Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
I Thes. 5:19-24, NIV.
The apostle Paul, like Jesus and John the Baptist (Luke 12:49; Matt. 3:11), used fire as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army referred to the fire of the Holy Spirit as “a source of the Christian’s power and a safeguard of his purity.” Then he went on to say that we have a tendency to let that fire go out. J. H. Jowett aptly stated, “As that holy fire goes out, the evil one will seek to come in with coldness, hardness, and blindness.”
Early in my pastoral ministry I realized the urgency of developing a discipleship course for new believers that included lessons on “How to Relate to the Holy Spirit, Our Holy Guest”—Praying in the Spirit, Worshiping in the Spirit, Walking in the Spirit, Resisting Evil in the Spirit.
But as we move more deeply into the deepening shadows of the last days, we all shall need to find times of rekindling the fires of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In fact, this has been the main theme of my preaching and teaching throughout the year of 2012. In five states—Alabama, Indiana, Montana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania—and in nearly all services, whether a Revival Meeting, School of Prayer, or Prayer Gatherings, I have felt the Spirit lead in inviting believers to “come forward, either stand or sit at the front for an anointing of oil and a prayer for fresh faith, fresh fire, and a new fervency in the Spirit for a powerful prayer life, a holy empowerment for holiness of heart and life, and a new holy boldness and passion for witnessing to the lost.”
Thank God, they came! With no begging, waiting, or prolonging the invitation, they left their seats and came forward, some with shining faces of expectation, some in tears of repentance, and all in faith.
Dear Christian friends, evil forces are at work with sinister strategies to steal our fire, our faith, our devotion to Christ, our energies for Kingdom interests, our passion to pray and worship and witness, our desire for the Scriptures, our sense of need to be often alone with God.
Our security in Christ will hold as we obey Jesus’ solemn instructions in Luke 21:36: Keep awake then and watch at all times (that is, be discreet, attentive and ready); praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of man (ANT).
Please stand with me throughout 2013!
I am grateful to several of you who have supported Christian Renewal Ministries since its beginning in 1986. For these 26 years you have prayed, sent financial contributions and letters of encouragement, and called with prayer requests. Many of you have purchased our books, tapes, and materials for studying prayer.
Your financial support has enabled us to minister to those overseas a few times.
The calls to Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean still come, but in the last eight years our financial resources have been inadequate for such expensive ventures, with the exception of a Prayer Tour of Israel in 2009. However, with the support that does come, we are still able to mail out the Christian Renewal Journal and respond to invitations to minister to small churches and organizations that simply cannot cover all the expenses involved in travel. Some of our more rewarding events have been with those who can neither give offerings nor afford to buy our books and tapes.
Please prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you contribute to our efforts to call believers back to the Upper Room for Spirit-inspired intercession for another desperately needed full-scale spiritual awakening in our nation. Please fill out the card, and don’t forget to list your prayer requests on the back, for I enjoy sharing your burdens with the Lord in my daily prayer times.
I thank God that I am not alone in this work. Our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit never leaves nor forsakes me.
I am so grateful to my wife, Shirley, for her love, patience, faithfulness, and assistance in driving, editing, and counseling.
I am grateful to my daughter Pris Larsen, our Executive Assistance, for her efficient work in accounting, correspondence, publishing, and mailing.
Thanks to my son Steve for his technical service with our office machinery.
I do express my appreciation for the faithfulness of our board of directors: Greg & Rena Donaldson, Gail & Betty Fremont, Duncan & Susan Hill, and Kyle & Vanessa McMurray.
And to each one of you who will be praying for Shirley and me as we travel, preach, and teach wherever the Lord opens a door, we say THANK YOU! We look forward to your letters, calls, and emails! Let us stand together before the Lord for the kind of revival our nation needs in these “perilous times”!
Since we do not have ministry events scheduled for the winter months, as of now, Shirley and I will be living in Dothan, Alabama, for a few months. Hopefully, we’ll get invitations in the south or along the eastern seaboard for revivals, Schools of Prayer, or other opportunities to teach on the Holy Spirit. We hope to return to Bozeman, Montana, in March or April 2013, and we pray for opportunities to minister here in the northwest during the spring, summer, and early fall of 2013.
Attention Southwest Montana readers of CHRISTIAN RENEWAL JOURNAL:
I feel led of the Spirit to conduct another School of Prayer in the Bozeman area in the spring of 2013 (probably in April). This has been increasingly impressed upon my heart in my daily prayer times at the House of Prayer, and then it has been confirmed by a number of inquiries by those who feel the need of a deeper study in Intercessory Prayer. I hope many will be interested in attending this event which will likely include three nights of two-hour sessions and a morning of a three-hour session. Please be watching for an announcement in the Spring JOURNAL of 2013.
Jim & Shirley and the Christian Renewal Ministry
Staff and Board Members wish you a
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May 2013 be filled with
Anticipation as we await the answers to our
collective prayers for our families, our churches,
our communities, our nation and our world.