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Monday, February 11, 2019

Can You Serve Him When He’s In the Driver’s Seat & You Have No Idea Where He’s Going? Will You Still Remain Bonded When You Don’t Understand the Job Loss, the Diagnosis, the Divorce, the Foreclosure.

Romans 1:1, “From Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God” (AMP)

Can you imagine a slave not wanting to leave their master? But believe it or not, that was the case. There were some, however not many, slaves that actually refused to leave their master.

Now can you imagine if we (the church) had that kind of mindset? One that said “No matter what, I’m not leaving my master. I know I can legally go free, however, I Deliberately Choose To Remain Bonded to My Master For Life?”That’s what you call Beyond Loyalty!

Well, in case you didn't know, if you are a believer, you are a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is your Master! However, He treats us very different than any earthly master ever could. And yet, we still don’t submit to Him at this level. Still we’re not this loyal or this committed. That alone is a crime!

But If You Want To Change Today, Then I Admonish You To Pray This Simple Yet Powerful Prayer: “Lord I’m Not Serving You Because I Have To, But Because I Want To. Pierce me and mark me as Yours, bond me together with You so that I can never belong to another.” Lord I Choose You!

That actually reminds you a lot of Ruth’s words: “But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!” (Ruth 1:16-17 MSG). If only the Lord could get this kind of relationship with us!

Listen to a Simple Yet Profound Lesson I Learned the Hard Way: When ministry loses its passion it becomes an empty profession.

The very word “Minister” is a Verb, not just a Noun. It’s what you DO, not what you Claim to BE.
As the Lord’s Ministers (and no I am not referring to a robe and clergy collar, God has far more of those than I’m sure He ever called for, equipped or even wants), however, I’m referring to what we DO…Minister to the Needs of Others. We need to learn how to Function with such a passion for Him that it spills over onto all we do for Him. Truth is, anyone can wear the title of Minister (noun), but it’s only a select few who are actually carrying out the (verb) and Functioning as such!

And in order for you to Function as such there has to be a basic foundation that you are the Lord’s Servant, not because you have to be, but because you Want to be. And that Commitment, that Loyalty, that Love Compels you to Function as a Minister in this world of misery Effectively! It gives you that extra push that when people give you a hard way to go, you go the extra mile anyway because of your Loyalty, Commitment and Love to and for HIM! When HE becomes your Pursuit and Purpose nothing else really matters, not even the Personality of others! But the Responsibility of Attaining such a Relationship is on YOUR PART!

The Scripture says, the Servant would make the DECISION to Stay! And then the Servant would have to endure Unnecessary Pain: “…pierce his ear with an awl, a sign that he is a slave for life.”  
Mind you, we have a lot of wonderful vices to dull the pain when we get piercings today, however, that was not the case then! Piercing Was Painful! And yet, the bondservant would Willingly Endure it because staying with his master and having Evidence that he was his masters, and no one else was just that important!

Do you feel that way about the Master you serve? Is your Loyalty, Commitment and Love that Deep? Would you Endure Whatever Necessary to be Called His and to have Evidence that everyone would be able to See that you really are His…Alone? No one else could claim you, because you endured the pain to prove you already have a Master of your own, and you have no intentions on going anywhere else…even though you have the opportunity and free-will! Is your Relationship as a Servant that Knitted Together with your Master? Are You That Bonded?!

Before you answer "yes" too quickly let’s check out this word “Servant”. The word “Servant” also referred to a third-level galley slave chained to an oar on a Roman ship. Day and night you rowed to the drumbeat of the ship’s master, whether you were in battle or in merchant service. And you expected to die chained to that oar! What a picture!

So, do you love your Master like that? Are you willing to serve as a third-level galley slave in the bottom of the boat, in the dark, unseen, unnoticed, and yet working hard to obey every command of the Master? Are you willing to die for the Gospel or is it just a cute cliché you repeat because that makes your relationship with Him sound deeper than the shallow surface that it really is?!

The Bible Says: “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.” (Matthew 10:21-23 MSG) Are you willing to endure pain for the Gospel’s sake? To be such a Servant as to have even loved ones’ turn on you, and yet you Remain Loyal to Your Master, With Your Hands Still Firmly Gripping the Oars?!

The Bible Says: “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.” (Matthew 24:9 MSG) Are You Willing to Endure This Level of Attack...Servant?!

The Bible Says: “I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead. They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor. They will do these things because they never really understood the Father. I’ve told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you’ll be well-warned and ready for them.” (John 16:1-4 MSG) Are You Willing To Stay Bonded To Your Master, Even If This Is The Consequences of Your Service?

The Bible Says: “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever. “Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.” (Revelation 2:10 MSG) So…Can You Minister, Even At This Level? A level in which it could cost you your life!

The Bible Says: “Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone Who Intends To Come With Me Has To Let Me Lead. You’re Not In The Driver’s Seat; I Am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG) Can You Still Serve Him When You Don’t Even Understand Him? Can You Serve Him When He’s In the Driver’s Seat and You Have No Idea Where He’s Going? Will You Still Remain Bonded When You Don’t Understand the Job Loss, the Diagnosis, the Divorce, the Foreclosure? Will You Still Remain Stuck Like Glue? Or will you easily detach like Velcro?

The Bible Says: “When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem. But Paul wouldn’t budge: “Why all this hysteria? Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? You’re looking at this backward. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can’t you see that?” (Acts 21:12-13 MSG) Well, Can You Say That? Can You Say Whatever Is the Result of My Obedience to My Master It Is Still Well With My Soul?

The Bible Says: “When he ripped off the fifth seal, I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God. They were gathered under the Altar, and cried out in loud prayers, “How long, Strong God, Holy and True? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?” Then each martyr was given a white robe and told to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs was filled from among their servant companions and friends in the faith.” (Revelation 6:9-11 MSG) Can You Serve Even While Suffering And Yet…Still Remain On Your Post? This Was Paul’s Level of Loyalty, Commitment and Love As a Bond Servant to His Master…Does Your Levels Match Paul’s? If So, Celebrate, if Not, Decide Today To Deepen Your Service to Him!

And in conclusion to the whole matter, when you think of all that the Lord has done for you, is He really asking too much of you?

Today is the day that you make the willing and deliberate decision to be bonded as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, if you're not all in, what's the point? Jesus didn't just suffer, He died, for you, on your behalf! He gave His life, He gave His all, so what exactly is the message we're sending to Him, when we give Him parts and portions of ourselves to Him, and call it service?

“And he said to him, Well done, excellent BONDSERVANT! Because you have been faithful and trustworthy in a very little [thing], you shall have authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17 AMP)

Becoming a BondServant is not by force, but by a deliberate, and willful choice to remain faithful to your Master, no matter what. And if you should dare to desire such a calling, are you in good company? Yes Sir, Yes Ma'am!

J.P. Olson

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tell Yourself, All My Past Issues I’m Taking To The Tomb TODAY And I’m Burying It! Yes It Hurts, It’s Caused Me Pain, But TODAY I’m Burying It! It's Not Enough That It's Dead—You Have To Bury It!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creature; OLD things have passed away; behold, all things have become NEW." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Warning: Paying Attention to Your Past, Will Cost Your Present a Pretty Penny and Your Future a Fortune! Don’t Bankrupt The Blessing Before You!

Tell Yourself, All My Past Issues I’m Taking To The Tomb TODAY And I’m Burying It! Yes It Hurts, It’s Disappointing, It’s Caused Me Severe Suffering And Pain, But TODAY I’m Burying It! The actions were painful, the words were hurtful, the thoughts were discouraging, but I’m burying it TODAY! I refuse to let it hang around in the funeral home. TODAY, I’m packing it up and finding an available plot, and if not, I’m fed up enough to dig one myself! One way or another this thing is being buried TODAY! IT’S NOT ENOUGH THAT IT’S DEAD—YOU HAVE TO BURY IT!

Whatever You Do, Know That You Don’t Have To Stay This Way! You Don’t Have to Settle For This! You Don’t Have To Accept This! NO! Change Begins With You, And Your Change Begins Today! The Old You Will Not Enter The New Month or the New Day! Enough Is Enough!

You can’t afford to let your past infect your present or sabotage your future! That’s why certain things that refuse to be healed must be forsaken and forgotten! There are people praising God in Church every Sunday who lie awake in the privacy of their homes, digging up bones, picking at scars and reliving old memories. You need to accept that some issues will never be resolved, and if you let them, they’ll take up residence in your head and in your heart! [The what if's? The should have's? The maybe's?] These will all drive you nuts…if you let them!

Think about it: If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, you’re going to eventually crash into something ahead of you! And I would hate for that to be your blessing, your miracle, your breakthrough, your season or your way out! You don’t want to damage what’s before you, by daydreaming about what’s behind you! Sure, you have to utilize all the mirrors on your vehicle to some degree. But keep in mind, the main one is looking straight ahead out the windshield! Looking, anticipating, ready, expecting, and seeking for what yet lies ahead! SO…“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG). Adjust Your Focus On Your Future! The Vision For Your Future Will Always Look Distorted When You View It Through Eyes That Can Only See The Past!

Listen to what Tony Evans writes: "Every day you get out of the same OLD bed and go to the same OLD bathroom to look at the same OLD face in the same OLD mirror. You go to the same OLD closet to choose from the same OLD clothes, and then sit down at the same OLD breakfast table to eat the same OLD breakfast. Then you go to that same OLD garage and get into that same OLD car to head down that same OLD road to that same OLD job. There you work all day for that same OLD paycheck, next to those same OLD people, supervised by that same OLD manager.  Then you get back into that same OLD car and head back down that same OLD road to that same OLD house. Once you are home you sit down in that same OLD chair to watch that same OLD television. At the end of the day you go to that same OLD bed and sleep that same OLD way, so you can get up the next morning and start that same OLD routine all over again."     

AS OVERCOMERS, YOU ARE TO WALK IN NEW VICTORIES EVERYDAY! DAILY WAVING A FLAG OF VICTORY IN THE DEVIL’S FACE! With that said you have to ask, if "NEWNESS" is supposed to be so EVIDENT in the life of a believer, WHY ARE WE SO CRAZY-GLUED TO THE “OLD?" Far too many of us, are stuck in the same old routines.

 In case you didn’t know, THAT IS NOT THE MENTALITY OF AN OVERCOMER! OVERCOMERS ARE DAILY IN HIGH PURSUIT OF SOME NEW CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME! LISTEN, GOD DID NOT CREATE US, AND HE MOST CERTAINLY DIDN’T REDEEM US, TO LIVE A PURPOSELESS EXISTENCE! OVERCOMERS DON’T EXIST—THEY LIVE AND THEY LIVE NOT JUST ABUNDANTLY—BUT MORE ABUNDANTLY! For the Bible declares, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, AND THAT THEY MAY HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY" (John 10:10) What Is Currently Around Us Is Not All There Is For Us! God Has An Awesome Customized Plan For Each Of Us! We Simply Need To Seek It, Find It, And Live It To The Fullest!                 

The Scripture says, "No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put NEW wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins are ruined. But they put NEW wine into NEW wineskins, and both are preserved." When something is PRESERVED it means it's,"KEPT, MAINTAINED, AND PROTECTED". And what’s being "KEPT, MAINTAINED, AND PROTECTED?" YOUR NEWNESS! UNDERSTAND THAT THE OLD CAUSES DAMAGE, IT TEARS, IT DESTROYS, IT PULLS AWAY, IT SEVERS, BUT THE NEW IS PRESERVED!  


Overcomers, Crush That Devil Under Your Foot On This Current Level, Then Lift It And Put It On The Next Level And The Next Devil And Attain Your Next New Victory!                 

Revelation 21:7, “He Who Overcomes Will Inherit These Things, and I Will Be His God and He Will Be My Son.” (NASB).                  

We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in NEWNESS of life.” (Romans 6:4 AMP)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” So straighten yourself up and straighten yourself out! You Will Not Stay This Way!

I do thank God for the Apostle Paul though. Because he was honest enough to admit that he still struggled in certain areas. Unlike those with a Pharisee spirit who condemn others for doing the very things they do themselves, Paul confessed, “But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do badly, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” (Romans 7:17-20 MSG).

Thanks Paul, from the rest of us who mistakenly thought that once we became Christians, there would be no more struggles! Thanks for helping some of us who thought that once we became Pastor, Elder, Teacher, Prophet, Evangelist, and Deacons, that the struggles would be over. That once we reached our 20 years saved, 15 years in ministry, 10 years healed and 5 years delivered, that the struggles would be over. Well, I’m here to serve notice on you: The Struggles Are Not Over! They continue! That’s why we were told to“Fight the good Fight of faith…” (1 Timothy 6:12). Not that we fought (past tense) the good fight. But this is a Current and Continual battle! YET, it’s one that doesn’t have to defeat us.

Albert Einstein said it best: “Nothing Happens Until Something Moves” And That Something Is YOU! Get To Moving Out of the Old and Into the New…TODAY!

J.P. Olson