Taking a Look at Family and Ministry


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When you are young you think you know it all, when you are old you realize you don’t and when you are older you realized what is valuable. As I write these words I am disgusted in many ways and for many reasons.

         I am 50-years-old. I am not young, but not too old either. I see things, some times, beyond the surface. To have any kind of discernment or any prophetic insight these days is not easy. If I am in the Spirit I can handle what I see better; but if I slip into the flesh I become very negative and complaint about everything… that is the truth!

         There are two things that disgust me, 1) to do ministry without intimacy with God, without discipleship and without fully honoring God’s Word and 2) when folks so comfortably give up their special time with family for careers, education, hobbies, social media and everything else. They sacrifice family as if that is the right thing to do, when in reality that is in indeed the wrong thing to do. Let me briefly deal with ministry first. In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus said,  

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

         Why is it that I have seen very little of these signs in any ministry, including mine? These signs should be a normal part of the life of any believer. Now, I hear a lot of preaching and teaching; to that the Apostle Paul stated,

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. First Corinthians 2:1-5 (KJV)

         Where is our faith standing, in the wisdom of men or in the power of God? We listen to a lot of teaching; some of those teachings are actually good, well prepared sermons and long series, but when was the last time you witness the power of God?

         Let me make something clear, the Apostle Paul is not discouraging preaching and teaching, the Bible identify us as disciples; a disciple, by definition, is somebody who is learning. In our case, we are learning the ways of the Lord. However, the Apostle Paul is discouraging preaching and teaching that focus on the wisdom of men or men’s ability to put a sermon together. Preaching and teaching that only has value if the preacher has a doctoral degree or some kind of impressive title as if, that is the prerequisite to attain any kind of credibility.

         Paul is emphasizing that our faith should not stand on men’s wisdom, but in the power of God. A simple teaching is able to entertain our intellect, as we stay comfortably in our sin, as we continue to distance ourselves from our families and as we continue our prayerless lives, but the power of God is able to do something that we all desperately need and that is… to be changed.

         See beloved, not only that there are signs that should follow any believer, but we must also understand that what brings forth that power is indeed the teachings of our Lord and not this selfish and man-centered gospel we are teaching today. To this Jesus said,

“…to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.” John 8:31-37 (KJV)

         We can’t even be considered disciples of Christ if we are not committed to learning and following Jesus’ teachings. Jesus’ teachings are truth and it is that truth that makes us free. So the first step to deliverance is to get in God’s Word and learn the teachings of our Lord. There is no freedom, no deliverance if we remain in ignorance. When we resist God’s Word that means that there is no room in our hearts for his teachings; that means that we rather follow our own way and not the way of Christ. If the Word of God insults you check your spirit, something is terrible wrong.

         Is important to point out that a disciple is not just a student. A student goes to school, complete a degree in a particular career for a particular job or skill. A disciple focuses on how to live for Christ; we are supposed to be dying to self and looking more and more like Jesus. We are supposed to be changing, growing and going from glory to glory. If this growth and maturity is not taking place you are not experiencing the power of God.

         An effective ministry is a yoke-breaking ministry because it is anointed by God (Isaiah 10:27). The Job Description of an effective ministry is clearly stated in Isaiah 61; it is the portion of Scripture chosen by our Lord to officially start his ministry on this earth.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

         Ministry is a Godly instrument for change. An effective ministry leads us to dramatic changes as we die to self and become more and more like Christ. So in conclusion, as it refers to ministry, there should be tears, there should be repentance, there should be forgiveness and there should be physical and emotional healing. In general, there should be transformations taking place. Your ministry could be financially sound, your ministry could be growing in numbers, you could have the nicest building in the whole city, but if transformation is not taking place in the lives of those you are ministering to, your ministry represents a form of Godliness, but is clearly denying the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5). That means that you have become so sophisticated that you have closed yourself to the manifestations of the Spirit of God. Here on earth you may have honor, but in heaven your ministry is obsolete.

To be continued…

 

Come To Me!


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I use to write journals when I was a kid and even in my teenage years. I heard a man speak about a prayer journal and I tried that for some time, but did not last. My blog, angelcasiano.com became the place where I poor out my soul. I am not perfect; don’t claim that everything I write here is perfect; but it is honest, I can say that! I recently felt, this time from the Lord, to get serious about a prayer journal, so here I am again!

         During my prayer time today I felt the sweet presence of my Father. At the dining room table, as wrote in my new journal I felt the Lord say,

In Mathew 5:6, I the Lord, said and continue to say today, for my Word is true yesterday, today and forever; “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

         The heart of men will always be a dissatisfy heart without Me. Let them play with their phones, let them get lost in social media, in their jobs, in their careers, in their weekend parties, in their ambitions, their busy lives, always saying they don’t have time for Me, let them get lost in their disrespect, as if the could have true life without Me; let them get lost in all their worldly passions and desires. They will never be satisfied without me.

         Only those who pursue holiness, only those who are hungry and are thirsty for my righteousness and only those who ardently desire my holiness will be filled, says the Lord.

         Depart from me I never knew you (Matthew 7:23), I will say to those who ignored me, Depart from me I never knew you, I will say to those who are busy in ministry, but do not have time for me. They manipulate statistics, they try to make it look as if I am in their midst, but I am not. Even those who, with great confidence, count themselves as part of my family, I will say depart from me I never knew you. How long are you going to continue waking up in the morning, going on by your business ignoring me?

         The first commandment is to love Me above all things. You arrogantly listen to my Word as if my Word does not demand a response, as if my Word is just a motivational speech, a feel good expression with no authority. I am God who has the power to save your soul. I am the King of kings and the Lord of lords who gave my life for you for no other reason other than my love for you.

         Come to me! Are you tired? Come to Me!… Are you frustrated? Come to Me! Says the Lord!… Are you struggling with sin? Come to Me!… Are you depress? Come to Me!… Are you confused? Come to Me!… Are You angry? Come to Me!…Is your marriage in trouble? Come to me… Are you in fear? Come to me!… Are you filled with complaints? Give them to Me. The Psalmist gave Me his complaints and his troubles, “I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.” Psalm 142:2 (KJV) Why do you run to the phone to call this or this other person? Can you not come to Me? Have I closed the door?

         Why do you talk so much and pray so little? Come to Me! Why do you complaint so much about the church? Is your Christian life defined by what takes place once a week for a couple of hours on Sunday?

         Where are you on Mondays? Come to Me! I want to spend time with you! Where are you Tuesday? Why don’t you give Me an hour? Am I not here waiting for you everyday? Am I not available for you every everyday, every moment, every hour? Come to me!

 

The Greatest Tragedy


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I discovered some time ago that the God I serve is not an external God, but an internal one. He is not a God that is way up there in an unreachable place, but is actually a God that sticks closer than a brother. I will go to church, because I am called to be in fellowship with others, but whatever happens or not in church will not affect my relationship with God because, I have access to Him in my secret place.

I will read books about Him, but if somebody steals my books or if they get burned in a fire I will not be moved because He is in my heart. You can take my Christian Gospel CDs, you can even take my Bible and throw me on an island to die; but still, even as weak as I am, I am sure that the God I serve will never leave me nor forsake me. In that I am so, so glad that my God is not an external God, but an internal one.

And that is precisely the point of this small message today; external things are surely encouraging, but if they are the foundation of our faith, God helps us when things around us are not so great, when we move to a hometown where the local churches do not have that powerful Sundays Service, when the music is far from the “style” we are use to, when the marriage seems at the end of the road, when the kids are acting crazy, when the preacher don’t hoop and holler like the ones we grew up with and worst of, when persecution hit our land.

Do you Know God? Just not any God, do you know the God I serve through His Son Jesus Christ? Know this, He is not an external God; you don’t really need to add anything to HIM. He does not need any assistance to be God. His majestic presence is available to us in our secret places. Knowing HIM is the only thing that will keep you alive through sickness, through tragedy, through divorces, through craziness, through foolishness and through every weapon in hell that is formed against you!

The greatest tragedy, the greatest sin and the greatest atrocity is to refuse to know the One that loves us the most, the One that offers the greater hope, the One that guarantees a prosperous future better than whatever we can ever desire for ourselves, the only One that can save us and the only One that can heal us. He is the Great I am; He is everything and infinitely more.