Posts tagged ‘faith’

Oct 28 2010

A Personal Reflection on John’s Faith

This is the third and final post of my father’s recollections of John Robert Stevens. Here are the first and second posts.

My dad spoke about one of his personal experiences that showed him that John was a man of God.

I read through the Bible when I first came into Haiku Chapel on Maui. I read it cover to cover several times. I would read something that God would make alive by revelation, and more often than not, the next thing I heard from John—whether by tape or teaching manuals—I would see him talking about the exact revelation I had seen from the Scriptures. There was confirmation after confirmation in my own heart toward John and his integrity in the Word.

I know John’s teachings enough to know that this is something he respected in my father, that he had his own relationship with God, and that’s why he was able to recognize the voice of the Lord from John.

My father continued, talking about how John mentored people and saw ministries trained through hands-on experience.

He brought a lot of us young 20-somethings into Christ’s fold. He turned us loose and had a total faith that we could do what God wanted us to do. That was a whole different way of moving than the seminary route. There was faith to produce God’s outcome.

John opened the doors for people’s ministries. It’s not as if we had training or theological backgrounds. What we had was faith, and his covering. He was willing to trust God in sending people out. Jesus sent His disciples two-by-two and instructed them. The disciples hadn’t gone through any training, Jesus just sent them out with faith and authority and covering.

There’s a Scripture about being all things to all men. That is the mark of an apostolic ministry. He was able to minister to people where they were, and trust God to move on it. He trusted God that there would be a resulting response to his faith.

Gary Hargrave has told me personally that there was a time when John Robert Stevens’ ministry was growing very fast. He had more churches than experienced pastors to lead them. So, as my father described, John had to have a faith that God would be the provision and lead the young ministries. My father was one such ministry, pastoring Grace Chapel of South Gate, and Grace Chapel of Honolulu. I’ve had many people come up to me and tell me how much my father blessed them and changed their lives. Some have even said that he saved their lives. If it weren’t for John Stevens and his faith in God, none of that would have happened!

I want to thank my father for sharing his experiences. He is my hero and I love him very much.

 

Aug 12 2010

Thoughts on Not Criticizing

When I read John Robert Stevens’ writings, I feel strongly his heart of care and concern. I know I’ve written about this earlier, but so many people I’ve talked to about him often say the same thing: John Robert Stevens was a man who loved God’s people very deeply.

The quote previous to this post is another great example of this, because the other thing I hear from so many people who knew him is that he was a man of great perception. He was able to look at people and the Holy Spirit revealed to him their strengths and their weaknesses.

I was thinking recently how it’s so easy to love someone when you are not that aware of their problems, but it takes a greater depth of love once you see the issues. Well, John saw the issues very clearly, but he had a commitment and love in his heart to help people. He had faith for every man, no matter what they were facing! As he said: “God did not give me the deep insight of the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or discernment so that I should criticize, but rather that I should help.”

I’m thankful that John Robert Stevens established this kind of relating among believers in his churches, especially since I pastor one of them! I see first-hand the fruit of his heart and his teaching in the people who attend Grace Chapel of Honolulu.

Of course, we all know where this attitude comes from. It comes from the Lord and His Word. It could only come from Him! It is exactly what Christ taught us in the Book of John:

“A ​​new commandment I give to you, ​​that you love one another, ​even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

Aug 9 2010

When I minister and I see the need, I do not put anyone down. I always try to help. I do not want to ever beat down a man with my words, no matter what is wrong in his life. I want to always give a word of faith to build others up. God did not give me the deep insight of the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or discernment so that I should criticize, but rather that I should help. Neither should you criticize each other! When you see a need, do not fail to move on it with faith! If you need to repent concerning your lack of love, then get busy with it!

  • John Robert Stevens, "Are You A Turkey," 1980
    John Robert Stevens, "Are You A Turkey," 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Are You A Turkey?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jul 24 2010

Thoughts on Taking a Little Step

In the last quote I posted, John Robert Stevens talked about how the preacher that prayed for his healing took a step of faith, and God did the rest. But I think it’s important to realize that the people who received healings in the Scriptures did so on the basis of their own faith. Jesus didn’t have to have faith to heal people as much as the people who needed healing had to have faith. I believe that it was John’s childhood faith in the Bible—a simple belief that what it said could actually be true in his own life—that caused the healing. Yes, the preacher needed to kneel and pray, and thank God he did, but that was only the catalyst for John’s faith to receive a healing.

What a great testimony for John Robert Stevens to have in his heart in every difficult situation he faced. I’m sure it was one of the proofs to him that God truly does interact in the lives of men. And out of that experience, John had a hunger to continue to see God move in his own life and in the lives of those around him. That was something he expressed for the rest of his life. In every Word he spoke, in every person he laid hands on, and every time he prayed, he knew that God would respond because he had seen it first-hand since the time of his youth.

 

Jul 20 2010

As a child, I was taught James 5:14 in children’s church. Once, when I was seriously ill, I asked my parents to bring the preacher so that he could anoint me with oil. My father went to see the evangelist. He said, “I cannot come because I have a service; but I will pray for him right here.” I believe that saved my life and brought my whole family into a walk with God. I was never anointed with oil by the evangelist, but he knelt and prayed. One step was taken toward a promise. God fulfilled it, even though the act of obedience was only partially done and could not be completed.

Performance is not what God is looking for; He is looking for that first gesture of faith. He looks for someone to “touch the hem of His garment” (Matthew 9:20–22). God does not wait to see what kind of ritual you go through to get an answer; He wants to see your hunger. Take a step toward God, and He will “draw nigh” to you (James 4:8).

  • John Robert Stevens, "Take a Little Step," 1980
    John Robert Stevens, "Take a Little Step," 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Take a Little Step" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.