Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

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Does intelligence outrank muscle any day?

There is a better way.

What? Yes, God shows us. It is a God thing.

It is called wisdom. It comes from Jesus.

It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel. ~King Solomon | Proverbs 24:5-6 (The Message Bible)

Just look at our own culture as disciples.  I can’t speak for you but I’m not wise according to human standards. I’m certainly not very powerful or influential. I wasn’t born with great connections. My dad was a humble farmer. God gave him wisdom. 

Does God himself give joy to us?

God’s Gift

The joy I have, in Jesus my Master, is a gift from God. I don’t screw my courage and become happy automatically. Of course, I must decide to accept it. Gifts aren’t gifts if they aren’t received.

We also know that joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Fruit goes through a growing process, from seed to tree to fruit. It must be cultivated. There is a role for me there as well.

Literally, the “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in a heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.

He came from China to the US. Don’t take love for granted! 

Check out this video of our Sunday Service from Jed Wright. Jed spent half his life in China and half in the US. Jed was an orphan adopted by a Christian family here in America. Jed discovered love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-74 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Jesus won’t let us down. No way. He will change us. He will clean us up. He will be true to His word. Now that is some good news.

I can’t claim I haven’t missed God’s goal for my life. None of us can. We are sinners. That is the truth. Some days we go merrily along fooling ourselves that we are “good people”. We are not.

To claim that we are good is just nonsense. But we like to think it. It is a foolish idea and it comes from the evil one. If I think I am good, I don’t have to change the way I am thinking. I don’t have to act differently. That is not the way of Jesus. Never was and never will be.

So what should we do? We need to admit we miss God’s goal. We shouldn’t hide it or cover it up. “Man up” as they would say. Own it. It is the truth.

Then … admit that Jesus paid the price. Change our way of thinking. Make a clean breast of the things that hold us down and back. Sweep it all out. That is the Way of Jesus.

Do we regard others as more important than ourselves?

Humility

God calls on me to respect others, placing them as more important than I am. Jesus is very clear about this.

The main thing is to love others more than I love myself. This is repeated over and over. I must obey my Master Jesus.

Arrogance will bring me down. Jesus says for me go after humility. Jesus warns “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit through factional motives, or strife, but with an attitude of humility being neither arrogant nor self-righteous regard others as more important than yourselves. ~Apostle Paul — Philippians 2:3

Is the glory of Jesus God’s glory?

Glory

The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not an aesthetic beauty or a material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character, from all that He is.

I need to see the beauty of Jesus and His glory. I need to get excited about who Jesus is and what He does for me.

James 1:10 calls on a rich man to “glory in his humiliation,” indicating a glory that does not mean riches or power or material beauty. This glory can crown man or fill the earth. It is seen within man and in the earth, but it is not of them; it is of God.

Should I question Jesus?

Jesus asks a question

The religious elites and leaders have it in for Jesus. They are going to try and trap Jesus.

Do I pursue similar tactics? Do I think I can question Jesus? Do I want to know who has given Jesus the authority to do anything?

I need to think this through. King Jesus isn’t going to accept anything other than my complete allegiance. Everything must be sacrificed to live in the country where Jesus is King.

What is the biblical background to the use of the word joy?

Background on Joy

Joy (שִׂמְחָה, simchah; χαρά, chara). Closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice. One of the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22–23). Having joy is part of the experience of being a disciple of Jesus.

Biblical Relevance

In the Old Testament, joy is closely related to victory over one’s enemies. For example, in 1 Sam 18:6 when David returned from killing the Philistine, he was met with joy and dancing. It is also associated with religious acts and feasts, including sacrifices in Psa 27:6 and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (2 Chr 30; Ezra 6).

“Joy” also occurs frequently in songs of praise, most frequently in the book of Psalms (1 Chr 16; Pss 20; 33; 47). The prophets speak of joy, both its being taken away on account of exile (Ezek 24:25; Joel 1:12) and of the joy that will return when the people are restored (Isa 35:10; Jer 31:13).

Who is the author of healing?

Heal the blind

God is the author of healing. Now that is some stunning news.

That is the good news of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is King. Jesus is in control.

Jesus wants to heal me.

There is a lot to be said in the scripture about sickness and healing. Jesus heals. I know this to be true. That is some good news!

Approximately one fifth of the books of the Good News narrative is devoted to Jesus’ healing ministry.

Did people anticipate the coming of a prophet? Is Jesus that Prophet?

Complete the law and prophets

The Messiah is anticipated by the Jewish people as the Prophet of God. Jesus is that Prophet. Jesus the Messiah was acclaimed as a prophet by those who witnessed his miracles and heard his teaching. They recognized him as a bearer of the word of God, who spoke with authority concerning the nature and purposes of God.

A function of some of the prophets was healing and miracles. Moses performed many miracles, including parting the Red Sea. Elijah performed a miracle when he called fire down from heaven to burn up a sacrifice. Elisha performed a miracle when he made the ax head float in the water.

What does it mean to be part of the real vine Jesus?

Fruit

Jesus is the true source of everything I am or have. Jesus is the real vine.

My role is to bear fruit. The fruit I produce is that of the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

My source of life and spiritual fruit is not in myself; it is outside me, in the Messiah Jesus. I can live, live rightly, and serve Him effectively only if I am rightly connected to Him in a faith/love relationship.

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. ~Jesus | John 15:1-3

As a branch, I have to be pruned to produce fruit. The words of Jesus is the pruning message. I must steep myself in what Jesus is saying.

I want to be fruitful.

  • Jesus went on to remove any misunderstanding about what He meant (John 15:4). He said that no branch can even live, let alone produce leaves and fruit, by itself.
  • Cut off from the trunk, a branch is dead. Just as a vine’s branches rely on being connected to the trunk from which they receive their energy to bear fruit, Jesus’ disciples depend on being connected to Him for their spiritual life and the ability to serve Him effectively.
  • We depend on Jesus for everything, starting with our very life — “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) — and including our reconciliation with God through Him (Romans 5:10).
  • No one can serve God effectively until he is connected with Jesus the Messiah by faith. Jesus is our only connection with the God who gave life and who produces in us a fruitful life of righteousness and service.

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Prayer for our nation and a call for peacemakers. 

Madison Ortiz leads prayer for our nation.

James 3:13-18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Wisdom from Above

June 3, 2020 Prayer Notes (Click to view)

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.

Will God exalt those who are humble?

Humility

It is possible to submit outwardly and yet not be humbled inwardly. God hates the sin of pride, and He will chasten the proud believer until he is humbled. We have a tendency to treat sin too lightly, even to laugh about it (“let your laughter be turned into mourning”). But missing God’s goal (aka sin) is serious, and one mark of true humility is facing the seriousness of sin and dealing with our disobedience. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

How exquisite is God’s love?

Image result for exquisite

God is love!

Jesus came to die for me to show the amazing scope of God’s love.

God’s love is beautiful.

God’s love is exquisite. It is sharp and clear.

How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings, to eat our fill at the banquet you spread as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water. You’re a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light. ~King David | Psalm 36:7-9

It is hard to come up with the right words for God’s love. King David is onto something here.

God’s love is attractive, beautiful, exceptional, faultless, fine, graceful, ideal, perfect, refined, superior, out of sight, well-made, topflight, pulverous, tophole, and very good.

It is exquisite!

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is joy because of the believers’ partnership in the good news?

Joy

Am I offering prayers filled with joy? Am I a partner in the joy of the good news? Am I happy about the good news of Jesus?

None of the believers was excluded from Paul’s prayers. Coming from a prisoner, this is especially significant. It was with joy that the apostle also besought God on their behalf. Paul’s hardships made him better, not bitter. They always do one or the other to a child of God.

Is Jesus being honored like God?

Honor

Jesus is in control. Not just of a little but Jesus is in control of everything. God has made Jesus Judge and King.

Jesus will be honored. When Jesus renders His verdict, everyone will honor Him.

I must submit to His judgement.

I must bow and honor Jesus.

Can we have courage in the face of wrongdoing?

John Wayne on Courage

God gives strength to his people. He enables them to be courageous through his gift of faith. God proves himself faithful to his promises and enables his people to trust him in everyday life.

Can I act bravely under difficulties or in the face of opposition? Am i prepared to do dangerous or risky things in obedience to God? Do I believe that Jesus will strengthen, guard and protect me?

I kind of grew up in the church …

I kind of grew up in the church, so to speak. It was a VERY Baptist church. Southern Baptist in the 50’s and 60’s. I was there almost every day. Visitation night, choir rehearsals, prayer service, youth nights, athletic leagues, scouts, etc.

They even gave me a key so I could unlock the church to let the others in. I was the first to arrive and the last to leave.

What is the message of Pentecost?

Dustin and Madison Ortiz lead us in understanding the meaning of Pentecost.

Acts 2 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. 6 When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts), 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues.” 12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.”

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is ecstasy in response to the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit

We seem a little reluctant to talk about the ecstatic experience. Is that for mystics and weirdo’s I think?

Maybe it’s not just for kooks.

Ecstasy in response to Jesus the Messiah: The Greek word “ecstasy” (ἔκστασις, ekstasis) means “standing outside of” and refers to the experience of having the mind cut off from ordinary sense perceptions. These experiences are often referred to as mystical or ecstatic experiences.

  • Doesn’t Jesus just rock my world?
  • Am I out of my mind at what Jesus is doing?
  • Am I crazy in love with Jesus?
  • Am I stunned at His beauty and brilliance?

And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. | Acts 13:52

Can the rich get to heaven?

Radical Jesus

Jesus, as always, asks a very penetrating question. The “rich young ruler” had just turned and left. He was very sad. Jesus had challenged him to sell everything and give it to the poor.

Jesus turns to his disciples.

Jesus asks the question. I imagine He lets the question linger.

Will anyone answer? Silence. No one can or no one will. The disciples have heard Jesus ask lots of questions. They are never easy. Best to just listen as Jesus explains.

Does Jesus innocence allow for him to sacrifice himself for us?

I have missed God’s goal for my life (aka sin). A penalty must be paid. Jesus, the innocent lamb of God, takes my place as a sacrifice. Now that is some very good news.

When Jesus is called the Lamb of God in John 1:29 and John 1:36, it is referring to Him as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin. In order to understand who The Messiah was and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which contains prophecies concerning the coming of The Messiah as a “guilt offering” (Isaiah 53:10).

How do we get right standing with God?

God’s holiness is what separates Him from all other beings, what makes Him separate and distinct from everything else.

God’s holiness is more than just His perfection or sinless purity; it is the essence of His “other-ness,” His transcendence.

It is amazing. It is stunning. I stand in awe.

God’s holiness embodies the mystery of His awesomeness and causes me to gaze in wonder at Him as I begin to comprehend just a little of His majesty.

What is joy a hallmark of?

1ac6b-treasureinafield

What a treasure we have in the joy that Jesus brings into our lives. God has a country. Jesus is King of God’s country. Joy reigns supreme in this country. It is a hallmark of the stunning beauty of Jesus that we worship.

Have I sold everything to get the joy of Jesus in my life? Do I rejoice that I am a citizen of God’s country and have a place in Heaven?

I need to do a happy dance when the lost are found and the sinner changes his mind about Jesus (aka repent). I need to be really glad. This should thrill me like no other activity.

Do I rejoice always? I need to carefully consider that. If not, what is wrong?

  • Galatians 5:22 —But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • Matthew 13:44 — “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
  • Luke 10:17–21 —The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Master of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
  • Luke 15:4–10 — “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
  • John 4:34–36 —Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift wo up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
  • John 16:20–24 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23 “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full”.
  • John 17:13 — “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
  • Romans 12:12 —Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
  • Romans 14:17–18 —For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves the Messiah is acceptable to God and approved by men.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 —Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in the Messiah Jesus.

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What We Believe

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships. Learn more here.

We are an inter-denominational ministry, and our desire is for transformation: a genuine change of heart and lifestyle that flows out of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

We believe:

  • Jesus is Lord. We exalt the One True God who made us and gave us the Lord Jesus Christ as our salvation. Our goal is to be a people with a heart for obedience to Christ in all things. His work made it possible for us to live – eternally and now – as children of God. Jesus made it possible for us to be rightly related to the Father and to one another. His desire is for us to succeed. We believe a right relationship with Him is the first and most important step.
  • The Bible is True. God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12-13), which we take into our minds and spirits and live out through the flesh. When Jesus asked what the greatest commandment was, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31). The basis for everything we teach is “Life is Relationships.”
  • Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. We desire to walk in and by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit (available to all believers) empowers Christians for living witness and dedicated service.

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Will we be like the wind and the waves?

Image result for jesus rebukes the storm

One word. Jesus rebukes the storm. Jesus is in the power of the Holy Spirit, as the Son of God. He knows the power of a command.

That is it. It didn’t take more

A single word.

And … obedience! The goal is obedience.

One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass. Luke 8:22-24 (The Message Bible)

Does sprinkling with water symbolize spiritual cleansing?

Holy Spirit Water

I must prepare myself spiritually to fellowship with God. The Old Testament priest had to go through various washings and the applying of blood on the Day of Atonement.

Also, during the regular daily ministry, the priests had to wash at the laver before they entered the holy place. The New Agreement disciple must come to God with a pure heart and a clean conscience. Fellowship with God demands purity.

Where does faith come from? Is it a gift?

Faith is not something I conjure up on my own, nor is it something I am born with.

Faith is not a result of diligence in study or pursuit of the spiritual.

Faith doesn’t come from “good theology”. The religious elites can’t give it to me. Faith is a gift.

Are God’s people to aim to live free from blame?

Blame God

I need to focus more on being blameless. The Apostle Paul shows the being blameless is a result of my love being in abundance and abounding.

I need real knowledge to be blameless as the Holy Spirit reveals the journey I need to take as I follow Jesus. Guilt is removed in my walk with Jesus. I become set apart (aka sanctified). Now that is some stunningly good news.

Do the poor have an advocate?

Advocate

God cares for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the homeless, the sick, those in jail; all of the displaced of this world. I need to advocate for them as well. Jesus calls me to love and to give.

Jesus is an advocate for them all.

Jesus is not just an Advocate but he is mighty and powerful.

Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, for they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them. | Proverbs 23:10-11 (The Message Bible)

Why do we need the armor of God? 

Zoe provides some great insight into the helmet of salvation.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB) Christian Warfare

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is repentance the only way to escape God’s judgment?

Repent

Repentance (radically changing my mind) is of central importance because missing God’s goal (sin) brings God’s judgment. Fellowship with God is only possible through full and sincere repentance (radically changing my mind).

God, through his servants, calls me to change my mind as the only way to escape the judgment and receive the forgiveness and restoration which he offers. I must continually re-think my approach and actions. Jesus demands.

Has the kingdom of God come upon us?

Jesus is King

Is Jesus my Master? Am I His slave? Does Jesus own me? Jesus is the King, anointed by the Holy Spirit and in charge of God’s country. Even the demons obey. I must obey Jesus.

Now in thinking about the authority of the Messiah, perhaps it’s helpful to consider two words. The first is the word dunamis which the Bible translates “power.” The second is the word exousia which the Bible translates “power” or “authority” and is best understood as “authority,” and there is a difference.

Do God’s people find their joy in Jesus?

God’s Blessings

Jesus wants me to glad, joyful and happy. Jesus paid the price for my missing God’s goal (aka sin). I deserved death. Jesus died in my place. Jesus is resurrected and sits in authority next to God as King of God’s country. That should make me glad. If it doesn’t, what is wrong with me?

The Apostle Paul is emphatic in Philippians 3. He says “rejoice” and then he emphatically says it again. The word here is χαίρω (chairó). It means to be glad, happy and rejoice. It comes to us by combining. xará (“joy”) and xáris (“grace”).

“They died for liberty – they died for us.” ~Robert G. Ingersoll

We live in an amazing country, founded by men and women who were willing to sacrifice so much for us. And it has continued on throughout our history until today.

There is a price for liberty.

May we remember that today and every day.

These heroes are dead.  They died for liberty – they died for us.  They are at rest.  They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines.  They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. 

Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace.  In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death.  I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead:  cheers for the living; tears for the dead.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Hell – Why do believers have to maintain their loyalty to God? What is the fear that cancels fear?

Loyalty

I need to take God and His Son Jesus very seriously. There will be a day of judgement. There is a place called hell.

I may be persecuted for following Jesus. They may kill me. That shouldn’t bother me, and I shouldn’t fear it at all.

All that men can do is kill the body; and, if they do, the believer’s soul goes home to be with the Master. But God is able to destroy both body and soul in hell! Of course, God will never condemn one of His own children. I do need to respect God and know that His judgement will be true. Following Jesus is the solution.

Praying for our church in times of challenge. 

Madison Ortiz lays out our prayers for the church. Judgement begins in the house of the Master. Judges are ruling in favor of churches. We have access to the authority of Jesus. A church is a beacon of light. We are a city set on hill.

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.” ~Jesus | Matthew 5

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Do Jesus’ disciples have His patience in relation to people?

Patience

God is patient with sinners. Jesus perfectly models that for me. Jesus is my example. Jesus shows me the way. I can’t do it on my own.

Romans 2:4 says that God’s patience leads to our repentance. Romans 9:22 points out that only God’s patience prevents Him from destroying “the objects of his wrath.” Paul glorifies the Master for His “unlimited patience” that saved him, “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:16).

Is God’s glory our highest motivation?

Glory

God’s glory is to be my highest motive. God wants me to know that He sees what no one else sees.

He knows why I do what I do and desires to reward those whose hearts are right toward Him. My focus has to be on Jesus the Messiah and His cross.

Why does the Holy Spirit’s fruit include joy?

Fruit
Fruit

We love to eat fruit. We love the fruit and the juice. It gives us nourishment and refreshes us. May we relish the fruit of the Spirit and joy that it brings in our lives.

If I don’t have joy I need to check with Jesus and figure out what is going on. Something is wrong. I need to radically change my mind (aka repent) and see life the way Jesus does. I need the power of the Holy Spirit producing joy in my heart.

What does Jesus think about wealth and money?

Wealth

Jesus looks me hard in the eye. Jesus is clear. Jesus isn’t going to pull any punches with me.

Jesus loves me. Jesus cares about me deeply. Jesus has my best interest at heart.

That is the way our Master Jesus goes about teaching me, His slave and disciple.

Does Jesus reflect the anger of God?

Anger

Does Jesus get angry and upset? Jesus the Messiah shows controlled emotion arising from his unswerving opposition to evil and his determination to eradicate it.

Note the following observations about Jesus’ displays of anger:

Who is our source of joy?

Hope

My hope is in Jesus. That is the main thing about the main thing. Is your hope in Jesus?  If not, put your trust in the Messiah without delay.

Never forget that we have hope of life after death for one reason: Jesus the Messiah removed the barrier between us and God — the barrier caused by missing God’s goal (aka sin). Now that is some stunning news.

That is worth a mighty shout out. Let’s throw a party!

Should disciples of Jesus be surprised with suffering?

Persistence

The surprises along the way are God’s surprises. He is never caught off guard or unprepared. He calls me to follow him beyond the boundaries of my wisdom, strength and character.

The waiting I must do and the surprises that I face are meant by him to be tools of grace. They are designed to release me from my self-reliance and the hold my dreams for my life.

In those moments of surprise, it is important to remember that you may be confused, but God isn’t. In this moment when you are not sure what is going on, you haven’t been abandoned. No, the opposite is true: you are being rescued. But living this way is hard for us.

What does it mean Jesus is in the Father?

Jesus has a question for Philip. Jesus called Philip to be a disciple as he (Jesus) was leaving Bethany after being baptized by John.

Philip’s immediate response was to go and find Nathanael and tell him “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

What is the example of Jesus concerning gentleness?

Compassion

We have a lot to learn from Jesus. Jesus is gentle and shows compassion. Jesus has compassion for those in need. In fact, so great was His love for the needy that the Savior ministered to great crowds of people after the Sabbath had ended, when it was lawful for them to come for help. God’s Servant was at the beck and call of all kinds of people, including demoniacs and lepers; and He lovingly ministered to them all.

That Jesus would meet and touch a leper is somewhat beyond our understanding. Lepers were supposed to keep their distance and warn everyone that they were coming, lest others would be defiled. This man knew that Jesus was able to heal him, but he was not sure the Master was willing to heal him. Lost sinners today have the same unnecessary concern, for God has made it abundantly clear that He is not willing that sinners perish and that He is willing that all men be saved.

Why does Jesus hang out with sinners?

Jesus gets in trouble a lot. The religious elites don’t like who He hangs out with.

They let Jesus know. They let the disciples of Jesus know.

And … Jesus wants to sit down and eat with me. Jesus wants to sit down and eat with you. Jesus is smiling and in a good mood. Jesus has good news for us.

What role does joy play for the believers’ faith and obedience?

Joy of Jesus

There is great joy when our brothers and sisters walk in the truth of the Master Jesus. I want to do a happy dance for them.

Gaius was recognized as a man who obeyed the Word of God and “walked in truth”. Some of the brethren had made several visits to John, and they had joyfully reported that Gaius was a glowing example of what a disciple ought to be. They gave him a great shout out!

Does everything work together for our good?

I have something to shout about. I have family and friends that want the best for me. They really do.

They have my best interests at heart. They truly love me.

I should listen to those who want the best for me last. They should always have the last word. What they say is worthy of a glad shout.

Heroes of Today Online Challenge Week 2 – Are you ready to wear the full armor of God?

We’re happy to announce that we will be continuing our Heroes Online Challenge for another week! If you would like to register, go to ctcilife.org, you will be given an two options for registration.

  1. To sign up as a participant, you will get the full experience of this program and also have a chance to receive a special prize!
  2. Sign up as a observer to still receive devotionals among other aspects of the curriculum.

Be sure to sign up by May 31st 2020 2pm EST!

Life around us seems to be at a stand still right now, and many believers have seen this quarantine as a time to personal retreat, forced isolation or even loss. Despite the deceptive stillness on the surface, the spiritual battle rages beneath. In developing this program, it has been our earnest prayer that those participating would allow the Lord to shine a light in their lives, exposing those things that won’t conform to His will.

We desire to see those things illuminated turned into lights themselves, that we may be better equipped for the greater glory of His name, and the furthering of His kingdom. Don’t let this difficult quarantine season go to waste! Join us the first week of June as we learn what it takes to fight the spiritual battle before us and strive to equip ourselves with the full Armor of God!

Challenge:

” I participated in the first week of the Heroes Online Challenge and it was exactly what I needed during this quaratine time. Prior to the challenge, I had fallen into a rut…I had no discipline and felt very lonely. By the end of the challenge week, I felt encouraged, strenghtened in my walk with the Lord, I made new friends, and I am ready to be who God created me to be. I encourage any high school or college student to particpate in this awesome week.” – Heroes of Today Online Challenge participant-

Be sure to sign up by May 31st 2020 2pm EST!

Is family the foundation of relationships in God’s Kingdom?

Family of God

Family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a spiritual sense. The foundation of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28.

God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. A man and a woman would form a “one-flesh” union through marriage (Genesis 2:24), and they with their children become a family, the essential building block of human society.