Author Archives: tucsonjefe

Pastor at Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson

De la Abundancia del Corazon

Viernes, Abril 6, 2018

Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder

Orando por poder, Friend.

Cuando comenzaba mi ministerio, esto me impacto bastante: el descubrir que las personas necesitan a Dios, no a mí. En la Iglesia en donde trabajaba, había un buen hombre que había sido terriblemente herido en un accidente de carro, tuvo una lesión cerebral muy grave, y daño en la medula espinal, su fiel esposa, lo llevaba a todos los servicios, le ministrábamos, orábamos por ellos, maldecíamos a satanás, y confesábamos la palabra, pero yo nunca miraba ninguna mejoría, nunca dude de la voluntad de Dios para sanarlo, pero podía mirar que las fórmulas de fe que estábamos aplicando no estaban haciendo su trabajo. Como Pastor, pronto realice que algunas personas nunca iban a recibir lo que necesitaban con su propia Fe, si va a pasar tendrá que ser por la manifestación sobrenatural del poder de Dios, y del Espíritu Santo, esta revelación me ha llevado a luchar apasionadamente por el poder sobrenatural de Dios en nuestros servicios, quiero desesperadamente ver a nuestras congragaciones recibir, ¿tú no?

A través de los años he visto predicadores orar por cantidad de peticiones, oramos porque la Iglesia crezca, por dinero, por más servidores, por nuevas instalaciones, pero creo que es tiempo de recordarnos que debemos empezar a orar como Eliseo, cuando Elia le pregunto que podían hacer por El mientras se preparaba para presentarse en la oficina del profeta, El respondió: “por favor deja caer una doble porción de tu Espíritu sobre mi”. Cuando me enfrento a las necesidades de la humanidad quebrantada, me abruma el pensar que no puedo hacer nada por ellos, no necesito otro programa, otro libro, otro seminario, u otro hashtag (etiqueta) más moderno, lo que necesito es más de su Espíritu, más de su poder, más de su fuerza, cuando el quebrantado viene al servicio, ellos necesitan que yo me quite de en medio y solo facilite el que sean tocados por Dios.

ALGUIEN DIJO: ninguna persona hace milagros, y tampoco son responsables de no hacerlos, pero si pueden orar por un milagro de Dios para que otra persona lo reciba- los milagros pasan cuando ocurren, Bruce Wilkinson

Escrituras bíblicas: creedme que yo soy en el Padre, y el en mí, de otra manera, creedme por las mismas obras. De cierto, de cierto os digo: el que en mi cree, las obras que yo hago, el las hará también, y aún mayores hará, porque yo voy al Padre. Y todo lo que pidiereis al Padre en mi nombre, lo hare, para que el Padre sea glorificado en el hijo. (Juan 14:11-13 NVT)

Me comprometo a hacer discípulos, ensenar y entrenar es muy importante para crecer en la vida del creyente, pero en el mundo en que vivimos, está lleno de personas que llevan sus vidas en muy mal estado, que seguramente no vivirán lo suficiente para crecer, seguro no tienen la estabilidad mental y emocional para pasar por nuestros programas tan rigurosos e intensos. Necesitamos el poder de Dios, queridos amigos, para liberar al cautivo: debemos sanar a los enfermos, echar fuera demonios, e incluso levantar a los muertos, todo lo que nosotros tenemos es nuestro ingenio y nuestras propias fuerzas. En vez de confiar en nuestras propias fuerza vanas, mejor oremos con pasión por su poder en cada uno de nuestros servicios y situaciones. Es todo lo que necesitamos.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

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Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, April 20, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Prayin’ for the power, Amigos.

My personal odyssey in the search for the power of the Spirit began early in my Christian life. I was saved on my own, reading in my apartment. Some ladies invited me to their church where I saw things, a reality of the Spirit I had never seen. I was terrified, but I knew it was real. One friend gave me some cassette tapes by Kenneth E. Hagin called. “How You Can be Led by the Spirit of God.” I have never been the same. He described some experiences that were totally foreign to me: visions, angelic visitations, audible voices… He also illuminated some things that I had experienced but never understood: revelation from the Word, the witness of the Spirit within, and the tangible anointing of the Spirit. I determined that this guy was either a charlatan, a lunatic, or a man who walked with God in a manner beyond anything I had known. I wanted it.

Over a period of several years, I grew in both knowledge and experience in the things of the Spirit. I want to bible school and began to pastor. My personality is very conservative, skeptical, and painfully shy. This was not natural for me, but I knew it was real, and that people needed the power of God.

As a pastor, I have found three essentials to foster supernatural ministry.

1. Study it. Until I build the reality of God’s desire to move supernaturally into my own heart, I will never expect it. I found it especially challenging to see myself as the vessel that He might use in spiritual gifts and manifestations. Build your faith. Galatians 3:2-5 / 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

2. Teach it. People don’t expect what they don’t know, and God moves in atmospheres of expectancy. Teach the Book of Acts as if it were happening today. It should be. Acts 5:12-16 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

3. Monitor it. Don’t be bashful about correcting and directing. If you allow something in a service to occur without comment, people will assume you approve. Learn the difference between the real, the over-exuberant, and the patently false. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Somebody Said: “…the early church fathers provide abundant evidence that gifts such as prophecy and miracles continued in their own time, even if not as abundantly as in the first century. Christians in the medieval and modern periods continued to embrace these activities of the Spirit. It is, in fact, cessationism that is not well documented in earlier history; it seems no coincidence that it arose only in a culture dominated by anti-supernaturalism.” ― Craig S. Keener

Scripture Reading: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:18-19 NKJV)

A brief search of the internet for popular Christian books gave the following results: Christian leadership – 250, church growth- over 400, The Holy Spirit – 48. Of the 48, two were bibles, and only 12 were actually about the Holy Spirit. Of those, half did not contain mention of the miraculous. My point? It seems that church world is greatly concerned about a lack of growth, maybe associated with a lack of leadership. I would contend that a more basic problem is a lack of power, maybe associated with a lack of knowledge or a lack of desire. The “old-timers” used to talk about the phrase, “Reading the red and praying for the power.” They were hungry for a New Testament kind of miracle power. If you’re hungry, too, then join me in my quest for unmistakable, irrefutable, supernatural power in the modern church. Study it, teach it, monitor it, then stand back and see what God does.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes

Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

De La Abundancia del Corazon

Viernes, Marzo 23, 2018

Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder

Aprendiendo en quien apoyarnos, Friend.

Antes de que ingresara al ministerio, trabaje por más de una década en varias instalaciones de problemas mentales, en ese contexto recibí mucho entrenamiento y adquirí mucha experiencia en consejería para personas con problemas. Una mañana me preparaba para dar consejería a alguien, cuando el Señor me hablo y me dijo “El propósito de tus consejos a estas personas, es mantenerlas vivas, hasta que yo pueda trabajar con ellas”. Allí me di cuenta de que me había permitido confiar en mis habilidades naturales, miro a las personas con muchos síntomas, luego aplico técnicas memorizadas para abordar lo que considero es el problema. Dios quiere que cambie en su totalidad la manera en que abordó el tema al aconsejar a las personas, Él puede hacer más en milésimas de segundos de lo que yo puedo hacer en toda una vida. Mi trabajo es ayudar a las personas a ponerse en una posición de recibir de Él, todos los demás son energías perdidas.

Si queremos el poder supernatural de Dios en nuestras Iglesias, es mejor que reconozcamos que no sabemos mucho y que no podemos hacer nada sin Él. El creyente fue diseñado para vivir en lo supernatural. Se necesita todo el poder del Espíritu Santo para convencer a una persona de que es un pecador sin esperanza, y que tenemos herencia de un maestro Judío que murió hace más de 2000 años y que Él es nuestra única esperanza de salvación. Se necesita del Espíritu Santo para predicar, y para que los oyentes entiendan que es lo que les predican. Ni siquiera nosotros podemos entender su palabra si Él no nos ayuda, personas enfermas han sanado por su fe y por el poder de Dios, nunca por mi ingenio o por la fuerza de mi personalidad. He visto matrimonios restaurados cuando Dios cambia sus corazones, asuntos financieros se mejoran cuando el motivo va de la codicia a la gracia, de la codicia a la satisfacción. La felicidad se encuentra cuando hay una sumisión personal al plan y voluntad de Dios para nuestras vidas, esto solo viene cuando buscamos sinceramente a Dios y oímos su voz. Ser creyente significa vivir en el Espíritu y por el Espíritu o de lo contrario sería un club social donde hay grupos de auto-ayuda, no te puedo sugerir ningún otro plan, ningún otro consejo que dar, no puedo ofrecer ninguna otra idea alternativa, estoy indefenso para ayudar sin la ayuda de Dios.

Alguien dijo: una Iglesia en la tierra sin el Espíritu Santo, es más bien una maldición que una Bendición. Si no tienes el espíritu de Dios cristiano activo, recuerda que estas siendo de piedra de tropiezo; eres un árbol sin frutos plantado en el lugar donde un árbol con frutos debería estar creciendo. Charles Spurgeon

Escrituras Bíblicas: entonces el Ángel explico diciendo, este es el mensaje de Dios para Sorozábal: yo soy El Señor todopoderoso, así que no dependas de tu propio poder o fuerzas, pero de mi Santo Espíritu. (Zacarías 4:6 VIC)

Creo firmemente en la educación, aprende todo lo que puedas, no hay ninguna recompensa por quedarte ignorante. Nuestra tentación, sin embargo, en este mundo secular, es apoyarnos en lo que sabemos, en vez de a quien conocemos. Nunca podremos dar un mensaje de tal forma que sea apetecible a la carne, ese no es nuestro trabajo, sería muy tonto. Nosotros te presentamos a Jesús que resucitó de los muertos, luego tu escudriña tu Espíritu para confirmación, todo lo demás es palabrería. Pienso en el viejo dicho que describe a los aspirantes a vaqueros: “puro sombrero, pero sin vacas.” Asegurémonos de no convertirnos en una Iglesia de pura palabrería, pero sin el poder del Espíritu Santo.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238
Mobile: 520-403-7184

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, April 6, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Prayin’ for the power, Amigos.

It hit me very early in ministry: People need God, not me. In the church where I worked, there was a precious man who had been terribly injured in a car wreck. He had severe brain injury and spinal cord damage. His faithful wife wheeled him into every service. We taught them, prayed for them, rebuked the devil and professed the Word. I never saw any improvement. I never doubted the will of God to heal him, but I could see that the faith formulas we were applying were not getting the job done. As a Pastor, I soon realized that some people are never going to receive what they need on their own faith. If it’s going to happen it will have to be a manifestation of the supernatural power of God, a gift of the Spirit. This revelation has led me to passionately contend for supernatural power in our services. I desperately want to see people made whole. Don’t you?

Over the years I’ve heard preachers praying for all sorts of things. We pray for our church to grow. We pray for money and helpers and facilities. I believe that it is time to remember to pray like Elisha. When asked what Elijah might do for him as he prepared to stand in the prophet’s office, he responded, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” When faced with the needs of broken humanity, I have to be overwhelmed at my inadequacy to do anything for them. I don’t need one more program, one more book, one more seminar, or one more really hip hashtag. I need more of His Spirit, more of His power, more of His strength. When the broken come to our service, they need me to get out of the way and facilitate the touch of God.

Somebody Said: People can’t do miracles and are not responsible to do miracles, but people can pick up miracles from God and hand it to another person – a miracle happens when that occurs. Bruce Wilkinson

Scripture Reading: Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. (John 14:11-13 NLT)

I am committed to making disciples. Teaching and training is essential to growth in the Christian life. But the world we live in is filled with folks whose lives are in such a state of disrepair, they may not live long enough to grow. The may not have the mental or emotional stability to go through our rigorous programs. We need power, dear friends, to set the captives free: to heal the sick, cast out devils, and even raise the dead. If we don’t make room in our liturgy and our lives for the intervention of the Holy Ghost, all we will have is our wits and our strength. Rather than trust our own pitiful exertions, let’s pray passionately for His power in every gathering. It’s really all we need.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

For free classes on this subject, visit our FMTIonline Resources page.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, March 23, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We’re learning Who to lean on, Amigos .

Before I entered the ministry, I worked for more than a decade in various mental health facilities. In that context, I received a lot of training and experience in counseling folks with problems. When I entered the pastorate, I found myself doing what seemed like a lot of the same thing: counseling folks with problems. One morning as I was preparing to counsel someone, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Your counseling has no purpose but to keep people alive until I can help them.” I realized that I had allowed myself to trust my natural abilities, looking at people as a conglomerate of symptoms, then applying memorized techniques to address what I took to be their problem. God wanted me to change how I approached the entire subject of counseling people. He can do more in a millisecond than I can do in a lifetime. My job is to help folks get in a position to receive from Him. Everything else is wasted energy.

If we want the supernatural power of God in our churches, we must admit that we don’t know much and can’t do much without it. Christianity is designed to be lived supernaturally. It takes the Holy Ghost to convince a person that he is a hopeless sinner and that a Jewish itinerant teacher who died 2000 years ago is his only hope of salvation. It takes the Holy Spirit for you to preach and for others to understand what you say. We can’t even grasp His Word if He doesn’t help us. Sick people are healed by their faith and by the power of God, never by my wit or force of personality. Marriages are saved when God changes hearts, and not until. Financial affairs get better when motives go from greed to grace, from acquisitiveness to contentment. Happiness is found only by a personal submission to the plan and will of God for one’s life. That only comes when the individual gets serious about seeking God and hearing His voice. Christianity is either supernatural, lived in the Spirit and by the Spirit, or it is a social club, at best a self-help group. I have no other plan to suggest, no other advice to give, no alternative ideas to proffer. I am helpless to help.

Somebody Said: A church in the land without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow. Charles Spurgeon

Scripture Reading: So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6 CEV)

I am a firm believer in education. Learn all you can learn. There is no premium on being ignorant. Our temptation, however, in this secular age is to lean on what we know instead of Who we know. We will never be able to package the Message in a way to make it palatable to fallen flesh. That is not our job. Our Message is foolish. We present Jesus raised from the dead, then look to the Spirit to confirm it. Everything else is packaging. I think of the old saying describing cowboy wannabes: “All hat, no cows.” Let’s be sure we don’t become the church of all package, no power.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, March 9, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Don’t quench or despise, Friend.

Many years ago, my wife and I were at a prayer meeting in a Charismatic church. As we watched in wonder, a woman flopped face-down on the floor at the altar, only a few feet away. A group of “prayer warriors” huddled around her and began moaning and groaning and saying, “Name yourself!” The woman then began to name various ailments and conditions. At the announcement of each malady, the assembled crew would cry “Come out! Our demeanor must have communicated our shock, because a fella sitting nearby informed us that she was “standing in proxy” for folks around the world who needed deliverance from these demonic influences. At that moment, the proxy lady let out a great groan and proclaimed, “Hemorrhoids!” As the onlookers began to cry, “Come out!”, I whispered to Judy, “if this one comes out, I am out of here!” It made me want to avoid all prayer meetings in the future.

There have been so many weird and goofy things done in the name of the Holy Spirit it would take volumes to describe them all. This abundance of strange behavior has resulted in many Christians simply deciding that all of us are nuts. It is safer to go to a “regular” church where you can arrive at the last minute, hide in the dark recesses of the audience, and get out in time to beat the lunch rush. I am convinced that this was what Paul was warning us about when he said, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 NKJV)” There have always been weirdos and charlatans. That does not change the fact that the Spirit of God is trying to help people. We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Somebody Said: The world will never believe in a religion in which there is no power. Samuel Chadwick

Scripture Reading: So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. But be sure that everything is done properly and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NLT)

Unfortunately, many pastors have decided to avoid the problems caused by “the move of the Spirit.” They carefully orchestrate the service, making sure the production is precisely timed and rehearsed with no dangerous moments of silence. Ushers are there to patrol and control. The hall is dark, and the spotlight is on the stage where the real action takes place, well beyond the great gulf fixed between audience and performers. Whew! Safe from craziness and embarrassment, but also safe from the manifestation of the supernatural that is such an integral part of Christianity. The problem lies not with the goofies, but with the ministers who are ill-prepared or not inclined to deal with the false and the flaky. 1 Thessalonians 5: 21 gives the instructions very clearly: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” I believe there’s a hunger for the real thing. Whatever it takes, it’s more than worth it to see God touch lives in power and demonstration of the Spirit. Let’s do this!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes

Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

De la Abundancia del Corazon

Viernes, febrero 16, 2018

Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder

Ora con firmeza, y vive sabiamente, Friend.

Otro estallido de violencia armada en una escuela de Florida, puso otra vez a la gente a cuestionarse que podemos hacer para mantenernos a salvo de semejantes barbaridades. En particular, nuestra Iglesia está discutiendo tener un plan de seguridad, incluyendo personas autorizadas para portar armas. Eso me plantea muchas preguntas, soy dueño de un arma, y desde que era un niño las he usado, mi Padre y mi Tío Charlie me ensenaron a tirar a muy temprana edad y muy seguido me llevaban, botes de cerveza y ardillas vivían en un temor constante, casi todos los que conocía tenían armas de algún tipo, pero nunca nadie recibió un disparo, cuando vine al Señor, me deshice de todas las armas, excepto por una escopeta muy usada, realmente no quiero dispararle a nadie, así que, viéndolo a través de mis ojos, aquí esta algunas cosas que pienso:

· soy un creyente, prefiero morir yo que despachar a alguien más al infierno.

· Soy un creyente, creo que Dios manda sus ángeles a protegerme y mantenerme alejado de la bola de tontos.

· Soy un Esposo, si alguien trata de hacerle daño a mi esposa, ese es un animal diferente, hare lo que sea necesario para protegerla.

· Soy un hombre, está en mis genes proteger al débil e inocente.

· Soy un Pastor, nuestras puertas están abiertas para el que quiera entrar, algunos son inestables, algunos pareciera que nos odian por ser quien somos, empezare a practicar sabiduría y a tomar las medidas necesarias para asegurarme que la gente este a salvo.

· No soy estúpido, sé que algunas personas en mi congregación portan armas, estamos en Arizona, cuando las personas están siendo amenazadas, no todo el tiempo pueden pensar con claridad, ni siquiera sus manos se están quietas, así que tenemos que hacer un plan para evitar tragedias.

Creo en la sanidad del cuerpo físico, espero vivir en salud, pero tengo seguro médico, creo que ángeles son enviados a protegernos, espero que nuestra Iglesia este a salvo, pero no estoy en contra de tener un pequeño seguro de protección.

Alguien dijo: con violencia, y con muchas otras preocupaciones, la naturaleza humana es el problema, pero igual la naturaleza humana es la solución. Steven Pinker

Escrituras Bíblicas: Proverbios 18:10 torre fuerte es el nombre del Señor, a el correrá el justo y será salvo.

Como creyente, mi corazón sufre por las victimas de Florida y sus familias, quisiera tener las respuestas para dárselas a las autoridades y prevenir estas cosas, el Gobierno hace un buen trabajo, ¿Cómo podría ser eso un problema? Por otra parte, miro a un jovencito, quien ha tenido una vida muy difícil, ha sido atormentado, ha tenido un sin número de comportamientos físicos y verbales aclamando por ayuda, ha gritado “!deténganme!” como hombre, creyente y Pastor, me pregunto “ ¿si habría algo que yo pudiera hacer para ayudar a un joven a lidiar con rechazos, frustraciones, e inevitables conflictos de la vida?” sé que si lo hay, pero se requiere prestar atención intencionalmente a los gritos a menudo inarticulados de los atormentados. Estoy bastante seguro de que el problema central no son las armas, o problemas mentales, o programas de Gobierno, el problema se encuentra en el corazón de los hombres, esa es la única razón de la Iglesia.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

De la abundancia del corazon

Miércoles, Febrero 7, 2018

Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder

Prestemos atención a su presencia, Friend.

Vuelve a pasar, sabes a lo que me refiero, te vas del trabajo con algo en mente, caminas al carro, entras, y empiezas a manejar. Pocos minutos después, realizas que estas llegando a casa sin darte cuenta cómo es que llegaste allí. El recuerdo de su viaje a sido sobre escrito encima de todas las cosas que estaba pensando, gracias a Dios este es un recorrido muy familiar, tu interno auto-piloto te ha llevado a casa sano y salvo.

Desafortunadamente, seguido tenemos experiencias similares en la iglesia. Vamos, hacemos lo cotidiano, y nos regresamos a casa sin acordarnos realmente que es lo que ocurrió. Lo que se supone que es vital, una transformación interactiva con un Dios vivo y su familia, es reducido a un habito subconsciente. Aquí hay muchos factores jugando, pero el problema es realmente la naturaleza humana: no queremos nada lo suficientemente real como para amenazar nuestra comodidad y complacencia, así que homogenizamos nuestro servicio. “por favor, Pastor, no ofenda a las visitas, y no desafié a los santos, ósea a mí.” Cuando se trata de nutrir el poder sobrenatural del Espíritu Santo en nuestro servicio, necesitamos decláralo con pasión, “nos hemos encontrado con el enemigo, y ese somos nosotros mismos.”

Las tres grandes actitudes que están en contra de lo sobrenatural son:

1. ORGULLO nos dice que queremos ser parte de una organización “respetable” que queremos sermones que reflejen el poder intelectual y la responsabilidad social, no queremos que pase nada que pudiera etiquetarnos como una cultura marginal.

2. FLOJERA queremos cosas que sean previsibles y familiares, porque las impredecibles demandan atención, pensar y dialogar, preferimos observar, juzgar e irnos, si es algo impredecible tendré que poner mi mente a trabajar.

3. COMPLACENCIA quiere que seamos motivados a vernos bien sin hacer ningún esfuerzo para ser santos. Quiere que seamos afirmados pero nunca inspirados, si Dios está realmente hablando, si se está moviendo alrededor de nosotros, debemos cambiar o escapar, igualdad no es una opción.

Alguien dijo: no puedo vivir en la mediocridad, contenido simplemente sabiendo que hay más de Dios para experimentar y explorar y no hacer nada al respecto. Las verdades que no son expuestas son, en efecto, más teoría que verdades. Cada vez que Dios nos revela la verdad, nos está invitando a un encuentro divino con El. Bill Johnson

Escrituras Bíblicas: recuerden, queridos hermanos y hermanas, que pocos de ustedes eran sabios a los ojos del mundo, o poderosos o ricos cuando Dios los llamo, en cambio, Dios escogió personas que el mundo considera tontas para avergonzar a aquellos que piensan que son sabios, y escogió personas que no tienen poder para avergonzar a aquellos que si lo tienen. Dios escogió cosas que no tienen ningún valor, cosas despreciadas por el mundo, los uso para hacer desaparecer lo que el mundo considera importante. Como resultado, nadie puede jactarse en la presencia de Dios. (1 de Corintios 1:26-29 NTV)

El comienzo de lo sobrenatural, es el deseo de tener un encuentro sobrenatural con Dios, no importando las consecuencias. Ten cuidado de no ofender a nadie, y seguramente estarás ofendiendo al Espíritu Santo. No te conformes con una buena predicación, es posible que se escuche muy doctrinal, pero espiritualmente muerta, cualquier doctrina que tengas, si no se manifiesta el Espíritu Santo, es un punto muerto. Tenemos que buscar continuamente la verdad, no solamente la descripción. La naturaleza humana tiende a estar en una zona de comodidad. No deje que esa naturaleza arruine su servicio. No es fácil, pero vale la pena el esfuerzo.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, February 23, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Pray hard, live smart, Amigos.

Another outburst of gun violence in a Florida school has folks talking again about what to do to keep us safe from such barbarities. In particular, our church is discussing having a security plan, including some folks authorized to carry firearms. That always raises several questions for me. I am a gun owner and have been shooting since I was a kid. My dad and my Uncle Charlie got me going early and often. Beer cans and squirrels lived in continual terror. Nearly everybody I knew had a gun of some kind, yet nobody got shot. When I came to the Lord, I got rid of all weapons except one old beat up shotgun. I really don’t want to shoot anyone. So, looking through my own eyes, here are some random thoughts:

· I’m a Christian. I would rather die myself than dispatch someone else to hell.

· I’m a Christian. I believe that God gives His angels charge over me to keep me from goofballs.

· I’m a husband. If anyone tries to harm my wife, that is a different animal. I will do whatever is necessary to protect her.

· I’m a man. It is in my genes to protect the weak and innocent.

· I’m a pastor. Our doors are open to anyone who comes in. Some are unstable. Some seem to hate us for being who we are. I will exercise wisdom and take necessary precautions to be sure people are safe.

· I’m not stupid. I know people in my congregation carry guns. It’s Arizona. When people are in a threatening situation they do not always think clearly, nor are their hands steady. To avoid catastrophe, we need a plan in place.

I believe in healing for the physical body, I expect to live in health, but I carry health insurance. I believe in dispatching angels to protect us, I expect our church to be safe, but I’m not against having a little protection insurance.

Somebody Said: With violence, as with so many other concerns, human nature is the problem, but human nature is also the solution. Steven Pinker

Scripture Reading: The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10 NKJV)

As a Christian, my heart breaks for the Florida victims and their families. I wish I had an answer I could give the government for how to prevent such things. The government does such a great job, how could that be a problem? On the other hand, I see a young man who has had a very difficult life. He was tormented and made any number of behavioral and verbal cries for help. He was screaming, “Stop me!” As a man, a Christian, and a pastor, I ask, “Is there something we can do to help young men deal with the rejections, frustrations, and inevitable conflicts of life?” I know there is, but it requires intentionally paying attention to the often inarticulate cries of the tormented. I’m pretty sure the core issue is not guns or mental health or government programs. It lies in the hearts of men. That is the unique purview of the Church.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s pay attention to His presence, Amigos.

It just happened again. You know what I mean. You leave work with something on your mind. You walk to the car, get in, and drive off. A few minutes later, you realize you are pulling into your house with no real memory of how you got there. Your recall of the trip has been overwritten in your mind by the other things you were thinking about. Thank goodness, this is a very familiar drive. Your internal auto-pilot got you home safe and sound.

Unfortunately, we often have similar experiences with church. We go, we go through the motions, and we go home with no real memory of what occurred. What is supposed to be a vital, transformative interaction with the living God and His family is reduced to a semi-conscious habit. There are many factors at play, but the issue is really just human nature: We don’t want anything real enough to threaten our comfort and complacency, so we homogenize our services. “Please, Pastor, don’t offend the visitors, and don’t challenge the saints, especially me.” When it comes to nurturing the supernatural move of the Spirit in our services, we have to declare along with Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

The big three personal attitudes that push against the supernatural are:

1. Pride tells us we want to be part of a “respectable” organization. We want sermons that reflect intellectual prowess and social responsibility. We don’t want anything going on that might label us as culturally marginal.

2. Sloth wants things to be predictable and familiar. Unpredictability demands attention, thought, and response. We would rather observe, judge, and leave. If it’s unpredictable I may have to think.

3. Complacency wants us to be encouraged to be nice without challenging us to be holy. It wants to be affirmed but never inspired. If God is really speaking, if He is actively moving in our midst, we must either change or escape. Sameness is not an option.

Somebody Said: I cannot live in mediocrity, content with merely knowing that there is more of God to experience and explore — and then do nothing about it. Truths that are not experienced are, in effect, more like theories than truths. Whenever God reveals truth to us He is inviting us into a divine encounter. Bill Johnson

Scripture Reading: Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NLT)

The beginning of the supernatural is a desire for a real encounter with God, no matter the consequences. Be careful not to offend anyone, and you’ll surely offend the Holy Spirit. Don’t settle for good preaching. It is possible to be doctrinally sound and spiritually dead. Any doctrine you hold which is not manifest in your church is a dead spot. We have to continually contend for reality, not just description. Human nature always descends to its comfort level. Don’t let human nature run your service. It ain’t easy, but it will be worth the effort.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.