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Archive for May 2014

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The Love of God: Believe It and Receive It

Jesus Love

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ loves us a lot more than we think He does. Yes, this is true for all of us. In our natural mind we will often struggle to believe this fact. Even so, He will always love us more than we think He does…even after we receive our supernatural minds in the resurrection! Even the four living creatures and the 24 elders constantly get new revelation at the Throne of God! Similarly, we will always experience new and higher revelations of God’s love for us. But first, we must start with a willingness to receive it…and even before that…we must believe it. We must believe it in order to receive it. This takes faith.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” ~Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

So, let us remember the truth. The truth is that God is love. Love is who He is. Love is what He does. He is building a Kingdom of Love on the earth (Isaiah 16:5). He will ultimately remove anything and anyone that opposes His love. He wants us to participate with Him in setting up His Kingdom of Love. How do we do this?

Only if we receive His love, can we then return it back to Him and give it to others. Jesus said that all the law and prophets hang on these two things: loving God and loving others. Yet, we are tempted to believe that if we first keep the law and the prophets-if we clean ourselves up-then He will receive us and then He will love us. But none of us deserve His love. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV). So, we must first realize that even though we have never deserved it, God loves us. In faith, we must humble ourselves and receive it freely (without having earned it) and then give it back to Him…and then find others that also don’t deserve it (which is everyone on the planet) and give it them freely as well. “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8). As His love flows into us and through us, we will also experience our hearts being purified.

In our natural mind, we will be tempted to look at circumstances and bad things that have happened and then blame God and blame others (the exact opposite of what He asked to do – to love God and love others). The truth of the matter is that God is perfect. He is merciful and kind. He has never done anything to receive a bad rap. He loves us much more than we understand. So, let us stop wasting our lives believing the lies of the enemy of our souls. Let us go on to believe the truth of His love for us! Let us die to ourselves and to our worldly, natural thinking. Let us run to and be hidden in Christ. (Colossians 3:3). Let us then receive His love, and remain in His love (John 15:9). Let us give it back to Him and to others. In so doing, let us become who He has called us to be…sons and daughters of God. Let us go on to be transformed into the image of our Father. He will bring you forth in His love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” ~John 15:9 (NIV)

“We love because he first loved us.” ~I John 4:19 (NIV)

“…love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." ~Luke 6:34-36 (NIV)

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~Matthew 5:48 (NIV)

“…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” ~2 Timothy 1:12-14 (NIV)
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Two Things for Today

Two Things

Two things I’ve felt the Lord’s put on my heart recently. One has to do with the God’s government coming down. The other has to do with calling in His sons and daughters. They are two different things, yet they are related to each other. I think part of the reason for this is that His government needs to begin to be set up in order to help facilitate, support, bring comfort to and teach His sons and daughters as they are gathered into the Kingdom of God. There are very big topics. But I’m just going to just share on this very briefly.

Recently, I was in a Bible Study in the office of one of our US Congressmen. The staff told me that he had gone completely uncontested in the upcoming elections. It occurred to me that this may be part of the beginning of seeing His government coming down and set into place. The scripture that I was reminded of in this example, and that I proceeded to mention to them, was the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2.

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.” ~Daniel 2:44-45 (NIV)

I was reminded of this again when I was suddenly awakened at 12:12 am a few days ago. (In the Kingdom of God, 12 stands for government). It is obvious that not all ungodly governments will go down easily. Some will have to be shaken loose and then replaced. As we know, it will get messy before this whole thing is over. So this is just the beginning. (For example, if you want to go deeper into this topic, Terry Bennett gave a word a few days ago (May 7th) partly related to this, including the shaking that is soon to take place in Washington D.C. – “The Lord Has Come Down (Blood Moon) Pt 2” - http://terrybennettministries.com/audio/monthly/2014%20May.MP3. Other recent words can be found here: http://terrybennettministries.com/word.html).

The same thing can be said about Christ’s rulership of each individual heart. Some of our hearts are already His and needs less drastic measures in order for Christ to set up His desired rule and reign. Others hearts need to be shaken, before the rulership can be replaced.

The second area that the Lord has been putting on my heart recently has to do with beginning to call in His sons and daughters. I believe we are seeing this happen all over the world right now. There are places that have historically been considered unreachable that are seeing sudden turns now…and people are coming to the knowledge of the Lord. Doors and gates are opening…and the harvest is increasing! I am personally, for one small example, seeing thousands of young people learn about Jesus Christ in their own language in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the home of the largest unreached people group in the world, the “Shaikh,” which contains over 128,000,000 people.

At this time we are praying for laborers to be thrust out into the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). But, I’ve also been reminded to pray according to Isaiah chapter 43:

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” ~Isaiah 43:5-7 (NIV)

When we call forth to bring His sons and daughters in to the Kingdom, we should also be prepared to make room for them, care for them and disciple them. For we are to, “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)

So, let us receive our King and let Him set up absolute, loving rulership in our hearts; as well as in our areas of influence, and all throughout our land. Let us let Him shine His light through us in order to draw all men unto Himself to find healing, shelter, comfort and loving leadership!

Be encouraged today by the prophet Isaiah:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord. All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple. Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your children from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations—their kings led in triumphal procession. For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place for my feet. The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler. No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.” ~Isaiah 60 (NIV)
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He Will Make the Wrong Things Right / Flipping the Model on Its Head / You Can Help!

Bangladesh #3

Something really stirred my heart the other day. It may sounds kind of odd at first, but to explain, you need to follow me on this. I brought up our Lion Gear facebook page (which has ~2,500 likes) and facebook threw a statistic at me. Facebook told me that the single largest demographic of people that follow the Lion Gear page are 18-24 year olds in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh! That wowed me. Here’s why….

About 6 years ago, almost to the day, I was doing one of my primary annual tasks working in the enterprise division of a global telecommunications company. That task entails looking at hundreds of the largest metropolitan areas of the world and ranking them for economic power and demand for our products and services. The idea, then, is to build business cases to enter some of the next largest markets that we are not already participating in. So, one day, I thought…I have been looking at hundreds of the largest metropolitan economies in the world. What if I flipped the whole model upside down on its head and tried to find the metropolitan areas that have a combination of the lowest economic power and the highest populations. This, of course, would not be a strong prospective business market, but instead, should show me some of the darkest, poverty-stricken, needy, lost and forgotten people on the globe. When I analyzed the data, several countries and cities stood out. But the #1 city that seemed to rank the highest on this scale was Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Dhaka, Bangladesh is the 8th largest city in the world. It contains approximately 15 million people and is one of the most densely populated and fastest growing cities. It is also one of the poorest cities in the world. The annual per capita income of Dhaka is estimated at $1,350 (USD). A large segment of the population of Dhaka live below the poverty line and many live on approximately $5 per day. The people there are approximately 90% Muslim, with only approximately 0.4% claiming to be Christian. According to the Joshua Project (http:///www.joshuaproject.net), the single largest unreached people group in the world, is the “Shaikh” in Bangladesh. This unreached people group contains over 128 million people! Dhaka is the single largest collection of these unreached people!

So, how, short of a miracle, (and I know miracles are involved :) ) did these young people in the forgotten city of Dhaka, Bangladesh begin following Lion Gear facebook (where they see scripture and encouragement posted daily)? Well, I guess this shift began, when, inspired by a message by Lou Engle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6Ic3jQOXeM) I (and some followers of a new Pray Ekballo 24/7 twitter and facebook account I started) began to pray for all the unreached people groups of the world once every ~10 months (about 7,000 unreached people groups). After that, ideas began to come.

One thing I remembered seeing is an article a lady wrote about reaching unreached people groups using facebook ads. So, I tried it…and it worked! At Lion Gear, we now place facebook ads in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and Pakistan (where there are many unreached people groups) to watch the Jesus Film in their own language. When they click on the ads, it automatically links them online to the Jesus Film in their own language! Thousands, in fact, almost 40,000 now, have clicked to watch the Jesus Film from those five countries, including thousands from Bangladesh! Hundreds of them share the movie with others, offer comments, and many also come back and like the Lion Gear facebook page (and get further encouragement there). Believe it or not, as poor as many of these people are, millions (and millions more annually) have cell phones and facebook accounts!

The Bible says in Isaiah 61 that, “the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” And my friend, our Lord is doing it! It is happening now, all over the globe. Even in the darkest of places! Have you joined Him in His harvest?

How Can I Help?

So, progress is being made, and in recent years, millions are beginning to turn to Christ in some of the toughest places in the world across the 10/40 window! But you may wonder, “How can I help?” Here are several ways to help:

1. Learn! One great place to learn about the unreached people of the world is at Joshua Project: http://joshuaproject.net/

2. Pray! Jesus said, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38, AMP). You can follow our Pray Ekballo 24/7 Facebook or Twitter accounts to pray for laborers to be thrust out to the unreached people groups of the world. We post/tweet one unreached people group per hour at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pray.ekballo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrayEkballo247

3. Give! You can contribute via PayPal to Lion Gear and designate the funds to go to one of our unreached people group ad campaigns. Here are three options:

a. Buy a Lion Gear T-shirt at: http://www.liongear.com/ We have new Lion’s Roar T-shirts in stock today!
b. Support an existing Lion Gear ad campaign. We are reaching almost 10,000 people per month who click to watch the Jesus Film in their own language…but to continue at this pace, we need your help!
c. Do some of your own research of unreached people groups at Joshua Project (http://joshuaproject.net/listings/Population/desc/25/allctry/allcon/allreg?jps2=5&jps3=5) and name your own people group that you want to reach and the amount you want to spend on the ad campaign and let us know. Even a $20 campaign can reach potentially thousands of lives for Jesus Christ! Afterwards, we will provide you the results from facebook.

For last two options above, you can send your donation, with your desired ad campaign details (in the comments) to Lion Gear on Paypal here: Lion Gear Paypal

(Lion Gear, LLC is not a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible. However, donations will help to reach more young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ)

4. Go! Bangladesh, for example, is just beginning to really open up to the gospel! There is such an immense opportunity for reaching others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is some persecution there of believers, but it is NOT one of the most dangerous (for example, it is not one of the top 50 persecution watch countries). YWAM is one great organization to go with to Bangladesh. Here is a short video of a recent YWAM DTS there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9FRAUcvpyc

5. Mobilize! Raise awareness by telling others about the need. You can learn more about many mobilization options and other options to reach the unreached by attending a “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course, held each year in a city near you: http://www.perspectives.org/

6. Welcome! There are many ways to welcome international families and students to our country and then through friendship, look for doors to open to share the gospel! One way to do this is to participate in an international student welcoming ministry, such as ICO (a good friend of ours, Jerry Lillard, runs this ministry in Tulsa, OK): http://www.icotulsa.org

Our Lord is making us an offer we cannot and should not refuse, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” (Psalm 2:8). In Revelation, chapter 7 we learn that people from every tribe, tongue and nation will make it to heaven. Will you be one of the ones to invite them into His Kingdom? Will you join Him in His harvest? Let’s win for the Lamb the reward of His suffering! The harvest in ON!!

Here are some photos of some of my new friends from Bangladesh! ...

Bangladesh #5 Bangladesh #2 Bangladesh #1Urbanization and Population

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Lion Gear, LLC is not a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible. However, donations will help to reach more young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ