The Stewardship of Christ Himself

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Praise the Lord, we are launching our third video series today!

Today you will be introduced to a panel of pastors and friends who are joining Joe for this series, The Titus Roundtable. In each episode, the men will share their heart and experiences as they relate to a specific topic and key questions that are on many pastors’ hearts and minds.

In this episode the conversation focuses on this critical question: How can I still maintain responsible leadership and let Jesus build His church?

Too often a pastor burns out trying to make church happen through his own efforts. Great relief comes when we remember that Jesus said He is the One Who will build His church.

Watch this week’s episode and check out the companion blog at Paradigm One.



A Nehemiah Thanksgiving Revival

Giving thanks and spiritual revival are connected.  Paul lists ingratitude as one of the earmarks of our depravity.  He states that the downward spiral of sin started when unrighteous men “knew God, but did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful…” (Romans 1:21)

Every Good and Perfect pale

Ingratitude is also part of the apostasy of the last days (2 Timothy 3:2).  An entitlement mentality has brought to many of us a spirit of ingratitude.  We feel that we are “owed” certain luxuries and fail to see the gifts that come our way as God’s grace.(1)  James 1:17 tells us: “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

After 70 long years of captivity in Babylon (Iraq), Ezra and Nehemiah had returned with nearly 50,000 Hebrews to Jerusalem.  They gathered for a nationwide Bible study, standing for hours to hear the reading of God’s Word, which they hadn’t done as a nation for many, many years.  Check out what Nehemiah then called them to do:

“Go your way.  Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord.  And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.”  (Nehemiah 8:10-12)

Nehemiah called on the Jews to spend a day giving thanks and celebrating with food and drink.  Sound familiar?  But he didn’t stop there.  They didn’t simply celebrate and then move on with life and the rebuilding of the city.  They pressed in to the Lord.  Just 24 days later, they spent an entire day in a completely different posture before the Lord.


“Now on the 24th day the people of Israel assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads.  And they separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.  And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day.  For another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.” (9:1-3)

God’s Word, prayer, worship, repentance–and thanksgiving–all preludes to genuine revival.

May we all experience a Thanksgiving Revival this year!

Wes Smith
Web Pastor and Administrator

(1) Dr. Jeff Amsbaugh–Woodbridge, VA

Pray in the Harvest to the Lord of the Harvest


So often we either go, go, go or wait, wait, wait when it comes to evangelism. We either run hard or not at all, doing all that we can (or don’t) in our strength. We often forget the crucial first step: pray.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus instructed us to pray to the Lord of the Harvest. When we do, He pours His life into us, and we know where to go and what to do. Simply because our focus is on Him, we have all that we need to reach a lost and dying world.

Learn more in this week’s Prayer Circle and visit the Paradigm One blog to learn more about praying in the harvest.


Pray for Strength in the Inner Man

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Praying for the outer man can often dominate our prayer meetings and requests. While these requests are important to bring to the table, more importantly, we need to pray for strength in the inner man.

When life’s trials come, we need to pay attention to the health of our spirit. Learn more about this vital issue in this week’s Prayer Circle.

Dive deeper with the companion blog for this week’s video on the Paradigm One website.

Pray Under the Active Headship of Jesus Christ

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Continuing the conversation we began last week in the Prayer Circle, Joe continues to strengthen the connection between prayer and the headship of Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of Jesus as the Head of the church and the church as the body of Christ. In our own physical bodies, we have a spinal cord that keeps our head attached to our bodies. In our spiritual lives, Scripture-based prayer is that same spinal cord that keeps us connected to our Head.

Join us as we continue to plummet the depths of the mystery that is Christ in us, the hope of glory in this week’s Prayer Circle!

Please also visit our companion blog on the Paradigm One blog for more insight on this vital topic.

Pray with Jesus Obviously Present and Actively in Charge

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We need strong shepherds to guide us in united prayer because a common pitfall of our corporate prayer life is autonomy and individualism. This leads us to prayer that is separated from Jesus. Jesus is the Head of the church; submitting to Him under His active headship breathes life into our corporate praying. When we agree with Him and let Him lead, it makes all the difference.

Learn more in this week’s Prayer Circle and check out our companion blog on the Paradigm One website for more information.

Pray While Abiding in the Vine

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There are some remarkable promises in John 15 for the believer who abides in the Vine. When we are totally dependent on Jesus, resting in Him, we find that our prayers are heard and our needs our met.

Our prayer meetings desperately need to be rescued from self-sufficiency and fruitlessness, and the answer, of course, is found in abiding in Christ, our life-giving Vine. Learn more in this week’s Prayer Circle!

To dig deeper, check out this week’s companion blog on the Paradigm One website.

Wrestling With Rage

pexels-photo-753619GEORGE DESIPRISAn epidemic of anger has hit our nation.  Permeating our society, we see a growing monster of strife and division.  Rage infects our government, our churches, our homes, and our personal relationships.

Whatever the rationale, this chaos is a wrecking ball of Satan, the Great Destroyer (John 10:10) doing his ugly work.  How can we cope with such chaos?  How can each of us deal with anger and rage personally or corporately?

First, understand that furious chaos is not God’s way.  He is not a God of confusion, but of peace, through the power of the Prince of Peace.  “The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).  Chaotic anger is actually counter-productive.  It results in worsening problems, not solving them.  Most anger is self-centered and is sin.  Even “righteous indignation” for a good cause must be controlled by the Spirit or it will destroy, not resolve.

Secondly, practice effective prayer.  This includes repentance, with God-honoring hearts and Christ-honoring behavior.

Effective prayer is described in I Timothy 2:1-8.  We’re told to pray for all men, whether or not we like them.  This includes “kings and all in authority.   Paul wrote this while under the brutal, heavy yoke of Emperor Nero who passionately killed Christians, including Paul. He understood the implication of what God directed him to write: pray for redemption, wisdom & peace even for the wicked rulers. We’re to pray for all that come to mind, including those in authority, even if they generate anger in us.

Effective prayer is further described in verse 8:  we’re to pray with holy hands.  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).  Living with unconfessed, unresolved sin will shut the windows of heaven to us.

I Timothy 2:8 also states that we are to pray without vengeful anger and judgmental arguing.  An angry, hostile spirit gets in the way of God’s best purpose.  Negative attitudes and behavior actually limit God.  Though He is sovereign, He uses us to accomplish His highest purposes through effective prayer and Spirit-directed action.  For us to operate in an angry, wrong manner obstructs and grieves our Lord (Ephesians 4:29-30; II Timothy 2:24).

Ephesians 4:22-32 goes further in telling us what to put off and what to put on, as those who are called to be His.  The passage sums up Christ-like attitudes to have for effective prayer and effective relationships:

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor (noisy shouting), and evil speaking be put away from you, along with all malice (desire to cause distress to someone).  Instead, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Trust God to deal with the cause of your anger by first letting Him deal with you. Choose His way each day, by His strength.   Christ will be honored, peace will ensue, prayers will be answered, and God’s best purpose will be accomplished in your life and in the lives of others.

By Wesley Smith

© 2018 Bible Prayer Fellowship & Wm. Wesley Smith
You may copy and distribute this article unchanged for free.

Pray within God’s Character and Activity

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The apostle John tells us that “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us,” (1 John 5:14). Sometimes, however, we lack the confidence that God has heard our prayers. Learn more this week about how heard prayers originate in the character and activity of God.

Dig deeper with this week’s companion blog on the Paradigm One website.