Friday, December 30, 2011

How to Click with People ... creating power in relationships

by Dale Shumaker

How to Click with People by Rick Kirschner teaches communications for the 21st Century mind... our ways
of thinking, and styles of communication. Clicking starts with resonating. With some the vibes just line up. When we meet, the first thing we consider is are we blending... naturally copying the other person. We notice it in our gestures, stories, body language, space, rate of speech, tone and volume. When we see similarities, we begin to blend.

How do we become great at clicking?

Curiosity and appreciation of differences stir blending, and click-ability grows. Clean up your past
and keep in the present. Treat everyone equally. People are drawn to a person who reflects fairness. Be attentive to what's important to the person, such as family, hobbies, culture, work. Exude personal warmth by welcoming people into your space, note their space preferences. Look at people and let them see warmth in your eyes, your voice. Hold the other person at the center of attention. Let them know that you care about them and why, and show that in your relationships with warmth.

Listen before you talk. Back track and repeat what they shared, ask the right questions. Dumb questions assume too much, ask too little, give advice too soon. Seek relevancy of a person's thoughts. Ask why something is important to the person, and reason for sharing it. Even if you know the answer, ask, and let them tell you.

Observe the personality style of the person and match it. Four major types of people include action-based people...they talk about doing; accuracy-based people... they relate specifics; approval-based people.. caring and consideration is part of their tone; appreciation-based people... it's about their value. Match the style and you will click.

Kirschner goes on to explain how we click with people of different motivations...he reveals six kinds of motivations which include values, rewards, challenge, esteem, purpose and feelings.

One area of most current relevance is how to click when using the phone, email, social media.
When on the phone make sure it is the right timing, use the person's name, match voice volume, talking speed, speaking rhythm, and energy. When using email, remember that everyone gets a lot of them. And because it's so easy to respond quickly, to take care of it, we may respond in haste, not thinking through what we say. Also, a weakness of email is tone, voice texture, facial expressions are not evident which hinders expressing true meaning. On email, be polite, use the subject line, keep it as brief as possible, frame your message(clear and concise information), put out flames, never send to a group without permission and when you do keep email addresses private. Watch the funny stuff... some attempts at humor can easily backfire on email.

On to social media, some ways to increase chances of connecting include: ask for recommendations, ask for a referral, recommend someone else, make a referral, make a connections. Keep in mind these five rules for networking on social media: Don't spam your network, don't be a stranger, you get out what you put in, instead of asking for something offer something, take it slow.

Look for the emotional click signals. When someone shows appreciation, offers an
opportunity, or gives us some much needed attention, we know she likes us and we generally return the favor. We click with people we find attractive, charismatic people, those who we treat with respect, with people we like. Send signals of affinity (I like you) by leading with similarities, treating a person with respect, letting the other person know you like them, being charming naturally, and holding good eye contact. We size people up by comparing them to people we already know. People respond to authority, that's having confidence in yourself and ideas.

When we know we are clicking with someone then is the time to share your ideas. Keep it short and simple, put the most important information upfront, be specific, don't tell them everything, focus on goals(not process), choose familiar words. Use examples and back what you say with numbers. When you make your point, then point forward by focusing attention on what to do and why to do it. Repetition with conviction empowers your idea. People don't get it when they hear it once. But hearing it again, but in different ways, enforces the clicking process.

More on how to click with people, overcoming stumbling blocks, group click, and
to sharpen up doing what you do to click, click to Rick Kirschner's website, the art of change.

In Ephesians 4, The Apostle Paul outlines principles for creating
powerful relationships. When these are applied to how we do all things, we see powerful results. So powerful that we see it is the very Power of God at work.

2. "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." Some things about others irritate us. When we show tolerance to the quirky behavior of others, it strengthens us as a unit.

3. "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,
binding yourselves together with peace." Jesus also emphasized that the peace makers will be recognized as God's Children. Our true relationship with God is revealed by this characteristic. People who can forge peace are moved up to positions of leadership.

15. "We will speak the truth in love." This relates to being gentle and humble in how we say things.

25. "So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth." It is popular to put a spin on what we say, to divert people from the truth. To speak to deceive is a greatly disliked by God. "You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers." (Psalm 5:6) We are not to be misleading, but we are to be genuine and honest. 26. “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil." When we lose control of speaking kindly, we can do great damage. This principle is critically important to click with anyone, and foster strong relationships.

29. "Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." In some environments, abusive, coarse language is acceptable and even admired. It's ultimate impact is destruction of relationships and the diminishes the power of the group. The most life changing practice is to encourage everyone, everywhere, all the time. This builds strength and productive results... while increasing a spirit of unity, team identity.

31."Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

So The Apostle Paul concludes his comments to remind us that having bitterness in our attitudes,
rage, anger and harsh words, telling lies about others and spreading rumors, brings destruction. It can ruin our work relationships, friendships, home, the community where it the office, small business, or at the home.

If you do these three things, you will have harmony, power, productive relationships...
be kind, be tenderhearted in all circumstances, and forgive people when they do error.

Follow this and you will not only click and find favor with people, you will build strong teams and partnerships that will make your efforts succeed. Our Power rests within our unity, the strength of the bond between us. When it's cemented in Spirit, we are mighty in our efforts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

18 Minutes... a Glimpse of Heaven

by Dale Shumaker

18 Minutes by Peter Bregman is about reclaiming your life, creating a focus
and mastering his 18 minute daily plan... getting the right things done. His plan will help you strategically structure your day so it's productive, satisfying, and a measurable step for fulfilling your focus for a year.

What's limiting you? The first step is to reduce forward momentum, slow down and start over. Pause and figure your next move. Regular rest steps are needed. We need to interrupt ourselves to create time and space to aim our efforts more accurately. Don't settle for being less than you are. It won't serve others and won't serve yourself.

Find your focus
. It includes four elements... leverage your strengths,
embrace your weaknesses, assert your differences, and pursue your passions. Consider the conditions of what you want to achieve, what you believe you can achieve, and what you will enjoy the most achieving. Focus the year on the things that matter to you. On the things that have specific meaning for you. Create a tunnel vision in the right direction. Failure will happen. Stay focused, learn, don't give up... it will pay off. The future is uncertain... keep moving.

Focus your year on five areas most important to you within business and your person life. Set up daily actions in each of the five areas. To get something done, decide when and where you are going to do it. Practice the three-day rule. Nothing stays on your list for more than three days. Continually clean up your list and do one of four things, do it immediately, schedule it, let it go, push it out to a someday/maybe list. Spend a few minutes at the end of each day thinking about what you learned and with whom you should connect to next.

And now, the featured section for why 18 Minutes was written..
18-minute plan for managing your day. We start everyday, feeling we are not going to get everything done we would like to. It's good to plan ahead, create to-do lists, ignore lists, use our calendars. The hard part is execution. Everyday something gets in the road. The secret is... create a ritual. Bregman recommends we follow his ritual for managing our day. It will take 18 minutes a day.

Step 1 (5 minutes). Morning minutes. Go to your to-do list, and
decide what will make this day highly successful. What can you realistically accomplish that at the end of the day you will feel productive and successful? Take the other things off your list and reschedule. Follow the three-day rule.

Step 2 (1 minute every hour). Refocus. Take one minute every hour and refocus. Set your watch or your phone to beep on the hour. This is your warning to stop, and ask yourself if you spent the last hour productively. Look at your calendar and recommit how you will use the next hour. Manage your day hour by hour. Don't let the day manage you.

Step 3 (5 minutes). Your evening minutes. Ask yourself how the day went, what you learned, who do I need to interact with? Who should I update, send an email, text... to make sure you are communicating with people.

This ritual is about getting the right things done. Done as a ritual it will increase your effectiveness in all you do... business and personal. The best skill is managing distractions. Control them and place them in proper place related to the most important activity. Resist the temptation to say yes too often, and when you say no mean it. Shorten transition times. We don't really multitask, we actually switch tasks. Some transitions take longer than others. Pick them wisely.

More from Peter Bregman at:

Catching a Glimpse of Heaven by E. M. Bounds gives a thorough portrayal of
the Biblical context of Heaven. Heaven will release us of all the troubles of this life. All the struggles, trials, pain, sorrow of earth will be gone. Jesus said He would go and prepare a place for us. And where He come, take us to that place, and He will be with us forever. What Jesus has done for us here, He will do for us in the other world. This rich food of Heaven has living foundations of bliss, knowledge, and light.

Life in its fullest will be there. It is an eternal life of the untold, unimagined,
and brilliant glories of what is only in Heaven.

What is eternal life?
Who can dream or imagine this life? Heaven has it!
It will be the greatest surprise as we pass through the gates to this celestial city. We will be led to fountains of living water... a life that refreshes, blesses and satisfies the soul as water refreshes, blesses, and satisfies the body. Here is a constant unfolding of life, a life so full we are in constant state of deep joy.

Heaven will be the joy, pursuit, enjoyment and increase in life.
Life in Heaven will be ecstatic delight... Mind, soul, and spirit will be widened, elevated, deepened, refined, and beautified.
And we all will be beautify... ageless, looking our best always. Christ will feed that life on the richest pastures and lead the way to the fountains of living water. "God will wipe away all tears." (Rev. 7:17)

The Power of the Spirit puts us in a thirst for Heaven
. Paul
longed to be there, and relented that he had work to do on earth. The Holy Spirit gives us constant tastes and visions of Heaven, until all other tastes become pall and other visions are heavy and dull. Heaven plays notes of harmony and the earth plays songs of discord.

Power of the Spirit binds us to Heaven because Jesus is the center and glory. The Holy Spirit implants Heaven in us.The Holy Spirit in us is God's mark of ownership and security. His authority is put on us. God gives us a part of Heaven as a pledge to the full heaven when the time is ripe.

The Apostle Paul reminds us to keep pressing on to
the prize waiting for us as we press on to fulfill our calling on earth to receive the great reward of Heaven... the High Calling of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is always keeping the body under control, subjection to the Spirit, so that he would not lose the incorruptible crown. Heaven is a reward. Great is your reward in Heaven. (Matt. 5:12)

Be ready for Heaven
. Jesus said He will come quickly, and
the reward is great according to the work we have done. (Rev. 22:12) The reward is dues paid for what we did on earth in accordance to God's will for us, and our obedience to His voice and Word. For Jesus will come with many angels, in the glory of our Heavenly Father and He will reward every man according to his works. (Matt. 18:27)

We can't imagine heaven, feel what it is really like. But it will so outclass
our earthly life, we will question why we didn't focus more on our Heaven life while on earth. Things of earth are dull, compared to Heaven. Work for Heaven, invest your life assets that will convert to Heavenly assets.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spirit Savvy Business on a Mission

The Spirit Savvy Business/Spirit Savvy Network

... advancing Spirit-Directed Entrepreneurs

The Mission

Develop the skills of people to be Spirit-empowered entrepreneurs. So that they operate with the Holy Spirit as their core operating system. The result is integrating into society and the marketplace the Power of God while building the Kingdom of Heaven in the marketplace.

What we do is empower personal skills for business with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In entrepreneur skills
Dreaming, planning, developing your Gifts, marketing, networking, relationships, communicating, influencing, personal organization.

Through the Spiritual empowerment process...

Spiritually empowered, prayer(actually hearing from God), Scripture application and mind renewal,
partnering in mission, 2 or 3 agreement power, covenant relationship, living in the Power of the Gifts of the Spirit.
By posting summaries of outstanding principles from best-selling business books and adding a Spiritual Dynamic to each summary... U
sing the New Testament model of the Body of Christ. Implanting the Body of Christ into a business as the Spiritual empowered for a business as its operating system.

The summaries, which include principles of Spirit-empowered living, are an inventory to customize curriculum of the best biz info applied to you.
--meet to find needs, desires, and interests; determine mission and calling
--develop a process: using your strengths, focus on your vision and mission
--enlarge personal skills; natural strengths
--activate the Gifts of the Spirit
--create a Spirit-Powered system for your mission in the marketplace customized for you by meeting weekly, twice a month, or monthly; in person, phone, or email which ever best fits you.

With relevant business information at your disposal, the power of two minds working together, living in Spirit, we as a unit then live in the same Spiritual Power as the Acts of Jesus and His Disciples recorded in the Bible.

One Request
Could you introduce me to business leaders of clubs, groups, associations, etc... in the business community and churches?

Seeking the willing and open minded!
People open to the significance of God's Spirit with us in all we do.

Contact: Dale Shumaker


Personal Profile:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain... Power Through Prayer

by Dale Shumaker

Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain, by Ryan Blair, is about someone who spent a lot of his juvenile life
being arrested and in and out of jail. With his experience on the street, he developed a "nothing to lose" mindset. This mindset then became the critical factor for later developing several multimillion dollar businesses. He changed of course to find what honor and keeping our word meant when applying it to business. He kept his word to God to not go back to how he lived in his youth.

When going into business, he attended numerous personal development seminars. Many reminded him of his old gang life... a lot of hustlers, charlatans and people out to bilk others out of money. From this he created his credo... work your tail off, don't ever give up, when defeated get back up, keep angling to find your angle, sacrifice, you will survive no matter how bad it is, shake off mistakes, be grateful, go big and have fun... if you don't you will either quit, die unhappy, or blow your success.

In the chapter "Philosophies from the Jail to the Boardroom," Blair draws some interesting analogies and
principles that make business work in the trenches. Some of Blair's Golden Rules:

Communication and management rules.

Life is a theater. everyone is an actor, some with the lead and some with a supporting role.
Never ask a question you don't already know what your answer will be.
If you don't have an answer say "I don't know," but I will get an answer for you.

If you feel you have failed, ask yourself a series of questions. Why did this happen, what could I have done
differently, how can I do it better next time, what changes should I make in my strategies, what can I do to improve my planning and preparation?
Master taking action.

Never express negative emotion in an email or text message.

Praise in public and reprimand in private.

Business-model rules

Marketing exists to create sales.

The ones most responsive to change will survive.

Customer rules

Service is the greatest opportunity to differentiate; being people oriented is not an acquired skill.
Fear your customer.

Strategy rules.
An army everywhere is an army nowhere.
One thing at a time, and all things in succession... slow growth will endure.

Draw your customer to you with compelling offers to take action.

Personal rules
Keep your distance from people who belittle your ambition.
When you look for the bad in people you will always find it.
There is no finish line.

You are not a businessman, but in business, man.

Don't buy stocks, make stocks.

Honor your deals with God.

Efforts don't pay the rent, your results do; be a person who makes money, it doesn't make you.

The difference between now and a year from now will be the people you know and what you have learned.

Seize the day... you only get them one at a time. Life is a summary of actions taken. Blair declares that if he can come from the life he had, and build several multimillion dollar ventures, so can you.

Two of Blair's prized books are Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Watch your wallet and be as proud of things you do as you don't do. Sometimes you must say no, or scrap a project. Listen to yourself. Know your motivation. Choose a business you would do without pay, and it wakes you up in the middle of the night. Even if you have the money, use other peoples money too. Spread your risks. Hold on to as many assets as possible.

Blair declares that the principles in his book, from his business, street knowledge, is essential. If you are not
willing to make sacrifices in business you will not succeed. Keep your business plan simple. Summarize it on one page, and no more than 3 pages long... three pages of clear, concise business objectives, expected results, and the strategy to get there. Situations are constantly changing and you are constantly re-creating.

More on Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain...

Why is prayer so vital?
Prayer is about entering the very presence of God
and hearing what He has to say on a matter. When we sense the plans He has for us and we follow them, we are assured of Him being there. Add to that sharing those plans with someone else, we put a real punch behind it. Here's what the great Christians of old say about prayer.

E. M. Bounds in Power through Prayer, a widely read classic by those seeking
the great value of prayer, made these points.

There's just so much Power in Spirit that God Wants to release on us. It's about going into a greater depth of His Presence, His Essence, we can live in it. These saints of old had insight. But there is so much more if we would just dig deeper.

The power within prayer is becoming co-dependent of God's Spirit to do all things through us. "His inner being has never felt its thorough spiritual bankruptcy, its utter powerlessness; he has never learned to cry out with an ineffable cry of self-despair and self-helplessness till God’s power and God’s fire comes in and fills, purifies, empowers. Self-esteem, self-ability in some pernicious shape has defamed and violated the temple which should be held sacred for God."

The Olympian practices 4 hours plus per day. Do we want to see miracles in our lives, in our relationships, health, happiness. The Apostle Paul suggests we train as the Olympian. Prayer is our preparation to run to win.

"All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (! Corinthians 9:25, Philippians 3:14, NLT)

"Prayer is so much about taking time. When we take the time to allow God's Presence to saturate us, we see His Power when we call out to him in the short bursts of the day."

"Much with God alone is the secret of knowing Him and of influence with Him. He yields to the persistency of a faith that knows him. He bestows his richest gifts upon those who declare their desire for and appreciation of those gifts by the constancy as well as earnestness of their persistence. Christ spent many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much."

Brainerd lived the life of holiness and prayer. His diary is full and monotonous with the record of his seasons of fasting, meditation, and retirement. The time he spent in private prayer amounted to many hours daily. “When I return home,” he said, “and give myself to meditation, prayer, and fasting, my soul longs for mortification, self-denial, humility, and divorcement from all things of the world.”

“I have nothing to do,” he said, “with earth but only to labor in it honestly for God. I do not desire to live one minute for anything which earth can afford.”
The men of mighty prayer are men of Spiritual might. Prayers never die. Brainerd’s whole life was a life of prayer. By day and by night he prayed."

In Isaiah 43, God says He has called us by name. Each person is uniquely special in His eyes. He begins by saying His Spirit will be with us through every thing and then later on re-enforce us by making "rivers in a dry wasteland." Conversing with God is essential. Even if the economy worsens again, the Spirit will provide you/us rivers (ideas, people, ways) to accomplish His will. Meditate on Isaiah 43... What's His Spirit saying to you?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Body of Christ content outline, small group dynamics

by Dale Shumaker

The series on the Body of Christ... or where is the Power in the Church, and how can we experience it, live it, and see it again.
This series is based on my discussions with a man of God who founded a college for the purpose to see this fulfilled. It's a word for the future. We are coming into that future. My job was to keep it alive until its time. As Jesus said in John 7, "my time has not yet come." It will be here soon. Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft had a vision for a time in the future. It is close to being here.

Please consider the meaning between the lines if you choose to read the chapters of the Body of Christ. Dr. Ashcroft was a prophetic voice. Those of us in range of the voice would be served well to take heed.

Be blessed!

All the chapters below are archived August, 2011. Click on that archive month and the whole series will come up. Included are the dates when a particular chapter was posted. A teacher, mentor, discussion leader could take this content and using the team building dynamic process included to effectively empower a group.

Content Outline
The Body of Christ by Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft
(a summary with emphasis added by this writer)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011
1. The Body of Christ ... The Power of Christ as a Body of Believers
Be Humble as a child, be Teachable and Forgiving.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
2.The Body of Christ ... In Mystery
Knowing that He Finds Us where we are.

Thursday, August 11, 2011
3. The Body of Christ ... In Revelation
Realizing the Power in Agreement and what it means.

Friday, August 12, 2011
4. The Body of Christ ... In Baptism
Allowing the Spirit to Baptize, Saturate your Being.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
5. The Body of Christ ... The Practical
Developing our lives Spiritually in Word transformation and Prayer.

Sunday, August 14, 2011
6. The Body of Christ ... In Intercession
Interceding in Prayer for each other.

Monday, August 15, 2011
7. The Body of Christ ... Covenant Connection
Covenant Connections... the importance of Intimacy in Relationships.

Thursday, August 18, 2011
8. The Body of Christ ... Equipped for Greater Things
Formation of becoming One as a unit in Spirit. Gifts of Spirit emerge.

Friday, August 19, 2011
9. The Body of Christ ... In Action
Advancing the Gifts of Spirit.

Saturday, August 20, 2011
10. The Body of Christ ... Ministering to the Lord
The Power of Ministry to the Lord.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
11. The Body of Christ ... It's Here, so Now What?
Ministry to Mankind and Keeping it Going.

Purpose, mission with power is established.

A Process for developing a Group in the Dynamics of the Body of Christ.

An emerging group has these phases of development.
1. History giving. What is your story and what has brought you to where you are?
2. Confessing. Share both successes and failures, in a absence of judging.
3. Gift spotting. What are we specifically good at that God uses.
4. Gift enhancing. Confirming what we see in others, spurring to action.
5. Teaming. Bringing what we have into a unit to aid each other, accomplish an objective.
6. Mission. What God is using us for, as a unit.
7. Supportive. Helping each other and keeping each other going as we do it.
8. Perseverant. Lifting each other up as we must press through things.
9. Establishing Faith. Belief in God, loving each other, becoming strong in Him.
10. Living in Power. Seeing the manifestation of God's Power as we complete His mission in our lives.

(Please contact this writer for suggestions and guidance on how to train others in the above.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Body of Christ ... It's Here, so Now What? (11)

summarized by Dale Shumaker

The Body of Christ
by Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft concludes with Here, Now and How!. It is not good for man to be alone. Bird watchers note that birds find a mate, court, nest and raise offspring. The son of Man, Jesus, said that even birds had a place to nest but the Son of Man had no place to lay His head. He was building
a family connection so large that no one would be alone without close significant relationships.

The Spirit unites, while Satan comes to divide
. The Spirit bonds us to many believers. This bonding is more intense and secure than the bond of family relationships. Jesus himself indicated that man would leave father and mother and become followers of Christ. Jesus said, "Who is my mother and brothers. Whomever does the will of the Father is my brother, my sister, my mother." (Mark 3:33,35)

Being united to Christ we become united to each other.

Everyone needs companionship. Each of us needs a support system.
It is more than a need. It is a Divine challenge to creativity and productivity. Do we try to reach our full potential alone? When we do we limit our success. God has ordained that the greatest power available to His Children will be manifested when they have the spiritual unity of which He spoke in Matthew (18:19) that when touching anything, the two or three in agreement, will be done by all the powers of our Father in Heaven. Note that earth and Heaven are linked together when we are united. This unity is a Spiritual law. This law is equally binding in the Spirit as natural laws are binding in nature... physics, biology, etc.

In knowing this, we know we can feed ourselves by sowing and reaping. When we sow Spirit, we reap Spirit. So unity in our relationships work the same way. When family units of husband-wife, parent-child, brothers-sisters are united it creates a family power.

The union of husband and wife is such a meaningful life that Paul uses the relationship to explain the union between Christ and the Body of Christ. Just marriage is not enough. There is social marriage, legal marriage, biological marriage. Then there is Spiritual marriage. The oneness of this kind of relationship goes beyond procreation. It deals with matters of the Spirit. Here, with this close intimate relationship, we win against all forces. The Holy Spirit becomes our ally in spiritual warfare.

The most practical place for this unity of an intense level is with husband and wife. When two become one, all the powers of God's universe beckon to our commands. With the potential to change our universe through this relationship so strong, Satan's focus has been very much to divide families, put husband against wife, and children against parents. This takes the power right out of the home. Although, a husband and wife and family who prays together and forms close bonding relationships has exceptional power of Spirit at work in their times together.

If married, your spouse is your greatest potential for a prayer partner. Some things to keep in mind to take advantage of this potential is to agree on a time to come together for devotions, and establish a pattern of worship. This may include reading the Scriptures or a devotional together, singing praise songs, including your children to read or sing, pray for each other, share what God is impressing on you for each other, do as you felt led as one unit. All major decisions would be better served after this experience to reassure it is God's guidance with you within the decision.

Once Jesus took three of His disciples with Him when He prayed. Establish prayer partnerships in addition to your family. Or if we don't have this potential in your family, find two or three as prayer partners. We can see great power coming in our lives. Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs. In a business or an individual finding someone like minded in Spirit to become partners in prayer and in mission support, will highly affect all your efforts. (Dr. Ashcroft suggests everyone in the Body of Christ is called to minister or be a ministry of some kind.) What we are called to do in God's will is a ministry for the Kingdom of God. So prayer partners and prayer groups will enlarge your function of life in Spirit. This is the key to true Spiritual empowerment. It is critical to form these relationships and allow the Holy Spirit to bond them for His power.

From this we will see new ministries birthed, a compelling Spiritual Vision. We are empowered in what we do for others as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Note that as the number of people increases it increases the difficulty of having the quality of agreement. Agreement diminishes. The critical factor is unity. So being small with greater unity is better than large and lesser unity. When we look at the phrase "agree together" it comes from the same root word that means harmony. Like a piano that strikes one string, all the strings that are sympathetic to that note will vibrate also. They are in synchronization with one another. Where there is agape love of God, and we are in love with Jesus and man, it is possible that we function in synchronization with one another.

This unity is not possible by human means. Each person involved must be totally in love with Jesus Christ. When He is Lord of the lives of each person in the group, such love is possible. And where there is love, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifest. Obviously, where His love is there is healing of every kind.

What is needed for prayer groups to be highly successful, with all the Creative Powers of God's Spirit to be at work, is compassionate and sharing love. That's agape love, the love of Christ at the cross. This is a sacrificial sharing love. It is the true meaning of fellowship. It carries the true meaning of the Early Church and intentions of our relationships as One in Spirit. It is so close in relationship that they shared their possessions as their needs became known. It takes a Special grace for this ministry, for the actual manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit to meet the needs of the Body of Christ.

Bible study groups conducted formally and informally are great places for group prayer to be part of it. Leadership and training are most important forces in sustaining the effectiveness of prayer groups. It is important to remember that the unity of the believers, the flow of compassion as we serve one another in love makes the Body of Christ a conquering force.

Teaching is not learning. Something can be taught but not learned. It needs to be part of our behavior. Change must take place that is self evident and motivates a new desire. To achieve the highest level of discipleship it is necessary to train. This includes teaching, getting information, and training, making it work effectively in daily applications.

Intercessory prayer, the kind that gets individuals involved with the subject of one's prayers is a most critical factor in successful praying. Prayer includes that we obey the directions we get from prayer.

Too many times we only take time to tell God what is needed and fail to get His strategies for getting the answer. He gives Spiritual intelligence... Divine Strategies for accomplishing things Supernaturally. The ability and comfort to pray with others out loud is a valuable part of prayer training. Each of us must find a way to join with another believer (or other believers) to touch the lives of those around us.

Missions are as much across the street as they are around the world. The hurting or hungry family may be your next door neighbor, or the business just next to you. Take note, and always be available to pray for and help where you can.

The reality of the Body of Christ is that it reaches out to a perplexed and wandering world. Our groups should welcome as many as we can into the fellowship, koinonia, and experience as a group the love and practical caring we give to each other. That people find a place to find gifts and abilities, cultivate Spiritual gifts, and become empowered so strongly that others notice and want to be part of it too.

This is our challenge in becoming one with God and One with each other.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Body of Christ ... Ministering to the Lord (10)

summarized by Dale Shumaker

"He who is faithful in the smallest of things will be made ruler over many."

In Ministering to the Lord, The Body of Christ by Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft, the church was vibrant where ever it met. To remind us, a church meeting is when two or three come together in Jesus Name. In Acts in the Bible, the early days of ministry were by laymen.

The power in the church is more in the dynamics of small
, in close-bonded relationships, than in big groups. It is a network, a web of small cells, linking to others and the assistance each freely gives the other.

When reading Acts 11 and 13 we see in Antioch, the establishing of what is called today Christian. All the followers were unnamed laymen. Just men collaborating in concert with the teachings and ideals of Jesus, groups who united as followers of Jesus. This Gospel was being spread by new believers. Missions were established as they went everywhere to tell people about the marvelous possibilities of us being united with Christ.

Antioch is important as it illustrates the power there is in the unity of the Body of Christ... as the Believers connecting in Spirit as One. Another observation is that it came from such an unlikely place. The theme line keeps shouting out loud the power of unity and where there is unity God manifests Himself.

Each individual within the Body of Christ is important
. It's not just a gathering of people or not just a crowd. We are all very special people. We may be likened to cells in a body. Each one is different, but each one is important to the whole. Gifts, special ministries, were given to each member. It is possible for everyone to have a ministry to help meet the needs of other individuals of the body. (Note 1 Corinthians 12:27)

We must, as cells, be in the Body to be alive, but we must also function as unique individuals
. In the human body no cell can survive very long by itself. It needs to be joined by other cells. Cancer, it is said, are cells out of sync with the body. Cancer destroys itself and the body it invades. Cells out of sync in Spirit in the Body of Believers cause this same disaster to happen there too. These cells contaminate healthy cells.

This new lay church was made up of regular people, not specifically called to a particular position in ministry.
They had gifts of the Spirit and began to minister to each other. The church is not the Body of Christ if it is a place where each member is not ministering in some way to other members of the Body. The differences in the Body is a paradox. It actually enhances the Body to function at peak levels when unity exists. As the body, or gathering, submits to the Holy Spirit, in humility, every reason for conflict will be subordinated to God. Some groups allow their differences to separate them from others who do not share their views. Paul, the Apostle, had to deal with this kind of discrimination as it diluted the group of its Power in Spirit. Antioch was not like this, and Paul noted that great grace was there. Great grace implies great giving and forgiving.

One of the chief purposes of the leader of a group is to strive for unity as given by the Holy Spirit. What is the basis for a great Spiritual life in a gathering...
"They ministered to the Lord, and fasted." (Acts 13:1)
The two points are revealed:
1. Ministry to the Lord

2. Fasting (discipline of the self)

Ministry to the Lord
is significant, and exercised in choice of primary importance. It is adoration, surrender, commitment and obedience in service.

Adoration is the concentration of the heart. Plus it is a longing for more of knowing Him, praising Him for who He is. Such a pre-occupation with the Lord drives us away from all of the detrimental influences of the world.

Adoration is the key to our unity.
When each of us is making Christ the Lord of our lives, it is no problem finding unity among us as believers. When we are oriented to self, unity becomes impossible.

On the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:8) they saw no man but Jesus. The vision of Jesus was compelling and their concentration was only on the brightness of Jesus. In our gatherings no expression of the Lord is left out... art, music, vocal or physical demonstration.

There is more... fasting.
It goes beyond abstinence from food, this fasting is abstinence from any dependency on physical gratification. This may include abstinence of mind and body. Such fasting makes us break from being co-dependent to the physical demands and desires of the human body. It makes us forget our own program of interests. It makes us forget our criteria for social relationships. All demands of our person or place are submerged in the total denial of self and absence of self-awareness. Can we achieve this same depth of communion with the Lord? Yes, but it won't be easy. It takes decision, training, discipline and often spiritual leadership to bring us in such communion with the Lord.

With such worship to God and denial of self, there is a readiness to do whatever the Lord commands. True worship encompasses full submission, and obedience. It is service to others in need. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). It is easier to write and talk about this than to bring it about. The Holy Spirit gives directions to the believers... as individuals and as a group.

When those who meet in Jesus Name center their lives around the Holy Spirit, a common mission and purpose emerges from the group
. This mission uses the talents, Spiritual Gifts, of the group as One orchestrated concert in action to complete the mission and vision set before them.

Know your target and how to move in the direction of such High Achievement.
We need to keep reminding ourselves that visions from God may seem impossible in the natural but we are super-charged by the Supernatural to accomplish what God puts on our hearts. We can then as One Body, as a group, do all things through the Powers of Jesus Christ being manifested through us. It requires a discipline in lifestyle for the cause we are in. It will take hours of meditation, completely concentrating in the Spirit, and prayer to the Lord to bring us on the journey to achieve such Lofty Goals.

Like Barnabas and Saul were separated to go into new territory. We may be separated by the Holy Spirit to go into new territory. This direction will come after much fasting and prayer. That's taking time to be completely focused on the Holy Spirit's direction for us... and leaving normal activity that is part of our lives for a while to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying...and allowing time for The Spirit to assist us in crafting the strategy He has in mind for it to be carried out.

After fasting, after denial of self, there comes consideration for others. It naturally follows
. This is the climate of obedience. Worship is not worship if it does not culminate in obedient action in the interest of those less fortunate than ourselves. When sent by the Holy Spirit you can be assured of the Spirit paving the way for your ministry (and this includes all laymen in the church... everyone has a ministry).

When faced with opposition, the opposition is immobilized as in the case of Elymas (Acts 13:6-12), the sorcerer. He was made blind by the Spirit so Barnabas and Saul could not be deterred.

In a mission that is directed by the Holy Spirit we will be directed by the Spirit along the way
. If it is made up by men and organizations outside the Spirit, we may not be assured the Power of God with us. But if we go in obedience to the clear direction of the Holy Spirit and with the covenant community, we are assured of the results.

Our relationships, covenant relationships, in Spirit are essential
for all that God sends us to. As One in Spirit we are very powerful and nothing can stop these advances.
All Things Are Possible!

(Scripture references, Acts 11:19-30, 13:1-3)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Body of Christ ... In Action (9)

summarized by Dale Shumaker

In the second part of the Body of Christ in Action, Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft spends most of his time in 1 Corinthians 13 and 14.

The fulfillment of all the functions of the gifts rests on the power of the love
the Holy Spirit gives us. To be in one accord and have pure unity is the central nerve of the best of everything. John expresses this in 1 John 4: 8-13:

"But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us." (NLT)

Paul refers to love as the most excellent way.
We should follow the path of love, especially in the Body of Christ. It is a sacrificial love as every one considers others more important than themselves. This is the cement that holds, creates a bonding unity, in the relationship of the Believers. Then in this Agape love of God all the Supernatural power of God can be manifested. God is there in all of His Supernatural power, if we are in His love.

All the eloquence we possess is nothing without love. Without a demonstration of love in all we do, all we do amounts to nothing.

As we consider the Supernatural gifts of the Spirit of eloquence, prophecy, understanding mysteries, all knowledge, faith, meeting needs of the poor, even becoming a martyr, if we do not have love it amounts to nothing and we profit nothing by it. Within the Body of Christ it accomplishes nothing. Our highest priority is to be completely yielded to the Holy Spirit.

In our own humanity it is impossible to achieve this quality of love. So we are locked into a total dependence upon the Holy Spirit. The emphasis and practice of waiting on the Holy Spirit must be our first consideration. Such a challenge must be kept ever before us in our present environment.

These rudiments of love must never leave our conscious and functional times is patient, always kind, not envying others, or boasting about ourselves, being constantly unselfish, mild and even tempered, not being suspicious of others, unhappy with evil, rejoicing in truth, surviving in pressure, full of stubborn faith, with an unwavering confidence in God's power, enduring to the end in all challenges and goals, and refusing to relent in love, love never fails.

To attain love is to grow up in our faith
, have a clear vision of Jesus and what He has done for us, holding an honest knowledge of ourselves, practice this highest and greatest virtue throughout all we do, making love supreme. To have unity in and among believers is the key to our power as the Body of Christ in Spirit. Love must be practiced first, last and always by those in the Body of Christ in their actions and attitudes to each other.

To further the unity of the Body of Christ, these mandates will preserve the unity... to be informed, be unselfish and be courteous.

Be Informed

Follow after love. With love we have no divisions between those who put love up front in all they do. The Supernatural is free to work as it expands to the levels only it can. Desire Spiritual Gifts. So it requires to wait for them, wait in God's presence. Tarry until they come. It is important to give time to tarry, or wait for, the leading of the Holy Spirit to show itself. Of all the Spiritual Gifts desire to prophesy. Make this a top priority in order to communicate the Word of the Lord to the Believers.

Be Unselfish

In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul suggests that if someone has a message in a tongue not known to the group, to share it... only if there is an interpreter. Otherwise keep it in private and not for public expression. Although, if more than one has a message as such, it should be kept to two or three at the most. Paul goes on to say that we should not forbid people to speak who have a gift of tongues. The point being made is that we should be considerate of others and cooperation should rule the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit in a group.

Above all prophesy... then everyone can understand you.
Again, if you have a Word from Spirit it should be limited by two or three as well. The Spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophets. What this implies is all things are in control and there is not a spirit of things being out of control. All things should carry with them a sense of agreement among the group and the unity then brings the manifest presence of God's Spirit. As we agree together in His Name we can expect all kinds of unexpected workings of the Spirit among us.

Be Courteous
The Spirit is gentle. The Spirit came on Jesus like a dove. A dove can be easily frightened away. We are to be building up the community of believers. We will see this accomplished if we find the grace from the Holy Spirit to treat one another with respect, neither grieving the Holy Spirit or our fellow believers.

When we apply the love in 1 Corinthians 13 and the etiquette expressed in 1 Corinthians 14, we will go a long way to insure the unity of the Body of Christ. Thus we make ourselves candidates for the manifest presence of the Lord. Where He is, the Power of Jesus looms in all His mighty power.

(Scripture references are from I Corinthians 13, 14; Colossians 1, 2; Ephesians 1.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Body of Christ ... Equipped for Greater Things (8)

summarized by Dale Shumaker

God manifests Himself today through the Body of Christ.

This is the theme for Chapter 8, In Action, from The Body of Christ by Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft.
We see as we move through 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 that the Body of Believers is being equipped for Greater Things.

Jesus was the ultimate witness to all mankind.
"He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son." (John 1:10-14, NLT)

"God wrapped all of Himself in the womb of Mary. 'We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. '"
(1 John 1:1, NLT)

Then Jesus said it was expedient that He go away so that greater things will be done which may not be done while He was still present on earth.
It was God's plan from all this is that the Spirit we saw with Christ is now with us as the Body of Christ as One in Christ.

What was expected of the physical Body of Jesus while on earth is also now expected from the Spiritual formation of the Body of Christ of Believers which is now presently manifested on earth.

"‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things."

(Luke 24:47, 48, NLT)
The forgiveness factor, individually, uniting us in Spirit with others who have chosen to ask God to forgive them. They merge to one in Spirit, those who share in this experience. This is the critical step each must take before bonding can begin, which is where the power is.

For this reason, the forming of believers into the Body of Christ, the bonding, yes Bonding of Believers, is absolutely necessary for the fulfillment of God's purposes... to see the Power of Spirit manifested on earth.

Water Baptism suggests burial, death to the control of the physical nature in our lives. When we come to Christ, surrender our lives to Him, we end the rule of the natural man over us and come under the sovereign rule of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus did. We are to be completely oriented to the Holy Spirit and dedicate ourselves to service to the needs of others. We die to a life of selfishness and come into a life of sharing. When we die to self, we minister to others. All this is contingent to our sensitivity to the needs of the believers or of humanity at large.

The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not possessions by a certain person, but are functions of the Holy Spirit. It is for the good of all and are not given as an exclusive possession for the use of one individual. There is mutual sharing of need and supply. When Believers as the Body of Christ are in unity there is opportunity to communicate a specific need, and receive an answer to any specific need.

The Body of Christ is the instrument through which God has chosen to reveal Himself and to accomplish His work in the world.
All of it is under the administration of Christ Himself, as the Head of the Body. Jesus is The Body's chief administrating officer, our CEO, as the Body of Christ. Note that a gathering or congregation may not be the Body of Christ. It takes being knit together. Where this exists, this is a true, or the true Body of Christ. Where there is love, mutual sharing, a heart of agreement, Jesus as we know Him manifests Himself not just to the level for while He was on earth, but now to even greater levels.
.. through His Body of those of us on earth.

What we must watch are things that Divide. If it be doctrine, loyalties, sacraments, spiritual gifts, these are faults to power when they become issues of conflict and separation. We are to be reconciled to one Body
(Ephesians 2:16). What brings a group to total unity from their hearts and the love of Christ in action in them... only the Holy Spirit can do it. Talk and negotiations may get minds to agree, but hearts can be distant, and the close knit fellowship not present. Only as we pray together, and the Holy Spirit welds our hearts together as one can divisions be dissolved.

It's equally important that we be not be led away with sensuality in our meetings
. That's emotions that make us feel good, but not motivated by the Holy Spirit. We can be drawn under the spell of the self-life and pleasing one's own sensual desires. Spirit induces a spirit of love and self-sacrifice for the good of others. We are not to be carried away by sense-related experiences. They worshiped dumb idols, but were not aware of the Holy Spirit in some meetings in the New Testament. We must guard against that too. Their objects of worship were material things, or oriented to physical pleasure.

It is so important we become Spirit-led, Spirit-controlled, and that Christ be our consciousness, our life as directed by His Holy Spirit. Simply, Christ lives in us and He must be allowed to run us, to navigate life through us. He is the boss, we are the employee to carry out His orders. Just because we can say the word spirituality and relate it to our ideas, we may not be Spiritual. Only when we are controlled and run by Spirit are we then genuinely Spiritual.

Diversity is allowed to flow in Spirit. We have the same spirit but diverse and different gifts.
There are differences, but not divisions. As orchestrated by the Spirit and we allow our diversities to blend, we create an orchestra of great music, precision in how we do things. We become refined in being efficient in Spirit.

Spiritual Intelligence, communications, physical needs, material necessities are provided under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to the believers in the community: the Christian community. As believers come together in worship they must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to learn from whom and to whom ministry is to be given
. The Holy Spirit is the administrator of all the manifestations which meet the needs of the members of the Body of Christ.

Each time the believers gather in the spirit of unity and koinonia (that's a spirit of sharing), each believer looks about to see whom he may minister to in the Body of Christ. It will be obvious at once that humility and meekness are an absolute necessity for such a fellowship to have God's blessing and approval. There is no room for any self aggrandizement or self exaltation at all.

The human body is what Paul used to impress upon the Corinthians how the Holy Spirit will fulfill the ministry. As we look at 1 Corinthians 12, we see these patterns for us to follow:

1. The believers are intricately woven together. Any action or inaction inevitably affects every other believer.

2. Each part of the body has a unique role to play.

3. The default of any part of the Body to perform his or her role limits the Body in its ministry.

4. To suffer is the degree to which each member must be prepared to participate.

We should have the same care for one another. The manifestation of the supernatural for the benefit of the Body of Christ is a priority. The world outside becomes a beneficiary of the powers of the Holy Spirit. So much hinges upon the practice of caring for one another. "If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad."

(1 Corinthians 12:26, NLT)

This implies the degree to which each member participates in the need of other members of the Body of Christ... the entire Body.
This is also the price of discipleship. So much depends upon the application of this practice.

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me."
(Luke 9:23, NLT)

To implement these marvelous miracles, we have the ministries and gifts within the Body of Christ for that purpose.

Each of us has a distinct ministry to each believer
. The Body of Christ has been given these glorious provisions for the meeting of needs of each member. To be used by God in His Supernatural provision should be the desire, the higher goal of every believer. Once this spirit of ministry prevails within the Body of Christ, it creates the basis for successfully reaching those outside the Body of Christ.

(Scripture references are from 1 Corinthians 12.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Body of Christ ... Covenant Connection (7)

summarized by Dale Shumaker

Every group that meets, a purpose evolves from it
. The Spiritual pattern is it starts in prayer, seeking God's ways, getting His Divine insights. As love abounds in the group and covenant connections are cemented and grow, the power for Divine revelation and Divine Purpose increase.

The crucial thing to know is Covenant Connections increase the Power that goes with Divine Purpose... as we discover it and execute it.

We can hold on to The Apostle Paul's thoughts in Ephesians:
"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:11-14, TNIV)

All this has been created for us long ago. We tap it in Spirit.

The promise continues for the Power to accompany it, as is continued in Ephesians "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that can be invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." (Ephesians 1:17-23, TNIV)

In Chapter 7, The Body of Christ , Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft expounds on this more. It is the Body, The New Body of Christ, now as a corporate unity of all the Believers as one, that this is fulfilled through. Thus, Covenant Connection takes on a very important characteristic to make it all work to the level the Scriptures exhort it will.

Jesus' teachings applies to this New Body, which is now His Body reformed or could we say morphed into another kind of Body of people in a covenant connection with each
other. As we look at how this New Body functions in the Early Church a lot can be learned from this. They had problems in almost every conceivable form of fellowship... messages, ministers, morals, marriage, money.

One of greatest sections in the New Testament which deals with corporate operation comes from 1 Corinthians 11, 12, 13, and 14. The chief concern of this section is the Covenant connection. References to the theme here are from Luke 22:14-27 and John 6:53-63.

When He told His disciples that this is "my body given to you" Jesus had something more "world changing" in His mind. They would literally turn the world upside down. It is a proclamation relevant for us today.The synagogue needed 10 men to function. But Jesus said that that there can be just two or three. Again the issue is the unity of the believers is what is most important versus the number.

The early Church had four main elements. Reading the Scriptures; expounding on the Scriptures; singing of hymns and Psalms; prayers and intercession. They had a mandate to celebrate the Lord's Supper. What was the significance of the Lord's Supper?

Paul in the Corinthians letter was attempting to correct the loss of unity and oneness that belonged to the Body of Christ. One of the differences was how they celebrated the Lord's Supper. This sharing had to do with the Covenant Connection they shared.

Covenant is a powerful word. A covenant is the binding of two parties.
The Bible has many covenants it refers to... covenant of circumcision, covenant of promise, everlasting covenant, first covenant, old covenant, covenant of blood. The covenant of blood suggests the binding relationship of the Body of Believers in the Body of Christ.... Christ's New Body now representing Him on earth.

David and Jonathan had a covenant relationship
. Jonathan gave up his robe and sword giving up his rights. This is a love covenant and prime example of how the Body of Christ is to be. They would cut their wrists and rub their wounds together to form a blood covenant or bond between them. They were known to squeeze their blood into glass of wine and drink it jointly. Today we may use a written contract, but then these actions became binding covenants between them.... to the point of being willing to give their life for each other.

Many times the Blood Covenant was accompanied by a meal to celebrate the binding agreement. So the Passover meal that Jesus asked to be prepared as His final statement of his relationship to them would continue in Spirit. It is the relationship we are to continue with each other on earth. This is referred to as the New Covenant in the Bible.... the true meaning of the Communion service... a reminder of our binding in Spirit to Christ and our binding in relationship to each other.

When Jesus talked about eating His flesh could very well be His reference to the truth of His miraculous birth, sinless life, teaching and message, and the Power of His redemptive and healing ministry. The drinking of His blood appears to be about His death. We participate in Christ to bring His vicarious blessings to us. Intercessory prayer is a place of where we sweat drops of blood in our spirit for others. We shed our blood when we serve at the expense of self. We don't bless until we bleed. This is drinking His blood.

He washed the disciple's feet to demonstrate His humility in service.
We should demonstrate the same humility in how we serve each other. Jesus said to serve one another. This is His love in action. His act is an act of service in the time of need. As we take the role of a servant and serve each other we practice the spirit of foot washing Jesus illustrated. We should practice acts of serving members of the New Body of Christ and others when they are in need. If we do not have a serving attitude toward those in need, we suffer the loss of the manifestation of His Presence. Only as we share with others do we have Part with Him.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul points out the infections coming into their times of communion. He said when they came together, they came together not for the better, there were divisions. It was not for the Lord's supper but to eat and feast. He told them they were to tarry one for another and minister to each other. Instead they lost value of their covenant connection and need for unity. Satan's goal is to divide. The Holy Spirit can't work when there is not unity.

When there is absolute unity, the windows of Heaven open for us and all of God's blessings fall on us. That's why Jesus pronounced heavy judgment on those who cause divisions.
When people do that, they kill the Spirit and it doesn't manifest in the group. So we can't overemphasize the significance and value of the unity among the Believers.

We could say there is malpractice in communion when there are divisions,
intoxication in other things than Spirit. When the lesser fortunate are not taken care of, and there is a glutton spirit among the ones there who indulge in overeating, then the sense of koinonia is lost.

Communion is an incarnation. It is when the Body of Believers are in Spiritual relationship to one another and in Christ. The relationship of believers is the residency for the presence of Christ. It is the Spirit affinity of the believers that Christ wishes to be present. To eat His flesh is the when we are feeding on His Spirit. We eat off of each other's personality. In that we are becoming like those with whom we associate. When we are asked to examine ourselves, we are asked to examine our relationship with each other. We are to correct wrong attitudes and adjust our attitudes to be loving and tolerant, understanding and accepting to each other.

Love heals.
Love heals the loneliness away, it heals the negative emotions away, it heals blood pressure, ulcers, it heals all there is that surrounds us and in us both emotionally and physically. Our covenant connection between believers provides a way for healing love that heals the sick.

The covenant connection also brings to our attention our relationship with other believers. What comes into play are our relationships of servanthood. Are we willing to serve our associates, our fellow believers, even our enemies? When we unite, it connects us to heaven. Believer plus Believer equals unity with the Father. The Power of the Spirit is again present when we do this.

As Jesus said in John 13, a New Commandment I give to you. As I have loved you, you love each other. This is a lofty goal that is out of possibility of man. But not with God. Through God all things are possible. God knows our limitations and He has provided the Holy Spirit as One who we can make this possible. With men many things are impossible; with God All Things are Possible.

(Scripture references are
Luke 22:14-27 and John 6:53-63, 1 Corinthians 11.)