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Old 01-09-23, 19:28   #1351
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Hearing and Knowing His Voice


Peter warns us believers living in the last days that Satan will come to them with a loud voice, trying to bring fear. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV).

Here is my point: If Satan is making his voice known in these last days, showing his power to a world full of lost people, how much more important is it for God’s people to know their heavenly father’s voice? Do you think the Lord would sit by as Satan roars at the world and yet remain silent? Never! Isaiah said, “The Lord will cause his glorious voice to be heard” (Isaiah 30:30).

Since the time of Adam and Eve, God has been speaking to man. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God” (Genesis 3:8). Adam said, “I heard your voice in the garden” (Genesis 3:10).

From Genesis through to the end of the New Testament, God made his voice known to his people. In the books of the prophets, we see the phrase “And God said . . .” repeated time after time. Through prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and Joel, God’s voice was known and understood.

Jesus confirmed this in the New Testament, using the example of the good shepherd. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:3-4).

Adam hid from God’s voice because of the guilt and shame of his sin. That is exactly where many of God’s people are today, hiding and afraid to hear God speak! If you want to hear God’s voice, you must be ready to have your soul purged and cleansed. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 06-09-23, 15:18   #1352
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

We Have Absolute Access


Every four years in January, America inaugurates a president to what is called “the most powerful office on earth.” His signature turns bills into law. He commands the world’s most powerful army. He can simply push a button and bring destruction upon nations. The power he holds is nothing compared to the power Jesus has given to you and me!

We have absolute access to the very presence of the living God. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22, NKJV).

That access came only after Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected. It came at the moment the veil in the temple was rent in two. When that happened, it meant that man could go in, and God would come out. We could now meet with him face to face!

The word “boldness” in this verse means “with open, undisguised publicity.” Beloved, that “publicity” is for the devil’s sake. It means we can say to every demon, “I have a right by the blood of Jesus Christ to walk into the presence of God and talk to him and he with me.”

Do you believe that God is willing to come out and meet you? Let us draw near to him with a heart full of the assurance of faith. We do not come by the blood of animals but by the blood of our Lord Jesus. “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14).

Nothing thrills the heart of God more than when his children come to him in boldness, without timidity. He wants us to come, saying, “I have a right to be here. Even if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart! (see 1 John 3:20).
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 06-09-23, 22:36   #1353
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Beloved, I encourage you to stand firm as a Christ follower and one who has invited Jesus into your life, placing your faith and trust in Him that no matter your circumstances, God loves you, and He is your hope, strength, and salvation.

The Hymn My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, written in 1834 by Edward Mote, can serve as a reminder of the wonderful hope we have in Jesus:

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

His oath, his covenant, his blood,
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found:
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]

Heavenly Father, thank You that our hope is in You. Please help us to be firmly rooted in Your Word and never give up. Lord, we thank You for salvation and the knowledge that we will spend eternity with You. Lord, we thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace. Lord, bring hope to those who are discouraged and without hope. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 10-09-23, 23:09   #1354
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Fulfilling the Law Through Love

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 12-09-23, 20:23   #1355
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Does God Really Care?

God asks, “Do you truly believe that I see exactly what you are enduring right now?” Perhaps as you read this you are going through something that calls for him to act on your behalf. The very nature of your problem demands an answer.

Beloved, are you truly convinced that God monitors your every move as a father does his infant child? Do you know in your heart that he is interpreting every thought you think? Do you believe he is at work bottling every tear, hearing every sigh, hovering over you, loving and caring for you?

The Bible describes him as doing just that! “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. …The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:15,17, NKJV).

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Do you trust that God is absolutely, totally aware of your every thought, grief, pain, trial, financial burden, family problem and that he wants to see you through them all? The psalmist tells us, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

The Hebrew word for pity here means “to cuddle, love, be compassionate.” Scripture is saying the Lord cradles in his arms those who fear him. He says, “I know your thoughts, your concerns and every battle you face, and I care.” No matter what you are going through, no matter how you feel, the Lord feels the very feelings of your infirmities. He knows every move you make.

God is not mad at you. No! He is thinking loving thoughts about you. He knows the way you feel, and he cares. He is saying, “Yes, you are going through rough waters; you are being tempted and tossed. But you are my child, and I will never allow the enemy to ensnare you. I am going to bring you through!”
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 15-09-23, 14:28   #1356
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Power over Fear


I am afraid. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me. Terrors of death are fallen upon me.

Afraid because there is more evil in me than good, lying rather than righteousness, weakness instead of strength. I am like an unripe olive tree without fruit. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

Afraid God may cast me off and curse this green tree, for He came seeking fruit and found none.

So afraid that all I can do is trust in him. I will call and he will save me. He shall hear my voice and deliver my soul in peace from the battle that is against me. He will bottle my tears. God is for me. He will keep my feet from falling, that I my walk before him in the light of the living.

Are you engulfed in fear? Does your mind often stray from the safety of God’s presence into the frightening places that imagine every worst-case scenario? You are not alone, dear friends! Every person battles fear, even the bravest and strongest among us. The psalmist David expressed his fears and his need to return to the care and protection of the Lord. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3, NKJV).

This protection isn’t just for the physical body; our minds need fortifying, too. The enemy of our souls wants to weaken and conquer us with fear before the battle even begins. His strategy is to make us feel frail and defeated by sin and to be paralyzed by fears of things that will never happen.

However, God has other plans for us. “Trust in me!” he says. “Satan has already been defeated. You are my sons and daughters. Nothing is too hard for me, and you have my full protection. I am your mighty fortress! Give your fears to me.”

Here is the apostle Paul’s powerful antidote to fear. “And [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). We have the power of Christ!
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 26-09-23, 14:24   #1357
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


The Language of Revolution

“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18, NKJV).

With great and swelling words
The revolutionaries speak.
Like the piercing of a sword,
They lash with their tongues
The established order of the day.
An evil man digs up evil
And in his lips there is a burning fire,
The unquenchable fire of hell.
But the wicked man shall be snared
By the transgression of his own lips.
He that keeps his mouth,
Keeps his life,
But he that opens wide his mouth
Shall have destruction.
For righteous men hate lying lips
And lips that have no healing.
The lamp of the wicked shall be put out
And his lips sealed;
For wicked language
Shall be overthrown
And the tongue of the wise
Shall send forth health.

“The tongue of the wise promotes health.” King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote these words; his 40-year reign was an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. The words don’t sound very revolutionary, but they are more world-changing than you can imagine.

Solomon enjoyed God’s favor because he sought God’s wisdom, not his own. The revolution of peace during his reign was due to the words that flowed from that wisdom, and the people in his vast sphere of influence acted upon them. He had learned this lesson well from his father David, who had prayed, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Solomon didn’t just want to be kind and good; he wanted wisdom! He wanted his people to feel the security of truth and justice. He was passionate for them to hear the words of a loving God through his leadership, the words of one who understood the desires of their heart and who cared for them beyond measure. He was intent on teaching his people how to live lives of value and service.

Lord, I seek your wisdom! Reset my thoughts, my heart, my actions to be in harmony with yours. May my words bring peace and order and good health into the lives I influence.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 26-09-23, 18:33   #1358
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Impartiality of God



"To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury." - Romans 2:7-8

In this passage, Paul brings clarity to the impartiality of God, telling the reader that God will reward them for their work. According to our key verses, for those who seek truth and persevere in doing good, the reward is eternal life. For selfishly ambitious people who reject truth, the reward is God's wrath.

As followers of Jesus, we are not to be self-seeking. As we place our faith and trust in God, we are to serve and die to self. This stands in contrast to what we see around us, where we are encouraged to put ourselves above everything and everyone else.

The world teaches us to want more than we need, which not only plays into how we live and treat others but also dramatically affects our relationship with God. You see, in the world, self-seeking is encouraged and acceptable behavior. One can quickly fall prey to a self-seeking world that offers no accountability, leading to worldly desires where one no longer heeds the truth, falling into a sinful lifestyle. It's where we turn our backs on truth, seeing evil as good and good as evil. It usually happens quickly, without people realizing how far they have drifted.

A question some ask is why many people in churches act just like those outside the church. Perhaps they have never been born again, or they have a greater desire for self-pleasure than obedience to the truth, putting their faith in God, and seeking His Kingdom first.

We are in an urgent hour. The Bible tells us we have all sinned and need God's forgiveness. God desires that not one person perish without Him, but the truth remains that those who reject Him will be separated from Him throughout eternity. All who receive God will spend eternity with Him. Today, I call you to turn from the world's ways and seek God and His Kingdom. Commit to His Lordship over your life.

Intentional discipleship in the church is part of the solution to seeing people spiritually transformed. If you want to pray and discuss this further, please reach out to me at the email address below.

Heavenly Father, I pray for all who read this post. If they are without You as their Savior, I pray they will ask You into their heart, turn from their selfish ways, and live daily for You. For those who have already accepted You as their Savior, I pray they will recommit their life to seek You first and live each day sharing the gospel story of what You have done for them as their Savior and Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 03-10-23, 14:22   #1359
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Finding Answers at Bethel

Jacob was in a crisis yet again, and he did not know what to do. The Bible says, “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there’ . . . And Jacob said . . . ‘Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone’” (Genesis 35:1-3, NKJV).

Bethel is a place where we can go in our time of distress. The lesson for Israel and for us today is this: Whenever Jacob was in trouble, he knew where to go and what to do.

God was saying to Jacob, “You know where I will speak to you, where you will hear my voice. Go back to Bethel, to the altar where I met you. Get down on your face before me, and cleanse your house of idolatry.”

Jacob called his sons to bring forth all their idols, and he buried them under an oak tree. He then led his family to Bethel where he built an altar before God. God assured him again, “I am with you” (see Genesis 35:9-13). Scripture says, “The terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob” (Genesis 35:5). The surrounding cities were afraid of Jacob and his little Jewish clan because God had put a dread in them.

The Lord is still God of Bethel. He implores us, “Go to Bethel, and I will meet you there. Every time you are in trouble or distress, run to the altar. Cry out and get alone with me.” He is waiting for us to meet him in the secret closet of prayer.

Jacob knew where to go to get a clear word from Lord. He shut himself in with God in a secret place. I believe God speaks to us, but it happens in our alone time with him.

God is calling you today to get your eyes off of your circumstances. Do not judge anything by your present condition. Don’t try to figure it all out or let fear cast you down. God will meet you in prayer!
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 04-10-23, 16:43   #1360
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Praying for the Lost


"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." - Romans 10:1-4

In these verses, Paul reveals his heart to see salvation come to the Israelites. We discover several important lessons about salvation from Romans 10:1-4:

First, salvation is not something we can purchase, earn, or even deserve. Salvation is God's gift to us and is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ.

Second, our works cannot save us. Friends, we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

Third, we must repent of our sins and turn to God in faith to be saved.

If you have never placed your faith and trust in Jesus and repented of your sin (meaning to turn away from your ways to the ways of God), I encourage you to do so today. God loves you and wants to save you. May you believe that Jesus is Lord and invite Him into your life as the Holy Spirit leads you. If you have placed your faith in Jesus and know where you will spend eternity, pray for someone else who needs Jesus as Savior.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of salvation. Lord, I ask that You open the eyes and hearts of all without Jesus so they will see that You are The Way, The Truth, and The Light. Lord Jesus, may they repent of their sins and turn to You in faith. I pray You will help me and all who are already Your followers to grow in our love and knowledge of You. Lord, help us understand Your Word is true and apply it to our lives. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 07-10-23, 00:09   #1361
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Holy and Acceptable


When you set your heart to walk blameless before God and to please him, you will be feared and despised by those who have lost his favor and blessing. Lukewarm or compromised Christians will be absolutely disturbed and repelled by your life.

We see this vividly illustrated in 1 Samuel. “Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul... And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him” (1 Samuel 18:12-15, NKJV).

David’s blameless behavior struck fear in Saul’s heart. Whenever Saul was around David, he remembered when he had enjoyed the favor of God and the high esteem of men. However, disobedience, envy, pride and self-will had cost Saul every bit of power with God; and it had robbed him of the respect of his people.

Saul had come face to face with a younger and less-experienced man who exuded the power and integrity of holiness. He was pure in heart and full of the Holy Spirit, and Saul was afraid of him.

Keep in mind that this was no idolatrous pagan who was afraid of David. No, Saul was a man who had known the power of the Holy Spirit. He had once been God’s anointed, a mighty man with a powerful destiny. Then David appears on the scene. Here was a young man simply living a clean life, and God was pouring out favor upon him. “All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them” (1 Samuel 18:16).

This was humiliating for Saul, and he couldn’t stand having David around him. Scripture says, “Therefore Saul removed him from his presence” (1 Samuel 18:13). Sadly, Saul represents the compromised church of today, those Christians who have compromised and lost the anointing of God. He is a type of the believer who was once on fire for God but who has fallen into spiritual ruin through their disobedience, pride and lust.

There is nothing scarier to a compromised Christian than a holy, blameless life. The more your life aligns with the Lord’s will and his holiness, the more repelling you will become to backslidden believers.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 09-10-23, 15:54   #1363
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God Is for You and Me


“I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me” (Psalm 57:2, NKJV).

I believe in a God who performs,
Who can deliver my feet from falling
And sustain me through every calamity.
When I am afraid I will trust in him.
He will deliver my soul in peace
From the battle that is against me.

I will call on God
And he will save me.
He will bottle my tears
And mark my every step.
When I cry to him,
My enemies will be turned back
Because God is for me.
In him I put my trust.
I will not fear what man can do unto me;
My heart is fixed.
I will sing and give praise;
My soul shall be satisfied.

He will bring me through fire and flood
Into a desired haven.
He will cause his face to shine upon me
And daily load me with his benefits.
His face he will not hide,
But will hear me speedily.
He will never put me to confusion,
For he has given commandment to save me—
Because God is for me.

Here’s a reminder of God’s specific promises to his beloved children: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, or any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4).

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).


Do not fear the Word of God....
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 11-10-23, 00:00   #1364
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Are You Ready?

"Then Paul answered, 'What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'" - Acts 21:13

Paul and those traveling with him came to the home of Philip the Evangelist in Caesarea. While staying with Philip, several warned Paul that he would be bound in Jerusalem, including Agabus, who demonstrated what would happen to Paul. Upon hearing these warnings, Luke and some locals at Philip's home begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Paul responded that he was ready and willing to be bound and even to die in Jerusalem in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you ready to do something in the name of the Lord Jesus? We hear followers of Jesus say they are willing to do something for Him even if they risk being sent to jail. However, many who say this fail to be witnesses right where they are today. Are you ready to share the gospel and be light for Jesus wherever you go today? Ask the Lord to prepare your heart for intentional conversations as you go out today to work, the grocery store, the park, or the home of a friend or family member. The Lord may also send you into unfamiliar territory today to do something for Him.

Make the decision today to say, "Yes. I am ready and willing to share the Good News of Jesus right where I live!"

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the Great Commission to go and tell others about You. Lord, I ask that You make our hearts tender to be bold witnesses for Your name's sake. Lord, send us out to go and share Jesus with others, no matter the cost. Thank You for this work that is done through the Holy Spirit as we exercise obedience and go and tell others about You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 15-10-23, 22:51   #1365
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The Mother of All Sins

I could list an entire catalog of sins that believing Christian’s practice, but none of them would come near to the sin that I want to talk about. The mother of all sins, the one that gives birth to all others, is the sin of unbelief.

I am not speaking of the unbelief of a hardened sinner. The unbelief of reprobates, agnostics and atheists doesn’t move God at all. No, what angers God more than anything else is the unbelief and troubling doubts of those who call themselves by his name. His children who say, “I am of Jesus,” yet hold doubt, fear and unbelief in their hearts grieve him more than all others.

How seriously does God take this sin of unbelief? He takes it very seriously indeed. Jude warned the church with these words: “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5, NKJV).

Jude is reminding believers of God’s attitude toward unbelief. He is saying, “I am bringing to your remembrance God’s utter hatred for unbelief among his saved people. Having saved the people, afterward he destroyed the ones who did not believe!”

Beloved, God has called me to put his church in remembrance of this same thing. “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). God may no longer destroy his people physically as he did in the Old Testament, but his judgments on our unbelief today are spiritual, and they are just as severe. This is because unbelief is as destructive today as it ever was. Unbelief will cause us to become stiff-necked and bitter. We will be swallowed by troubles, stress and family problems. Worst of all, unbelief will destroy our spiritual lives.

Many of us are guilty of the mother of all sins, and we do not fear it. We do not take our unbelief seriously; in fact, we live as though God winks at it. Nevertheless, it is the one sin that opens our body and spirit to every other sin known to man.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 18-10-23, 22:36   #1366
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Taming the Tongue


Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness.
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.



Wisdom from Above


Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 24-10-23, 22:30   #1367
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Be a Shining Light

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me." *-- Philippians 2:14-18

Paul calls the Philippians to do everything without grumbling or complaining. We can also receive this call, which can be achieved with God's help. Whining and complaining brings misery to our own life. That misery extends to the people around us, so if you have fallen into this trap, I encourage you to ask the Lord to help you overcome this speaking pattern and live your life with contentment and gratitude. Take a moment to count your blessings and see that they far outweigh anything you might complain about today.

Paul also calls the people to live blameless and innocent amid a crooked and twisted generation. To live a life pleasing to Him, not harming yourself or others, will require you to call on the Lord. May you call on the Lord today to enable you to live your life to honor Him and bless the people around you.

Paul then calls the people to shine as lights in the world. As a follower of Jesus, you can do this daily through your words and actions. As you live your life to build up others, I pray that you will be bold about your faith in Jesus and share the Good News with others.

I hope these words will cause you to dive deeper into God's Word and commit to living a blameless and innocent life as you hold fast to the Word of life. As you live, ask the Lord to help you to be a shining light for Him today.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the Word of life, your Holy Word. Lord, lead us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to you. Lord, may we be found blameless and innocent so we can be a shining light for You. In Jesus' name, Amen
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 28-10-23, 14:40   #1368
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Submission to Authority


Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,
or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."
For "you were like sheep going astray," but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 29-10-23, 14:17   #1369
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Thoughts about Love and Faith

Let me share some very healing thoughts about faith and love. I believe God works miracles in answer to the prayer of faith, and I believe every promise in God’s Word. Through much suffering and tears, I have discovered something wonderful about the way God works. What you are about to read should help renew your confidence in the Lord and set you free from the bondage of trying to figure out faith.

If you cannot give God perfect faith, give him perfect love. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” Perfect love is the rest God has for his people. He wants us to rest in his love, trusting that he will always come to our aid as a father to a hurting child in spite of our inadequate faith.

Stop evaluating or grading your faith. Stop trying to figure out faith. The Bible says, “Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). If you are going to specialize in anything, specialize in love; faith works by love.

If God does not answer certain of our prayers, we can be sure he has some great eternal reason for not doing so.

It boils down to this: God has all power and can do anything. Nothing is impossible to him. He has promised to answer every prayer in Christ’s name, so we must ask in full assurance of faith, expecting an answer. However, should God delay that answer or choose another path for us, he must have a mighty good reason for it all. We must believe that whatever God permits in our lives will one day all work to our good (see Romans 8:28).

Our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are going and what we need. He will give us what is best in proper Holy Ghost timing (see Matthew 7:11).

God will not permit you to be overcome by your trials. You may come to what you think of as your breaking point, yet you will survive and live to tell of his faithfulness if you will not harden you heart but fall into his arms, trusting his everlasting love.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 30-10-23, 22:34   #1370
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Suffering for Righteousness' Sake

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—
to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 01-11-23, 20:49   #1371
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Praying for All

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;" - 1 Timothy 2:1-8

The book of 1 Timothy, written by the Apostle Paul, provides helpful direction to Timothy, a young leader in the early Christian church. Paul underscores the importance of prayer, highlighting its worth for all people, including those in authority. Look at these verses and see how Paul's direction to Timothy can also benefit us today.

Praying for All:

We should pray about everything. Paul mentions many forms of prayer including petitions, intercession, and thanksgiving. God desires to hear our prayers and this multidimensional approach reflects the depth and breadth of our relationship with God. We bring our needs, adoration, and gratitude before Him. Through prayer, we connect with God, petitioning God's presence in our lives and circumstances.

Praying for Leaders:

Paul issues a call to pray for those in authority, including kings and leaders. The call is a timeless reminder to pray for our leaders. Beloved, we are called to pray for those who hold positions of power regardless of whether we like them. This intercession is not just for us to check a box but a sincere request for God's guidance, wisdom, and discernment to be upon them.

Praying for Peace and Godliness:

We find a twofold purpose in praying for those in authority: first, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives, and second, that we may lead lives of godliness and holiness. Peace in our society, characterized by quietness and order, allows us to pursue lives dedicated to God. When praying for our leaders, we actively participate in the quest for a society that encourages spiritual growth.

God's Heart for Salvation:

We are praying to become more like God so our lives will draw all people to come to Him and to know Him. Remember that God offers His grace and salvation to everyone, regardless of their background, past, or circumstances. Praying for leaders and all people aligns with God's plan of redemption.

What a blessing to see in 1 Timothy 2:1-8 spiritual transformation as the people pray. The Word of God calls us to intercede for leaders, contribute to peaceful societies, and line up with God's heart for salvation. Through His Word, the Lord has given us this plan; therefore, I urge you to approach your prayer life with a renewed heart, knowing that our petitions and intercessions can shape the world and draw people closer to the truth of God. As you pray, continue to stand on the Word of God with your eyes fixed on Jesus, for He is doing a new work in our land.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the call to prayer in 2 Timothy 2:1-8. Lord Jesus, thank You for the leaders of our churches, government, universities, and businesses and may the Holy Spirit work through these leaders to seek the Lord above all else. Lord, for those in these places of leadership and authority that are in Christ, I pray they will be bold for Jesus and stand on the Word of God as they lead. For those without Christ, I pray for salvation to come to them, and that they will see the plans and purposes You have for them as they lead quiet and peaceful lives. Lord, I ask that You renew the hearts of Your people to pray with perseverance for leaders. I ask that You use those who know You as Lord and Savior to contribute to peaceful and quiet lives in our cities and towns. Lord, I pray for salvation to come to all without Christ as their Lord and Savior today. Lord, I also ask that as Your people gather to pray, they will do so without anger and conflict among them. Thank You, Lord, for working and moving upon the hearts of the leaders. We ask that You restore law and order to the cities and towns of the United States and the world, and we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. In Jesus name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 05-11-23, 20:28   #1372
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Remembering the Lord’s Great Works

Before we pursue new ‘revelations’ or search for new direction for our lives, we must first remember what God has already done for us. I believe this is one of the most powerful tools used by the Holy Spirit to inspire the pen of Paul the apostle and to strengthen his soul as a prisoner. There, isolated at the bottom of his gloomy and unsanitary Roman cell, in brutal living conditions, everything seems to have forced Paul to compose the first lines of his ‘epistle of potential’ by speaking about his pain.

Everything seemingly should have pushed him to first share the difficulties he was going through, his own doubts or even his bitterness toward those who had abandoned him. However, Paul began his letter by giving thanks to God and speaking of his joy. How? What is his secret?

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5, ESV).

Inspired and encouraged by the Spirit of God, Paul made a decision to show courageous and radical faith, which transcended all the circumstances of injustice that could have suffocated him and reduced him to horror and frustration over his suffering as a prisoner.

This dynamic of faith must become the routine first step in our journey toward the discovery of what God wants to cultivate in us. Paul remembered everything God had already done for him. He recalled the beginning of the extraordinary work in Philippi under his ministry, ten years previously. By choosing to act in this way, Paul renewed his soul and remembered once more the unchanging faithfulness of God.

God was faithful yesterday, and he will be faithful again today and tomorrow. It is a daily and renewed decision that can release within us an unsuspected potential for peace and joy.

We must daily develop this ability to encourage our soul and strengthen our spirit by reviewing the goodness of God. We do this by remembering his faithfulness, love, patience, provision, power, what he has done for us, who he is, his interventions, protection, sovereignty and ability to transform grief into joy. O my soul, bless the Lord and remember all his benefits!
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 07-11-23, 20:41   #1373
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Pursue God


"Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." - 2 Timothy 2:14-26

Heavenly Father, we thank You and praise You for the Bible. Lord, we ask that as Your Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we would be quick to confess and turn away from it and instead turn to You. We welcome the Holy Spirit's work in us and take to heart these instructions that say not to have anything to do with foolish arguments because they produce quarrels. Lord Jesus, we ask You to bring unity to families, churches, the United States and the world. Lord Jesus, thank You for hearing us. We call out to You to work and have Your way in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

As we examine 2 Timothy 2:14-26, we see the Apostle Paul providing Timothy and all Christ-followers with direction to cultivate a passionate heart for God so that the sharing of our faith in Jesus is effective.

These verses encourage us to call out to the Lord to guide our hearts to be fixed upon Him so we might be attentive to live out our faith. Look now at a few essential points from this passage of Scripture:

Avoid Quarreling: Paul warns us to avoid unnecessary quarrels and disputes about words, which lead to ungodliness. These can be like a virus, spreading through communities and weakening the foundation of our beliefs. Lord Jesus, may the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You, so we might be effective in sharing the gospel. May our lives exemplify You in all we do. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Be a Vessel of Honor: Paul encourages us to turn away from evil to become vessels of honor, ready for God's use, purged of sin, and cleansed for His purposes. Heavenly Father, may Your Holy Spirit turn us from our sinful ways so we are set free to be used by You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Pursue Righteousness, Faith, Love, and Peace: Paul instructs us to flee youthful passions and prize these virtues with those who call on the Lord. Heavenly Father, may we seek You first as we pursue these virtues so that our lives will glorify You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

As you invite the Holy Spirit to cultivate a passion in your heart for God, let me encourage you with the following applications:

Commit Your Speech: Ask the Lord to help you avoid arguments that would hinder you from sharing the gospel and demonstrating the love of Christ to others.
Commit to Spiritual and Personal Growth: Spend time reading the Bible daily and praying so that you can stand firm on the solid foundation of God's truth in a world filled with changing ideas.
Commit to Holiness: Strive for personal holiness and purity. Turn from wickedness by seeking God's change in your heart and mind. I urge you to commit to being a vessel of honor.
Commit to Sharing the Story of God's Love: Ask the Lord to help you be intentional in sharing the love of Christ in your daily life and leading others to cultivate a passion for God.

Heavenly Father, as Your people, we ask You to help us carry out these principles so our lives shine Your love on others. May we live free of nitpicking and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace daily so we might see many others come to Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen.
__________________
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 11-11-23, 15:22   #1374
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

How Do We Become ‘Good Soil’?

In Matthew 13, Jesus shares the well-known parable of the sower. The seed is the unchanging Word of God from heaven. The culture and values of this world are constantly changing from culture to culture and generation to generation, but the Word of God is eternal. The seed sometimes falls by the wayside in stony places or thorns, and it never produces a harvest.

The seed that produces a harvest is the seed that goes into fertile soil. There, the Word goes deep, the roots go deep, and the fruit multiplies.

Of course, the sower and the seed are critical. However, the Word can be proclaimed in truth; but if the soil is not able to receive the Word, there will never be thirty-, sixty- and hundred-fold harvests. After the parable of the sower and the parable of the weeds, Jesus bluntly told his disciples, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age….The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace…. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:37-39,41-43, ESV).

Individuals can show up every week to church; they can hear biblical messages delivered by men of God, but if the soil of the heart is not soft, tender and able to receive the Word, there will never be the fruit of a changed life.

What creates good soil in a heart is a culture of repentance. Sadly, that element is often lacking in the Western church and many other places in the days we live. As believers, it is vital that we cultivate an atmosphere of humility, sincere desire for God’s Word and an awe of his presence so that the soil will be soft. The Old Testament prophets cry out “Break up the fallow ground” (see Hosea 10:12; Jeremiah 4:3). It is in proper soil that God can produce supernatural results. A culture of repentance will create soil that can receive the Word and produce eternal fruit.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 14-11-23, 23:32   #1375
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Love One Another


For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.
Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God
and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 16-11-23, 17:49   #1376
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Cleansing and Healing the Tongue

The prophet Isaiah provides us with an example of how we can heal our tongue.

1. Isaiah drew near to the Lord and prayed for a vision of God’s holiness. “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1, NKJV).

Anyone who wants to live a life that pleases God must constantly go into his presence until he sees God’s holiness. All healing, true blessings and victories begin at his throne. That is where we see God in his holiness!

2. While standing in God’s holy presence, Isaiah was deeply convicted for having unclean lips. “Then I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts’” (Isaiah 6:5).

Why did Isaiah cry out, “I am a man of unclean lips”? It was because he had seen the king of glory. God’s presence exposes everything that is unlike him.

3. Isaiah allowed the Lord to touch him and cleanse him with his sacred fire. “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged’” (Isaiah 6:6-7).

God’s Word is a live coal, and the Holy Spirit is its fire. Right now you have been touched by the Holy Spirit through this message, and God wants to purify you with its flame. He can do it if you will let his Word reach your innermost being. He is the only one who can do it. Your part is simply to confess, as Isaiah did, “Woe is me, I am unclean.”

I pray that the power of God’s Word will touch and purify you. Confess, “Yes, it is me, Lord; I will not let this conviction pass me by. Cleanse my mouth and my heart.”
__________________
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 20-11-23, 15:27   #1377
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The Father’s Love

Many people find it difficult to think of God as a loving father. They see him through eyes clouded with pain from their past experiences with an ungodly father or stepfather.

Thousands of Christians do not believe God loves them because their earthly father abandoned, wounded or grieved them badly. I pray that this message will speak not only to them but also to those of you who have not yet discovered the depths of the heavenly Father’s love.

Many of us know the scriptures and the theology behind God’s great love for his children. However, very few of us have learned to appropriate that love, and we therefore can’t enjoy its benefits.

Listen to how God described himself to Moses. “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7, NKJV).

When we are in the midst of our trials, we forget what God has said about his own nature. If we would only believe him in such times, we would have great assurance in our souls. From cover to cover, the Bible speaks to us as God’s voice, revealing to us how tender and loving he is.

God is ready to forgive at all times. “For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you” (Psalm 86:5). He is patient with us, full of tenderness and mercy. “Great are your tender mercies, O Lord” (Psalm 119:156). “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8).

When you go to the Lord in prayer and worship, be very careful what kind of image of God you take into his presence. You must be fully convinced of his love for you and believe that he is all that he says he is.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 21-11-23, 20:28   #1378
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God Loves You


You have probably seen a sign or banner in the public square with John 3:16 on it. It is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. Today's reading from Stand on the Word comes from the Gospel of John, Chapters 2 and 3. I encourage you to read both today.

Max Lucado, a pastor and well-known author, wrote a book on this verse entitled 3:16, The Numbers of Hope. Yes, John 3:16 offers us hope in Jesus. As you read and reflect on this verse, may you see that the most incredible testimony of love is shared here: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Take a deep breath and recognize the magnitude of this verse that captures God's heart. God is God, our Creator, who demonstrates the greatest act of love, for He sent His son to live and die for us so that we could have eternal life with Him. It is a love like no other we could ever imagine. His act of love offers us hope.

As you go throughout your life, I want to remind you that God's love for you is right before you, and if you are not yet a follower of Jesus, you can come to Jesus just as you are today. God's love for you is personal. Friend, God didn't just love the world -- He loves you. You may have experienced being lost and a sense of being unlovable. Even in those moments, God was near, and His love for you was steadfast.

This verse is good news as it offers hope through a promise He will never break as you come in faith to Jesus. The greatest gift of all is the invitation to experience God's forgiveness and receive Jesus as your Savior. Take a moment to examine your heart. Have you fully embraced this gift of love?

Read John 3 and then reread verses 12-21. As you do, I pray the Holy Spirit takes these familiar verses and awakens your heart to live each day knowing how much God loves you and that He sent His Son to die so you can have life here and life eternal. The love of God offers us hope, love, and eternal life.

If you follow Christ, I pray this post encourages you to go out and tell others that God loves them. If you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to invite Jesus into your life today. When you ask Jesus into your life, tell a friend, family member, or pastor that you have received Him as your Lord and Savior.

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us and for sending Your son to die so that we could have life here and eternal life with You. Lord, may we be found faithful to live our lives knowing that You love us and that we need to love as You love. Lord, lead us to focus on others and equip us so others can hear and experience the love of Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 28-11-23, 20:41   #1379
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Light of the World



In John 9: 1-7, Jesus encountered a man blind from birth.

"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam' (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing."

Jesus showed compassion, and He restored the sight of the man. As we continue reading John 9, we see the act completed by Jesus igniting a debate with religious leaders.

We have many takeaways from John 9, but I want to address two points.

First, as followers of Jesus, we need to recognize spiritual blindness. The physical healing of the blind man parallels our spiritual journey. We were spiritually blind before meeting Jesus. Let's remember that Jesus is the light of the world, and it is Jesus who brings us out of darkness.

Ask the Lord to identify the areas of spiritual blindness in your life. As a follower of Jesus, has your vision become obstructed by the evening news, social media, personal agendas, or other distractions that hinder your spiritual sight to see God's love and how He is working? I invite you to call out to Jesus and seek Him so nothing hinders His light from guiding your every step. As you seek the Lord, ask Him to open your spiritual eyes to see as He sees. One step you can take is to spend time reading your Bible daily.

Second, as followers of Jesus, we need to be bold witnesses and demonstrate perseverance. In John 9:13 and the following verses, we see the healed man being a bold witness for Jesus in the face of opposition. Beloved, as followers of Christ, we are called to stand firm and testify about the transforming power of Christ in our own lives. Be encouraged by the blind man sharing his story as you stand firm for Jesus and testify to the work God is doing. Knowing your testimony will encourage others to embrace the truth of Christ and lead them to walk in His light. AMEN
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 01-12-23, 20:16   #1380
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Serving the Lord with Gladness


God desires that we be so convinced of his tender love, so persuaded he is at work bringing us into his best, that we will have continual joy and gladness in our walk with him. Moses warned Israel, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of all things” (Deuteronomy 28:47-48, NKJV).

God is saying to us today, “Be glad and rejoice in what I have already done for you! If you go around moping and complaining, you will forever be spiritually starved and naked, prey to your enemies.” God wants us to so trust in his love for us that we will be testimonies of gladness and good cheer. He wants believers who are glad at heart, filled with a gladness that is based on truth.

His truth produces a wealth of gladness that flows naturally outward from the heart: “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). “He brought out his people with joy, his chosen ones with gladness” (Psalm 105:43). “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). “Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice exceedingly” (Psalm 68:3).

You may ask, “How long can I expect to maintain joy in my service to the Lord?” Many believe that it lasts only as long as seasons of refreshing come from on high or as long as things go right.

No, we are to have joy at all times! That is exactly what the Bible says. “Oh, satisfy us early with your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” (Psalm 90:14). “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isaiah 65:18). We are “the Jerusalem from above,” reborn and living for him with a spirit of gladness and rejoicing. Trust the Father, believe his Word about himself, and see his gladness pour forth from your life.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 02-12-23, 08:04   #1381
 
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Serving the Lord with Gladness


God desires that we be so convinced of his tender love, so persuaded he is at work bringing us into his best, that we will have continual joy and gladness in our walk with him. Moses warned Israel, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of all things” (Deuteronomy 28:47-48, NKJV).

God is saying to us today, “Be glad and rejoice in what I have already done for you! If you go around moping and complaining, you will forever be spiritually starved and naked, prey to your enemies.” God wants us to so trust in his love for us that we will be testimonies of gladness and good cheer. He wants believers who are glad at heart, filled with a gladness that is based on truth.

His truth produces a wealth of gladness that flows naturally outward from the heart: “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). “He brought out his people with joy, his chosen ones with gladness” (Psalm 105:43). “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). “Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice exceedingly” (Psalm 68:3).

You may ask, “How long can I expect to maintain joy in my service to the Lord?” Many believe that it lasts only as long as seasons of refreshing come from on high or as long as things go right.

No, we are to have joy at all times! That is exactly what the Bible says. “Oh, satisfy us early with your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” (Psalm 90:14). “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isaiah 65:18). We are “the Jerusalem from above,” reborn and living for him with a spirit of gladness and rejoicing. Trust the Father, believe his Word about himself, and see his gladness pour forth from your life.

AND above all, KEEP THE DEVIL DOWN THE HOLE,,,
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Old 04-12-23, 19:17   #1382
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HOPE AND FEAR



Courtney Doctor


“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be
among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from
of old, from ancient days.” (Mic. 5:2)



REFLECT

I’ve been to Bethlehem. The town itself is unremarkable.
One of the most memorable parts of my visit was a coffee
shop by the name of Stars & Bucks. The sign was a green and
white circle with a very familiar font.

Of course, people don’t flock by the millions each year
to see a knock-off coffee shop. They go to see the Church of the Nativity—the site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Today’s verse comes to us from the prophet Micah, who prophesied approximately 700 years before Jesus made his entrance in Bethlehem.
Micah calls the town “too little to be among the clans
of Judah”—Bethlehem was such a small, obscure, and over-looked village, it was hardly worth counting. It was an unlikely location for great things to happen. But our God specializes in taking the unlikely, obscure, and overlooked, and doing great things: “From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.” A king. The Messiah. From Bethlehem.

Centuries before Micah penned his prophecy, another
unlikely king came from Bethlehem. David, the shepherd boy who became the mighty warrior and great king, was born in this obscure town. David was the most unlikely of his brothers. Samuel almost overlooked him. Yet David was the Lord’s choice (1 Sam. 16). He became the greatest king Israel had ever had, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14).

Israel waited and longed for another king like David,
a good and righteous ruler. But, as the years went by, they feared the Lord had forgotten them.


Waiting. Hope. Fear. They go hand-in-hand. We fear our
hopes won’t be realized, the waiting will never end, or the answer won’t be to our liking. We fear we’ve been forgotten or overlooked, too obscure to be of any importance.
But, because of what happened on a still night in a remote village, you and I never have to fear again. Our truest hope and deepest longing collided with our greatest fear—not just in Bethlehem, but in Jesus.

Waiting is still hard. Hope deferred can cause us to
doubt. But because of what happened in Bethlehem, we wait with confidence. The God who sent his Son into an obscure and unlikely town to fulfill all hope is the same God who still draws near to everyone who feels overlooked. We haven’t been forgotten—we’ve been redeemed.

We don’t sing about this small village because it was
great. We sing because greatness itself chose to come to us in this unlikely place. So, anchor all your hopes, all your longings, all your waiting, and all your fears in Jesus.

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you”
(Ps. 39:7).

What are you waiting on or fearful about today? In what
ways does this story remind you that you are not overlooked
or forgotten by God?



REJOICE

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.


–Phillips Brooks, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
__________________
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 05-12-23, 16:37   #1383
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Joy Amidst Trials

In John 16, Jesus prepares His disciples for His departure. He assures them of the guidance of the Holy Spirit and warns them of the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. Jesus also offers encouragement and wisdom that extends beyond their immediate circumstances while emphasizing faith, hope, and God's promise to be a strong presence amid life's challenges.

Jesus leads a discussion with the disciples regarding how crucial it is for believers to depend on the Holy Spirit as their guide toward truth. Just as His disciples were guaranteed support from the Holy Spirit, we too, can place our trust in Him. Beloved, having this understanding, we must put our faith into action and call out to the Lord for wisdom and discernment through the reading of Scripture, prayer, and wise counsel as the Holy Spirit works to guide us.

If you don't already own a copy of the book Life in the Spirit by Robertson McQuilkin, I encourage you to get one to strengthen your understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Let's now look a bit further in John 16: Jesus acknowledges that the disciples may suffer trials and tribulations but assures them of the joy that follows. Similarly, we face challenges that cause us pain, but through faith in Christ, we find hope and joy. Accepting this truth and knowing that God's laws bring great happiness helps us to endure suffering.

Furthermore, Jesus cautions of persecution and hurdles that believers will encounter. These challenges may materialize in various ways, ranging from opposition to our convictions to personal hardships or social pressures. In these situations, may we be reminded of Christ's instruction to stand firm in our faith, as the Holy Spirit gives us strength to triumph over these tribulations.

We should be encouraged by this passage and its emphasis on the importance of upholding one's faith and trusting the Holy Spirit's guidance amid suffering. John 16 encourages individuals to focus on the promise of joy extended by Christ despite trials and tribulations. Let us be thankful for the reassurance found in these verses, that regardless of the trials we face in life, God's presence and promises help us through them.

Heavenly Father, we give praise and express our love to You, Jesus. Lord, we thank You for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the knowledge that that no matter what we face we can trust You to get us through trials and tribulations. Lord, we praise You for the comfort and hope we have in Jesus. We are mindful that we are never alone because of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Lord, may your Holy Spirit be free to work in our lives and empower us to stand firm for Jesus today. We are blessed and grateful for Your work in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 09-12-23, 15:37   #1384
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PEACE ON EARTH


Justin Dillehay


“‘And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:12–14)

Between 1912 and 1917, Europe was decimated by the worst war in human history. So horrific was it that people wistfully referred to it as “the war to end all wars.” Little did they know that, within a few decades, this period of carnage would have to be renamed “World War I” to distinguish it from an even bloodier conflict.

Ever since sin entered the world, peace has been fleeting. Indeed, fallen men are so prone to violence that a righteous sword is required to restrain them (Rom. 13:1–7). And yet our hearts yearn for paradise lost, where the lion ate straw like an ox and there was nothing to hurt or destroy in all God’s holy mountain (Isa. 65:25; cf. Gen. 1:30). Thankfully, God’s prophets have promised us that a new and better Eden is coming, where “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3; cf. Isa. 11:6–9).

A quick glance at the newspaper should convince us that this prophecy belongs to the “not yet” aspect of the kingdom. And yet, meditating on passages like Luke 2:14 should also convince us that God is already restoring peace to the earth in some measure. There is a group of people “with whom [God] is pleased,” among whom true shalom exists. We call them the church—all those who by faith have embraced the “Prince of Peace” as their Savior (Isa. 9:6).

As those justified by faith, we now have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). Our reconciliation to God reconciles us to each other—Christ has “broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility . . . that he might create in himself one new man . . . so making peace” (Eph. 2:14, 16). His peace toward us allows us to extend peace to others.

This doesn’t make peace automatic or easy. If it did, many of the exhortations in Paul’s epistles would never have been written. But it’s who we are. Our task as Christians is to increasingly become like Christ, to walk worthy of our calling, and to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). By the Spirit, we pursue peace with our enemies and make war on the passions that cause quarrels among us (Gal. 5:16; James 4:1).

However, the “war to end all wars” has already been fought. It was launched on Christmas, won on Good Fri day, and proclaimed on Easter morning. And though it awaits its full consummation, we see tiny previews of it every time we forgive one another, or baptize a new convert, or commune around the Lord’s Table. May these glimpses of his grace awaken our hearts in praise: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (v. 14).


In what practical ways can you seek to maintain peace among the Christians in your local church? Does peace characterize your life online in the way you relate to others?



REJOICE

Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”




–Charles Wesley, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
__________________
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 11-12-23, 13:12   #1385
 
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Old 11-12-23, 20:07   #1386
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SURPRISED BY JOY



Ivan Mesa


“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:10)

Christmas isn’t always a festive season. Whether it’s the absence of loved ones, the heartache of broken relationships, the toll of chronic suffering, or the unending battle against sin, it’s not uncommon to end the year on a weary and joyless note. What word does the Lord offer those of us who barely make it to the finish line? He promises everlasting joy.

Nestled between two chapters of judgment and invasion, Isaiah 35 is a chapter suffused with joy for God’s weary people. Even as they’re about to experience the pain and consequences of their disobedience and rebellion, God extends a promise: it will not always be this way.

God’s people would “return to Zion,” meaning, Israel would leave their exile in Babylon and come back to Jerusa lem. Why? Because they had been “ransomed.” In the days of Moses, God had redeemed them by the blood of the lamb, and by his mighty hand he secured their exodus from Egypt. In this passage, he promises to redeem them in a second exodus. Despite their sin, God hadn’t given up on them. They were still his redeemed people (Isa. 35:9). Sighing would soon give way to singing, and sorrow give way to joy.

Something even greater than the return from exile is coming for each of us. Isaiah’s joyous language can’t be contained by the events of 538 BC (2 Chron. 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1– 4). There’s a deeper promise in these verses—a better hope and a glorious day that’s still to come.

As Christians, we still endure “sorrow and sighing” (cf. Rom. 8; 2 Cor. 4–5). We dwell in earthly tents as we sojourn to our heavenly home. Because we know something better is coming, we endure our various trials with hope (Rom. 5:3). Yes, this life is a difficult journey, but a glorious eternity awaits. We’re promised that a heavenly Zion will one day descend on us (Heb. 12:22) and “gladness and joy will overtake [us]” (Isa. 35:10, NIV).

Why is this better day coming? Because we’ve been ransomed with greater blood than the Passover lamb. The babe in the manger was the second Adam, born to take away the sins of the world. How often are we robbed of joy when we believe that God sent his Son to the cross to purchase our pardon, but foolishly fear he won’t carry us home (cf. Rom. 8:32)?

Not only will we have everlasting joy, but sadness and sighing will depart forever. In The Lord of the Rings, Samwise Gamgee awakens with delight: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead! Is everything sad going to come untrue?”

Yes. In Christ, everything sad will indeed come untrue (Rev. 21:4–5). One day, we will awaken with eternal delight— this is the hope of Christmas.


What earthly sorrows make you long for heaven even more? How can our future hope make a difference in your life today?



REJOICE

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven, And to the endless day!




–Michael Praetorius (Tr. by Theodore Baker),
“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 13-12-23, 23:26   #1387
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Knowing the Lord’s Mind and Will

“Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will prepare their heart; you will cause your ear to hear” (Psalm 10:17, NKJV).

In this verse, David outlines a simple three-step plan for knowing the Lord’s mind and will for your life.
1. Petition him (pray)
2. Prepare your heart to hear his voice
3. He will cause you to know (the Holy Spirit will speak to you)

Very soon, God is going to pour out the greatest measure of his Spirit the world has ever seen. Holy Spirit conviction will come upon your neighbors, coworkers and unsaved family members. People everywhere are going to be hurting. They’ll turn from their dead churches and desperately look for someone who knows God.

God will use ordinary servants for his end-time work of people-to-people ministry. Are you preparing your heart right now for his work to be done, both in you and through you?

I urge you to pray earnestly and dive into God’s Word every day. There is revolutionary power in the preparation of your heart. It is through this preparation that you will find meaning and fulfillment in your life. Your feelings and temperament will change, and power will be released in you. When God sees you are ready, he will bring you many opportunities to do his work. You won’t even have to leave your house; God will bring the needs right to your door!

The mighty God we serve is preparing his people for his greatest work. “The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; he shall stir up his zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; he shall prevail against his enemies” (Isaiah 42:13). Prepare your heart to meet him! Become a ready servant, equipped and prepared for his final outpouring, and his glory will come alive in you.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 21-12-23, 22:50   #1388
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God’s Powerful Army


Something powerful and awesome is going on in the world today. It is a force beyond human comprehension that will affect the entire world in these last days. God is preparing a small but powerful army of Christians. He is going to close out the ages with a pure, devoted, fearless group.

All my life I have heard stories about our godly forefathers who hated sin. These men and women knew God’s voice and spent hours, even days, in fasting and prayer. They prayed relentlessly and had the power and ability to successfully stand up against immorality in their day.

These forefathers have long since passed on, but God is in the process of raising up another army. This time it will not be made up only of elderly, gray-haired fathers and mothers of the faith. It will have both new and seasoned believers, young and old - ordinary Christians who lay hold of God in a new realm of ministry.

The denominational church system appears to be in the throes of death. It has almost no influence in the secular world, no mighty power in Christ. Some accuse me of being “hard” on pastors, but I am in touch with many godly pastors who grieve as I do over the backsliding in the ministry today. There are many godly pastors, and I thank God for every one of them. Yet it is still a fact that more and more ministers are racing down the road of compromise.

The Bible warns that we are not to worry about this. God has a plan that we can read about in scripture, mostly in the first four chapters of 1 Samuel.

The prophet Samuel is a type of God’s last-days people. The Lord chose him during the worst of times and hid him away in training until it was time to reveal his new thing. God told Samuel, “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle” (1 Samuel 3:11, NKJV). What would so amaze and startle all who heard it? It was the judgment of God on the backslidden religious system and the raising up, training and anointing of men and women committed to him.

God does in every generation what he did in Samuel’s day. He raises up a praying people after his own heart.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 25-12-23, 07:34   #1389
 
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Devotees Offer Midnight Prayers at Santhome Cathedral Basilica Church at Christmas Midnight












Midnight mass prayers were held at Santhome Cathedral Basilica Church in Chennai India, on the occasion of Christmas. Devotees in large numbers participated in the prayers to mark the occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ.


Archbishop George Antonysamy extended warm wishes to everyone and said Christmas is a joy, peace, and love of God who has come into the world for humanity.






"Christmas is a joy, peace, and love of god who has come into the world for humanity. He comes for all the human beings.

There is no difference at all among the human being. He comes to each and every one of us...I wish you once again all of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year...," says Archbishop George Antonysamy, Archbishop of Madras and Mylapore head of Santhome Cathedral Basilica Church, Chennai India.



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Old 26-12-23, 04:34   #1390
 
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Princess of Wales Plays Royal Hostess at Her Third Christmas Carol Concert at Westminster Abbey

Princess of Wales
and Prince William Attend Royal Christmas Carol Concert with Children

Daily Mail 26 DEC 2023




The Prince and Princess of Wales along with their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5

The annual Christmas carol concert hosted by Kate, the Princess of Wales was broadcast on Sunday (December 24) as part of the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas" programme.


The Princess of Wales who had hosted the concert earlier this month, on December 8, was joined by her husband Prince William, who gave a reading during the service at the Abbey where King Charles was crowned in May and the funeral for Queen Elizabeth was held last year.

On Friday, the Princess of Wales stepped out at Westminster Abbey for the third annual holiday carol concert. Princess Kate, 41, started the tradition in 2021 and is still going strong.

The London venue, decked out in Christmas trees, wreaths and other holiday decor for the festive evening, also has a very special meaning for the royal — it's where she wed Prince William in April 2011!

Princess Kate arrived at the event — wearing head-to-toe winter white! — and greeted the clergy and some of the evening's performers before the service began.

This year's event features performances by Westminster Abbey's choir, Adam Lambert, Beverley Knight, Jacob Collier, Freya Ridings and James Bay.





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Old 26-12-23, 15:53   #1391
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The Spirit of Grace


The Bible says the Holy Ghost will be poured out as “…the Spirit of grace and supplication” (Zechariah 12:10, NKJV).

In the book of Titus, we read that grace is given to us as power over sin so that we can live sober, holy lives. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” <(Titus 2:11-13).

There has been a marvelous measure of this grace in God’s people since Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has sent conviction of sin on all nations, teaching believers of every race and tongue how to forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts. The result has been a people who live soberly and righteously in this present world and who long for the coming of Jesus.

I believe Zechariah 12:10 prophecies that, in the very last hour, the Holy Spirit will fall mightily on God’s people with a spirit of grace that turns them completely from all worldliness. It will produce in them a cry for purity of heart.

A dear brother in the Lord, the head of a ministry, once called to tell me that leaders in his ministry had been gathering to seek the Lord. The Holy Spirit began exposing sin in their midst, and several of the ministry team had to be dismissed. The brother told me, “Now that the Holy Spirit has come down, there is a pressure to do right.”

His phrase struck me, and I couldn’t shake it off: a pressure to do right. When the Holy Spirit comes down and reveals sin, those who have been lukewarm or in compromise become convicted. Ministers will wake up to true “grace preaching,” the kind that convicts people of every hidden thing in their lives.

Beloved, the pressure to forsake sin and to do right is going to become more intense each day in God’s last-day church! May we all be ambassadors of grace to one another.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 29-12-23, 15:18   #1392
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Bringing God’s People to Their Knees


"Then they will look on me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him" (Zechariah 12:10, NKJV).

This verse originally refers to the Jewish people, but I also see in Zechariah's prophecy an application that has to do with the church. There is soon coming a very personal dealing by the Holy Spirit. The church of Jesus Christ has so blunted sin, whitewashing and overlooking it, that when the Holy Spirit comes down, he will bring a purging as well. There will be weeping, mourning and brokenness, a reckoning with the reality of how our sins grieve the heart of God.

The Holy Spirit is going to move in this way not only in congregations but also in families and individuals. “And the land shall mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zechariah 12:12).

What greater gift could God give his church just before he comes than a powerful, convicting message against sin? He will bring such piercing conviction that we will not be able to tolerate any unholy or unclean thing in ourselves.

In summary, here are the qualifications and marks of the latter-day outpouring of the Spirit:
1. A focus on the final harvest of souls.
2. A spirit of grace, leading to repentance and godliness.
3. A spirit of supplication, resulting in surrender and an urgency to pray in the Spirit.
4. A yearning for Jesus, a brokenness and weeping with godly sorrow for sin.

Only after such dealings of the Spirit will the true blessing of joy come! I do not want to miss out on God's last outpouring. I have been praying for him to include me, and I urge you to do the same.

Pray with me now, “Lord, I don't have the discipline needed for your holy work. You have to give it to me. Give me your burden for lost souls; place your weeping Spirit within me. You are my only hope, so I surrender and turn totally to you. I'll do anything you tell me, and I will depend upon you for everything.” AMEN
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 01-01-24, 15:13   #1393
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Great Mercy without End


There’s a phrase we Christians often use to bring comfort to one another. We say, “God is sovereign.” It does bring comfort, but what exactly does it mean?

In general, we think it means that God is in control. Even when ferocious winds are blowing, our lives are a mess and we’re filled with fear, we can take comfort in knowing that it’s going to be alright. Why? Because God is bigger and stronger than the chaos and the storm.

There’s more. God is so multi-dimensional that we couldn’t explore all of him in ten lifetimes. He isn’t just in control; his sovereignty infuses all of life. Sovereignty is all-encompassing, which means God’s attributes are as well. He’s not partially merciful; he’s all merciful. Think of it. Mercy without end!

If God was not sovereign, he would only be partly holy or just or merciful; but he isn’t a “sometimes” God. He is utterly just, merciful and holy.

I love how Easton’s Bible Dictionary puts it: “God has the absolute right to do all things according to his pleasure.” He is not subject to the whims of anyone or anything. No outside sources can force his hand or dictate anything to him.

For example, think of a time when you needed God’s mercy. You felt the entire world was against you, and you thought, “God won’t be on my side this time. I won’t receive forgiveness or mercy. There is no way back, no path to restoration for me.” Yet, there he is, the God of grace, opening the door wide for you. Yes! He has already laid out a path for your future and a brilliant one at that. You have before you a productive, rich life, crafted by God himself!

Lamentations reminds us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV). It is generally thought that the prophet Jeremiah wrote Lamentations. Who better than a man who knew God so intimately to proclaim that the God we serve lavishes his mercy upon us from our first breath to our last?

“Settle this within your heart today,” the Lord says. “My love, mercy, holiness, counsel, power – all that I am is complete and without end. I am yours, and you are mine. Come to me!”
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 05-01-24, 15:13   #1394
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The Power of Belonging

“Then he called his twelve disciples together and gave them power” (Luke 9:1, NKJV).

Jesus gave his disciples power not because they were ambitious but because they were his. Belonging to Christ is a nonnegotiable to receiving his power. Power is birthed out of belonging. Belonging brings real power.

So many Christians lead powerless lives with habitual sin practices, a poor testimony and a weak spiritual life. A lack of a fervent, radical prayer life will thwart answers to their prayers.

Do you feel powerless? The verse above, although short, is loaded with words of power. Let’s look at them.

“Called” — meaning not our own agenda, direction, self-will or resources of power.

“Disciples” — those who abandon all to follow the life, teaching and direction of the teacher.

“Together” — that power is not to be contained in singular vessels but expressed in community and in work toward kingdom purposes.

“Gave” — showing we can do nothing unless Jesus gives us power to do it.

“Power” — it is not what we desire, work for or strive after. It comes only and exclusively through God who gives it. We never outgrow this part of our history as Christians.

Every follower of Jesus is commanded to wait until we are given power from on high.

Think of it this way. Your car battery is dead, and you’re stranded alone on the side of the road. You stand there, staring at the battery, willing it to come alive. “Come on!” you cry. “This can’t be happening!” You pound on the battery, wiggle the connections, turn the key a dozen times. Nothing. The battery is dead, and only external power will bring the juice it needs to start your car. This is you and me without the power of God. We are utterly dependent upon him for our spiritual life.

Are you lacking power? There is no other way to obtain it than to have it given to you by the one you belong to. Jesus has power to give to those who are totally and fully his. Don’t strive for power. Desire to belong fully, passionately, humbly, ambitiously, to the one your heart yearns for. Then power will come to you beyond what you can imagine.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 10-01-24, 15:59   #1395
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Knowing the Ways of God


We are facing a time when the word “deliverance” will take on a whole new meaning. In the past, Christians have thought of deliverance mainly as physical healing. Soon, however, the greatest deliverance will be from fear and terror.

Deliverance at that time will mean having a “sure word from heaven.” Jesus said that men’s hearts will fail them for fear as they see the awful things coming on the earth (see Luke 21:26). Indeed, people will clamor to know what God is going to do next. They will turn in all directions, wanting to hear the voice of someone who is calm, peaceful and not going crazy. They will cry, “Please tell me! Is this God’s judgment? When is it all going to end?”

Who do you think is going to have the answers? It will be you, the ordinary Christian who has been shut in with God. You will be full of calm and peace while everything is falling apart because God is with you, and you’re hearing from heaven. He warned you this was coming, and he promised to protect you.

I believe God is going to use his people in these last days to stir multitudes, revive pastors and awaken churches. God will use us to turn people’s hearts back to God by bringing them to repentance through prayer and godly reproof of sin.

When I speak of a holy remnant in training, I do not mean an army of preachers, evangelists and missionaries. I am talking about ordinary lovers of Jesus who, with peace and calm, point others to him. God doesn’t want a professional army trained in man’s methods. He wants men and women who are trained in prayer by the Holy Spirit. He is seeking believers who have spent time with him, preparing their hearts and learning to hear his voice.

Does this describe you? Is your life a witness to a scared and shaken world? I urge you to get alone with God and let him speak to you. Ask him to reveal the sin in your life. Make yourself available to him by giving yourself to prayer. Through time spent with him, you will then be prepared to stand on the front lines and proclaim his love to the world!
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 13-01-24, 15:27   #1396
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Honoring the Right Authorities

Here’s a description that Peter was giving of people who are flying toward judgment. “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones” (2 Peter 2:9-10, ESV).

This defiling passion he talked about is the carnal desire of our natural self that is in opposition to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

These are the people who say, “If it feels good to me, I do it. I sleep with whom I want. I switch partners when I want. I harm my body if I want. Hey, it’s my body! Don’t tell me drugs are bad for me. It’s none of your business. Don’t be judgmental. I hate the haters.” Underneath it all, these people are saying, “I ain’t giving up having my way. End of story, but I don’t want to say it like that because it sounds bad.”

God said that judgment is coming on these people. They’ll answer for their lies, hate in their thought-life, racial prejudice. It’s interesting that Peter points out something else about these people, though. They despise all authority, whether it’s the authority of the Bible, their own parents, police officers, government, sexual restrictions, whatever. They want no authority over them because they want to be their own authority. Everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want! Except that would be a real nightmare.

When we pray, “Oh God, help me follow the desires of the Holy Spirit within me”, that goes against defiling passions. It puts us under the authority of God and his Word. He created us, and in the end, we must see him and stand before him. So why not just listen to him? Saying no makes us like children, and it will cost us for an eternity.

So let’s take the path of humility today. Let’s not follow the desires of our flesh; it’s a wretch. Let’s submit to proper authority, especially to God and his Word. That will honor God and give us peace and joy. AMEN
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 16-01-24, 20:06   #1397
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You are Not Alone

"As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, "This is the way your servant treated me," his anger was kindled. And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed." -- Genesis 39:19-23

The story of Joseph's life reminds us of the importance of faithfully following and obeying God despite the challenges we encounter along the way. Joseph endured enslavement, was betrayed by his own brothers, and was even falsely accused, subsequently landing in prison. Remarkably, even in such dire circumstances, Joseph remained faithful and obedient to God. It is worth noting that Joseph's unwavering faith and devotion led him to receive divine favor. Through all of Joseph's challenges, the Lord was with him. Take time to read Genesis 37-39 if you have not already.

We have all likely encountered the phrase "life isn't fair." It may actually seem like unfortunate events are constantly targeting us. However, as followers of Jesus, it is crucial to remember that God is with us even during the most challenging times. Life is filled with challenges and obstacles that often leave us feeling overwhelmed, but it is vital to shift our focus from our problems to the blessings bestowed upon us by the Lord. I am reminded of the modern-day worship songs "I Am Not Alone" by Kari Jobe and "Oh My Soul" by Mark Hall and Casting Crowns, which testify we are not alone or abandoned by God.

As a pastor and a person who loves people, my heart hurts when I hear stories of friends and strangers, young and old, who are dealing with health issues, hearing how someone has been mistreated and hurt by words and false accusations, or experiencing the loss of a job. Dear friends, despite our difficult circumstances, we must hold steadfast in the belief that as followers of Jesus, we are never alone or forgotten. God has not abandoned us, even if it feels that way when we are faced with the stark reality of our circumstances. Even as God remained with Joseph and gave him favor, we can have the same assurance as faithful followers of God.

Beloved, though you may not be facing imprisonment, you may find yourself in a trying day or season. In these times, I implore you to stay steadfast in your faith, trusting God's unwavering presence by your side. Even when facing another day or taking another step seems impossible, remember that God will carry you through the storm.

Just as the Lord provided Joseph with favor in the face of adversity, He can also grant you favor amid your difficulties and challenges. Therefore, I urge you to hold onto hope, keeping your eyes fixed upon Jesus, for it is through Him that the Lord will utilize both you and your circumstances to bring glory to His name.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I praise you that You are God. I come before You to confess my sins and turn from my ways to Your ways. Lord, may the Holy Spirit be free to work in my life, mold me, and make me into the person You desire me to be. Lord, may I be found faithful to You no matter my circumstances. I thank You, God, for never leaving me. I thank you for loving me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 18-01-24, 16:46   #1398
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Listen and Consider

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife’” (Revelation 21:2,9, NKJV).

This is a beautiful picture of the last-day church of Jesus Christ. The great, holy city descending out of heaven is his spotless bride, the church seated with him right now in heavenly places. This church is built upon the foundation of gospel truths of the twelve apostles. It is surrounded by walls and gates that keep out everything impure and uninvited.

The queen in gold is honored, favored, greatly adorned, and now she stands next to her beloved. As the wedding is about to begin, though, the voice of a third party is heard! A voice whispers to her, “Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear. . .” (Psalm 45:10).

I believe this voice is the Holy Spirit, warning all who are called by his name. He is speaking a word to those most in love with Jesus, saying, “Listen and consider.” This voice comes to the bride in the final moments just before the marriage is to be consummated.

Now, you must understand, the queen has already been chosen. Her heart has already been won by her bridegroom. She has left her home, family and country and has committed herself to him. She is full of joy because she passionately loves the king.

So, let me ask you: Do you think of yourself as chosen by the Lord? Are you the redeemed apple of his eye? Do you love him with all your heart? Have you left all the world and your past for him? “He is mine, and I am committed to him. Lord, I love you with all my heart!” Can you say that?

The point is if you want to be in the bride of Christ, you must be concerned with more than simply escaping a godless hell. Rather, you must have a deep desire not to be absent on that great wedding day! You must shudder at the very thought of not being his bride, of not being in his embrace, not spending eternity with him.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 22-01-24, 16:18   #1399
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Remembering Our First Love

You may remember Ephesus from the New Testament; it was one of the largest churches during that time. This all started when Apollos was preaching to 12 men, then the Apostle Paul came along. There was a move of the Holy Spirit, then 12 turned into dozens then hundreds then thousands. History tells us that within a few decades, there were about 60,000 Christians in Ephesus.

The Apostle John was the pastor of the Church of Ephesus around the year 90 AD, when Emperor Domitian came in to build temples of worship to himself. If you’ve studied Revelation, you know there's a mark of the beast coming. In the 1st century, though, there was another kind of mark. Before you could go into the agora, the place of shopping, you had to dip your finger in the ashes of a sacrifice to the idol of Domitian, and you wiped those ashes on your forehead. When you did that, you were allowed to go in and shop.

The Apostle John refused to participate in this, and Emperor Domitian had him exiled to the island of Patmos. While John was on this island, Jesus gave him messages for the early churches. These letters are important because it had probably been about 40-50 years since Christ walked the earth.

How many of you know the feeling of following Christ for a decade, or maybe many decades? Sometimes, without even knowing it, we drift a little bit. We lost the passion of our first love, but we don’t notice that we have because we’re so busy, and our “to-do” list keeps us occupied. We are no longer stirred in our hearts for the glory and power and presence of God. Is this you?

If Jesus were to write you a letter today, what would he have to say?

We are nothing without Jesus. We have no power in our wisdom or our own strength. Scripture notes, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me…” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, ESV). Do you passionately know and understand the Lord? Are you seeking him day and night? If we haven’t or we once did but have forgotten to recently, we can start today.
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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Old 27-01-24, 15:09   #1400
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


God Is a Jealous Lover


“For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14, NKJV).

Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? (see 1 Corinthians 10:22). Yes, it is possible. Paul wrote in his letters to the effect of “You have testified that you love him. You’ve even taken his name, yet has someone or something else stolen your heart?”

You can say you love Jesus; you can go to church every time the doors are open, but do you seek him when your time is your own? How many books, magazines and newspapers do you devour? How much media gets your attention, and yet you never give a thought to spending time with Christ?

Preachers search their Bibles for sermons. Sunday school teachers study it for lessons. Why do we not turn to it for recreational reading, to be refreshed by our Lord? Why don’t we open it to learn of him and to love him?

The Bible is Jesus, God’s own Word. It reveals his heart; everything about him is unmasked there. I would think that if you truly love him, if you expect to spend eternity as his bride, then you would want to learn everything possible about him.

Our Lord yearns after us, wanting our time and attention. However, he sees us spending all our time on other people and other things, and that makes him jealous. The day is coming when his jealousy will “burn” against those who turn to vain idols (see Deuteronomy 29:20). It will burst into flames of judgment.

Beloved, when that day comes, I know you want Jesus to take your hand and whisper, “At last we’re together! You have desired me so. You have given me the best of your life, your time, your attention. Come, now. Let us be one.”

How will you stand before him on that day? Everything of this world is going to burn, but what about your intimacy with him? Will you be able to stand before him knowing you shut out the world and cried out that you wanted to know him?
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I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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