Daily Devotional for Friday March 23, 2007
The Deep Things of God Never Come Easy, are You Willing to Pay the Price
(Job 17:9, Galatians 6:9, Revelation 3:11)
"He replied, 'This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.' " Mark 9:29
I'm going to give you a heavy spiritual lesson today. I'm going to be very blunt with you. Most people are so bound up in their own weaknesses, get so distracted each day by the blowing winds of life, or just won't make the sacrifice to pay the price to ever get to a place where they can even understand this message. However, for those who do want more of God, do want all of God they can get, are willing to literally lay down their very life and give everything they have to the Lord, this word is for you today!
The word today is PERSEVERANCE. After serving the Lord for nearly 2 decades, I can tell you that it never gets any easier, the battles only intensify as time goes on, and the more you are doing for the Kingdom the more you will have to endure, and the more you will have to persevere. Why do you think so many opt out or take the easy road? Very few people enjoy pain, conflict, being a target and attacked constantly day after day, and run when confronted with these things. That is why most of the Lord's work is done in the safety of the Christian subculture we have created, behind the 4 walls of the church. That is also why we are having very little influence, and very little impact on this world we live in!
Look at the life of Paul. It would have been easy for Paul to sit back in the comfort and safety of the churches he pioneered and take on that apostolic role and live a life of honor, ease, comfort, and luxury. While Paul did oversee the churches he founded, he never stopped or slowed down in fulfilling God's mission for his life to take the Gospel to the lost and hurting outside the four walls of the church. He pressed forward, tirelessly, until the very end when he was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. Despite the great personal sacrifices, putting his life on the line each day, fighting all of the obstacles he had to face each step of the way, Paul PERSEVERED!
My word for you today is this. You are not going to ever fulfill God's plan for your life in serving the Lord without being able to persevere. That is because the things of God don't come easy, and won't come without a fight. There is a very real enemy who will do all he can to stop you. As I share with you often, this is ultimately a battle for the souls of men, and sadly, satan is willing to fight harder for souls than most of God's people. You can't persevere by giving God 25%. You can't persevere by giving God 50%. You can't persevere by giving God 80%. You can't persevere by giving God even 95%. TO PERSEVERE, YOU HAVE TO BE SOLD OUT, 100% TO THE LORD!!!
The fact is, it doesn't take too many men totally sold out for Jesus to turn this world upside down. The work of one man, Paul, is still being felt today. The disciples of Jesus, who after his resurrection and being filled with the Holy Spirit, were totally sold out of the Lord and laid the foundation that the Christian faith has been built upon these past 2000 years. During that time, it has been men and women of God who were sold out for the Lord, 100% committed to Him, men and women who PERSEVERED, that has brought the Gospel to the world and helped millions of people find everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ.
I love you and care about you so much. We are in the last days and now God is calling on men and women like you and me to stand up, be counted, to sell out for him, and to persevere as we bring in that last great harvest of souls before our Lord returns and the last days of human history unfold. This is a clarion call to those who have ears to hear, that the time for playing games is over, the time for playing church is over, the time for being satisfied to live in the comfort of the "Christian trough" is over, the time for using the Gospel simply to generate money is over, IT IS TIME TO SELL OUT FOR THE LORD AND LET GOD USE OUR LIVES TO BRING HIS TRUTH AND THE HOPE OF CHRIST TO THE LOST AND HURTING MASSES WHO WILL DIE AND GO TO HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS!
To accomplish that, you will have to persevere. You will have to face the trials, the tribulations the hardships, the attacks, the scorn, the daily battles, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit that will embolden you and strengthen you and allow you to PERSEVERE! When you get down and discouraged, the Lord will pick you up and give you all you need to keep pressing forward. The Bible tells us that many are called but few are chosen. The chosen are the ones who are willing to pay the price, do whatever it takes to persevere! The deep things of God will never come easy. They require a total and complete sacrifice to the Lord. But when this life is over, the things of this temporal world will pass away and all that will be left are the things we did for Jesus!
Let me share with you my great battle and ask that you pray and fast, as God helps us to persevere and see victory. For many years before starting Liveprayer.com in 1999, I was heavily involved in the Christian television world. Hosting programs, producing programs, my goal was to attract younger, non-Christians to watch Christian TV since over 95% of the viewers were already Christians and over 80% of the audience are over the age of 55.
Those who own the Christian television stations and networks had no interest in changing anything since they were making a fortune selling air time to ministries and doing their telethons. The ministries who air on these networks had no interest in changing what they were doing since the teaching/preaching/ sell and beg format was a highly successful model that brings in tens of millions of dollars to the top TV ministries every year. God told me to leave the Christian TV world as He led me to start Liveprayer.com in 1999, and 4 years later, told me it was time to get back into television. Only this time it was to bring His Truth and the hope and love of Christ in a unique and "live" hour-long daily program that personally ministered to and interacted with the viewers and would only air on SECULAR TELEVISION STATIONS AND NETWORKS.
The Liveprayer TV program launched on March 3, 2003, airing in the Tampa market ( 12 TV market in the nation) "live" every Monday-Friday from 1-2 a.m. We have been on now for over 4 years, it is the highest rated program in the Tampa overnights (Midnight-6 a.m.), and has ministered to hundreds of thousands of people over the years. From July 2005 through June 2006, we were also seen "live" from 1-2 a.m. on the ABC affiliates in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, and Miami, as well as independent stations in the Orlando and Ft. Myers markets. Again, great ratings, reaching tens of thousands of people every night in each of those markets. In 2006, for 4 weeks in July and 6 weeks in November and December, we were seen "live" for an hour 5 nights a week all over the nation on the "i" Network, formerly Pax TV, with apx 250,000 viewers each night.
(The program is also streamed "live" every night for FREE on Liveprayer.com and we have a "Show Archive" that contains the most recent 5 programs available for On-Demand viewing, again for FREE.)
The key to the TV program is that we have been highly successful in reaching a non-Christian audience on major secular broadcast affiliates and networks. By never asking for money, I have gained incredible credibility with a non-Believing audience that would never watch a Christian program. These are people for the most part who don't go to church, don't read the Bible, and never watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio, or read Christian books. They represent the lost and hurting masses out there that the church and most major ministries have abandoned but the world is reaching every day with its lies.
We have reached millions of people throughout the nation, taken over 10,000 calls, answered over 1/2 million emails, and seen over 20,000 people come to faith in Christ just through the TV program. We have invested nearly $5 million dollars over these past 4 years (most secular production companies invest that and more in pilots that never even get on the air!) to create a highly successful program that has a track record of great ratings and most important, very successful ministry results. This nation, now more than ever needs a program that will boldly, without shame or compromise, declare the Truth of God's Word, deal with the issues in our world and people's lives from a Biblical worldview, and tell people their only hope for this life and all eternity is a relationship with Jesus Christ! LIVEPRAYER HAS BEEN THE ONLY "LIVE," DAILY PROGRAM ON SECULAR TV TO DO THAT!
Despite all of that, I have failed God in the job He has given me to do since I have been unable so far to come up with the right people or plan to keep the TV program on nationwide and sustain it on an ongoing basis. I know I am doing something nobody else is doing, something that a small Internet ministry operating out of the back of a used car lot in St. Petersburg with no assets should even be trying to do, competing in a world with multi-billion dollar entertainment companies, but MY GOD IS BIGGER THAN ALL OF THE ABCs, CBSs, NBCs, AND FOXs OF THE WORLD, BIGGER THAN THE ORPAHS, DR. PHILS, AND PROGRAMMERS POLLUTING THE AIRWAVES OF THIS NATION WITH THEIR ANTI-GOD, ANTI-BIBLE, ANTI-CHRISTIAN SHOWS 24-7!!!
Let me share with you where I am at. The deal with the group in California is dead. They were supposed to have raised the money by the end of January. I gave them until the end of February and they were not successful, so I executed my "out" clause for non-performance, realizing this must not have been part of God's plan for us. I have been in lengthy talks with ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX and I can assure you that NO AMOUNT of money will get the Liveprayer program on any of those networks on a nationwide platform. Trying to cherry pick and buy network affiliates in selected markets around the nation is difficult and cost-prohibitive.
By far the best plan and only legitimate nationwide secular broadcast distribution option for the program is the "i" Network. I have negotiated with them to move the program to 2 in the afternoon which puts us in the highly competitive daytime programming mix with a much larger potential audience than there is at Midnight or 1 a.m. We have worked out a rate of apx $36,000 a program, which to reach 90 million of the 100 million TV households in the nation for an hour on major broadcast stations in the top 25 markets, plus cable and satellite, is a very reasonable price. To do the program for 6 months would cost us $4.6 million in airtime and $400,000 in productions costs. Bottom line, $5 million dollars to reach the nation for an hour a day, 5 days a week, for 26 weeks.
*I feel a real sense of urgency since it will be one day, VERY SOON, when even this door at the "i" Network will close and there will no longer be any major secualr broadcast networks we will be able to buy our way on!
I am convinced that if we can have an unabated run of 6 months, we will have the ratings and attract the attention necessary to bring on board the right commercial sponsors who will see the great value in reaching the Liveprayer TV and Internet audience to keep the program going long term. The biggest problem in TV is finding a program people will watch. We have a very unique problem, since we have created a very successful program that people love, but due to the content (the Biblical worldview I take), we have to find the right companies who care about seeing the Kingdom advanced, have the money, and almost as important the guts to stand with me.
I will not stop fighting, or stop persevering until I have fulfilled this job God has called me to do. I could really use your prayers and help. Pray that we can find the right person or group who will give us the $5 million we need to get the program back on nationwide. Pray that the Lord will bring the right company or business who could benefit from advertising to the Liveprayer TV and Internet audience and has the resources and vision to be part of this unique move of God to bring His Truth and the hope of Christ to a nation who so desperately needs Him today. In the world's economy, $5 million is very little. There are people reading these words right now who have the ability to write a check for that amount. Please pray about who you know who might be able to help me.
Satan does not want the Liveprayer TV program on across this nation. The 10 weeks we were on last year showed God's incredible life-changing power and what He can do with a one-hour program that simply proclaimed His Truth without wavering to this lost world. This is an all out war for souls and the war centers on money. We all know God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, that all the gold and silver is His. Please be in prayer, fast, that God brings the person, the people, or the company along side who will find their blessings by being part of this unique and powerful vessel to bring this nation and the lost and hurting masses back to Christ. Pray for me to know His strength, wisdom and favor to PERSEVERE!!!!