Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Monday, June 9, 2014


"I will make them envious by those who are not a people. I will make them angry by those who are not a nation." (Deut.32:21, niv)

"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name I said, 'here am I, here am I.'" (Isaiah 65:1, niv)

"His purpose was to make His salvation available to the Gentiles, and then the Jews would be jealous and want it for themselves." (Romans 11:11, nlt)

(I first wrote this July 3, 2010, but after listening to a young man speak about how he never believed in God and felt that he was turning towards atheism, how suddenly an overwhelming presence and love of God washed over him, I have been reminded of this.  Over the last couple of years I have also seen others who at one time appeared to be agnostic or new age begin to testify of God's love and healing power.  Tonight as I pulled this up from the archives and began to read it to my wife I was suddenly whacked by the Holy Spirit and began to cry for no reason.  In a quick instant the wave of emotion that I felt seemed to surely be a confirmation from the Lord that this word has already started happening at a rapid pace that we will soon realize.  As always I encourage you to take what I have written and pray over it for yourself.  Don't just take my word for something I say.  I am flesh and just a man.  I do hope that you choose to read on..............................)

I have been thinking and pondering what I am about to write for a few days now. I believe it is a message that God wants to be heard, but if I am going to say, "That the Lord said, or the Lord says," I want to make sure it is scriptural and not contradicting of God's ways. I don't take it lightly when God speaks to me and I will meditate on it before speaking it out. After returning from Wilmington last week, this revelation has stayed in my mind everyday.

Last Saturday morning I had gone to a time of prayer. I could sense God's presence even as I walked into the church. I started to settle my mind for prayer. There were only three of us in the church, Larry, my friend and brother in the Lord and Nancy, a sweet woman of God, also from the church. Suddenly the word ATHEIST flashed in my mind. I saw it for just a fraction of a second. At first I didn't understand it, but as I began to pray on it out loud, the Lord began to speak. Here is what I heard then and here is what I've continued to hear this week:

"I am about to go to the atheist. I am about to go to the atheist and they will begin to see me in power and for who I am. Even though they have not searched for me and instead have even denied me, I will go to them. I will reveal myself; yes, to the atheist and the agnostic. I will do this because I am tired of Christians who produce no fruit. People who say they are Christians, but sit in church week after week to receive and then waste away the rest of the week. I am about to say to them; 'Ok, you don't want to produce fruit? You don't want to advance my Kingdom? Then fine. I will pass you by; for a season. I will let you alone. You can remain idle, but see me pass you by.' But I will go to the atheist; to the unbeliever. And they will see me. And they will rise up and follow after me. Then THEY will shake things up. THEY will pass you by and yes, THEY will begin to teach you. THEY will begin to show you. And THEY will go to the nations, when you would not. You will become envious and insulted because of them, but you have had your time. Watch the athiest; watch the agnostic, the unbeliever. They will rise up and they will shake this nation for my name's sake!"
.................I have now been staring at my computer screen for several minutes. Unable to really think or type. Even though God first spoke these words to me a week ago, it feels like He just spoke them again to me, but like it is for the very first time all over again. About 3 months ago the Lord said to me, "Everything as you know it is about to change." I can't even grasp what that all means. God said that to me; for the journey that my family is now on, but at the same time I believe that God would say that to all of us. We are in a new time, a new day and a new generation of believers are rising up. There is a reason why there is so much shaking going on in the earth. It's happening to coincide with what is going on in the spiritual, in the heavens. As it is in Heaven, so it shall be on earth! Lord, let it be so.

A deeper understanding of God's love is about to burst forth.  "Many waters cannot quench love, nor can floods drown it."

May the glory and power of God fall on you today!
Mark S.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Today, you are in a war. Today, the battle intensifies. To some reading this you know what I'm talking about. You can feel it; you can sense it and sometimes the burden seems so heavy to bear. Yet for others, the war seems distant. Nonexistent. The day is bright and full of hope. Seize the day! Seize the day you must and you will. But, deep inside your heart of hearts you know to never become too comfortable. Too arrogant; too cocky. You know that the adversary is still out there. Looking to see who he can devour. You can never take off the armor that you have been equipped with, for in the one moment you do, the attack comes when you are vulnerable. When you are not expecting.

There are many who would downplay the battles that are fought in the spiritual realm. After all, you usually can't see them with natural vision. What you can't see must not be there. Right? Well, that's what the enemy wants you to believe. The truth is, though, satan wants to take you out. He will try anyway he can and he doesn't have a rule book that he follows. Some of his victims are easier than others. Some are convinced that there is no God; that there is no Jesus that died for the people. Their eyes can become so blinded and their hearts so hardened that the devil never had it so easy.  He will often just leave that person alone.

Others may be a bit more difficult. They live good lives, go to church, believe in God and even acknowledge that Jesus is God's son. But that's where it ends. Once church is over, it's back to "normal" for the week. They might pick up the Bible for a few minutes here or there and may even pray once in a while before a meal or going to bed. But, when it really comes to sharing the Gospel or advancing the Kingdom, well, somebody else will do that. Or that's what the pastor is paid to do. No real threat to the enemy, either.

Ah, but then you have the Kingdom Warriors. Those who desire to think and act like Jesus. Always putting others first, looking for someone to pray for, or looking for ways to leak out the Kingdom in dark places. The Kingdom minded, the disciple of Jesus. Hungering and thirsting after God's Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, not for selfish gain, but for Kingdom's gain. This is the one who understands the authority to punch holes into the darkness, but this is also the one who scares the enemy most. This is the one who brings fear into the enemy camp and sometimes fear causes the enemy to react violently.

It is my prayer that we all become Kingdom Warriors. If you were described most in the earlier paragraphs, I am not wanting to make you feel bad today. Instead, I mean to encourage you to step up to the next level with God. There is nothing that compares to the excitement of living out a great adventure, of overcoming evil with good, of taking up the sword daily.  It is incredible to live knowing that the King we serve gives us the strength and authority to push back the kingdom of darkness. We really are equipped with a sword. The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, which is powerful, living and sharper than any other. One that can divide even soul and spirit; joints and marrow and even the intentions of the heart. (See Hebrews 4:12)

KINGDOM WARRIOR, be encouraged. When you find yourself in the middle of the battle stand firm. Keep a sharp eye. When satan releases any spirit or demon from the pit of hell, it cannot overpower the KING you serve nor the sword you carry. Sometimes the battle does want to make one weary, but hold the line, stand fast, resist. Defend the ways of God! Defend the Kingdom and defend His church. You have the crown of life. You hold the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and remember, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven. (Matthew 16:19.)

In my life I often see the results when people lose all hope.  Over the last couple of years I have seen way too many lives snuffed out by drug overdoses and even suicide.  When people become desperate from hopelessness there is no telling how far they can be pushed.  There are a lot of hopeless people in the world right now searching for answers, searching for hope, searching for truth.  The follower of Jesus needs to be ready.  For people that are lost and losing hope, we may just be their end of the line.  A last hope, a last chance to speak life into a life that has grown dim.  We need to be kingdom men and kingdom women.

This might be a good time to find a copy of the movie "Gettysburg" and watch how Col. Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine held the line on Little Round Top. A hold that arguably could be the one that changed the course of the entire war. I love Chamberlain's charge to his men:

The 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York, and the 16th Michigan will be moving in to our right. But if you look left; you will see that there is no one there. Because we're the end of the line. The Union army stops here. We are the flank. Do you understand, gentlemen? We cannot retreat. We cannot withdraw. We are going to have to be stubborn today. So, put the boys in position, tell them to stay down. Pile the rocks up high for the best protection you can. I want the reserve pulled back about 20 yards. It is sloping ground, good ground. If you have any breakthroughs, men wounded, a hole in the line, you plug it with the reserve...............The reb army is going to swing around. It'll come up through that notch right over there. It'll move under the cover of trees, trying to get around the flank. And gentlemen............we are the flank. Gentlemen, God go with you."

That is my favorite scene in that movie and that quote is taken directly from the it. I love to parallel that event with who you and I are in the Kingdom of God. You see, satan wants to destroy the things of God that we experience in this world. He wants to destroy lives.  He wants to destroy the church. So many things have been turned upside down in the world when it comes to the values of God. Just as the 20th Maine changed history, so God has chosen you and me to change the course of direction in the nation in which we live. We are to "hold the line" and defend the things of God. The Bible might not use the exact words, "hold the line," but it is pretty close. "Hold fast what is good," is the way it is worded in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. It is up to us to defend and strengthen the bride of Christ.....the church. Nobody else will. I am ready for the challenge. I look forward to it. Will you be joining me?

And be encouraged for goodness sake. Yes, we "do wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age.......,"but we also get to live and play in the Kingdom. We get to rejoice in the victories won, we get to laugh, be filled with joy, and love on each other. Simply make sure you dress daily with the full armor of God and you'll find that most of your time is spent just living each day, enjoying each day, being blessed each day and maybe most importantly, a chance to be a blessing to someone else each day. It's just that when the harder tests and battles come that you'll be ready to withstand the fight. With God, and Jesus in your heart, it really isn't all that difficult. At least when you are equipped daily. The best part? We get to do the stuff. We get to follow the instructions of Jesus! "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers (diseased), raise the dead, (yes, there are many accounts of this happening in the world), and cast out demons." (Believe me when you have the Holy Spirit even they are nothing to fear). Those are my words in parenthesis of course, the others belong to Jesus, but just to be on the safe side, read Matthew 10:7-8! Remember, after all freely we have received, freely we need to give to others what we now have.

Rest well, my friend. You are in my prayers.

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV)

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13, NKJV)

"Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophesies. Test all things; HOLD FAST WHAT IS GOOD. Abstain from every evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, NKJV)