Daily Devotional for Thursday March 29, 2007
Into the lion's den
"Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.' " John 4:35
This is going to be a little different Devotional today than most days. It is more a collection of my personal thoughts about my trip to New York City, the Liveprayer special on Howard Stern's Sirius Satellite Radio channel, and God's calling on my life. Please pray, and open your heart as you read these words today. What I am sharing with you really encapsulates the whole vision of what Liveprayer is about and the vision God has given me for His work here. I can tell you this, I have come back from NYC and the Stern experience even more focused, more sold out and fired up about what God has called me to do with my life . The past few days were God's clear affirmation on all that we have done through Liveprayer for nearly 8 years now and the green light to move forward in bringing His Truth to the masses and the hope of Christ to the lost and hurting!
Let me start first with my reflections on being in New York City. Twenty years ago when I was running from God, I made many trips to NYC for business and pleasure. This was my first trip to NYC since going into the ministry. Obviously, I had a whole new perspective and saw things with a very different mindset. My wife and I flew to NYC on Saturday evening and were blessed to be staying at the Trump International at Central Park. I remember getting up early Sunday and looking out over Central Park, watching the tens of thousands of people in the park walking, running, riding their bikes, and walking their dogs. For a second, God gave me "spiritual eyes," and instead of seeing tens of thousands of people, I saw tens of thousands of souls! So many of them simply living their lives oblivious to the fact that they would die one day soon and spend eternity in hell.
How sad and how unnecessary. Jesus already paid the price for the sins of all mankind. Watching the throngs of people in Central Park that Sunday morning, my heart was breaking knowing so many of them would perish for all eternity when they could just as easily be heading towards a mansion in Glory when their life here is over. Some, of course, have heard and rejected God's love. Many have bought the lies of different false religions, cults, and New Age philosophies. However, there were so many who have simply never clearly heard that Jesus loves them, died for their sins, and has a wonderful plan and purpose for their life. Every day, so many people die and go to hell needlessly because they have simply never been confronted and challenged and given the opportunity to commit their lives to Jesus!
Sunday night my wife and I went to dinner and we had to drive through Times Square. As we sat in the taxi, crawling along Broadway inch by inch, I was mesmerized by the endless attempts to get my attention. A 50 foot picture of P-Diddy advertising his clothing line. Huge billboards advertising Broadway shows and the newest movies. Huge lit banners promoting Sony, Nike, Revlon, and scores of other products. Several 20-30 foot TV monitors playing ads for cars, jeans, alcohol, and various TV programs. It was actually sensory overload as these Madison Avenue creations were all competing for the hundreds of thousands of eyeballs in Times Square.
As I sat there taking it all in, something was clearly missing in all of these images. Glaringly absent was any message that when you are hurting, dealing with life's problems, there are answers and hope in Jesus. THERE WAS NOTHING, NOT EVEN ONE SIGN, TELLING PEOPLE THAT JESUS IS THEIR HOPE AND ANSWER! P-Diddy won't save anyone's soul. Sony won't save your marriage. Nike isn't going to help you find freedom from some addiction. Versace wants to take your money not help you when you need to pay your mortgage. Chivas Regal is not the answer you need. Where is the vision of the Body of Christ? In the midst of all the bright lights, the billboards, the modern day electronics, the only real hope and answer for people's lives WAS MISSING!!!
( I assure you, one day VERY SOON, Liveprayer WILL have a very visible presence in Times Square and Jesus will be represented!!!)
Monday afternoon, I had the joy of spending some time with a man who is part of the Liveprayer family who has sacrificed greatly to help us reach the lost and hurting people around the world we do each day. His office was on 5th Avenue across from St. Patrick's Cathedral. I mentioned to him that St. Pat's would be an incredible place to open up during the day and night and hold a great revival. What a wasted facility. Again, as we talked, I looked at the teeming masses down on 5th Avenue, seeing lost souls, not people. So many lost souls on a conveyor belt to hell, many oblivious of what awaits them when they take their last breath. I told my friend that while it is great we go to foreign countries to bring those people the Gospel, we don't need to go any further than next door to reach the lost for Christ. I've stated before, the greatest mission field in 2007 is not some remote jungle or isolated country, but right here in the United States!
The hour special on Howard Stern's Sirius Satellite Radio channel Monday night was exactly what I expected, and other than having two of the people live in the studio with me, pretty much what I deal with each night on the Liveprayer TV program. If you have not heard the program, the audio for the hour special is located at: http://www.liveprayer.com/stern1.cfm In the aftermath of the program, we received over 2200 emails for prayer, 80% were from people who were seriously looking for prayer, counsel and guidance. We had 5 people we know of pray with me at the end of the program to accept the Lord. One person summed it up pretty well when he stated" When I heard that Howard Stern let a man preach the Bible and Jesus to his audience I knew hell had just frozen over and there had to be a God!"
In the end, Stern and his audience are all just people. Clearly many have thoroughly rejected God's Truth and Christ's love, but they still have problems, trials, issues like all people do. In their time of need, many are willing to reach out. I was there to do what I do every day here on Liveprayer.com and on the TV program each night, reach the masses with God's Truth and the lost and hurting to let them know they are not alone, someone cares, and there is hope. One of Stern's regulars who was with me in the studio was a man they call "Jeff the drunk." Jeff had a car accident years ago and lost the use of his right arm. Every day Jeff drinks and smokes pot and is literally floating through life until he dies.
After Jeff got past his persona and I was able to get him to really open up (Howard actually called in and was supportive of Jeff reaching out. That was one of the amazing moments of the hour.), he admitted he would love to be a carpenter. I got all of Jeff's information after the program. He actually lives in E. Berne, outside of Albany, New York. I have made it my mission to get Jeff into some sort of carpenter's apprentice program in Albany and plugged into a church that will truly reach out to him and help him find the hope he needs each day to turn his life around. So if anyone in the Liveprayer family is in the Albany area, please let me know (email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
The rest of the program consisted of a man who had a sex change operation and clearly had no desire to change his very confused life and a prostitute from Montana who thinks she is the Messiah and was also not interested in any real help. They were both part of Howard's infamous "Wack Pack." The phone calls were across the board, no different than what I get every night on the TV program. One that stood out said he had called to make fun of the program but after hearing Jeff and the fact we were gong to try and help him turn his life around, decided not to. I closed the program like I do my TV program every night, asking people to think about their eternal souls and giving them the opportunity to accept the Lord as their personal Savior by faith. All in all, it was a great hour and the name of Jesus was lifted up and glorified!
I love you and care about you so much. This was a powerful weekend for me personally. As motivated and pumped up as I am every day to do all God has called me to do, I came back Tuesday even more fired up. I didn't think was possible. I have an even greater sense of urgency in what we are doing in these last days. Having literally seen the lost masses I speak of so often, it has given me a greater passion and desire to reach those who are hurting and will die and spend eternity in hell without the Lord. I have the answers they are searching for, God's Word, and I can point them to the hope they want, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Getting the TV program back on nationwide before that door closes for good is my number one priority right now. As I shared with you last week, 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. By far the best plan and only legitimate nationwide secular broadcast distribution option for the program is on the "i" Network.
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 and many more, 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, only $5 million dollars to reach the nation for an hour a day, 5 days a week, for 26 weeks! Some companies spend that on a single high profile ad campaign, many people spend that on the things of this world that they will ultimately leave behind.
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. It would only take a small group of men and women God has blessed financially to do it. 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. Having just come back from New York City, there are tens of thousands of individuals and businesses who could write a $5 million dollar check and never miss it. 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.
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.
Nearly 20 years ago, I started out my walk of faith in serving the Lord. God equipped and called me as a 21st century prophet to use the Internet, secular television to bring the lost and hurting masses His Truth and hope. I don't have buildings, or mansions, or airplanes like so many who were chronicled in that 20/20 piece last week. You see, I am not interested in raising money for the things of this world that will one day be gone, but in using the resources of this world to see lost souls rerouted from everlasting damnation to everlasting life though faith in Jesus Christ. God let me physically see those lost souls last weekend, He let me go into the lion's den and come out victorious, and it has only made me more determined to bring Jesus to this lost world until I take my last breath and He calls me home!!!