Pastor Dale Jenkins

Two Perspectives of Healing

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” (Mark 5:30 NLT)

She is simply known as “the woman with the issue of blood.” Isn’t it interesting how other people often define us by our issues.

She had this issue for twelve years, had consulted many physicians, had invested all her resources, but suffered still.

That is, until the day she was healed instantly by the power of Jesus Christ. She had heard of this Man, and determined that she was going to press through any obstacle in order to reach out to Him.

Nearly trampled by the crowds of people, this likely anemic woman’s determination would not be denied as she lunged forward and gripped the hem of his garment.

Losing her grip she lay there allowing the crowd to step around and over her. Because that’s what people often do to people with issues.

A flood of strength entered her body. She stood up, the heat of healing still surging within her. She was healed.

She felt it. She knew it.

Someone else knew it, too.

Jesus stopped mid stride. “Who just touched Me?,” He asked. At first she didn’t hear Him – she was caught up in her moment of joy.

He called out again for the one who had touched Him. Her heart pounded as she looked up into His eyes. “It was me,” she admitted.

The One whom she had pursued was now approaching her. The One whom she had touched now took her by the hand and said: “Your faith has made you whole. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

The power of God is a dynamic anointing – a divine empowerment that can be sensed and known.

This woman knew she had received the healing power of Jesus. Jesus knew His healing power had been released.

Perhaps two perspectives of this healing are intended to provide us two distinct truths.

1. For anyone with “issues”… Press in to Jesus. Don’t be denied or distracted by others. Keep reaching out in faith. One touch will change you forever.

2. For the believer whose normal routine is interrupted by someone reaching out to him in desperation… Allow God to use you as a conduit of His power to others. Pray in faith. Lay hands on the sick. Allow signs and wonders to follow YOU.

Having seen life from both perspectives – the one with issues, and the one being reached out to – of this I am certain: I need Jesus’s power and strength desperately.

Father,

Thank You that “it’s not by might or power, but by Your Spirit.”

Amen.

Why Pastors Should Declare God’s Blessing Over His People

The power and effect of words is significant. Consider what the average person faces each day: words of anger, accusation, defeat, and fear, just to name a few.

These verbal assaults, whether heard or not, are referred to in Scripture as “curses.” And, although they may not have been conjured by a witch doctor with a voodoo doll, curses are a reality in the realm of the spirit, and may result in physical manifestations and implications.

As people of faith in Jesus Christ we recognize the canopy of protection under which we walk. God has given us a shield of faith, and “the shelter of the Almighty.” No weapon formed against us shall prosper!

Still, words have an effect.

As God’s people, we live in a world currently ruled by the prince of darkness, whose influence results in our being despised and cursed by other people.

Proverbs says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Our words are a creative force, a spiritual catalyst of physical realities.

God, in His great love for His people, instructed His priests to speak words of blessing over the people of God.

Priests are to “bless” what the world has “cursed.”

Of course each individual person, in order to walk in the fullness of God’s blessing, must walk in faith and obedience to His Word. But the priest (pastor, spiritual headship) does carry an assignment to bless God’s people.

Whether or not a pastor uses these exact words found in the book of Numbers, the principle is that he/she would regularly, intentionally speak God’s blessing over His people.

When we do so, we are releasing a powerful, spiritual force that causes demonic strongholds to be broken, sick bodies to be healed, poverty to transform into provision, and death to be overruled by abundant life!

Because God is the MOST HIGH, His words are preeminent. Satan’s curses are no match for God’s blessing.

Father God,
You have graciously called and appointed me as a pastor – a priest, who stands before You in behalf of Your people. So, with that priestly authority I now release these words of blessing over each person who reads this:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV)

We agree in faith that we, Your people, are BLESSED!

In Jesus’ name,
Amen!

How to Change Your City

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. (Acts 17:16 NKJV)

I’m convinced that every community has its own spiritual identity. There can be identified specific strongholds, as well as evidence of God’s work, in any city.

Athens was just a temporary stop for Paul; yet he took the time to walk the city, praying and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit to reveal to him the strongholds that needed to be broken, as well as the move of God that was on the horizon.

My wife and I enjoy walking through our neighborhood. While we walk we will often pray for the neighbors – those we know, and those we have yet to meet. It is amazing how often God will reveal things to us, simply because we pause to pray and listen.

This week take some time to walk your neighborhood, or drive through the heart of your city. Ask God to reveal areas where Satan has gained control – and then take authority over those things and “bring them down” in Jesus’ name. (This is not a one-time prayer; but a pursuit of breakthrough.)

Then ask the Holy Spirit what He is desiring to do in your city. Come into agreement, and release the power of the Holy Spirit to have freedom, contending for His will to be done in your city just like it is in heaven.

This is how cities are radically changed – one prayer at a time.

The Lure of Leadership

Every leader will have his/her character tested. In fact, being a leader has its own unique challenges, your response to which will determine your success as a leader.

Today I read about a flawed leader, King Herod Agrippa, whose decisions and their effects give me pause to consider my own heart. I pulled some excerpts of his story from Acts 12:1-3, 19-23 NLT.

There exists a dangerous “Lure of Leadership” that must be exposed and confronted in every leader’s heart.

1. The lure of power.

About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.

As a leader you will tempted to display your power to strike an element of fear in people. It’s true, leaders do have power – and that power sometimes must be exercised – but beware that you aren’t being motivated by insecurity and/or youthful arrogance. The most influential leaders don’t have to force people to follow.

2. The lure of approval.

When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter.

It would be somewhat shallow of a leader to say, “I don’t need man’s approval; I only live to please God.” Yeah, we hear you, super-Christian.

The problem is that, by definition, leaders lead. So, to some degree you must be able to win the approval and trust of others. The test is knowing your own heart and the lines that God draws in each situation.

Sometimes leaders should take heed to the voice of wisdom that comes through the people they lead; but sometimes God will require a leader to make an unpopular, but righteous decision. In those moments your approval ratings on earth may drop; so listen for the applause of heaven.

3. The lure of pride.

Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for [Peter, who had been released from prison by the Lord]. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death.

Pride manifests itself through self-preservation. As a leader, do you get defensive and angry when things don’t go your way? Do you take it out on others?

If you will, at times, humble yourself before others, acknowledging a poor decision, and committing yourself to learning and growing from the experience, people will not think less of you. In fact, humility is a trait that people honor. People will be loyal to a humble leader; but a prideful leader will fall… alone.

4. The lure of control.

Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, and an appointment with Herod was granted.

Some leaders are like puppeteers – they like controlling the people and pulling the strings. In fact, they sometimes do things just to watch people dance around them. They keep people second guessing. They make people walk the line.

I firmly believe that a leader must have control. (I believe that about parenting, too – but that’s another lesson for another time). To the degree that something is out of your control, you cannot provide the leadership necessary to change it.

But there is a difference between being in control and being controlling. The subtleties can only initially be distinguished in your heart.

5. The lure of worship.

When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.

Recognition and honor. Applause and attention. No matter how strong you are as a leader, these things will tempt you.

We may not like to call it “idol worship,” but anytime we bask in our own glory we are making ourselves to be a golden calf before God’s people.

It comes naturally. We inherited this desire to be worshiped from our father, Adam, who ate of the fruit because he believed it would make him to “be like God.”

In fact, this desire to be worshiped actually came from our other “father” – the devil. Lucifer’s fall from leadership was the result of his desire to be “like the Most High God.”

Guard your heart, young leader. There is an addiction to attention. And there is a lure to leadership.

Three Things Every Pastor Needs

Outside of Bethlehem are rolling hills, where, for thousands of years, sheep and shepherds have trod.

It was on these hills that angelic hosts announced to lowly shepherds that Jesus – the Christ – was born.

It was also on these hills that a ruddy shepherd boy named David received a prophetic word and a fresh anointing that would propel him to one day be Israel’s King.

It is significant to realize that shepherds have always held a prominent place in God’s covenant relationship with mankind, from the patriarchs of the Old Covenant to the pastors in the New Covenant.

I am, by virtue of God’s calling on my life, a shepherd. Being a pastor is not just what I do; it is part of who I am. After twenty years of being a shepherd of people, I can say this with certainty: “Shepherds need shepherds as much as sheep need shepherds.

One dark night, somewhere on the hills near Bethlehem, a young shepherd lifted his voice and began to sing a new song to The Lord. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David declared this ancient truth:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (Psalms 23:1-3 NKJV)

This familiar refrain reveals (at least) three things that every Pastor needs:

1. Pastors need green pastures.

Pastors sometimes become intent on feeding the sheep to the expense of their own spiritual sustenance.

Our spirits are strengthened and sustained by three elements: the Word, Worship, and Prayer. These things are not merely resources from which pastors draw sermon material, they are sources of life for the person wearing the pastoral mantle.

2. Pastors need still waters.

One of my fiercest battles in pastoral ministry is my resistance to fully submit to the principle of the Sabbath. I believe in it; but I often operate outside of the safety of it’s wisdom.

Every pastor needs rhythms of rest. Because we are in the people-business, pastors are always in high demand. But we often lack the faith to trust God more than our own efforts to take care His people.

Burnout is almost never caused by over-serving; it is usually the result of under-receiving. We need to spend time resting by still waters, allowing the Holy Spirit to replenish, renew, and refresh us from the inside out.

3. Pastors need their souls to be continually restored.

You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a body. Three parts; one person. Why, then, should you only focus on the development of your spirit?

In order for Jesus – your Shepherd – to restore your soul, He must have access to the development and challenging of your mind, the disciplining of your will, and the permission to rule over, and bring peace to your emotions.

God loves His shepherds, and He desires for you to be encouraged, strengthened, anointed, and equipped to lead His people.

God has stirred me to provide pastors with green pastures, still waters, and an opportunity for their souls to be restored.

If you are a pastor or church leader, I invite you to join me at New Hope Worship Center, on April 11-14, for our Equip Conference. Details can be found at PastorDaleJenkins.com.

It’s true – sheep need shepherds.
But shepherds need shepherds, too.

Father,

I pray today for my fellow shepherds in pastoral ministry.

Lead us to green pastures.
Guide us to still waters.
Restore our souls.

Thank You, Jesus, for being a Shepherd to shepherds. Where You lead, I will follow.

Amen.