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Monday, August 27, 2012

First Love Missions - What We Believe

First Love Missions was birthed directly from the move of the Holy Spirit for the glorification of God with the understanding that, as Christians, we can never lose our first love for Christ. Further, we believe that the ONLY way to heaven is by way of a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. As it is written in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” We are further instructed by Christ himself in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We believe that Jesus Christ is our ONLY salvation and that without Him at the very center of our lives, we are totally and absolutely lost.

We believe in the firm statement made by Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:30 that ""Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me." On that basis we accept the fact that God wants and needs ALL of us, not a part of us, not the majority of us, but ALL of us, and that 99.9999% just isn't good enough!

It is only when we totally give ourselves to God, through His son Jesus Christ, that we can even begin to reap His rewards, including (but certainly not limited to) the full Gifts of the Holy Spirit as is written in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11:  " Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits (discernment), to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

We believe that, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." That God's love, shining through us, is the greatest of all gifts. That since God is love and Jesus Christ is God incarnate, Jesus is love and as it is written in Matthew 12:42, Jesus is the cornerstone. Therefore, love is the cornerstone on which all other gifts are based and without which we can achieve nothing. This is made concrete as it is written in John 15:5 "...for apart from me you can do nothing".

We further believe, as it is written in Galatians 5:22-25, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."  The fruit of the Spirit is the result of totally yielding to Christ, being truly dead in Him by being crucified with Him - and resurrected through Him - so that we release our own passions and desires and live only for the glorification of Him. Then and then only can we come to the fullness of God as referred to by Paul in Ephesians 3:16-19, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." From this scripture it is evident that it is the love of Christ in us that leads us to the power of Christ in us - and that it is by having both that we are 'filled to the fullness of God'! That by having both the love of God and the power of God can we start to understand the depth of His love for us. (You may not grasp this until you experience the Spirit working in and through you - exercising 'the gifts').

We believe that, unlike most churches today, that have drawn a line in the sand, God wants and needs us, as front line soldiers in the army of Christ, to thirst after ALL the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As it is written in 1 Corinthians 12:31 "Now eagerly desire the greater gifts." These are God’s weapons for us to use in Spiritual warfare…how dare we actively deny Him the bestowing of them upon us! We believe that every Christian must, at the very least, be fully open for receiving the full battery of gifts, as it is written in Luke 24:49 "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”  It is through being baptized in the Spirit that we, as Christians, come into the fullness of Christ. Jesus COMMANDED His disciples not to begin their ministries until the Holy Spirit fell upon them. We believe that, since Jesus did actually COMMAND His disciples not to begin their ministry until they had the baptism in the Spirit, this same order applies to ALL of us who dare to call ourselves disciples of Christ, that the bestowing of God’s gift on us signifies His blessing on our undertakings on His behalf. Anything else just isn't acceptable - a 'Pastor' may be ordained by man but until he is ordained by God he is powerless and not operating at full potential - resulting in a weakened, if not distorted, message. This is the command from Jesus Christ, not us.

We believe that today's churches, for the most part, have done a great injustice to the scriptural teaching of the full power of what God has to offer us as Christians and that the lack of teaching in this area (mainly seminaries & 'Bible schools') has caused a great divide within the church. That the church today has deliberately 'watered down' the scriptures to the point of stagnation and we know, from given prophesy, that God is not content with the current state of HIS church. We also believe, by way of this prophesy, that it is our task to make the church aware of this so that all Chrsitians, as the body of Christ, may unite in order to prepare for the fast-approaching challenges.

We further believe that, as it is written in Matthew 28:19, it is every disciples’ obligation to "go out and make more disciples". That, since this is a direct order from Christ, that this very job description is what separates Christ's true followers from those that profess to be followers but put no action behind empty talk - the difference between orthodoxy and orthopraxy - what one believes versus what one does - putting faith and knowledge to work by action! When we get to heaven, we will be judged by our deeds (actions), not merely by what we believed! This is exactly what is illustrated in the separating of the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31-46.

We believe that the future of the church today rests in the youth of today, that there is a huge need for a great awakening in the church to return to the basics that THE Christian church was founded on - Pentecost and the leading of the Holy Spirit. That somehow we have lost our way and, like the prodigal son, need to find our way back home. This is God’s greatest desire.

Lastly, we believe that there is a great need for corporate intercessory prayer for all concerned with the kingdom of God. From the entire body and its current dysfunctional state to its individual membership; for world political and business leaders; for the return of wonder at the kingdom and all its glory and for miracles of all forms. This is the primary focus of this ministry. Praise God in the heavens, Halal and Hallelujah!

May the blood of Jesus Christ cover, bless and protect you!
~Mark & Cathie

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