Being Pushed vs. Pulled by God. 

Pastor Furtick said last week that God doesn’t “PUSH” us but “PULLS” us, or “draws” us with His drawing power as it is written, “Come follow me”. 

Matthew 4:19* NIV

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

I can simply relate this to us being led or drawn to church and fellowship/Life Groups. We can only “push” people so much however, God has to DRAW us or lead us to obedience.   We cannot push a fish to bite, but we can draw or lure them in, amen? 

To the Bible buffs out there, at one time striking the rock was appropriate, but now God prefers for us to speak to it. 

And if people feel the love, they will come back.   But they have to experience the maturity, comfort and inspiration that comes with God’s love. 

John 6:44* NIV

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

INSIDE THE NUMEROLOGY:

*Matthew 4:19 (4+1+9=14)
*John 6:44 (6+4+4=14) Where “14” means “passover”, synonymous with Calvary where the Passover lamb was given for our sins. This “14” justly placed in reference to the verse “and I will raise them up at the LAST DAY.”

This “Last day” was Calvary. Jesus said “It is finished” on this day. And those of us that were “drawn” to carry our cross and followed Him to Calvary also left behind our sins and stepped into eternity and received His Spirit which He surrendered to us by His resurrection.

The Bible Meaning of Number 14. 

For me, this “push vs. pull” contrast is best explained as what we talked about before, on what resides in our hearts that is our true catalyst for drawing us to God and each other.  Is it Love or Sacrifice? 

Matthew 12:7 NASB

“But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

And why is “Sacrifice” so taboo?  Well, living as a sacrifice is not evil, but how we interpreted the word “sacrifice” in our hearts is what got us in trouble. 

True meaning of Sacrifice.  This link provides the TRUE meaning of Sacrifice according to the Jews who may know a thing or two about sacrifices. 

So for us, post Calvary, our hearts should have changed on how we desire to draw nearer to God.  It should not feel like a court appointed anger management class, but instead like visiting a precious loved one.  

Remember, traditional “sacrificial” behavior should have ended on Calvary.  Jesus Christ PAID IT ALL.  All Sacrifices and all our debts, and everything in the Old Testament that was by works failed. 

Romans 13:8 NIV

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

But if we feel that we “owe” God or if we feel that we owe anyone anything, the only “debt” that should remain in our hearts is the simple debt to love one another. 

And what is love? 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

“4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Now these are not my words, but by faith it is God’s.  I have just been broken down enough in my life that I learned to be still and reverend long enough where The Holy Spirit can speak to me and use my hands, knowledge, possessions and gifts for His glory. 

I am learning with you all.  I may never attain the things that God gives me via revelation, however it is okay, because I am very hungry and pray that He will never stop speaking to me or I stop being hungry.  

In the name that is synonymous with the splendor of Creation, Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 

Ray

Producing Fruit in 2017. 

Isaiah 55:11 NLT

“It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

Ecclesiates 7 NLT

“13Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked. 14Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.”

To the genuine believer, what God had taught us in life either by experience or revelation will not be taught in vain.

The Holy Spirit’s discipline is about giving us the courage, faith, hope and love to “connect the dots” and formulate a means to minister to others by word or deed. 

We only have a small window during a crisis in a person’s life to minister to them the gospel of Christ as gentle and as loving as we can.  

And we have to treat every opportunity to preach the gospel as if it was our last.  

Remember, SIN will always be mankind’s default place of comfort. Unless we bring the love of Christ, people will not be curious to draw out of their darkness.  Why should they?  

Satan has made it extremely comfortable for us to simply remain in sin.

So we pray for a Father’s love, that He will either give us the faith to trust someone to lead us out of our “sin” or to make our “sin” so uncomfortable that we are forced to leave on our own.

Finally, the scriptures say that those who have heard the Father and learned from him will come to Jesus Christ. And this is what we preach. We preach Jesus Christ as HE was preached in His entirety by the Apostles.  

A gospel that remains sharper than any two edged sword with the power to separate one’s soul and spirit.

Now a sword that sharp does us no good if we are not in range to fight!  

This is why we live by the shield, God’s protection like a fortress will allow us to draw close enough to the enemy where we can eventually draw our swords and utilize them effectively.   Similar to the Apostle Paul who was a Benjamite, a tribe literally of experienced swordsman.  

Similar to a paper cut that we recognize way too late, a sword so razor sharp that it will penetrate any armor and flesh so quietly and unnoticed that before they realize what has happened, it had already pierced their heart and soul.  

So let us “Be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves”, brothers and sisters as we become experienced fishermen and swordsman for our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Lastly, remember me, brother Rory and brother Darren in prayer as we cast our nets on the northwest part of town on Wednesday nights.

God’s grace be with us always,  in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Ray Evangelista

My “Christmiss” Message. 

Mankind has been studying the written Word since it was given. What was “perfect” found a way to be expressed in man’s futile imperfect symbols, letters and language.  

Prior to Creation, there was only one language or tongue that was spoken. The only thing needed to be written was already expressed perfectly in the heavens, and creation.

There was no need for man’s understanding or translation because our purpose was to believe in God and not to become a God.

To follow His precepts and not to create our own. 

Creation had no business in creating anything, not even in child bearing if it was outside God’s will.  But because we fell from God’s will, everything that man had created since then has created more death than life.

We were made in the image of God but WE WERE NOT GOD nor did we have the maturity to take on more than what God provided and advised. 

And if we studied the Tower of Babel, we can now understand why God was angered.

Because nothing will ever replace God’s original language or line of communication via our intimacy with the Holy Spirit. 

But if there is a lesson to be learned by the religious people during Jesus’s time and throughout history, and even here in 2016, it is that there is a difference between what is “written” and what is prophesied.  

Many knew, studied and recited the written “Word” but missed the “Word” when it became flesh in Jesus Christ, go figure? 

John 5:46 NIV

“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”

The same goes with the prophecy of Moses, and all of the martyrs of the gospel before and after Christ.

Our faulty hearts want knowledge, but we really want faith, we think we want gifts, but we want the giver of the gifts, we want healing but we truly want the healer.

We think we need “counseling” but we really want The Counselor. We have been deceived that it is all about sacrifice, when it is love that we truly desire.

I can go on forever on these examples, but let us go to a book that is heavy on prophecy, the book of ISAIAH and may the Holy Spirit speak to you intimately as it has spoken to me. 

◄ Isaiah 65 ►

New Living Translation
Judgment and Final Salvation

1The LORD says,
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.

I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’

to a nation that did not call on my name.

2All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.

But they follow their own evil paths

and their own crooked schemes.

3All day long they insult me to my face

by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.

They burn incense on pagan altars.

4At night they go out among the graves,

worshiping the dead.

They eat the flesh of pigs

and make stews with other forbidden foods.

5Yet they say to each other,

‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!

I am holier than you!’

These people are a stench in my nostrils,

an acrid smell that never goes away.

6“Look, my decree is written out in front of me:

I will not stand silent;”

May this chapter humble your hearts as it has humbled mine.  

My Lord, I come before you voluntarily to be humbled. No longer do I desire a Father’s scorn or discipline from you to be moved into the right direction.

My humility and pride I surrendered this year and now for 2017.

I desire a ministry like yours, a ministry that many do not desire. A ministry that builds faith and love vs. pride and sacrifice. 

I desire a more intimate relationship with you in 2017 my Lord. A relationship that is more than a father is to his son and more than that of a friend, I desire a love and bond that is sacred between a husband and his bride. 

Your people the Jews, and your Word also prophesy that the number “17” is about “complete victory and overcoming our enemies” and that is what I ask for the new year.

In accordance to your will of faith, hope and love in your name, Jesus Christ, amen.  

“In the book of 1Corinthians the thirteenth chapter, the seventeenth mention of the word ‘love’ comes when the apostle Paul states that it is the GREATEST gift of all (1Corinthians 13:13).”

The Meaning of 17 in the Bible

Brotherly love,

Ray Evangelista

Don’t Doubt, Wait on God. 

Genesis 3:17 “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.”

Genesis 5:29 

“He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.”

Calvary was supposed to had freed us from a “curse”. Remind us my Lord what this “curse” was. 

Let me feel the LOVE only to the things that draw me nearer to you my Lord and may the things of SIN be the only time I feel the sacrifice and the sweat of my brow.

John 3 NIV

“17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Romans 14:23 NLT

“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”

Wait on love. If you doubt anything, wait on God. Don’t just try to achieve a simple result and sell your birth right for bean stew or for a honeycomb.

For there is not enough sacrifices we or mankind can give that will even touch our our debt of sin. 

Only Christ can pay that debt in your heart and give us that joy and peace that we repeatedly try to find in sin.

Just receive it and receive it daily brethren. 

What separates LOVE and SACRIFICE is INTIMACY with God. 

It is what separates a Father’s love or a friend’s love from that of a love of a bride. 

To those who remain in the old, they only know sacrifice and will preach sacrifice.

But to those of us born of the Spirit, the old is gone and the journey of our rebirth has begun towards our intimacy and maturity with God and His love.

Apostle Paul knew love but his “Thorn” was that the “good” that he was suppose to do was still “sacrifice” to him. He was a “swordsman” and he still struggled with his nature, like we do.

His life by no means was it perfect my man’s standards, but “perfect” by God’s standards. And this maturity had set and example for the “Church” that to be mature is to know where you are immature. That our lives be symbolic of a life that represents a shield vs. a sword.

Because “perfection” is about maturity and to me, the Apostle Paul had more maturity than ALL the of old testament prophets combined. 

In the name that has fulfilled the prophecy of old and gives closure to all things, our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Amen. 

Brotherly love, 

Ray

 

Allergic to “SIN”. 

Had a revelation this morning.  
Being in the medical field for over 25 years I would always have people tell me that they were allergic to something but when I asked them what kind of reaction they had to the drug, many would reply,
“I don’t know, my mom told me when I was a kid and just stayed away from it.”

And I have heard this hundreds of times before and heard it again this morning from a 45yo but the Holy Spirit added a twist to this routine reply.  

“If we can avoid a drug simply by the word or the faith of a person we trust and love to stay away from something because of a “reaction” or a “side effect” or its potential that it can kill you, then why is it so hard to avoid the other things that also have “adverse reactions” in not only our bodies, but in our soul, relationships, homes and finances?”

I don’t know the answer quite yet, but this revelation this morning has given me a bit more compassion and hope that advice from someone you love and truly trust is powerful.

Brotherly love, 
Ray

Why I Hated Christian Movies. 

At one time my heart was heavily hardened and I was very skeptical on watching Christian based movies just because how “off” they were.

For example, there is nothing like watching a TV Show or movie based on surgery/medical drama and notice how “off” they are. 

 Lol

When we are “taught” or experience a certain way, we tend to be biased and “pick out” the anomalies first, kinda shows our nature. Now blessed are those that have no prior medical knowledge, because they get to enjoy the movie, while we however grunt and moan. 

 Lol

It takes great faith to pick out what others do “RIGHT” before exposing what others do “WRONG”.

Regretfully, I tend to choose wrong every time.

It would be different if our “job” was about “Quality Control” as a Christian, however, we were called to love and not to judge. To defend and not to offend.

Now I would rather not judge another because that is what the Holy Spirit will do that for each and every one of us, hence why I keep ACTS 2:38 as my priority because everyone should have an intimate relationship with God. 

And if their intimacy enables them to hear the Holy Spirit speak to them personally, then they will recognize His words in us.

This is what “Seek first the Kingdom of God” is all about. It is about anintimate  relationship between Christ and His bride via the Holy Spirit and knowing that they have received this gift.

Otherwise, the Word of God remains offensive to us because our intimacy with God is limited to a legalistic “Father-like” relationship of “do’s and dont’s” and that evidently simply produces rebellion. A father’s love is important and required, however it is time to draw nearer.

Satan does not want us to progress to the FULLNESS of intimacy via the trinity. As you heard me say before, the trinity of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” are simply levels of intimacy mankind had with God.

It was God’s way of drawing closer to mankind to where salvation is available providing we have become ONE with Him in Spirit.

Satan does not want us to experience God as a friend (John 15:15), nor does he want us to even know God as a “bride knows her husband” in our life being as One. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Satan prefers us to be stuck in an Old Testament relationship with God. Where our good deeds are sacrificial and our service feels like a servant’s heart via HAVING to do something vs. out of love and intimacy of WANTING to do something.

But by the grace of God, compassion has opened my mind a bit more this year than last and had a mustard seed portion of faith to rent and watch the movie, “God’s Not Dead 2”

By His grace, received an empowering message from this movie which I will share in the near future. 

Brotherly love, 

Ray Evangelista