All posts by Ann Miesner

Christian Faith Mentors Needed – Crown of Glory – How, Who and Why

God is raising up latter-day shepherds (mentors) according to His heart who are feeding His sheep with knowledge and understanding and who will receive the crown of glory. This prophecy in the book of Jeremiah is being fulfilled in our day.

You may already be one of these mentors, and if you would like to be, here is how to get started. The harvest field is not closed to the faithful. You can’t miss this opportunity to face the what, why and how of becoming a Christian mentor for God’s glory online or off!

What is the Current State of Shepherding, or Mentoring?

Saturday, 9:00 A.M. “Hello Pastor Morgan! Did I wake you?” Sheep aren’t very smart

These words irritated Dad more than he ever let on. He was a bi-vocational pastor for 35 years – a very good finished carpenter. He worked harder than most men I know. When he came home at noon, he laid flat on the floor to rest his back.

He was up at 6:00 a.m. every morning, even weekends, trying his best to have a sermon on Sunday and able to teach every Wednesday night. There was also a committee meeting almost every night of the week where he was expected to be. We four kids saw very little of our father.

In every place we lived, which was never over four years, Dad either built or remodeled the church building. He was the contractor using the architect’s drawings; men of the church helped when possible. Sometimes he even had to have an additional carpentry job besides this in order to feed his growing family.

At his last pastorate, he and mother physically tore down the old church building and reconstructed it into a beautiful parsonage. Of course, that was after Dad had built a wonderful new church building that left the congregation without debt!

It wasn’t long before they left the ministry so they could buy a house (without having to live in a parsonage) and have it paid off before they died. That house paid for mother’s care after Dad passed away. Their $200 monthly-retirement benefit plus Social Security would not have done it.

Never did my parents have the time or felt the freedom to ask friends over for fellowship. They felt they would cause someone to be jealous. Mother craved to be able to do something besides go to meetings, but Dad was always too tired.

When I came across some statistics about pastoring, I realized my dad was one of millions [i]:

72% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week. 57% believe they do not receive a livable wage, so like Dad, they probably have another job. 80% believe the pastorate negatively affects their families, and only 1 out of 10 retire as a pastor.

While 54% find the role overwhelming, and 45% spend only 10-15 hours a week on sermon preparation, is it any wonder some Christians feel they’ve never been fed or discipled, and people are leaving the church.?

No One Leader Can Do Alone the Work of Pastor, Shepherding or Mentoring

One person cannot do the job of pastoring sheeple alone, whether it’s a small church or large. Although Moses had been a shepherd, he was an overwhelmed and overworked leader of millions, and he had a lot to learn. His father-in-law Jethro looked on as Moses tried to govern the people all by himself.

Jethro advised Moses to teach faithful men who would be able to teach others also and put them over 1,000s, 100’s, 50s, and 10s. Only the difficult situations were brought to Moses and for all the others, the people took responsibility for themselves.

In other words, Moses was assisted by mentors who taught in small, medium and large group settings. The sheeple didn’t have to stand around and wait from morning until night to see Moses. Every person was accounted for and no one was left behind.

In sheep terms, when one became ‘cast’  – (overturned on its back due to heavy wool) people noticed in the small groups and helped them get on their feet again before they died.

The Moses’ example shows how the sheep got fed, tended and cared for. My dad’s greatest worry as a pastor was having time to study in order to feed the sheep. Even after he had built a new church building, a lady I will call Martha complained to him about not being fed. So, he moved away, feeling inadequate.

I believe Martha later realized her mistake in complaining, because she began studying the Bible, learned about the Holy Spirit’s desire and ability to help her become a mentor, and fed a small group of sheeple herself. She became a good and willing teacher as she kept learning herself.

THE SOLUTION: Take Responsibility to Mentor Others While Feeding Ourselves

CROWN Calling Real Ordinary Women and Men to Receive the Grown of Glory

Probably, without even realizing it, Martha was doing what the Bible instructed her to do. Titus, Chapter 2, speaks about older women being an example for younger ones, showing how to love their husbands and children, being virtuous and pure, and good homemakers. It also gives instructions to older and younger men to lead disciplined lives with integrity and wisdom. However, this next Scripture is more thorough about what it means to be a mentor and the reward for being so:

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).

My dad was a willing example to his flock and led with integrity. While planning one new church building, an older lady was upset at the prospect of putting in a basement with stairs. Dad listened to her and changed his plans. Although my dad and I differed on the biblical teachings about the Holy Spirit, he was called and qualified to be a pastor shepherd and glorified the Lord.

Dad has also received the crown of glory. I believe this crown of glory is reserved for all mentors, although it is also called the elder’s crown, or shepherd’s crown and here’s why:

The root word for glory is doxa: splendor, radiance, and majesty centered in Jesus. Doxa is the majestic, absolute perfection residing in Christ and evidenced by the miracles He performed. Jesus prayed to His Father for us all, “All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (John 17:10 NKJV). As we willingly watch and care for the flock in our sphere of influence, He is glorified through us.

[For a free printable of all the 5 crowns, go HERE>> 5 Eternal Crown Rewards] 

Furthermore, Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us Jesus “Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

Did you catch that? We, as the saints and ordinary people, are to do the work of the ministry to edify the big C Church, the body of Christ worldwide. We are shepherds operating ultimately under the mighty hand of Almighty God, and Jesus Christ who is the only perfect, good Chief Shepherd!

Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). He did it through Peter and the early disciples and He wants to do it through us latter disciples, too. We are accountable to Him to teach and mentor others in everyday life.

How Are We to Care for the Sheep?

Ezekiel was a prophet who brought out how important it was for the individual to take responsibility in watching, speaking up and warning the sheep:

“You, son of man [Ezekiel], are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed. But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life” (Ezekiel 33:7-9 MSG).

Deaths of people are on the rise around the world from taking risky selfies. India has the most, with young people doing anything, no matter how dangerous to get a good selfie to go viral on social media, like standing on high narrow bridges. A young man reports he lost 24 of his friends one by one as they were swept into the river where they sat on rocks in it. On Mt. Everest in Nepal, people stack themselves like dominos against each other as they strive to reach the top for a selfie. Nine people died in one week.

People are going into eternity thinking they are not worth more than a fly we swat on a table. We must speak up and warn them of danger and mentor them in the ways of Lord–that “the thief comes only to steal and kill, and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life and that they may have it to the full” (John 10:10).

If the sheep do not have green grass, they will eat dry leaves.Click to Tweet

Whose Responsibility, Really, is it to Shepherd the Sheep

Jesus is the only Good Shepherd. He laid down His life for the sheep. He bought them with His blood and, therefore, is the owner. He is the only one who really cares enough for them to not abandon them. The hired hand will run away when wolves attack (John 10:11-13). Jesus is the only one who can save us, has saved us, and cares for us.

Ezekiel, chapter 34, is a whole chapter about irresponsible shepherds, how God feels about them, and what he is doing right now about the situation:

“God’s Message came to me [Ezekiel]: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherd-leaders of Israel. Yes, prophesy! Tell those shepherds, ‘God, the Master, says: Doom to you shepherds of Israel, feeding your own mouths! Aren’t shepherds supposed to feed sheep? You drink the milk, you make clothes from the wool, you roast the lambs, but you don’t feed the sheep. You don’t build up the weak ones, don’t heal the sick, don’t doctor the injured, don’t go after the strays, don’t look for the lost.

“You bully and badger them. And now they’re scattered every which way because there was no shepherd—scattered and easy pickings for wolves and coyotes. Scattered—my sheep!—exposed and vulnerable across mountains and hills. My sheep scattered all over the world, and no one out looking for them! (Ezekiel 34:1-6 MSG).

The shepherds of Israel, and many today, have fleeced the sheep rather than having fed them. What is God’s response to this?Click to Tweet

“God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I’m going after my sheep. I’ll rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered to in the storms . . . And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited . . . I’ll come in and save my dear flock, no longer let them be pushed around. I’ll step in and set things right between one sheep and another.

“I’ll appoint one shepherd over them all: my servant David [Jesus Christ of David’s lineage]. He’ll feed them. He’ll be their shepherd. And I, God, will be their God. My servant David will be their prince. I, God, have spoken” (Ezekiel 34:11-24 MSG).

Whose Responsibility is it to Feed the Sheep?

Jesus will feed His sheep. He has done so with His Word and given us many translations of the Bible today for us to be able to understand with the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit that He sent us. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep three times––to teach others with His knowledge and understanding.

You can be a good teacher and mentor, too, if you have overcome a difficulty in life and desire to comfort others also (2 Cor. 1:4) you can encourage them with your story and witness (Rev. 12:11); the love of Christ compels us to do so. “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

Maybe God is calling you to write? Have you written a journal for years knowing it has to lead somewhere? Here it is…now is the time!

“Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15 AMP).

God is raising up latter-day shepherds (mentors) according to His heart who are feeding His sheep with knowledge and understanding––who will receive the crown of glory. This prophecy in the book of Jeremiah is being fulfilled in our day. #CrownReward, #CrownOfGlory, #CrownOfGloryJesus, #FaithMentor, #FaithMentoring, #ChristianMentoring,
Painting is by Pat Jessie at https://patjesseecreations.com/ Used with permission.

Isn’t this what must happen if we, as the bride of Christ, are to be without spot or wrinkle, so that the Chief Shepherd will want to return to claim us and give us the crown of glory? We must be willing and obedient to mentor with knowledge and true understanding.

I know one thing for sure. He doesn’t want to marry an immature bride. He won’t. He will wait until she grows up to mentor others.

 

Jesus doesn't want to marry an immature bride. He won't. He will wait until she grows up to mentor others. #ChristianMentor, #CrownOfGlory, #FaithMentorClick to Tweet

Now is the time! We have to grow up and quit expecting someone else to do the work of the ministry. That work is ours to do. Our Chief Shepherd is waiting for us to make His mission ours. He is calling!

Volunteers Have Answered the Call

There’s a Scripture I’ve been waiting and watching to see fulfilled for many years: “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew”(Ps. 110:3 NASB).

This day of power is NOW! I asked the Lord recently how I would know when this day would be here. A while later I was praying for confirmation to know if I should start a writers’ group after a lady asked me to help her. An image came up on Facebook from times past where I had the option to share it. I did, but instead of it going to my timeline and the news feed for all my friends to see, I received a message through this one lady saying, “That’s nice!”

The image had gone directly to her, chosen from all my friends, and not on my timeline at all. The Lord spoke to my heart, “This is what I mean about the day of my power. I will get your message supernaturally to the right people, at the right time, in the right way as you are willing to share.”

I’m watching millions of people mentor with their Christian faith as mother to mother, parent to parent, marriage to marriage, older to younger, younger to older and men doing the same. Plus, all are creating beautiful printables to share Scriptures and Bible knowledge, with an explosion of books. [If you want to find them, go to Pinterest: Education]

Since I restarted blogging a couple of years ago, I’ve come across several women who teach how to get your writings to be read online and your products known. Millions of these amazing fantastic people have small, medium or very large mailing lists which comprise their sheeple flock.

>To read a word from Lana Vawser to writers go HERE>> Writers take heart-you are breaking new ground. 

Suzi Whitford, a millennial mom of faith, who offers a free start-a-mom-blog course for beginners and/or advanced users, says that 1 in 5 millennial moms have a blog. They grew up with the internet, are smart and highly educated––as she is (with an industrial engineering degree).

Suzi says, “Because of our grandmothers, we want to be stay-at-home moms, and because of our own mothers, we want to be in the workforce.”

She reports that in 2014 there were 4.4 million moms blogging and they are increasing at one million per year. Many monetize their blog and make a good income.

Will You Answer the Online Mentoring Call?

If you are interested in joining the online media missionary mentors, you need to know about these other Christian women who are mentoring younger and older women and men to know how to serve in partnership with Jesus. Many pastor’s wives have found their niche online and off:

Kira Bridges – mentor and consultant – “You Don’t Have to Do It All – Equipping women to live a set-apart life on and off-line.” Kira teaches blogging and Pinterest marketing strategies.

Deb Wolf – manages Blessing Bloggers Facebook group for Christian bloggers. She has a consistent weekly strategy to assist bloggers to share each other’s posts and on all social networks with prayer all along the way.  Her blog is Here. 

Alisa Nicaud hosts Bloggers Corner – a Facebook group for Christian bloggers offering teamwork mentor-ship. She gives great support on any blogging question and offers courses. Her blog is Here 

Kelly R. Baker hosts the Blogger Voices Network Facebook Group which mentors Christian bloggers in teamwork strategies “With One Voice.” Her blog site is Here

Kelly Holmes was a professional writer and editor for 15 years. She makes a full-time income from blogging and offering her sticky blogging course by sharing her secrets to attract readers and keep them. Her site is Here

Ruth Soukup has two good books about blogging to mentor starters: How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul and Do It Scared. She has a large following with her Elite Blogging Academy. Her site is here 

If You Want to Start Your Own off-line Small Group or Mentor One-on-One

I can help you host a small group of probably 10 or less at your church or in your neighborhood.<< Click Link Here

I have also mentored one-on-one at local restaurants. Click this>> Each One Teach One link.

Both options have been the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Interpersonal relationships are the best although finding people online you can mentor is great too.  That’s why I put my discipleship book on this blog site in a 15-minute e-course devotional. Learn more at the button below.

My discipleship workbook is GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names. A user- friendly leader’s guide for the first timer is also available at the “Get the Book(s)” link below.

The Lord gives the command, the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host–Psalm 68:11

Recommended reading: God is Raising up His Ezekiel Watchman Prophets Now

Free Booklet, Because God Is . . . I Am, with sign up of Free eCourse

 

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[i] Statistics provided by the Fuller Institute, George Barna, Lifeway, Schaeffer Institute of Leadership Development, and Pastoral Care Inc. (accessed May 21, 2019).

Bible quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society unless otherwise indicated, Used by permission of Zondervan; The New American Standard Bible®. Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, www.Lockman.org; The Amplified® Bible. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by NavPress Publishing Group; and The King James Version of the Bible.

Girl holding crown of glory to her head

OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE TRUTH

Esther Helland’s father was an overcomer who founded Project Amazon (PAZ – meaning peace in Portuguese) that works in partnership with all organizations like Joyce Meyer Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse/Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc. They were a big part in BGEA’s My Hope Project of 2008.

Esther’s father died in Brazil at the age of 44 in 1944. His by-plane hit a tail wind and crashed. Early in his life, he had a dream where Jesus asked if there was anyone in this crowd who would be willing to die for him. No one raised a hand except her dad. He woke up in sweat knowing he’d had a visitation from the Lord. His whole life he mentioned off and on to his family to expect him to die young. He knew he would be a martyr, but it was very difficult for his family.

Esther was born and raised in Brazil. Her brothers are leading in the planting of churches in all the little villages along the Amazon.  Their mother remarried and is a missionary in Japan. Esther and her husband Aaron and their four children moved back there almost ten years ago. Their mission? To bring the vision to a close – for all of Brazil to be saved!

When the Hellands returned, it was estimated that only 35,000 more villages were left to be evangelized. Today, they have a Christian president and are close to seeing their Father’s vision materialized. And the family’s testimony lives on––with one member wearing a CROWN OF LIFE in heaven.

CROWN OF LIFE TRUTH - What is the crown of life promised to the Overcomer? And, and why should you care? What does it take to receive this award after death? Is it only for the martyr? #CrownReward, #CrownOfLife, #overcome, #overcomer, #martyr, #martyrdom, #ExperienceLife, #Endtimes, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

For an introduction to the 5 Eternal Crown Rewards and their meanings, with links to the article about them, click this link for a nice printable summary>>5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS.

THE OVERCOMER WILL RECEIVE REWARDS IN HEAVEN

All five crowns are referred to as imperishable and are victor crowns for those who overcome. Whether there are actually five crowns when we get to heaven, or all five are rolled up into the one CROWN OF LIFE, we will find out one day soon. For me, I want to know about all five mentioned in the Bible, so I can be ready to come face to face with Jesus––without any regrets. How about you?

The Crown of Life is described in Revelation 2:10: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” This crown is the reward for the Christian who is faithful until death – whether that death is natural or not.

The nickname for this crown is ‘the martyr’s crown’ which caught on early, because most Christians in the days after Jesus was martyred were martyred also. All the disciples were killed; one was not: John.

John was banished to the isle of Patmos because of his testimony of Jesus. He had a vision, wrote the book of Revelation and sent it to the seven churches in Asia. He later died and was buried in Ephesus as an old man.[i] It’s certain he received the crown of life as well.

The character and spiritual makeup of this Christian can be described as follows:

THE OVERCOMER PERSEVERES

To fully understand this crown, we need to read the full Scripture: To the persecuted church in Smyrna, John wrote: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10: NKJV).

The root Greek word for tested is peirazō which means to try, to prove and “describes the testing of the believer’s loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience of character. Peirazō determines which way one is going and what one is made of”[ii]

James 1:12 tells us this person is blessed because he preserves under trial; for once he has been approved [or passed the test], he will receive the crown of life.

Do you feel you’ve ever been in a trial where you know God was trying to see how you would respond––what you were made of?

SEE>>Tested Through the Refiner’s Fire of Jehovah-Jireh: HERE

THE OVERCOMER ENDURES UNDER TRIAL

Perseverance moves us to endurance under trial as James said. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 what to expect in the days we are living in. The first sign of the times is deception; then, wars and rumors of wars; nations rising against nations; tribulation to be killed and hated by all nations for Jesus’ sake; betrayal and hate of one another; and false prophets will deceive many.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:12-13).

The root word for endures is hupomeno: “to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. It is not passive resignation to fate and mere patience, but the active energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance.”[iii]

“Treasure your moments when you are the only one who believes, when you are the only one standing; you were just given a gift. In other words, if all you are left with is God, consider that a gift.” ––Brian JohnsonClick to Tweet

THE OVERCOMER PATIENTLY ENDURES UNTIL THE END

The apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 6 that it was time to go on to perfection beyond the elementary principles of salvation. What follows salvation, or merely obtaining our ‘fire insurance’ is this:

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Paul goes on to recount the promise and blessings given to Abraham,

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise [of multiplication,: a child, a nation, a land].

“Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” This encompasses the character and disposition of the overcomer: This Christian is busy helping to care for others’ needs; not lazy, but 100 percent surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Overcomers from the Bible

So, let’s look at a few overcomers from the Bible in order to see some examples. What did they endure, and what was the result?

Heb. 11:2  Abel: by faith, obtained a good testimony and a witness that he was righteous. Being dead, he still speaks. He was the first martyr, killed by his brother Cain

Heb. 11:5 Enoch: by faith did not see death but was not found, his testimony was that he pleased God and God took him.

Heb. 11:7 Noah: By faith prepared the ark and saved his family, by which he condemned the world and obtained righteousness which comes by faith.

Heb. 11:39 “And all these obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.”

Look at that! They did not receive the promise personally, but they endured by BEING faithful until death; thereby obtaining a good testimony that lives on and on to the next generation. Their lives still speak, and their testimony is recorded and bearing fruit–just as Missionary Helland’s life.

THE OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE REWARD GOES TO THE FAITHFUL MARTYR

The crown of life reward goes to martyrs and faithful Christians who endure and persevere until death. John records to the church at Pergamos in Revelation 2 about Antipas who was a faithful martyr.

The lives of faithful martyrs still speak in our present day: Remember the image of 21 Egyptian Christians with the orange jumpsuits facing beheading in 2015?

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.

The center explained the definition of “martyr” it used for its study. Two of the qualifying factors for “martyr” is that the slain Christians must have been in a “situation of witness” and have been killed “as a result of hostility.”[iv] They leave behind a testimony of a witness.

Before many martyrs accept Christ, they know they are facing immediate death. Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, of Christ for all Nations, reports of a young lady who accepted Jesus in his crusade in Muslim territory, returned home and was murdered by her father. Her witness lives on. Missionary Helland’s death was not immediate, but he knew what he was facing.

It’s impossible to name today’s many martyrs. Mainstream media ignores those martyred in Nigeria, who have no one to help them. During 2018, more than 6,000 were killed by Boko Haram, and genocide is threatening them.

Especially relevant, Revelation 6:11 says that martyrs in heaven are told to rest a little while longer until the full number of their fellow servants and brothers join them.

THE OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE REWARD GOES TO THE FAITHFUL SERVANT

AVOID IGNORANCE WHEN IT COMES TO THE CROWN OF LIFE. What is the crown of life promised to the Overcomer? And, and why should you care? What does it take to receive this award after death? Is it only for the martyr? #CrownReward, #CrownOfLife, #overcome, #overcomer, #martyr, #martyrdom, #ExperienceLife, #Endtimes, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

Epaphras and Tychicus were hailed and recorded as faithful servants and bond-servants by Paul in the book of Colossians but not because they were martyred. Moses is said to have been faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony, yet, not a martyr. He gave his life for God’s mission to set His people free from bondage and take them to the Promised Land.

To two out of three servants, the master said twice in Chapter 25 of Matthew: “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’” (Matt. 25:21 and 23). The third was fearful and hid his talent.

No doubt the joy of the Lord is eternal rewards in heaven and joy on earth. Our goal is to hear these words from Jesus in Matthew 25..

“Great faith will always take you away from the fear of man.” Bill JohnsonClick to Tweet

THE OVERCOMER LOVES THE LORD

We must ask ourselves, is it possible to endure this hard life, persevere, pass every test, never deny the Lord’s name, and yet not receive any eternal reward?

John recorded Jesus’ words to the church at Ephesus: “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:3-4).Click to Tweet

Jesus goes on to tell them and us to repent or else He will remove our lampstand from its place. He looks at the heart more than the works. He wants a relationship with us–not our religious works.

It all comes down to love, doesn’t it? We could be the most dedicated overcomer and faithful servant with all the faith in the world, but without love, we are nothing. (See 1 Corinthians 13.)

What are we made of? What is our character, our motives, our disposition? Do we love Jesus and others? Is what we are doing out of love or selfish ambition?

May we always look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:3).

And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death––Rev. 12:11

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more . . . . I will write on Him the name of My new name. Rev. 3:12

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work––Rev. 21:12

HERE IS YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SUMMARY OF ALL FIVE CROWNS>>CROWN JUDGMENT SUMMARY


[i] The Time Chart of Biblical History, Third Millennium Trust, Chippenham, England, 2002, XXIX.
[ii] NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Word Wealth, Rev. 2:10.
[iii] NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Word Wealth, Matt. 24:13.
[iv]  https://www.christianpost.com/news/over-900000-christians-martyred-for-their-faith-in-last-10-years-report.html

 

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HOW TO PRAY 4 Steps to Victory for ANY Problem with a Strategic Plan

My husband’s parents taught me how to pray, even though they never knew it. They didn’t know they were teaching me how to have victory in prayer; in other words, how to receive the Victor’s Crown when this life is over.

You are in a troubled marriage, or your child is living outside God’s will, or someone in your family is living with addictions; maybe it’s you. You fight depression, fear, anxiety and worry. You don't know how to pray. This post will put you on the right track: HOW TO PRAY: 4 Steps to Victory for ANY Problem with a Strategic Plan; #pray, #prayer, #PrayerWarriorWoman, #Faith, #FactsOfFaith, #SpirituralWarfare, #BibleStudy, #BibleStudyForBeginners, #Victory, #FreePrintable, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

Victor was the name of the foreman for the job of constructing the roof to the house we bought a few years ago. It had to have a new roof quickly after we closed the sale so that our homeowner’s insurance would cover it. Our only job was to let the roofing company know when we finished moving.

We were shocked when the very next morning at 7:00 a.m. the roofers showed up. They tore off the old and replaced them with beautiful new shingles on our 3,000 sq. ft. house and picked up all the nails in the yard with a magnet machine.  They left at 6:00 p.m. the job completed!

We could hardly believe what had just happened. When the business owner came to see us the next day to get his final payment, we learned the secret to his success. He pays his employees by the shingle bundle, not by the hour, and they are docked pay if one nail is found afterwards.

This event made me think about how Victor had crowned our home with success. I felt absolutely loved by my Creator, highly favored and honored––only a small portion of what it will be like in heaven when we receive the real imperishable crown, or as it is also termed––the Victor’s Crown.

When I Learned How To Pray

I thought back over my life to Jim’s parent’s prayer that God would shield him and his brother when they were in Vietnam. After we were married upon his return, Jim told me he could feel bullets whiz by his head, but they never found him. I learned about power in prayer right then.

I would need that assurance after ten years of marriage when we found ourselves without a job for one year. God met our every need when we crossed our DRY RIVER BED. We learned the facts of faith that year.

I later found 53 Scriptures that give us the ‘shield’ promise we can claim.

I didn’t know I would need to know those Scriptures and how to pray when our own sons were deployed overseas:

·         Oldest son: after Desert Storm

·         Middle son: twice in Iraq

·         Son-in-law – 5 times in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in South Korea and soon to be in Germany the second time.

OR: during open heart surgery for our oldest immediately after he graduated from West Point Military Academy and married his high school sweetheart; then nine years later another surgery because the first valve was too small…doctors told him he was one heart-beat away. Three more times he would be at death’s door as we learned how to pray.

OR: when our youngest son’s daughter was born premature and his wife very ill with pre-eclampsia.

I thought back over all these trials and attacks of the enemy and remembered Isaiah 54:15, “If anyone attacks you, it will not be God’s doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to YOU.”

Yes, we have overcome and continue to do so. These hard times have made us who we are today and give us confidence in the LORD for tomorrow. That’s why I pray you will take this article very seriously, because I know you have trials, too.

There is victory in Jesus! But, also, like the awesome roofing company we experienced, there are secrets to success––especially in spiritual growth. I’m sharing the facts of faith we learned with you today so your problems will surrender to YOU. As you learn how to pray, you will overcome any problem and discover the 5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS now and in heaven.

What is the Victor’s Crown that teaches us how to pray?

The incorruptible victor’s crown is described in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Verse 26 is what we are addressing today:

“Therefore I run thus, not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”

If the roofing company had come without a strategic plan, they would still be here––as though they were beating the air. The following is the strategic, certain plan for victory:

The B-E-A-R Facts of Faith: how to pray in faith believing––or how to fight like a bear

You are in a troubled marriage, or your child is living outside God’s will, or someone in your family is living with addictions; maybe it’s you. You fight depression, fear, anxiety and worry. You don't know how to pray. This post will put you on the right track: HOW TO PRAY: 4 Steps to Victory for ANY Problem with a Strategic Plan; #pray, #prayer, #PrayerWarriorWoman, #Faith, #FactsOfFaith, #SpirituralWarfare, #BibleStudy, #BibleStudyForBeginners, #Victory, #FreePrintable, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

B – Believing the Word – Believing Comes Before Seeing

Some Christians believe parts of His Word have passed away and cannot be believed for today. However, God says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35), and Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Miracles seen in the Bible are the same for us today, if we believe. Jesus even tells us that if we believe, He will do greater miracles through us than He did while on earth (see John 14:12). Even He could do no mighty works because of unbelief in His hometown (see Matt. 13:58).

Before God spoke, “Let there be light,” He saw in His mind what He wanted the formless dark earth and water to be. He believed it would happen and planned for success.  The story of Lazarus drives home this point.

Jesus waited four days to see his friend Lazarus, because he knew the lesson he wanted to teach. When Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha, the sister of the dead man said, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40). Jesus spoke directly to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he did so.

Believing comes before seeing, if you want to know how to pray for answers.

Believing Comes Before Seeing--if you want to know how to pray for answersClick to Tweet

E – Expecting from the Word – Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible

After we believe God has our answer, our hearts are filled with expectation. Until we expect to see something happen, we will not know when the answer comes.

When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Moab and Ammon came to make war. Surrounded by a vast army, the Israelites came together to seek the Lord. The king encouraged the people, saying to the Lord, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chron. 20:12).

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Janaziel, son of Zechariah, who said,

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . . You will not have to fight in this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” –2 Chronicles 20:15-17

Keeping our eyes on the Lord means keeping our eyes in His Word. When we look at His Word, we are looking to Jesus who is the “Word made flesh.”

The first chapter of John says Jesus was the second person of the Trinity who spoke into existence everything that was made. “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

The bottom line is this: when our eyes are not in the Word, we are not looking to Jesus. When we are not expecting from the Word, we are focused on the problem, or the circumstances, allowing fear, doubt and worry to overtake us. We cannot keep our eyes focused on the problematic situation and on the Lord at the same time. The word from our mouth, working in conjunction with His Word, opens the door for Him to fight those battles.

Earnest expectation that turns the head from any distraction assumes that once we have made a quality decision to trust God concerning a situation, we can expect opposition, harassment, trials and challenges.

Words contradicting what we believe will come. That’s when we must fix our heart and keep on believing, saying out loud, “[I] will have no fear of bad news; [my] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Ps. 112:7).

We can lay our requests before God each morning (see Ps. 5:3), but unless we expect something to happen, it’s unlikely we will see any results.

Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible if you want to see results from learning how to pray.

Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible - if you want to see results from learning how to pray.Click to Tweet

A – Asking from the Word – Praying the Scripture, not the Problem

The book of James tells us what to do when we have a problem. After we begin to believe God’s Word has a solution for every situation and embrace hopeful expectation for the answer, we need wisdom such as Jehoshaphat received through Janaziel.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Furthermore, he says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

Jehoshaphat did this very thing. Alarmed, he resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for himself and all Judah. He praised the Lord, recounting the covenant promise to Abraham and God’s deliverances in the past.

He put his faith in God’s ability, rather than his own, to take care of things in the present. He then spoke positive, believing words, “You will hear us and save us” (2 Chron. 20:9). He did not belabor the problem. God already knew it, and he knows ours, too.

Asking from the Word means praying the Scripture. His Word is His will. His Word contains the answer to any problem we could have. The more we take our words from God’s Word, the more we are looking to Jesus who fights for us. For God says, “. . . I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 Amplified).

Jesus himself defeated Satan during his forty days of temptation with Scripture saying, “It is written.” He tells us, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).

Seeking God’s wisdom, and asking from His Word, involves hard work much like digging for hidden treasure, such as picking up acorns one by one like bears should naturally do. Furthermore, having God’s revealed wisdom and then doing something about it is a matter of life and death—to our marriages, children, cities and nation.

As we put voice to Scripture during our situation, the entrance of His Word gives light and brings victory (see Ps. 119:130).

Pray the Scripture, not the Problem, if you want to know how to pray for answers.

Pray the Scripture, not the Problem, if you want to know how to pray for answers.Click to Tweet

R – Receiving from the Word – Confessing the Word and Living the Word

We can receive answers to prayer through Believing, Expecting and then Asking through Scripture. However, the “R” of our faith-bear is reserved for the critical battles. It requires a more disciplined decision to battle with faith to overcome the most trying circumstances.

Therefore, it is wise to choose our battles wisely, and know what is truly important and worth fighting for.

Without the “R” there might be no answer to prayer. We could pray, believe, expect, and ask, but unless we are willing to receive, there could be no victory. This is where many Christians miss out on the joy of their salvation, because this is the hardest part.

Receiving from the Lord involves two aspects: a deeper knowledge of what faith is and how it works with words of praise with positive actions. Receiving from the Lord requires us to understand “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20 KJV).

The mature Christian knows that “works” are tied to our words, because positive words spring forth positive actions based on what we believe from the Word.

The mature Christian knows that “works” are tied to our words, because positive words spring forth positive actions based on what we believe from the Word.Click to Tweet

One thing Jesus said about believing is puzzling: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

We all want to receive, but what does it mean, to “believe that you receive?”

The verse before this one gives us our first clue: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” So, we know receiving has to do with what we truly believe and, therefore, speak (like Jesus spoke TO Lazarus).

Our next clue is found in 1 John 5:14-15. This Amplified translation says it plainly: know that God has “granted us as our present possessions the requests made of Him” when it’s in agreement with His plans for us. This is what faith is, and what the B-E-A-R Facts of Faith are all about.

Faith is further defined in Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and conviction of their reality–faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. –Hebrews 11:1 AMP

By faith, we already have the title-deed to what we have requested from the Lord. Faith is “perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

If we can claim for ourselves what we want to see happen, knowing God has already granted (past tense) what we have asked for as our present possessions, then would we not have already received? Almost, but not quite.

With this knowledge, our words are still the key. Hosea tells us, “Take words with you and return to the Lord” (Hosea 14:2). Then, God says, “I will create the fruit of the lips”—what our words say.

The Amplified translation explains how God uses His own faith-filled words: “God . . . who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed” (Rom. 4:17).

So, does not our creative power with God lie in speaking of the nonexistent things as if they already existed and then acting that way? Yes!

How Jehoshaphat Put the ‘R’ on His Fighting BEAR

Jehoshaphat and his people had to put the R on B-E-A-. Early the next morning after they sought the Lord, Jehoshaphat spoke words that perceived as real fact what was not yet revealed to his senses. He told them, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld . . . .” 2 Chron. 20:20).

Because of what he believed, expected and asked of God, he appointed singers to praise the Lord as they went out at the head of the army—a work of faith. His actions were bold. Though still fearful, the people began to sing and praise (a positive action). The Lord sent ambushes against their enemies; no one escaped. Most were destroyed by each other.

Praise puts the R on B-E-A-. When we praise the Lord, no matter how we feel, we are receiving the past tense of what God said He would do. In different words, praise claims our requests. Until we have a thankful heart toward God, we will never receive His best.

When we praise the Lord, no matter how we feel, we are receiving the past tense of what God said He would do. In different words, praise claims our requests. Click to Tweet

Without the R, there is no enduring faith, and without faith, we cannot please God—there is no “mama or papa bear” who is caring and fighting for their cubs. With God-given faith we have His knowledge that brings light and victory in ALL situations.

Confess the Word and Live the Word daily to receive answers to your prayers.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” Proverbs 18:21 Amplified, meaning we bear the consequences of our words.

Laura W. was diagnosed with rectal cancer that reoccurred FIVE times. She had FOUR surgeries with radiation. By the fifth time, she was maxed out on radiation and no more tissue could be excised. So, what did she do? She turned from looking only to her doctors and formed a prayer group and learned how to pray in faith believing. Shortly thereafter, the doctor told her, “We see no sign of disease!”

Learning how to pray takes time, study and work, yes. But if we are to have victory, peace, joy and life now––which will result in receiving the Victor’s Crown when this life is over––we must live above our circumstances. It takes the B E A R Facts of Faith–a strategic, certain plan for success to overcome.

Gaining victory will be confessing the Word through your tears, but the result is SO worth it: HOW I LEARNED TO RECEIVE BY FAITH

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