Angry, Angry, Angry

By Francis Frangipane

It's hard to remember a time when people were more angry. A civilized person ought to be, first of all, civil. Yet, today there is no discourse, no respect for another's opinion, no reasoning together for the common good. I am concerned, especially for the church.

One may argue, "Our society is decaying. We should be mad." Yes, but we can be angry yet still not sin (see Eph 4:26). Of course, I feel anger that the underpinnings of our culture are being dismantled by unprincipled men. Our souls should be vexed at the darkening cloud of demonic infestation in our culture, especially when children are caused to stumble or the weak are exploited. If we don't take a stand, the advance of evil ultimately means more people will die without Christ. So, if we are angry, it does not necessarily mean we have sinned. It can simply mean we care.

So, Whose Test Is This?

By Francis Frangipane

I think most of us do not grasp the degree of suffering and devastation that has hit Haiti. We think because the front-page news about Haiti has diminished that Haiti's need has also diminished, but it has not. The urgency of people being buried alive has been replaced with the urgency of a million and a half people without homes or shelter.

To put this disaster into perspective, recall the terrifying Sumatran tsunami that killed 230,000 people in December 2004. Eighteen nations were affected. In contrast, the Haitian earthquake killed approximately the same number of people as the Asian tsunami, but the death toll was focused primarily in one city in the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere! Nearly everyone in Port-au-Prince has lost a family member, friends or neighbors. Many have lost several loved ones. Approximately one-fourth of the city died. The collective burden upon the Haitian people is without parallel.

Let Compassion Grow
Some people familiar with Haiti's worship of elemental spirits (in voodoo) have concluded Haiti has only itself to blame for its catastrophe. This is a convenient analysis. For once we determine that this disaster is the fault of its victims, an icy veneer begins to form over our heart. We feel detached from their suffering, delivered from the discomforting demands of mercy.

But God isn't looking at who's responsible as much as who is able to respond in the compassion of Christ. And this isn't so much about God testing Haiti as much as He is testing us, His church. How we respond, how we give, how we pray or sacrifice to see this nation redeemed has the full attention of the Lord's eyes. He has not blessed us with so much so we can hoard our wealth, but so we can give to help others.

This is our test. God has opened wide doors to minister in Haiti. Anyone who has wanted an opportunity to serve and make a difference, here is your chance. There is no competition here, no "voodoo aid agencies" helping the hungry or homeless in Haiti, no Muslim outreaches lending a hand. Those helping are either from secular agencies sent from a couple dozen nations or they are members of hundreds of Christian outreaches. Our friends on the ground are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving shelter to the homeless - and they are speaking the word of God to the newly saved Haitians.

The people in Haiti could not be more desperate or more open to the love of Christ. Remember Jesus' words: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few" (Luke 10:2). He said to pray for the laborers to be sent out, and this is my daily prayer, "Lord of the Harvest, send forth Your anointed laborers, those whom You've raised up, those who simply want to show the love of Jesus, who know in their hearts that You have put Your compassion in their hearts."

I'm going to keep asking you to remember Haiti in prayer. You will continue to hear me urging Christians to take a week or two, or a year, and get involved whenever possible in Haiti's renewal. I'm going to not stop asking pastors to send teams to serve the needs in Haiti and to also go there themselves. Of course, let us continue giving to Christian aid organizations that are already functioning on the ground in Haiti, and let us give sacrificially and with vision.

Haiti is our test. How we respond to Haiti's need, to its outstretched hands, will be a determining factor concerning how God will respond to our outstretched hands in our time of need. Yes, miracles and revivals are breaking out, as we mentioned last week, and certainly God has a better future planned for the people of Haiti. But the test we must be concerned about isn't for the Haitians; God is testing us.

Opportinity to give:

World Vision Haiti donate page

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please feel free to forward this message to others; acknowledging our web site would be kindly appreciated.

Reprint Agreement
Your interest in duplicating and re-sending this material is a joy to us. We only ask that you also provide website information for the Ministries of Francis Frangipane. The only exception is if the article is actually an excerpt from a book by another publisher. In this case they have asked that they be listed as the reference. Finally, any questions about the teachings of Francis Frangipane can be sent to info@frangipane.org. God bless your pursuit of His heart.

In The Face Of The Impossible

By Francis Frangipane

The Making Of A Ministry
"The disciples came to Him, saying, 'The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.' But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!' And they said to Him, 'We have here only five loaves and two fish'" (Matt 14:15-17).

I want to talk about how the Lord raises up a mature man or woman of God--the drives and attitudes that propel a person into a fully committed walk with Jesus Christ. It is essential to realize from the beginning that, when it comes to doing God's will, both the person and God's provision will always seem inadequate. Oh, you will have been prepared, somewhat. You will have studied and prayed, but not enough. You will have faithfully given of your time and finances, but nothing you do will be something you can confidently rely upon. Indeed, when you've done all you could, you will mutter to the Lord your equivalent of the disciples': "We have here only five loaves and two fish."

Yet to know that you are inadequate is a tremendous advantage in spiritual growth. It is a milestone en route toward true spirituality, which is born of dependency on God, not human self-sufficiency. Once a person knows he is inadequate, he will not waste years discovering it.

Not a day goes by that I am not aware of my inadequacies. Besides struggling with "feelings" of inadequacy, I know I actually am inadequate. I know the very best of my efforts, in and of themselves, are totally insufficient. The moment I think otherwise, I guarantee failure for myself.

While the Lord has many ways to inspire my spiritual growth, the greatest seasons of increase come almost in spite of myself. The process begins with the Lord revealing some task or need that is both absolutely necessary and totally impossible for me to fulfill. My first reaction is to pray, "Lord, raise up someone who'll do the job." But then, when no one else shows up, I realize He wants me to step forward. As I do, I soon hear Him say the words He spoke to His disciples, "You give them something to eat."

Sometimes, I hide in the "familiar" tasks I know I can accomplish, but a time of reckoning comes. It usually is a time of pressure or stress that, beginning with the rediscovery of my frailties, ends with me broken and waiting upon the Lord. It is right here, as I am contemplating the pitifully small "five loaves and two fish" which I am offering Jesus, that He says to my heart, "Bring them here to Me." And here is where the miracle of grace begins. For as I surrender myself afresh into His hands, a new dimension in my walk with God starts to unfold, one of supernatural multiplication.

"He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes, and they all ate, and were satisfied" (vs 19).

Whatever you give to Jesus He will bless and break. A true disciple always carries these two seeming contradictory characteristics. We know His wonderful, undeserved blessing; and we are broken of pride, self-sufficiency and boasting. He lets us know assuredly that, as Christians, we have one Source for all of our power. The sooner we realize our effectiveness does not originate in us, but in Christ, the quicker we will experience the miracles that He produces. Indeed, when He reveals to us our weaknesses, it is only because He is preparing us to receive more of His power into our lives.

Consider: When Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fish, He and His disciples were already weary and needed strength. (See Mark 6:31). Added to this came the distressing news that John the Baptist had been beheaded. The Lord was seeking to take His disciples to a place where they could "rest awhile." Yet, great multitudes came, perhaps over twelve thousand men, women and children. It was in this very circumstance of weakness that He performed this great miracle of grace.

As it was with Jesus, so it is with us: It is when we sense our weaknesses most vividly, that God can use us most mightily! The Lord will continually present to us tasks that we have never done before. He will require of each of us to give our all, even as inadequate as we seem. There will be no "knights in shining armor" in God's kingdom; our armor will have many dings and dents. No, no perfect Hollywood heros will ride to save the day; just wearied saints to look to God and, in weakness, find Christ's strength. This, indeed, is the essence of God's kingdom: divine greatness manifest in common people.

In these days ahead, the Lord is going to show you a need that will seem absolutely beyond you to perform. Your natural response will be, "I'm just an average person with limited resources. I can't do what He's asked me to do." Yet, if you will be still, you shall soon hear your Master's voice quietly, confidently saying, "Bring the need to Me."

Do as He commands, for as you give the insufficiency of your skills and your pitiful provisions to Him, He will begin to bless and break you, and then multiply what you give Him miraculously. In all my years of ministry, I know of no transforming grace greater than that which comes when, in spite of our inadequacies, we obey God in the face of the impossible.

Out of Heartache, Harvest

By Francis Frangipane

Haiti Update and Praise Report
A couple weeks ago we drew our attention to the Haitian Christians. We talked about how, in the days after the Port-au-Prince earthquake, in looking for human interest stories, media reporters actually filmed these Haitians praying and worshiping God. There the Haitians were, singing hymns of praise to God. One clip I saw showed hundreds of Christians in absolute defiance of the surroundings, singing and marching in a field. With uplifted hands, and faces that beamed their trust in God, these Christians demonstrated the power of faith. As best as I could tell, they were mostly unaware of the cameras. Yet, the secular news media had become a virtual stage upon which God showcased the faith of His people. It was powerful.

Like Job who, in spite of his sudden and catastrophic loses, bowed low before God in worship (see Job 1:20), so our Haitian brethren showed the world a similar depth of character. Certainly, their collective heartache and loss were as deep as any in Haiti, yet the anchor of their soul, unmistakably, was Jesus Christ.

We must also add Chile to our prayers and giving. So many there are suffering, and we must pray. Yet, I'm concerned, lest our prayer focus be drained away from Haiti. Will you join me in praying daily for both Haiti and Chile?

Let us continue to give, but also be wise. Let's support Christian aid groups who, even as they minister to the needy, also testify of Jesus Christ. The Bible says to "ask for rain in the time of rain." In other words, we must know the season of divine activity and pray accordingly. Right now, the mercies of God are kindled toward Haiti. Revival and healing are occurring in this island nation. Indeed, even the news media are reporting of conversions:

"Since the earthquake, the country has been spiritually transformed. People from a whole variety of religious backgrounds, including voodoo, one of Haiti's two official religions, are pledging to devote themselves anew to Christianity." (read more)

On February 12, the president of Haiti called for three days of fasting and prayer. Hundreds of thousands gathered to seek God, repent and pray, and reportedly, thousands came to Christ. Among them over 100 converted who had been voodoo priests.

All this is just a beginning, but something genuine is awakening spiritually in Haiti. Let us join in prayer and stay faithful before God. The Lord has set His heart to bless the people of Haiti and restore them to Himself. Even in this time of great heartache, there is coming forth a great harvest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please feel free to forward this message to others; acknowledging our web site would be kindly appreciated.

Reprint Agreement
Your interest in duplicating and re-sending this material is a joy to us. We only ask that you also provide website information for the Ministries of Francis Frangipane. The only exception is if the article is actually an excerpt from a book by another publisher. In this case they have asked that they be listed as the reference. Finally, any questions about the teachings of Francis Frangipane can be sent to info@frangipane.org. God bless your pursuit of His heart.