The Greater Than the Corona Virus, Virus

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virusThe Greater Than the Corona Virus, Virus

The spiritual battle over the life of our nation has rarely been as intense as it is in these days. The forces of darkness are in full attack mode utilizing all the weapons they have to destroy this country as a “light on a hill.”

The words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 have never been more real.

“People will love only themselves and their money.” – vs. 2. The boldness with which this self love is demonstrated in some ways takes our breath away. I don’t like the labels necessarily, but the younger generation called “snowflakes” is only living out what they have been conditioned for from the previous generation. Entitlement mentality is the lifestyle of self-love. Sadly, we see the evidence that this “self-love virus” has infected almost our entire nation.

“They will be boastful and proud scoffing at God” – vs. 3. The level of arrogant rhetoric, and the “pride” in debauchery is astounding. Being proud to be in total violation of the clear words of Scripture has infected now not just personal lives, but politics, the workplace, education at even the kindergarten level, and the Christian denominations. The latest being the Southern Baptists. A shocking sign that the delusion, and power of this spirit of darkness has gained tragic control at every level.

“Disobedient to parents and ungrateful they will consider nothing sacred” – vs. 3 – Disobedience has happened because it the guidelines of the Scriptures were thrown out of our schools, and our institutions. The philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” has replace obedience to any form of authority, especially the authority of the Word of God, and the authority of God Himself, who is ultimately the judge of all things.

“They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control” – vs. 3.  The tsunami of slander, of  forgiveness, of slander on all levels, but especially in the media and politics, has infected the minds and souls of millions of Americans without any regard for any level of righteousness, love or kindness. Those who can remember other days, are or should be in total shock at the depth of this insanity.

“They will be cruel and hate what is good” – vs. 4. What greater cruelty could you imagine than to rip apart a human being while still in it’s mother’s womb? What greater cruelty could you imagine than having a baby survive the barbarism of an abortion and not be allowed medical care? What greater cruelty could you imagine than harvesting body parts of aborted human beings and selling them for profits on an institutional level?

What greater cruelty could you imagine than this happening not in a few cases, but by the thousands and millions? The Lord of the universe does not turn a blind eye to this barbarism and affront to His Word, and His heart. There will be judgment, you can count on that.

“They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” – vs. 4. The “infection” of sin into every part of society has now reached such a level that it is made to seem normal to live out these sins, for that is what they are. The word “reckless” here has the idea of rushing headlong into something without any restraint. How often have we seen this played out before us in so many ways across our society in these days? It is astonishing. But the root of it is exactly as stated. We have become lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. So Pleasure, and self have become out gods, and the rest of the world be damned.

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.” – vs. 5. How sad to watch while those who enjoy the pleasure of evil, or even those who would justify these evils, cover themselves with a cloak of religious rhetoric, and put on a false front so that they feel justified in their evil. But they have only condemned themselves, and rejected the only means of help they have… the God of the Bible.

All of this could leave us with a spirit of hopelessness and depression if that were the only things we had to look to. But there is always hope. Because the God of the Bible, the General of the Armies of Heaven is still on the throne, and His Word is still true and faithful, and obedience to His Word brings redemption, forgiveness, hope and life.

How should we then react to all that is going on around  us? It’s a familiar passage, but it is still true. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” The reality is, that the condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Let me repeat that. The condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Those who are called by His Name have not place to cast aspersions at what is going on in the world if we ourselves have failed in our obedience and righteousness before our Holy God. This is first of all a call to repentance. You might say, but what do I have to repent of? I don’t do any of those things. Ah, my friend, but you are comparing yourself to them, when you need to be comparing yourself to the Righteous King! For He says to us, I Peter 1: 15 – But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” The time is past due for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to allow the Holy Spirit of God to search every area of our lives, and point out everything He finds that HE calls sin, and for us to earnestly acknowledge our sin, and humbly ask for forgiveness. He promises He will hear from Heaven, and forgive.

We must learn the spiritual discipline of seeking His face. Seeking the divine manifest presence of God in our lives, our families and our churches. There is not substitute. No other way. We in many ways, my friends are a people of God who do not know Him. We, in many cases have not learned the joy, the ecstasy of being in the midst of the manifest presence of God. His manifest presence changes everything, starting in us.

This is a time when we as the people of God should be full of hope, because God loves nothing better than for His people to desperately cry out to Him, and to answer by His presence to bring revival and transformation where the was once desolation and what I call “Societal Insanity.”

This is a time of hope because there has not been a time in many, many years where that has been such a widespread movement of prayer, fasting, and repentance in our country. There are ministries and movements across our land that God has been preparing for such a time as this. We are not alone, we are not abandoned! The God of Heavens Armies is waiting for us to hear His voice, and respond in humble, repentant, desperate faith that He is faithful to His word. Now is the time for Jesus’ Church to be who He called us to be… counter cultural light and salt. He wants us to be “infected” with hope and action!Let me close this with a promise I use many time to remind us of this hope. It is found in Hosea 6:1-3.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.  In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

I have asked this question in many places among many different peoples: “How many of your have laid awake all night worrying if the sun would come up in the morning?”

I have never had anyone raise their hand, and most people chuckle at the idea.Listen, everyone lives with the absolute certainty that the sun will come up in the morning. We plan our lives around this absolute conviction. Our calendars, smart phones, and schedule are evidence that we live with this absolute conviction that the sun will rise in the morning. It is our way of life.

But how many of us arrange our lives, our schedules around the absolute conviction that if we do what God calls us to do that He will come to us? God is not a liar. He not a deceiver. His word is perfect and true, and what He says here He will do because it is His Word, and a part of His divine character.

That is hope!

The days in which we live are a call to action on the part of God’s people. Stop complaining, stop only looking at the ills of our society. Obey His Word! Yes, we are being torn to pieces, but He will heal us. He will bandage our wounds. He will restore us so that we can live in His presence!! Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the weariness, because as we press on to know Him, He  will respond as surely as the arrival of the dawn.

One last question. Did the sun come up this morning? OK then!!

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YSICM Mission Statement Teaching Part 3

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Logo - w websiteThe past few weeks we have been looking at the history and now the Mission Statement of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, or YSICM (why Ye S I C hiM)

This week I wan to look at the next touch point for this ministry…

Parts of Mission Statement

  • To serve Congregations
  • Fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers
  • Living and ministering out of a culture of prayer
  • Together with others in the community
  • Hunger for and invite God’s Transforming Presence
  • For the Glory of His Name

It is our sincere desire that the body of Christ, and it’s local representatives come to a place where they are actively, and intentionally, fulfilling the first and great commandment is given by the Lord Jesus Christ, to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind…

Matthew 22:35-38One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question; “teacher, what is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” this is the first and greatest commandment

I describe this as being “God – Hungry believers”

This begins with the statement of the Westminster catechism – The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.

At your servant in Christ ministries our mission is to serve by teaching the primary importance of knowing and loving the God of the Bible, Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Our love for God primarily, above all other things, is the beginning point of our fulfilling what God has designed us to do and be. In Mark 22: 18-24, The Pharisees and Sadducees tried to get Jesus into a debate about what is the most important issues, and this took on two important aspects. First they wanted to debate him about theology, and the issue of marriage. Jesus direct them to the most important thing, which is a personal, intimate, loving relationship with God.

Part of Jesus answer to them was to tell them that they did not understand the Scriptures when they tried to debate him about this issue of divorce and remarriage. He said that they do not know the scriptures and they do not know the God of the Scriptures. To know God, we must be in continuing hunger for knowing the Scriptures. To know him, we must know his word, Psalm 14:2, I Chronicles 16:11, Isaiah 55:6-7.

In Revelation chapter 2, in his message to the FE’s in church, Jesus told them that they were diligent to work for the Lord, they have correct theology, they were watchful for error, and they had been patient in their sufferings. But despite all of that, what they had lost was that primary, first love for the Lord.

This is essential for us to understand in these days. We can have many programs and keep watch to have correct teaching, the labor for the Lord is a pastor, Sunday school teacher, Elder, Deacon, or Deaconess, or whatever. But we must always be diligent to make sure that we have not walked away from that primary love that Jesus is looking for.

This is essential for us to understand in these days. We can have many programs and keep Watch to have correct teaching, the labor for the Lord is a pastor, Sunday school teacher, Elder, Deacon, or Deaconess, or whatever. But we must always be diligent to make sure that we have not walked away from that primary love that Jesus is looking for.

It is our challenge to help the church revive that first love so that all the other things will follow.

If you would like to know more about our teaching on these subjects please contact us at Steve loopstra@gmail.com

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The YSICM Mission Statement

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The YSICM Mission Statement

Last post I shared how Your Servant in Christ Ministries was born and the interesting desire built into the ministry initials – YSICM ( (Y) Why (S) Yes I ( C ) See (M) ‘em – Him…. Why yes! I see Him!

This post I want to share with you the heart of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, and our Mission Statement. In the weeks ahead I will explain the teaching and reasoning behind each of the various parts of our Mission Statement.

The Mission of Your Servant in Christ Ministries is to serve congregations with the goal that they fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers, living  and ministering out of a culture of prayer, so that together with others in their community, they might hunger for, and invite God’s transforming Presence into their lives, their families, their churches and into their communities for the Glory of His Name.

This can be broken down into the following components:

  • Serve Congregations – My next post will explain the importance of local congregations understanding what God’s heart is for them to be all that He wants them to be in our world today in the context of true Transformation.
  • Often lost in the business of agendas and talk of Gift of the Spirit is the heart of God that His Church, His Bride be hungry for His Presence.
  • The fulfillment of God’s purposes for each local congregation is that they learn how to operate out of a true culture of prayer. We teach about what that really means.
  • Working together with other congregations. This is the unity that God says is so precious to His own heart. The unity of congregations in a given locality or region is essential for what comes next.
  • True Transformation is the “Manifest Presence” of God. We teach what is the “Manifest Presence” of God, give examples of that in today’s world and what it takes to experience the Manifest Presence of God.

Over the next weeks I will briefly unpack each of these part of our YSICM mission statement. And in the end it really is all about helping individuals, families, congregations and communities say, “Why Yes! I See Him!”

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What is Your Servant in Christ Ministries all about?

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What is Your Servant in Christ Ministries all about?

A good question. Over the next few weeks I want to share with you the heart and mission of YSICM.

In this first installment, I want to share with you the birth of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, the significance of the name, and an interesting “factoid” I’m sure you never knew about the name of this ministry.

How YSICM was born.

For several years, I was the director of a ministry our of Minneapolis, Minnesota called, “Prayer Transformation Ministries. PTM was a ministry focused on Revival, and Transformation, and Intercession. These were very blessed and wonderful years of ministry. In 2009, I was asked to join the ministry of The Sentinel Group our of the Seattle, WA area. My wife and I moved to Monroe, Washington, and I was involved in a number of ways with The Sentinel Group and the message of transformation.

In 2011, my wife passed away from pancreatic cancer, and at the same time, the ministry of The Sentinel Group was hitting on very hard financial times. In December of 2011, I was invited to join the ministry of a church in Valentina, Brazil as the pastor of intercession.

I felt like the Lord was calling me to begin a ministry focused on revival and transformation, and intercession, the three subjects that have been the core of my heart and calling from the very beginning of my Christian life.

But what to call this new ministry? I absolutely did not want to call it “Steve Loopstra ministries!” But what name would God want? In those days I took many walks around a small in Monroe, Washington. In one of these walks as I was seeking to hear from the Lord regarding the name of the ministry, I truly heard Him say, “How have you always signed your letters?” Well, for many years, all my correspondence was signed as “Your servant in Christ.” I never capitalized the “S” in servant in order to not elevate the sense of being a servant.

Well, the next question was, “What do I do about a logo?”  That happened to be a WednesdayLogo - w website, and that evening I attended a prayer meeting at one of the churches in town. That afternoon I had been thinking about the logo and picturing some kind of concept with a towel and basin reflecting Jesus serving His disciples. The first part of the prayer time, the room lights were dimmed to facilitate personal meditation. After some time, the pastor invited us to rise and prayer walk around the room. As I arose and turned to join the procession, there on a table in front of me was exactly what I had pictured in my mind!  A pitcher, a candle, and a towel! I was amazed, and snapped a picture.

The next day as I was working on the logo and the new name, Your Servant in Christ Ministries, the Lord spoke something very strange to me. He said, “look at the first letter of each of the words of the name.” Really?  YSICM. To my mind came what is at the heart of what this ministry is all about.  “Y” “S” “I” “C” “M” —  “Why Yes, I (C) See (M) Him”  YSICM.

Later, I was curious whether I was understanding correctly the “Why Yes” part. When I looked up that phrase, is: ‘Why, yes’ seems to be an idiomatic expression, used to add emphasis to a response. ”

My desire is that through this ministry, whether what I write, or opportunities to speak and teach (more on this to follow), people would see the Lord in His glory, power, and splendor

That’s the heart of Your Servant  In Christ Ministries… next week, I will begin sharing the mission statement of YSICM.

Your support and prayers are always appreciated as we seek to live this out.

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NEW!! “Seeking The Face of God Prayer Guide” !!!

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We are so happy to have available to you our latest Prayer Guide – “Seeking The Face of God”

dSeeking the Face of God front coverseeking inside page copy

 

This is a Prayer Guide written to assist you in seeking a more personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. There are weekly Scripture references pertaining to the theme of seeking the face of God, then a short devotional to focus your attention on that theme, then daily suggestions for prayer, beginning with your own heart, your family, your church, your city and the world of missions.

 

 

The “Seeking The Face of God” Prayer Guide is ideal not only for personal devotions, but is designed to be  used by families, small groups, Bible study groups, and churches to prayer in unity as you together seek the face of God.

The “Seeking the Face of God” Prayer Guide is available on Amazon and in Kindle format. However in the past we have found that many like the printed copy to write thoughts, and word from the Lord.

Our prayer is that this  “Seeking the Face of God” Prayer Guide will be an instrument of God to assist you to respond in a new way to the Lord’s invitation for us to seek His face.

Click here to be taken to the Amazon Page

Watch this short video introducing the Prayer Guide – 

For Bulk orders contact me at: Steveloopstra@gmail.com

Or 360-862-5646

 

 

 

 

 

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