“The Secret to Fruitfulness”

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Luke 5:1-11

This blog came out an early morning conversation and prayer time with the CfaN apprentices, Eric Gilmour, and David P. I want to encourage you to read the whole thing. I know it will be a blessing to you…

Read Luke 5:1-11

1 “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

Often we can work really hard in ministry, but often we don’t get the results that we want to see. We want to be fruitful and be successful so we try new ideas, strategies, and methods hoping that something will work.

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We often think if only we can find the right idea or strategy then we will be fruitful for the kingdom

In verse 5 Simon had been working really hard in his human strength and ability to catch fish, but he came up with nothing. Not a single fish. Then in verse 4 Jesus gave some instruction, ““Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon thought it was pointless at first, but when he implemented what Jesus told him he caught more fish than he could handle. In fact, he caught so many fish that his nets were breaking and he had to get help from his fishing buddies!

“Like Simon when we work hard and do things in our own strength we often come up short, but when we respond to the words of Jesus and implement what he tells us we will be fruitful!” (verse 6)

“There is fruitfulness in the Word of the Lord.”

Often the word of the Lord won’t make any sense to our natural mind. It didn’t make any sense to Peter to keep on fishing because he fished all night and caught nothing. Sometimes the Word of the Lord will look like foolishness to us and the people around us, but there is fruitfulness in the Word of the Lord if we will trust and be obedient.

“When we are close enough to Jesus to hear his voice, and we take the time to listen, and when we implement what he says we will get a harvest. Our good ideas and strategies are pointless and go nowhere if it’s not what God is telling us to do. Fruitfulness comes from abiding in Jesus and once he speaks, we need to act!”

Reinhard Bonnke often says that when God speaks to him he jumps! He doesn’t waste any time. If he is not sure what he is supposed to do in a given situation he will lock himself up in prayer unless he hears from the Lord. Once he hears from the Lord he implements what God tells him. He feels the eyes of the Lord are on him to see if he will respond to the word of the Lord.

“When God speaks we need to act”

Sadly instead of abiding and spending time in the secret place of prayer for direction many believers immediately implement whatever ideas come from their own mind or they will look at what other successful ministries are doing and copy it. We cannot rely on human strength and ideas in ministry… we must rely on the Word of the Lord. I believe that as we enter into these last days that accurately hearing and responding to the voice of God will be a matter of life and death. We cannot afford to waste any time and energy into things that God never told us to do. There are to many too be reached!

If this blog was a blessing to you please share it with the link below.

Paul

“The Secret to Fruitfulness”

Leaving the ninety-nine for the one…

Not long ago I was in Burundi, Africa for a CfaN gospel crusade.  The last day I was there I had some free time to pick up a few gifts for family and friends.  My friends Mica-El and Matthias were with me.   As we were driving through the city looking for places to buy gifts I snapped a few pictures of people at the market and on the streets to remember my time there.

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The streets of Burundi, Africa…

Mica-El was looking for some fabric for his mother and we finally found a street market that sold some.  As Mica-El was finding fabric and bargaining I walked around to other little shops to see what they had to offer.  As I was walking along a young boy tugged on my pants.  I looked down and he put his hand out to see if I would give any money.  I was pretty focused on what I was doing and I kind of brushed him aside and went on my way.  A few minutes went by and I felt another tug on my pants.  It was the same boy who previously was begging for money.  This time I stopped what I was doing, and I took a good look at the boy.  I was shocked by what I saw.  They boy was maybe 4 years old.  His hair was filthy.  His shirt had numerous holes in it and looked like it had NEVER been washed.  His shorts were a filthy mess, and he wasn’t wearing any shoes.  In fact his feet looked so dirty and callused that perhaps he never owned a pair of shoes.  I looked around trying to find his parents or a brother or sister.  There was no one to be found.  He was just wondering around begging for money with no one looking after him and no one that seemed to care about him.  I came to the conclusion that the boy must be an orphan.

I guess I could have just walked away from the situation but I felt the Father’s heart for this boy.  I began to see him the way God saw him.  He was a frightened little boy that just needed someone to love him and care about him.  I told the boy to follow me and we went on a search to find him some new clothes.  After lots of bargaining I finally was able to buy him a brand new shirt, a pair of shorts, and a pair of sandals for $10.  Before I gave him the clothes I gave him a big hug and started praying for him.  I don’t think he was used to people hugging him because he was stiff as a board.  Perhaps he had never really felt love coming from another human being before.  As I was praying for him I spoke life into him and broke rejection and curses off his life.  I blessed him and prayed that he would come to know Jesus and experience the love of the Father.  He didn’t speak the same language as me so he didn’t understand what I was saying, but in situations like these I think your actions speak louder than your words anyway.  I gave him the new clothes and he immediately put them on and left his old ones in the street.

 

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Showing the love of Jesus to a poor boy in Africa

The venders around me didn’t understand why I was being so nice to this poor orphan boy.  When I was buying his new set of clothes they actually tried to overcharge me…  As we were driving away from the market I watched the little boy with a HUGE smile on his face going up to the venders and showing off his new set of clothes.  I am sure for him it was one of the highlights of his short life.

The night before I met this little boy Evangelist Daniel Kolenda gave me time to minister to 200,000 people at the CfaN crusade here in Burundi.

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Ministering to 200,000 people at a CfaN gospel crusade in Burundi, Africa

I can honestly tell you that what I did for this little boy was just as significant in the eyes of God, and to me,  as ministering to the masses.  I felt like God sovereignly placed this boy in my path this day so He could reveal His love to him.

This is the heart of our Heavenly Father!  He leaves the ninety-nine for the one!  We can’t be so busy in our daily lives that we miss the people that God places right in front of us.  Each day is a day to be Jesus with skin on to a lost and dying world.  In Luke chapter 15 we can get a glimpse into the heart of God for people like this little boy…

Luke 15:4

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”  -Jesus

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Our Heavenly Father leaves the ninety-nine for the one

This is what God does!  He will leave the ninety-nine to find the one.  He longs to use us so that people can see the Father’s love through us…  We are His hands and feet extended.

Let’s leave the ninety-nine for the one and represent Jesus well…

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving the ninety-nine for the one…

CfaN Burundi, Africa gospel crusade… part 3

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Burundi Africa

 

Each night of the crusade, after Evangelist Kolenda preached the gospel, he prayed for the sick and bound demonic spirits. During this time you could hear demonic spirits manifesting from different sections of the crowd. Trained counselors would take these people to the deliverance tent where they would cast out these evil spirits. One night the deliverance tent was overflowing with those needing deliverance.  During the prayer for healing Daniel Kolenda called out words of knowledge of dozens of different ailments.  He then would have them take a step of faith and test out that area of the body that was ill.  Then something I will never forget happened; you could hear shouting and commotion coming from different sections of the crowd.  You would see crutches and braces rise above the crowd as people were being healed!  If someone received a healing in their body evangelist Kolenda asked them to come forward to testify.  Each night of the crusade there were incredible testimonies of those who received a healing touch from Jesus…

Notable miracles at this CfaN Gospel crusade…

 I was standing on the platform and I saw a young man come up to testify.  He was standing to my right just a few feet away from me.  Tears were streaming down his face and you could tell that he had just received a touch from Jesus.  He came forward to share.  As it turns out this young man never spoke a word in his life!  He was dumb from birth.  The first word that came out of his mouth was “JESUS!”  It was glorious!

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The young man in this picture was dumb from birth, and spoke for the first time in his life at the crusade! Jesus is the healer!

Other notable miracles…

Man who was deaf for 23 years in his left ear was healed.

Baby who was deaf and blind was healed. The baby could clearly see and respond to sound.

Man who had a tumor for 14 years had found that it had vanished.

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A woman testifying of her healing…

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There was great rejoicing as people received a healing touch from Jesus!

The last night of the crusade the President of Burundi invited us to his home for dinner as his special guests. Many delegates and government officials were present as well.  It was a huge celebration as to what God had done at the crusade.  The President asked Daniel Kolenda to share with everyone present.  He shared about the resurrection power of Jesus.  Before dinner started the President asked Evangelist Kolenda, and Peter Van Den Berg to lay hands on him and bless him and the country of Burundi.

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CfaN leadership, the President of Burundi (center) and his family, and I
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The President of Burundi and his wife with Daniel & Rebekah Kolenda
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Having dinner at the Presidents house with my good friend Mica-El Mumba
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Evangelist Daniel Kolenda preaching a clear gospel message the last night of the crusade with 200,000 people present
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My lens was not wide enough to get a full picture of the crowd… 200,000 people present. 1 of 3
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Crowd shot…. 2 of 3
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Crowd shot… 3 of 3

Over this 4 night gospel crusade a total of  313,550 people gave their lives to Jesus, filled out a decision card, and have now been ushered into the church follow up system!   CfaN partners with local churches of all different denominations, and the local churches always explode with new converts. Over 50% of the CfaN crusade budget goes towards follow up! Only eternity will tell the full impact this ministry has made for the Kingdom. All glory to JESUS!

 

CfaN Burundi, Africa gospel crusade… part 3