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


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


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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
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FURTHER READING

  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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Is your love growing softer, brighter and more visible? Or is it becoming more discriminating, more calculating, less vulnerable and less available? This is a very important issue, for your Christianity is only as real as your love. A measurable decrease in your ability to love is evidence that a stronghold of cold love is developing within you.

Jesus warned of our era. He said,

Many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).

\So let us honestly ask the Lord to examine us: Is our love hot or cold? Another persons thoughtlessness may have wounded us deeply, but instead of forgiving the wound or going to them and discussing it according to Matthew 18, we go to others with our complaint. The wound then begins to germinate into a root of bitterness, and many are being defiled (Hebrews 12:15). What is growing in us is not love but bitterness, which is unfulfilled revenge.

Again, Jesus warned that “stumbling blocks [would] come” (Matthew 18:7). There will be times when even good people have bad days; there will never be a time when “stumbling blocks” cease to be found upon your path. Remember also, people do not stumble over boulders but over stones — little things. When you have stumbled over something, you’ve stopped walking.

Have you stumbled over someone’s weakness or sin lately? Have you gotten back up and continued loving as you did before, or has that fall caused you to withdraw from walking in love? To preserve the quality of your love, you must forgive those who have caused you to stumble. Depending on the issue itself, it may be that you legitimately cannot trust them, but you do not have a reason to stop loving.

Every time you refuse to forgive or fail to overlook a weakness in another, your heart not only hardens toward them, it hardens toward God. You may still think you are open to God, but the Scriptures are clear: “The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). You may not like what someone has done, but you do not have an option to stop loving them.

What do I mean by love? First, I do not merely mean “tough love.” I mean gentle, affectionate, sensitive, open, persistent love. God will be tough when He needs to be, and we will be firm when He tells us to be, but beneath our firmness must be an underground river of love waiting to spring into action. When I have love for someone, I have predetermined that I am going to stand with them, regardless of what they are going through. I am committed.

We each need people who love us, who are committed to us in spite of our imperfections. The fullness of Christ will not come without Christians standing with each other in love. We are not talking about salvation but growing in salvation until we care for each other, even as Christ has committed Himself to us.

The goal of pulling down the stronghold of cold love is to see our hearts restored to the heart of Christ. You will be challenged in this, but if you persist, you will discover the height and depth and breadth of Christ’s love. You will become “a body filled and flooded with God Himself” (Ephesians. 3:19 Amp).

By Francis Frangipane
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Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace

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The body of Christ was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy.

Remember, we are called to be a “house of prayer for all…nations.” Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Mathew 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends, God fully restored him (Job 42:10). 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).

According to the Word of God, the Lord “desires all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, Paul urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (vv. 1-2). You see, the call is to pray for people.

But,” you argue, “my country (or city) is a modern manifestation of ancient Babylon.”

I don’t think so. But even if it were, when the Lord exiled Israel to Babylon, He didn’t order His people to judge and condemn their new cities. Rather, He said,

Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you…and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfareJeremiah 29:7

Time after time, the scriptural command is to pray for, not against; to pray mercifully, not vindictively. God’s call is for prayer moved by compassion, not condemnation. Indeed, my friend, at its very essence, the nature of intercession is to appeal to God for redemption to come to sinful people.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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As Christians our faith tells us that Christ died as payment for our sins.

We believe He actually rose from the grave as proof that He was indeed sent by God. Yet it is also our conviction that, upon this resurrection event, not only were the sins of mankind atoned for but through Christ a second Genesis began.

Paul explains, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). The word Adam means “man” and is representative of “mankind.” There are now two Adams or two species of man. The first species of man is the descendant of sinful Adam. His life orbits around his carnal or “natural” desires. He carries both the DNA of Adam’s nature and the consequences of Adam’s sin. This natural man is focused upon fulfilling the needs of his soul. He is indeed a “living soul,” but he is controlled by fears, physical needs, intellect boundaries, cultural environment and sin.

The second species or race of man is Spirit-centred. His thoughts, dreams and experiences originate primarily from the Holy Spirit who lives in union with him. The highest aspiration of the Spirit-centred man is not on attaining natural successes but upon attaining conformity to Christ. While the first man lives to receive from the world around him, the last species of man, the Christ-man, lives for what he can give to those around him: he is a “life-giving spirit.” The first Adam engendered descendants with problems; the spiritual descendants of the last Adam, Christ, provide the world with answers.

New Creatures
While men divide over many things — culture, skin color, language or social status — from God’s view mankind is only truly divided into two subsets: those controlled by their souls and those controlled by the Holy Spirit. One race is dead in sin; the other is alive in Christ. One species of man is destined to perish; the other will live forever. Just as the first Adam passed sin, weakness and death to his children, so the second Adam, Christ, passes virtue, power and eternal life to the children of God.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15).

You see, we are not merely men of flesh temporarily acting spiritual, but we are spiritual beings temporarily living as men of flesh. If you have received Christ into your life, you are part of the second Genesis. You possess a new nature, which is the actual life of Christ’s — a life-giving Spirit.

By Francis Frangipane
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“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring”. Psalm 84:5-6

Baca means “weeping.” Each of us has times of weeping when our hearts and hopes seem crushed. Because God has placed in our hearts “highways to Zion,” however, we pass through valleys; we do not live in them.

Passing through the valley of Baca” Once we are on the other side of weeping, our Redeemer makes our valley experience into “a spring.” The very things that overwhelmed us will, in time, refresh us with new life. Whether we are experiencing the height of success and power or are in a valley of weakness and despair, the Lord is our God continually!

Has the enemy isolated you, causing you to doubt God’s love? Do not forget, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He cares. It is His love for us that redeems our hardships and not only brings good out of what was meant for evil, but also trains us to deliver others.

How did Jesus prepare to do wonderful works? Part of His training involved suffering. Christ was a man of sorrows. He was One who was acquainted with grief. Yet His suffering was the Father’s means of acquainting Him with the actual feelings of mankind’s need and pain. Because He suffered what we suffer, He is able to serve as a faithful high priest. If we yield to God’s plan for Christ to be formed in us, God will take our sorrows to enlarge our hearts. Once we have been acquainted with grief, we then can be anointed with compassion to deliver others.

Thank You for redeeming the conflicts of my life. I praise You for healing me and causing me to forget all the trauma of my past. Now Lord, help me to remember what I have learned. Cause me to remember that the crises in my life always precede the enrichment of my life. Help me to recognize that the place of my fruitfulness is in the land of my affliction. In Jesus name. Amen.

By Francis Frangipane
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See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled Hebrews 12:15

It is impossible to pass through this world without being struck by injustice or heartache. Unless we process our struggles in Christ, a single wounding of our soul can create a deep bitterness within us, poisoning our very existence. In my forty-six years of ministry, I have known far too many Christians who have perfected the art of looking polite while living inwardly with an angry, cynical or resentful spirit. They have swallowed the poison of bitterness, and they are dying spiritually because of it. The problem is that, as Christians, we know it is wrong to react with open anger toward people. However, rather than truly forgiving and surrendering that injustice to God, we suppress our anger. Anger is a result of perceived injustice. Suppressed anger always degrades into bitterness, which is, in reality, unfulfilled revenge.

Embittered People

A bitter soul is trapped in a time warp; the person dwells in the memory of their pain. Several years ago I met a woman who had suffered a difficult divorce. I talked with her every six months or so for two years, and each time we talked she said exactly the same negative things about her ex-husband. Although she was divorced from him, she was now married to a bitter spirit that held her captive to her heartache.

An embittered soul continually blames others for their situation. I’m thinking of Naomi in the Book of Ruth. Here was a person who blamed her bitterness on God. She was angry that He allowed hardship and loss in her life. “The Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21). In effect she was saying, My sorrow is God’s fault.

Contrast her life with that of Job’s first encounter with loss (Job 1). Job lost his children and possessions, yet he bowed and worshiped: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

How we handle sorrow reveals the depth of our worship of God. When life cuts us, do we bleed bitterness or worship? Job bowed and drew close to God. Naomi withdrew and talked about the Lord with her back toward Him. I have dear friends who lost their only son when he was a teenager. In the midst of their heartache, they have become examples to everyone of true worship. Over the years, their pain actually purified and deepened their worship; their suffering made them more compassionate toward the suffering of others (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I also know others who have suffered the sudden loss of a loved one and, within weeks, withdrew from God and became embittered. Adversity does not perfect character; it reveals character. It exposes what is happening inside of us.

Poisoned

In ancient times mankind experimented with vegetation, seeking to learn which plants were edible and which were poisonous. In his search, he discovered that, generally speaking, if a plant or fruit was sweet, it was usually safe to eat; bitter plants, man discovered, would either sicken or kill. Likewise, the bitter experiences of life, if we ingest them into our spirits, can become a spiritual poison that destroys our hopeful expectations and attitudes. Such an experience may enter your soul via a relational wound or injustice; it can begin through a major disappointment or loss. However, once bitterness enters the human soul, like ink spreading in a glass of water, it can darken every aspect of our existence.

Indeed, not only can bitterness ruin our lives, Hebrews warns that a root of bitterness can “defile many” (Hebrews 12:15 NIV). A spiritual root of bitterness is a hidden, unresolved anger that is buried beneath the surface of our lives. Outwardly we look “properly Christian,” until we begin to discuss with others the situation where someone hurt us. As we speak, that root “springs up” and it defiles others. If you haven’t dealt with your bitterness, beware when you speak to others, lest you defile them with your words. If you are listening to an embittered person, take heed that the spirit of bitterness is not being transferred to your life as well!

God desires to rescue us from bitterness so we can truly love and laugh again. Let us, therefore, sincerely approach the throne of God’s grace and ask Him to show us the garden of our hearts. Yes, and let us see if our souls are truly free of the root of bitterness.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission


If you don’t know Jesus in a personal way you can begin a relationship with him today. The first step is a prayer telling him you believe He is who He says He is and a second step is surrendering control of your will and life to him.  These can be communicated in a simple prayer (prayer is talking to God):

“Lord Jesus, I need You. 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 the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”


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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The Effects of a Passive Spirit

Scripture contains many examples of David’s valor. As a young man, for instance, while others trembled, David was ready and eager to face Goliath. David is an example of one whom God chose, whose passions for God sustained him for most of his life.

Yet David also provides an example for us of what happens to good people when a passive spirit triumphs. For there was an occasion when David did not pursue his enemies, and the consequences were grave. It happened because he allowed a passive spirit to subdue his will.

Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1).

During a time of war, the king accepted a passive spirit into his soul. Soon we find this great warrior king almost helpless to resist the unfolding spiritual attack.

Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance
(2 Samuel 11:2).

The woman was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. From the moment David accepted the influence of that passive spirit, his resistance was weakened; a paralysis of conscience occurred. Scripture says that “when evening came David arose from his bed.” Perhaps it was customary to rest in the afternoon, but it strikes me as inconsistent for David to nap while his men fought. It is possible that this nap was not a response to a bodily need but an expression of the slumber that gripped his soul. He was in bed until “evening.”

This heaviness of soul resting on David was actually part of a larger, synchronized spiritual attack. The other part of that battle was the quiet, inner prompting that stirred Bathsheba to bathe in a place where David could see her. Finally, David, unable to resist, and in defiance of his noble qualities,

sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her” (2 Samuel 11:4).

Dear friend, remember: This terrible moral failure was not driven by David’s lust or flagrant rebellion to God. A passive spirit introduced David to his sin! The problem was simply that, in a time when the kings went forth to war, David stayed at home.

We ourselves are in a time of war. The Spirit of God is calling us to fight for our souls as well as our families, cities and nations. Indeed, God’s Word reveals that

the Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).

Is that holy fight in you? Is there a war cry in your spirit? If you are born again, that cry is within you, even if it has been muted by lethargy.

We will never succeed as overcomers without carrying in our spirits the war cry of God. We must stop resisting the call to prayer; we must embrace the reality of spiritual warfare; and we must fight with the weapons of warfare that God has given us, both for our own progress and also on behalf of those we love.

Conversely, the moment you surrender your will to a passive attitude, you should anticipate that a temptation appropriate to your weakness will soon follow. It may not be Bathsheba; it may be pornography on the Internet. Or it may be a coworker who begins to look attractive at a time when you and your spouse are struggling. Whatever the area of weakness in your life, Satan will seek to exploit that area. It will likely not be a bold frontal assault. He will approach you quietly, in whispers, relaxing your spiritual guard. What disarmed you was a passive spirit. If the enemy succeeds in this first stage of his assault, you will soon find yourself wrapped up in something that can devastate you and your loved ones.

By Francis Frangipane
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Jesus warned about our days, saying,

Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10).

The Lord’s warning was not just about conditions in the world; He is speaking to His disciples. He warned about conditions in the church.

Today, the church is overstocked with Christians whose love has grown cold.

As a result, rancor fills our conversations. We have become a sub-culture that is mad that the world has not become Christian, while we are tolerant that we are not Christlike.

When you discuss things that are wrong, does rancor come forth or prayer? The word rancor came from Latin rancere, which meant, “to stink.” (See rancid). This is exactly what we exude heavenward when all we do is find fault and criticize. The smell of our rancor ascends into the awareness of God. These things ought not to be.

On the other hand, intercessory prayer is a sweet aroma to God. Again, when we pass through trials and determine to emerge more like Jesus, our very lives become “a fragrance of Christ to God” (2 Corinthians. 2:15). Amazing! in spite of our flaws and weaknesses, while we are living in this harsh world, we can actually become like Christ.

Indeed, may this be the passion of all who trust God’s Son: to become a fragrance of Christ to God.

By Francis Frangipane
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Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 10:21

Too many Christians have given up on the vision of becoming like Jesus. They know they are sinners saved by grace, but they do not see themselves living out a transformed life. They have accepted the lie that the Holy Spirit can’t train them as He did the first century Christians. Before we doubt whether we are the caliber of the first disciples, here is a fact sheet compiled from over 200 New Testament Scriptures concerning those whom Jesus first called.

THE DISCIPLES… came to Christ, believed in Him and followed Him.

They…
dined with Him, often became hungry, often didn’t have time to eat, twice miraculously fed the multitudes with food Jesus multiplied.

They…
received special authority to heal and deliver, became Jesus’ confidants, were often rebuked and corrected, were entrusted with the mysteries of God’s Kingdom.

They…
did what was not lawful on the Sabbath, broke the traditions of the elders, entered the Kingdom of God and walked in God’s power.

They…
were often frightened, fell on their faces, were sometimes afraid, were very astonished, they frequently marveled, they were at times indignant, and they rejoiced exceedingly.

They...
became weary on a number of occasions, grumbled and withdrew, some stopped walking with Jesus; even after the resurrection some still doubted, they wrote the New Testament and died for their faith.

They…
were taught to pray for the Kingdom to come and for laborers for the harvest, yet slept while Jesus prayed; they spent ten days in continuous prayer before Pentecost, and prayed corporately every day afterward at 3:00 p.m..

They…
forgot provisions, made commitments they could not keep, individuals begged them to heal people they could not heal, they attempted to exorcise demons that would not leave, they rebuked parents who brought children to be blessed, they abandoned Jesus in His darkest hour, they were frequently jealous and often ambitious, and they turned the world upside down after the resurrection.

They…
had a tendency to invent doctrines, tried to command fire to fall on the Samaritans, put a limit on how many times to forgive, presumed the apostle John would not die, wanted to build tabernacles for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, became the tabernacle of God on earth after Pentecost.

They…
prepared cities for the arrival of Jesus, prepared the Passover for the last supper, and were prepared by God to represent Christ; ultimately, they were prepared to die for the Lord.

They…
remembered what Jesus taught, received the great commission, faced terrible opposition from principalities and powers, Jews and Gentiles, yet they reached their world with the Gospel of Christ.

Therefore, seeing that God was not limited by the mistakes of Christ’s disciples, let us read the words of Christ as though we were sitting at Jesus’ feet. Let us approach Him with faith, believing all things are possible for God, even the transformation of our hearts.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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