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Two Lost Generations

Two Lost Generations

If you have been to Israel recently, or if you have done any reading of the history of that nation, you are well aware that, throughout her lifetime, she has gone through countless onslaughts of her enemies by which she was totally devastated. Often her people were driven out and dispersed throughout the world, or they were taken into captivity and enslaved as a people, exiled in a foreign land.

One of these tragic events is referred to as “the Babylonian Captivity.” Amazingly, this disaster was predicted in prophesy by Jeremiah before it occurred, and God told Jeremiah exactly how long they would remain in Babylon – 70 years!

These Turbulent Times | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

3. From the  DECLINE of  AUTHORITY and from the HOMOGENIZATION of people, we see the third force to be – DEHUMANIZATION.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). The NIV says, “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint“. To be dehumanized means that we have lost the art of innovation. There [is also] a loss of a sense of purpose. Few people have GOALS anymore. Our thoughts come by proxy from the media. Learning is a drudgery, a drag. There is no  pattern to LIFE for most people today. Even the church has lost sight of its primary purpose. This kind of life in a society can only produce a fascistic state. The word “fascism” him means “a bundle“. With purposelessness pervading our nation, we can become “ripe for the plucking” of a dictatorship. We have “cast off restraint“.

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

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!

Finding Life in a Dead Church | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

I heard recently, in a conversation with a great man of God, a very strong and shocking statement come out of his mouth: “The Church is in an awful condition.”

To many people, the church is nothing more than a series of meeting to attend. Nothing is expected, and usually nothing happens. How many people there are in the church who don’t even believe in Christianity, much less believe in the living Lord Jesus Christ! And they surely don’t see the validity of basing their life-style[s] on the demands of the Word of God.

Rules for Holy Living | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Obedience is a learning process. We don’t have to be taught to be disobedient; we are born that way. We read in Psalms 51:5, “Surely I have been a sinner from birth“. Learning requires both a teacher and a follower. So since God said, “Be holy as I am holy“, He must be the teacher, and we the learners. So His Word gives us the pattern for our behavior. Jesus learned obedience BY THE THINGS that He suffered. And we must, by a determined act of our will, set our course to follow that pattern.

The Singleness of Two | Jay Fesperman (part 3/3)

Finally, in Colossians 3:12-13, the Word of the Lord says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. BEAR WITH EACH OTHER. and FORGIVE whatever grievances you may have against one another….Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on LOVE, which binds them ALL together in perfect UNITY.

This time, UNITY means “FINISHER” – the same word as in Hebrews where it says we should “fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and FINISHER of our faith.” That means He wrote it, and He completes it! In between, it’s up to us who make up His Body in the earth to get it together, because He has only one goal, one plan in mind. And He’s not going to change His plan just because we are not walking in unity. It means WE must change! We’re not a finished product yet. We must give up our independent spirit to become ONE in spirit.

Changing Things…By Prayer (Part 1 of 3)| 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 lion and the lamb (1/3) | larry pons

A few weeks ago, Larry Pons brought a tremendously meaningful word to our church here in Franklin, NC. It seemed so rich, I felt that God would have you to hear it too. So here is a slightly edited version:

The week before Christmas, I was helping my father-in-law clean up the area around his home, which is set deeply in the forest. Working with him and a brother-in-law, it had been a laborious day, and I was weary and exhausted. When I suggested that we stop for the day, my father-in-law asked that we do one more task. In the top of a relatively tall tree were several limbs hanging , partially broken  in a recent ice storm. After putting together, fully extended, the sections of one of those shaky, limber, aluminum ladders, I was standing on the very top rung as it leaned [unsafely] against the trunk of the tree. As I strained upward with the saw in my hand to cut the last and highest limb, the ladder slipped around the trunk of the tree and went completely out from under me. As I started falling, i reached out and grabbed with one hand, a limb which was far too small to hold me but for a moment. As I grasped the limb, I heard my father-i-law yell, “Hold on! We’ll get you!” I knew I couldn’t. Being so weary from the long day’s labor, I felt the lib slide out of my grasp, and as I started to fall, I cried out this one-word prayer, “LORD!” Just as suddenly, I felt my feet land in a fork of a large limb and the tree trunk. Frightened and shak[ing], I slowly descended the ladder, [which] was being steadied from the ground by my two co-laborers.

The Body of Christ | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Can this work in our society? I say it MUST work! But it is likely to demand a drastic change in lifestyle. AND it is likely to demand a drastic change in attitudes. To become ONE with a lot of other people will require a giving up of any spirit of INDEPENDENCE. When we see the joining of SELF with the SELF of others, we will see the WORK of the SPIRIT OF GOD working its way out of us. Jesus said a remarkable thing: “He who has faith in me will do greater things that I have done, because I am going to my Father“.

Lessons From Zambia | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

And now, Sally’s lesson. Let her do the sharing:

The Scripture Psalm 139:16 (“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.“) became clear to me as we stepped into the compound built for this “General Bush Conference.” This was Saturday afternoon (the conference would begin that night); several thousands of Africans had assembled for a few minutes of greetings for all of us on the team. A lovely welcome of singing and clapping came forth from them for these six Americans who had come so very far. [We each had] a chance. . .to say briefly, “We are the group that the Lord has sent, but we represent many thousands who could not come but who send you their love and are committed to pray for all of us while we are here together.”

Lessons From Zambia | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

The second lesson that I learned out in the “BUSH” of Zambia is this: Cultural shock works two ways. Some of the things we do are as much a shock to the Africans as. . .some of the things they do in their lifestyle [are to us]. Back in the late 50’s we spent some time in a place that was operated for the purpose of rejuvenating those who have gone out into the “third-world” nations and had fallen flat on their faces because of their inability to adapt themselves to the lifestyle, the CULTURAL SHOCK of the host nation.

Rules for Holy Living | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Recently I attended a beautiful service of worship in a lovely church. The worship culminated with several people dancing beautifully around the altar. They were mostly young people in the early 20’s – that age group with whom we minister so much. And I thought, “How great! Here are representatives of a generation which is so confused, and so accused; so criticized for their rebellion and protest. Isn’t it marvelous to see such a witness of their devotion to God“.

These Turbulent Times | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

2. THE HOMOGENIZATION OF SOCIETY. To be homogenous, according to Webster, is to be “of the same kind, or nature“. There are forces that are seeking to bring legislation that says, “We are ALL ALIKE“. that just isn’t so. The laws of a land or of a society cannot make male and female alike! But with the philosophies of our world spreading this “false gospel” through every form of . . . media, we are coming to be so similar that the real human society is fast becoming an endangered species.

Two-Souled People | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

How about this one: CALM vs. ANGER IN THE HEART. Early in our youth, we learned what angry or “sassy” words would get us, so we learned to keep a reasonable calm veneer and hide the real reaction we felt. Now, our lifestyle is based on burying the anger so deeply [that] we don’t realize that it is producing DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS – false reactions and bad attitudes. Eventually it spills over into our emotions and we cannot hide it. But we don’t know what to do about it either. James says in [chapter] 3:13-14, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life. By deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth”. Many people today are eaten up with anger buried deep within, but do not deal with it. So it causes us to act outwardly in a way that deprives us of clear, truthful expression of ourselves.

Here’s a good one! LAZINESS vs. PERSEVERANCE. Usually, we are so ashamed of our laziness that we try cover-up tactics. For instance, Dad tells you to bring in a load of wood for the fire. You know the wood pile is low, and it will require some axe-work; so you beg off. “I’ve got tons of homework to do, Dad”. Now that you have grown up (?), there’s no drive to “stick-to-it” in your lifestyle; yet you just cannot understand why your boss fired you from that good-paying job. That’s DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS! James says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” (1:12).

These may seem to be small things to deal with, in order to become a great man or woman of God, but Jesus Himself said, “You have been faithful with a little; now I will trust you with great things” (Matthew 25:21). Jesus is our discipler, and since He knows our hearts as well as our outward actions, He knows well enough that it is in these seemingly insignificant areas that the Spirit of OBEDIENCE must do its work.

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 37, March 1984.

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

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.

The Body of Christ | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Get plugged in!” Heard anyone say that recently? It’s applicable. As I sit here, I see a lamp which is not plugged into the wall socket nearby. I know there’s plenty of power in the wall, but it’s not helping one bit to light up the room! Getting filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t necessarily make you a blessing to God or the church. You may throw off a few sparks, but you won’t produce much in the way of life for the body of Christ. So God is working a great coming together among the Spirit-filled people of this generation – a joining together where the works of the Holy Spirit can be fulfilled. Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-13 that we are “being prepared for WORKS OF SERVICE so that the BODY OF CHRIST may be built up until we all reach UNITY in the faith“.

The Fruit of the Spirit for Today’s Young Christians – Patience (part 3/3)| Jay Fesperman

There’s a very important principle we all need to recognize; “If you move from one relationship into another one without dealing with the present-day problems, you will take the same problems with you.” And it’s just adding problem upon problem, because any new relationship inevitably has it own adjustments to make;  so it needs no help from the past – except from the lessons learned!

Finding Life in a Dead Church | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Another tack. . . . How do the young people today react when they get the news that the church approves of homosexual lifestyles? Or what answer do they get when they ask the church, “Where do you stand on abortion?” We know of a few churches that not only speak out forcibly against abortion, but whose members are taking into their homes young women who have decided against abortion. Then there is the matter of money. Jesus said, “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”. What kind of vibes is the church sending off [in regard] to the use of money, or their need of money? Frankly, I am amazed at the enormity of the church’s cry for money and, at the same time, the almost total absence of any teaching or training of her young people about what God expects from them in the use of their money.

Go to a dead church, and someone will ask, “Where are all the young people?” Well, I can truthfully say that I find them by the thousands in newly formed churches, which are attempting to correct all the things that I have mentioned in this letter – plus a lot more! Even in Africa where we were ministering to people who were mostly contacted by folks from churches which had been booted out of a denomination – most of the people were less than 30 years old. And I just had a letter from that part of the world saying how dead the church is. Well, when the Bible comes alive to those young people who heard the word and saw the many miracles, the CHURCH which Jesus is building will start a fire on that dark continent! Africa is coming alive in the things of God, because a new generation of young Christian is being prepared.

We are being asked to help start a TRAINING situation in a group of new churches in Zambia. It will be based on training young African families in 1) Bible Study; 2) Personal Discipline; and 3) Learning a Trade. Leadership for the churches of that nation will come out of that kind of preparation. It will not come from bringing these young men to America to be put through the existing kind of seminary training.

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have LIFE – abundantly!” (emphasis mine). Not only did He bring life for the church, but He made it clear that His Life would be available only THROUGH the church. Paul told the church at Thessalonica that they were to be a model for other bodies in that part of the world. “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit, and so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia, (and) your faith in God has become known EVERYWHERE!” (1 Thessalonians 1:7, emphasis mine).

May it be so in your church, wherever you are, or whatever your label.

-Jay Fesperman

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Volume 5, No.3, May 1985.

The Body of Christ | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

How does a young man or woman go about finding his or her right place in the church? Too often, the young person looking for his church home is confused by the variety of forms of faith and expressions of belief. Very often when he is searching, he finds deadness because of an unwillingness to face up to the need for change in the life of the church. What do you look for? How do you evaluate?

These Turbulent Times | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Many of us who were born in the teens of this century and grew up through the 20’s and 30’s have the perspective of seeing our nation and our society prior to a great change taking place in the lives and conduct of a people. In seeking to convey the damaging effects some of these changes have brought about, I have discovered that many people born since about 1945 often just aren’t aware of these changes. They have been gradual and sometimes subtle, but changes have occurred – changes which I believe have had a very strong adverse affect on our society.

Be Holy? HOW??? | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

But how do we come to live in this HOLINESS? By an act of our will! By hearing the Word of God and determining to DO what it says. So there’s a great big “IF” following the Scripture from Colossians, which we quoted [previously]: “But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through DEATH to present you H-O-L-Y in His sight, without blemish and FREE FROM ACCUSATION IF you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” (emphasis mine)

The Fruit of the Spirit for Today’s Young Christians – Patience (part 2/3)| Jay Fesperman

Seven years ago I wrote a letter to a young brother-in-the-Lord. Let’s call him Hiram. Here are some excerpts from that letter:

Dear Hiram, I have a very important word for you! WAIT!!! SLOW DOWN!!!  You’re trying to live out tomorrow today. You can’t do that! You’ve got to live today FOR tomorrow. Today is the preparation for tomorrow. You cannot get to tomorrow until you have lived through today. Today is the training ground for tomorrow.  Usually, it is a combination of education… (home and family living), experientially learning how to deal with tomorrow’s problems while someone else is in charge), relationships (dating, courtship, friendships, and all that). BE PATIENT, man!  You’re only 20! Live your life a day at a time as God gives it to you, and don’t try to move into tomorrow before it comes!

Responsibility: The Key to Authority (part 3)| Jay Fesperman

As a young man, (I’m 22, living at home, but in my senior year at University) I am in a dilemma. Everywhere – at home, in school, on the job, or on the street – someone else is telling me how to live my life. At the same time I am required to fulfill a lot of responsibility. I don’t seem to have any authority at all. Tell me please, how do I fit this into God’s plan for maturity in my life? How do I learn to exercise authority without having the experience of being IN authority?

Several years ago, I was joined in my seat on the plane by neat young man who began to inquire about my business. He was fascinated by my activity and putting together joint ventures between American and European firms, my working out of licensing arrangements between international companies, etc.  Being an ambitious young man with an MBA from Harvard, he wanted to know, “How does one get into that kind of work?” My answer, very simply, was, “Thirty years at hard labor!”

Finding Life in a Dead Church | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

The first thing to look at is the church’s leadership. Paul’s guidelines for the church’s leadership is found primarily in the letter to the Ephesians church. In the fourth chapter beginning with verse eleven, he outlines the major roles of leadership: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service.”

Most churches are absolutely afraid to talk about “apostles”, since, they say, “the apostolic age came to an end with the close of the New Testament era”. But from some of the things we see in the church today, it looks more like the “pastoral” age has come to an end. Very few denominations today prepare their ministers for real pastoral functions. Pastoring is a whole lot more difficult [of] a work than preaching. Pastoring requires personal involvement. Preaching doesn’t. Pastoring hours are 24 per day. Preaching hours, including some study time, is far less demanding. In many other cases, the church is so limited financially that the man dubbed “pastor” has to double over in several other areas of responsibility, reducing greatly his opportunity for pastoring.

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples“. A disciple is one who seeks to emulate his teacher in every way, so that the multiplying factor may be carried forward. But the church makes very little provision for discipling, either in the local scene or in the broader system of denominationalism. The Lord’s example was to select a small group of a dozen men and give a great part of His life to them. That’s how leaders are developed. You cannot take men into a classroom situation and make . . . disciples [of them]. The area of learning must be seen as out in the field where the action is.

One of the most serious things wrong with the church today is its almost total lack of anything to attract the youth of today. Here is where the leaders of tomorrow’s church must come from. Since the normal socio-family life of today is not conducive to the development of well-disciplined lifestyles, the church must find a way to train its future leaders for the spiritual warfare that lies just ahead for the victorious church. Having worked through a dozen years of our “Disciplined Life in Christ”[now Heroes Semester] training program at [CTCI], we are quite knowledgeable of today’s young adult segment of the church. We know how very much they appreciate disciplines and lifestyles that establish peace and order in their lives. And it is a well-proven fact that the training must be on a very practical basis. It must be based on daily living, in the family, with peers, in situations that call for immediate action.

Today’s young people, in the main, want to learn the things that most of their fathers are not showing them. They want to replace the intangibles of the educational systems with reality. They want to de-politicize the controlling factors of life as it is lived in our nation. They want to learn how to work. Simply speaking, “How do you hold down a job? How do you, by the sweat of your brow, earn a promotion? How do I fulfill the ambitions that are in my heart? I want to be able to establish myself, to . . . have personal satisfaction out of knowing that I can accomplish some things on my own. . .” These are all questions that need answers for today’s Christian youth. The church must equip herself to provide this kind of work day preparation for the disciples the Lord is calling for.

I could name several large, successful organizations that are training young folks in the disciplines of service and witness. And we can be thankful for them. But why doesn’t the church recognize this is the Lord’s call on her? And where else but in the church (or at home) [should] they learn how to pray? Or how to give help to others seeking a new life? Or dealing with all the false religious goings-on in the  world today? And where else should they see signs and miracles as the work of the Holy Spirit, but in the church? And healings or casting out of demon spirits?

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Volume 5, No.3, May 1985.

Be Holy? HOW??? | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

But our holiness depends on our mentality. What do we choose to do and [who do we choose to] be? We live in the flesh but we are not of the flesh – unless we choose to be. Paul says, “Though you used to be slaves to sin, you have wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. YOU HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN and have become slaves of righteousness. I put this in human terms,” he continues, “because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness LEADING TO HOLINESS.” (Romans 6:17-20)

The Singleness of Two | Jay Fesperman (part 2/3)

Now from Ephesians, let’s see how UNITY is “A TOTALITY OF RELATED PARTS”. In [Ephesians] 4:3 Paul says, “Make every effort [try hard!] to keep the UNITY of the SPIRIT through the Bond of Peace!” (emphasis mine).

The Singleness of Two

On our recent tour of the ministry in England, Ireland, northern Ireland, and Germany, Sally and I sensed the Lord was putting strong emphasis on a few specific words. One of those. . .was the word UNITY. It seems that in every place from Belfast to Munich, the Lord was shouting, “Unity! Unity! Unity!” So upon our return, I decided to study the word “unity” from the biblical standpoint.

Responsibility: The Key to Authority (part 2)| Jay Fesperman

As a young man, (I’m 22, living at home, but in my senior year at University) I am in a dilemma. Everywhere – at home, in school, on the job, or on the street – someone else is telling me how to live my life. At the same time I am required to fulfill a lot of responsibility. I don’t seem to have any authority at all. Tell me please, how do I fit this into God’s plan for maturity in my life? How do I learn to exercise authority without having the experience of being IN authority?

As I continue to share with you regarding manliness, please think of it also as that state of MATURITY that has taken you out of the condition of childhood or boyishness into the grown-up man of God that you are meant to be. Paul spoke on many occasions to Timothy, calling him “my SON“. However, he later addressed him as “brother”. At one point he told Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your youth…“, and shortly afterwards he told this young man, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.

Be Holy? HOW??? | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

While I was jogging this morning, I was running over in my mind Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Having tried awfully hard in the past to obey his command and knowing constant failure, I began to pray in the Spirit for some understanding as to how the Father would have us approach this word of Jesus, which is probably his rendering of the Leviticus 19:2 command, “Be holy as I the Lord am holy.”

The Fruit of the Spirit for Today’s Young Christians – Patience (part 1/3)| Jay Fesperman

What’s happened to TIME? Where has TIME gone? It seems to have disappeared! We have instant breakfast, instant coffee, instant multiplication, instant re-plays…supersonic jets, hurrying Honda-bikes, instant entertainment, drive-in churches, high-speed toys, and we STILL don’t have time! Rush to classes. Rush to fellowship meetings, racing to be on time for engagements…well, not more than 5 or 10 minutes late.

“The FRUIT of the SPIRIT is PATIENCE.”

But I must act NOW! I don’t have TIME to WAIT for tomorrow! All of a sudden in the last 20 years, we’ve lost our sense of time. “I can’t complete what I am doing, because I’ve got something else to do.”

Responsibility: The Key to Authority (part 1)| Jay Fesperman

A question in the mail: “As a young man, (I’m 22, living at home, but in my senior year at University) I am in a dilemma. Everywhere – at home, in school, on the job, or on the street – someone else is telling me how to live my life. At the same time I am required to fulfill a lot of responsibility. I don’t seem to have any authority at all.  Tell me please, how do I fit this into God’s plan for maturity in my life? How do I learn to exercise authority without having the experience of being IN authority?”

Lessons From Zambia

As most of you know, Sally and I were a part of a [ministry team] which the Lord sent. . .to Zambia in southern Africa. After sharing in the second largest city, Kitwe, all our team was flown by small missionary plane run up to the uppermost, northwest corner of the nation to a place called Mwinilunga. On the grounds of a Bible school out in the “bush”, plans had been made for a “General Bush Conference.” We got into the compound a day early, and already 4,000 to 5,000 Africans had gathered, where the plans had been made for only 3,000 people. Before the conference began, this number had grown to almost 7,000 natives.

The present “world” war: relationships (3/3) | Jay Fesperman

Recently we visited in a home where there were two small children who, between them, had a roomful of toys of all descriptions. But amazingly, both of them wanted to play the same toy at the same time. That’s an honest childish way of demonstrating the same thing in a more subtle way among “adults”. Failing to confront this type of relation between brothers at an early age, allowing each one of them to “please himself”, sets a pattern for life that will repeat itself over and over again. In all the relations that this “adult” enter, whether family, social, or business, there will be that high “stone wall” that will bring separation and produce very unsatisfactory relationships. That’s the “warfare of the world”. And it’s coming upon the people of God from every direction. Brother vs. brother relations in the world today are open warfare!

God’s genetic code (3/3) | Jay Fesperman

There are far more people who are physically equipped to play football than those that are playing the game. But only those who are TRAINED make the team. Successful players ARE successful because they were trained into a new life-pattern – a new set of moves, a new set of habits. So in the potentiality of parenthood, we must see our responsibility to bring out the POTENTIAL-in-GODLINESS which is built into ALL of us, WE must recognize that GOD’S GENETIC CODE, which He meant for us AND our children, was written into His Son Jesus Christ.

The Devil Joined the Church | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

For the Body to BECOME MATURE, the individual members must BECOME MATURE. All of us have been given gifts to administer to the Body of Christ. It’s as we mature that these gifts – which are the GRACES OF GOD – bring forth in maturing, multiplying power the fulfillment of God’s purposes and plans for the Body of His Son in the earth in this time. So the Lord has structured the Church – the assembly of God’s people – in such a way that the ongoing maturity will be constant. In the human body – to which Paul likens the Church – the ending of any function of any part will bring sickness to the total body.

The lion and the lamb (3/3) | larry pons

After ministering to brothers behind the Iron Curtain, a friend was approaching a meeting called for the purpose of intercession on behalf of the Christians under this persecution. He was weeping as he entered the meeting hall. The people were “swinging from the rafters”. They were praising God, and he was weeping!

Symptoms of an unrenewed mind (3/3) | Jay fesperman

6. UNABLE TO THINK THROUGH. God has given to EVERY person the ability, privilege, and right to think his own thoughts. The functions of the brain are designed to follow intelligent thought-patterns. We should be able to move our thoughts along a path of orderly ideas. An example of this is in an instructional letter from Paul to the church in Thessalonica (5:15-22): a) “. . . be kind to each other”; b)”. . . be joyful always”; c) “. . . pray continually”; d)”. . . give thanks in all circumstances”; e)”. . . do not put out the Spirit’s fire”; f)” . . . TEST EVERYTHING”; etc.

power without power (3/3) | Jay Fesperman

Jesus said, “He who is not with us is against us”. And in line with that, Paul said, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid. which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the “DAY will bring it to light”.

What’s going on??? (3/3) | Jay Fesperman

7. OUR OWN CHURCH. These things I am telling you about are in no order of importance, and one of the most important functions going on here at The Inn is the regular meetings of the Franklin covenant Church,  of which Larry and I are elders, along with . . . Pastor Robert Enloe. The Ministry of The Inn is actually an outreach from this church, and all the people within the body make major contributions to the activities here. As a staff for The Inn, we have never had a salaried people serving. It has always been a cooperative effort of all those who are a part of the church. The church is a group of home-cell groups who meet regularly each week. Then the entire body comes together every Sunday morning for worship, fellowship, and teaching, as well as to receive the ministry the Lord is raising up at that time. We trust that we are becoming what Paul said the church at Thessalonica was supposed to be: “A model for all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia”.

The present “world” war: relationships (2/3) | Jay Fesperman

You see, the world’s attitude is “bring pleasure to your SELF. Satisfy the flesh”. The Bible calls that “OUR SINFUL NATURE”. Paul tells the Christians in Rome, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their MINDS SET on what that nature desires. But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their MINDS SET on what the Spirit desires” (emphasis mine). That is visible in the sexual relation between a husband and wife, but we need to see it in simpler ways BEFORE we commit ourselves to one another in marriage. Our lifestyle is established in our more youthful years: “I get out of bed when I want! I eat what I like! I keep me in a condition that pleases ME”. Or you may watch TV as much as the average America. If so, you may have developed a low regard for FATHERHOOD, since this form of “entertainment” is constantly demeaning the male parent and the husband. And this false value continues to color your attitude, even though you are now a Christian, trying to live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord.

God’s genetic code (2/3) | Jay Fesperman

I’ve never understood why so many alcoholics, who hated this trait in their parents, became alcoholics themselves. You would think they would never . . . touch a drop of booze, having seen in their childhood the devastation brought into their dad, as well ass the entire family. But something went wrong. Something changed! It wasn’t the alcohol that was inherited; it was that “intangible” something that was amiss deep inside the man.

The Devil Joined the Church | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Now if we know anything about the “philosophy of the world”, we know it is based on HUMAN TRADITION. It is a religion called “secular humanism”, and the society of our nation, especially in the fields of education, science, and government have adopted this humanistic philosophy. It is so strong and subtle a force of influence through these agencies that most of us are not aware that we are still carrying its precepts into our lives as we seek to live out our Christian faith.

The lion and the lamb (2/3) | larry pons

We sent out Christmas cards on which was a picture of a lion and a lamb. The inscription said, “And peace filled the land”. I looked at that picture and said, “My, my! Now that’s overcoming! Can you imagine that meek little lamb walking up to the lion and lying down? That took courage!” But God said to me, “No. That’s not what I am saying. Don’t you see that it took more for the lion to overcome than the lamb?”

Symptoms of an unrenewed mind (2/3) | Jay fesperman

2. UNCONTROLLED THOUGHTS. The phrase “a double-minded man” means a “two-souled man”. There’s no such thing, but since the beginning of time, man has mixed into his mind the idea of God and the idea of satisfying himself though the pleasures of the world in his own flesh. Romans 1:21 says, “. . . although they knew God, they neither glorified HIm as God nor gave thanks to Him; but their thinking became futile, and their foolish hearts were darkened”. The mind cannot go two ways at the same time, so it waffles back and forth from God’s command to the pleasing of the flesh, the OUTWARD EXPRESSION of SELF. Thus, no concentration, no peace, no satisfying of yourself. But the Bible says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You”.

power without power (2/3) | Jay Fesperman

In the same way, his accusations, his deceptions, and his confusions are all lies! But who’s to expose him? ONLY THE TRUTH! And that’s JESUS! The Bible makes it very clear: “The reason the SON OF GOD appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). And Jesus told the people, “I am the LIGHT OF THE WORLD”. Paul says. . . , “He [the Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the SON whom He loves”.

What’s going on??? (2/3) | Jay Fesperman

3. FAMILY TRAINING & COUNSELING.  Larry Pons and his wife Susan, along with their four young children, will have been at [CTCI] for five years in September, and they are doing a grand job! This is a many-faceted operation, and they cover the responsibilities in a beautiful fashion. One of the most important works the Lord has brought our way is this: we are seeing God bring men and their entire families into The Inn for several weeks, and sometimes months, for the purpose of rekindling the fires that have been dimmed by time and circumstances. Often, these men are filling very important roles of responsibility in their local churches. In the complexity of their many responsibilities and the pressures of today’s family life, they often find it difficult to hold on to the vision of what the Lord has called them too. Thus, many are finding it helpful to have the opportunity to come under a discipline of retraining, rethinking, and re-hearing from the Lord, under the watchful eyes of the staff here at [CTCI]. This has turned out to be a very significant work, meeting a great need in the Body of Christ.

riding in a boat, sleeping on a cushion | jay fesperman (2/3)

Now, let’s look forward a few years and hear the instructions of Paul to Timothy, a young disciple who was being trained for leadership in the church: “Timothy, God did not give you a spirit of fear (timidity), but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-DISCIPLINE” (emphasis mine). . . . What a combination! And Paul said to TImothy, “Timothy, YOU fan into flame this gift of God! This grace was given us IN Christ. NOW, through His appearing, it is meant to be put to work. Keep this teaching, this pattern of sound teaching which you have heard from me. NOW, it’s yours! Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us” (paraphrase and emphasis mine). We hear a lot about LOVE and POWER – and we love it! But we don’t hear too much about SELF-DISCIPLINE – and we don’t want to do, do we? But the combination is necessary.

The present “world” war: relationships (1/3) | Jay Fesperman

War in El Salvador! War in Afghanistan? War in Lebanon! War in Poland! Terrorism in Belfast! War in Iran! Battles in Zimbabwe! Is there any doubt that the WORLD is in a STATE of WAR? And the tactics of the present warfare are as different as, well. . . , darkness from light! Listen to James swing his “big stick” [in chapter 4:1]: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battles within you?” (emphasis mine). The church is not only facing up to the world’s warfare, but she is having to face up to the battles within. James goes on to say in the verses that follow, . . . “You want something but don’t get it. you kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. . . .” Peter says TO CHRISTIANS, “Dear friends, be STRANGERS in the WORLD. Abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul” (emphasis mine). 

God’s genetic code (1/3) | Jay Fesperman

“For You did form my inward parts: You did knit me together in my Mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

In His plan for all Mankind, God established a marriage covenant for man and woman. He commanded them to “Be fruitful and multiply”. And there was developed a single cell within man’s body which joined together with a single cell from woman’s body, and “the two became one flesh”. Thus, you were formed – knit together – by God’s Plan. Gradually, those two cells which had become ONE multiplied for several weeks, and a new person (YOU) were made a fully developed human being. Virtually all of your physical attributes and much of your behavior was written into the genetic code by these two cells becoming ONE.

The Devil Joined the Church

Yes, now the Devil is working from the inside out! The Devil HAS joined the Church, but his participation is so subtle that very few of us recognize him for who he really is. Hs disguise is so perfect that he usually looks like and “Angel of Light”. Often he’s hard to tell from one of us.