DID YOU GATHER FRESH MANNA TODAY?

Exodus 16:4: Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day……  21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating.

Mark 1:35,37: (Jesus) And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
 
Matthew 6:11Give us this day our daily bread.

Do we make it a habit to go meet Jesus every morning?

 
Jesus who was perfect met with the Father every morning for fellowship and to receive a fresh supply of marching orders.  The Father decided where He should go and who He should help and heal. Take a moment and think about it.  Did Jesus ever fail or ever get into a rush?  Did He ever get worried or flustered when the multitude surrounded Him?  The reason Jesus always succeeded and never worried is that He did only what the Father told Him and God the Father was never wrong.

Why do we believe we are any different?  Jesus, who was full of the Holy Spirit made it a point to get fresh guidance before every hard day ahead.  I think the reason we neglect to get fresh guidance every morning is that we believe we are too busy and have too many demands.  It says in Mark 1:37: that all men seeked Him.  Do you believe you are busier than Jesus?  Have you ever had to preach all day and then go feed 5000 people?  Did you ever go into a town and heal all the sick and lame who came? Do you have to walk every where you go?

Have you ever considered that our days and lives would be smoother if we also received fresh guidance every day?  I would like to make an analogy here between (Old Testament) OT Israel and (New Testament) NT Christians.  In the OT – Exodus 16:4 God told Israel to gather fresh manna daily – to ensure freshness and prepare them for the upcoming day.  In the NT Christians are exhorted to pray continuously, and as cited above in Matt 6:11 to pray for our daily bread.  You see we also need to be fed by God daily and to be fresh and prepared for each new day.

Many have been deceived into thinking that they can go and receive weekly bread on Sunday morning and make it last for the whole week. God told Israel if you try to gather more than a day worth it will spoil and stink.  Does your life feel like it is rotten and it stinks?  

Maybe you need to go get your daily bread and renew it every morning with new blessings from God.

And to top it off; God is waiting every morning for you, He wants that time with you.  Just as He looked forward to seeing Jesus every morning, He is also looking forward to spending time with you because He loves you.

Verses From the Book of Psalms 
 
Psalms 5:3: My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
 
Psalms 55:17: Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.
 
Psalms 59:16: But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.
 
Psalms 88:13: But to You, I have cried out, O Lord, And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
 
Psalms 92:2: To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night,
 
Psalms 119:147: I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
 
Psalm 143:8Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

 

Written by Dennis Stauffer
Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

AM I GOING TO HEAVEN? DOES GOD LOVE ME?

HOW DO I KNOW IF I WILL GO TO HEAVEN?

This is very simple to discover. 

Do you know Him personally here on this side of Eternity? 

Is Jesus, the King of your life and do you hear HIs voice? 

Do you know that there is nothing you can do to earn your way to Heaven or earn God’s favor or love? Including going to church, being baptized, receiving sacraments, even doing good works and or living a good life? 

Do you know that Jesus came and died and paid for all your sins and there is nothing you can do to earn it? It is a free gift, to all who humble themselves to his finish work at the cross and His resurrection. 

  • Simply come to the end of yourself as a sinner or a person who is attempting to earn Heaven by religious ways. Confess your need for Him.
  • Believe by Faith, that Jesus (God in the flesh) came and died to pay for all your sins, every one of them and he will never hold them against you. Your debt was paid at the cross in full. His resurrection is proof that He lives, you also will live. All you have to do is ask and receive it by faith that Jesus paid all your sins.  
  • Now thank Him and make Him, Lord and Master over your life. He will guide you and speak to you if you open your spiritual ears and listen.

—————————————————————————————————————–

Do Not Be Fooled! For You To Live Your Life Without Him Here! You also Decided to Live Your Eternal Life Without Him There.

God Never Sends Anyone To Hell, That Is Your Decision Where You Spend  Eternity. 

NO Jesus Here; NO Jesus There!

by Dennis Stauffer

To study and understand more about eternal life and how much God really loves you, click below on the red box:

How Do I Receive Eternal Life?

The Lord Said; Sit Down, I Will Get Your Keys?

If there is anything I love to do, it is to start a person on a spiritual journey!  On June 10, 1985, after a long time as an addict, I met the Lord personally and He spoke to me.  While speaking to me, He also relieved me of my alcoholism and addictions.  I have now listened to His still small voice and His instructional Word for over 32 years.

My sole purpose is to show people that God is not off somewhere in the cosmos but He can be as near as our own hearts.  I would like to share that you too can have a personal one on one encounter and relationship with God.  God is simply waiting for you and I to come and meet Him.  So as I love to say, God cannot be proven, He can only be experienced in a one on one relationship.  Enjoy this testimony!

On July 3, 2017, I woke up and discovered I had lost my keys, keys to the house, trailer, and truck.  I knew the keys had to be here because my truck was here and I drove it home the night before.  This was not a good way to start my Monday morning!  I looked everywhere!  I overturned everything including my bed and I searched everywhere, finally getting to the point of total frustration.  I spent 2 hours going through everything!  Finally, I turned to God.  Why did I wait so long?

If you know anything about me, I cherish my Morning quiet time with God.  I get my coffee, my devotionals, and Bible and I spend my first part of every day with the Lord.  I have done this for 3o years.  I love making the Lord the first part of my day.

In the midst of my searching frustration, while I really wanted to spend the morning with the Lord, I heard His voice saying:

Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

I thought to myself, “what does that mean?”  The Lord spoke again and said “sit down, do your prayer time and relax, I will bring your keys to you.  Seek me first!”  

I went and got my coffee, sat down and then forced myself not to worry or doubt.  I knew that the Lord could bring my keys to me.  So I spent a half hour doing my quiet time and then went into the house and started working for the ministry.  I was still wondering in the back of my mind, how was the Lord going t o bring my keys?  Then Mark, one of the guys I live with, came in with my keys.  He said; “someone put your keys in my car by accident.”

The Lord lived up to His promise and had my keys brought to me, just like He said He would.

He is good and faithful!

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

If you like our Post please “SHARE IT” on Facebook and Twitter!  When you share this post you not only help our ministry but furthermore when you share you are helping to spread the Gospel.  Your sharing might bring someone, maybe the someone you have been praying for, into a personal relationship with Jesus and therefore into the Kingdom of God!

Also before you leave the website, please look around the site.  DSI/Hands In Action is a missionary team who help the poorest of the poor in Northern Guatemala.  Please sign up for our newsletter on this website and also on Facebook.  Thank you.

If DSI has blessed you, please consider becoming a Partner with us to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and be His Hands in Action in Guatemala and around the world with this teaching ministry.

Go to the donation page and become a “missionary partner” with us.  

DONATE

When you give you are partnering with me to become a fellow servant for Jesus in this “hungry” world.  Thanks again for blessing not only this ministry but also for serving with and for the Lord.

 

A Parable Of A Rich Homeless Beggar!

A Parable Of A Rich Homeless Beggar!

Once upon a time, there was a homeless beggar who sat on the street corners of Colorado Springs begging for money.  He did this year after year, in the cold of winter and the scorching heat of summer, no matter how hard he tried nothing ever got better for him.

Then, one day a very rich man, walking down the street came to the corner and saw this homeless beggar, he stood there in horror and in shock at who he was seeing!  The reason was, this person on the corner was his brother!

The rich brother exclaimed: “Brother, what are you doing?  Why are you living on this corner and begging like this?  Do you not know, our father has left you a considerable fortune and has it deposited in the bank?” 

Now the beggar looks at his brother and has five choices in response to this good news he just heard.

Option Response #1, The Unbeliever:  The beggar looks up and says; “ I do not believe that for one minute!  That is all a fairy tale and you must think I am a fool to believe such nonsense and please do not waste my time with such wives tales.  He blows off his brother and continues to go on begging and nothing changes.  He dies begging on the corner with all his great wealth in the bank.

Option Response # 2; The Angry Child:  The beggar looks up and says in his angriest voice; Brother, do you not know how much I hated father, he was never there when I needed him.  If he loved me, why did he allow all those things in my life to happen?  Our Father, with all his great power and riches, did he ever change anything in this world?  He tells his brother to leave and never speak such foolishness to him again because of his great anger for his father.  He dies living on the corner with all his great wealth still in the bank.

Option Response #3; The Proud Religous Son:  The beggar looks up and sees his brother and hugs him with the warmest response.  The rich son asked: “Why brother are you living on this corner and in poverty when our father has left you such wealth?”  The beggar responses; ” Why do I need that, when I am doing it on my own?  I am the most successful beggar of all time.  I do not need our fathers help in any way.  I do all these good works and I help so many others.  I have studied all there is to know about begging and getting wealth.  I am the hardest worker on these corners and I will achieve this on my own without our fathers help.  The beggar works all his life and dies without any success or wealth.  His great pride keeps him from what he had already in the bank.

Option Response #4; The Self Loather:   The beggar looks up and sees his brother, at first he tries to hide his face.  The Rich Brother says: “Brother, why are you sitting here on the corner when you are an heir to a fortune?”  The beggar brother explains: I am not worthy of my father’s love and all that he has for me.  I can never believe nor will I ever that he will forgive a person like me.

Option Response #5; The Receiving Son:   The rich brother calls out to his brother on the corner; Brother, I am so saddened you are living on this corner in poverty and without food or money.  Do you not know our father has deposited into your account a considerable inheritance.  It is all there waiting for you to make a withdrawal from the bank.  The beggar son looks up and says; “this news is too good to be true (the gospel)!”  Let us go and enjoy what father has left and let me begin a new life without being a beggar.  They both go to the bank and make a  withdraw and the rich son now shows his beggar brother a new way to live with the inheritance of their father.

The Meaning Of The Parable

The point of this parable is that God became man and His name was Jesus.  He came so he could reconcile man back to himself.  He loves us with all His heart and He wants fellowship with all humanity, we are His children.  He did not let your sins just slide by nor did He just turn His head to them.  The father had Jesus pay for them all at the cross at Calvary.  He did this to remove any separation you have between him and you (that is your sin and rebellion).  Your sin debt is all paid for and it is deposited into a spiritual bank account just waiting for you to accept it.  It also comes along with a wonderful inheritance and with so many benefits the father has bestowed on you, including eternal life.  So with this wonderful news just presented to you, like our beggar, now you have five different ways to respond to this wonderful gift;

  • Be an unbeliever and think this is nothing more than a religious fairy tale.
  • Be an angry person and blame God for all the wrongs in your life and in this world.
  • Be a religious person, believe all religions can get you to heaven, that is if you truly are a good person.  You can also believe that you can work and be good enough to get yourself into heaven.  That is through baptism, good works, following the Law or the Golden rule, doing sacraments and also believing you are a Christian because you go to church and maybe even have become a long-standing member.
  • Be a self-loather and believe your sins are greater than God’s love and grace for you.  You can also be so convinced that there is nothing you could ever do that could get you to heaven, again because you are a worthless sinner.  You can also believe that God wants nothing to do with you, which is a lie.
  • The fifth and only correct response is to hear the good news that God has paid your sin debt and is willing to accept and to adopt you into His family, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This makes you a joint heir to Jesus.  He exchanged His perfect God life for your sinful and hopeless life.  All we have to do is accept this free gift and receive a total pardon of our sins and become a member of God’s Family.

I pray that you will make the right choice today and receive God’s full pardon on your life.  If you have more questions on eternal life and how to receive it go to   http://dsiministries.com/do-you-want-eternal-life/

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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The Encounter: A God-Hating Atheist’s Journey To Find Out The Truth

The corner where I had my own Encounter 


My Journey To Find Out If God Existed

Does God Exist or Just another Fairy Tale

What a question to ask? Unfortunately, it is a relevant question because no matter what you believe or do not believe, there is one fact that faces us all…..

DEATH, WE ALL HAVE A DATE WITH THAT PINE BOX.  IT MIGHT BE SOONER THAN YOU THINK!

What Will You Do When You Die?

Some may ignore this question.  Some might live life like it doesn’t really end, but that is not reality!  You absolutely need to investigate the one area of your life that you will not escape.

When I was 12 years old, I became an atheist, hardcore alcoholic and druggy.  I did not want anything to do with Jesus or any type of religion.  That is until I ran out of options of getting sober.  The only choice I had left according to my rehab counselor was …. to find God!  I don’t like being forced into a decision, and I certainly did not like this option, but it was better than the alternative, drinking myself to death.  Which, according to my counselor was not so far away.  Nevertheless, through foolish living, I stayed in this condition for nearly another decade.

Then, finally, I woke up and I earnestly sought God through prayer.  God answered me and on June 10, 1985, my questions came to an end when in a life crisis I called on the name of Jesus and He appeared to me in the physical realm.  I found out that God really did exist.  Not only do I believe in God, I KNOW JESUS PERSONALLY and we have now been walking together for 32 years, ever since that day that I cried out to Jesus.

So I want you to know from one former atheist that God really exists and Jesus is the Savior of the World.  I hope you will begin your spiritual journey today and do not put off what is inevitable, – your own death, for today you are one step closer than you were yesterday.

Isn’t it time to start, let me help.

First, God cannot be proven!  You say why?  That is because God wants to be experienced and be met on a one on one personal level.  He is a person and you are created in His image.  So like any other person, He would personally like to meet you.  God does not want to be the basis of some science project.  God does not want you to try and prove whether or not He exists.  If He wanted to prove Himself, He could and would just appear in the sky for all to see.  He has chosen the more personal way of meeting you, one on one. 

How Can I Meet God?

I can only tell you my own journey and be only what the Bible calls a witness – someone who can tell you what they saw and heard and experienced. 

After leaving that counselor’s office, I was depressed but determined to never go back to my addiction.  I also decided to keep my word and do whatever he told me to do, in order to achieve sobriety!

I was told every morning to get on my knees (this was for me only because of my ego and pride issues).

My prayers were; “God, IF YOU REALLY EXIST I need your help!  I cannot stop drinking for any amount of time and I was told if I asked for your help, you would help me.  So please, HELP ME! Please help me know if you are real or not?

My night time prayer was only this: THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER SOBER DAY!

WHAT HAPPENED?

At first, NOTHING!  Then after a short while, some very strange “coincidences” started to happen.  There were many times that I needed something that was really important and then out of the blue it was supplied.

In addition to material needs being supplied, I started receiving non-material answers to questions that were plaguing me.  For example, I would have a question or problem with no answer or solution.  Then someone would come up to me, start a “random” conversation and during the discussion would end up supplying an answer or provide a solution to my problem.  This scenario happened more than once.

Each time this occurred I sort of “freaked out”.  How was this happening I would ask myself?   At this time I was not ready to admit that some higher power or a spiritual being was at work in my life.

So I put God to the test.

I would take these problems or questions to Him personally and tell Him to answer them if He was really listening.  Every time, He would answer them like I said above or by speaking to me in my head.  I then would try the solution and it would always work.  One example; my car broke down in Pittsburgh and I hardly knew anyone since I was from another town in Pennsylvania.  I called on God while on the highway and said If you are listening I need help because I have no money and no one to call (cell phones were not available yet!)  As soon as that prayer went out, 5 minutes later a friend from the rehab pulled up behind me and as you might think, he was a mechanic!

June 10, 1985;  7 months into recovery and after I moved back home,  I stayed with my sister who was also in recovery.  We had a horrible disagreement and she asked me to leave.  I ended up once again homeless.  I tried to get a place to stay but with no money, a broken down car again, no one wanted to help me.  I ended up back at a corner where I used to hang out and drink. (the picture above is the exact corner)  No one was there.  I sat there for hours and I prayed but it seemed to me God was not at home either!  The self-pity and despair set in around twelve midnight.

Then this tempting voice came to me, and said, “Dennis why are you sitting on this corner alone?  You know what to do!  Go down to your corner bar which was only 3 blocks away and pick up a woman like you have done so many times before.  You know you do not have to drink.”  The battle began in my mind and soul not to go there and listen to this lie.  I knew it was a lie because I had done this so many times before and ended up drunk and back in my addiction.

1:30 am; It was only a half hour to the bar was going to close and I was growing weaker and the temptation was more than I could bear.  At this time in my recovery, the shaking and compulsion had not left yet.  I still struggled with it every day since I stopped drinking.

I finally cried out to God; “If you really exist I cannot deal with this invisibility stuff anymore.  If you do not come and help me, I am going to end up drinking and it will be the end of my life.  Please come and relieve me of this temptation.”

In the Bible when Paul describes the time he went to heaven, he could not even tell if he left his body or if this was really happening to him….

2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

This is the closest I can describe the feeling and what was happening to me.  Jesus was in front of me, in me and encompassed my whole being. THIS POWERFUL AND WONDERFUL PRESENSES WAS SURROUNDING ME!  The peace, joy, and rapture I was feeling were nothing I had ever felt in my life.  Drugs or alcohol did not compare to what I was feeling in His presence.  Then there was that voice, the voice was like His presence.  It also encompassed me, I could hear Him audibly and also in me and through me.  It was like every cell in my body was in tune with His voice.  It was the most remarkable experience I ever had.  I remember that all I could say was; “you really exist!  You are really here!  “Jesus said to me; ” I have always been with you nor will I ever leave you or forsake you.”

I am not sure how long He was with me, but He said many things to me.  He then told me he had one more gift for me.  He was going to remove the demons that held me in the alcohol and violent life I was living.  I literally could feel them leaving my body and they have never been back in 32 years.

You could write this off as a flashback or hallucination I was having!  I would likely agree with you if that was all or the only time it has happened.  I will admit that that experience never happened again but His voice and His working in my life have never left.  We have since worked together as what the scripture calls the church; The bride of Christ.  He has been by my side and working with me the whole time.

Jesus was even with me this morning when I lost my keys.  I flipped my bedroom and living area inside out.  I looked everywhere.  I was getting frustrated in losing my truck and house keys.  When I sat down after looking everywhere and finally prayed about it.  The words came; “seek first the Kingdom of God and everything will be added to you.”  So, I sat down and did my morning prayers and had coffee with the Lord.  Then His voice came to me and said, ” Sit here and I will have someone bring you your keys.”  My mind wondered how are you going to bring my keys to me if I just sit here and not look for them?  I went in the house and got my coffee and told my roommate I lost my keys and I looked everywhere.  He said, “he did not see them either.”  So I went outside and drank my coffee and after I finished my quiet time, Mark came around and said I found your keys, they were somehow put in my car.  The Lord kept his word and had my keys brought to me after He said He would.

So in closing, I no longer just believe in God!  I know God personally and I know without a doubt I am part of His family.  So if you are wondering if God is real or not, I would love to prove him to you, but I cannot.  You must go and seek Him on your own like I did and I promise you will find Him if you seek him like treasure.  So go and have your own experience and let Him make Himself known to you.  He will I promise!

Written by Dennis Stauffer Jr

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

If DSI has blessed you, please consider becoming a Partner with us to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and be His Hands in Action in Guatemala and around the world with this teaching ministry.

Go to the donation page and become a “missionary partner” with us.

 When you give you are partnering with me to become a fellow servant for Jesus in this “hungry” world.  Thanks again for blessing not only this ministry but also for serving with and for the Lord.

God Bless

Dennis Stauffer  (Founder/President and writer of DSI Ministries/Hands In Action)

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Did Jesus Ever Claim To Be God?

This devotional deals with; did Jesus ever claim to be God?  The answer is yes and Jesus said so in many places in the Bible.  But for this devotional, I want to use an often overlooked passage on this subject.  Personally, I have never heard a message taught on this subject.

Satan Tempts Jesus

Matthew 4: 1-10: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” 

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,  and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. 

For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you,’and,

‘In their hands, they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, “It is written again,You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, the devil came at him in so many ways.
 
 
When we read this passage, most simply teach that Jesus is only quoting Scripture to fight the temptations of the devil.  This is true as a Biblical principle, and Jesus is teaching us here in these passages how to combat the devil’s temptations.  But I believe, that in teaching this principle of quoting Scripture to fight temptation, we overlook another very important principle, that is what Jesus is actually saying!  I believe most miss these simple truths.
 
When Satan tempts Jesus to jump off the pinnacle, what is Jesus’s response?

You shall not tempt… who? “the LORD YOUR GOD!

Who is being tempted?  Jesus!  Then who does Jesus say not to tempt “The Lord your God! – this in response to his own temptation!  God the Father was not being tempted here!  The Holy Spirit was not being tempted here!  Who was being tempted?  Jesus, the Lord your God!
 
Again, we see Satan tempting Jesus to worship him and then offering Jesus the Kingdoms of the world.
Jesus again said: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
 
You might say in this last verse Jesus was referring to God the Father, but in other parts of Scripture it records that Jesus also received worship.
 
Matthew 2:2; saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
 
Matthew 8:2: And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
 
Matthew 14:33: Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
 
If you notice in Matthew 14:33 and again in Matthew 4:3:  These two verses connected what Satan called Jesus and what the disciples called him:  The Son of God, then in Verse 33 it says they worshiped Him.
 
So not only with these verses did Jesus call himself; “Lord your God”, but we can further meditate on these Scriptures when Jesus said: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”  We can then deduce this – if we should only worship the Lord your God, and if He was truly referring to, and only to God the Father, then we must ask a question!  Why was He (Jesus)  through-out Scripture receiving worship if He said you should only worship the Lord God?  The answer is simple, Jesus is God in the flesh.   
In Matthew 1, the Bible gives us another name for Jesus:
Matthew 1:23; “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”
 
So, when those religious groups knock on your door on Saturday morning and try to present a false gospel, that Jesus was not really God but another of God’s creation, you can be sure in your spirit that Jesus, the Immanuel was truly God with us!

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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If you like our Post please “SHARE IT” on Facebook and Twitter!  When you share this post you not only help our ministry but furthermore when you share you are helping to spread the Gospel.  Your sharing might bring someone, maybe the someone you have been praying for, into a personal relationship with Jesus and therefore into the Kingdom of God!

Also before you leave the website, please look around the site.  DSI/Hands In Action is a missionary team who help the poorest of the poor in Northern Guatemala.  Please sign up for our newsletter on this website and also on Facebook.  Thank you.

If DSI has blessed you, please consider becoming a Partner with us to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and be His Hands in Action in Guatemala and around the world with this teaching ministry.

Go to the donation page and become a “missionary partner” with us.  When you give you are partnering with me to become a fellow servant for Jesus in this “hungry” world.  Thanks again for blessing not only this ministry but also for serving with and for the Lord.

God Bless

Dennis Stauffer  (Founder/President and writer of DSI Ministries/Hands In Action)

 

 

URGENT NEWS! Soldiers Forced To Buy Their Own Ammunitions

Soldiers Forced To Buy Their Own Ammunition!  Are you outraged?  How can this be?  How can the American people allow such a thing to happen in a rich country such as the United States?

 Relax, our government is not doing this, but the Church of Jesus Christ is!

Do you remember the beginning of the Iraq wars?  Many soldiers were injured or killed due to lack of proper protection for themselves and their vehicles.  The American people were outraged and the government began to make immediate improvements to better supply our soldiers in harm’s way.  So what am I talking about?  I am talking about American Christian Soldiers:  Missionaries to other countries!

So many missionaries today are being forced to buy their own supplies and buy their own way to the mission field.  However, this is nothing new, sadly it is the norm!  I have read the history of such missionaries as Hudson Taylor, missionary to China in late 1800 and George Muller, German missionary to England in the late 1800’s.  They were both forced to live in extreme hardship due to the lack of support for their missions. 

Can you imagine seeing our brave American soldiers coming home and delivering pizzas or doing odd jobs to go and purchase their own weapons to go back and fight for our American freedom and liberties? The American people would never stand for such atrocities as this.  But Christianity has allowed this to continue for centuries.  Why is this acceptable to the Church of Jesus Christ, where the greatest example of giving is ultimately shown by our God and Lord Jesus Christ when he was sent to die for us on the cross?

John 3;16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

If you never thought of this, Jesus was a missionary to our world.  He came from Heaven to a very hostile and violent world.  It is the same today as missionaries go to front lines in this world, where there are very violent and hostile people around them.  Many are being sent not only to hostile environments, but they are also inadequately supplied to do what God has called them to do.

The “spiritual Christian” at this point might say: “God shall supply all  your needs.”  While this is true in a general sense, I feel that this is not God’s intent nor desire.  I have seen missionaries having to take sabbaticals just to go home in order to earn enough money to spend in their mission field.  I have also witnessed other missionaries using their life savings or their retirement checks to offset their lack of support.  Then there is the worst: many Christian missionaries give up after just ONE tour of duty! How sad is that, but it is a reality being played over and over on the mission field, even though they come from the richest Christian nation in the world!  I do not believe this is God’s desire or intent!

I want to confess before I go any further, I was the same as most Christians are today.  Unaware of this horrible condition, or worse yet, I found that I was just not paying attention to the Christian world around me.

I was a youth pastor for over 18 years in 2 small independent churches.  Every year our churches would be visited by missionaries and tell us of their work in foreign fields.  My heart would go out to them and I would always give in the offering basket.  But after they were gone, I simply went back to my work and soon forgot them in my thoughts, prayers and my WALLET!

I was no different!  As I rationalized, I wasn’t rich and I was barely making it just taking care of my own family and my own bills.  This did not stop me from buying coffee every morning at the local convenient store, or buying lunches, renting movies, taking my family out or ordering pizza every Friday.  But, when you add this normal lifestyle (luxury) up, how much did I spend a month not even considering how I could help keep a family on the mission field.

Adding up this expense, I calculated that I was spending $31.25 a month.  That was for $1.25 coffee, what does a cup of coffee cost today?  Now add up the movie rentals and other weekly habits we just take for granted.  I realize now that I was simply not paying enough attention to our Lord’s call to each and every one of us.  I was no different than many Christians today that also attend church every Sunday.  Then God got my attention!

How did God get My Attention?

God called me to be a foreign missionary. After years in the field and living in a different culture, when I came back to the United States my eyes were opened to my own sins of the past.  

I have now come to see how many in our churches and even our pastors do not show concern for the American Christian Soldiers Missionary.  Why do I call us “soldiers?”  Some of us are sent to the front lines of very violent and dark countries, where the work of the devil is fierce.  Risking our lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In these countries, I have seen poverty at levels not known in America.  I’ve seen families sell their daughters into prostitution just to feed the rest of the family.  Then I come back to America and people tell me how hard the economy is as they buy their new cars and upgrade their homes. We are a consumer nation. We are actually deceived money that we make is really ares as Christians. I write more on that in the upcoming blogs.

Do you also know most Christian today spend more on their pets than on missions?  We also spend more money on Christian seminars, books and several different translations of the Bible.  Christians in America are no different than Christians elsewhere in the world when it comes to our entertainment, in fact, we may be worse as we have more opportunity.  We spend millions and millions of dollars on Christian music and concerts.  I was reading that one famous Christian Artist is worth around 10 million dollars.  That is just one artist and not counting his record label.

We are spending more money on Television Evangelists and TV ministries who are grossing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.  We are giving more money to them than our own local churches and missionaries.  

On the day when we face the Lord what will we say as He opens up our checkbook of life and shows that we spent more of His money on our pets than we did for reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ.

I have come to believe that every Christian in America not only should support their local church (currently only 2-3 percent actually tithe) but we should adopt a missionary too.  But unfortunately, we think this is the responsibility only of our Pastors and a local church.  (Where do you think the local church gets its money)?  How wrong I believe we will be when we face the Lord.

I have nothing against Television Evangelists, but do they come and pray for your family, marry and bury you, visit you in the hospital? Our hard working Pastors do this!  Do these TV Evangelists go to foreign mission fields and sell everything they have accumulated in their life?  Do they risk their lives to spread the Gospel where no one wants to go?  Do they live in deplorable, dangerous conditions?  No, of course not – they are too busy raking in millions of dollars!

But American Christians are just like like the rest of the secular world,  we pay sports stars and rock stars more than we pay our soldiers, police, firefighters and teachers.  We want our entertainment and we gladly shell out millions of dollars to be entertained.

I admit I would have died, unaware of this condition if the Lord did not call me to the mission field, and one real reason is…. We as missionaries are trained not to talk about this and we are simply to trust in the Lord for his provision.  To a degree, I agree but why are so many missionaries coming home dejected, depressed and defeated.  They are unable to make a real and lasting impact in the area where God called them.

This is an area where the body of Christ is dropping the ball.  Christians have lost their fervor and we are losing the war to such religions and sects as Islam, Mormonism, and others.  Do you know one of the best missionary forces for their sect is Mormonism?  They have the best trained and best facilities on the mission field.  They are organized and well supported in their efforts.  Islam is also in every  European country, and now in America.  They are taking over due to their well thought out plan to convert the world to Islam.  We Christians in America are the richest and most influential people in the world and 97 percent of all of the Lord’s money is spent on us!  This leads me to my upcoming blogs: “Living in the Laodicean Church in America in the End Times”

I pray that this article not only upset you but also convicted you to look at your life and how you are spending the Lord’s money.  Are you being a faithful steward or are you just another American consumer? So please ask the Lord today to open your heart and your finances to see if you are obedient to Him.  It is better to ask now and repent than at the judgment seat of Christ.  He will look to you and ask this question?  What did you do with what I have given you in your Christian life?  Will you be prepared and have a good answer?

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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Intimacy; Learning How To Talk to God Part IV

This is my favorite part!  In the past 30 years, I have learned to do one thing right and that is I have learned how to communicate with God.  When I was first seeking God, as I shared in my testimony in Part III, I learned how to throw out a lot of religious practices and did it my own way without all those religious trappings.  I want to share some of what I learned, what to do and what not to do.  I hope I can give you some insights to being intimate with God.

God is a Person

I shared that God is a person in my last article but I wanted to go over it again.   This concept is huge and it is where most people mess up.  Again, God is a person and if we take away all the religious trappings, and approach Yahweh, as you would any other person, you will go a lot further.  I have a feeling most people believe they have to approach God as in the scene from the “Wizard of Oz.”  In that scene there is a loud intimidating voice with smoke and flames coming up, then Dorothy squeamishly goes forward to meet the great Oz.  However, we do not have to approach God in such an intimidated manner.  The Bible gives us a much better way to approach God.

Hebrews 4:16; Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God wants us to come boldly without fear, as a child comes to their own dad.  When I began praying, I just simply threw all the old stuff away and began to talk.  There was no more religious stuff.  I just came and told God; “I would like to get to know you.”  I really wanted to know for myself if all the things I had heard about God were true.  This was the only way I knew to figure this out.  If He was real I would approach Him as I would any other person and meet Him.
I became, in a way just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, she just had to meet him so she could go home.  I had to find God in order to survive this addiction that had me for so long.  I did not want to learn second hand.  So for 6 months I was persistent and faithful to talk to God and listen.  I was on a search and I searched for Him like He was gold and limitless treasure.
Psalm 63:1  O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
PRAYER

With today’s technology, we should have no problem understanding prayer.  We are the generation with Skype, Messenger, What up apps, and Facebook to name a few.  We certainly should understand how to communicate via long distance.  Today we can chat instantly with anyone around the world, even if you cannot see them or hear them.

Well, that big religious word “prayer” simply means to communicate with God.  That is all it means and yet we unnecessarily complicate it in the church and the world.  Please do not get me wrong there are different types of prayers written in the Bible, but for our purposes here I want to simplify it as much as possible.  The reason for that is if you do not get this one down, the rest is useless or will lead you to some religious bondage that will only frustrate you in the long run.

Another big mistake people make is thinking prayer is a monolog.  That it is a one-way street, or it is some pre-learned prayer, we recite over and over again.  Prayer is a dialogue, which means it is a two-way conversation.

We are not designed to do all the talking.  God would love to speak, but most of the people I have watched only say their part and then they are gone out the door.  That leaves God sitting there wanting to answer, but those praying are already gone.  So to speak we have already hung up the phone.

This is the biggest reason so many in the church have never heard Him.   They rattle off their wish list or petitions and say in the name of Jesus and then hang up.  God is on the other end saying; “hello, hello, well they must have hung up, and I was going to share with them about their request.”  So we go through life believing either God does not answer our prayers or believing that hearing God is only for the super-elite Christians.  Let me share how I heard God even before I asked Jesus into my life and became born-again.

So all prayer is communication – a two-way dialogue.  The bible tells us to “pray without ceasing.”  When a religious person hears that, they automatically think that it is a lot of work and dedication.  They think they need to dedicate their life to prayer.  They think it will take years to learn how to stay in the mode of prayer.  Let me reassure you, it does not.  Think about when you used to talk for hours on the phone with your new boyfriend or girlfriend.  Think about how much time we spend on text messages?  We can spend hours on those things, if we think the person on the other end is worth it.  Let me share this, GOD IS WORTH IT AND HE LOVES TO TALK TO YOU ALL THE TIME!!!

When I pray, if you could hear me, you would think I was talking to my best friend.  Othertimes it might sound as if I was talking to my dad. Then there are times I just include Him in my day while riding in the car, at the mall or at a restaurant when I am alone and I want someone to talk to.  Do not get me wrong, I am not nuts and I do not sit there talking aloud to an empty chair.

If you read my last article, I shared that during the evening of June 10 I first talked to God in the physical realm.  Later that evening, God told me to go and sleep in my broken down Mustang.  As I sat there and tried to fall asleep, I began to talk to Him about how to fix my car and how to find a place to live.  To make a long story short, every time I asked God for something, even something as simple as the need for a blanket, one showed up.  Then I said I needed some money to get my car fixed and at 3 o’clock in the morning a woman I knew knocked on my car window and gave me a blanket and lent me enough money to get a car part.

As God began working mysteriously in my life, I was so happy that I thought all I needed now is a vehicle to go get that car part.  The same woman who gave me the blanket and cash, now showed back up and offered me her car.  The next day I bought the part and the car was fixed but I was still homeless.

I then went to the Lord and asked what am I to do with my homeless situation.  God said,”I was to humble myself and reconcile things with my sister.  I then went to her house and knocked on her door and she hugged me so hard because she thought I had gone back to drinking.  We finally became reconciled that day.  Later that day I told God, “I need to sell my stereo, so I can relocate from my home town and get a new life started.”  Within one hour a friend called and asked; “if I was still interested in selling my stereo.”  I sold it to Him that day.

Ever since that day I have been talking to God.   There are times I do the talking and there are times He begins talking to me about my life.  There are also times that I have even had a passing thought on something and I would share these with God.  If I needed something, it would show up.  I figured out later on that God knew and heard my thoughts and prayers.  God let me know that He wanted to bless me.

Why did God answer those five thoughts or prayer requests I had on my mind that night?  To thwart the devil!  He knew the devil would come in and try to steal that experience from me.  The devil loves to whisper,” it was only a dream, it was not real.”  I know that, because He tried over and over again but every time, I remember how I asked those 5 things and God responded, in a very real way.
Persistence
Learning to communicate like I have learned to do takes persistence and time.  During my first six months as a new believer I began seeing consequences in my life as I talked to him, but I never heard His voice. I saw results as if I was watching the wind.  Although I cannot see the wind, I can certainly see the results from the wind, like the leaves of a tree blowing or grass moving. It was like that at first and at times still is.  Now years later, after learning how to quiet myself and listen, I can often hear God, but even now it is not all the time.  However, it is most of the time.  There are times when I might be working and not even thinking of God, and then He begins to talk or show me something I might have mentioned earlier in our times together.
Have you ever seen the movie: “The Matrix?”  When Neo or one of the other members of the team went into the real world and they had to learn something, the man on the sub would load a program and they would learn it instantly.  In one example the female character needed to learn how to fly a helicopter, so they downloaded it to her and she knew how to fly it immediately.  The reason I shared this is because this is how God sometime downloads information from His Word to me.  There are times I feel that I just received a download and now understand things from scripture I never knew or understood before. Jesus let us know that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher.  I am convinced that sometimes He downloads these cool revelations to me. It is really fun, and I highly recommend that you too plug into God.

 Our Daily Bread

God taught the Israelites, who just started out with him in the desert, an important lesson;  

They were to gather manna once a day and only for that day except for the Sabbath.  They were not to collect a weeks worth, or a months worth because it would spoil.  God wants us to learn that we need to come to him for a fresh provision every day.  So many Christians think they can go collect their manna and their other spiritual needs only on Sunday, instead of meeting with God daily.

I have heard so many say on Sunday; I need to go to church to recharge for another hard week.  You do not need to recharge if you stay plugged in all week.  Then they wonder why their life is spoiled and rotten and nothing seems to flow right in their week.  If your life moves like a rusted joint, then oil it every day.  When Jesus taught us to pray He said we are to ask for our daily bread not our weekly bread!

Intimacy with God is not going to happen with a quick cup of coffee and a donut as you rush off to work or drop off the kids at school, and then think you’re going to get your prayer time in as you fight traffic.  I know what you’re thinking, I am so busy!  Jesus was busy too!  Jesus taught, preached and healed whole towns full of sick and demon possessed people and in addition fed the masses.  He also walked everywhere He went, but every morning, He got up and spent time with God before “every man wanted to see Him”

The Prayer Closet

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
This is one of the misunderstood verses in the Bible.  I have seen and heard about Christians building a closet or going in to a closet to pray. There is not a thing wrong with this, if that is the only way to get alone with God.  But this was not the point Jesus was driving home.
He was doing a comparison to a man who wants to be intimate with His wife.  He was pointing out when a man wants to make love to his wife, he does not do it in public.  He does not make a public showing out of it!  He takes her into the closet (in the greek “bedchamber”) and has intimacy with her.
God wants us to know if we really want to have intimacy with Him we need to treat our prayer time the same as the example above and not pray in public.  People often pray in public to get people’s approval or for others to see their great spirituality.  Instead, our prayer time this should be when we desire and need intimacy with God.
You might think I am contradicting myself from earlier statements.  However, let us do what Jesus did.  We can learn this by looking at an example from marriage.  When I want the most intimacy with my wife, we go and be alone, but it does not end there.  Do I only speak to my wife in the bedroom?  No, we interact all day.  The same concept should apply with God.  If we want a deep intimate relationship with God, we need to steal away time and shut off the television and stereo, even worship music at times.  Get away from everyone and everything, be quiet and still.  Then we can open up that spiritual channel to only hear God.
I once heard that God is like a radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, but if you never tune into that station, you will never hear him.

 

Intimacy, How To Draw Near To God Part III

In my last article I showed you that God is real and He can and wants to be intimate in your life, just as He has done in mine.  I share this verse from the Book of James:

James 4:7-8;  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

This takes away the notion or any religious idea that God expects us only to be His subjective servants.  Rather, He desires to draw us into an intimate relationship with Himself.  But like I said; “the first move has to be ours.”  We and only we determine how close of a relationship we have with God.  So in this article I want to remove religious trappings and notions that hinder our relationship with God.

God is a Person

God is a person, a real living person.  He is not “the force be with you” or some substance that is floating around out there, somewhere in the universe.  He is a real living being!  I want you to remember and take note of this: We are created in the image of God!  We are the off-springs of God.  This is important because the wonderful attributes that are in us, are from Him.

The ability to love, to communicate, our desire to have and be in a family, all the good that is in man is from God.  Unfortunately, the overwhelming evil we possess is from our fallen nature.  I point this out because we are created in His image – not vice-versa!  We do not make God conform to our image!   When we attempt this, we try to mold Him into our fallen nature. (Exodus 32)

My goal for this article is to take away all the religious trappings and make God’s reality so familiar and understandable that anyone can apply this to their life.

Once again God is a person!  I repeat this so we can move to our first step!  His name is not God, that is His title, such as Mr. President.  If you met Barack Obama, you would not say good-morning Barack, you would say good-morning Mr. President.

My point is, and this is not trivial: in relationships there is always an introduction, either from yourself or from another person.  The first thing you do is learn the name of your new acquaintance.  So if you have never been introduced to God, let me have the pleasure in doing so… Yahweh or Jehovah (if you desire); this is my reader.  Yahweh or Jehovah is God’s proper name.  It is more personal and intimate than saying good morning Mr. God.  Try saying it; good morning Jehovah, it is nice to meet you.

God takes this even further.  God understands who we are and He knows our limitations.  The first time we meet God can be very intimidating and overwhelming, Jehovah knows that.  Therefore, He has supplied a solution to this intimidating introduction.  When God first introduced Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai, that first introduction did not go so well.  Israel could not deal with the over-whelming presence of Him.  So God supplied us a solution so we would not freak out when He appeared:

Jesus

His name is Jesus, Emanuel (God with us).  God became a real breathing living man!  In that human body dwelled Jehovah, Yahweh, our God.  When we watch Jesus throughout the gospels, He manifests two magnificent and wonderful things: First: He is “Son of God” as I described above.  (Do not get stuck on son, He is God)  When we read the gospels we can see God in action.  His likes and His dislikes.  What He does and how He deals with various issues, His attitudes towards life.

Do you want to clear up your confusion and have an understandable way to decide what your doctrine should be?  Simply read and do what Jesus said and did!  He is Jehovah.  Jesus would not do anything outside His nature.  Just following Jesus would clear up most if not all denominational differences.  In addition we would then know how to be perfect ambassadors to the nations.  What did Jesus say and how did He handle issues on Earth?  Various issues such as :

  • Sin and the world
  • Healing and sickness
  • Holy Spirit and baptisms
  • Cultural issues

We need to learn what Jesus did and said about every issue and make that our mission and purpose.  We as the body of believers would be a lot further ahead in leading people to Christ if we followed Jesus and His teachings.  This leads me to the next attribute of Jesus.

Second He is the “Son of Man,” He not only mirrored what God looks like but He also shows us what we, as Spirit-filled people of God should look like.  Too many people write off what Jesus did because He was God, but I believe, and scripture shows that every miracle He did, He did as a man.  He never used His own deity for the miracles.  He did what His Father told Him to do and then relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all the miracles he preformed.

This is all important; because if we want to get close to God, we have to see Him for who He is really is, not what the religious legalists portray Him to be.  If you are involved in sexual sins and tend toward the wild side, read about how he dealt with the woman caught in adultery (John 8).  If you have a business and are struggling with business integrity or at times feel low or down and out, then read about Matthew, his disciple (Matt. 9) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19).  If you feel like an outcast and feel as though you do not fit in, read about the woman at the well (John 4).  If you tend toward legalism and find yourself at times prideful because of your righteousness, read how Jesus dealt with those that demonstrated religious pride, the Pharisees and Saducees.  They thought of themselves as special because of their positions and their education with regards to religious affairs.  Jesus spoke of these people, the Pharisees and Saducees throughout the Gospels.

As a side note, you will find that these last two groups, the Pharisees and the Saducees, were the only people that Jesus did not shower with Mercy and Compassion.  Jesus never condemned others because of their sexual lifestyle, corruption, divorces and or failures, but Jesus dealt with these religious people differently.

I say all this because no matter what situation you find yourself, good or bad you can always come to Jesus as you are.  Nicodemus, the Pharisee came to Jesus seeking truth and found expectance in His presence.  The woman caught in adultery most likely was dragged into the town circle naked or maybe with a blanket on her, however she also found acceptance with Jesus.  She was never told by Jesus to go get dressed and cleaned up before I help you.  Jesus probably looked at her lying there and reached out his hand and said; “who is here to condemn you”?  No one and NEITHER DO I?  GO AND SIN NO MORE!  

So what is your excuse for not coming into His wonderful and loving presence?

Time

With regards to relationships there are two parts to time, one being the time spent to get to know someone, the second covered later, is the actual time spent with someone after you get to know them.  It is very hard to get to know someone if you never have time to be with that person.  God is no different and in His case, it is even more difficult because you can’t see or hear him very well at first!

When we first meet a new person, what draws us to that person?  It is usually because they are attractive or they have a great personality.  Jehovah has both, but it take awhile to develop your spiritual senses.  If you are not familiar with this, you have five human senses but you also have five spiritual senses.  But unlike your natural ones, your spiritual senses have to be developed.  I used this verse in the last article:

Matthew 13:15  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
If you read this you will understand that the people of Israel were hearing and seeing all that Jesus said and did, however, Jesus said they were dull of hearing and their eyes were shut.  What was He talking about?  He was referring to their spiritual ears and eyes.  How could the Pharisees see and hear Jesus raising a man who has been dead for three days and not get it?  Then they watch Him feed the multitude with a few loaves of bread and some fish and also calm storms.  But they still did not get it, this is because they were deaf and blind spiritually. (Matt. 23:16-23)  So not to be like them and the unbelievers, we need to take time and develop our spiritual awareness to His presence.  Then we need to be able to recognize the difference between His voice and the voice of Satan the deceiver.
The second part to time is “time in itself,”  this demonstrates how much importance you place in that person.  Imagine if all the intimacy in your marriage was a quick kiss out the door in the morning with a cup of coffee in your hand and then a quick dinner after work while you watch your favorite television program.  If this was the most interaction you had, you would not demonstrate that you placed much importance in the person.  Then to follow that off, imagine that the only time for real intimacy was an hour or so on Sunday morning?  But you say we had to cut it short or rush because we wanted to get to the lunch buffet before the crowd or your favorite team was playing that day?
The above scenarios describe many Christians and their “intimate time with God”.  Once a week and a quick hello God and “help me make everything go my way today prayer” as we fly out the door or sit in traffic.  You cannot have quality time in the car with God watching for traffic and dropping off the kids at school.  This does not create intimacy and depth in your relationship with God.
Simply put, if it would not work with a physical human relationship it will not work in the spiritual realm which requires even more effort and stillness.  Your spouse, your children and your friends need your quality time and attention.  Like I have shared before, Jehovah is no different.  Remember He is a jealous God and He refuses to share you with your idols, sins or your busy lifestyles. 
Remember if you draw near, He will draw near!  
In Christianity we call this alone time “Prayer and Meditation”, this will be covered next week.
If you need salvation or are not sure if you are, please press this link to :  How Do I Receive Eternal Life?
Written by Dennis Stauffer
Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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Also before you leave the website, please look around the site.  DSI/Hands In Action is a missionary team who help the poorest of the poor in Northern Guatemala.  Please sign up for our newsletter on this website and also on Facebook.  Thank you.

If DSI has blessed you, please consider becoming a Partner with us to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and be His Hands in Action in Guatemala and around the world with this teaching ministry.

Go to the donation page and become a “missionary partner” with us.  When you give you are partnering with me to become a fellow servant for Jesus in this “hungry” world.  Thanks again for blessing not only this ministry but also for serving with and for the Lord.

God Bless

Dennis Stauffer  (Founder/President and writer of DSI Ministries/Hands In Action)

Gary Green (Editor for DSI Ministries)

Intimacy Part I

Today I want to share with you one of my most passionate areas in Christianity, being intimate with God. I believe intimacy is the most important lesson for any Christian and I also believe it is the most neglected teaching in the Church today. It has saddened me during my years of Christian ministry to see how many people whom I consider to be good Christians, having such a lack of intimacy with God in their daily walk. I want to begin by sharing two stories:

During a meeting with my Pastor I shared how God was directing me and speaking to me about the next move in my ministry. As I observed my Pastor, I quickly noticed he was very uncomfortable with what I was speaking about. I asked him if there was anything wrong? He began to share in a very irritated tone how God does not speak to him in this way and he was not hearing the voice of God. This obviously shocked me and at the same time saddened me to think that here is a man who is in a position to be leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and he does not hear God’s voice for himself. I have since found that this is not an isolated case.
I was filling in as a group leader for a Holy Spirit Class at a Bible College. In this class, one of the questions in the study was; “How many hear the voice of the Holy Spirit directing their lives?” Once again to my amazement, and this time with a class of third year bible college students studying for ministry, over 75% confessed they did not hear the voice of God directing their lives!

Let’s Start From the Beginning

The first thing that needs to be cleared up is that Christianity is NOT A RELIGION! Believers and non-believers alike make this mistake by saying; Christianity is a major religion in the world. You may be thinking; “Dennis you are splitting hairs here! “You are just playing a word game!” I am not playing a word game nor am I splitting hairs. By the very definition of the word “religion” I can clear this up. I looked up the word on an online dictionary and here is what I found:

Religion: 1) a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2) a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

Let me dissect one word (believe or belief) from this passage to show you want I mean:

Believe (v): to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

Here is where the problem lies and where many Christians get stuck. If we go with what the world’s thoughts are and what the world thinks, then God cannot be proven. God is somewhere in the cosmos and we can only have a belief in Him. The world tells you that there is no proof that God exists, so the best we can do is have a belief system and hope that He exists. However, the Bible makes two things clear regarding this, first for His existence and then second, we are to have a personal, one on one relationship with our Lord.

Romans 1:20 (NLT) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

The Bible makes it clear that we can see God first through His Creation. I know that for a fact. While I was an unbeliever I would always be amazed at how perfect this created world was. Everything in nature, except for natural disasters (created by sin curse), is perfect. The seasons and their timing and the oxygen we need to breathe is perfect. It always amazed me, and I knew without a doubt this world could not be this perfect and be created by some accidental big bang explosion.

My second point is found in John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Let’s look at this verse closely. And this is life eternal ; this is the setup for the definition of eternal life. For most people, when eternal life is mentioned, they reference eternal life to when a person dies and goes into the next world. Let us continue on in this verse; John gives us exactly what is meant by eternal life. Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ. I want to point out this word know, is not the word for head knowledge or familiarity with. The word know as used by John means much more than this. It has as its meaning the same as when used in Genesis when it states;

Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.

Adam knew Eve and had a son. The Holy Spirit explains that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ. Are you now getting the picture of how much God wants to be with you? He used a word that describes the most intimate feelings a human can have. This was no mistake by God. Throughout scriptures God describes His unconditional love for mankind and His desire to be with you. God did not become man and then die a horrific death on the cross by bearing your punishment just to start another world religion. He died because He loves you and He wants to have a personal relationship here and now with you and for all eternity.

Now do you see what I shared about Christianity not being a religion? Remember the definition; a set of beliefs concerning…… usually involving devotional and ritual observances……containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Real Christianity is an intimate relationship with God. So much so that Jesus calls us “His Bride” in several verses in scripture. We are called “the bride of Christ” and we are just that. This picture (of being His bride) is painted throughout the New Testament. But before I get into that further, I want to show you where we went astray in the Christian Church and then I want to paint a new picture for you next week in our next article.

Where the Problem Lies

I personally believe the problem starts from the very beginning when we lead a person to Christ. Instead of introducing Jesus as a Person, we begin by sharing what He has done for us and what He has to offer us. We share the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and if we are on a roll we might even add He did it because He loves us. (John 3:16) Then we share how we benefit because we accepted Him: He will forgive all your sins and when you die you get to go to heaven and not burn in Hell. This sounded like a great deal to me, so I accepted the offer.

Preceding this however, I was given my work schedule! First find a church, then start going regularly according to that denomination’s tradition. For me, it was Bible study before Sunday Service (and remember it was twice on Sunday, morning and night), then there was the Wednesday night Prayer meeting. After this I was told to get my first Bible (King James only, this is the only one Jesus and the Apostles used. LOL) I was then told to read the Gospel of John followed by the other Gospels and the book of Acts. Several months later, after they saw I had a true conversion, I was told to make an appointment for baptism. Now I was to read my Bible and learn the doctrines of the church and get more involved – e.g. ushering, cleaning up etc. Now you can see the problem, these things they said were all good and great practices, but they never lead me to an intimate relationship with Jesus, instead they lead me to: a set of beliefs concerning…… usually involving devotional and ritual observances……containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs, in other words – RELIGION!

This is the exact opposite of what Jesus desires, along with most of us who truly seek God. But this is how it has been done for hundreds of years. When we are new to Christianity, we do not know the difference. As a new believer, I believed if I did these things they would lead me into this intimate personal relationship (a carrot dangling in front of a horse), but instead they just set me up to work harder and harder to find that intimate relationship I desired to have with God. However, just being religious will never bring you to this place. Only following scripture can do that.

Do We See This In Scripture?

Yes! When we read the New Testament we see something very odd. The very people who were supposed to be leading Israel in worship and dedication to God, are the very people who rejected Jesus. These men were trained in the scriptures and had a lot of head knowledge in the coming of the Messiah. In scripture they were called Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes, today we call them pastors, priests, and bishops depending on your denomination.

What happened? I believe that like the church of today, they fell into a 300 year old rut. For hundreds of years, God did not speak a word to man; so these learned men began practicing religion. They began to govern and rule over people. They began making new rules and adding to God’s Word what was never intended. Jesus called these rules; “traditions and doctrines of man”.

Mark 7:6-8 …….”This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

So not having a fresh heart towards God, they developed a certain practice of worship and set up rules and regulations for how to worship God. This, their very own devised system, drove them along with the very people who they were supposed to be ministering to away from God! If you read scripture closely, you will note that most of the common people feared or loathed the Old Testament ministers and therefore had little to do with God or His worship, except for what they were commanded to do by law! Reading the New Testament we notice that when Jesus did show up on the scene, these ministers were so rooted in their traditions and way of life that they rejected Jesus, who was God in the flesh. This deep religious rut they were in made them so callous towards God, that when Jesus healed or raised a man from the grave they did not take notice other than to fear that Jesus might replace them along with their prestigious religious positions.

Let me sum this up. When we replace intimacy with God, even with great things like going to church, reading your bible and living the Christian life according to your traditions, it still hardens our hearts just like the men of Jesus’ day. The question today is;

Does this condition in the New Testament, exist today in America?

The answer is YES! I see signs of it everywhere. Many times when you ask a person why they believe in God they give you a doctrinal answer from the Bible rather than sharing (witnessing) how God is real and how He made a great change in their life. Another example is when I asked those Bible college students if they were hearing God and most answered no. These are just two examples! Today there is definitely a problem with and within our church system!

Most unbelievers today want nothing to do with Church. So many I see and talk to either fear the judgement of Christians or simply do not like us. We can see the same attitude in Christians today as in the Pharisees of the Old Testament. For example, we can look at how Christians deal with the homosexual question in America. So many in the church are so condemning, as if this was the unpardonable sin.

I see so many today acting like another group in the New Testament, those that were called Zealots. They believed in keeping Israel pure and preserving the nation at all cost. In America we might call this group, “Conservative Right-wing Republicans.” Many today are more interested in preserving the Union and the Constitution than they are carrying out the Great Commission.

So what does this have to do with us? When we lose or never obtain that close intimacy with God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we become like the religious men in the gospels and perhaps even worse. We do not reflect the love nor the image of God to a dark and lost world in which we the Church are called to reach. It is either intimacy with God or the road of religion. Next week I will share with you my journey to intimacy with God.

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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