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Glory of God
Mostly Bill Johnson
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Hank and Brenda Kunneman
FF Bosworth, AW Tozer, CS Lewis
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AskTheDreamer.com on Twitter
“What is the glory of God?”
Answer: The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not an aesthetic beauty or a material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character, from all that He is. James 1:10 calls on a rich man to “glory in his humiliation,” indicating a glory that does not mean riches or power or material beauty. This glory can crown man or fill the earth. It is seen within man and in the earth, but it is not of them; it is of God. The glory of man is the beauty of man’s spirit, which is fallible and eventually passes away, and is therefore humiliating—as the verse tells us. But the glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away. It is eternal.
Isaiah 43:7 says that God created us for His glory. In context with the other verses, it can be said that man “glorifies” God because through man, God’s glory can be seen in things such as love, music, heroism and so forth—things belonging to God that we are carrying “in jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7). We are the vessels which “contain” His glory. All the things we are able to do and to be find their source in Him. God interacts with nature in the same way. Nature exhibits His glory. His glory is revealed to man’s mind through the material world in many ways, and often in different ways to different people. One person may be thrilled by the sight of the mountains, and another person may love the beauty of the sea. But that which is behind them both (God’s glory) speaks to both people and connects them to God. In this way, God is able to reveal Himself to all men, no matter their race, heritage or location. As Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands; day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world.”
Psalm 73:24 calls heaven itself “glory.” It used to be common to hear Christians talk of death as being “received unto glory,” which is a phrase borrowed from this Psalm. When the Christian dies, he will be taken into God’s presence, and in His presence will be naturally surrounded by God’s glory. We will be taken to the place where God’s beauty literally resides—the beauty of His Spirit will be there, because He will be there. Again, the beauty of His Spirit (or the essence of Who He Is) is His “glory.” In that place, His glory will not need to come through man or nature, rather it will be seen clearly, just as 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
In the human/earthly sense, glory is a beauty or vibrancy that rests upon the material of the earth (Psalm 37:20, Psalm 49:17), and in that sense, it fades. But the reason it fades is that material things do not last. They die and wither, but the glory that is in them belongs to God, and returns to Him when death or decay takes the material. Think of the rich man mentioned earlier. The verse says, “The rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.” What does this mean? The verse is admonishing the rich man to realize that his wealth and power and beauty come from God, and to be humbled by the realization that it is God who makes him what he is, and gives him all he has. And the knowledge that he will pass away like the grass is what will bring him to the realization that God is the one from whom glory comes. God’s glory is the source, the wellspring from which all smaller glories run.
Since God is the one from whom glory comes, He will not let stand the assertion that glory comes from man or from the idols of man or from nature. In Isaiah 42:8, we see an example of God’s jealousy over His glory. This jealousy for His own glory is what Paul is talking about in Romans 1:21-25 when he speaks of the ways people worship the creature rather than the Creator. In other words, they looked at the object through which God’s glory was coming, and, instead of giving God the credit for it, they worshiped that animal or tree or man as if the beauty it possessed originated from within itself. This is the very heart of idolatry and is a very common occurrence. Everyone who has ever lived has committed this error at one time or another. We have all “exchanged” the glory of God in favor of the “glory of man.”
This is the mistake many people continue to make: trusting in earthly things, earthly relationships, their own powers or talents or beauty, or the goodness they see in others. But when these things fade and fail as they will inevitably do (being only temporary carriers of the greater glory), these people despair. What we all need to realize is that God’s glory is constant, and as we journey through life we will see it manifest here and there, in this person or that forest, or in a story of love or heroism, fiction or non-fiction, or our own personal lives. But it all goes back to God in the end. And the only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. We will find the very source of all beauty in Him, in heaven, if we are in Christ. Nothing will be lost to us. All those things that faded in life we will find again in Him.
A Counted Member
by Brenda Kunneman
“I have nominated and counted you as a necessary member of My Body. Therefore, never count yourself as unimportant, for the other members rely upon you and your involvement supplies a breath of life to countless souls.”
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones (Ephesians 5:30).
Each part of the human body is important. While we don’t sit around pondering each part’s function, you definitely notice when one part isn’t working! Ephesians 4:16 says that the Body of Christ is held together by that which each individual body part supplies. We may think some parts are less significant than others, but First Corinthians 12:15-24 says that each part is significant. You may not think about your pinky toe that much. Yet, if you’ve ever gotten up at night to get a glass of water and stubbed your little toe on a piece of furniture, that little toe becomes very noticeable! With your toe throbbing in pain, your entire ability to walk is compromised, and you realize how much you are affected even when something as small as your pinky toe is out of the game.
The Body of Christ is no different, and when we don’t supply our part because we think it to be insignificant, the other members feel it and are hindered overall. Others can work harder to make up for it, but how much easier it would be if every part was functioning peacefully together as they were meant to do. The Lord has counted you a key member today, so don’t believe for one moment that you are not needed! Many souls truly are depending on you.
Lord Jesus, I see myself as an important member of Your Body, and I commit to stay involved and supply my part. I give of my time, finances, and talents to serve in whatever capacity becomes available, and I thank You for counting on me. Amen
“When You Pray Expect An Answer”
Jennifer Eivaz, Turlock, CA
In homes, parks, churches, and auditoriums there continues to be diligent gatherings of elite Kingdom forces. They’ve engaged in what I believe is the first priority of the Church – they are praying Isaiah 56:7:
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.
The Holy Spirit has lit the fuse of intercession and is turning up the flames. Before there ever is a revival, there is always an intercessor. Worldwide harvest is on His mind, and the harvest of souls always begins with prayer. The Holy Spirit is releasing the “war cry of prayer” (Isaiah 42:13)! He will prevail against His enemies and loose their captives.
Over the years, I’ve spent hours praying with intercessors. It’s refreshing to pray with seasoned intercessors, but I’m usually praying with those still learning to find their sword in prayer. Prayer is something you learn. It doesn’t come easily to most people. And because of the governmental nature of prayer – namely that we rule our own world and the entire world from our knees – I’ve had a strong need to communicate a few points of order AND to stir up your faith to expect an answer when you pray.
God is Waiting on Us to Pray
The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus complied giving them point-by-point instructions in prayer, also known as the Lord’s Prayer, to get them started. As part of His instruction, He taught the disciples to pray for the will of God to be done: This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…” (see Matthew 6:10-15).
This teaching for the disciples is also a teaching for us. We, too, need to pray and we need to pray for God’s will to be done.
The prophet Elijah demonstrated this concept well. The Lord told Elijah He was going to end a three-year drought in Israel and send rain on the land (see I Kings 18). But Elijah did not leave things there. Instead, he climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and postured himself in prayer (see verse 42). Even though Elijah knew what God wanted, he still prayed for it to happen. As he anticipated, it soon began to rain and God’s will was being done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Unless we pray for God’s will to be done, it simply isn’t done. By God’s own design, He has limited Himself to the faith of His Church. We have more influence with God than we think, but God is waiting on us to pray.
Pray the Will of God
It fascinates me that when something bad happens in our nation that we presume it’s the judgment of God, but when something bad happens to us personally we presume it’s a demonic attack. This is the double-standard that we often live by! We don’t discern what God authors or doesn’t author when we don’t know His heart or His Word.
Let’s go to the written Word to lay this down more firmly. First of all, God so loved the world that He died for it (John 3:16). If He died for the world, then He’s not killing off the world in unbridled judgment because He’s not double-minded. There is a judgment day coming, but that day is not today (Acts 17:31). Nevertheless, the world suffers terribly for its choices against God! It suffers hardship, death, abuse, disease, and even worse because its source for living is the kingdom of darkness – a kingdom that can only offer death and sorrow.
Secondly, the Bible distinguishes between the works of satan and the works of Christ. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
This helps us to generally discern the spiritual source behind tragic circumstances. If it’s stealing, killing or destroying, then Biblically we can point to satan as the source. This is the point where intercessors release the war cry of prayer! Through their prayers and prophetic decrees, they birth resurrection life into tragic circumstances, into corrupted systems, into cities, nations, and more.
Let’s Pray: In the name of JESUS, we raise the hedges of protection over our cities and nations. We bind the spirit of terror from unleashing death and destruction. We ask You, Father, to release Your angel armies to surround and guard the peoples. We command Your Word to run swiftly through the cities! We ask the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of people everywhere to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Job 1:10, 2 Tim. 1:7, Matt. 16:19, Matt. 26:53, 2 Thess. 3:1, Acts 16:14)
An intercessor is a person who prays in favor for another. This is what Abraham did in regards to Sodom and Gomorrah. God was making moves to destroy this wicked city as the cries of its victims had become deafening (see Genesis 18:20, MSG). Remember this was well before the Cross! There was nothing standing in between this city and God’s imminent judgment.
Regardless, He still solicited the intercession of Abraham. Abraham interceded FOR the city and not against it and God accepted the terms of his intercession. Just like Abraham, God is soliciting our intercession FOR the nations and He is ready to accept our terms as well. He is not willing that ANYONE would perish (2 Peter 3:9).
Effective Prayer Versus Presumptive Prayer
Effective prayer, then, is going to be prayer that reflects the Word of God and the heart of God. Understand that every petition needs to be based on a Bible passage or promise. If you can’t underscore that petition or prophetic decree with the written Word of God, then that prayer is suspect for not being the will of God. Every petition must also be redemptive. Praying redemptively doesn’t mean we leave evil people and evil systems unchallenged in prayer.
We do, however, consider the eternity of people involved and intercede for the salvation of their souls no matter what they’ve done. We never rejoice in the misfortune of others or celebrate their destruction (Proverbs 17:5). Hell is a forever reality, and as intercessors we intercede for the salvation of all – even the worst and most vile sinners, cities, and nations.
Finally, intercessors need to stay away from presumptive prayer. We are to carry the priorities of the Kingdom clearly above our own priorities. We don’t pray our own opinions.
Many years ago, a person on our leadership team had communicated to some members of our church that my husband and I would like to have one particular night of the week to be alone as a couple. The only thing is, my husband and I had never communicated that and we had a different idea about our schedule. It wasn’t a big deal except someone had presumed our will, gave instruction to others about our will, without really knowing what our will was.
I see this same presumptive behavior happen often in the place of prayer. We presume His will, presumptively pray His will, but we’ve never really understood His will.
We have to lay down our opinions and our own agendas and submit to His priorities. We have to line up everything we pray with His written Word. Are you praying for His will to be done, or are you praying presumptive prayers?
Here is another example. A person had written to me disagreeing about my choice to celebrate Christmas. They held that elements of Christmas are rooted in paganism and, therefore, should not be celebrated by Believers. I didn’t react to their party pooper mentality because I know from the Word that Christians can celebrate any day as holy to the Lord (Romans 14:5-6).
What got my attention and my rebuke was their veiled threat to “pray for me about this matter.” Because I understand the power of prayer, I wasn’t going to let that go. Whether you are praying God’s will or your own will, you are still engaging in a spiritual act. You have the capacity to release spiritual power in prayer even if that prayer didn’t come from the heart of God.
Don’t pray your opinions on people! Carry and pray the priorities of the Kingdom instead.
This is an area that needs instruction and alignment in the Body of Christ. I’ve heard way too many opinion-based prayers, something that escalates during election season! These prayers are highly suspect because they are too often based in opinion rather than being based in His Word.
When we are full of His written Word and carry His redemptive heart, then we can pray whatever we desire and He will answer us favorably (John 14:14).
This gives us great confidence in prayer knowing that when we pray, we can expect an answer.
Answer: In John 3, Jesus uses the phrase “born of water” in answer to Nicodemus’s question about how to enter the kingdom of heaven. He told Nicodemus that he “must be born again” (John 3:3). Nicodemus questioned how such a thing could happen when he was a grown man. Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
Being “born of the Spirit” is easily interpreted—salvation involves a new life that only the Holy Spirit can produce (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6). But there are a couple different schools of thought on what Jesus meant when He said, “born of water.” One perspective is that “born of water” refers to physical birth. Unborn babies float in a sack of amniotic fluid for nine months. When the time for birth arrives, that sack of water bursts, and the baby is born in a rush of water, entering the world as a new creature. This birth parallels being “born of the Spirit,” as a similar new birth occurs within our hearts (2 Corinthians 5:17). A person once-born has physical life; a person twice-born has eternal life (John 3:15–18, 36; 17:3; 1 Peter 1:23). Just as a baby contributes no effort to the birth process—the work is done by the mother—so it is with spiritual birth. We are merely the recipients of God’s grace as He gives us new birth through His Spirit (Ephesians 2:8–9). According to this view, Jesus was using a teaching technique He often employed by comparing a spiritual truth with a physical reality. Nicodemus did not understand spiritual birth, but he could understand physical birth so that was where Jesus took him.
The other perspective is that “born of water” refers to spiritual cleansing and that Nicodemus would have naturally understood it that way. According to this view, “born of water” and “born of the Spirit” are different ways of saying the same thing, once metaphorically and once literally. Jesus’ words “born of water and the Spirit” describe different aspects of the same spiritual birth, or of what it means to be “born again.” So, when Jesus told Nicodemus that he must “be born of water,” He was referring to his need for spiritual cleansing. Throughout the Old Testament, water is used figuratively of spiritual cleansing. For example, Ezekiel 36:25 says, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities” (see also Numbers 19:17–19; and Psalm 51:2, 7). Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would surely have been familiar with the concept of physical water representing spiritual purification.
The New Testament, too, uses water as a figure of the new birth. Regeneration is called a “washing” brought about by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation (Titus 3:5; cf. Ephesians 5:26; John 13:10). Christians are “washed . . . sanctified . . . justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). The “washing” Paul speaks of here is a spiritual one.
Whichever perspective is correct, one thing is certain: “born of water” is not a reference to water baptism. Baptism is nowhere mentioned in the context, nor did Jesus ever imply that we must do anything to inherit eternal life but trust in Him in faith (John 3:16). Water baptism is an outward sign that we have given our lives to Jesus, but not a requirement for salvation (Luke 23:40–43).
You Have a New Name
by Brenda Kunneman
“Speak positively of yourself, says the Lord. For I have purchased for you a new identity. Whatever others have said you are in a negative way, I have changed it and given you a new name that is opposite of it.”
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah… (Isaiah 62:4).
Often as we go through life, people tend to label us in certain ways based on things such as our personality traits, appearance, or perhaps talents. Some labels we receive aren’t always positive. We are also labeled by our mistakes, or even our inabilities and weaknesses. Also, it isn’t always others who label us. Out of insecurity, we sometimes label ourselves and thereby form certain negative mind-sets about who we believe ourselves to be. This causes us to limit ourselves and may even prevent us from receiving certain blessings from God or from enjoying all the aspects of life He intends for us. In Isaiah 62:4, God tells Israel that He is changing their label and giving their land a different name. They began with the negative name Forsaken. This is reflective of how life tries to label people. However, in spite of it, God changes their name to Hephzibah and their land to Beulah. Basically, the two terms combined mean that God was married to them and that they were His delight.
Know today that the Lord has labeled you differently than life has tried to label you negatively. Therefore, keep all negative labels out of your vocabulary and rejoice today because you have a brand-new name!
Father, I thank You that You have given me a new name today. I repent of all negative labels I have accepted or given myself. I thank You that You have named me after positive things and I am Your delight! Amen.
Jesus Standing Before You
by Brenda Kunneman
“Call out for what you desire this day and don’t give up. Call out to Me for
the manifestation of the healing anointing. Call out and I will stand right…
there before you, and I will minister to you and even put healing virtue in
your hands, says the Spirit of the Lord.”
And Jesus stood still… (Mark 10:49).
In Mark 10:46-52, the blind man cried out to Jesus in such a way that it was almost to the point of embarrassment. People kept telling him to quiet down, but when they did he cried out even more. I am sure if those people are like most modern-day folks, they probably thought, “What is wrong with this crazy man?” However, his crying out was nothing more than a determination to obtain from Jesus what he needed. He wasn’t going to take no for an answer; he was determined to get a hold of the power inside Jesus. He was willing to throw all caution aside in order to get Jesus’ attention. But it was this very determined approach that made Jesus do something that probably not everyone expected Him to do. In spite of everyone telling the blind man to quiet down, Jesus suddenly stopped. The Bible says, “And Jesus stood still.” Then Jesus stood right before the blind man and gave him what he came for—his eyesight.
If you really want to see the Lord manifest for you, it takes this kind of determination that will keep calling out to the Lord until you receive. The Lord looks for faith and determination from those who will not leave without the thing they need. Keep calling out to Him. Jesus is standing before you.
Gifted for This Hour !!!
~by Brenda Kunneman
“It is not by accident that you were born in this time. For you have been graced for it, says God. Focus upon your gifts and abilities and let Me enrich them one by one, for I have gifted you especially for this hour!”
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:4-7).
The reason many people don’t live to their fullest potential is because they focus too much on their inadequacies and don’t believe in themselves the way God does. God has personally graced you. You weren’t born by accident or at the wrong time. You were born during the perfect time to do something wonderful on earth. The key is to break past all the obstacles that have obstructed you from seeing your own gifts and unique capabilities. You can begin to see more clearly how God has gifted you by putting into practice these four things: 1) Believe you are gifted by God; 2) See your talents bigger than your inabilities; 3) Never complain about what doesn’t seem to work out right; and 4) Refuse to see yourself as a failure even when circumstances make you feel like one. If you begin here with a positive attitude, then God can open the way for your gifts to be developed and enriched by His Spirit. See that God has anointed you powerfully today!
Father, I thank You that I am gifted to do great things during this time in history. I believe today that I am not going to fall short in any talent You have given me, and You shall help me grow in each one of them. Amen.