• As Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8), so also must we. It is as we stand in prayer for others that God gives us the gift of woundedness."Gift?" Yes, to be wounded in the service of mercy and, instead of closing our hearts, allow the wound to crown love, is to release God’s redemptive power. The steadfast prayer of the wounded intercessor holds great sway upon the heart of God.
• Heb. 3:12-19 defines an evil heart as not just a source of evil plans or lusts, it is first an unbelieving heart that rejects the promise and faithfulness of God. It insults the integrity of God's love by accepting fear, sin and oppression as a way of life. Unbelief is perhaps the most widespread sin tolerated by Christians today.
• Step out in faith and watch the concerns people raise to sow doubt. Yes, some concerns should be heeded, but many will be the echo of failures previously experienced by others. "Don't be presumptuous," they warn. "That didn’t work for me." We don't want to be presumptuous, but remember: Jesus never said, "Woe to ye of ...too much faith." Too much faith hasn't been a problem. Our problem has been believing too little.
• The church for too long has followed Casper, the friendly ghost instead of seeking the fire of the Holy Ghost. We have turned limp at the thought of our own cross; we faint when we think of suffering, sacrifice or self-denial. Beloved, it is time to embrace the fire of God's Presence. It is the fire that purifies our sacrifice.
• An imperfect world is "job security" for an intercessor.
• One reason satan is called the "dragon" is he causes battles to "drag-on." He seeks to wear out the saints (Dan7). You see, we can sow good seed in good soil, but we still won't reap if we grow weary (Gal. 6). Fruitfulness comes "with perseverance" (Matt. 13). Thus, Christ says, "Come to Me, you who are weary and heavy laden." We must come daily to Him for strength.
• We can be assured that each step deeper into the Lord's Presence will reveal areas in our hearts which need to be cleansed. Do not be afraid to see yourself as you are. For when the Holy Spirit shows you your sin, He comes not to condemn, but to cleanse and deliver.
• I tell you, if you are serious about wanting to be like Christ, He is going to put you in circumstances where your only true choice is to become like Him.
• I love to bring a tomato plant in for winter. To eat a tomato in January or to inhale its pungent leaves, especially on a snowy day, is like a whiff of summer. To grow fruit, though, the plant's "sucker branches" must be cut off since they drain nutrients. In life, we too are called to bear fruit, yet we may have "sucker branches" draining our time and energy. What is compromising your ability to bear fruit?
• After forty years in ministry, here is what I have found: Christ comes to comfort the troubled and trouble the comfortable.
• Our old nature does not need therapy, its needs crucifixion. To follow Christ we cannot take our counsel from our flesh, which often retreats into whining and complaining. Self-pity is not a virtue, it is an enemy. Indeed, self-pity keeps all our old wounds alive.
• Whatever makes us spiritually passive also leaves us spiritually vulnerable.
• Hypocrites love to judge; it makes them feel superior. But it shall not be so with you. You must seek earnestly for lowliness of heart. Many zealous but proud Christians failed to reach holiness because they presumed they were called to judge others.
• Christian study guides can be quite helpful and training books can be a blessing. Yet, our greatest quest is to actually possess oneness with Christ. Our goal is not to follow a manual, but to follow Emmanuel.
• God has called us to pray for each other, not prey on each other.
• Because lawlessness has increased, many Christians are offended. They feel justified that their love is cold. One goal of our In Christ's Image Training course is to actually possess the unoffendable heart of Jesus Christ. We genuinely can have unoffendable hearts, but first we must stop looking to receive from people what only God can give.