Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Five reasons not to let misguided spirituality keep you from the wonder of Christmas

Has misguided spirituality stolen the gift of Christmas from you and your family?

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My family and I live in Christmas ground zero—Branson, Missouri. The glory and wonder of the Christmas season in this tourist destination starts mid-October, successfully washing out the darkness of Halloween, and ignites the entire region in red and green. As I gaze through the window at Branson’s downtown Starbucks, where I’m writing this article, I can see a massive Christmas tree at Branson Landing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo and a huge crowd of people, many in their pajamas, at the Branson Scenic Railway depot waiting to board The Polar Express. The joy of Christmas has arrived!

We absolutely love viewing the 6.5 million lights at Silver Dollar City, one of the nation’s premier Christmas destinations. Holiday stage shows are numerous along Highway 76. Christmas lake cruises, drive through trails of lights, carriage rides and much more help make experiencing Branson one of the nation’s very best Christmas family traditions.

I can’t imagine not fully immersed in the wonder of Christmas—yet many Christians have decided to eliminate Christmas from their lives. Humbug!

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I applaud Christians who want to live pure, holy lives, but eliminating Christmas is not the way to do that. Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year as we exalt Jesus and enjoy family in ways that cannot happen at any other time, in any other way! I’m absolutely convinced Jesus loves it when we have fun, laugh, enjoy each other and rejoice!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle belling,
and everyone telling you,
"Be of good cheer,"
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There'll be much mistletoeing
and hearts will be glowing,
when loved ones are near.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

FIVE REASONS why we’ve decided to celebrate Christmas with abandon:

1. JESUS

Amy, one of my boys, Parker, and I just returned from Orlando, including a day each at The Magic Kingdom and Sea World. Both places, most probably for the only time all year, exalted Jesus through music and productions. I was excited to hear songs like “O Come Let Us Adore Him” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” joyfully playing as I waited for my (way too big) ice cream sundae in the Main Street ice cream parlor at the Magic Kingdom. I was even more excited to see a living nativity called “O Wondrous Night” being produced at Sea World! Of course, Silver Dollar City here in Branson is unashamedly Christian based. Their mission statement declares that all they do is done “in a Manner Consistent with Christian Values and Ethics.” The majesty of Jesus and his birth are proclaimed throughout the park. In fact, in their epic Christmas production, Dicken’s Christmas Carol, Scrooge has a powerful, tear inducing salvation moment that was the actual cause of his reborn heart.

You simply cannot escape the truth that Christmas exalts the King! Do many (most) people ignore this and focus on less spiritual Christmas experiences? Yes. However, even as they do, the name of the Savior of the world is proclaimed every time they mutter the word CHRISTmas. They can’t escape the Christmas music that proclaims the love of Jesus or the spirit of giving that Jesus best exemplifies.

Most Christians who argue against celebrating Christmas do so because of supposed pagan roots or because they have determined that it’s “not really about Jesus,” and should therefore be avoided.

First, Christmas is overwhelming about Jesus! However, that being said, if Jesus had to be the subject of everything we celebrate, we’d have to eliminate birthday parties, watching fireworks on July 4th, Veteran's Day, New Year’s Day and most other holidays and special events. Wedding parties would cease. So would graduation parties and other celebrations.

Second, unlike Halloween which is still very much a pagan, demonic celebration that should be avoided by every Believer, Christmas is currently a glorious celebration of Jesus, life and family.

We pay attention to current status, not origins. Anything can be redeemed. The current status of Halloween is a world-wide celebration of Satan. The current status of Christmas is a world-wide celebration of Jesus!

Additionally, if we eliminated everything from our lives that had pagan origins, we’d have a hard time functioning.

Did you know that the following have pagan origins?

  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • New Year’s/New Year’s Eve
  • Statues of people and animals
  • Money has pagan designs on it
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • Eye makeup
  • Wind chimes
  • Saying “Amen”
  • Baby showers
  • Making your bed
  • Birthdays

In the first-century Church, gentile Christians were told to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols (Acts 15:29). However, Paul told the Corinthians that they could eat meat sold in the public market even though that meat may have been sacrificed to an idol (1 Cor. 10:25). He told them not to eat in the pagan temple. In other words, he told them to avoid blatant paganism, but they did not have to superstitiously avoid everything that paganism might have touched at some time in the past. ~gci.org

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

2. FAMILY & MEMORIES

image

I’m 49 years old, and I still have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve! I remember the Christmas mornings that my parents made so exciting and special in the 1970’s and 80’s. We’d go to sleep with nothing under the tree…and then magic happened. When we woke up several hours earlier than normal, a bright light from an archaic movie camera blinded our eyes as we walked down the hallway from our bedrooms toward the living room. As our pupils adjusted to the light, we would witness what happened over night. Presents wrapped in black and white newspaper (to save money for gifts) filled the room!

I’ll never forget the disk drive I got for my Commodore 64. My parents were Christmas geniuses. The hour or so of unwrapping gifts, one at a time, led to one final, climactic moment when my brother and I excitedly and nervously wondered if we would get what we had hoped for. The adrenaline was pumping. The mystery was almost too much to bear! As I unwrapped that final newspaper covered present, my eyes popped open wide as I saw it. I got my disk drive!

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Both of my parents are with Jesus now, and that disk drive is long gone. However, the memories that I have will live forever. I could share story after story from my childhood to current times that are so special to me. Spending time with Amy and the kids looking at Christmas lights or visiting Christmas villages and festivals, hustling and bustling at shopping malls and enjoying holiday attractions is precious beyond compare.

In fact, I’ll never forget the time, just a handful of years ago, my mom and dad filled their living room with presents, mostly for our kids. Skylar and Parker had wanted a Nintendo Wii, but Amy and I weren’t in a position to spend that kind of money that year. The last gift the kids opened resulted in jumping and screaming for what seemed like forever. They got their Wii. They played it all day. Grampy, dressed in his mismatched pajama bottoms and green T-shirt, spent some quality time bowling on the Wii with the boys. It was funny. I’ll never forget it.

My dad died shortly after that. That memory still causes a tear or two to this day.

Oh, there’s no place like
home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine
Of a friendly face
For the holidays, you can’t beat
Home, sweet home

3. SANTA CLAUSE & GIFTS

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I’ll never apologize for loving gifts! I have so much fun buying gifts for Amy and the kids each year. I love receiving gifts too! I make out my list and email it to Amy early every November—and then modify it several times! It doesn’t mean I’m carnal or materialistic. It’s my love language. Some of you need to be delivered from condemnation that others have heaped upon you for enjoying gifts. Did the Wise Men not bring gifts to Jesus?

Celebrate the spirit of Saint Nick who selflessly gave. Amy and I share the truth about Santa with the kids so there’s no confusion there, and then we all celebrate the season with passion!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. (http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/)

There’s just something about the process of hunting for the perfect gift for the ones you love, finding the right size and color, sneaking it home, wrapping it behind locked doors and placing it in the perfect spot under the tree.

There’s also the excitement that I talked about in the last point. Gathering around the tree to take turns opening presents is an experience that can’t be duplicated any other day of the year. When I unwrap something from one of my little ones, no matter if it’s homemade or something from the dollar store, I come alive inside! The same is true for every other gift someone gives me, or for every gift I get to watch someone else open.

It’s the perfect opportunity to become childlike, to stop “adulting” for a while and just have fun!

After the gifts have been opened, the rest of Christmas Day is spent playing with new toys, playing new games, eating Christmas dinner and enjoying new things in a room littered with torn wrapping paper, boxes and glorious chaos!

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
So, to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

4. MUSIC, FOOD AND FUN

Is there anything better than a fire in the fireplace as Christmas music fills the room? Or, watching Rudolph on TV as a family for the hundredth time? Amy’s birthday is in November, and this year I bought her tickets to two stage productions: Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story Musical. We’ll have a wonderful dinner each of those two nights, and then head out to the show for a couple hours of Christmas fun!

Again, I’m growing older, but I am often the first one in our family to start watching the old Christmas shows on TV. I’ll go to sleep with Christmas worship playing in the bedroom. Compared to the rest of the year, it’s nice that so much of the entertainment the world is offering is clean, family friendly and wholesome. Christmas does that.

Rudolf, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolf
play in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolf with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee:
“Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!”

5. JOY AND PEACE

Gerard_van_Honthorst_-_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds_(1622)b

As the wickedness of Halloween dissipates in the atmosphere, the Christmas season slows things down and just permeates the atmosphere with peace and joy. It gets dark sooner, it’s crisp outside, the snow starts falling and life just gets a little quieter. As the anticipation of Christmas morning is before us all, we don’t have to wait to experience all that Christmas has to offer. We can bundle up and walk through the snow or drive through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and decorations. We’ll put up the tree, hang the ornaments and relax as a family.

It’s no wonder that joy and peace come with the Christmas season. After thousands of years of hopelessness, a little baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem. He brought peace to the storm and joy to the world. He changed my life. I celebrate him on Christmas. The joy and peace in my heart are his gift to me.

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Amy, the kids and I pray that you and yours have a truly wonderful, love-filled, joyous and peaceful Christmas. Enjoy your family, create memories and become childlike in this beautiful, wondrous season!

Halloween True Story: Witchcraft killed my baby girl.

A suffocating spirit was out for destruction as we were contending for revival.

I’ve waited fifteen years to write this article. I implore you to read every word.

As young church planters in one of America’s darkest regions, Amy and I along with our two oldest boys, who were little guys back in 2001, launched Revolution Church. The vision was intense and our passion was for revival that would launch in that strategic city and impact the nations.

Manitou Springs, Colorado is famous for its dark history and present liberal leanings. Rumor has it that Anton Levey wrote at least some of the Satanic Bible from his home there. It’s a quirky town at the base of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. We started the church there in a 700 square foot office space and then quickly grew to a core of 25 people. We moved to our second of four ultimate locations, a 2000 square foot storefront right downtown Manitou Springs. It’s there where we met Janet (name changed for the sake of this article).

I’ll never forget the Sunday morning service as the sun shined brightly through the large plate glass windows in our small meeting place at the Arcade in Manitou Springs. Janet was a first-time guest, and she seemed to be attempting to engage during the service. Understand, at the time, Christians in Manitou Springs were few and far between, so it was not common to see Spirit-filled people visiting, unless they drove from Colorado Springs. In fact, I was invited to preach at a Manitou Springs festival the first year we were there. The organizer had no idea what he had done! In the middle of my fiery message, a bold declaration of the power and necessity of the blood of Jesus, a tall man in flowing garments stormed to the front and demanded equal time. This alternate religious, New Age leader was agitated by the anointing. It was uncommon in Manitou Springs and his turf was certainly being threatened.

At the end of the service I invited people to come forward to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Janet sprung from her seat and kneeled at the altar. I quickly realized she was not even saved.

After spending time with her, introducing Jesus to her and ministering to her, she boldly asked a question, “Do you ever pray for people in their homes?”

We agreed to meet at her townhouse that week to pray and encourage her. We had no idea what we were about to get ourselves into.

JANET’S HOUSE

John Burton Quote Halloween AliensWe arrived one evening, sat on the couch and prayed for Janet and her baby. It was an unusual moment for us as I felt little to no anointing. Something was hindering our prayers. Janet confided in us that she had dabbled in witchcraft and was ready to move on from it. I applauded her courage to break away from what I know is a very strong, seductive spirit. She repented of her involvement and we prayed some more. The breakthrough remained elusive. I asked her if she owned anything inappropriate that she should get rid of. She reluctantly admitted she did and disappeared upstairs to retrieve some items.

She emerged down the stairs with a T-shirt with some occult symbolism on it. She also held the witch’s handbook.

She surrendered these two pieces of occult paraphernalia to us, and we again prayed. I thought it would be easier to pray now that she had removed them from her life. I was wrong. Amy and I didn’t understand why it felt so dead in her home, but we had done all we knew to do. We encouraged her again and prepared to leave. She then asked us, “I’ve heard of anointing homes in oil. Do you do that?” I told her to find some Crisco.

We anointed doorways, windows and anywhere else we could dab some oil. After we finished anointing and praying downstairs, I led the way up the staircase. At the top of the stairs I saw a guest room and a bathroom. I also saw Janet’s room. I was not prepared for what happened next.

I stepped into her room and immediately could not breathe. It felt like I stepped into a swimming pool sideways. I was engulfed with a suffocating, heavy, evil presence. I stepped back outside her room. Relief.

I didn’t share my experience with Amy or Janet, but instead prayed through the guest room and bathroom. I then stepped back into Janet’s room. Crushing suffocation.

I attempted to pray in tongues, but there was absolutely no way I could. Every prayer fell dead to the ground.

I urgently asked Janet if there might be any additional items she should throw in the trash. She slowly, casually looked in her closet and pulled out a couple things and placed them on her bed. That didn’t work. I was gasping for air, but not only air, for the breath of the Holy Spirit! We needed God to move in that place, and quick!

I was very direct with her. I said, “Janet! I will not pray for you and you will not find freedom if you don’t immediately eliminate every single thing from your life that is impure!”

I was standing between her bed and the wall, next to her night stand. She placed several more items on her bed, but it was not helping. One final time, as I was ready to get out of there, I said, “There is something you are holding on to that is much more evil than anything you’ve surrendered so far. What is it? No more delay!”

She reluctantly glanced over to the night stand, inches from where I was, and pointed at something I had not noticed. She said, “Well, that’s where I perform my sacrifices.” I looked at a small altar with ashes all over it. Yes, that was it.

She ran down and grabbed a large, plastic trash bag. We renounced what was happening at that altar and threw it away. Immediately I could pray in the Spirit. The wind of the Spirit was refreshing beyond description. The fire in my prayer was a stark contrast to how debilitated I was previously.

Amy then began to pray with Janet and talk with her. I was praying in tongues and doing my best to hear what God was saying. God instructed me to ask Janet about demons visiting her room. God had given me incredibly precise revelation. I revealed to her that those demons require written documentation about her interactions with them. Her jaw dropped and her eyes spread open. She had never been more stunned at something someone said. I read her mail.

She went to the closet and pulled out a stack of at least 20 spiral notebooks. She said she had much more stored on her computer. She confessed that demons visit her every night and terrorize her. She is forced to write about their visits. That is why she invited us to her home. She wanted the demons to leave.

She put the notebooks and many additional things on her bed. Six trash bags of occult and witchcraft materials were taken to the dumpster.

JANET’S STRUGGLE CONTINUES

After that experience in Janet’s tiny townhouse, you’d imagine she would have gone on toward radical deliverance. Sadly, that didn’t happen, at least as far as we know. She disappeared. We aggressively searched for her and finally, after several weeks, did track her down. She would attend church occasionally, but would manifest demonically at times. She aggressively confronted my wife once and then ultimately vanished again. That was the last time we ever saw Janet, well, sort of. Janet was about to visit some people in their dreams.

HALLOWEEN SEASON IN MANITOU SPRINGS

John Burton Quote Halloween PrayerOctober in Manitou Springs is always extremely volatile. Witchcraft is rampant and the atmosphere in that town is heavy. Creepy. Threatening. Also, it was my favorite time of the year. We knew we were called to contend against the darkness as we we were advancing toward revival.

Each year in Manitou Springs we’d prayer walk the city as we witnessed small fires in the foothills of the mountains ignite. The flames would dance as thought the mountains were alive. Witches were having their meetings, and we were having ours. We’d never consider hosting a harvest party or other event like that on Halloween. It was all out war, a spiritual war, and we had no option but to be alert, armed in the Spirit and on assignment. It was time for prayer.

The attack during October each year was intense. Three years in a row, precisely on October 31st, our oldest son was admitted to the hospital with a severe asthma attack. The suffocating spirit was assaulting him every October, until God gave us some revelation on how the enemy was assaulting us. We responded and the Halloween attacks on him then ceased.

In 2003, two years after we had planted Revolution Church, and quite some time since we’d seen Janet, Amy was pregnant with our third child. One night, in the middle of October, Amy shot up in bed, frantic, and woke me up.

She was shaking. She said she just had a horrifying, vivid dream of Janet wielding a large knife. She drove it into my wife’s stomach and killed our baby.

After praying we went back to sleep, shaken but confident that God was in control. The next morning we awoke and prepared for a scheduled church staff meeting at our home. At the beginning of the meeting, I asked our staff for prayer and started to mention Amy’s dream. I was interrupted by one of our staff members. She said, “Amy, I had a dream about you too last night. It was disturbing. I saw Janet with a knife. She stabbed you in your stomach and killed the baby.”

We were speechless. Another staff member was beside herself. She said, “I didn’t have a dream, but I had an vision about the exact scenario you both described!”

Later that day, a friend of Amy’s who had never met Janet or known anything about her called. She was upset. She didn’t want to scare Amy, but she had to share about a dream she had. “Amy, there was this girl (she went on to describe Janet’s unique appearance precisely), and I saw a large knife in her hand. She attacked you, stabbed you in the stomach and killed the baby!”

Amy and I proceeded to do literally everything we could. We prayed, of course. We stood in our authority. We had a powerful deliverance minister and his team conduct a spiritual house cleaning in our home. They reported it was the cleanest house they had ever been in.

A CHRISTMAS EVE TO FORGET

A couple of months passed, and we had shaken off the disturbances that October visited on our family. In fact, we were excited about a special doctor’s appointment on Christmas Eve. We were going to hopefully discover the sex of our baby!

I will never, for the rest of my life, forget what happened in the waiting room. Amy, our two sons and Amy’s parents were there as we waited our turn to meet with the sonographer. Our appointment was the last of the day and doctors, nurses and receptionists were scurrying around, closing up shop and preparing to head out to various holiday festivities. Joy was in the house!

Suddenly, I felt an extremely heavy, holy blanket of grace descend upon me. My emotional strength suddenly tripled at least. I was spiritually tuned in, sensitive, wondering why God had decided to strengthen me in that manner. I was about to find out.

“Amy Burton,” called the nurse. It was our turn.

Amy and her mom joined me in the ultrasound room. Amy laid back as we were all excited about seeing our wonderful, new baby. The sonographer placed the instrument on Amy’s belly, and instantly removed it.

She said, “Wait here. I need to see if I can find a doctor before they all leave for the day.”

The next two minutes were spent in silence. Joy and gladness gave way to nerves.

The doctor finally arrived, took a quick look, and said, “I’m so sorry, your baby has died.”

WITCHCRAFT KILLED OUR CHILD

ElizabethWails, cries and tears emerged out of my wife. The strength I received minutes prior was now being put to use.

The next day was Christmas morning. We did all we could to make sure it was a wonderful one for our boys. We unwrapped gifts as we sat around the tree. Literally every single present I got for Amy was either maternity clothing or a gift for the baby. She carefully unwrapped each as her turn came and placed them in a pile to return to the store.

The following day we were in a hospital room, waiting for Amy to deliver Elizabeth Hope Burton.

As the labor inducement was quite a ways from taking effect, Amy said I could go to a late-night prayer meeting a few blocks away. My phone was kept on and I remained ready to rush back to the hospital at any moment. At that prayer meeting, God again strengthened me. Shortly after returning to the hospital at around midnight, we both met Elizabeth.

The doctor was shocked at the cause of death. It was a cord accident. Cord accidents aren’t unusual, but this particular one was. He said he’d never seen a cord wrapped five times around a baby’s neck. Elizabeth was suffocated to death. Witchcraft killed Elizabeth.

WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD

Amy and I bless Janet. We pray for her, wherever she may be. We don’t hold her accountable in any way. She was a hurting, lost young lady. She didn’t kill Elizabeth. Extremely vile, destructive, evil entities did. At the time, we did all we knew to do to help Janet. We also did all we knew to do to cancel the curse and to wage war against hateful, murderous evil spirits. We failed. We learned.

We lost six more babies after we lost Elizabeth, but we are so blessed to have three wonderful boys and two precious girls in the Burton family.

Amy has been a champion. She has ministered to those who have lost babies to stillbirth or miscarriage. She has cried with them, grieved with them, prayed with them and stood with them.

While our faith was hit, it was not shattered. We have learned over the years to war, to wrestle with the enemy and to contend with faith and passion. Life isn’t about some set of rules that Satan has to obey. He cheats. He hates. He does all he can to rip us to shreds, and he wastes no time finding just the best way to do that.

I know many of you who are reading this are already thinking about theological issues with my story. You might think Christians can’t be touched by witchcraft. You’d be wrong.

John Burton Quote Blood AuthorityThe slightest open door or lazy approach to intercession, or pride or even ignorance can give the enemy access. He doesn’t fight fair. He knows our weaknesses. In fact, some of you may be considering Job. He was upright, yet struck.

Understand, the blood of Jesus doesn’t grant us immunity. It grants us authority. We need to enroll in the school of the Spirit and learn how to battle. If we don’t fight, the fight will come to us. If we don’t engage, we will be hit.

I held off for fifteen years in writing this article because it’s not a happy story. But, I realized that so much of today’s church has become inauthentic by only highlighting that which makes us happy.

In order to win battles, and ultimately the war, we have to learn from struggles. We must understand the ferocity of the enemy. We need to be in the Word, in prayer and free from even the slightest sin or compromise.

The lesson we learned was not that we were steeped in sin. We weren’t. We were living holy lives as young though immature Jesus lovers. The lesson is that we must clearly understand that the enemy is ready to pounce, and that we must be ready.

HALLOWEEN IS EVIL—AND NO CHRISTIAN SHOULD PARTICIPATE AT ANY LEVEL

Witchcraft is permeating the atmosphere this and every October. It’s time to war, not party. Pastors, call solemn assemblies instead of holding harvest parties. This is an all hands on deck season.

I’ll leave you with some short bullet points that I posted to Facebook earlier today about Halloween. If you didn’t understand before why I so vehemently renounce this unholy day, you now should.

Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Joel 1:14

Eleven reasons Christians celebrate Halloween

  1. They don't believe witchcraft is a big deal.
  2. They wrongly think the way they celebrate doesn't involve witchcraft.
  3. They incorrectly assume Christians are immune to curses and the power of witchcraft.
  4. They can't imagine the thought of their kids missing out.
  5. They celebrated Halloween as children and conclude it didn't have any negative impact on them.
  6. They wrongly equate it with Christmas, which “also has pagan roots” yet is universally embraced by Christians.
  7. They believe it can be sanitized and Christianized.
  8. They believe it's a great opportunity to evangelize, but without exposing the darkness or revealing how wicked the holiday is.
  9. They have fallen for false-grace deception that allows them to be free and have fun no matter what.
  10. They haven't experienced the wonder and terror of the spirit realm.
  11. They lack discernment.

RELATED ARTICLE:

Humbug! How can a Christian celebrate Christmas?

Humbug! How can a Christian celebrate Christmas?

Yes, it’s true, I’m a Christian and I LOVE Christmas!

imageI’ve been running into a good number of Christians who have decided not to celebrate Christmas, and others who are confused on the issue.

For me, there is no confusion whatsoever—I absolutely, unashamedly, unapologetically love the Christmas season! It is my favorite time of the year!

Here are some reasons why I believe we should thoroughly enjoy Christmas:

  1. Jesus! The story of Jesus coming into our world is precious and should absolutely be celebrated. It doesn’t matter what the specific date is, we just choose to recognize December 25th as the day we remember this special event. Christmas is a wide open opportunity to celebrate Jesus in our culture, love people and enjoy him together!
  2. Presents! Listen, we must stop the assault on the joy of both giving AND receiving gifts! My primary love language is giving and receiving gifts, which is one reason I so value that special Christmas morning tradition. It is joyful! It’s fun! I refuse to apologize for coming alive like a little child when I open gifts. I love the special family member who gave the gift and, yes, I want that present! It doesn’t make you selfish or greedy or less spiritual to enjoy life this way. Certainly, one could become greedy or selfish, but that’s true all 365 days of the year. Over the past month, Amy and I have had so much fun hitting the malls, cruising around Amazon.com and going nuts at a Kmart that was going out of business buying presents for our kids. This is one reason I love Black Friday! There’s a fresh, exciting, festive atmosphere that is all about family togetherness. And, yes, Amy and the kids and I were at the stores on Thanksgiving this year. We were thankful to be together as we enjoyed the kickoff to the Christmas season! We waited in line at Kohl’s for about two hours—a line that literally stretched around the circumference of the entire store! We made friends, and Ella entertained everybody there by dancing and singing loudly, “God’s not dead, he’s surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like a lion!” We were there buying presents and we were doing it because of our love for each other.
  3. Childlikeness! It’s OK to get excited and a bit giddy about Christmas morning. It’s not only the kids that have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve! In the Burton family, we always look forward to a special Christmas Eve event such as attending a movie together, going to a Christmas festival or something else to celebrate the season. We all act like kids! When we get home the stockings are ready to be dumped out and we then spend the rest of the night playing a new family game. Then it’s off to bed—all of us, a bunch of children excited about what the next day is about to bring!
  4. Santa! Celebrate the life of Saint Nick! The spirit of joyful giving is a wonderful thing to celebrate. Our kids have all of the accurate information. They know the presents they get are from mom and dad, but we all enjoy the selfless innocence that the spirit of Saint Nicholas represents.
  5. Memories! Some of my all time great memories growing up were during the Christmas season. I can still remember the gifts that caused me jump up and down in my pajamas! (Based on point #2 above you might have already guessed that I still do this at age 44) I want my family to have memories of joy and family togetherness for the rest of their lives. The Christmas season makes this easy—there’s just something about it.

One of the primary arguments I hear against the celebration of Christmas is that it has pagan origins.

My answer to that is simple—don’t be concerned about origin, be concerned with current status. Today Christmas is about Jesus. Consider Halloween. It’s origins were occultic, and it’s current status is occultic, so we do not celebrate it. Both Christmas and Easter are about Jesus today, and that is glorious.

In fact, consider other holidays that have nothing to do with Jesus. Do you still celebrate those? What about Thanksgiving? Do you take off work for Independence Day? How about your birthday? If we can celebrate those holidays, then we can certainly celebrate Christmas.

If we eliminated everything from our lives that had pagan origins, we’d have a hard time functioning.

Did you know that the following have pagan origins?

  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • New Year’s/New Year’s Eve
  • Statues of people and animals
  • Money has pagan designs on it
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • Eye makeup
  • Wind chimes
  • Saying “Amen”
  • Baby showers
  • Making your bed
  • Birthdays

In the first-century Church, gentile Christians were told to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols (Acts 15:29). However, Paul told the Corinthians that they could eat meat sold in the public market even though that meat may have been sacrificed to an idol (1 Cor. 10:25). He told them not to eat in the pagan temple. In other words, he told them to avoid blatant paganism, but they did not have to superstitiously avoid everything that paganism might have touched at some time in the past. ~gci.org

There’s no way I’m going to give in to anti-Christmas zealots…I’m having too much good, clean fun! In fact, I’d love to see Christmas extended throughout the year!

Let’s break off the humbug spirit that’s invading Christianity, enjoy the season and celebrate Jesus together!

Now repeat after me, “Ho, ho, ho.” Again, “Ho, ho, ho.”

There you go.

Orphans no more! Powerful teaching tonight at Revival Church… Christmas party tomorrow…

By ALL means, head out TONIGHT at 7pm! Orphans NO MORE!

Experience a powerful atmosphere of FIRE and FREEDOM tonight at 7pm at Revival Church!

I’ll be teaching on Orphans NO MORE! A call to breakthrough in a fatherless generation!

If you aren’t close, you can listen online TONIGHT at 7pm at www.thefurnace.tv.

THEN, don’t miss our annual CHRISTMAS DINNER AND PARTY tomorrow at 2pm! Bring friends and come for a feast and fun!

  • Tonight we meet at Revival Church: 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091
  • Tomorrow the party is at our house: 64639 Tara Hill Drive, Washington, MI 48095

Revival-Church-Christmas-Party-2013

Humbug! How can a Christian celebrate Christmas?

Yes, it’s true, I’m a Christian and I LOVE Christmas!

imageI’ve been running into a good number of Christians who have decided not to celebrate Christmas, and others who are confused on the issue.

For me, there is no confusion whatsoever—I absolutely, unashamedly, unapologetically love the Christmas season! It is my favorite time of the year!

Here are some reasons why I believe we should thoroughly enjoy Christmas:

  1. Jesus! The story of Jesus coming into our world is precious and should absolutely be celebrated. It doesn’t matter what the specific date is, we just choose to recognize December 25th as the day we remember this special event. Christmas is a wide open opportunity to celebrate Jesus in our culture, love people and enjoy him together!
  2. Presents! Listen, we must stop the assault on the joy of both giving AND receiving gifts! My primary love language is giving and receiving gifts, which is one reason I so value that special Christmas morning tradition. It is joyful! It’s fun! I refuse to apologize for coming alive like a little child when I open gifts. I love the special family member who gave the gift and, yes, I want that present! It doesn’t make you selfish or greedy or less spiritual to enjoy life this way. Certainly, one could become greedy or selfish, but that’s true all 365 days of the year. Over the past month, Amy and I have had so much fun hitting the malls, cruising around Amazon.com and going nuts at a Kmart that was going out of business buying presents for our kids. This is one reason I love Black Friday! There’s a fresh, exciting, festive atmosphere that is all about family togetherness. And, yes, Amy and the kids and I were at the stores on Thanksgiving this year. We were thankful to be together as we enjoyed the kickoff to the Christmas season! We waited in line at Kohl’s for about two hours—a line that literally stretched around the circumference of the entire store! We made friends, and Ella entertained everybody there by dancing and singing loudly, “God’s not dead, he’s surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like a lion!” We were there buying presents and we were doing it because of our love for each other.
  3. Childlikeness! It’s OK to get excited and a bit giddy about Christmas morning. It’s not only the kids that have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve! In the Burton family, we always look forward to a special Christmas Eve event such as attending a movie together, going to a Christmas festival or something else to celebrate the season. We all act like kids! When we get home the stockings are ready to be dumped out and we then spend the rest of the night playing a new family game. Then it’s off to bed—all of us, a bunch of children excited about what the next day is about to bring!
  4. Santa! Celebrate the life of Saint Nick! The spirit of joyful giving is a wonderful thing to celebrate. Our kids have all of the accurate information. They know the presents they get are from mom and dad, but we all enjoy the selfless innocence that the spirit of Saint Nicholas represents.
  5. Memories! Some of my all time great memories growing up were during the Christmas season. I can still remember the gifts that caused me jump up and down in my pajamas! (Based on point #2 above you might have already guessed that I still do this at age 44) I want my family to have memories of joy and family togetherness for the rest of their lives. The Christmas season makes this easy—there’s just something about it.

One of the primary arguments I hear against the celebration of Christmas is that it has pagan origins.

My answer to that is simple—don’t be concerned about origin, be concerned with current status. Today Christmas is about Jesus. Consider Halloween. It’s origins were occultic, and it’s current status is occultic, so we do not celebrate it. Both Christmas and Easter are about Jesus today, and that is glorious.

In fact, consider other holidays that have nothing to do with Jesus. Do you still celebrate those? What about Thanksgiving? Do you take off work for Independence Day? How about your birthday? If we can celebrate those holidays, then we can certainly celebrate Christmas.

If we eliminated everything from our lives that had pagan origins, we’d have a hard time functioning.

Did you know that the following have pagan origins?

  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • New Year’s/New Year’s Eve
  • Statues of people and animals
  • Money has pagan designs on it
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • Eye makeup
  • Wind chimes
  • Saying “Amen”
  • Baby showers
  • Making your bed
  • Birthdays

In the first-century Church, gentile Christians were told to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols (Acts 15:29). However, Paul told the Corinthians that they could eat meat sold in the public market even though that meat may have been sacrificed to an idol (1 Cor. 10:25). He told them not to eat in the pagan temple. In other words, he told them to avoid blatant paganism, but they did not have to superstitiously avoid everything that paganism might have touched at some time in the past. ~gci.org

There’s no way I’m going to give in to anti-Christmas zealots…I’m having too much good, clean fun! In fact, I’d love to see Christmas extended throughout the year!

Let’s break off the humbug spirit that’s invading Christianity, enjoy the season and celebrate Jesus together!

Now repeat after me, “Ho, ho, ho.” Again, “Ho, ho, ho.”

There you go.

 

Fear: This may be the most important series I’ve ever taught

Listen to the latest in what may be the most important series I’ve ever taught: Threat to Revival #7—Fear

FIRST: You DON’T want to miss our fourth annual Revival Church Christmas Dinner & White Elephant Gift Exchange!!!

Join us this Thursday, December 13th at 7pm for a night of Christmas family fun. Bring a main course and either a side OR dessert to share. Also, bring a wrapped gift valued under $10, one for each member in your family, for the white elephant gift exchange. It all happens at Revival Church, which meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071. Invite all of your friends and family!

Revival-Church-Christmas-Dinner-2012

TEN THREATS TO REVIVAL: THREAT #7, FEAR

You can listen to last night’s incredibly freeing message on the spirit of fear here: http://media.johnburton.net/5753783

Follow along with the notes here:

Threat 7. Fear of Loss

1. The greater our fear of God which comes through intimacy with him, the less our fear that’s initiated by the enemy will be.

1. We won’t fear loss… we will understand that loss is a part of the process. Don’t protect what God may want to touch in your life.

2. Isaiah 8:11-13 (ESV) 11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

3. The catch is this: If we fear God, the result is boldness and intimacy and power and confidence.

4. If we have a spirit of fear, the result is timidity, reclusion, weakness and insecurity.

1. Proverbs 19:23 (ESV) 23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

1. You could call the spirit of fear, slave fear and the fear of the Lord, son fear.

2. The fear of a slave is to cower; slaves want to run away from their masters.  But “son fear” is something different; it motivates us to seek and please God.

3. “Slave fear” that drives us away from God is wrong; “son fear” that drives us toward God is right and proper.

2. In this next passage, God is saying not to have slave fear.

3. Exodus 20:18-20 (ESV) 18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”

2. Revelation 1:17-18 (ESV) 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

3. Nenien C. McPherson, Jr., says that the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises are the only fears that are natural to us. There are only two, he says, and all the rest are learned.

1. Satan coaches us into every other fear! He’s our fear coach. He’s our fear leader!

2. In generations past the fear for the Christian was the loss of life, today the fear is a loss of comfort.

4. Fear haunts people and hijacks their zeal and their focus on mission.

1. When we fear loss, our natural reaction is to shut everything else out and go into protect mode.

2. Fear is a disqualifier. It sends people home… their focus is on how to survive their own lives at home instead of being in the midst of the mission… the very reason they were born!

3. Judges 7:2-3 (ESV) 2 The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

1. When the call to run with a vision is presented, don’t be surprised when people turn their focus to their own survival.

2. The song goes, I surrender all!!! If all is surrendered, we can’t be gripped by fear of loss!

1. Our family is surrendered, our money is surrendered, our comfort is surrendered, our physical life is surrendered!

3. Manitou Springs-I was disturbed at the number of Christians that were afraid to even drive past that city! I was mad!

4. I needed the warriors to show up, to be bold, to lock arms with us and take a city—and they didn’t even begin in the battle! Fear kept them away, and the flow to Hell kept streaming.

1. As a visionary, one issue that I constantly wrestle with is the job of selling the vision.

2. So much energy is used attempting to convince the church of the region that it’s a good move to invest in revival. It’s a benefit to them to participate. There’s blessing if they run the race with us.

3. Come on! Where are the people who have matured beyond this? Where are those who need no reason to invest in revival other than the fact that people are going to Hell?

4. Where are those who fear not? Who simply show up to fight against the Kingdom of darkness? No fear of loss at all! People with fire in their eyes who know why they were born!

1. We cannot expect to win if we forfeit.

2. The church isn’t primarily plagued with defeat, it’s plagued with FORFEIT!

3. The Hebrews forfeited the Promised Land!!!! Fear!!!

4. Numbers 13:25-28 (ESV) 25 At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. 26 And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large.

5. Then what happens is that the true visionaries reject fear and call everybody to go, and there’s division in the camp! The mission ends!

6. Numbers 13:30-33 (ESV) 30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

7. They wanted to stone those who were responding to God’s call to advance!

8. Numbers 14:23-24 (ESV) 23 … And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

5. The issue of fear is a HUGE one!

1. If we don’t deal with fear now, when the threat to our lives increases, we will run home!

2. Mark 14:61-65 (ESV) 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

3. Mark 14:66-72 (ESV) 66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

4. There’s been so much emphasis in the church on blessing and gain, that the spirit of fear has been able to settle into position, ready to pounce when the possibility of personal loss presents itself.

1. Attempting to minimize risk is not the answer!!!!

6. The church must again be a place of power that calls people to the edge as it plunders the kingdom of darkness!!!

1. A key reason pastors don’t advance their churches into the experiential realm of encounter with God is that the risk of losing people, money and their reputation is high.

2. It’s clear that a instituting a marginalized church culture is a much less risky option to develop a growing church in America. However, it’s also clear that such a culture is void of power and miracles.

1. Revival will only come through a Biblical church that is costly, raging hot on fire and radically uncomfortable to our flesh.

3. The world isn’t looking for another man-made system to join. In fact, the world does a much better job of building humanistic kingdoms than the church does.

4. We’ll only see revival when we have the guts to call people into the wilderness of extreme encounter where the Fire and the Cloud leads them into a supercharged adventure.

1. Fear of loss must be replaced by an expectation of loss!

2. I surrender all! It's not, “I hope I don't have to surrender all!”

3. I die daily! It's not, “I hope I can avoid the death part of the program!”

4. I take up my cross! It's not, “I take up my blessing!”

7. The comforter

1. We were robbed

1. The enemy will actually cause blessing at times!

2. Promise of new computers

3. Story of getting robbed

4. Fear

5. At IHOP

6. The enemy wants to masquerade as the Holy Spirit… he’s a false comforter.

7. He wants us to use him, to use fear as a means of protection.

8. This revelation was so powerful.

9. We were initially terrified to stay in the house, but that night I let God comfort me like never before… and I slept with overwhelming peace.

Get freedom from fear tonight at Revival Church!

Tonight I’ll be teaching on how to be free from fear…one of the key threats to revival.

FIRST: Bring everybody you know to Revival Church’s fourth annual Christmas Dinner & White Elephant Gift Exchange! Bring a main course and either a side OR a dessert (two total items) to share!
Wrap a real or gag gift valued no more than $10 for as many people as there are in your family. It all begins THIS THURSDAY, December 13th at 7pm!


This series has been powerful! Listen to all of the prior teachings in the series, Ten Threats to Revival, at http://media.johnburton.net.

TONIGHT I’ll deal with one of the most powerful threats, a true enemy to every Believer… FEAR.

Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.


Here are some additional announcements:

Revival Tribe & theLab Info & Leadership Meeting

After service, Sunday, December 16, 2012
Current Tribe leaders and those wanting info about our church planting strategy will meet for about one hour after the service. This is a required meeting for current Tribe leaders and those already registered for theLab. If you not a leader and would like to attend, please RSVP by emailing info@detroitrevivalchurch.com.

4th Annual Christmas Party / White Elephant Gift Exchange

Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall
Bring TWO items: a main dish AND a side or dessert to share. For each member of the family (including any children who wish to participate), bring a wrapped gift valued between $5 and $10. This can be a nice gift, a re-gift, a gag gift. Feel free to get creative! Friends and family are welcome!

Revival-Church-Christmas-Dinner-2012

Revival Church Christmas Community Outreach

Saturday, December 15, 2012, 10 am to 2 pm in the Fellowship Hall
Join us for a great opportunity to minister to the underprivileged in our community! On Saturday, December 15, low-income families will visit our fellowship hall to pick up gifts and Christmas baskets. We want to minister to both their physical needs and their spiritual needs. We will offer prayer as well as material blessings!

We need your help! In just one week, we have already agreed to sponsor 33 children, and many more will sign up in the weeks to come.

What can you do?

· Buy Gifts – Stop by the mini Christmas tree in the lobby and pick up a tag, detailing the age and gender of the child you are sponsoring. Return gifts (valued between $15 and $20) by Sunday, December 9.

· Wrap Presents – We will meet at 10 am on Saturday, December 15, to wrap presents and put together baskets. We need all the help we can get. Families will begin arriving at noon.

· Make phone calls – All sponsored families will receive a reminder phone call the week before the event.

· Offer Prayer – We need people at the event to pray with our sponsored families.

· Volunteer – We need help at the event handing out gifts and directing people.

Please contact Amy Burton if you can help. amy@johnburton.net

theLab School of Fire

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10th 2013
Tuition: $75 (plus $25 application fee)
Join with a team of burning men & women on a journey into the fire of God’s presence. We believe there is a significant yet hidden company of Believers that God is gathering together to be trained, healed and infused with fire. These mighty people will carry and release the burning of the Holy Spirit into the revival-ready Detroit region…and beyond to the cities of the Earth.

Revival Tribes

REVIVAL CHURCH’S CHURCH PLANTING INITIATIVE!
50 CHURCHES PLANTED IN DETROIT AND BEYOND!
If you would like to apply to launch a home church please review the info at www.revivaltribe.com and contact us!


clip_image002Be sure to subscribe to our email news updates at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/subscribe!

Articles, videos, teachings, news and info about upcoming events will keep you up to speed on everything at Revival Church!

Revival Church’s Christmas Day service in Dearborn Heights at 10am : Carry Like Mary

Merry Christmas! I can’t wait for tomorrow morning as I minister the fire of revival in Dearborn Heights at 10am!

Revival Church is MOVING their regular Sunday service to Dearborn Heights on Christmas morning. Instead of our regular 6pm service, we’ll join with at least three other churches at Dearborn Heights Assembly of God at 10am.

Enjoy beautiful and powerful Christmas worship and I’ll be bringing a life altering message titled Carry Like Mary.

The way you live is about to change!

Amy and the kids and I treated today (Christmas Eve) as if it were Christmas Day in light of tomorrow’s service. We had a blast opening presents together and enjoying time as a family. Tomorrow we get to hang out with the rest of our family—YOU included!

You can get more info here: http://www.dhfirstag.org/happenings.html

  • Where? Dearborn Heights Assembly of God, 5650 S. Telegraph, 2 blocks N of I-94
  • When? 10am, Sunday, December 25th

Revival-Church-Christmas-Service-2012

Brand new XPmedia video: Ambition, production and works in the church

capture-00000515There’s a false grace message that’s lulling people to sleep and renouncing the call to extreme Kingdom production.

Check out the brand new XPmedia.com video Ambition, Production and Works in the Church. Here’s the link: http://www.xpmedia.com/IQTFz2STVhCt

I’ll include my notes below (granted, they are quite simple).

I’d love to hear some feedback!

Email me at john@johnburton.net.

If you’d like me to teach on this or other messages in your church, head on over to www.johnburton.net/booking!

REVIVAL CHURCH CHRISTMAS PARTY TOMORROW!

Thursday at 6pm the festivities begin!

Bring your family and friends for a night of food, gifts and fellowship!

Revival-Church-Christmas-Dinner-2012

CHRISTMAS MORNING SERVICE

Revival-Church-Christmas-Service-2012

Ambition, Production and Works in the Church

I. Casual approach

a. We often see in the streams that I am most familiar with a tendency to take a casual approach, to take a wait and see approach.

i. Detroit—wait and see

ii. Some people pray for more than they are willing to work for.

1. We need an aggressive, pioneering, entrepreneur spirit in the church.

2. Wake up in the night burning, wake up on the morning producing!

3. I am looking for leaders who are self-starters, who are conquering the cares of life, who are building, developing, committed, on time, in position, producing! What is your goal, what are you doing?

4. Catherine Mullins—on the front row, alert, intent, engaged.

a. Titus 3:14 (ESV) 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

iii. We must discover the biblical message of works again! We must produce! Fruit comes through work!

b. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

i. A misunderstood verse

ii. We were saved not by works, but for works! We work!

iii. This has eternal implications!

1. James 2:14 (ESV) 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

2. Wow! Can faith save? Not if it’s dead faith.

3. James 2:17 (ESV) 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

iv. Matthew 25:29-30 (ESV) 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

c. Mom telling me to send out resumes

i. It takes just as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

ii. Dreaming has its values, but never should it become a substitute for work that needs to be done.

1. I’m a dreamer!

2. But without action I’ll be nothing more than a dreamer.

iii. Good intentions die unless they are executed.

iv. Our nation became big by starting things.

d. Steve Gray—always do two things at once… be productive.

i. We must live our lives producing, working!

ii. The cares of life must be annihilated!

Sheep stealing myth video featured on XPmedia.com : Christmas morning revival

Have you heard about sheep stealing? Watch my video on XPmedia… it was a featured video last week!

FIRST: TONIGHT at 6pm we’ll in our BRAND NEW LOCATION in Madison Heights! Nothing less than FULL BLOWN REVIVAL is the goal! We are meeting at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.

CHRISTMAS MORNING REVIVAL

Revival Church won’t have a Christmas Day service at our location as we are joining with Dearborn Heights Assembly of God Christmas morning!

Revival-Church-Christmas-Service-2012

THE SHEEP STEALING MYTH

Discover the city church model that encourages leaders to release people into their destinies. A spirit of competition gives way to unity.

This is a message that must get to every pastor and leader of every church possible! The current church structure is about to collapse, and we need to lock arms in unity as God establishes the soon coming church!

Watch the video here: http://www.xpmedia.com/JXC8vmDR7v4K 

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