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31 Day Prayer School 2018

Represent Movement is launching it’s first ever prayer school starting January 1, 2018, free and on-line.

Start your year getting equipped in a lifestyle of prayer. We believe this is a great hour of harvest and awakening. Jesus said in equipping His 70 followers in Luke 10 that the first thing they were to do as evangelists on mission was “pray the Lord of the harvest…” At Represent we desire to equip all believers in the mission of gospel preaching and disciple making. This begins and is sustained by a life of prayer.

Would you like to grow in your prayer life? Would you like to experience greater intimacy with God? Would you like to have answered prayers? Would you like to see God glorified and lives changed? Then prayer school is for you.

Daily in the month of January, John Hammer and the Represent Team will be utilizing our Facebook Live Video platform to do a reading of one chapter from “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray. This is a timeless classic on developing a powerful prayer life. There are 31 chapters and we will cover one chapter a day.You can watch for free each day. But we encourage you to purchase this book or ebook  to follow along (Less than $5 in paperback and only $1 as a ebook) so go here: With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. Each day will include a reading, a prayer and maybe a few extra thoughts or a space to answer questions. Each day will start at about 9am PST. The videos will not be too long but we believe will be very helpful in your life of prayer. You will be able to watch the videos at your own time as well on our Facebook page. Please join us and start your year off growing in prayer!

“Christ teaches us to pray not only by example, by instruction, by command, by promises, but by showing us HIMSELF, the ever-living Intercessor, as our Life. It is when we believe this, and go and abide in Him for our prayer-life too, that our fears of not being able to pray aright will vanish, and we shall joyfully and triumphantly trust our Lord to teach us to pray, to be Himself the life and the power of our prayer.”
― Andrew Murray, With Christ in The School of Prayer

Tune in to Represent Movement Facebook Live Video at 9AM PST January 1 – 31 or visit anytime to watch the archives.

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CHRISTMAS, NEIGHBORS AND EVANGELISM

The Christmas season has always been a time of wonder and cheer for me. Growing up, and even now, there is anticipation for the season to arrive. For many people though, Christmas can be a great time of sorrow, with memories of lost loved ones and an increased feeling of isolation and loneliness.

One of my favorite things to do at christmas time is watch Christmas movies. I think I love ALL of them! My family generally begins watching Christmas movies over Thanksgiving break. This year, my husband wanted to watch the Tim Allen movie, ‘Christmas with the Kranks’, as our season’s kick off movie. Now first I should say that I DO love this movie, but for whatever reason I did not want to watch it that weekend. I cringed every time I thought about it. Finally on Sunday night, I relented and we put it on. As the movie progressed I felt the nudging of the Lord to look closer. I thought this was weird cause quite frankly there is not really anything spiritual about this movie.

Recently, and increasingly, the Lord has been prodding me to examine my heart and interactions with my neighbors. The movie, if you have not seen it (minor spoiler alerts!), is about a couple whose daughter will be missing Christmas because she is leaving home for the first time. The couple decided to “skip” the holiday and take a cruise, but at the last minute she changes her mind and comes home on Christmas eve.

Toward the end of the movie I began to get emotional, which is not my normal reaction to this movie. I was moved as I thought about my own life and what would happen to me in a tough situation? Throughout the movie, I laughed as I saw the leading couple avoid their neighbors. But truthfully, I’m ashamed to tell you that this comedic bit of fiction is akin to my actual avoidance. As this movie experience has continued to unfold in my heart over the past few weeks, I have made note of the opportunities the Lord has given me to connect with my neighbors. I’m sure I am not alone when I say that it is easy to get home from work or school (or whatever occupies your time) and leave the neighborhood by escaping into the sanctity of your own home.

As I reflected on this thought, I took time to observe my own row of houses. Rarely is anyone in their front yards or even their driveways. With the exception of arriving home at the same time, neighbors might not see each other for days or even weeks on end. This was the case for me until recently.

Digging deeper into things, I began to look to the scriptures about being a good neighbor.
“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Matt 12:31) Even though I’ve probably heard this verse a thousand times, I was honestly taken aback. I realized what a bad neighbor I had been. Generally speaking, I think I am good friend, co-worker, sister, etc… but when I really thought about being a neighbor, I have missed the mark.

Over the summer, a couple neighbors moved and new occupants moved in to the left and right of our home. Both neighbors were extremely friendly and greeted us. I was uncomfortable at first, but my husband, who is in my opinion a pretty great neighbor, was greeting them and making friends right away. I, on the other hand, would make myself scarce.

As I thought about how the families in the Kranks’ neighborhood rallied around them in their time of need, I began to have an ache in my heart for my own neighbors. I have found myself answering the door when they pop over. I am waving or saying hi if someone happens to be outside when I am. This year, I am planning to make christmas cookies for the neighbors. And unlike years in the past when we have done this, I will be walking with my family to our neighbors and delivering the cookies.

Though this article is not filled with thousands of scriptures about being good neighbors, I felt the second greatest commandment that Jesus gives us (which helps us to fulfill the calling of all christians) might be enough to compel you to look deeper. Where is God at work in your own neighborhood this year? The great commission begins with us bringing the Gospel to our own neighbors. How are you sharing the light of Christ in this season?

Sharing the gospel can look different across the world. Some are called to other nations, some are called to different cities. The idea of evangelism sometimes eludes us in our day to day living. Others of us do well when we are out shopping or eating at restaurants. Maybe you are even involved in serving your community in one way or another. But perhaps you are also like me, maybe you have forgotten the call to ‘Love your neighbor’ – the ones right next door. Our hope is that you will take time not only in this season but in all the seasons to demonstrate the greatest way we can love them, through sharing the love of Christ.

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20:21 Sentification

The saved are sent.

In John 20:21, Jesus post-crucifixion, post-resurrection, is meeting with His disciples and showing them that He had come back from the dead. As their jaws were likely on the floor, He lets them know…
     “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Those that receive peace from Jesus are sent on a mission by Jesus. The church is never more the church when it lives that sent life Jesus called her to live. The greatest threat to the kingdom of darkness is not that the church would just gather but that the church would re-pre-sent Christ Jesus in the earth.

My wife Grace was recently shopping and saw a lady that worked behind the counter with a brace on her wrist. Since she is living that sent life she saw this lady’s pain as an opportunity to represent Jesus. She asked if she could pray for her and the cashier got excited and said, “yes.” So, Grace stretched out her hand and spoke a word of healing over her wrist in Jesus name. The pain instantly started leaving and the cashier told her it was feeling better. The cashier went on to invite herself to our church and she gave her information. Space fails me on this post to tell you stories of our community that are doing this day in and day out to show the love and truth of Jesus in simple ways.

Allow me to introduce a word that I recently made up: sentification. I realize it’s not an actual word. The Bible contains some great words ending with “…ation” such as “justification, sanctification, regeneration, propitiation, etc.” And rightfully so, we should make a big deal about these robust theological terms because they are full of truth and power. But one thing that I believe is being recovered in our practice is making much of the doctrine of mission that runs throughout the narrative of Scripture. Jesus sent us to represent Him.

re – pre – sent: “be entitled or appointed to act or speak for (someone), especially in an official capacity.”

Sentification
Sentification (my made-up word’s definition) is the action of being…
Sent to a people
On a mission
With a message
In power and authority.
Sent to a people
Who are the people that we are sent to? Well, the marco-group that we are sent to as representatives of Jesus is to sinners. Sinners are everyone. Or as they might say in the south, all y’all. Sinners are God’s image bearers who have inherited the sinful nature of Adam and violated God’s law in small measure or large measure, but have nonetheless “fallen short of the of glory of God (Romans 3:23).” Christians living on mission must love sinners and be present with sinners and build friendship with sinners. For all Christians have been sinners who received the mercy of Jesus. The church needs to get over guilt by association (I think I’ll have another blog on this). If Jesus is our prime example, and He is, we observe that He was accused for being a friend of sinners. After all if we are re-presenting Jesus, we share His heart: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Mark 2:17 NKJV).”
On a mission

All representatives have a mission and is not to enforce their own will or purpose but the purpose of the sovereign ruler that they represent. We see above that we are sent to lost souls and our mission is to save souls and make disciples. In the Mark 16 comission Jesus tells his followers they are to be gospel preachers. In Matthew 28, Jesus tells his followers to be disciple-makers. Our assignment from King Jesus is both, and. We are to be soul winners and disicple-makers. One should not replace the other, for the two go hand in hand.

 With a message

Our message is so simple that a child could understand but so powerful that it shakes kingdoms and cause demons to tremble. It’s the message of our Savior and of the mighty apostles who laid down their lives to preach it. It’s the gospel.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV).”

The message we preach is forgiveness of sins (1 Cor. 15) and the ushering in of God’s kingdom through the person and work of Jesus Christ (Mark 1). The gospel message lifts souls out of despair and into hope. The gospel proclaims that all is done in Christ and calls all people to repent and believe that they might enter into the reign of God through simple faith. The gospel calls all people to obey Jesus and become God’s child.

In power and authority.

Forgiven people can declare others forgiven who trust in Jesus, forgiveness places you in Christ, and you can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus continued in John 20: 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Our authority is delegated to us in Christ that when we turn from our sin and believe on Jesus as Lord our sin is forgiven and we are therefore commissioned to release the message of Christ’s forgiveness to others. Our authority comes from being new in Christ. When we gain confidence in Christ’s ability to completely forgive us of all of our sins and cleanse our conscience, we can boldly carry out this mission. We lack confidence when we don’t understand the completeness of what Jesus has done through the cross and the shedding of His blood to absolve us of all guilt and shame. Our authority is a byproduct of the mercy that we receive. It’s not something we earn or accomplish, it’s by God’s grace. When we are saved, we are set apart to be sent.

Our power is received through being filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus told these disciples in John 20 that they were sent like He was sent. Careful observation of Jesus life and ministry shows us that He was sent by being filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit in Luke 3 and 4. Power allows us to demonstrate the authority that represent from God’s kingdom. The power of the Holy Spirit that the disciples received from Jesus allowed them as representatives to show people a taste of the age to come. When demons afflict and torment soul we cast them out. When disease, sickness and pain plague people’s bodies we bring the power of Christ to release healing. We have power to share supernatural revelation we can’t naturally know and power to release the peace of God’s presence over trouble.

What a privilege and what a responsibility for the church of Jesus Christ. In every generation the church must receive the mission that they are sent on. This is where revival takes place, when the church rises up in prayer and obedience and every member comes alive to their calling, sent into their assignment. This is reformation.

If you are saved, you are sent.

Come near to God and pray…

-WHO ARE MY PEOPLE?
– WHAT IS MY MISSION?
– HOW DO I PREACH THE MESSAGE?

– GIVE ME YOUR AUTHORITY AND POWER

Would you like to know more about an opportunity for training and a time to encounter God with the Represent team? Plan to join us in February 16-17 at Represent Souls and Cities Conference: http://representmovement.com/represent-encounter/.

 

*20:21 is a tag you will see on various Represent logos and items. It belongs to the Scripture that our ministry is based on John 20:21.

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The Rise of the Billy Grahams – 8 Reasons Why God is Restoring the Gift of Evangelist

“Where are the Billy Grahams of our generation?,” the critics have pondered. The cynics have surmised that the days of mass evangelism are over and that we will only continue to reach lost people through local churches and everyday acts of kindness. There seemed to be a season where evangelism was still happening but it wasn’t under the spotlight that it once enjoyed in the United States and other first world nations.

However, God is right now raising up a movement of evangelism and a movement of evangelists. Evangelism is experiencing a revival and both the world and the church will experience a revival as a result. Evangelism now and in the future will have some of the most massive gatherings history has ever seen.  This will also correspond with a rise in personal and power evangelism through believers that carry the gospel message in their daily lifestyle.

“Evangelists not only stand on platforms to preach how Jesus saves but they teach all the members of the body of Christ how to build platforms through their daily life to share how Jesus saves.”

Evidences we see of God putting the spotlight on evangelists again are emerging with people like Greg Laurie and his Harvest America Crusades who has gatherings of over 100,000 people in a single stadium with 10,000s of people giving their lives to Christ. Reinhard Bonnke and his successor Daniel Kolenda with Christ for All Nations have started large scale evangelism crusades across America and partnered with Lou Engle’s The Call prayer gatherings to preach the gospel to the lost. Greg Stier continues to gather thousands of young people across denominations to equip them in how to share their faith at Dare 2 Share conferences and webcast events. Nick Hall of Pulse Ministries gathered hundreds of thousands at the National Mall in Washington D.C. last year to hear the preaching of the gospel. Todd White, a drug addict that was radically saved and launched into a lifestyle of loving people to Christ everywhere He goes is hosting trainings called Power and Love for thousands of people across cities all over the USA and world to be trained in power and lifestyle evangelism. Ben Fitzgerald with Awakening Europe is assembling thousands of people to hear the gospel in stadiums throughout Europe with thousands coming to Christ in what some were labeling “post-Christian” Europe. Andy Byrd and groups like the Circuit Riders who are connected with YWAM are training a modern day missions movement to re-engage college campus’s in the USA and unreached people groups with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Brian Barcelona of One Voice Student Missions is a young campus evangelist that is starting Jesus Clubs in high schools across the country with hundreds coming to Christ in high school gymnasiums and returning for weekly Bible clubs. Time and space fail me to continue to elaborate about ministries like Light in Film with Jamie Rauch, Chris Overstreet, Sean Smith, Meesh Fomenko and many others.

So why? Why does this matter? I believe that there are at least 8 reasons that God is stirring evangelism in the body of Christ in this hour and raising up evangelists with a renewed passion.

1. Evangelists win souls that God passionately loves and for whom He paid the highest price.

He’s a leave the 99 and goes after the 1 God. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (1).” God’s loving desire is to reclaim every soul in every nation, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (2).” The evangelist literally carries the heart of God to see sinners reconciled to their Maker. The evangelist wants to proclaim and publish the gospel in every way possible to give all people an opportunity to be saved from their sins.

2. Evangelists equip the body of Christ to do the work of evangelism.

The work of the evangelist is not only to share the good news of Jesus but also to teach others how to do it. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (3).” Everyone in the body of Christ is called to share their faith and be a witness unto Jesus. Evangelists motivate and train all believers no matter what their spiritual gifts are to effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelists not only stand on platforms to preach how Jesus saves but they teach all the members of the body of Christ how to build platforms through their daily life to share how Jesus saves.

3. Evangelists stir up the faith of the whole church to believe God for miracles.

In the Scriptures, it is almost impossible to separate the times where Jesus does miracles and offers forgiveness of sins.” Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk(4)?'” And of course, the greatest miracle is the saving of a lost soul through the power of the gospel. Whether it’s believing God for divine healing or a physical miracle or seeing the hardest hearts melt under the love and conviction from the message of Jesus death and resurrection, the evangelist specializes in giving God space to work the impossible. Under the preaching of the evangelist, the whole church is stirred to believe God for His suddenlys. Hopeless situations in souls, bodies, marriages, and families become an opportunity for God to perform His redemptive power through the ministry of the evangelist.

4. Evangelists are an answer to the prayers of the prayer movement.

“Then Jesus said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest (5).”’ Through the past half century God restored the roar of the prayer movement in America. Prayer breakfasts, conferences, and mass gatherings were the norm in multiple denominations crying out for a revival and a great harvest of souls. Lou Engle gave much of His ministry to prayer’s of repentance and the call to a John the Baptist ministry. Lou Himself in the past few years has started to make a shift in His ministry proclaiming that if the first call was for John the Baptist then God’s answer to that call is Jesus ministry with the proclamation of the gospel with signs following. God raises up a prayer movement to bring answers to those prayers. The prayers that have been sowed in the past decades are bringing forth a harvest in this generation.

5. Evangelists are zealous to speak the truth in love.

Evangelists call people to a decision. Evangelists are black and white. Peter proclaimed in the first evangelistic sermon of the early church “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (6).” Evangelists call people to repent and believe. Evangelists have a disgust for sin but a great compassion on sinners. The evangelist says repent and believe. The evangelist proclaims that you either gather people to Christ or scatter people from Him. The evangelist trusts in the authority of Scripture while applying its truth not as a weapon but as a remedy. The evangelist embodies the message of no compromise while simultaneously protecting love.

6. Evangelists are in-part responsible for great awakenings and national revivals.

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too (7),” said the city leaders of Thessalonica of the early church. Evangelists restore the city shaking power of the gospel to the church and birth movements that touch nations. Throughout church history, we see a variety of revivals. Some are prayer revivals with a marked emphasis on repentance and holiness, others are based in teaching or miracles. But many revivals and awakenings throughout church history were gospel preaching revivals that were spearheaded by those that proclaimed the centrality of the gospel message. Evangelists gather crowds and make a mark on cities, regions, and nations for the cause of Christ.

7. Evangelists cause the church to be a mighty river instead of stagnant body of water.

Without an outlet, a body of water can become stagnate like a pond. God intended for the church to become a mighty and powerful river. When the church is inwardly focused only we lose the mandate of Jesus, which was “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (8).” The evangelist empowers the church to stay true to the mission from our Lord and Savior to go after the lost and the least. The church can’t afford to spend most of its time infighting and micromanaging unnecessary details while those apart from Christ are perishing in their sin. Evangelists are restoring the outflow of God’s power from the church to the world so desperately in need.

8. Evangelists refocus the church on the centrality of the gospel not only for the lost but also the saved.

The word evangelist and the gospel are almost the exact same word in the Greek language. The evangelist is on fire with one message, the message of Jesus. Gospel means good news and an evangelist is essentially a good news-er, if you will. The evangelist recovers the scope, the depth, the simplicity and the power of the gospel message. “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it (9)!” Evangelists not only reach lost souls but they help the church recover the joy of her salvation in the simple yet most powerful message that Jesus death, burial, and resurrection are what changes and sustains our life in God.

Just as Billy Graham served (and still continues to do so) the purposes of God in His generation, God is raising up a mighty movement of evangelists in America and across the globe. The God of Billy Graham is the same God at work in our generation and He is looking for those who will take great risks with Him to win cities and nations back to His heart. May Christ Jesus be glorified among all people and all nations through the ministry of evangelists until everybody hears the good news and has an opportunity to call upon Jesus as Lord.

 


1. Romans 5:8
2. 1 Timothy 2:4
3. Ephesians 4:11-12
4. Luke 5:23
5. Luke 10:2
6. Acts 2:38
7. Acts 17:6
8. Mark 16:15
9. 2 Corinthians 11:2-4

All Scriptures quoted are in NKJV.

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Represent Band: who we are

HOW IT HAPPENED

Created by Pastor John in early 2016 Represent Band brought together musicians from several local churches, who are hungry for the presence of God. God’s hand has been evident from day one the unity this group displays is a testimony to his work in bringing them together.

MEET THE TEAM

Barry Eggehorn:
Worship Pastor at Hope Christian Church, Barry leads this group. Barry continually reminds us through his incredible example that our purpose is to usher in the presence of God and lead others to meet Jesus through worship. He is supported by both his lovely wife Stephanie and his Senior Pastor Anthony Simmons. He has fun, loves his family dearly and pushes us to be excellent.

Andrew Montoya:
Worship Pastor at Clearview Foursquare Andrew brings so much joy to the team. You never know when him and Adam are going to break out in song, usually always singing flat, but when it happens I promise the joy of the Lord will be upon you. Andrew is talented and creative in many areas, loves Jesus deeply and releases such an encounter with the Lord when he leads.

Adam Truitt:
Coming to Represent Band from Millcreek Foursquare Church Adam has been the perfect addition to this ban.! He keeps you laughing for hours. He is one of our electric guitar players and always impresses us with his perfect tone, and space Christmas*.

Bryce and Miracle Badure:
An incredible couple also from Hope Christian Community Church. They are a great example of true teamwork. Bryce plays bass and Miracle sings lead and background vocals. They capture some of the funniest moments behind the scenes. They love Jesus so much and it is so evident in their care for others.

Brian Bobko:
Our incredible drummer. He has blown us away with his talent and longing to be better. He encourages and pushes us to be better and to go farther. You will not meet anyone more hungry for Jesus, who is willing to step to the side and serve so others can have a chance to shine.

Ryan and Chloe Danley:
Ryan and Chloe serve as Young Adult worship Leaders at Sonrise Christian Center. Ryan has filled more shoes than all of us. He plays electric, recorded, produced and did everything in-between for our album and makes sure that we have what we need. He serves with passion, and we are so thankful for him. Chloe, Ryan’s wife has helped lead, sing background vocals and she has awesome job of managing this amazing group of people! She loves Jesus deeply and has big dreams for this band. She has a mother’s heart to see young people turn back to their first love, Jesus.

We are all so thankful to be a part of such an incredible ministry and are honored that Pastor John saw something in each of us. This last year and half has shown this team that when you put God at the foundation He makes something so beautiful. With full time jobs, attending different churches, but totally surrendered to God, He unifies us, brings everything together and our worship is a sweet sound to him. We could not do any of this without HIM.

For booking info, please email: represent@isonrise.org

*Space Christmas is a glorious sound that comes from the perfect combination of reverb and delay, mixed with an arpeggiated picking pattern.

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R E P R E S E N T L I V E

Represent Movement has the great honor and privilege of announcing the release of Represent Band’s first album. The band is made up of five congregations coming together to work with Represent Movement to see people encounter the love of God through worship.

The album is comprised of both original songs written by the team as well as cover songs from various artists. It includes 11 songs and two spoken word tracks from the founder of Represent Movement, John Hammer as well as Andre Benjamin, an avid supporter of Represent Movement. The album was recorded live in August of 2016 at Represent Movements Represent Summer Conference.

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Thank You And Recap

Thank you everyone who was a part of Represent Power and Love Conference. What a powerful weekend of not only encountering God but seeing the church get outside the four walls to represent Jesus in love and power. We are still hearing stories of what took place over the weekend and we are so grateful to God for how he changes lives. Represent Movement was honored to be able to partner with Todd White and Lifestyle Christianity to do this conference as a Power and Love. Our mission at Represent Movement is to proclaim the love, power and truth of Jesus and equip those that do. We are already starting to make plans for our 2018 Represent Conference and as soon as details get confirmed we will let you know. Here are a few things coming up with Represent Movement

Representmovement.com is getting upgraded with a blog, music, missions, and more.
Represent Live Worship Album is being released on March 10, 2017. It will be for sale in our online store and distributed through iTunes and more as a digital copy.
Represent Movement Podcast
Represent Clothing is now for sale
Connecting with us:
We are also working on future dreams and projects for new believer follow-up booklets, video outreaches, equipping series on evangelism and identity in Christ. If you have testimonies to share from Represent Power and Love or if we can be of service to help support churches and believers in the work evangelism please contact us at representmovement@isonrise.org

Recap Video
Here is a the Weekend Recap Video of Represent Power and Love 2017

Represent Team Itinerary
March 2-5, 2017 // Restore the Roar, NW Intercessors Conference at Sonrise Christian Center, Everett WA. // Come hear John Hammer and Represent Band along with Rachel Hickson and more! To register CLICK HERE!
In Christ,

John Hammer
Represent Movement Founder

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2017 Entering with a Bang.

We are excited to hear of all those who are already signed up, coming from all over Washington State, Canada, Oregon and beyond.

As the year kicks off- plan to spend some time with Represent Movement and be a part of Represent Power and Love, coming in February. REGISTER NOW if you haven’t already! The deadline for early registration is January 11th.

Thank you for praying and supporting Represent, we believe this is a year of God awakening people to really know him and Representing him in a new way.

Blessings,

John Hammer
Represent Movement
Founder and Director

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Blessing for Change

Have you ever wanted to change someone? Does that sound too controlling? How about, have you ever wanted to motivate someone to do something positive in their life?

pexels-photo-27118

There are essentially two ways to help motivate someone. The first, motivate someone through the pain of discipline. The old school coach or teacher that is convinced that yelling and intensity of speech will do the trick is an example of negative motivation. This approach has an upside and that is helping one see their blind spots or their negative areas in hopes that they can improve upon them. The downside is when a spouse does this they becoming about annoying as a dripping faucet (Proverbs 19:13).

The second way to motivate someone is to use the power of blessing. Blessing someone respects who they are as a person and pulls out their poteHave you ever wanted to change someone? Does that sound too controlling? How about, have you ever wanted to motivate someone to do something positive in their life?ntial.

Blessing for change in parenting, marriage and leadership is powerful. It’s actually the premise of the gospel. The gospel exemplifies this by giving us what we don’t deserve, when we don’t deserve it, to motivate us to overcome where we deserve judgement.

In Luke 3, Jesus gets baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus is submerged under the river and as He rises the voice of God the Father declares, “This is my beloved Son in who I am well pleased.” Jesus hadn’t started his ministry yet. He hadn’t done anything yet other then get baptized. The Father blessed Jesus before He earned the affirmation.

There’s a place for discipline. Love isn’t ooshy gooshy all the time. “Love doesn’t rejoice in evil, but rejoice in the truth (1 Corinthians 13). Sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow.

How do you motivate others? How are you motivated most effectively?

What if parents blessed their kids even in areas of weakness before they earned it and the kids rose up to the level of that blessing? What if people reach as high as they are blessed?

Shia Lebeouf was told by his mom as a toddler that he would one day meet Steven Spielberg and he ended up working with him. While a controversial figure at times, he rose to the level of his parents blessing.

Phil Knight, founder and former CEO of Nike shoes was a young man that literally sought his father’s blessing to take a journey around the world and pitch an idea to a Japanese business so that he could start a shoe company. I don’t need to elaborate on the success of Nike or Phil Knight to know that he rose to the level of his father’s blessing.

Take some Bible history, the controversial character Jacob, who had to manipulate and lie to his Dad Isaac to receive the blessing of the firstborn belonging to his older brother Esau. Jacob became Israel. The blessing of His dad while he was a liar caused his whole world to change. He went from a name meaning manipulator or supplanter to a name meaning prince. He’s a patriarch. He rose to the level of his father’s blessing.

I’m telling you that there is something to the power of blessing for change. I remember being so broken over my addiction to pornography and feeling like my whole life was going to be a failure. Then my dad stepped in and wrote this letter to me around Mother’s Day 2001 (he wrote a letter to my mom and siblings as well). I still go back to the letter sometimes because it was a full on assault to the shame that I was carrying.

What if you blessed your spouse to change, even when they didn’t deserve it? Your kids? Your employees? I’m not a pie in the sky kind of positive guy that thinks we should ignore problems at all costs. That’s fatal to put your head in the sand while something is hemorrhaging. And while we all need a little discipline, have we ignored the power of blessing?

How have you been changed by the power of blessing? Who do you need to unleash the power of blessing upon?
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The Man Formerly Known as Blind

“Do you also want to become His disciples?” said the former blind man to the Pharisees (the religious community leaders of Jesus day). That’s right. That’s what the former blind man said.

There was this man who was blind from birth and it was a popular notion among the Jews that if you had a disease it was due to your own sin or the sin of your parents. So, Jesus disciples asked Him when they came upon said blind man, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”‘

No sight, for life and all of a sudden, this blind man has one encounter with Jesus, the Light of the world, and everything changes. The Pharisees were so enraged that Jesus healed this man. Why is that religion is more concerned about their rules, then the needs of hurting people? They come and corner this young man, questioning him and his parents. That’s when he asks them if they want to be His disciples. Oh, they didn’t want to hear it. They thought He was mocking. But He wasn’t mocking, he was just so purely in love with Jesus because Jesus did the impossible.

The Pharisees would go on to try and malign the character of Jesus, but this formerly blind man says, “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” He’s not having it. Jesus touched the core need of His life with His power. Think about it. Everything changed for this guy. He goes from disabled to normal. He couldn’t see the face of his mom, but now he can. He can’t walk without assistance, but now he can. He couldn’t work a regular job, but now he can.

It’s amazing to me that after 2,000 years of Jesus walking the earth with all of our modern science and medicine that people’s core needs are still healing for physical disease and the forgiveness of their sins. People are still people, wondering why they were born with certain conditions of infirmity and pain. Blind people are still in need of their physical eyes being opened and spiritually blind people are still in need of the light of Jesus to open the eyes of their heart.

In the last year I saw God heal a man in the Philippines who was near blindness. I prayed for His eyes and He started to weep. His family started rejoicing as well as His blindness was reversing. A man at my home church, Sonrise Christian Center was praying with an elderly woman who was blind after a service within the past few months and Jesus opened her eyes. Jesus is still healing people’s blind eyes.

Jesus also went on in this story to follow up with the man formerly known as blind,

 “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”‘

So, Jesus uses this physical miracle to also demonstrate the need for all of us to have Jesus heal our spiritual blindness. This is the salvation that Jesus brings. He is the Light in our darkness of sin. Sin has made us blind. If we acknowledge our blindness, then Jesus can heal us and forgive our sins. If we say that “we see” or that “we’re cool” without Jesus, we are blind and our sin remains.

I love Jesus. He opened my eyes. I was bound in the darkness of sin and He changed me. What love. What compassion. What power.  Jesus told the blind man to go wash in the pool called “Sent.” Jesus was sent by the Father in heaven to heal the blind literally and to heal the blind spiritually. And when our eyes are opened by Jesus, we too are to wash our eyes in the pool called “Sent.” We are sent to tell people the story just like this former blind man. We are not trying to irritate people or be proud or even be “right.” We are just being true to tell the story. I once was blind but now I see. I once was trapped in darkness but my eyes were opened by Jesus.

Do you want to be His disciple too?

*All Scripture Quotations for this story were taken from John 9 NKJV.

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Preachers: Pushers of Hope

Hope. What a powerful force. Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl studied people that survived imprisonment and horrific situations to find that what separated them from those that didn’t make it was that the survivors found meaning in the midst of suffering. You see one of the greatest ways to defeat someone is to strip them of hope.

I believe that we are living in a generation plagued with hopelessness. The headlines are full of stories about jobs being replaced by automation, company layoffs, unemployment, terrorism and political chaos. But it’s not just current events that leave people hopeless. We live in an increasing godless society and with beliefs like  there is no God, no redemption or no afterlife, people start to lose meaning. When meaning is lost, hope is lost.Preachers have the unique ability to give people hope. We have hope in this life and hope for the world to come knowing that because Jesus is alive we have a place in this world and the next. Preacher, does the hearer walk away from your sermon and overflow with hope?

I believe that every time we preach the gospel something happens. Sin is confronted with grace and forgiveness. Sickness is healed and the oppressed go free. The gospel is good news. Good news produces hope!

Jesus stood up in the temple in Luke 4 and quoted from the prophet Isaiah in the daily temple reading and declared that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19 NKJV).”

What hope is in His preaching. If you are poor you are getting good news. If you are brokenhearted there is healing for you. If you’re a captive there is liberty. If you are blind, you are going to see. If you are oppressed, that’s right, there is freedom for you. And to top it off, this year is the acceptable year of the Lord or the time of God’s favor!

Preachers are hope pushers. Even James in James 1 and Paul in Romans 5, teach us through the Holy Spirit that trials and tribulation are opportunities for us to grow in patience and in character so that we can become complete people living in hope. In every situation, even trials and suffering, we are to preach hope.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:19 NKJV),” the apostle Paul stated. So the hope we preach is not just one dimensional for a better life now, it is an eternal hope. In fact, when we can’t figure out how to find hope in a given situation then it is exactly the reality of eternity that can give us meaning to find the hope we need.

Someone once said, “I used to be a hopeless dope fiend, now I’m a dope-less hope fiend.” Drug dealers push dope. The media pushes fear. Casinos push fantasies. Preachers push hope.

While the people are in fear, we the preachers give them hope to rise above.
While the people feel the pain of perseverance, we the preacher give them meaning to keep going through.

While the people have a limited perspective, we the preacher give them hope to see through the lens of eternity.

Preacher, how are you pushing hope in your preaching?
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Creative Nemesis: Distractions

Time to write. Sit down. The phone rings. I have to take this call. And while I’m on the phone I get two text messages. I wonder what’s on the news today. I need to stay informed. I don’t want to be out of touch. I just realized that I have two private messages on Facebook that I forgot to respond to.

Oh, what’s that? Turtles that do synchronized swimming to Michael Jackson songs?! Next up a video of chimpanzees doing motorcycle stunts. An endless stream of time wasters.

Distractions strike again. My nemesis is so subtle. 7 minutes into writing and all I’ve done is pour my writing time down the drain. If only I could get those 7 minutes back. Distractions come first and then I’m hit by the guilt of caving into distractions. It’s embarrassing really. Why can’t I just focus and hold it together?

Why I am such an emotional writer after all? Allowing my feelings to dictate what I am going to accomplish today. I’m in a rut and it’s only ten minutes into writing. Maybe I should look up an article on overcoming distractions. That will surely help. Only to get sucked into other random articles about weight loss and developing better sleep habits.

I don’t even have anything new written on the page. Distraction, my nemesis does whatever is necessary to stifle my creativity. I can’t take this one lying down. This is life and death. All out warfare.

My nemesis takes many forms but disguising himself as something else is his greatest tactic. That way I forget that he exists. I can’t always tell that I’m dealing with him when he looks like an interruption, a to do list, a phone call or people watching.

Don’t forget that he exists and he wants to make you numb with distractions. Be on the look out. G.I. Joe said, “Knowing is half the battle.” Don’t forget your creativity is warfare and you have a nemesis armed with the weapon of distraction.

What distraction takes you away from producing creatively? What can you do to neutralize that distraction?
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Political Elections Driving you Crazy? What they Reveal about the Longings of the Human Heart

Does the presidential election feel like a circus to you sometimes? Does it have you all crazy? Is your Facebook and Twitter feed filled with election gossip, slander and conspiracies that stress you out and get your family and friends all divided? Here I want to show you what this frustration reveals about the human heart and what republicans, democrats, socialists and communists all have in common.

 

That’s right, I believe that there is a common thread that is weaved between the hearts of us who are at times filled with angst and grief over the drama of the presidential election that cycles through every four years. What could republicans and democrats have in common? What could libertarians and the green party mutually desire? I’m not talking about specify policies, I am talking about the big picture and the core longings of the human heart.

I believe that the human heart is wired for good government. Our core desires include needing to attach, to be accepted, to have purpose or meaning and also to rule and be ruled. Maybe the idea of being “ruled” sounds like a monarchy or a dictatorship but all government is a form of rulership.

We are all researching, processing, even praying and trying to discern who the best elected official will be to rule our land. I believe that most of us are all looking for these qualities in our leader:

  1. A president who has integrity and keeps their promises.
  2. A president who repairs our system of caring for the sick and dying.
  3. A president who allows us to have a peaceful and safe life.
  4. A president who gives equal opportunities to all people and races and rules with fairness.
  5. A president who allows everyone to prosper.
  6. A president who creates a culture of acceptance and unity amongst all people.
  7. A president who allows us to be rewarded for hard work and for our ideas and contributions.
  8. A president who cares for the poor and oppressed.
  9. A president who removes corruption.
  10. A president who cares for our resources and economy.

Of course each political party and philosophy of government has a totally different and sometimes radically different way at arriving to these desired outcomes through our president. I get emotional looking over this short list above because there is an aching in my heart for the wars to stop, the economy to improve, the mess of healthcare to be fixed and a unity to be established amongst all people.

This ache, this longing, even the frustration and disappointment we feel when promises are broken and our systems of government are not functioning for the benefit of all people point to our core desire of good government. God gave Adam and Eve dominion, or rulership, over the earth in Genesis 1. This dominion mandate was to manage all the systems and resources of the earth, not to rule over or dominate people. Adam and Eve were under the rulership of God their Creator and they were to rule over the creation.

Our core desires are to have good rulership over us and to express rulership (again not over other people but over resources and systems of the creation). This longing that we desire and at times even ache for is found in the kingdom of God.

The Biblical narrative promises all the points above through the rulership or the reign of the kingdom of God on the earth through Jesus Christ.

  1. Jesus is the King who has integrity and keeps His promises (Hebrews 6:18).
  2. Jesus is the King who repairs our system of caring for the sick and dying and sustains life (Isaiah 65:20-25).
  3. Jesus is the King who allows us to have a peaceful and safe life (Isaiah 2:4, 11:6).
  4. Jesus is the King who gives equal opportunities to all people and races and rules with fairness (Jeremiah 3:17, Daniel 7:13-14).
  5. Jesus is the King who allows everyone to prosper (Isaiah 9:7).
  6. Jesus is the King who creates a culture of acceptance and unity amongst all people (Revelation 4, 5 & 7).
  7. Jesus is the King who allows us to be rewarded for hard work and for our ideas and contributions (Matthew 25:14-30).
  8. Jesus is the King who cares for the poor and oppressed (Luke 4:17-19).
  9. Jesus is the King who who removes corruption (Proverbs 11:1, Daniel 2:44).
  10. Jesus is the King who cares for our resources and economy (Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 34:29).

The system or the isms for man: capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, etc. they offer us promises like the kingdom of God. But what they all have in common is man ruling over man. Our great longing for unity and equality among all people and for this good government can only be fully established when Jesus reigns over all kingdoms and establishes the kingdom of God upon the earth. Your desires and longings are provided for in God’s kingdom.

Jesus taught that His kingdom has been started or inaugurated on the earth by His first coming. In John 3, Jesus said that if we are born again we can enter the kingdom of God. We can come under the rulership of God. If you believe in Jesus and make Him your King you enter into the kingdom of God now. God’s kingdom is fully established in heaven, where you enter spiritually by faith now. But one day, Jesus kingdom that has been started on the earth will be fully established and all those who believe in Jesus will pass from death to life and reign with Him on the earth (Revelation 5:10).

Those that follow Jesus, Christians, should influence our current government and political parties with the values of God’s kingdom. I am not advocating for disengagement. What I am trying to get you the reader to see is that Jesus is the King, the Ruler that everyone desires. I believe that the Biblical narrative makes the greatest sense of our desires. The Bible was so specific about Jesus first coming. Literally dozens of prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus in His first coming, His death, His burial and His resurrection. There are many more prophecies about Jesus second coming. As certain as the Scriptures were about Jesus first coming, so are they certain about His second coming.

Jesus is alive and He rules over all now, but it is a spiritual rulership over the hearts of men and women who have turned from their sin to receive pardon, freedom from hell and the gift of eternal life. Jesus will visibly return and His kingdom will not just be spiritually manifest and you need to decide now before its too late if you want to be a part of His kingdom (Acts 1:11, Revelation 19:11-16). Your desire to live long, to be free from death, debt and poverty, to see all people of all nations unify will be fully realized for all those who have bowed their knee to Jesus now in this life.

Jesus is King and He is the King that we desire to rule us in unity, fairness, love and justice! I urge you reader, search the Scriptures and the sayings of Jesus to see if these things are so. You get one life and death is certain. Come alive in the kingdom of God and receive Jesus today. He is waiting to be the ruler of your life, the kind of ruler that you have been longing for all along.

Have you received Jesus as King? Are you alive in the kingdom of God? Are your hopes in a perfect president or ruler of man? Are you wiling to turn from your sin and believe upon Jesus as the King of your life?

“For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13 NKJV).’” Never has His salvation meant so much to me in light of the kingdom of God.
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Millennials Watch out for This Trap

I love Millennials. There is a big trap out there that for you Millennials and I am issuing you a warning. ‘Millennials’ is the social term used to categorize young people born in the 80’s or 90’s (according to Webster). I was born in 1980 and so depending on who does the definition I am an old millennial or the youngest of Generation X (a child of the post baby boom 60s – 70s).

 

As a young adult pastor and Bible school teacher I get the privilege to work with Millennials. In my experience I have found them to be brilliant, resourceful, resilient, often coming out of brokenness but with a strong sense of destiny.

Young people, millennials, youth and young adults, etc. as I hear it are judged to lack the qualities of commitment and faithfulness. What makes this generation so lazy, so apathetic to commitment some wonder?

I am not claiming to be the bastion of all wisdom and knowledge concerning millenials nor am I saying that all millenials have a fear of commitment. However, I believe I’m on to something here that might be helpful. If it is, you’re welcome, if not then just dismiss my advice as ramblings from someone you don’t agree with.

Well, the young may certainly be afraid to commit because they have witnessed their parents not happy in giving a lifetime to one company or career path. They have seen their parents sacrifice their dreams for a pension that may not be there when they retire. Young people are told to pay into social security now with legitimate threats that they may not get back what they put into it. Millennials have heard the lecture, do good in high school, graduate from college and you will get a good job only to find that they aren’t always able to get a job anymore with a college degree in hand.

Research confirms the changing narrative that a college degree = good career. Last year a study showed that 44% of college graduates in their 20s are stuck in low wage jobs. Companies aren’t hiring you just because you have a degree anymore.

From my observation, my parents generation (Baby Boomers) believed that you get a degree, you get hired at a good company, you stay faithful to them and they will be faithful to you. The goal was to get promoted, stay loyal for a long time and retire with a good pension when you are 62. The shifting economy and social landscape of this generation sees an employer as a step to being able to pursue personal destiny. Employees are less faithful to their employers and with disappearing pension plans, reduced health benefits and automation, employers are also less faithful to their employees.

However, we are still in the early days of what is possible with the internet. Millennials have seen “nobodies” rise from obscurity to fame and wealth via YouTube, reality TV, Facebook or starting their own internet business. Self-publishing, free recording and editing software has removed so many barriers to people doing their dream.

I get it. There is a tension. Do I do my dream or do I work 40+ hours a week for someone who might lay me off and cut my benefits?

I do believe that in this time of unprecedented opportunity, their is a subtle but powerful fear that is motivating the young generation. It goes like this, “If I tie myself down to a commitment, then I might miss the big opportunity that is coming around the corner.” It’s like there is some gut feeling that a big red shiny train of breakthrough on the tracks to destiny is coming at any moment and when it comes if I am committed to something or someone then I won’t be able to jump on that train in the tiny window of time that I have to make the leap.

It’s fear of missing out. I am all for encouraging people to have big dreams and compelling vision for their life but if you don’t commit out of fear you are missing out on the rewards of faithfulness. If you can’t be faithful with something small then you won’t be faithful with something big. Faithfulness and commitment will make you stand out in a culture where everyone is in “wait” mode. “I just have this feeling…” “My big break is coming…” “Blah…blah…blah…” You want to hit it big in music then start practicing everyday, take lessons, find an internship at a recording studio. You want to run a successful business, then get a job in a related field, ask for a mentor, read books on the topic.

Start small and stay committed to your relationships. Relational integrity will create capital for you and people will trust you so much that they will go out of their way to open doors for you. Don’t be a doormat, but serve and develop your skills by putting some roots down in relationship. It doesn’t mean you have to stick around at the same job, school, internship or church forever. But don’t expect a walk in the park. Work hard, serve, commit to people and to a process of development.

There are some legitimate questions and concerns to raise about finding your path in the world according to traditional wisdom. But do not throw out the timeless principles of faithfulness and commitment in your quest for destiny. Don’t let fear be your motivator. Opportunities come to the faithful. Don’t be afraid to put roots down. Those roots going down might produce the fruit that opens the next opportunity that you were dreaming about all along.

What are you afraid to commit to?
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Pulpits on Fire

All across the nation, churches are ridding themselves of the ancient pulpit. Pulpits are on fire, burned because they are no longer of use.

Churches are using flat tables now or no table now. Maybe the preacher is seated. The sermon is a talk. The preacher doesn’t want to sound “preachy” so he “shares” instead. The speaking time needs to feel as a conversation for some.

Not using a pulpit isn’t necessarily bad. Pulpits weren’t used in the time of Jesus or the apostle Paul. There is no Biblical mandates to use pulpits. So it makes sense to get rid of them for some I guess. Pulpits are on fire all across the nation as it’s symbol of authority is not longer relevant.

But that’s my problem, not that the literal pulpit being replaced with something more modern or not being used at all, is that pulpit has been replaced in an era where people are no longer giving authority to the Word of God. We the people have set the pulpit on fire, but it’s time for pulpits to be burning with the fire of God.

The preacher standing at the pulpit (again literally or figuratively for those that want to keep a fresh look, no judgement) speaks for God. That’s why pulpits were lifted up on the stage above the people. The preacher speaks for God. Some would argue, “but Jesus came not to stand behind a pulpit, but as a Servant of the people, lowly and born in a manger.” This is true but Jesus was also a Preacher, Teacher and Prophet. All throughout His ministry the people said, He teaches with such “authority.”

Jesus came as a Servant to die for the sins of all people. Jesus came as a Servant loving the sinner and the broken. But He also came preaching about the kingdom of God, repent and believe! Jesus came preaching that the way to eternal life is narrow. Jesus was never vague about His identity and He was never vague about demanding total allegiance.

Preachers, we must preach with authority. We must have humility in our hearts and let God work in us before He works through us. But I am afraid that we have stripped our churches of symbols of authority and somewhere in the minds of people we are eroding the concept that God’s Word is the authority in our lives. May the authority of the pulpit never be so much about the preacher as much as the authority of God and His Word that the preacher represents.

As one man said, preachers are to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I am afraid we have replaced that type of preaching with comforting the comfortable. God help us.

So, should preachers be harsh and judgmental, hardly. But we should not be following the trends of the culture or even necessarily the trends in the church. Preachers speak the truth in love. Preachers confront people with truth about their present condition and lead them to the Source of unconditional hope. Preachers move angels and demons. Preachers with  pulpits on fire cut people to the heart and cause them to long for the gospel. Preachers stir up a spirit of repentance and hunger for God. Preachers call people to a fresh commitment and application to walk with God.

Preacher, I don’t care if you have a house church, an internet church or a big church where your pulpit is a coffee table and you sit on a couch. What I do care about is men and women of God who preach with authority from the Scriptures. Every awakening has voices. May God set pulpits on fire with the fire of the Holy Spirit all across our nation again. May men and women of God burn with that holy flame of Pentecost as they declare the truth in love. May God restore the voice of authority to preachers who love the Scriptures all across our land.
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Humility

The rewards of being clothed in humility are too great to ignore its importance. Self-promotion, self-help and self-actualization are the buzz of the culture but what happened to self-denial?

 

“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,(1 Peter 5:5-6 NKJV).”

Bible teacher Peter Wagner states that if humility is something we are instructed to be “clothed with” then we can know if we are being humble or not. We know if we put our pants on or if we didn’t. Some would argue that if you think you are humble you are not. I agree with Wagner, we can evaluate whether or not we are humble.

What is Humility?

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, its thinking of yourself less,” said C.S. Lewis. James Ryle said, “Humility is the God-given self assurance that eliminates the need to prove to others the worth of who you are, and the rightness of what you do.” Humility is a dependance on God and on what God says about you. When you know who God is and who you are there is freedom to be less occupied with yourself.

I also believe that humility is a posture of the heart. Its an attitude that you choose. The two easiest ways to measure my humility, are one, am I teachable? And two, am I serving others? At the end of the day you have to ask yourself will I “submit to elders?” Do I take seriously the counsel that those older and wiser speak into my life? Do I have a teachable spirit? Do I serve other people? Do I put the interests of others over myself? I am not speaking about having no boundaries and neglecting all self-care. But it is helpful to allow God to check our motives.

What are Humility’s Benefits?

If God exalts those that humble themselves, then humility is the key to all promotion in life. If you exalt yourself and live in pride, you only go as far as you can take yourself, but when you live in humility you go wherever God can take you. If you live in pride you are limited to what you can do, but when you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God you are limitless in what God can accomplish through you.

Humility is a magnet for grace of God, for God’s favor.

Humility opens you to the wisdom of sages and elders.

Humility saves you from the wrong opportunities and the right opportunities at the wrong time.

Humility limits you from opportunities that you don’t even know about and empowers you to not care about.

Humility qualifies you for opportunities and prepares you for opportunities that pride longs for and allows you into them when you are ready.

Humility draws people to you.

Humility is rewarded.

Humility stops you from things that will harm you or kill you.

God who hung the stars and holds the universe together, God big and powerful, God who does the impossible, He is paying attention to the posture of your heart to reward it in humility. The proud God will have nothing to do with, but the humble draws the resources of heaven.

“He will beautify the humble with salvation (Psalm 149:5 NKJV).”

Do you have any thoughts to add on the benefits of humility? Please leave them in the comments below and please share this blog post if it has encouraged you or helped you.