be bold. Won’t you join me?

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

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