Category: <span>thoughts by Francis Frangipane</span>


If we will serve with true discernment, our perception must be renewed until we see life through the eyes of Christ the Redeemer.


To Discern, You Cannot Judge
We will never possess mature, ongoing discernment until we crucify our instincts to judge. Realistically, for most of us, this may take an extended, focused season of uprooting old thought-systems — attitudes that were not planted in faith and love for people. In truth, if we will appropriate the discernment born in the “mind of Christ,” we must first find the heart of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The heart and love of Jesus is summed up in His own words: “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). Yet even when the Lord does judge us, it is to save and deliver us.

Spiritual discernment is the grace to see into the unseen. It is a gift of the Spirit to perceive the realm of the spirit. Its purpose is to understand the nature of that which is veiled.

Yet there are many who suppose they are receiving the Lord’s discernment concerning one thing or another. Perhaps in some things they are; only God knows. But many are simply judging others and calling it discernment. Jesus commanded us to judge not. He sends us into the world not as judges of man but, under Him, as co-redeemers. We are not sent to condemn people but to rescue them.

The Goal Is to See Clearly
The judgmental carnal mind always sees the image of itself in others. Without realizing it is seeing itself, it assumes it is perceiving others. Jesus refers to the person who judges others yet is guilty of the same sin as a “hypocrite.” The Lord is not saying we should totally stop thinking about people. He wants us to be able to help one another. The emphasis in Jesus’ command to “not judge” is summarized in His concluding remark: “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (See Matthew 7:1-5).

The way we help others is not by judging but by seeing clearly. This is the “righteous judgment” of which Jesus speaks in (John 7:24). We do not “see clearly” until we have been through deep and thorough repentance, until the instinct to judge after “appearances” is uprooted.

We have seen that Jesus paralleled speaking to people about their sins with taking specks out of their eyes. The eye is the most tender, most sensitive part of the human body. How do you take a speck out of someone’s eye? Very carefully! First, you must win their trust. This means consistently demonstrating an attitude that does not judge, one that will not instinctively condemn. To help others, we must first see clearly.

If you truly seek to crucify your instinct to judge and genuinely are pursuing Christ’s redemptive heart, you will have laid a true foundation for the gift of discernment. You will have prepared your heart to receive dreams, visions and insights from God. You will be unstained by human bias. You will possess the mind and heart of Christ.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

 Get Rid of Guilt – Getting rid of false guilt. Getting rid of real guilt.

•  The Gentle Christian

•  Salvation Explained


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“for some, to love others as Christ has loved us remains an ideal too far to reach. Therefore let’s start small and bring this task closer to home….love just one person”

True spiritual discernment comes from knowing the mind of Christ. Let me make this quest as practical as possible: if we would know the thoughts of Christ, we should seek to know His motives, for thoughts exist to fulfill motives. Jesus Christ came into the world, “not . . . to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17 NAB). Thus, if we truly understand the love that motivated Jesus, we will increasingly hear and understand His thoughts.

Or consider Paul’s words, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment(Philippians 1:9). The route to true knowledge and all discernment is to possess abounding love. Let us learn to rest our heads upon Christ’s breast and listen to His heart. For in hearing His heart, we can discern His love for those around us.

Yet I acknowledge that, for some, to love others as Christ has loved us remains an ideal too far to reach. Therefore let’s start small and bring this task closer to home. Rather than attempting to love everyone everywhere, let us reduce the challenge and make our aim to love just one person. Now I do not mean we should stop loving others whom we already love. I mean add just one person to your heart, and release your love to that individual in a more Christlike way.

This person may be a lost neighbor or a backslidden friend; he or she might be a sick acquaintance or an elderly person from church. The individual may be a child in physical or emotional pain. (I am not suggesting you focus on an individual of the opposite sex.) The Lord will lead you. He will put one person on your heart and give you grace to grow in love.

Come to this experiment without seeking to correct him or her, unless they themselves ask for advice. Pray daily for the person. And as you listen to the voice of God’s love, something inside you will flower and open naturally toward other realms of discernment. Inspired by God, impulses and ideas born of love will increase and expand to your other relationships as well. In truth, the knowledge and insights you gain from loving just one will become a natural catalyst in loving many.

Discernment will grow and mature even as you love just one.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission
From  http://www.frangipane.org/

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Further Reading

•   Love Your Neighbour
•  Love is Patient and Kind – a story of a man on a bus
•  Salvation Explained

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Consider this: the Lord took a self-assured world leader and reduced his opinion of himself until he possessed no confidence. And it was in this state of mind that God decided to use him. Moses was now qualified to lead


 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the]base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

According to the Scriptures, Moses was “educated in all the learning of the Egyptians.” Indeed, as a prince in Egypt, Moses had grown to be a “man of power in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). Thus, it is hard to equate this eloquent and cultured man with the stammering shepherd who, at eighty years old, was overwhelmed with his inadequacies, so much so that he pleaded with God to choose someone else.

Consider: the Lord took a self-assured world leader and reduced his opinion of himself until he possessed no confidence. And it was in this state of mind that God decided to use him. Having been thoroughly convinced of his unfitness for leadership, Moses was now qualified to lead.

Remarkably, the Lord would ultimately reveal Himself to Moses (and all Israel as well) as Jehovah-Rapha: “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Yes, God is our healer, yet there are times when God’s hands wound before they heal. Indeed, He must cripple our self-confidence before we truly become God-confident. He breaks and drains us of pride so that we who were once full of self might instead be filled with God.

The Lord called Moses to return to Egypt as His spokesman. In response Moses pleaded, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10).

Never been eloquent? What about Egypt? “Moses the Eloquent” has become “Moses the Stammerer.” The identity of a sophisticated leader, a prince who knew the highest tiers of Egyptian culture, no longer functions in Moses. God has so humbled His servant that he cannot even remember his days of powerful words and mighty deeds. Moses has only one memory of Egypt: failure.

For Moses, the very mention of the word Egypt floods his mind with weakness; Moses fears returning to the place of his humiliation, especially as a leader. Yet God has not called him to be a leader, but a servant. And to be a servant, one need not be eloquent, but obedient.

The fact is, the Lord deliberately seeks those who know their flaws. Paul testifies that “God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong . . . the things that are not, so that He might nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God” (1 Corinthians. 1:27-29).

Therefore, let us not excuse ourselves from God’s calling because of our weaknesses.

You see, before the Almighty, we each are nothing, and we can do nothing of lasting value apart from Him. It is in our lowliness that God’s glory rises to its greatest heights.

Perhaps your last place of service to the Lord seemed to be a complete failure. Yet it is possible that the Lord has simply been making you perfectly weak so that He might manifest Himself perfectly strong within you.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   We Plan – God Directs
•   Getting Life Back on Track by Marvin Kehler
•  Salvation Explained

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Taxes, threat of terror attacks, illness and aging, finances, political conflicts, family relationships, church struggles, fears, insurance issues, air travel impositions, job loss, gasoline prices, war, injustice, death – these are just a few of the enemies most of us face daily. Yet, let me also tell you what the Lord has spoken to my soul:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Lord doesn’t want us to simply possess a generalized peace, based on having no particular problems; nor does He plan to give us a slightly spiritual, yet human-sized kind of peace. If we follow the sequence of obedience He presents, His intention is to shelter us in His very own peace: the imperturbable peace of God.

The peace of God is the deep calm that envelops the thought processes of the Almighty. He is never anxious, always in command, never without a remedy. He sees the end from the beginning and views the needs of man from the position of unlimited resources and capabilities. He perceives the needs of His children with both compassion and confidence, for all things are possible for Him.

The peace He gives is not only from Him, it is an extension of Him – it is the very substance of His peace. It is God-sized peace. It is this divine fabric that He says will “guard [our] hearts and . . . minds in Christ Jesus.”
Amazing!

Many Verses Same Promise: Some may challenge my interpretation, but remember the Savior’s promise:

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful(John 14:27).

Again, Paul says:Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful”  (Colossians 3:15).

These Scriptures and others reveal that there exists a place of refuge for us, a dimension guarded by God’s very peace, where we can abide. As we enter this realm of trust, the God of peace promises to actually crush Satan beneath our feet (Romans 16:20).

Give Peace A Chance

Of course, we must decide what realm shall preside over us. Thus, the Scripture says, “Let the peace of Christ rule,” and “Do not let your heart be troubled,” and “let your requests be known to God.” The word let speaks of choices we can make with realities that are at hand. Remember, even as circumstances begin to trouble your heart, you can retreat from fear. For the peace of God is also accessible. Take authority over your fretting, worrying attitude, for “it leads only to evildoing” (Psalm 37:8). Stand, instead, in faith upon the promises of God.

Peace is our shield and the Word of God our weapon. Therefore, capture negative, unbelieving thoughts that would magnify problems rather than magnify the Lord. Our Father knows what we have need of before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8).

Cease striving and know that He is God! If you are weary, come to Him and take His yoke upon you. You will find rest for your soul. Finally, recall Paul’s words to make our requests “with thanksgiving.” Many have been thinking too much and thanking too little. Therefore, let us cast our burdens upon the Lord, for He indeed cares for us. He will make a way.

by Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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•  Overwhelmed by Negative Feelings?
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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Our capacity to actually dwell in Christ’s presence is based upon knowing the true nature of God. If we see Him as a loving Father, we will draw near; if He seems to be a harsh judge, we will withdraw. Indeed, everything that defines us is influenced by our perception of God.

If we do not believe God cares about us, we will be overly focused on caring for ourselves. If we feel insignificant or ignored by God, we will exhaust ourselves by seeking significance from men. However, once we realize that God truly loves us, that He desires we draw near to Him, a door opens before us into His presence. Here, in the shelter of the Most High, we can find rest and renewed power for our souls.

God’s love is not a reality distant from our needs. The Bible reveals that Lord is “touched with the feeling of our infirmitiesHebrews 4:15 (KJV). He feels the pain of what we experience on earth. He participates in the life we live, for “in Him we live, and move and have our beingActs 17:28( KJV). He is not removed from our need; we are His body. He is one with us.

The truth is, we are not alone in our battles. However, if we believe we are alone—if we accept the lie that God does not care—our darkened thinking will isolate us from the loving commitment of God.

Beloved, even in our times of rebellion, the heart of God is not far. Consider the Lord’s relationship with Israel. Though Israel had sinned and was suffering oppressive consequences, the Lord wasn’t far. We read that when the Lord “could bear the misery of Israel no longer” He raised up deliverers Judges 10:16. God wasn’t distant; He was with them, actually bearing their very misery!

At Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus wept. Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus; He knew it six days before He called Lazarus back from death. He wept because they were weeping.

Do you know that the Spirit of God actually feels our heartache? He is with us in our conflicts and near us in our fears. At the tomb of Lazarus, some would suggest that Christ’s weeping was really over the unbelief of His disciples. I think not. When the Lord wept over Lazarus, those who saw Christ saw a man touched by the sorrows of others. They remarked, “Behold how He loved him!” John 11:36.

Our healing comes when we behold how He loves us. We are raised from the dead when He comes to our tomb and calls us by name out of death.

We must personalize God’s love. He gave His Son for my sins, His word for my guidance and His Spirit for my strength. If the Almighty is for me, who can be against me?

Dear friend, with wide-eyed wonder, let us behold how He loves us, and be healed of our isolation.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission


If you don’t know God and his forgiveness and would like to start living a life where he is at your centre, you can start that journey today with a prayer:

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Further Reading

•  God Provides for His Own
•  God is Thinking about You
•  Salvation Explained

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There are times when, to lead us on into new authority and blessings, God must liberate us from the container of our previous experiences. Consider Elijah’s encounter with the Most High on Mt Horeb. Three natural signs occurred. But the Lord was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire — all of which were familiar symbols to Elijah. The Lord who caused these mighty manifestations was not in them.

For Elijah, mighty manifestations had been signs of God’s approval. But something new was at hand that required a fresh submission to the living God. A double portion of power was coming! The distinguishing characteristic of this new anointing would not only be seen in supernatural manifestations, but also in greater wisdom and compassion.

Earthquakes, fires, and storms — the signs that accompanied Elijah — are the signs of our times as well. But to receive the double portion, we must learn to recognize God’s nearness when there are no “earthquakes” or “storms” to capture our attention. The Lord demands we enter a more refined relationship with Him, one that is based on His love and the whisper of His voice, not merely on spiritual phenomena or natural disasters.

After the last sign, there came “…a gentle blowing” (1 Kings 19:12). The King James Version says, “a still small voice.” In holy silence the presence of God was returning; in the center of the silence was the whisper of God’s voice. Elijah “wrapped his face in his mantle” (v. 13). Perhaps it was near this very site that Moses, five hundred years earlier, hid when the Lord passed by. Now it was Elijah’s turn.

We too must learn to hear the voice of Him who rarely speaks audibly and observe the actions of Him who is otherwise invisible. Elijah would gain the courage to endure Jezebel’s wrath the same way Moses faced the rage of Pharaoh: “He endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:27). We must learn to detect, without great signs, the still small voice of God.

The Lord will not fight for our attention; He must be sought. He will not startle us; He must be perceived. It took no special skill to “discern” the earthquake, the fire or the great storm. But to sense the holy quiet of God, our other activities must cease. In our world of great pressures and continual distractions, the attention of our hearts must rise to the invisible world of God’s Spirit. We must learn to see Him who is unseen and hear Him who is rarely audible.

Oh Master, how easily I fall into dead religious habits and spiritual dullness. Lord, I long to know Your ways, to have eyes that really see and ears that clearly hear. Teach me, Lord Jesus, the intimacies of God. Remove the mystery surrounding Yourself that I might truly know You. Forgive me for looking for signs instead of listening for Your voice. Oh God, how I long to abide in Your glory. Restore to Your church the double portion You have promised, and guide us into the fullness of Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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•  Setting up a  Proper Foundation in Your Life for a Successful Business and Personal Life – Dr. Ed Becker
Unexpected Opportunity Herb Buller talks about how having cancer in his eyes turned into positive opportunities
•  Salvation Explained

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It is time to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God.

One title for the Messiah is Immanuel, which means, “God with us.” Jesus promised to be with us, “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). At some point we must accept the wonder and power of Christ’s promise. He is with us always! To mistrust this promise is to reject the very character of the divine nature. It is serious sin.

In the Psalms, the Lord gives us a promise for the day in which we find ourselves. He says,

Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm. 46:10).

No matter what things look like now, God has decreed that He will be exalted in the earth. Not Satan, but God; not evil, but good. Hell may have its moment, but God will win the day.

All our lives we are taught to judge by what our eyes see and our ears hear. To do so is perfectly rational. The only problem is that when our decisions are based only upon our senses, we lose the perspective and wisdom of God. The living God not only sees the end from the beginning; in a heartbeat He can change the world we see into something that is full of redemption and grace.

God’s Word tells us to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians  4:8).

You see, fear is a magnifying lens that exaggerates whatever it looks at. The devil is a master illusionist who uses fear to take our eyes off the Lord. The result is that our stress level increases, and anxiety brings death into our world. Indeed, the more we talk about what’s wrong, the less we see what is right and good in our world.

Again, the Word tells us, “In repentance and rest you will be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

Be quiet. Wait upon the Lord and compose your soul. Don’t let your unbelieving words deplete your spirit; for the more you talk, the more peace you lose. Keep your soul focused upon Christ, the Lord. Those who believe enter His rest, and from the place of rest, we can hear His voice.

If you know who God truly is, anxiety will fade into trust. Therefore, cease worrying! God cares for you. Those who trust Him have peace that surpasses all understanding. Talk to the Lord and then quietly listen. As you do, your spirit will soar, and your heart expand and ascend into His presence.

It has been truly said, “Fear is the darkroom where Satan develops our negatives.” Therefore, renounce fear. Divorce anxiety. Beloved, the Lord is good. Trust Him with your battle. Yes, it’s time to cease striving and know that He is God.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Practicing the Presence of God
•  What is the Father Saying to You?
•  Salvation Explained

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Have you not deeply desired to see God, to know Him intimately and truly? Beloved, to see Jesus is to behold God. Let us not consider it heresy: we can surely see God! But first we must renounce every perception of the Almighty other than what we have found proven true in Christ.

Therefore study the life, the teachings, and deeds of Jesus Christ, and you will remove the veil of mystery surrounding the nature of God.

Jesus said,

He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

What truth could be more profound? Each time we read of what Jesus did, we are actually beholding the nature of God. Every time we listen to what Jesus taught, we are hearing the voice of the living God.

Jesus is the image of the invisible Father (Hebrews. 1:2-3).

In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians. 2:9).

Jesus is God’s form. He mirrored on earth those things He saw His Father doing in Heaven; He echoed the words the Father whispered to Him from eternity.

Do you truly desire to see God?

Christ’s words are windows through which the pure in heart behold the Almighty.

Certainly others can edify our souls greatly, but no prophet, apostle, or teacher excels the revelation of God in Christ. Ponder Christ, and you contemplate the nature of God. Eat His words and you assimilate into your spirit the substance of the Almighty.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Hebrews. 1:1-2).

God spoke to the prophets “in many portions and in many ways.” Indeed, all their words inspire, correct, and guide our souls; they are all profitable for reproof and correction, that we may be fully instructed. But “in these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son.”

Prophets will point the way; Christ is the way. Teachers will expound the truth; Jesus is the truth. Apostles will proclaim the life; Jesus is the life. Yes, all speak the word, but the Son of God is the Word.

The teachings of Jesus Christ are not to be blended into the Scriptures as though He were one of many equally important voices used by God. He is, in truth, the living revelation of God Himself, the sole expression of His invisible glory. When Christ speaks, we are listening to God unfiltered, unbiased, unveiled.

So, I ask again, would you see God? Would you pursue the glory of the Lord? Study Jesus. Ponder His words and deeds. For to steadfastly gaze upon Jesus is to behold “the glory of God in the face of Christ”  (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Father, I want to see Your glory and to dwell in Your presence. Answer Your Son’s prayer in John 17:24 through me, that I might be with Christ where He is to behold Your glory. Make Your Word come alive to me, and let it transform my soul. Renew my mind that I might live in perpetual union with You.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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•  The Word of God and the Power of God
•   The Race Before Us

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“From my earliest Christian years I’ve heard questions about Jesus’ comment concerning Judas Iscariot:

Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70).

What did Jesus mean? Was Judas genetically a devil and not a man? (Jesus didn’t say Judas had a devil; He said he was a devil). Can a devil actually live among people as a human? While I am no scholar in ancient Greek, I think truth is better served reading the literal translation of this verse. The word translated as “devil,” diabolos, is the same word translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “slanderer” or “malicious gossip” (see 1 Timothy. 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3).

When Jesus says that Judas is a devil, He is saying one of you is a “false accuser,” a “slanderer,” a “malicious gossip.” Judas could not keep his negative perspective to himself.

Remember, just before Judas delivered Jesus to the Pharisees, he was offended that Jesus allowed a expensive ointment to be poured upon His hair. Judas indignantly complained: “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?” (John 12:5). His words spread strife among the other apostles as well (Matthew 26:8).

Judas said, in effect, Who permitted this thoughtless luxury? Well, it was Jesus. The woman had anointed Him for His burial. Yet, to Judas this was an extravagance that Jesus shouldn’t have taken. In the angry mind of Judas Iscariot, here was justification to go to the chief priests. He had grounds to break ranks with Christ (Matthew 26:14-15).

God Has a Problem with Grumblers
Betrayal is never a sudden thing; rather, it is an accumulative response to the unresolved anger and disappointment one feels toward another. The offenses we do not transfer to God in surrendered prayer inevitably decay and become a venom we transfer to others through gossip. In the process, we embrace slander, but we feel justified. We become malicious gossips, but in our minds we’re only communicating a “truth,” a character flaw, that we self-righteously “discerned.”

To understand Judas’ betrayal of Christ, we must unearth its source: Judas Iscariot was a grumbler. When we lose sight of the many things for which we should be thankful, we become murmurers and complainers, increasingly darkened by a thought-life engendered by hell.

Beware when your anger toward another Christian has led you to gossip about him or her, especially if you are embittered and are now sowing criticisms about him to others. Yes, beware: you are no longer being conformed to Christ, but are actually becoming more like Judas than Jesus.

The Thankful Heart
Personally, I’ve declared war on grumbling. An unthankful heart is an enemy to God’s will. Can you join me in this? Can you crucify a murmuring spirit? We have received too much from God to allow ourselves opportunities for ingratitude and unbelief! We have received too many gifts and privileges to allow grumbling to disqualify us from our destiny.

The thankful heart sees the best part of every situation. It sees problems and weaknesses as opportunities to grow. My prayer is for each of us to possess the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. I want to drive that little, ugly, grumbling demon away from our hearts and replace it with a living awareness of the goodness of God!

Paul warned,

Nor let us . .  grumble, as [Israel] did, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:9-10).

The “destroyer” (called Abaddon in the Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek) is actually the prince over the bottomless pit of hell (see Revelations. 9). Listen well: the moment we open ourselves to grumbling, we simultaneously open up to destruction.

Thus, Paul tells us to fix our minds on the things above (Colossians 3:1). Elsewhere he says,

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable . . . is right, whatever is pure . . . lovely . . . of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Remember, Paul was writing to people in the ancient Roman world. It was full of evil, full of injustice, full of reasons to grumble and be upset; but instead, God calls His people to a higher realm, where we dwell on the things that are above.

You say, “Who then will point out all the things that are wrong with life?”

Oh, there are plenty of volunteers for that task. Better to ask, “How can I attain the blessed life Jesus came to give me?”

You say, “But the world is wicked. We need to decry and defeat evil.” Yes, and I totally agree. I often decry evil myself. But I must live and offer a better life if I am going to defeat evil. God doesn’t want His people to be grumbling about the difficult conditions of existence. He wants us to be mercy-motivated, redemption-orientated, prayer-empowered ambassadors of Heaven.

If we are merely complaining about what’s wrong with the people around us, we should beware: we may actually be more like followers of Judas rather than Jesus.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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•  Morning Grumpiness – How I stopped blaming my heritage
•  I am Thankful for…

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The Enemy’s Work

One may argue, “But I know people who were good Christians who have fallen away.” Yes, but in most cases you will find that prior to falling away they fell into deep disappointment about a failed spiritual expectation. Disappointment is not just a sad emotional state of mind; deep disappointment actually can sever our hearts from faith. It can “dis-appoint” us from our appointed destiny.

I have known many who were doing well, moving toward their destiny. The future God had for them seemed close enough to taste. Then they became disappointed in someone or something. By accepting a demonically manipulated dis-appointment into their spirits, and letting that event germinate and grow into a disappointment with God, a bitter cold winter overtook their souls and their destiny went dormant.

When one is disappointed, he is cut off from his appointment with destiny. Their appointed breakthrough remains in the heart of God, but the individual is isolated by unbelief. Hope deferred has made their heart sick. It is here, even in the throes of disappointment, that the righteous must learn to live by faith (see Habakkuk 2:1-4).

Listen well my friend: Satan will stop your destiny if you accept the power of disappointment into your life. Disappointment cuts us off from our vision, and without a vision people perish.

Therefore, let me ask you: Are you carrying disappointment in your heart? Renounce it. Forgive those who have let you down. Have you personally or morally failed? Repent deeply and return to your Redeemer. Right now, I ask the Holy Spirit to remove the paralyzing sting of disappointment from your heart! Holy Spirit, deliver your people this day from the effect of the disappointment. Let them know that their appointment with destiny is still set.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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The Healing – A  poem by Katy Kauffman
Dealing with Inner Turmoil

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Jesus warned that, in the last days, the world would face unfolding trauma.

There would be wars, earthquakes and many other disasters. Yet, to His disciples, He said, “Do not be terrified” (Luke 21:9). He also said that, because of world conditions, men’s hearts would fail “from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth“(Luke 21:26 NKJV). Not only would actual events generate worldwide fear, but the expectation of difficulties would cause men’s hearts to fail.

Today, heart failure is the number one cause of death in North America. Approximately every thirty-four seconds a heart stops beating and another person dies, usually suddenly. There may be many contributors to heart failure, but one major source is the inability to handle stress.

There are times when stress is unavoidable

…the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, moving to a new home, severe illness, or going through a divorce – all take a toll. But most of the time accepting anxiety should not be so readily accommodated. The problem is that, just as death entered the world through Adam’s sin (see Romans 5), so the substance of death enters our personal world through our sins as well. Indeed, when we carry anxiety-related stress, we are carrying in our soul a container of death that, without fail, takes an ever increasing toll upon our lives.

Consider our world: War and terror attacks can occur at anytime and anywhere. Our stock market and economy continues to bolt up and down, like a wild roller coaster. We have many unanswered questions about the future that are multiplied stress factors.

We also have personal situations. We worry about aging and our health. We have stress at our jobs and stress with a lack of jobs. Our homes should be a harbour of peace, yet they often are a place of strife and anxiety, especially as our children become teens. Someone once said, “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” It is true for fathers also. We all carry people in our hearts, and as we love them their battles become ours, further adding to the burden of anxiety we carry.

If you want to know how stressed you are, look at your disposition when you drive. If you are always exceeding the speed limit, it reveals the lack of rest in your soul. That extra push on the accelerator is continually occurring on your heart throughout the day, not only when you are driving. Driving simply makes apparent the level of anxiety we have learned to live with.

Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). Yet we seem to be anxious for everything. In fact, stress-related anxiety is so much a part of our lives that, somehow, it has escaped being identified as being sinful. We medicate it, but do not change the habits of fear that caused it in the first place. But anxiety is sin. At its core, it is a stubborn refusal to trust the goodness of God or rest in His power. Anxiety is a by-product of unbelief. It is a spiritual “terror attack” from hell that is silently killing tens of thousands every day.
God Is With Us:

Certainly, I am not suggesting we become passive. However, I am saying we ought to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God. Our Messiah is “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” Jesus promised to be with us, “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). At some point we must accept the wonder and power of Christ’s promise. Those who believe enter His rest (Hebrews 3). He is with us always! To mistrust this promise is to reject the very character of God’s nature. This is not a minor issue.

Yet, even now Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew. 11:28-30).

Let us come to Him. Let us cast our burdens upon Him, for truly He cares for us. Let us break our addictions to stress. We don’t have to be tied up in knots inside. The God of peace will crush Satan beneath our feet shortly (see Romans 16:20). Anxiety is sin. Let us break the bondage of this sin and walk as sons and daughters of God, who are anxious for nothing.

Lord, forgive me for my sin of anxiety. I renounce fear. I declare that my soul is Your property, that You have promised to care for me. I believe Your promises. I come to You and entrust all I am into Your love and care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Francis Frangipane
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The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God.

It is one’s attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.

This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God.

Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, “The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life” (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of Heaven or the agonies of hell!

It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who “grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer.” The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally — a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin!

People often ask me, “What is the ruling demon over our church or city?” They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude!

Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were “destroyed by the destroyer.” Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means “destroyer” (Revelations. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell!

In the Presence of God

Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the “science of misery.” They are experts — moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly.

Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present.

The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote,

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:2, 4-5).

It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of Heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.

Blessed Lord, forgive me for being a complainer. Help me to offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving in all things. Lord, I come this day to covenant with You. By Your grace, I will be thankful regardless of what my life seems to be. Oh God, remember Your covenant pledge and gather me near to Your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

by Francis Frangipane
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Don’t Complain

A Thought about Gratitude

Always be Joyful!

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Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus’ disciples with this question: “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11).

When Jesus heard their question, He answered,

It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13).

Jesus told the religious Pharisees to go and learn what our heavenly Father meant when He said, “I desire compassion [mercy], and not sacrifice.” So many today are religious without being compassionate. Compassion in the Greek language means a “yearning in the bowels.” It is something that cannot be easily ignored.

You see, a religion without love is an abomination to God. The church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice.

It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

Mercy, Not Wrath

The church was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

Jesus said His Father’s house would be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matthew 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God “desires all men to be saved” (1Timothy 2:4). Therefore, he urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (v. 1-2).

The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God.

Conformed to the Lamb of God

Consider this: the only being in all the universe worthy to “open the book” and release God’s wrath on sin is the very One in all the universe least likely to do so. His commitment to man’s redemption was a total sacrifice, an offering that abides eternally at God’s throne. Yes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, but He is also the Lamb slain for men’s sins. He is the only One to whom authority is given to open the book of divine wrath
(see Revelations 5).

Because Christ paid the highest price for redemption, we can be confident that He will not release divine fury until He fully exhausts divine mercy. Even then, when His judgments finally come, they will continue to be guided by His motive of mercy, giving time for sinners to repent.

God’s Word tells us plainly: “As He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). Our pattern is the Lamb. Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God’s mercy to the nations. Until Christ breaks the seals that ultimately will lead to wrath, we must stand in intercession before God as ambassadors of the Lamb.

May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ’s life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind’s sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind’s sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).

We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.

We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ’s mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and blood washing it. The reality that compels God’s heart—that is an underlying principle of life—is “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God’s heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer’s image.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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from a chapter in Francis’ book, The Power of One Christlike Life.
Available at http://www.arrowbookstore.com/


FURTHER READING

Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.

Your Life is the Only Bible Some People Read

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The world and all it contains was created for one purpose: to showcase the grandeur of God’s Son.

In Jesus, the nature of God is magnificently and perfectly revealed; He is the “express image” of God (Hebrews 1:3 KJV). Yet to gaze upon Christ is also to see God’s pattern for man. As we seek to be like Him, we discover that our need was created for His sufficiency. We also see that, once the redemptive nature of Christ begins to triumph in our lives, mercy begins to triumph in the world around us.

How will we recognize revival when it comes? Behold, here is the awakening we seek: men and women, young and old, all conformed to Jesus. When will revival begin? It starts the moment we say yes to becoming like Him; it spreads to others as Christ is revealed through us.

Yet to embrace Christ’s attitude toward mercy is but a first step in our spiritual growth. The process of being truly conformed to Christ compels us into deeper degrees of transformation. Indeed, just as Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), so also must we. And it is here, even while we stand in intercession or service to God, that Christ gives us the gift of woundedness.

“Gift?” you ask. Yes, to be wounded in the service of mercy and, instead of closing our hearts, allow woundedness to crown love, is to release God’s power in redemption. The steadfast prayer of the wounded intercessor holds great sway upon the heart of God.

We cannot become Christlike without being wounded. You see, even after we come to Christ, we carry encoded within us preset limits concerning how far we will go for love, and how much we are willing to suffer for redemption. When God allows us to be wounded, He exposes those human boundaries and reveals what we lack of His nature.

The path narrows as we seek true transformation. Indeed, many Christians fall short of Christ’s stature because they have been hurt and offended by people. They leave churches discouraged, vowing never again to serve or lead or contribute because, when they offered themselves, their gift was marred by unloving people. To be struck or rejected in the administration of our service can become a great offense to us, especially as we are waiting for, and even expecting, a reward for our good efforts.

Yet wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ. Jesus was both “marred” (Isaiah 52:14) and “wounded(Zechariah 13:6), and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well. How else will love be perfected?

Let us beware. We either become Christlike and forgive the offenders or we will enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding. Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories infect every aspect of our existence. In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable. God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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  1. A Bible on How God Demonstrates His Love
  2. A Bible Study on Waiting on God
  3. The Names of God – A Bible stud

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“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”  Ezekiel. 36:26

God has a new heart for us that cannot be offended, an “unoffendable” heart. Beloved, possessing an unoffendable heart is not an option or a luxury; it’s not a little thing. An offended heart is endanger of becoming a “heart of stone.

Consider: Jesus warns that, as we near the end of the age, a majority of people will be offended to such a degree that they fall away from the faith. Listen carefully to His warning:

“Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another . . . and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew. 24:10-12 KJV).

Many” will “be offended.” The result? The love of “many” will grow cold. My prayer is that we will hear His words with holy fear.

When we allow an offense to remain in our hearts, it causes serious spiritual consequences. In the above verse Jesus named three dangerous results: betrayal, hatred and cold love. When we are offended with someone, even someone we care for, we must go to them. If we do not talk to them, we will begin to talk about them. We betray that relationship, whispering maliciously behind their back to others, exposing their weaknesses and sins. We may mask our betrayal by saying we are just looking for advice or counsel, but when we look back, we see we have spoken negatively to far too many people. Our real goal was not to get spiritual help for ourselves but to seek revenge toward the one who offended us. How is such action not a manifestation of hatred? For an offended soul, cold love, betrayal and hatred are a walk into darkness.

People don’t stumble over boulders; they stumble over stones, relatively small things. It may be that the personality of someone in authority bothers us, and soon we are offended. Or, a friend or family member fails to meet our expectations, and we take an offense into our soul. Beloved, if we will “endure to the end,” we will have to confront the things that bother us.

When Jesus warns that we need endurance, He is saying that it is easier to begin the race than finish it. Between now and the day you die, there will be major times of offense that you will need to overcome. You might be in such a time right now. Do not minimize the danger of harbouring an offense!

No one plans on falling away; no one ever says, “Today, I think I’ll try to develop a hardened heart of stone.” Such things enter our souls through stealth. It is only naiveté that assumes it couldn’t happen to us. I know many people who consistently become offended about one thing or another. Instead of dealing with the offences, praying about them and turning the issue over to God, they carry the offense in their soul until its weight disables their walk with God. You may be doing fine today, but I guarantee you, tomorrow something will happen that will inevitably disappoint or wound you; some injustice will strike you, demanding you retaliate in the flesh. Will you find more love, and hence, continue your growth toward Christlikeness? Or will you allow that offense to consume your spiritual life?

By Francis Frangipane
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Forgiveness is Good for Your Health

Have You Forgiven Yourself

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future


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