Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

What does “life is relationships” mean? Why is the Christian Training Center so special?

What does “life is relationships” mean? Why is the Christian Training Center so special?

Watch this great Christian Training Center overview. See our founders, Jay and Sally Fesperman explain why “life is relationships” is so meaningful.

_____________________________________________________

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.

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.  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.

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.

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

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International. This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us as we wrap up this three part teaching by Jay Fesperman about authority. Today we see how our entire culture is affected by WHO is actually in authority.

All the members have been given gifts, a call, and authority to exercise those gifts. But they must be under someone’s control; otherwise there will be chaos. Thus, as the Church, the Body of Christ, is growing up and maturing into what she has been called to be and do, all the functions of ministry must be under the rule, the government which the Lord has set in place. Sometimes, there are restraints prematurely put upon the flow of ministry. But we have to remember that everyone in the church was a rebel, and that characteristic has not been totally removed. We still want things “our way”, to “do our own thing”. We haven’t put way childish things. But both forms of authority are given, that we might all come to maturity. So Paul tells Timothy that a man must manage or RULE his own household well and get obedience and respect from his own children. At home or in the church, ministry and rulership both must be established. A very simple principle evolves within this distribution of authority: The more effective the MINISTRY is exercised, the less GOVERNMENT is needed. So, top priority should be given in ministry.

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! What a glorious day that our Lord has given us today, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us today as we continue in the second part of Jay Fesperman’s teaching about authority and let’s see how it flows down from the HEAD (Father God, Jesus Who has been give all authority) to our earthly authority in the church as “ELDERS”. What a responsibility, may we recognize and respect all authority as God has created and allowed it!

. . . in the closing words of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples, “ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” (emphasis mine). In His prayer to the Father in John 17:2, Jesus said, “For you granted [me] authority over all people”.

Paul says in Colossians 2:10, “. . . you [we] have been given fullness in Christ who is the Head over every power and AUTHORITY”. So all authority comes to man from God, the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son. Thus, Jesus Christ has AUTHORITY over ALL authority. For example, in Matthew 10:1, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them AUTHORITY to drive out evil spirits, and to cure every kind of disease and sickness”.

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us as we begin to look at what it means to submit to authority, namely our Father God to start! This will be the first of three Wednesday teachings by Jay Fesperman on this topic. May God bless us all as we seek to live a disciplined life in Christ!

It seems that the Lord wants us to share about something that we have been sharing [on] for several years. We have reached a stage where the Lord wants us to dig and probe deeper into this subject (as well as other subjects). This is so important a matter, in the face of what God is doing in the church throughout the world. Lately, within this contemporary renewal in the work of the Holy Spirit, great emphasis has been put on things we had forgotten or laid aside as not being all that important. The subject: HOW TO HANDLE AUTHORITY: YOURS AND OTHERS.

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

We all want to hear God more and more! Here are a few things to consider when we struggle to hear our Lord. We should often consider if we are in the right heart and mind, and if we are not let’s take the time to get right! Please join us as we read the 3rd of Jay Fesperman’s series on Hearing God. May you be blessed by the insight!

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! This is another day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Please join us today as we see how important exercise is! Exercising our faith that is! If we want to master anything, then we have to practice that thing many many times. It is the same truth with our faith. In this part 2 of Jay Fesperman’s series, we will learn the importance of training and consistency in building our faith strong.

That verse – Ephesians 2: 8 – goes on to say of faith, “It is a gift of God.” Now, just as the parental “gift” of milk to the baby is gradually replaced with solid food, so the basic gift of FAITH becomes “solid food”. But your FAITH, that solid food, being for the mature, requires constant use, and, as we use it, “We are trained by it.” (Hebrews 5: 14).

So God lays back so that we can be exercised by the use of our GIFTS in order to “distinguish good from evil” – making correct decisions for ourself. And, as we constantly exercise the GIFT of FAITH, we find that we have come to trust God! Almost as much as He trusts us!

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Good morning from all of us at CTCI! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us today, and the next two Wednesday’s, as we study a teaching from our founder here at CTCI, Jay Fesperman.

Have you ever been discouraged by what seems to be the disappearance of God from your horizon, the inability to hear His voice? I believe one of the most wide-spread problems that young Christians face is that they seem to lose touch with the Lord. That intimate fellowship with Him fades away, and “I just cannot hear the voice of God for my life anymore.” As they move along the path of maturity, many young Christian men and women come into times when confusion creeps in, and it becomes really difficult to know what choice to make or who to listen to.

Changing Things…By Prayer (Part 3 of 3)| Jay Fesperman

Now, there is one more thing: believing that we have a great High Priest, an intercessor – Jesus Christ, seated at God’s right hand. We hear Jesus say something like this, “Now, Father, you hear what Jay is asking; release it to him, in My Name.”

If we pray the way Jesus told us to, we will pray to the Father, “in Jesus’ Name.” “The Father will give you whatever you ask IN MY NAME,” Jesus said (John 15:16). But then He says, “In that day you will ask IN MY NAME. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No. The Father HIMSELF loves you because you have loved Me AND HAVE BELIEVED that I came from God” (John 16:26-27). What is Jesus saying? I think He is trying to get our identity with the Person of God, the Father settled into our spirit, by clearly defining to us who He is as He relates to the Father, and who He is as He relates to US.

Changing Things…By Prayer (Part 2 of 3)| Jay Fesperman

Here is the second part of our series! We hope you are enjoying Jay’s God anointed teachings!

Next, we need to be encouraged by coming to an understanding that God has put an important limitation to what we should pray for. He has made many, many promises to His people in the Bible. So we need to know His Word and what He has given as a promise. Just as FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of our desires, so His promises are the raw material of His desires, His hope for us. Get that! His PROMISES are His DESIRE for us! We can hove our faith electrified by repeating that phrase again and again: “His promises are his desire for us…”, and they are expressed in words, phrases, sentences in the Scriptures!

the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (3/3)

Please join us as we finish strong with this series by Jay Fesperman!

As we continue to work with young men and women out of today’s society, we are constantly made aware of the out-of-balance condition of so many young lives. “God put the solitary in families” for the maturing of each one into a well-balanced person who can stand and serve Him, however He may call us. And the Lord doesn’t make mistakes! His ORDER is that we mature in five main areas of growth: RELATIONAL, SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, PHYSICAL. This is God’s PLAN!!

Changing Things…By Prayer (Part 1 of 3)| Jay Fesperman

What do you really need prayer for? Join us for the next three Wednesday’s as we study this series by Jay Fesperman!

This morning I began to pray in our usual time assigned for prayer. And in the ways of the Holy Spirit, that voice began to speak: “Your prayers are meant to bring about CHANGE in the lives of those for whom you pray! If your prayers come from the impulse of the Spirit of God, you should be sensing and even seeing change. You have been praying for weeks for ____________. Are you seeing change? Sure you are! He’s not the same! but do you take courage to know that, through your praying, God has seen fit to hear your own prayer and alter the life of another person? Isn’t that incredible! To think that your conversation with God has totally changed the course of another human life?”

the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (2/3)

Please join us in part two of our series as we learn from the teachings of Jay Fesperman!

This is the same Son of God of whom Isaiah spoke in his prophecy when he said, “On His shoulders would rest the GOVERNMENT of the universe.” Jesus said in Matthew, “ ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to ME”. Now, this is the same authority God gave to Adam when He made the first man, and said, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and RULE over it” (emphasis mine). God had made man in His own image – male and female – and then He commanded Adam to fulfill “husbandship” ([see] Jeremiah 31:31). “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.” Out of his husbandship, Adam was called into fatherhood. Then he was told to RULE – to establish order; to take authority.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

This is the 3rd part of our series about boundaries. Please let us know how this truth can help you by commenting below?

Paul told both Titus and Timothy not to appoint leaders in the church whose house was not in order. A man who has established clear boundaries for himself will most likely make a good father. A man whose family is not living within the boundaries he has set is very likely to be a poor leader.

The writer of Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.” Peer pressure among teens is powerful. If disciplinary patterns have not been set before children go out to school, they will find it virtually impossible to stand against this pressure. One teenager recently said in a letter, “The inescapable pressure exerted by peers are often too hard to handle. The only answer,” he continued, “is to have a source from which to draw strength. This strength can only come from the home. A weak home produces weak kids, unable to defend themselves.” Setting the boundaries AND supervising the results is what good training methods consist of – at home, in business, IN CHURCH.

The Building Blocks of Maturity | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

We are so blessed to have these words of wisdom spoken in past years by Jay Fesperman through years of his study and heavenly anointing, available to us for our continued growth in our Lord! So, please join us for this three part series the next few Wednesday’s!

Often I get “hooked” on a word that I see used but rarely in the Scriptures, and I enjoy looking through concordances and commentaries to determine the full meaning of this word. Recently, I noticed such a word was underlined in my Bible in Colossians 2:5. That word in English is “ORDERLY”. I had written in the margin the word “discipline”. To quote the full verse, Paul says to the Colossian Church, “I delight to see how ORDERLY you are and how firm is your faith in Christ”. (emphasis mine)

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Here is part 2 of the three part series. We encourage you to comment below and interact regarding this important topic! We would love to hear from you!

As children of God we are given God-ordained boundaries. The Ten Commandments, the behavioral laws, the way to relate to others in the Body of Christ, or the way to relate to those “of the world” with whom we cross paths. If we didn’t get good training at home under clearly defined boundaries set by our parents, we’re likely to have some difficulty in getting established in the Church, and ultimately, in God’s Kingdom. Some of these difficulties show up in many ways. Let me share with you a few that I have observed.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

This is the first of a 3 part series by Jay Fesperman. It is a valuable group of letters to us all!

David, a 16 year-old, sells sex to men and women on the streets of New York. He ran away from home at an early age. David tells kids, “Stay at home and be a child for as long as you can. Don’t grow up too quick.”. . .an article on the cover of a well-known women’s magazine: “The High Cost of Growing up TOO FAST.”

An expert in child-rearing, on staff at a famous medical center, says, “We have come to the realization that a parent’s role is to show youngsters discipline. At the point a child gets proactive, the parent should know that the child is looking for a LIMIT – a BOUNDARY. And the parent had better provide that limit. The child will be reassured for having limits set. They need limits clearly spelled out; it’s the only way to learn.”

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

The Lord told Solomon to ask for whatever his heart desired and He would grant it. Solomon asked for wisdom and God gave him great wisdom, but He also gave him all the wealth and riches for which he had not asked. God proved to be faithful to Solomon, and He proved to be faithful to me. Jesus said to His disciples, “Ask anything of the Father in My name, and He will grant it.” So, in the FAITH that is ours “in Christ”, we can ask the Lord God for anything “in the name of Jesus” and then we can expect the Lord to give it. But what is the KEY? It is the FAITH that we have, but we must be sure that we have it “IN CHRIST”. You see, as we have said, everybody has “faith”, because it is built into the system which makes us tick in every way. But to exercise that faith for the things of God, our FAITH must be “in Christ”.

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

But HEAR THIS! It’s very important. I heard a lot about Jesus Christ, and I read a lot about Jesus Christ before I came to know God. What was there within me that kept me from knowing God in those days when I was hearing so much about God and Jesus? My carnal mind – that is, the mind of my “nature” – was reading and hearing all this. It did not suit or please my “nature”, because my “nature” knew that a major change would take place and that the “natural man” would not have the last word. That element of faith within me was doing nothing but looking out for my safety in the natural, and it totally ignored the spiritual me. My “nature” was on the throne, and it didn’t need or want a God. My “nature” was god, and I was in subjection to it.

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

On many occasions I have been thrown together with a person whose language was completely foreign to me, and mine to him. Trying to convey a thought to another under these circumstances is most frustrating. The ability to understand one another demands a commonly understood language. My conversation sounds like so much gibberish to someone who only speaks and understands only German or French or the Lunda tongue of southern Africa. And theirs to me. It’s wild babbling!

We talk about hearing the Word of God. What language does God speak? Before you try to answer that, with what kind of mouth does God speak? Do His words have some kind of physical effect on my ear drums and I hear WORDS? Just what IS the Word of God?

The Evil of Compromise | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Many young people are asking, “Where do I belong in the Body of Christ? How can I be sure of where God wants me?” I believe one of the most important priorities would be to find a body of believers who are maturing into a solid church, whose leadership is strong; a leadership who:

  1. Knows God’s PURPOSE for that particular group (MOTIVE).
  2. Knows how to order the PRIORITIES of individuals, families, and Church.
  3. Has established and are following a clearly defined SYSTEM to accomplish God’s purpose for HIS Church.

The Evil of Compromise | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

As a management consultant to industry, I was once asked to sell a large portion of my time to a company that was losing several million dollars each year. After several years of success they were now about to go down the tube. My reply was that nobody outside of the company could do the job. It would take dynamic leadership from within to effect a turn-around.

The Evil of Compromise | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

“When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’?” (2 Corinthians 1:17).

A lot of people have blamed the “Charismatic Renewal” for causing division in the Church. Yet I have never seen anything more divided than was the Church before this unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place. More than a hundred denominations! And within each of them a polarization of liberals and conservatives; some deeply and primarily involved with extremism, either in social-action programs or in fundamental theology! And these extremes carping at each other, and then often coming together only after much, much COMPROMISE. And that’s the ultimate weakening force in any institution – COMPROMISE!

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Those of us who have been or are parents remember how, when they were small, our kids wore their feelings “on their sleeves” so to speak. Now, as they grew older, their thoughts and attitudes became more subtle, more hidden, stuffed down inside. But if we were doing a thorough job, we knew them well enough to read their attitudes fairly well. Because, when the kids tried to camouflage their true reactions, they were put in judgement by the rules and regulations we had laid upon them. God says in His Word, “. . .My Word judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4: 12).

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

That verse – Ephesians 2: 8 – goes on to say of faith, “It is a gift of God.” Now, just as the parental “gift” of milk to the baby is gradually replaced with solid food, so the basic gift of FAITH becomes “solid food”. But your FAITH, that solid food, being for the mature, requires constant use, and, as we use it, “We are trained by it.” (Hebrews 5: 14).

So God lays back so that we can be exercised by the use of our GIFTS in order to “distinguish good from evil” – making correct decisions for ourself. And, as we constantly exercise the GIFT of FAITH, we find that we have come to trust God! Almost as much as He trusts us!

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Have you ever been discouraged by what seems to be the disappearance of God from your horizon, the inability to hear His voice? I believe one of the most wide-spread problems that young Christians face is that they seem to lose touch with the Lord. That intimate fellowship with Him fades away, and “I just cannot hear the voice of God for my life anymore.” As they move along the path of maturity, many young Christian men and women come into times when confusion creeps in, and it becomes really difficult to know what choice to make or who to listen to.

The Fullness of Life | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Finally, Paul tells Titus (Titus 3:14): “Our people must learn to DEVOTE THEMSELVES to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities, and not live un-productive lives!”

Here then is the principle upon which the Kingdom of God will be built. Like the human body, the Church – the BODY OF CHRIST –  will thrive and grow up, until “We all reach UNITY in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become MATURE, attaining to the whole measure of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST!” (Ephesians 4: 13). Jesus said, “Whoever tries to keep his LIFE will lose it, and whoever LOSES his LIFE will PRESERVE IT. . .” (Luke 17: 33).

The Fullness of Life | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

God’s highest purpose for man is. . .”FULFILL OTHERS!” Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” This is the first and greatest requirement of God’s law. And the SECOND IS LIKE IT: “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF!” All other laws hang on these two.

In order for man to grow up into this kind of citizen, God knew he must be brought forth in such a way that he would be TOTALLY DEPENDENT on other people. A human baby comes into the world totally devoid of the capacity to supply his own needs in response to the natural laws inherent in his being. Without a total contribution from others than himself, he will surely die. So, as he grows up into maturity, most of the support systems are governed and controlled by other people; so “God set the solitary in families.” He establishes us in relationships with others; father and mother, brothers and sisters. As these relatives – members of our family – nurture us out of our state of helplessness and our self-gratifying nature, we learn how to live. As we mature, we develop the capability of following the natural laws and, equally important, we come to see our roles of responsibility as members of a family, imparting life to others. We learn how to RECEIVE life; therefore, we learn how to GIVE life. . . God’s basic, most elementary structure of society then is the FAMILY.

The Fullness of Life | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have LIFE and have it to the FULL.” (John 10: 10). One of the most deceptive things the thief, the devil, is bringing forth in the world today is the idea that DEATH is the solution to many social problems. The highest court in the land, by its 1973 decision, opened the floodgates to abortion, and millions of children have been murdered. Many of these deaths, it is said, are “for the convenience of society”; either the family, the community, or the nation. Now, serious consideration is being given to PLANNED LIFE-TERMINATION for the elderly, the poor, and the maimed. . .Wars and terrorism all over the world continue unabated – indeed, are on the increase. In many of these instances, people in certain religions are told that dying in a “holy war” will assure their eternal destiny. Elsewhere, life is cheap and expendable; the state owns its people. . .and so forth!

Our Devoted Things | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Now is the time for each of us to take a look at those things we don’t want to give up. While I was into an extended fast to begin this year, I really thought the Lord was going to give some vitally important answers to many questions I had laid before Him, but essentially, all I got from Him was a forward phrase, “GET BACK TO JESUS!” I found I was seeking to coerce the Lord into dealing with things I thought needed His and my attention, but He made it clear to me that my need was to get away from all MY needs and get back into the purity of fellowship with Him. God wants us to get down to business with Him and turn our devotion towards Him and His plan! Let’s take a look at some of the DEVOTED THINGS that are hindering our FULL fruitfulness in and from the Body of Christ. Let’s make it personal!

Our Devoted Things | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

As you read this account of, first their victory over Jericho, and then get the details of their humiliating defeat, you come to see an awesome truth. Israel had sinned and was made LIABLE TO DESTRUCTION by the disobedience of one man! Achan had become enchanted with a beautiful Babylonian robe, and he took it, along with some silver and golden objects of beauty, and hid them safely away from the eyes of Joshua and everyone else. He dug a hole in the ground inside his tent and buried them where no one would know. Except God.

Our Devoted Things | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

This is my first letter to you in the New Year. PLEASE READ IT VERY, VERY CAREFULLY! I have sought the Lord for more than half the month of January before I could write this Letter of Exhortation. Thus, I believe it is a crucial word for the members of the Body of Christ. I am especially anxious for all of you young people who receive these letters to hear what the Lord is saying in this day. 1983 is a crucial and vital year in the plan of God, make no mistake about it! SO PLEASE READ ON!

Proverbs 30:7-8, “Two things I ask of You, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

Practical Discipleship | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Release

The fifth and final step that flows forth as a result of DISCIPLESHIP has to do with the releasing of the student. This is the point at which the teacher says to the student, “I have no more to teach you at this time. I release you to go forth and do likewise – do for others what I have done for you.” Once again it is important to note that the student recognize and initiate the step of “release”. RELEASE is initiated by the teacher. You can see then, that RELEASE can be a fearful thing if we, as men of God, are not prepared. It must be obvious that the whole process of discipleship is designed to bring a man to maturity in such a way that he can go forth and DO as his teacher has taught him.

Practical Discipleship | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Self-Denial

Whether we are talking about the university environment or a business situation or the Kingdom of God, the student is required by the teaching process to be willing to lay down his way of doing things  or his thoughts or feelings about a particular subject. This process allows the teacher to impart information and experience that the student may not otherwise be able to receiver. Obviously, to deny oneself can be a humbling experience. Our Lord has shown us that, as we humble ourselves before God or His appointed authority, we are in a better position to hear and learn the Word of God through the man that He has given to us. Thus we can see that self-denial has the advantage of purging away preset thoughts and ideas, in order to make us more receptive. Then we can hear and open ourself to another. “The UN-descipled mind cannot hear the Word of God!” Discipline requires that we humble ourselves.

Practical Discipleship | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Last month our subject in this “Letter of Exhortation” was DISCIPLINE – establishing a new LIFE-PATTERN. This month we want to share on DISCIPLING. They’re not the same! As a matter of fact, in order to come into a new DISCIPLINE, we need to be DISCIPLED! And coming into the place of God in our Christian walk for almost all of us, a new LIFE-PATTERN.

Here’s a very practical word on the subject by one who has seen it work – in both directions. Only slightly edited, the following is by Bill Eubank, who oversees a fellowship in the state of North Carolina. . .

New Every Morning | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Finally, that fruit of the Spirit especially designed for “YOUNG CHRISTIANS” is PATIENCE! Recently, I gave this counsel to a young leader. . .this is excerpted from my letter to him: “You don’t know what God’s call is just yet. HE knows and only He knows. Let Him age you in the place He has hidden you. . .He will bring forth maturity. . . only God can give growth! Chew over each day, man, and get all the taste out of it! Don’t spit it out just because you don’t like its texture. You’re jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof. Slow down, give God enough time to work into you what He’s calling you to get into.”

New Every Morning | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

When I was in the army during the World War II, I was amazed to see during basic training that the same food eaten by fat civilians-becoming-soldiers AND by thin civilians-becoming-soldiers had an entirely different effect on them; the fat became thinner and the thin became firmer and stronger. The SAME food! Now, I see in a body of believers called the “church” how the Word of God – the SAME Word of God – meets the needs of all members, no matter where they are in their growth.

But more important than that, I see the summing up of ALL things in Christ. When the concepts of the Word of God are put under the pressure of God’s purpose in the earth or in a man, then TRUTH – REALITY – becomes manifest. Jesus said, “I am THE WAY (the principle, or concept), I am THE TRUTH (the Word), and I am THE LIFE (the out-working).” In other words, Jesus is the ALL IN ALL of our life, either as an individual or as members of His Body.

New Every Morning | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

A few weeks ago while worshipping the Lord with a rather large group of pastors and elders, we were singing out of Lamentations, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning, new every morning. . .” And it struck me, “My, what a paradox! How can they be never ceasing, never coming to an end. . .and yet be new every morning?” And as I prayed in the Spirit for understanding, I sensed very strongly that God was trying to say something to me. This is what I heard:

I Want to be God! | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

If we gave as much time to hearing and reading the Scriptures as we do watching television, we would have a much easier time following the edict of King Jesus. Take this advice for example. . . “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart FOREVER; fasten them around your neck. When you walk they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you; when you awake they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the CORRECTIONS OF DISCIPLINE are the way to LIFE.” (Proverbs 6:20).

I Want to be God! | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

One of the major weaknesses in the Church today is the business of compromise. And I am speaking of compromise on a singular or personal basis. In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth he covers several of these:

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”

“What fellowship can light have with darkness?”

“What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?”

“What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?”

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?”

I Want to be God! | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

You may think I am kidding with THAT title, but I am not. The big “I” in me wants to call the shots. I want to do what pleases “ME”. And that’s probably true for most of you who read this letter. I have a young friend who for the eight years that I have known him has insisted over and over again that he wants to walk with God and to be a man of God. But he hasn’t yet come to the place where he will let God set the pattern for his life. His big “I” still responds to the soul and flesh, and he has never come to the place where God is the Lord over his life.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Paul told both Titus and Timothy not to appoint leaders in the church whose house was not in order. A man who has established clear boundaries for himself will most likely make a good father. A man whose family is not living within the boundaries he has set is very likely to be a poor leader.

The writer of Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.” Peer pressure among teens is powerful. If disciplinary patterns have not been set before children go out to school, they will find it virtually impossible to stand against this pressure. One teenager recently said in a letter, “The inescapable pressure exerted by peers are often too hard to handle. The only answer,” he continued, “is to have a source from which to draw strength. This strength can only come from the home. A weak home produces weak kids, unable to defend themselves.” Setting the boundaries AND supervising the results is what good training methods consist of – at home, in business, IN CHURCH.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

As children of God we are given God-ordained boundaries. The Ten Commandments, the behavioral laws, the way to relate to others in the Body of Christ, or the way to relate to those “of the world” with whom we cross paths. If we didn’t get good training at home under clearly defined boundaries set by our parents, we’re likely to have some difficulty in getting established in the Church, and ultimately, in God’s Kingdom. Some of these difficulties show up in many ways. Let me share with you a few that I have observed.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

David, a 16 year-old, sells sex to men and women on the streets of New York. He ran away from home at an early age. David tells kids, “Stay at home and be a child for as long as you can. Don’t grow up too quick.”. . .an article on the cover of a well-known women’s magazine: “The High Cost of Growing up TOO FAST.”

An expert in child-rearing, on staff at a famous medical center, says, “We have come to the realization that a parent’s role is to show youngsters discipline. At the point a child gets proactive, the parent should know that the child is looking for a LIMIT – a BOUNDARY. And the parent had better provide that limit. The child will be reassured for having limits set. They need limits clearly spelled out; it’s the only way to learn.”

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

The Lord told Solomon to ask for whatever his heart desired and He would grant it. Solomon asked for wisdom and God gave him great wisdom, but He also gave him all the wealth and riches for which he had not asked. God proved to be faithful to Solomon, and He proved to be faithful to me. Jesus said to His disciples, “Ask anything of the Father in My name, and He will grant it.” So, in the FAITH that is ours “in Christ”, we can ask the Lord God for anything “in the name of Jesus” and then we can expect the Lord to give it. But what is the KEY? It is the FAITH that we have, but we must be sure that we have it “IN CHRIST”. You see, as we have said, everybody has “faith”, because it is built into the system which makes us tick in every way. But to exercise that faith for the things of God, our FAITH must be “in Christ”.

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

But HEAR THIS! It’s very important. I heard a lot about Jesus Christ, and I read a lot about Jesus Christ before I came to know God. What was there within me that kept me from knowing God in those days when I was hearing so much about God and Jesus? My carnal mind – that is, the mind of my “nature” – was reading and hearing all this. It did not suit or please my “nature”, because my “nature” knew that a major change would take place and that the “natural man” would not have the last word. That element of faith within me was doing nothing but looking out for my safety in the natural, and it totally ignored the spiritual me. My “nature” was on the throne, and it didn’t need or want a God. My “nature” was god, and I was in subjection to it.

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

On many occasions I have been thrown together with a person whose language was completely foreign to me, and mine to him. Trying to convey a thought to another under these circumstances is most frustrating. The ability to understand one another demands a commonly understood language. My conversation sounds like so much gibberish to someone who only speaks and understands only German or French or the Lunda tongue of southern Africa. And theirs to me. It’s wild babbling!

We talk about hearing the Word of God. What language does God speak? Before you try to answer that, with what kind of mouth does God speak? Do His words have some kind of physical effect on my ear drums and I hear WORDS? Just what IS the Word of God?

As a Man Thinketh. . .So is He! | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Finally, Peter says (1 Peter 5:8-9), “Be SELF-CONTROLLED and ALERT. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. RESIST HIM, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

James asks a question (3:13): “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Then he says, “Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done IN THE HUMILITY that comes form WISDOM.” He goes on: “If you harbor BITTER ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION in your HEARTS, do not BOAST about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, UNSPIRITUAL, of the devil. For where you have ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION, there you find DISORDER and every evil practice.” (James 3:13-16). “AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE!!”

As a Man Thinketh. . .So is He! | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Another aspect of this problem is that we are often more than willing to accept some seeming “blessing” as God’s signal that we are ready to go on to new and higher calls. Maybe you say, “Lord, if You provide $5,000, I’ll know we’re ready to move out. That’s just exactly how much it will take to move us.” So, eagerly you begin packing, overlooking the fact that there are some relationship problems that need to be dealt with before you go.

Many times, young Christians, eager to go on with God, will move from objective evaluation into subjective self-evaluation. Paul warns in Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with SOBER JUDGEMENT.” It is always wise to seek counsel from a more experienced man, someone who can give fatherly, authoritative evaluation, especially in the area of self-evaluation.

As a Man Thinketh. . .So is He! | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

“All a man’s ways SEEM right to him, but the LORD weighs the HEART.” (Proverbs 21:2).

Sometimes our willingness to hear and DO the will of God can be hindered or retarded by our ATTITUDES about people or circumstances. For example, suppose that you know that God has prepared you for a particular assignment to a role in another country, another culture. Along the way, in the months and years of preparation, you had an encounter with another man, perhaps a teacher, who really pressed you in and held your feet to the fire for an entire year. Maybe he even held you back and made you repeat a full year’s study. Finally, however, after what seemed a wasted year, you got the message and came to realize real maturity in that particular field of study.

Natural and Spiritual Sonship | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

As we have already said, “Those who are led by the SPIRIT OF GOD are SONS OF GOD.” Acknowledging this to be the Word of God, we need to be very careful about saying “the Spirit told me” this or that. If the Holy Spirit speaks to us, He does so because we are a “son of God”. So, since sonship is obedience, then that which we hear from the Spirit must be acted upon in complete obedience!