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The prodigal daughter

November 22, 2016

Blessed yesterday to be back in downtown. We even got to do some preaching :).
Towards the end of the day, God brought “Brandi” by. My guess is that she was around 30 years old. She is your typical homeless girl bound by heroin. She was raised in Alabama in a southern Baptist home. She has two kids who are being raised by her parents in two separate homes.

We listened to her story. And as we did, the Holy Spirit gave us some insight into where she was currently at spiritually. We shared and encouraged her that God is not very far away. In fact, he is just camped out next door. He is just waiting for her to turn to Him. She listened.

We reminded her of the “Prodigal son” story, of which she had heard many times before. However, we put her into the story as the “Prodigal daughter”. The Father is there waiting with open arms to through a party upon her return, but she just has to get to the point where she “has spent all”, and “comes to herself”.

We also reminded her that she is indeed responsible for that which she knows. And of course being raised “Southern Baptist”, she knows about Jesus and the salvation that He alone brings. It was good for her to be reminded of this, because in her sharing, she has allowed some demonic influence to change her thinking, which is so very common out on the streets.

We asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and said, “well, as long as I don’t have to stand here and close my eyes” . So we did.

She shared how she misses her kids. Heroin is no doubt nullifying the pain.

She seemed to have hope as we parted. Please pray for her. She could have been any one of our daughters. Thank you.

An encounter with “Jesus”

April 3, 2016

We must never underestimate the power of one encounter for Jesus. I was reminded of this yesterday.

While traveling north on the bus, i stopped off at a local Walmart to use the restroom and pick up some water. While at the water aisle, i reached up to grab a bottle when i heard, “Hey! It’s good to see you again! Remember me?” My eyes immediately fell upon his name badge, which read “Jesus”. Bing! “Yeah! I remember you! At the neighborhood market close by where i live”.

Here we were…..

Approximately 6 months ago, i pulled into the neighborhood market parking lot and quickly noticed the “cart pusher”. I walked over to him to say hi. Then i noticed his name tag saying “Jesus”. I smiled and said that i really liked his name. Then of course, we asked him if he knew Jesus. He said that he did. We had a great visit in the parking lot that day.

Now…..

Approximately 6 months later, 5 miles north, and at a different store, here he remembers me. I was amazed. I complemented him for his remembrance, and of course knowing all the time that it was the Lord indeed that brought it all to pass. I asked him what God was currently doing in his life, and he shared a testimony of how God blessed him recently by being able to return to Walmart after quitting his last store. He realized that it was a mistake and that God showed mercy upon him and what a blessing it was to be able to work. We stood there sharing for a while, then parted knowing that we would see each other again.

One encounter can make a difference. We must never underestimate it. Go Jesus!

name-tag

Seeing and hearing

March 23, 2016

Like anything else in life, if we don’t use it or practice it on a regular basis, we can become less acquainted with that which we used to do on a regular basis.

This past Saturday, i was seeking God and wanting to go out again and be led of the Spirit to where He wanted me to go. This is a big part of the ministry that the Lord has given me and called me to over the years. I have seen some really divine moves of God into this realm of the Spirit. My heart craves for more of the Spirit of God to “see” and to “hear”, then to move into that realm.

As we were waiting upon Him, He soon gave us the route to take and the place to go. We were to head out on foot east, then turn north and walk up to the “Target” store. As we walked, we prayed, and at the same time looked around to see if there was any people around that He might be leading us to. During the approximate mile long walk, there was no one who we sensed we were to talk to. Soon we were at the Target store and walked into the restroom. Once inside, we spotted a young guy washing himself at the sink. We knew immediately that he was the one to speak to. However, not at the present time.

We left and went outside after hearing to wait out there for him to come out. After a few minutes, we looked ahead down the walkway and spotted him. Our immediate thought was “wow, he sure looks different from when he was under the lights in the restroom”. We proceeded to follow him. Up ahead, we saw him take a left into the store next door. We heard to wait there for him to come out. After waiting a few, he comes out, and we say to him, “Hey brother! Come on over here and tell me what God is doing in your life”. We saw that he had a shirt on that had a small cross on it and a ministry name under it.

He began to share his testimony of being saved right after getting out of prison, and being now clean for 30 days. He shared how God had delivered him and how thankful he was. I asked him if he has been tempted to use again since being clean. He said “oh yes”. I then heard that i was to pray for him regarding this help. So i asked him if i could pray for him. He smiled and said “sure!”. As we did, we really prayed for his protection. We covered him in the armor of the Lord, from his head to his toes. When finished, he was blessed and encouraged. We soon parted our ways. He went down the walkway, i took off to my left and went across the parking lot.

After about 10 minutes and turning to my right to follow the sidewalk, i look up ahead to the intersection and i see him and a guy standing with him at the light. As i walked up, i immediately noticed that the guy that was with him was the guy that i originally saw in the bathroom. I said to him, “Hey you were the one who i saw in the restroon”. He said that he remembered seeing me also. I then was amazed at what had just been revealed to me…..

Here i was in the presence of these two guys, one who i thought was the one from the restroom in which i prayed with, the other who i didn’t pray with which was the guy from the restroom. Just how did my “seeing” and “hearing” play into this all? Was God once again just showing his sovereignty? Would things of changed out differently if i were to of “saw” and “heard” differently? Was this just how it was all to play out, i.e. the guy that i prayed with was the reason why i was to go to “Target” in the first place?

I find it all interesting.

Then the guy introduces me to the other guy. He quickly shares his testimony of being saved and how he was also clean from addiction. He lit up as he was sharing about God’s power to save and keep him. They were both there that day to also collect money at the intersection for the ministry that they were a part of. All three of us rejoiced at God’s goodness and how our divine appointment all transpired.

Someday we will see clearly, see completely. Until now, i endeavor to “see” and “hear” more clearly as i approach the gates of heaven.

Our understanding of the character of God and Jesus.

October 9, 2013

We all have our personal understanding of what the character of God and Jesus means to us. By “character”, I am focusing here on their “attributes, dispositions, personalities and temperaments”.

We all have arrived at this point in our lives with the understanding we have. This comes over a period of time, and comes from several different means. Our life experience to this point makes up some of our view or understanding of God and Jesus. We have had a personal experience through our dealings with God and Jesus, be it good or bad. This helps to create our image of God whether we want to believe it or not. Experience cannot be denied. Of course now, if our experience has been filled with a lot of negativity, disappointment etc. then we must address the issues that have been experienced in hope to be able to move on in our to a proper understanding.

Along with our experience comes the way we were raised. Those who raised us had a very strong influence on us whether we will admit it or not. We are all products to some extent as to how we were raised. Those who raised us, be it our parents, our parent, step mother, step father, Grandmother etc. all taught us in many different ways their views or understanding about the character of God/Jesus. Even if they didn’t believe in God, they still taught their understanding of God/Jesus. It might have been in subtle ways but taught never the less.

Another means of which many of us have arrived to this point in our understanding is through the reading of books. We all particularly like the books that we can relate with, or agree with. If we find one that hits on our understanding of God and or Jesus, we get that one and enjoy reading it because we agree with what’s being said. It comes into line with what we have understood to this point.

Another way is through being taught by teachers. Maybe it was our teachers in school when we were children that influenced us on the character of God. Also, it could have been our Sunday school teachers. Later on, if you went to college, your professors may have taught you some about the attributes of God. It may have been in a direct way, or an indirect way. Either way, you were influenced. If you were raised in a believing home that went to church, your Pastor taught you on his understanding of the disposition, temperament or personality of God/Jesus.

And, not only were we taught while growing up, we are all being taught continuously through life.

However, there is a couple of questions here that we must address. We must ask ourselves these questions, and face the honest answer if we desire the truth with proper biblical understanding. It is of vital importance for us to know as much as we can about the character of God and Jesus because the more we understand what they are like, the more our relationship opens up. We are no longer one-sided or lopsided in knowing what God/Jesus is really like. We open the box to our limited view. This opens up our relationship. Also, it is very important because we need a proper, more complete understanding to share with all the different people we run across who have many different views of God, or a limited view. With more of a complete biblical understanding we will be sharing not our view, our God/Jesus, but the true biblical God/Jesus as the best we understand it.

The first question is:

Am I willing to reevaluate my understanding of the character of God? If not, then of course, you will continue to be limited because you choose to be that way. In other words, you are content to remain in your present understanding of God’s character. However, we must ask ourselves the question….why do I not want to learn more?

If we are willing to reevaluate, then,

Am I willing to open myself up and study for myself to find out the true character of God? In the light of doing this, would I be willing to embrace any new understanding or any understanding that I might not be comfortable with? Will I agree with what I find? Would I be willing to change my view? Would I be willing to receive all the attributes of God? Am I willing to lay aside any feelings/emotions that affect my view of God? (This one is a big one for many). Why?

Because if you have been hurt or abused by anyone that had anything to do with God/Jesus, you have formed a lot of your understanding from this. As hard as it may be, this has to be laid at the feet of Jesus if you are to come to any kind of balanced view of God/Jesus. You would have to be willing to let this go and be healed in Jesus name first. It’s a closed-door without healing, and Jesus is the only way the door can be opened.

We cannot move further in our understanding of the character of God unless all these questions are answered with an affirmative YES!

The Cross Offers a Glimpse into the Heart of God

April 4, 2012

The Cross Offers a Glimpse into the Heart of God.

Our brother Peter was blessed with some good insight from brother Trevin who wrote from the Spirit.

The Teacher and the Relationship

January 27, 2012

I am so thankful that you do not need a degree from some college to study, to learn, and even to teach from his word. Now, probably most would not give you much credit or recognition if your were to teach the word, but no were in God’s word does it say that you have to go to school or have a degree from a Bible College to be able to teach. It is only man’s understanding and acceptance that says that you need to have such. Being that the Holy Spirit is THE TEACHER, our first place should be to go to Him to learn. Certainly, the Holy Spirit can and does teach from men, but first, we must be learning from the Spirit and His word personally. If you talk about a “personal relationship with God”, how can you have one if you’re not spending time with Him through His Spirit teaching you personally? The bottom line is that you can’t. No time spent personally, equals NO relationship. It’s pretty basic, pretty simple. Oh you might have what you think is a relationship, built on “head knowledge”, but there is no intimacy involved. It’s like the guy that knows that he needs to have a relationship with his wife, so he signs up to take classes how to have a relationship with his wife. But, he never spends time with her to develop that relationship. All he has is a “head knowledge” as to how it’s done. But, he never spends time with the one that he wants to have a relationship with. Ah duh.

A few years ago, when I went back into my calling after traveling abroad, the Lord led me to hundreds of young guys in their twenties who God was calling and to whom he was speaking. Some of which, had not even yet been saved, and the things that were being said out of their mouth would blow most christians out of the water. Because of the shortness of time, God is preparing young people at rapid speed. They are being “downloaded” upon by the Holy Spirit. They are prophesying, they are doing the works of God by His Spirit. (see my post https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2007/01/16/gods-army/

Even yet today, I am finding men and women in their twenties that are speaking spiritual things that if one is not totally filled and led by His Spirit, they will not even have a clue as to what is being said. It takes Spirit to receive Spirit. In other words, you and I have to be filled and operating in the Spirit at the moment, to be able to receive one that is coming and is going to be downloading upon you. If not, we will dismiss it, or not even get it, or even stand there with a blank look on our face.

The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit is moving out there, and its big time. So, if you are unaware of it, then you need to get on board with the Spirit. We don’t want to be apart of the many who will not see it, or will dismiss it as “not of God”. This is, and is going to be “God outside of the box”. It’s been happening out there, and will continue with “Revival” such as the world has never known. A “Street Revival” that was prophesied years ago by a brother who now lives in New Zealand is coming to pass. Are you preparing? Are you ready? Hurry, the Boat is soon to be leaving.

Where did “God bless you” go?

January 20, 2012

Tonight, as I was purchasing a couple of shirts, I smiled at the cashier and said, “God bless you”.

This is nothing new for me, I do it all the time. And you might also do the same . But, tonight I was impressed to say afterwards, “when was the last time you heard that?” She smiled and said, “wow, I don’t think I have ever heard that since I have worked here”. I said, “really!”. She went on to say, “you don’t hear that anymore”. I said, “that’s really sad”. She smiled and agreed.

Can we put a value on telling someone “God bless you?” A couple of years ago, I had a vision of a lady that was a grocery checker and a customer said “God bless you” to her and she ended up re-commiting her life back to God. She went to lunch and into the lunch room and after it got quiet, she sat there and remembered when she was young and in “Sunday School” and how wonderful that was. Soon, she ended up confessing to the Lord, tears rolled down her face, and God met her right there in the lunch room. It was because God used someone to smile and say “God Bless You”. We will never know this side of eternity how valuable a few words spoken could be.

Like I’ve said before, “God gave us a mouth for much more than eating”.

“God bless you” is not the least we can say, and it’s certainly not the least we can do.

God’s Righteousness for Us

December 8, 2010

The only way to be made right (righteous) with God is through faith in Christ Jesus. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We are all not right before God. We have no righteousness in and of ourselves.

There is only one way to be justified (be innocent, be just, set free, be made right) before God. It is offered freely to all without charge. It is by God’s grace through the redemption (deliverance) that is found in Christ Jesus.

God gave Christ as the atonement for our sins. It is by His blood, through faith in Christ, that God demonstrates His righteousness.

God righteousness proves that He is just and the justifier of all those who put their faith in Christ Jesus.

(taken from Rom.3:22-26)

The Sin Offering

August 17, 2009

I can’t escape the subject of “Sin”. Ever since I received Christ many years ago, I have always been led of the Lord to read, study and teach on the subject of sin. It is like something that you can’t run from nor escape from. It is always there. Over the years some have made the comment to me, “you are always talking about sin”. All I can reply is, “sorry, it is part of what God has called me to”. Others may have similar subjects that they are always talking or studying about. We must follow that which God has placed upon our hearts.

A few weeks ago, I was impressed with the thoughts of “sacrifices”, “blood”, “sin” etc. So I once again looked at these subjects in scripture. After studying for a few days, I remembered that I had a book on these subjects. About two years ago, a brother had sent us two copies of a book that he had written. They were pre-production/evaluation copies. I will soon contact him to see if it is in print now. An excellent book on the “Shadows” of the Old Testament which leads to Christ.

In this book the author writes about “The Sin Offering”.
THE SIN OFFERING (Leviticus Chapter Four)
“The Psalmist wrote, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psa.51:5) He was referring to the fact that when Adam fell in the beginning the human race fell because Adam was the human race. Since then all of his seed, and that includes us, are sons of Adam, born in sin. We have a sin nature. This is what Sin Offering was about.”
“The Sin Offering was not primarily dealing with specific offenses against one’s neighbor. That was handled with the fifth offering, the Guilt Offering. The Sin Offering was how the sinner agreed with God that he had a root problem, he was born in sin and his relationship with God was damaged.”
“In contrast the Guilt Offering was more focused on the specific damages done by sin to one’s neighbor. The Sin Offering dealt with sin’s root and the Guilt with sin’s fruit. The Sin Offering said, “I am wrong.” The Guilt Offering said, “I did wrong.”
“Even the high priest of Israel had to offer Sin Offerings for himself before he could offer the Sin Offering for the nation on the annual Day of Atonement. The only person ever born without the contamination of sin was the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why he was virgin born. The sinful seed of Adam was not in his DNA.”

“The Sin Offering was how man agreed with God about his sinful condition and by faith found forgiveness and pardon. One clear distinction of the Sin Offering from all other offerings was that after the inner parts were offered on the altar, the rest of the animal was taken outside of the courtyard to a place that was made ceremonially clean. There it was consumed on a simple wood fire. The Sin Offering dealt with the nature of sin. As an abomination to the holiness of God, it was taken out of his presence and consumed outside the camp.”

“Jesus was our Sin Offering. He paid for our sin, our sin nature. He fixed what was broken. He didn’t die in the Temple on the great altar which was on the temple grounds but was taken outside the temple and died in a desolate place.”

“The New Testament makes a very clear statement about our sin nature and the Sin Offering. The Old Testament sin offering was a clear shadow of Christ, God’s lamb, who came to die in our place as the final and only acceptable Sin Offering to God the Father.”
Amen

Taking personal responsibility

August 15, 2008

I talk to a lot of people and there seems to be a common thread in some. They want to blame someone or something for the excuse of not taking personal responsibility of their own spiritual condition before God.
Now in some cases, they have a good gripe. But they still use this to duck responsibility.

Let me give you an example:
This lady refused a card that I handed her. The minute see saw that it had to do with Jesus she went into one. She raised her voice on the train we where riding in. She said that we are all the same. She explained that she had lived back east and saw some that claimed to be Christians do some terrible things to other people. While I did not doubt that she did, it was very obvious that she was very bitter and upset.
This is a very common thing. People want to go back to circumstances that may have been very upsetting, and then use that circumstance against someone.
It still comes back to the fact that people need to take responsibility for their own spiritual condition before God. Someday we will stand before God alone. Our excuses as to why we didn’t come to God will not stand. We will not be able to put the blame on anyone or any circumstance as to why we did not heed God’s call to us.
Once again, I will agree that everyone or everything that calls itself Christian may indeed not be. But we can no longer use that as an excuse for us not turning from our own sins and receiving forgiveness through Christ.