The Lord bless you!
Each year in November we do one fundraising appeal for the new year. This fundraising generally brings in 25-30% of our total yearly income. We are asking you again this year to sow an extra special gift into Lightbearers. We lost a considerable amount of our monthly income (11%) earlier this year and have yet to recover it. Our prayer is that God so blesses you that you can easily sow into us!
Love to all! KRP
ASCENDING AND DESCENDING
*check out our video on our Lightbearers Youtube page tomorrow!*
Prayer, in all its manifestations, is the most important thing that I do!
My early morning praise sessions are the one thing I do seven days a week, because I sense the Lord’s pleasure and my need to praise through even difficult times. I get up, get squared away and get out to praise even in the rain, just for a few minutes to start my day off right, every day. The time to meet God is in the morning before the devil wakes up.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Gen 28:12 NKJV
Prayers go up and answers come down. Jacob calls the place where this dream occurred the house of God and the gate or portal of Heaven. Then he makes a vow which is a conditional promise (if…then) which includes tithing of all his increase. God honors the vow; Jacob prays and tithes and prospers fabulously. Today, you and I don’t need a portal to heaven because we are already in Heaven, seated at His right hand, and in a simple analogy, prayer is just leaning over and talking to Jesus.
Before we get into the great key of answered prayer I want to show you one biblical instance of prayer being locked out and one of my favorite stories from early in our ministry to answer it.
You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain and not pitied. You have covered Yourself with a cloud, that prayer should not pass through. Lam 3:43-44 NKJV
Sin can hammer the prayer door closed, both individually and for a whole people.
In 1994, one to one and a half million Tutsis were killed by the Hutus in central Africa. Four years later, killings were still going on when I was asked to join a team for a reconciliation conference between Hutu and Tutsi pastors in Kigali. Long story shortened – it’s a great story, but for our purposes here it must be abbreviated – the Lord showed me on the plane over to Rwanda that there was a barrier between Him and His people there. The last night of the conference, I told the people, about 150 Tutsi pastors and 50 Hutu, about the sin that caused the barrier. We repented for it, the glory came down and the pastors reconciled. That summer, a revival broke out in the city that was recorded in their history books, bless God forever!
KOINONIA – THE LIFESTYLE OF ANSWERED PRAYER
…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship (KOINONIA) is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3-4 NKJV
KOINONIA means ‘full sharing.’ It’s used nineteen times in the Greek NT and is used of our relationship with Jesus and the Father, of our relationship with other believers, of Holy Communion, and sharing of our finances, and of administering those finances to the blessing of all. Let’s look at each category briefly!
The first usage is regarding our relationship with other believers.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship (KOINONIA), in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 NKJV
Do you realize that you are supposed to share your sins with other believers, so that you can be healed? (James 5:16). Not with every believer, and not with every sin, but to achieve KOINONIA, there must be an openness, a transparency that allows access, examination and when needed correction. The lack of transparency to sin and correction, not necessarily the sin itself because we all sin, and will sin, can hinder your healing and your full sharing with other believers. I have more often shared my sin strongholds, like pride or jealousy, rather than specific instances of falling in that stronghold. This allows more accountability of the root habit pattern with those that I trust.
For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution (KOINONIA) for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. Rom 15:26-27 NKJV
The second usage of KOINONIA involves M_O_N_E_Y. Financial sharing is a sacrifice (Heb 13:16), an offering to God given to benefit others, and not just ‘the poor’ as we define them but all believers, especially and including those who minister to us. The Levites had no land of their own but they were fully supported by the other tribes. So still today, as you consider sharing with Lightbearers, it is a valid reality!
…imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship (KOINONIA) of the ministering to the saints. 2 Cor 8:4-5 NKJV
Paul and his team were entrusted to administer those financial gifts to the saints. As a ministry we tithe of all our income and give substantial gifts to all that we work with because that is the right thing to do. We also save money. That, I believe, is proper stewardship. For years I worked as a ‘volunteer pastor’ for an organization took much but gave little if any back. God have mercy on them!
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (KOINONIA) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (KOINONIA) of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake (METECHO, share a part, the practical outworking of KOINONIA) of that one bread. 1 Cor 10:16-17 NKJV
This is deep. We are one bread and one body. We fully share in the blood and body of our Lord. This is absolute grace and mercy. Grace and mercy run all the way through the understanding of KOINONIA, even when it comes to money. The physical wealth of the Porter household has all essentially come by inheritance. We didn’t earn it because we chose a ‘calling’ that pays richly eternally but not so much in the physical realm. It’s all come by grace and mercy! But we did position ourselves by good decision making to receive that grace and mercy, that answered prayer, which is what we will talk about next…
…God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship (KOINONIA) of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:9 NKJV
…for your fellowship (KOINONIA) in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Phil 1:5-7 NKJV
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship (KOINONIA) with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship (KOINONIA) with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 NKJV
I’m sharing a lot of scripture here because it doesn’t get much more important than what we are talking about now, certainly not in terms of your walk with God and answered prayer. KOINONIA meaning full sharing between you and the Lord, must be achieved and maintained! I just read about the Hillsong scandal that defiled ANOTHER high-profile Christian ministry and embarrassed the body of Christ. The NY TIMES article was sure to mention that they all speak in tongues, so that the Holy Spirit had another slap in His face. It’s the same old sad story; a familiar page from the devil’s playbook – sex, money, power, arrogance, pride.
KOINONIA must be maintained with the Father and the Son even if it costs you everything in the natural realm.
KOINONIA was why Jesus said, I know that you hear Me always (JOHN 11:42). When Adam and Eve broke KOINONIA with the Lord, they went and hid. When I preach about sin to Americans I always preach that sin is stupid, because the one thing Americans hate is to be caught being stupid. ‘Devious,’ we smirk at…’controlling,’ we almost take for granted…but ‘stupid,’ that’s unforgivable. Sin is stupid. Sin breaks KOINONIA which ruins confidence in our relationship with God which is the key to answered prayer, which is simply leaning over and talking to Jesus.
KOINONIA must be restored through the confession, forgiveness and cleansing from sin. Do you know what sin precipitated the Rwandan genocide? The sin of certain of the white missionaries because they separated and undercut the relationship between the Hutus and Tutsis, and they did it over decades and generations, so the split was deep and festering in 1994, when the KILL THE COCKROACHES speech was broadcast from the Hotel du mil Collin in Kigali. When I finished preaching that night at the conference, I knelt and asked forgiveness for the sin of the white missionaries. A single, trembling Tutsi pastor came up, prayed over me, forgiving those we stood in proxy for, and then the glory came down. KOINONIA was restored…
Prayer is the most important thing that I do. I always start my prayer time with seeking to make sure my KOINONIA with the Father, Son and Spirit is intact. Sacrificial giving is always a part of that KOINONIA walk as well. KOINONIA positions us to receive answered prayer. The prayers go up, the answers come down, ascending and descending all day long; that’s our lifestyle, dear one. Love you!
Remember dear one, we must be about our Father’s business…