Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Compassionate Father

In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God (John 16:26-27).

Turning the hearts of the children to the Father begins with the revelation and experience of the Father’s burning passion for messed-up human beings.  The average Christian sees a perverted image of the Father.  They base their relationship with Him on a perception of Him being an arbitrary, untrustworthy, aloof despot, demanding perfection before He can or will interact with us.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being male and female, both sexes reflect aspects of the glory of the Father.  There is a tender, compassionate heart at the center of the Father’s existence that Paul describes as the kind of love and care a mother would show for her children.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Has Anyone Seen Jonathan? Part 2 By Mike McClung

Jonathan, A Type of Dissatisfied Remnant

Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.” But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man's plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash. Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines' garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. And Saul was sitting in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men. Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD'S priest in Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. But the people did not know that Jonathan had gone (1 Sam. 13:19-14:3).

In the very land of their inheritance, the nation of Israel sat in bondage, due to the poor leadership of the self-centered, fleshly King Saul. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Has Anyone Seen Jonathan? Part 1 By Mike McClung

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet. 3-5).

Hopefully, through the years I have mellowed…at least somewhat.  Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t bend when it comes to the truth, but, by the grace of God, I have learned to temper truth and mercy better over time.  Years ago, I was much less “pastorly” than I am now.

Back in the late 80s, I planted the first church I ever pastored, and it lasted all of 5 months!  During that time, I was invited to a dinner-reception by a local home fellowship in East Tennessee welcoming the man and his family they had just asked to pastor their growing house church.  I had several friends that were a part of this group and I was glad that I could be there to rejoice with them. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Preparing to Enter a New Season of Fullness and Harvest By Mike McClung

Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD…For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper…who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end…. (Deut. 8:1-3, 7-9, 16)

To those in the body of Christ who are willing and prepared, we’re about to enter into a time of fullness, restoration and harvest unprecedented in the history of the world.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Are We Waiting On? By Mike McClung

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be moved. (Psalm 62:5-6)
Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things for the flesh to embrace. One of the biggest obstacles to moving into the new season, and moving into greater glory and harvest, is impatience. Impatience caused Moses to be set on the backside of the desert for forty years as the Lord dealt with his life and character. Impatience caused King Saul to presumptively take matters into his own hands when it seemed Samuel was delayed in his arrival to bless the troops before battle (1 Sam. 10), thus causing a hardening of his heart in pride and ultimately losing the kingdom. Impatience by the newly saved Saul of Tarsus caused unnecessary turmoil and problems for the still infant church in Jerusalem, causing the senior leaders to send him back home to Tarsus for the discipline of silence and solitude (Acts 9:27-31). Part of the Lord’s refining process to prepare us to enter into the fullness of His presence and purposes is learning to wait on the Lord. There’s nothing more irritating and deadly to the fallen nature, but conversely reviving to the Spirit of God within us, than waiting on God. Waiting on the Lord is part of the sifting process where the precious (His presence within the believer) is separated from the worthless (that which is under the dominion of the world, the flesh and the enemy). This has always been a necessary stage in the sanctification/training process in a believer’s life before moving forward into the fullness of the Lord’s purposes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Apostolic Ministry - The Apostolic Shift - Part 2 By Mike McClung

(This article is a continuation of the previous article on “The Apostolic Shift – Part 1)

Becoming a “Nail Scar” in His Hand

Paul, Timothy’s spiritual father, tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12: don’t let anybody look down on your youth but be an example. The first place in the New Testament the word for “example” (Gr. – tupos) is used is in John 20:25:
The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’
Thomas was absent in the first encounter with the Lord Jesus after the resurrection. The others tell Him of seeing and communing with the resurrected Lord, and he says, “I will not believe unless I see the nail scar (tupos).” This is what the lost, hurting, sin-loving, hell-bound masses are crying out for – a nail print! This is the beginning of true ministry. This is where the veil of unbelief is lifted off the hearts and understanding of the lost, blind and skeptical (Eph. 1:17-20), and where the Spirit begins the work of transformation in lives. This happens when people encounter the “nail scar” – the physical imprint of His life in us!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Apostolic Ministry - The Apostolic Shift – Part 1 By Mike McClung

Several times, I’ve had ministers give me business cards that stated, “Apostle (their name)”. I’ve also been asked to speak at churches where the senior leader is titled “Apostle (their name). The title someone carries should FOLLOW the fruit of their life and ministry/work. I’ve known too many friends who served in the military, especially in theaters of war, who have been on the field of battle with recently commissioned, but green and untested officers, given charge of their platoons or squads. Their horror stories of theirs, and everyone else lives put in grave jeopardy because of these untested, though titled officers were all too often a correlation to what we’ve seen emerge in the body of Christ over the last two decades.