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Old 29-01-24, 15:51   #1401
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Not Just Turning from Evil

If we’re not careful, we can learn how to live with things that aren’t good for us. Maybe it’s even a pattern of sin that we’ve gone along with for 10 or 15 years. We tell ourselves, “This is just the way it is.”

We might be caught in a lack of zealous hunger for God’s Word, lack of passion for the things of God, a deadness in our hearts. We can turn from those things.

Turning like that is very good. It takes away things in our hearts that don’t belong there. If we stop there, though, it leaves an emptiness in those spaces. Jesus told a parable about this, saying, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person…it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45, ESV).

It’s not enough to turn away from dead things in our lives. When we turn, God wants us to turn away from evil, but he also wants us to turn toward him. The Holy Spirit is not just about taking bad things away from us then leaving us empty. He wants us to turn away from idols, but he also wants us to turn toward something better.

If we’re willing to stop and listen, we can hear God saying, “I want to change something in you. It’ll turn your soul from lukewarmness that comes from wandering away from your first love. It’ll put fresh fire and wind in your spirit.”

We can respond, “God, do a work in my heart. Revive and awaken my soul within me. Don’t let me continue to be stuck in the same patterns of sin, drifting through life, missing your gifts and plans for me.” He will make a new hunger and passion stir in our heart so we don’t miss out on his presence in our marriage, our family, our work. This is how a move of God begins. He will transform our churches and communities, but he starts first with turning individual hearts.
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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 06-02-24, 03:58   #1402
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Leaving and Forgetting


The Holy Spirit's message to the bride of Christ in Psalm 45 was “Forget your own people also, and your father's house” (Psalm 45:10, NKJV). The still, small voice was whispering, “It isn’t enough just to leave your past behind. You must also forget it all. Put every past love and distraction behind.”

The messenger here says to the bride, “Are you going to give him mere lip service after the wedding, or does your mind wander back to things of your past, old friends, habits and loves? If you commit to this marriage, you must not only leave your past behind, you must forget it completely.”

When Jesus speaks of some who “do not forsake all” (Luke 14:33), he is speaking of those who turn from him and cling to idols. An idol is anything that possesses our time, attention, love or money.

Many husbands can rightly say that they are good providers, right? They work long and hard and spend quality time with their families. How much time do they devote to Jesus? Do they have what I call a “leaving-and-forgetting time” when they set aside quality time for Jesus alone?

Many wives also neglect their time with God. They have given their husbands and children the best years of their lives. They are hardworking and faithful and they take good care of their families. Yet, how much “leaving-and-forgetting time” do they give to Jesus? How many hours a week do they shut out the world and draw close to him?

The problem isn't family or career. Rather, it’s the loitering, aimlessly lounging around and wasting time. Many of God's people spend their time endlessly idly spending time with friends or lolling in front of the TV. We waste so many precious hours and neglect our Lord and Savior.

How jealous the Lord must be over all our other loves, all the things that eat up our time and attention. The old adage is true. It's not the ‘bad’ that is the enemy of the Christian, but the ‘good.’ It's family, career, job, children. These things in themselves do not stand between us and the Lord. No, it's our loitering. The Lord wants his time alone with us. It is crucial that we take time out and give him our full attention. He asks us, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15).
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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 13-02-24, 16:46   #1403
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

I Will Give You Rest


God has promised his people a glorious rest that includes peace and security for the soul. The Lord offered this wonderful rest to the children of Israel, which meant a life full of joy and victory without fear, guilt or condemnation.

Up to the time of Christ, no generation of believers ever walked fully in this blessed promise. Why was this? The Bible makes very clear that it was because of their unbelief. “To whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19, NKJV).

Because of their unbelief during the period of the kings and prophets through David’s generation, God's people went through life full of misery, doubt, fear and restlessness. In every generation, the rest was promised, but it was refused and never appropriated or understood.

That is why, when we read further in Hebrews, we find this glorious life of faith still unclaimed. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). Yet we also read, “Since therefore it remains that some must enter it…” (Hebrews 4:6). The Bible admonishes present-day believers with this warning: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering into his rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1).

Thousands upon thousands of believers claim to be filled with the Spirit of God, yet few have entered into this promised rest. Many are tossed about by winds and waves of doctrines, restless and guilt-ridden with no security in Christ. Jesus said, “I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (see Matthew 11:28-30).

My prayer is that today you will enter into the rest God has for you. Reach up by faith, and receive because it is his free gift!
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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 16-02-24, 16:17   #1404
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Saved by Faith Alone

When we first came to faith in Christ, we trusted that our sins were forgiven. We believed we were accepted, that we could lay down all guilt and fear and say, “I am saved by faith alone in what Jesus did for me at the cross.”

As we proceeded in our walk with Jesus, we committed fresh acts of disobedience. We were crushed by our sins and quickly lost our vision of the cross. We tried to work out our own righteousness, to win back God’s favor by trying harder, but life then became a nightmarish merry-go-round of sin and confession, sin and confession.

We sometimes act as if trying harder on our own can save us. We think if we could just reform this flesh of ours, God would be pleased. Soon we are constantly working on our old man, to shape him up for a victorious Christian walk.

Some Christians may say, “I paid a high price for the victory I’ve achieved. I went through a lot of pain and suffering. I fasted, prayed and successfully put down all my lusts and sinful desires. Is my struggle to obey worth nothing to God? Does he consider all my righteousness, all my hard work, as filthy rags?” Yes! It is all the flesh and none of it will stand before him. There is only one righteousness, and that is the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3, NKJV).

The only way to get into God’s good grace is to admit the truth: “There is no good thing in my flesh, nothing in my good works to merit my salvation. I cannot become righteous through anything I do in my own strength. My righteousness is in Christ alone.” Paul says of the gift of righteousness, “Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).
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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 19-02-24, 15:31   #1405
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Remember Our Life Source

Jesus told the church in Laodicea, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing…” (Revelation 3:15-17, ESV). That last line is probably the most tragic thing someone could say to God.

I don’t think most modern believers in America would ever say out loud, “That’s me too. I need nothing from God.” We say it sometimes in our actions, though. We say it in our schedule, our time spent, our passions, our dreams. Our goals and the layout of our days say, “I don’t really need the Holy Spirit because I can do this myself. I don’t need time in prayer because I have the wisdom to move ahead in my own strength.”

Jesus knows better. He went on in verse 17. “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Jesus wrote this letter to say, both then and now, “Please come back to me. You don’t realize how badly you need me.”

There’s an old hymn that says, “I need Thee every hour most gracious Lord. No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, O I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee. O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee…”

God is our source of life and power in life. Jesus is our past, present and future. He’s our all in all. Nothing compares to him.

When I sit down to read my Bible every morning, I pray, “Lord, keep speaking to me. Do not pass by me. In this time I have with you today, please meet with me. I need you. I need a fresh touch from heaven. I need to be refilled with the Holy Spirit’s power and grace.” Will you join me in praying that each day? We never need God any less, no matter how smoothly life is going.
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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 24-02-24, 01:33   #1406
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Justified before God


Picture yourself standing before God's throne with no excuse or alibi. Satan, your legal adversary, is reading off the list of charges with times, places, every shameful detail. He makes accusations of pride, prayerlessness, covetousness, unfaithfulness, and your heart smites you because you have to admit, “Yes, that's me. I did it all.”

It looks hopeless for you. You know God's eyes are too holy to look upon sin, and his justice demands that you pay for your crimes against his holiness. You are helpless.

Suddenly, here comes your lawyer and advocate. He stretches forth his nail-scarred hands, and you know something is about to happen. He smiles and whispers, “Don't be afraid; none of these charges will stand. You're going to walk out of this courtroom free and fully pardoned. When I'm finished, your accuser won't have one charge left against you.”

Best of all, your lawyer tells you he has adopted you as his brother. Then he tells you he is the son of the judge, so you now belong to the judge's family as well!

There is still the matter of justice, though. What about the charges against you? You listen in absolute wonder as your advocate pleads your case: “Judge, you know that I fulfilled the law, living a sinless life. I took this person's place, taking on all the punishment for his crimes. Through these nail-scarred hands and my pierced side, blood came forth to blot out all of his transgressions. All these charges were put on my back, and I paid the penalty for every one of them.”

Your advocate then looks at your accuser and says, “Satan, you have no grounds to accuse my child. Each of his sins was placed on me, and I have fully pardoned them all. He is not guilty because his faith in the victory of my sacrifice gives him full pardon. You have no case!”

As the devil slinks out of God's court, you can hear the Lord cry out, “Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33, NKJV).
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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 28-02-24, 19:33   #1407
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


The Spirit of Antichrist


Our Savior exists as a man right now in glory. He is a living person with flesh, bone, hair, eyes even though he is God. Although we are here on earth, his Spirit dwells within us. “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4:6, NKJV).

There is another spirit at work in the world: the antichrist spirit. Just as surely as Christ has given us his Spirit, there is an antichrist spirit set on preparing hearts for the coming of the man of sin.

“And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:3). John was saying, “You have heard about the coming of the antichrist. It has been preached and taught, and you expect his arrival. Beloved, wake up, because the spirit of antichrist is already at work!”

Understand that the antichrist will not suddenly appear on the scene and overwhelm humankind. Rather, his spirit is mysteriously at work now, setting up his kingdom in cold, compromising hearts. When he finally appears, he will be publicly revealed to a world already prepared for him, to hearts his spirit already possesses!

Right now we see a growing antichrist sentiment, but soon this will turn into a flowing stream and eventually a vast ocean. The antichrist spirit is invading the hearts of many apostate Christians even now. “But how?” you ask. “Why would certain Christians ever turn to the antichrist?” It is because they are like-minded with him.

John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. …Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:15-18).

John is warning us that those who still love the things of this world have opened themselves to the spirit of antichrist. He is saying, “You know these are the last days because so many are full of the covetous, antichrist spirit!”
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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 01-03-24, 22:16   #1408
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Finding His Rest


“You will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30, NKJV).

I know of only one way to enter into this rest that Jesus is talking about. If understood and appropriated, this truth will usher you into the most glorious peace possible on this side of heaven and end all feelings of insecurity.

This foundational truth upon which all others are built is the doctrine of justification by faith. It is the one doctrine you must understand if you hope to enter into the rest that Jesus offers.

I can only touch on the highlights of the magnificent truth of being justified by faith, yet I believe God desires to lead his church further into this divine truth. He wants to give us a foundational strength that will hold us in the days to come.

Sadly, when you mention the subject of doctrine, many Christians turn up their noses. They say, “I don’t want to hear all that deep, heavy stuff. Just give me Jesus!” Yet what they really mean is “I don’t want to discipline myself or spend the time to learn what Jesus did at the cross.”

Too many Christians become emotionally involved with the cross but never really study it. I have heard many preachers deliver emotional appeals about Jesus and the cross, about his beatings, the crown of thorns on his head, the spikes driven into his hands. The preaching of the cross is about much more than that, however. It is about the victory of the cross and what Jesus did for all of humankind.

Two things are involved in our justification by the cross of Jesus Christ: First, we have pardon for all our sins. When Jesus went to the cross, his blood pardoned us from all guilt. Second, we are accepted by God as righteous in Christ, through faith. This means God accepts us on the merits of what Jesus did on the cross and not because of our works or any good deeds.

For those who desire to “learn of him,” who want to understand Jesus’s wonderful work at the cross, justification by faith is how we enter into Christ’s rest.
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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 04-03-24, 00:54   #1409
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The Simple Gospel of Christ

The letter of 1 John was written to a group of believers who found themselves in a difficult climate. As Christianity spread, it was met with opposition from a religious culture that was very inclusive. The Greco-Roman world was ‘open’ to many different philosophies and had a pantheistic point of view where all beliefs and ideas could be meshed together.

Christianity is monotheistic and very exclusive. Now, exclusive doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome because of your ethnic background or history. No, not at all. Rather, Christianity makes a declaration that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and that the revelation we receive in scripture is all we need for a life in God. It’s a very plain and simple declaration, and it can’t be merged with any other religion. Either it’s completely true, or it’s utterly false.

Those in the early church who had come to saving faith in Christ had the temptation to try to merge their new beliefs with their culture’s idols. John was writing and speaking out strongly against those who were preaching false messages that the tenets of Christianity could be blended with the culture’s beliefs. He made this point through the staggering juxtaposition between light and darkness.

If you’re in a dark room and someone lights a match, that light is undeniable. It will never be confused with the darkness.

What Christianity claims cannot be confused or mixed with anything else in the world.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7, ESV).

We brought sin on ourselves, but we will one day be resurrected into a restored world because of what Jesus did on the cross. This is the great hope we have in Christ and his message. There is no other way.



Much love and God's blessings on you all.
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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 06-03-24, 02:00   #1410
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Sticks and Stones

"You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD." - Leviticus 19:16

We have all heard the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." It would be nice if that were true, but words can hurt and harm others. Once spoken, words cannot be taken back. Leviticus 19 instructs us on how to treat our neighbors and avoid causing them harm. Sadly, insults and defamation are common even outside of politics, and they can happen in the workplace, church, and even within families.

We should not use words or actions that destroy others, but instead, pray for those with whom we have issues and love them as God commands us to. Take a moment to assess your words and ensure they are edifying to others.

If you find yourself becoming cynical towards someone or about some issue or place, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to adjust your attitude instead of speaking words you will regret. Remember that we are to demonstrate God's love to everyone and not view others as our enemies.

Pray with me:
Dear God, thank You for the guidance we receive from Your word. Please forgive us for any harmful words we have spoken towards our neighbors. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit so we may speak, act, and think in ways that honor You and do not harm others. Help us to live by Hebrews 3:13, "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." In Jesus' name we pray, 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 11-03-24, 04:00   #1411
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

God Hears Our Cries

Afflictions teach us to bend our knees, to cry out to the Lord in all our problems and troubles.

“I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75, NKJV). David is saying, “Lord, I know why you afflicted me. You saw that when all was going well, I went astray, becoming careless, so you allowed trouble to come upon me. You knew it would drive me to my knees and bring me back to brokenness. My affliction was evidence of your faithfulness to me!”

I know many people who have had to battle awful bondages in their lives against drugs, alcohol, cigarettes; and temptation rages every day. I say to all such people, “God cares. He knows the misery you go through, and he alone has the power to deliver you.”

The Lord does not constantly hover over you, saying, “You’re miserable because of what you did. You failed me, and now you’re paying the price.” No! You do not serve such a God; you serve a loving Father who feels your grief the moment you first feel it. No matter how you got into your affliction, God hurts with you, and he wants to deliver you.

You may think God is not helping you at all; but the very moment he heard your cry, he went into action. Let me prove it to you. “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them” (Exodus 2:24-25). The word acknowledged here means “He began to act.” God heard their cry and began taking action on their behalf.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). Whenever you fall on your knees, God immediately goes to work on your behalf.
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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 13-03-24, 23:49   #1412
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Look for His Coming


Jesus warned his followers, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44, NKJV).

A characteristic of the bride of Christ is an expectancy of his soon return. Jesus’s bride is to live in continual, joyful expectation of his imminent return because he may come at any moment.

Jesus warned, however, that in the last days evil ministers will infiltrate the church in an effort to put the bride to sleep. They will attempt to take away her heart of love for her bridegroom by claiming, “My master is delaying his coming” (Matthew 24:48). This gospel is preached by those who do not want to pay the price of obeying Christ’s commands. They really do not want Jesus to come back because they have sinful habits and lead double lives; in fact, they have concocted a doctrine to justify their continuing in sin. What is the result of this false teaching? First, it ends in worldliness because those who believe it want to enjoy worldly success and prosperity.

Beloved, do not give in to this doctrine of delay! If you are a part of Jesus’s bride, you will be so lovesick for your Lord you will not be able to buy into it. Instead, you will cry out, “My Lord said I am to be ready at any moment for his return. I know he is near; I can sense it. My heart cries out within me, ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming!’”

The early church was wide awake, heeding Jesus’s words. Their lamps were trimmed and burning, and they had a good supply of oil. Peter summed up the spirit of the early church. “Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:12-13).

Finally, Paul said, “…you were enriched in everything by him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:5-7).
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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 21-03-24, 23:04   #1413
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Devoted to Jesus

Let me give you what I call “the devoted life for commuters and subway straphangers.” It is a simple way for busy Christians to lead a practical, deeply devoted life with nothing mystical about it.

Devotion to Jesus means trusting him alone to meet every need of your body, soul and spirit. It means giving up looking to any other person or source to meet those needs. Many single people say, “I’m sick of being lonely. I need a mate. If only God would give me someone!”

No, a mate would never be able to meet such a need. In fact, a mate could possibly make you twice as miserable because you would have not only your own headaches but his or hers as well. Until Jesus is your focus, until you see him as your only true satisfaction, you will sink deeper and deeper into despair.

At one point, Jesus wanted to prove to his disciples that he was on top of any situation, so he called Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water to meet him. Peter obeyed; and as long as he remained focused on Jesus, he was above everything, actually walking on water. However, when the disciple began to focus on his surroundings, he started to sink (see Matthew 14:28-31).

The lesson here is elementary. What do you do when you get that sinking feeling? Do you call out to a friend for help? Or do you keep your eyes focused on Jesus and cry out, “Lord, save me”?

The bride of Christ will be comprised of those who have given up trying to find help, comfort or satisfaction from anything on this earth. They have learned to depend wholly on the one they love to fully satisfy their every hunger and thirst.

Do you have this kind of walk with Jesus? I urge you to keep your eyes focused on your bridegroom. Expect his return at any moment and do not look to anyone or anything else to fulfill 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 29-03-24, 14:39   #1414
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Church of Forgiveness Only

Isaiah chapter four opens with a concise and tragic description of what I call the church of forgiveness only.

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, ‘We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.’” (Isaiah 4:1, NKJV).

I believe we are living in the last days, and this chapter in Isaiah is one of the clearest prophecies about how the church will look just prior to the coming of the Lord. The seven would-be brides that Isaiah mentions are clearly a type of many in the last-days church. They are seeking to lay hold of one man, whom I take to be Christ; yet these brides are not interested in loving him. On the contrary, they have only one thing on their minds: the removal of reproach. They even say, “We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name.”

The number seven is used in regard to these brides to remind us that in every church there are such people. They attempt to “take hold of one man”—Christ—only to get relief from the guilt and condemnation of their sin. They do not want intimacy with him. They want nothing more than to have the reproach of sin removed. This type of church only wants forgiveness, not repenting or relationship.

These self-centered, would-be brides have no desire to submit to the authority of a husband. They do not want to know God’s heart, and they do not care about his concerns.

Out of intimacy with Jesus, we receive discernment, direction, a knowing of what is right and wrong, and a surety of what is holy and pure. Intimacy with Christ gives us a firmness wherein we are not tossed around by every wind of doctrine. Stay close to him so that you will have discernment about the foolishness going on around 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 31-03-24, 14:18   #1415
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Easter: God's Message of Grace and Justice



Several years ago, I heard a very popular Christian speaker talk to a large audience for an hour. He said nothing heretical. He said nothing controversial. He just focused on the “unconditional” love of God. Again, nothing wrong with what he did say, but it is what he did not say that bothered me. He said nothing about repentance of sin. There is a reason Jesus said what he said in the above bible verse. And there is a reason John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the world with the exact same proclamation in Matthew 3:2: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

There is a popular trend going on in the American Christian church. The trend is to talk of the love of God without talking about the justice of God. But if you read the Bible, it is clear, there exists both the grace of God and the wrath of God, and Jesus Christ spoke of both.

Many Christians around the world have been celebrating Holy Week this week culminating today with Easter Sunday or what some churches call Resurrection Sunday. It is to commemorate the victory of Jesus over Satan, sin, death and hell. This is good news! And “good news” is the meaning of the word “gospel.”

It is true that God’s love for mankind is “unconditional.” However, in order for man to be in right relationship with God, man must conform his life to match with God’s requirement of man. And God does not force this decision on man. God draws a person to himself, but it is the free will of the individual to decide if he or she will obey God’s requirements for a right relationship or not.

Jesus called this experience being “born again.” In other words, a person (every human) must understand that he or she has violated God’s laws and is forever separated from God spiritually unless he or she repents of their sin and trust in the shed blood of Jesus on the cross for forgiveness of that sin in order to be counted among those who have been redeemed. Redeemed from the consequences of unrepentant sin which is death and hell. What I am writing here in not popular in modern day America and where we want to live our own life without interference from God. It’s our natural tendency to live for ourselves instead of obey the commands of God. That is the eternal struggle between flesh and the spirit.

In order to prove our love for Christ, he says we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily, and follow him. Our “cross” is a challenge to wake up daily and try our best to live like Jesus. The way we learn to live like Jesus is to study the Bible, take time to pray and fellowship with other believers (followers) which we call “church.” God knows we will fail at this precisely because we are human. Sometimes we are tempted by sin and we give in to it. But the Bible also says that if we are willing to confess our sins to God, He is willing to forgive us. That also is great news!

No one is compelled to believe this. You may read this and call it foolishness. That is your right. But if that is your view, I at least encourage you to read one book in the Bible, the gospel of John, and consider the claims of the Bible and Christ before you dismiss Christianity.


To my fellow Christians, I say, “He is Risen!”
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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 08-04-24, 00:11   #1416
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Led by the Holy Spirit

The Lord has a people in these confusing times who are not confused. They are so given to Jesus, so in love with him and separated from the wickedness of this age, that they know the ways and workings of the Holy Spirit. They know what is pure and holy and what is fleshly and foolish.

“Then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering” (Isaiah 4:5, NKJV). This means, in essence, “Over each of these remnant people will be a blanket, a canopy, a hiding place, the covering of the glory of God.”

Remember that a cloud of glory covered the tabernacle in the wilderness. “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

In Isaiah 4, we are promised that in the last days the Lord will create a glory that covers his remnant church. The glory of God will fill every heart and cover every house, and we will worship under the canopy of God’s glory, which is the manifest presence of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. “His Son …being the brightness of his glory” (Hebrews 1:2-3).

The glory cannot get any brighter than Christ manifesting himself to you. The word manifest means “to lay hold of by the hand.” In other words, when Jesus’s presence fills a place, it is so real and evident that your spiritual hands can touch it and your spiritual eyes can see it. It is as real as the air you breathe.

I want to see a revival where the presence of Jesus is so powerful and glorious that the “fruit” (conversions) will be excellent (see Isaiah 4:2). I want to see a revival where people stream toward the front of the church, weeping, broken before the Lord; and they will know that they have truly been covered by the glory 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 13-04-24, 16:48   #1417
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Walking in the Light

In the book of 1 John, the apostle was writing to a church that had been shaken by a mass departure of people who had been lured away by false teachers. They had lost friends whom they served alongside in church to gnostic teachers who believed that there was secret knowledge that some could obtain about God.

John was writing this letter to encourage the believers who remained but also to rebuke the false teaching that had permeated the church. Isn’t it interesting that almost every letter in the New Testament was written in response to false teaching? Both Peter and Paul wrote about false teachers, the latter noting, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you…and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30, ESV).

To combat this, John wrote, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

One of the greatest differences between true teachers of the Word and false teachers is that the true believers will draw people to God; false believers will draw people to themselves and their own ideas. True teachers will only point to God’s Word; they won’t invent or add anything to God’s truth.

Walking in the light, as John talked about, is evidence that we are walking in the truth. The term ‘walking’ is referring to our manner of living. We cannot live in God’s ways without living in the truth.

This doesn’t mean that we’re living in certain ways to prove something to other people. Hypocrites do that. No, it means that our decisions are informed by the truth revealed in scripture and that lives in us through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we will only point to the Bible as our authority, not our own ‘clever’ ideas. People who let scripture inform all their decisions will be the ones who point past themselves to 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 14-04-24, 23:40   #1418
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Disobedience to God’s Word


“Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons – because they rebelled against the words of God...therefore he brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help” (Psalm 107:10-12, NKJV).

They were bound in affliction because they rebelled against God and rejected his counsel (see Psalm 107:11). Beloved, could this be you? You have sat under godly preaching, and the Holy Spirit has convicted you, but still you are miserable and continue to sin.

When a person willfully disobeys God, our tendency is to hide and cower in fear. We may feel that it is all over, thinking, “God can’t use me.” When you are in that condition, the devil will whisper to you, “There is no deliverance for you. You’re one of those people who never change. God has had it with you; your sin has caused him to hide his face.”

Satan will pound you with scriptures, misquoting them all. When you sit in church, you will hear only judgment, not God’s mercy, because you are under such condemnation and fear.

I am not referring to people who hide from God because they love their sin. Rather, I am talking about Christians who have taken a fall but still have sorrow and a hatred for their sin. Something inside them cries, “I have hurt God.”

To this Christian, God’s Word promises, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness. . . . For he has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two” (Psalm 107:13-16).

God never has and never will hide his face from a crying child of his. No matter how far you have fallen or how many promises you’ve made to him and broken, he will always hear your cry for help and bring you back into close fellowship 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 17-04-24, 19:16   #1419
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Daniel’s Penitent Heart

Daniel, a righteous man, had such devotion that you would not expect to find him repenting. Daniel’s heart, however, was sensitive to sin, and also he identified with the people’s sins.

“We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments. Neither have we heeded your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. …O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9:5-6,8, NKJV). Daniel repeatedly used the words “we,” “us,” “our.” He was saying, in essence, “Every one of us is affected.”

The key to it all is found in this verse: “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God…” (Daniel 9:20).

Daniel said, “God, deal with me while you are dealing with your people. If there is any iniquity in my heart, bring it out.”

Daniel was given new lips that had been touched by God’s purging hand. “Suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke…” (Daniel 10:16). Whenever Daniel spoke, he spoke as unto the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah was a godly man who had issued mighty prophecies, but when he stood before the Lord in all his holiness, this prophet could only say, “I am a man of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). God took coals of fire from the altar, put the tongs on Isaiah’s lips, and burned out all self and flesh, everything that was unlike him; then he gave Isaiah a new pair of lips. I believe the prophet never again had to have his lips purged.

God does this for every person who repents! Once your tongue and lips are purged, you will never again want to speak anything that is unlike Jesus. The words that flow from you will be pure.
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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 18-04-24, 14:15   #1420
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Prayer that Pleases the Lord

I believe the kind of prayer that most pleases God is very simple and easy to understand. It is so simple that a little child can pray in a way that pleases him.

The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1, NKJV). They would not have asked unless they had wanted to learn. I believe that most who are reading this message would love to be faithful in prayer, but they do not know how. They simply do not understand the purpose of prayer; and until they grasp this vital purpose, they will never be able to maintain a fulfilled, meaningful life of prayer.

Many Christians pray only out of a sense of obligation. They think of prayer as something they are “supposed” to do. Others pray only when tragedy strikes or when a crisis befalls them, and then they do not pray again until the next difficulty comes along.

Prayer is not only for our benefit but also for the delight of our God. We are not just to intercede for things we need, but we are to ask for the things he desires. Unless these two elements go together, we do not have a foundation upon which to build a prayer life. Whereas we seek relief and help from the Lord, he desires fellowship with us.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:33-34).

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

God is saying to us, “When you come into my presence, focus your attention on fellowship with me, on getting to know me. Don’t let your focus be on material things. I know what your needs are so you don’t even have to ask. I will take care of them all. Just seek me. Let us enjoy sweet communion!”
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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 20-04-24, 20:52   #1421
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Joy of Repentance

“And he said, ‘O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!’ So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” (Daniel 10:19, NKJV).

Daniel’s soul was in agony. He had been mourning for sin—praying, fasting, weeping—and it left him flat on his face, totally drained. He moaned, “O my lord…my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength” (Daniel 10:16).

Jesus came to him and touched his body, and Daniel was suddenly flooded with peace and strength. Christ said to him, “‘O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!’ So when he spoke to me I was strengthened…” (Daniel 10:19).

Jesus was essentially telling Daniel, “Daniel, I love you, and I want to give you my peace. Now, stand up and be strong.” Daniel received the word of the Lord and was filled with God’s strength. He stood up, completely free from fear.

The repentant Christian can be downcast, totally wiped out, overwhelmed by sorrow and weariness. However, the Lord always comes to touch his body, to give him renewed peace and strength.

Do you have a repentant heart? Do you want one? Fall on your knees today and cry out in confession for yourself, your family, your loved ones, your church. You will receive an incredible revelation of the Lord, and you will begin to speak from pure lips. You will know peace and strength from God’s mighty hand so that you will no longer live in fear of any kind.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving refuge of his anointed” (Psalm 28:7-8).

Best of all, each of these marvelous benefits will be “loaded” upon you daily: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah” (Psalm 68:19). That is when you will know the joy of walking in repentance.
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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 23-04-24, 23:49   #1422
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Promise Keeper

"Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass." - Joshua 21:45

This verse highlights God's unwavering commitment to keeping His promises. The Israelites experienced this faithfulness throughout their journey, and He never failed to deliver on what He said He would do. This evidence of God's faithfulness should inspire us to have faith in Him.

As Christians, we can rest assured that God is a promise keeper and will never fail to keep His Word. If you have been struggling with your faith, take comfort in knowing that God is trustworthy and will see you through, no matter your circumstances.

Take a moment to celebrate God's faithfulness in your life and thank Him for His unwavering commitment to be who He says He is.

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, we thank You for being the Promise Keeper. We ask that our faith and trust in You would increase, knowing that You will always keep Your promises and never fail us. 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 28-04-24, 20:12   #1423
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Confidence in God’s Word

Christ is the living Word of God. When you are shut in with him in prayer, the Holy Spirit will always lead you to God’s revealed Word. He will build up your faith by feeding you from the Bible, even while you are in the secret closet.

We are commanded, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. …Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. …and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 13, 17, NKJV).

Often when you receive specific instructions from the Lord, his Spirit will whisper, “Now turn to—” and you will be directed to a passage of scripture. God’s Word will speak to you directly, telling you how to get through your crisis.

Many Christians reading this message simply must hear a word from the Lord. Nobody on earth can help them. The only way for them to get through their trial is by staying in Christ’s presence until he gives them direction. He must tell them the way through, what to do and when and how to act. His exclusive direction to them will not come one minute too early or too late. It will all be in the Holy Spirit’s timing!

Beloved, there is no need for you to worry about your trial. God is faithful to respond to your every need and request. Simply pray, “Lord, I come now not just to have my needs met, but I come also to meet your need.”

We were made for fellowship with him even in our heaviest times. Do you love to be with him? Let your heart cry out, “Jesus, you are my everything. You are my soul’s great pleasure, and I love your company!”

Father, help us to listen closely to your Spirit and put all our confidence in your revealed Word.
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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 30-04-24, 14:17   #1424
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

A Clearer Vision of Christ

The book of Daniel mentions several benefits for those who have a repentant heart. Indeed, for all who acknowledge their sin, God does the miraculous. One such benefit is a new and clearer image of Jesus. Read what happened after Daniel’s repentance prayer in Daniel 10.

“I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision…” (Daniel 10:5-7, NKJV).

Who do you think Daniel saw in this vision? It was Jesus! What a wonderful benefit the Holy Spirit opened to Daniel when he confessed his sin. He was given a clear, unobstructed view of Christ in all his glory.

Please understand that Daniel was not looking for a vision. All he was doing was confessing and mourning over his sin. Jesus took it upon himself to come to Daniel; he initiated it. When we repent and make things right with God and others, Jesus will manifest himself to us.

Daniel had friends who were also godly because he walked only among the righteous, yet scripture tells us none of them saw the vision he did: “The men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone” (Daniel 10:7-8).

A truly repentant heart never has to hide from the Lord because there is no longer any fear of judgment. If you acknowledge your sins with godly sorrow and make restitution, you can look confidently into the master’s face. You do not have to quake with fear when you hear reproof. All you will see before you is Christ in all his love and glory.
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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 02-05-24, 20:40   #1425
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Many Attributes of God

How do we most often view God? Everyone struggles with having a slightly one-sided view of God. We tend to assume that he most often shows one certain trait. That trait tends to be based on how we were taught to view God overall. What if, though, an infinite God reflects all of his traits fully at all times?

It’s hard to get our heads around the idea that God is the essence of the words used to describe him. He isn’t merely just, wise and holy, he is justice, wisdom and holiness. He is the source and embodiment of those words.

The first words of the Bible are, “In the beginning.” We’re being welcomed into the mind of God. “Before we even begin,” he is saying, “draw your eyes upward to me. I am the source of all things. You will find all that you want and need in your life in me.”

We’ve all struggled with reconciling justice and love. Today’s headlines cause outrage in our spirits. “How can a just and loving God allow such misery to happen to innocent people?”

My life’s work in studying the attributes of God and sharing his love with people has never once provided me with pat answers to life’s big questions. What I’ve learned instead is this: The point of life is not being in a place of pure comfort and satisfaction. Life is about reaching for and knowing God, the giver of life.

Each of God’s attributes goes back not just to the beginning of man’s journey, but all the way to the birth of time and space. He welcomes our questions and our seeking to understand his ways, but he longs for more. His heart is for us to spend time with him and with his word so that our hearts are engaged with his. As we develop a relationship with him, our perspective changes. Rather than merely analyzing God from a distance, we savor the joy and richness of his presence. This is when we truly begin to understand him.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” It is when we are in his presence that we begin to see the wonders of who 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 07-05-24, 19:53   #1426
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Leading with Godly Authority

"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." - Judges 17:6

In the book of Judges, we witness a time of moral decay and spiritual decline in Israel. Verse 6 resonates with our present reality and reminds us of the consequences of living without godly leadership and guidance. Where there is no king and no central authority to uphold righteousness, chaos ensues, and people follow their desires without regard for God's commands.

It is disheartening to witness the same pattern repeating itself in cities across the United States today. This issue is not limited to the government alone, as we also witness unrighteousness, chaos, and dysfunction in churches, businesses, and families due to the lack of godly authority. The Lord has clearly instructed us in Scripture about the duty of leaders to use their God-given gifts, abilities, and opportunities to serve and influence others. Unfortunately, many leaders have become self-centered, leaving those around them without direction.

The negative consequences that come from a lack of godly influence should confirm why we must honor God alone as the ultimate authority in our lives. Without His guidance we can quickly go astray and follow our desires, leading to unrighteousness, chaos, and dysfunction. Submission to God's leadership involves aligning ourselves with His will and serving others with humility and integrity rather than imposing our will or personal agenda.

We must recognize that our impact as leaders is ultimately linked to submitting to God's authority. By leading with godly wisdom and humility, we can foster an atmosphere that nurtures spiritual growth, offering a beacon of hope in a world often marred by unrighteousness and chaos.

Here are some steps that you can consider to help you lead with godly authority:

Seek God's guidance through prayer and Scripture reading. Read Proverbs 3:6.
Model integrity, humility, and obedience to God's word. Your actions should align with your words.
Empower others so they may grow spiritually and fulfill their God-given potential. Ephesians 4:12 emphasizes this idea. If you are a leader who believes that nothing can move forward without you, I encourage you to examine your heart and motives.
Surround yourself with mature disciples and peers to support and hold you accountable in your spiritual journey, remembering Proverbs 27:17.

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the people You put in our lives for us to lead. Lord, grant us wisdom and discernment as we lead others by Your Word. Lord Jesus, forgive us for those times when we failed to lead with godly authority. Change our ways and help us submit to Your authority and seek Your guidance in our decisions and actions. Lord, may we lead with humility, integrity, and a servant's heart that reflects Your love and grace for those we lead. Lord, may we be found faithful stewards of the roles entrusted to us for Your Glory. 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 08-05-24, 16:41   #1427
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

True Grace

Let me give you the heart of the true grace message: It is not a permissive gospel but one that teaches holiness!

“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, NKJV).

According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives, looking for the Lord’s coming in our every waking moment, we do not know God’s grace.

Many Christians want forgiveness, but that is all. They do not want to be delivered from this present world because they love it. They are attached to their sins, not wanting to give up the pleasures of this earth. So they cling to a doctrine that says, “I can live as I please as long as I say that I believe.”

They do not want to hear about obedience, repentance, self- denial, picking up their cross, taking on the yoke or burden of Christ. They simply want to be excused on Judgment Day and to have all their iniquities overlooked. They expect Jesus to open up the pearly gates, put his arms around them, and lead them down a golden street to their reserved mansion, even though they have never broken from the spirit of this world!

Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). We are to break from this world completely and be conformed to Christ alone!

Jesus justifies us through faith for a purpose. It is to embolden and empower us to resist the devil and overcome the world. “[Jesus Christ] gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4).
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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 10-05-24, 14:11   #1428
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Drawing Closer to Him

The strongest feature of true, saving faith is a desire to draw closer to him. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, NKJV).

Why did Jesus suffer and die? Why did he provide justification for us? Why is his perfect righteousness accounted to us? It was that he might bring us to God. It’s all about intimate fellowship with the Father.

When Adam sinned, he lost the most precious thing any man or woman could possess: intimacy with God. Sin drove Adam away from closeness with the Father, and he actually hid from God’s presence. Ever since, whenever man sins, he has a tendency to run and hide just as his forefather Adam did.

The reason God so hates sin is because it robs us of his fellowship. He created us for intimacy with him, and he so yearned for our fellowship that he sent his own Son to die on a cross, to justify us and tear down the walls that blocked that intimacy from taking place.

The power of justification is that it made a way back to God’s original purpose in creating man: fellowship with the Father.

This present world is full of evil, slander, satanic lies, seductions, guilt, fear, condemnation; all of it is designed by Satan to keep us feeling unworthy to come into God’s presence. The devil would have us hide as Adam did to keep us from intimacy with God.

We have been delivered from all that. We have a right to God’s presence, an invitation to his throne, because we stand with a perfect righteousness before him. God invites us to the throne of grace because he accepts us as being holy in Christ. Our sin is under the blood, forgiven, and now we have a right into his holiness.

Beloved, Jesus did not die just to take you to paradise. He died so that every day you could live in beautiful, close fellowship with the Father.
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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 13-05-24, 18:04   #1429
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


The Parable of Preparedness


“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27, NKJV).

Jesus is saying that only things established on a rock foundation will hold up in the coming storm. One man built his house upon a rock “…and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25).

The builders of these houses represent two classes of Christians in these last days: the wise and the foolish. They built two different kinds of houses and had two very different experiences when the storm hit.

On one hand, it is encouraging to know there will be a body of believers who will not fall. They will be able to withstand every onslaught that comes out of hell when the storms rage. Jesus wants us to know from this parable that a person who builds his house upon a rock will survive everything that is coming.

Sadly, there will be another group of Christians, people of whom Jesus says, “Their fall will be great.” This means a total, complete, devastating collapse of everything.

At this point, you may be wondering, “What does it mean exactly to ‘build a house’?” It is important to know that the house Jesus is talking about here is our walk with him. We are building a foundation of getting to know Christ, of understanding his ways. We’re building into our faith certain characteristics that will determine how we react under pressure.
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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 15-05-24, 23:52   #1430
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Listen and Obey


"And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant hears.'" - 1 Samuel 3:10

In 1 Samuel 3:10, the young boy Samuel is taught a profound lesson in listening and obeying. The passage describes how Samuel, under the guidance of Eli the priest, hears the voice of the Lord calling him in the night. At first, Samuel mistakes the voice for Eli's, but he responds with devotion nonetheless, saying, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

This simple yet powerful statement, "Speak, for your servant is listening," demonstrates the importance of listening to and obeying God's voice. We have information, distractions, and noise coming at us every day, so it's increasingly important to silence our desires and agendas and tune our hearts to hear God's voice. Dr. Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God, taught that we could hear God through:

1. The Holy Spirit
2. The Bible
3. Prayer
4. The church
5. Our circumstances

Samuel's obedience is a testimony to the transformative power of surrendering to God's will. Despite his youth and inexperience, he wholeheartedly trusts the Lord's guidance. His unwavering obedience, even when the message is difficult or unfamiliar, underscores the profound impact of faithfulness in following God's directions.

The story of Samuel reminds us that obedience is not a one-time decision but an ongoing process of spiritual transformation at any age. It is important to examine our lives and ask questions that help us grow and mature in our relationship with Jesus. You can begin by asking yourself:

Am I listening to God's voice amidst the world's constant noise?
Am I willing to obey, even when it requires stepping out in faith?

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, we are grateful to You for revealing in 1 Samuel 3 that listening and obeying help us align our hearts with Your will. Lord, forgive us for allowing distractions and noises to keep us from hearing You. May we willingly surrender our desires to Your agenda for our lives. Help us live with a humble and surrendered attitude so we can fulfill Your will and honor and glorify 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 17-05-24, 20:13   #1431
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Flow of Obedience

It is important that we understand the motive out of which our obedience springs. If the spring is not pure, everything that flows out of it will be polluted. We must always be careful to check our motives.

The sad truth is that many Christians in these last days obey God only because they are afraid of going to hell. They fear the Lord’s anger, and they only want to make sure that their obedience is “legal.” They have no genuine desire to please him.

Jesus did everything out of love and a desire to bring pleasure to his heavenly father. “Then Jesus said to them, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father taught me, I speak these things. And he who sent me is with me. The Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please him” (John 8:28-29, NKJV).

This was the rock, the foundation upon which Jesus built his life of obedience. It was the spring or the motive out of which the flow of his obedience came. It is to be our rock as well.

Jesus shut himself up in prayer on the mountaintops in quiet places, often all night long in fellowship with his father. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me”(John 6:38). His one great prayer was “Father, what do you want? What will bring you pleasure? What can I do to fulfill the desire of your heart?”

That is the attitude of a person who has the Spirit of Christ. It should be our attitude that we might be one who builds on the rock. Our every decision needs to reflect a consciousness of God and a desire to please him.

The foundational motive of all our obedience must be “I do all things because I want to please my Lord; I want to bring him great pleasure.”
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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 21-05-24, 14:19   #1432
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

He Still Prays for Us

Zechariah 3 describes a high priest named Joshua standing before the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. Also present was an angel, who had to be Christ because angels do not judge.

Joshua was a real man, not just a type of Christ. He was the high priest during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. In Ezra 10:18, it appears that Joshua had married a heathen woman; at that time, the worst way a Jew could defile himself was by marrying a Gentile.

“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel” (Zechariah 3:3, NKJV). Joshua stands before the throne in his filthy garments, and the devil is at his side, accusing him. Satan argued, “This man has broken your law and sinned against you.” The devil’s accusations were correct; Joshua had sinned, and now Satan claimed Joshua for himself.

Beloved, this is exactly what happens with us. Satan comes before the throne of grace to accuse us. He points at us and says, “You know all things, God, and you see the compromise in this one’s life. If you are just, you must give me his soul.” In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called the accuser of our brethren, and he stands before God right now to oppose you and me, to accuse us of sin.

That is when Jesus, our advocate, steps up and says, “It is true, Father. He has failed, but there is faith in his heart and faith in the power of my blood. I have paid for every sin he has or ever will commit.” Jesus then turns to those standing by. “Take his filthy garments, and put my robe of righteousness upon his shoulders.”

Jesus said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zechariah 3:2). What a picture! The devil was forced to leave with a sound rebuke, and Joshua walked away with a pardon, a new garment and a crown of righteousness on his head.

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Jesus has been in glory for these 2,000 years praying for us, and he is still praying for 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 21-05-24, 20:37   #1433
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The Lord's Battle

"... that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand." - 1 Samuel 17:47

In the Bible, approximately one hundred verses assert that the battles we encounter in life are not ours alone but the Lord's. One such profound declaration is found in 1 Samuel 17:47. This chapter tells one of the most well-known stories in Scripture and testifies to God's might. Our human minds often fixate on the physical realm, but we must recognize that the battles we wage are not of flesh and blood but spiritual. Therefore, the weapons we employ should mirror that reality.

When we are faced with a battle, it is crucial that we refrain from relying on our own strength and wisdom. Instead, we should put on our spiritual armor as described in Ephesians 6:10-18 and confront the challenge with the strength God gives us. Remember, at the onset of any physical, mental, or emotional struggle, the battle is not yours but the Lord's. So we must also remember, as 2 Corinthians 10:4 reminds us, "... the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds."

As we journey through life, 1 Samuel 17:47 reminds us that our battles are not merely external conflicts but also internal struggles against sin. The good news is that God, in His infinite wisdom, has declared us more than conquerors. While our instinct may be to defend ourselves, we must always remember that God is our ultimate defender. Therefore, let us make a firm decision today that when a battle arises, we are committed to surrendering control to God and allowing Him to fight on our behalf.

As David addressed Goliath, he shared the following truths that we should take to heart today:

What we see is not all there is. (1 Samuel 17:45)
The Lord will provide you with what you need. (1 Samuel 17:46)
The battle is not our battle; it is the Lord's. (1 Samuel 17:47)

What battle are you facing today? Will you allow God to fight it for you?

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank You that the battles we face are Yours. Lord, may I put aside all doubt and fear as You fight for me. I trust You to fight my battles so that You will be glorified in my life and the world may know 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 25-05-24, 14:16   #1434
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The Unchanging Message
Joshua West

We live in an era where many people who claim to know God and follow scripture are actually wolves who plant seeds of doubt and look down on those who strive to obey the Bible’s mandate: “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” (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV).

For these people, the plain teaching of the gospel isn’t enough. They say things like “Yeah, yeah, we believe in the ‘Jesus saved me’ stuff, but what about this or that?” Trying to ‘add’ things to the gospel actually takes away from the power of the gospel.

Paul said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).

We subtract from the power of the gospel when we try to add any new revelations or social agenda, anything that takes away from the simplicity of Jesus came to save sinners. He is fully God as the second person of the trinity. He became fully man 2,000 years ago and lived a perfect life. He humbled himself and walked among us so that we might know him. He died a brutal death and rose again because he is God.

That is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is what all of our lives are hitched to, those of us who truly follow him. The message of the gospel has always been the same. Even before Christ came to earth as a man, it was purposed in the trinity to send him to die for the sins of mankind. We see it in Genesis 3, immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, God foretold the coming Messiah.

We should take hope in the gospel’s enduring nature. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
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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 29-05-24, 14:06   #1435
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Blessing of Abraham

“So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” (Galatians 3:9, NKJV). What is this blessing of Abraham?

James tells us, “And the scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God” (James 2:23). Abraham believed that he was in right standing with God, even though he was still being sanctified.

Beloved, the blessing of Abraham is the knowledge that we are justified by faith. “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14).

This blessing spoken of is the knowledge that Jesus paid with his blood to blot out all our sins. The Father credits Jesus’s own righteousness to us, and we are made right in his eyes. We do not have to try to work to earn God’s favor. Instead, we are to trust and believe in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Even though we still struggle, we have right standing with him as we continue in faith and repentance.

David understood this and was able to enjoy the blessing of Abraham. “Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin’’” (Romans 4:6-8).

As we are blessed by God with the blessing of Abraham, our faith begins to expand. Soon we see and believe that the same Christ who justifies us gives us power to overcome sin. God says to us, “We are going to work on your holiness and sanctification, but you must understand that in the meantime, you are secure in me. You are my child, and I will keep you from falling.”

Has the blessing of Abraham fallen upon you yet? If you fully accept Christ’s righteousness by faith, then you are blessed along with faithful Abraham and David. Indeed, you are one of the most blessed people on earth. 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 01-06-24, 01:32   #1436
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Our Greatest Comfort


It was necessary for Jesus to take on human nature so he could go through everything we do on earth, rejection, pain, sorrow, temptation. Though he was God in flesh, he endured the whole human experience not as God but as a human with all our frailties. That enables him, our High Priest, to pray for us with tremendous sympathy: “For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, NKJV).

Consider a dear, struggling sister. She loves Jesus, but she is feeling discouraged, cast down, rejected. She thinks, “I’ve been deeply hurt, and I have no one to talk to who really understands.” Sometimes she wonders if God can forgive her for having such weak faith, and she is on the brink of giving up.

Satan stands beside her, accusingly saying, “Look at this one! She has virtually no faith. What kind of Christian is she, God?”

Jesus sees her hurt and feels her pain. He knows that her faith is weak and that she is on the verge of giving up, so he comes before the Father on her behalf and begins to intercede. “Father, I know what she feels because I’ve been there. I was rejected by my own flesh and blood. I was mocked by the religious crowd. Soldiers spat on me and put thorns on my head. I even cried, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ I sympathize with this woman, Father, and I have washed away her sins. I know she still has a heart for me.”

This is where Jesus’s prayers for us come in. “Father, I would that she be forgiven for her discouragement. I would that she be given a new supply of grace from on high. Let the Holy Spirit come upon her with a special renewing of encouragement and give her a spirit of peace and rest. She is mine, Father, and Satan cannot have her!”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the woman feels encouraged. Grace is given to her through the prayers of our High Priest. He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities, and he acts in mercy.
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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 04-06-24, 16:32   #1437
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Our High Priest

God the Father appointed his Son to become our High Priest. Jesus is in glory right now as both Man and God on our behalf. He is arrayed in the garments of a high priest, and he stands before the Father interceding for us, even as I write.

No doubt the Father takes great pleasure in having his Son at his right hand. The Bible does not say, however, that Jesus ascended for the sake of his Father. Nor does it say he ascended to regain his glory. No, scripture says Christ ascended to heaven on our behalf as the High Priest. “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24, NKJV).

John caught a glimpse of Jesus in his ministry as our High Priest in glory. He writes that Jesus appeared in the midst of seven candlesticks, which represents his church, and ministered among them “…clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band” (Revelation 1:13).

In the Old Testament, God gave us an illustrated sermon of the ministry of a high priest (see Exodus 30). Everything he did illustrated the work and ministry of Jesus in glory.

Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle was a veil, and just before the entrance to the Holy of Holies stood an altar made of gold, three feet high and eighteen inches square. Incense was placed on this altar and burned at all times.

The high priest was commanded to take care of the lamps and wicks. Every morning when he went into the Holy Place to light them, he put incense on the altar. The altar had to have coals of fire in it always, so the fire would never go out. Incense in the Bible represents prayer, and the ever-burning incense on that altar in the Holy Place represents the prayers of Jesus while he was on earth.

Jesus prayed constantly in the morning and in the evening; in fact, Jesus said he did nothing without hearing it first from his Father in prayer. There was not a day in his life that Jesus did not pray for his disciples (see John 17:8-11).
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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 05-06-24, 17:28   #1438
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Deny Yourself


"Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, 'Get up! Go!'" - 2 Samuel 13:15

The passage describes a tragic incident involving King David's family. Amnon, David's eldest son, devised a plan to be alone with his half-sister Tamar. Despite Tamar's pleas, Amnon raped and then rejected her with great hatred. This selfish and self-centered mindset leads to unfulfillment and comes at a high cost.

What Amnon did went against God's plan for relationships. While God created the desire for companionship between man and woman, it should be fulfilled within the bounds of marriage and through mutual submission. Seeking fulfillment outside marriage often leads to emptiness and discord, as seen in this passage.

Engaging in sinful acts leaves us feeling empty and guilty. Instead of taking responsibility, we tend to blame others. We know we live in a sinful and broken world and that sin is near. I urge you today to decide to run to God when temptation comes your way.

If you have committed any sinful acts, whether sexual or non-sexual, may you repent and receive God's forgiveness. Yes, God forgives. Understand that forgiveness doesn't erase the pain or excuse the wrongdoing, but it provides an opportunity for healing and freedom from bitterness and resentment. May you find victory in Jesus through His love and forgiveness. Your past does not need to define your future.

Pray with me:
Lord Jesus, I confess that I need You in my life every moment of every day. I ask that You remove sinful thoughts and desires from my life and help me resist temptation. As You set me free from past and present sins, may I delight in abiding in You and Your forgiveness. Lord, I also ask that You help me extend grace and forgiveness to those who wrong me, just as You have forgiven me for my sins. 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 07-06-24, 13:54   #1439
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The High Priest’s Blessing

The Bible tells us that when Christ ascended to heaven, he became the High Priest of all who come to him by faith. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, NKJV).

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. As long as you live, he will be your High Priest in heaven, interceding on your behalf, and will remain so until you go home to be with him. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, in the seat of authority. “We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1).

Jesus is in the Father’s presence right now, interceding for us. He confronts our accuser and says, “I rebuke you, Satan. This one is mine because he is sprinkled in my blood. He is secure, and his debt is fully paid!” Yet I believe there is even more for us to learn.

It was the duty and privilege of the Old Testament high priest to come forth from the Holy of Holies and bless the people. The Lord instructed Moses, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.’” (Numbers 6:23-26). After the high priest takes the blood into the Holy of Holies, sprinkles it on the mercy seat and waves the incense, he is to come out to the people and bless them.

This is the unchanging ministry of our High Priest. Jesus says, “I will cover you with my blood. I will intercede for you before the Father, and I will come forth and bless you.”

When the Old Testament priest spoke this blessing to the people he did not say, “I wish you peace. I wish the Lord to shine his face upon you.” No, the blessing was backed by the full power of God (see Numbers 6:27). Likewise, when Jesus our High Priest blesses, he does not just wish us good. He pronounces his blessing with authority, and it is done!
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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 10-06-24, 14:16   #1440
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

The Most Precious Gift

The blood of Jesus is the most precious gift our heavenly father has given to his church, yet few Christians understand its value.

Christians often sing about the power of the blood. Indeed, one of the most well-known gospel anthems trumpets, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb.” However, most believers seldom enter into the power of that blood, probably because we simply do not comprehend its great significance. For example, we constantly “plead the blood” as some kind of mystical formula of protection, but few Christians can explain its great glory and benefits.

If I were to ask you what the power of the blood means, you might answer, “It means that all my sins are forgiven, and I am free.” Beyond forgiveness, though, what does the blood of Jesus Christ mean to you? Can you explain to your family or to a friend or colleague the worth and significance of the blood of Jesus?

Let me share with you the benefits that flow from the blood of Jesus.

1. Jesus’s blood redeems us from sin and the power of darkness. “In him we have redemption through his blood” (Ephesians 1:7, NKJV). We are no longer under condemnation.
2. Jesus’s blood has purchased the whole church of God. “Shepherd the church of God which he purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
3. Jesus’s blood breaks down all walls. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation” (Ephesians 2:13-14).
4. Jesus’s blood sanctifies us. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
5. Christ’s blood overcomes Satan. “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
6. The blood gives us access to the Holy of Holies and to our heavenly Father. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).

Through the blood of Jesus we are able to come to our heavenly father boldly and without fear!
__________________
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 19-06-24, 02:06   #1441
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Building on the Rock


Beloved, you are not building on the rock if you need a preacher to thunder at you to obey God, if you need a set of do’s and don’ts. You don’t need a book of rules; you need a passionate love for Jesus. You need to be so in love with him that you know what pleases him.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24, NKJV).

The more you love him, the easier it is to serve and obey him. You will no longer care what the world says about you. You can answer, “I’ve heard from my Father, and I’m doing the good pleasure of his heart.” When your heart is enraptured with Jesus, such obedience naturally flows out. You won’t have to constantly go before the Lord, crying, “Oh, God, break the power of the devil over me!” All those chains will begin to fall off as you get to know his heart.

Are you in love with Jesus? If your answer is yes, I have several questions for you. How can you go throughout the week without spending time in his Word? How can you not yearn to get alone with him in prayer? How can you not have a time of love-talk with your Father, praising and worshiping him, seeking to learn what pleases him? These are foundational to obedience.

Jesus tells us, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). What an incredible promise, all based on an obedience of love.

Search the gospels and get to know Jesus’s words as recorded in Matthew 5-7, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. As you learn his words, do them! God’s commandments are not grievous; they are not a heavy burden laid upon us. On the contrary, obeying them becomes easier the more you grow to love him.

That is building your house upon the rock. When the storm comes, you can stand unafraid. Nothing will move you because you are walking in loving, pleasing obedience to the Father.
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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 24-06-24, 17:24   #1442
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Pressed Beyond Measure

Perhaps like Paul, you are being pressed beyond measure, tested beyond your endurance. Your strength is nearly gone, and you are on the brink of giving up. You want to run, but there is no place to go. Now you say with Paul, “This is above my strength!”

What is the way to victory? All I can tell you is how God continues to bring me out. Here are two important truths he has given me:

1. Don’t think you are experiencing some strange, unique battle. On the contrary, you are in good company. Recall Job, Jeremiah, Elijah, David and Paul. What you are going through is common to believers throughout the centuries.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13, NKJV).

2. When you think you can’t go on another hour, when everything looks absolutely hopeless, cry out to God with all that is in you, “Lord, help!” Consider the counsel of the psalmist in the following verses: “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me” (Psalm 55:16-18).

“I will love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. …In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; he heard my voice from his temple, and my cry came before him, even to his ears” (Psalm 18:1-2, 6).

Here is a key verse: “For he will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper”(Psalm 72:12). Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to be your helper, and he will not turn a deaf ear to your cry for help!
__________________
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 30-06-24, 22:19   #1443
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Perfect Righteousness


God accepts only one kind of righteousness: perfect righteousness. Nothing else will stand in his presence on Judgment Day. Unless our righteousness is absolutely perfect, he cannot save us, justify us, recognize or accept us. This perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord can be had only by faith.

The writer of Hebrews introduces us to the truth that this righteousness is the inheritance of all true believers. It is something Jesus has left for us, something that belongs to us, a legacy. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7, NKJV).

Noah became an heir not by building an ark but by what he believed and preached. He grasped this knowledge of righteousness which God had revealed to him, a righteousness that is by faith; and he became an heir of a perfect righteousness.

Beloved, you and I were given a great inheritance when Christ departed the earth. He left us a title and deed to his very own perfect righteousness. Of course, Jesus lived in absolute poverty while on this earth; he owned no land, had no money; but he left us riches greater than the diamond mines of South Africa, greater than the oil fields in the Middle East, greater than the gold and silver buried under America’s mountains. Jesus gave us an inheritance that can make us far richer than any person on the face of the earth. It is an inheritance to a perfect righteousness that allows us to stand before God without condemnation.

Once you understand this inheritance, you can stand against every devil in hell. Satan will not be able to accuse you before the Father, your brethren or your own conscience because you are an heir to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ!
__________________
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 02-07-24, 14:14   #1444
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Our Inheritance


When Elijah went up to heaven, he left Elisha his cloak (see 2 Kings 2:11-13). Likewise, when Jesus went up to the Father, he left us his own garment which is his perfect righteousness. He cast it upon us as surely as Elijah cast his garment upon Elisha. The prophet’s action was a type and shadow of what was going to happen when Jesus was translated to the Father. Indeed, we are heirs to a wonderful garment of righteousness that covers us completely, making us acceptable in God’s holy presence.

This garment is our inheritance, and God expects us to value it. He expects us to seek after it, to be willing heirs to his legacy. You may remember what happened when King Ahab came against Naboth, coveting his vineyard. Naboth valued his vineyard so much that he rejected Ahab’s offer to buy it, saying, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you” (1 Kings 21:3, NKJV). He was saying, “God forbid that anyone should take my inheritance from me. It’s mine!”

I believe the most important thing you can seek from God is the understanding that this inheritance is yours, and it is waiting to be claimed. The knowledge of the perfect righteousness of Jesus will put you on a rock that is unshakable. It will end all your useless struggles and put you in God’s presence justified and accepted.

God has provided you with an inheritance whereby you can stand before him with perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ, and you should want it. It should be an inheritance nobody can take from you. No lie of the devil should be able to remove it from your spirit; no man should be able to steal it from you, and no emotion should drain you of it.

Because God said it, you must lay hold of it! You need to seek it, go after it, allow your soul no rest until you get your hands on it. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
__________________
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 02-07-24, 17:20   #1445
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Standing Firm


"He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights." - Psalm 18:33

In Psalm 18, David's words remind us of God's strength and provision. Just as he likens his feet to those of a deer, representing agility and surefootedness, we, too, can find encouragement in being spiritually agile and steadfast. Like the deer navigating rugged paths with ease, we are called to stand firm in our faith despite the challenges we face.

David's imagery of standing in high places and observing the grace of a deer reminds us to stay alert and steadfast in our spiritual journeys. It's a call to be watchful, trusting God to guide our steps and reflect the light of Jesus in this world, so let's pray for spiritual awakening and the grace to stand firm in our faith.

Despite the dangers around us, we can find hope in God's guidance. Let's remember that we are not alone, and our steps are ordered by God. As believers, let's be encouraged to shine brightly in this world and encourage other believers to do the same.

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and for giving us strength. Lord, we thank You for spiritually transforming us and leading us to new heights. Lord, as You order our steps, may we be faithful to follow them as we tell the world 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 04-07-24, 14:09   #1446
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You


Pursuing God-given Vision


In John 4, we see Jesus and his disciples walking near some grain fields. He pointed to the fields and said, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together” (John 4:35-36, ESV).

The disciples were perplexed. They saw that the plants were only half grown and thought, “Anyone with common sense can see these fields are nowhere near ready for harvest.” However, Jesus was talking about the harvest of souls for God’s kingdom.

The lesson of the harvest has a broader meaning for our lives. Jesus is telling us, “You don’t have to wait four months to overcome your sin or have a burning passion for me. I have made all those things available to you right now. It is impossible to you in your own strength and ability, but I am expediting all things, and there can be no excuses among those who follow me.”

I have a question for every student or young working person reading this. Do you say to yourself, “I’ll wait until I graduate before I stop drinking”? Maybe you say, “I’ll wait until I’m older to stop sleeping around and settle down in marriage.” Or “I just want to taste a little more of the world before I give my all to Jesus.”

Jesus’s lesson of the harvest fields declares to all who would follow him, “Now is the time.” This lesson of the harvest addresses every human excuse. There is no waiting in God’s kingdom. If you wait four months, the harvest will pass you by. Don’t let any excuse sidetrack you. In Christ’s kingdom, today is the day. Now is his time for his calling on you to be fulfilled.

I offer you a challenge. Write down your excuse on a piece of paper and read it for the last time. Crumple that paper, toss it into the trash and say, “I’m leaving that excuse behind me. I have no more excuses. Jesus says his harvest in my life is ripe right now.”
__________________
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 07-07-24, 14:34   #1447
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Prayer for America
By Rev. Billy Graham


Our Father and Our God, We praise You
for Your goodness to our nation, giving
us blessings far beyond what we deserve.
Yet we know all is not right with
America. We deeply need a moral and
spiritual renewal to help us meet the
many problems we face. Convict us of
sin. Help us to turn to You in repentance
and faith. Set our feet on the path of Your
righteousness and peace.
We pray today for our nation's leaders.
Give them the wisdom to know what is
right, and the courage to do it.
You have said, "Blessed is the nation
whose God is the Lord." May this be a
new era for America, as we humble
ourselves and acknowledge You alone as
our Savior and Lord.
This we pray in Your holy 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 08-07-24, 22:32   #1448
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

When Growth Comes Slowly
Mark Renfroe

Last year, while camping in southern Colorado, we found a broken cactus branch. The mother plant was a stately specimen, so we brought the branch home to see if we could give it a second life. It took a few weeks to root, but unfortunately, it wasn’t growing. It survived the cold and snow of a Colorado winter and several hail storms in spring, but surviving isn’t the same as thriving. All of a sudden, though, new shoots popped out all over the original stalk, and it began to grow.

Jesus used growing plants often in his parables and analogies for the Christian life, and I suspect his reasons for that went deeper than just giving his agricultural listeners more relatable illustrations.

In my 60 years of life, I have often come to the uncomfortable understanding that I had a real growth need. At times, I realized I didn’t know how to be a good husband, dad, son or friend. At other times, I crashed and burned in my efforts at work. There were (are) also times when I discover I’m not the spiritual man I thought I was.

I have at least three options when I come to these uncomfortable realizations. The first is to deny reality. This one never ends well, but it’s the go-to response for many people. The next alternative is to acknowledge the issue but delay dealing with it. Lastly, I can choose to do the hard work required for growth. Obviously, this choice is the best, but it also takes the most time and requires the most resources.

When we don’t feel like we’re growing in a desired area, we must be patient with ourselves and the process. Otherwise, we’ll abort the good work of growth we hope to see in our lives. Remember Christ’s parable to his followers: “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree…” (Matthew 13:30-31, ESV). The results almost always start out small.

Perhaps you feel like you’ve been through the storms and droughts of life. You may be doing the hard work of growth, but nothing seems to be happening. Don’t lose hope. Growth may be slow, but God is faithful to finish the work he has begun 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 10-07-24, 00:15   #1449
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Trusting God


"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." - Psalm 37:5

Psalm 37:5 encourages us to commit our ways to God and trust in Him, and He will help us. The counsel we receive from this verse means we shouldn't try to handle life's problems alone. God did not create us to go through life alone or isolate ourselves when we're faced with issues. Let us call on the Lord each day for help and commit all our ways to Him in full reliance.

Life is filled with surprises and challenges, and the insight from Psalm 37:5 reveals that God wants us to place our total trust in Him, no matter the problems or circumstances we face. Friends, we must trust God! As we commit our ways to the Lord may we also release ourselves from trying to control everything and everyone around us, including family, friends, and co-workers. If we believe that God is in control, then we need to let go of our plans and fears and let Him take care of them.

When we trust and commit our ways to God, we experience freedom beyond anything we could have ever hoped for or imagined. I don't always start here, but when I apply Psalm 37:5, it helps me to make choices and not feel overwhelmed even when I have no idea about what to do next. I believe and trust that God will intervene and do what's best for me according to His plan, and I believe He wants to do the same for you.

I encourage you to memorize Psalm 37:5. As you learn and recite the verse, think about it and reflect on it. May your faith and trust in God grow every day. Today, let's give our plans to the Lord and fully believe in Him to guide us on the right path.

Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing our cry to commit all our ways to You. Lord, we declare that our trust is in You. Thank You for Your love and that You desire what's best for us. 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 10-07-24, 15:35   #1450
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Default Re: POWER of PRAYER- No Matter Which Faith You Follow=GOD is With You

Delight in the Living Water

Psalm 1 has great news for you. “He [the blessed man] is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3, ESV).

Christ is our living water; all we have to do is be planted near him and drink from his stream. “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39).

Planting ourselves by the Lord’s stream actually produces delight. When we abide near his living water, we see clearly that his law is life-giving. We thirst for more of it and make it our delight.

As we draw on his powerful stream, we see our roots expanding, anchoring us, and shooting strength to our branches. Christ’s constant stream helps us through not only daily temptations but also through the roughest seasons of life.

What is your soul’s condition when you have financial troubles, when your marriage is in a difficult place, when your job is tenuous or when your children struggle in ways that don’t seem to have a solution? Are you quick to despair? Do you revisit all your failures?

When you are planted beside living water, you can draw on his strength to see you through. You’ll be reminded of previous trials that the Lord brought you through. In this way, “In all that he does, he prospers.” We prosper by knowing his peace despite all outward circumstances; that is how we thrive in life.

Most of all, we delight in his Word with an increasing hunger for it. In turn, his life-giving Word generates delight in our souls. 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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