9/19/21 – Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody!

Scripture:

We are a holy priesthood (1st Peter 2:5) called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We are each blessed with spiritual gifts (1Corinthians 12:11) to be used to edify Christ and His church (Ephesians 4:1).

g Hi fellow believers! I just lit a candle of unity and set it on my windowsill – a representation of my desire to join with like believers in prayer for this Nation and our World family, for the manifestation of God’s will in our behalf. The idea was introduced to me in a podcast and this is my first day. I am excited to be a part of this call to unified prayer, to be a partaker, an eyewitness to the miraculous power of God. Join with us and know that we are not alone, that we are a mighty swelling force for good, that God hears the prayers of many gathered with purpose before His throne. Light a candle in solidarity at 11:20 am each day and let’s pray into existence an unsurpassed victory for God, Amen!

I am sure you have looked at the title of this blog and puzzled over what I might be thinking. Let me introduce today’s topic by sharing a quote. Pastor Chuck Swindoll once wrote; “This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

Let’s pray! Father God, we humble ourselves before You, we ask for the indwelling of Your Spirit, we pray for Your power to answer Your call, we pray for Your strength to surrender our lives as marred and cracked vessels to be emptied of self and filled full and brimming with Your love and Your witness to a sick and dying world. Father imbue us with Your wisdom and understanding as we move forward in obedience to Your call. In Jesus name, Amen!

Pastor Swindoll cleverly worded a neglect practiced by many people from all walks of life, even by those professing to be the children of God. I must confess that I have, at times, shirked my responsibility, passed the buck so to speak. I praise God that we serve a Savior that has never walked the path of neglect with me, but rather, calls me to a higher path to walk with Him.

Everybody, that is part of the body of Christ, has been called by God to carry forth His work in this dark and dying world. Somebody, within a given body of believers, will be gifted with the Spiritual Gifts needed to accomplish a certain task while Everybody lends a supporting hand, acts in a supporting role. Anybody can help with every task appointed by God and Nobody is without purpose no matter the task. AND, at any time, in every event, the body of believers are called to interchangeably fill the roles of Everybody, Somebody, and Anybody – Nobody is left without the call to serve. It takes to full body of Christ to get the job done, to complete the work in which we are called. Until Jesus comes in the clouds of glory, there is a work to be done, there are souls seeking a better way, seeking a way out of the darkness they are trapped within. We, you and me, have been called for such a time as this. (Ester 4:14)

Now is the time to step out in faith, now is the time to answer the call. Go forth and listen for the still soft voice of God to prompt your witness as you go. A kind word here, an act of kindness there, a timely sharing of the Word. Don’t wait for a daily graven invitation, for a burning bush – go, and the Lord will find you where you are. There is no where we can go that God’s Words of hope and love are not needed. Whether to the left or to the right, you will still find a work commissioned by God, a victory wrought by Him, and a “well done My good and faithful servant” when in the clouds of glory He comes to take to our forever home. (Matthew 25:21)

And in all things PRAY! “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayer less study, prayer less work, prayer less religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” (Samuel Chadwick, a 19th Century Wesleyan minister) “”Daniel would rather spend a night with the lions than miss a day of prayer!” (Anonymous)

Until next blog, be safe, be prayerful, be a surrendered body for Christ! Amen!

margaretstreetchurchofchrist.org/

09/12/21 – A Heart Garden By Perfect Design

Scripture:

Galatians 5:19-23 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wow! What a powerfully vast contrast!

Great to be together again! I am sure we have all heard the saying “home is where the heart is.” Let’s give it a little twist for the sake of illustrating our scripture for this blog. The heart is the home of our personal garden, the garden that we display to those around us, our character, the “fruits of our spirits, or lack thereof.”

Let’s pray! Our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father, we come before You again this week to seek Your forgiveness and promise of everlasting life. To ask for the power to surrender to Your purpose for each of us, and through surrender, embrace the privilege of partaking in the Gospel Commission. Day by day, Father, continue to direct our ways, our comings and goings, and keep us steadfast in our devotion to You. Your will be done, and Your understanding be known in this blog today. In Jesus holy name, Amen!

The first 2/3 of our scripture is an uncomfortable mouthful of practices that, in the not so distant past, used to be “behind closed doors practices” – our family skeletons were keep in the closet so to speak. You get the gist of what I am saying… Now, however, the doors have been thrown wide open – all secret indiscretions blatantly on display. So much of the Biblical “bad practices” checklist is regarded as status quo. It has become commonplace for many to wear their indiscretions like badges of “dis”honor, to flaunt their wrongdoing, daring anyone to speak out against them.

Thankfully, praise the Lord, we have the brilliant contrast of the last 1/3 of our blog scripture. The fruit of the Holy Spirit! Getting to that portion of Galatians 5 is like a breath of fresh air, like stepping out of a cloying, stagnant, stench filled place into the fresh air after a cleansing rain. The contrast is overwhelming in its relief.

Comprehending the startling contrast and better choice between the two heart gardens – heart conditions – is obvious to most when looking through the light of Christ righteousness. It just seems logical, a happier path in life. But, for those lost in this dark world, without the glorious light of salvation, the better choices are harder to see. The correct path is so obscure, so hard to distinguish in the impenetrable darkness prevalent at this time in history, that many yearning for – they know not what – fail to find their way to higher ground, a heart garden rich in the fruit of the Spirit. It is these souls God calls us to reach, these souls that need a loving, compassionate hand to guide them to the foot of the cross, to guide them to the life Giver. God is calling us to just such a noble service.

In his book Satisfied, Mark Finley stated, “God invested everything in you. What have you invested in God? He gave it all in the Gift of His Son, Jesus. All that we bring to Him is an empty, broken vessel. Jesus wants to live in that vessel.” Do not delay in surrendering to His perfect purpose for you. Don’t wait until you feel you have sufficiently patched and cleaned out your vessel, surrender now. You see, brothers and sisters, the more cracked and marred your vessel, the more Jesus’ light is able to shine forth and be poured out. Come now, just as you are, and marvel at the outpouring of the Devine – what a perfect plan, a perfect purpose for each of us.

Before you were born, God knew you, He had a purpose for you. Jeremiah 1:5 May you richly experience His purpose in the garden of your heart. This is my prayer for each of you.

studywithfriends.org

09/05/21 – We Have A Problem – But Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled!

Scripture – Revelation 3:14-22 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.”

John 14:1  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Hi fellow believers! It’s so great to have you back again for another blog. If you are back because you enjoy my blogs, gain encouragement and fellowship, then please share with others so that we can help them know that they are not alone, there is still tremendous hope in this dark world, and that Jesus loves us all. Today, I am going to bring back an earlier topic and look at it from another angle. I want to delve back in the the Laodicean Church – God’s church of the present day, and turn this bad news in to glad news. I am asking the Holy Spirit to teach us, as God’s chosen, how to find our way out of the Laodicean’s terminal predicament.

Let’s pray! Heavenly Father, Merciful King, hear our requests for forgiveness, our cries for mercy, our desire to surrender completely and fully to You. Guide and direct us on Your paths of righteousness and at last save us in Your Kingdom. By the blood of the Lamb and Your Holy Spirit, enlighten each of us concerning our blog today. Continue to move us away from the Laodicean lifestyle to one that is pleasing in Your sight, to a life that reflect Jesus. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!

As Laodiceans, we have a problem. In Revelation 3:14-22 God tells us that, as His last day people, we are blind, our senses are dulled, we need to wake up – we are in need of much spiritual healing. We have a heart condition, a much dreaded disease – and it is not COVID. Oh but that we would fear and guard again this disease as so many do with COVID -this disease of sin. You see, this disease of sin have been around so long we have grown accustom to it, so long that we rarely guard against it. Jesus is knocking, calling us forth to a better way, an eternal way. Yet many are so full of self, of wants, of desires, of the world, they don’t realize their great need for Jesus. Nevertheless Jesus faithfully knocks. Amen!

At this point, I think we can agree that we have identified the problem, so God calls us to move forward, move to the foot of the cross for the solution, put the past illness behind and take the cure – Jesus! A great Christian author, Ellen G White, wrote in Desire of Ages, p 489-490, “Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or though His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit, if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow.” As with all things, if we continue to focus on the problem, it remains prominent in our lives in our mind. With each day we continue to focus on the problem of sin we move ourselves further away from Jesus the Solution, we distant ourselves from His knocking, His calling. On the other hand, if we turn from the sin disease, the problem, and focus on Jesus, we find our forever solution, our forever purpose. Let’s not get stuck on the problem, rather let’s look to a future of solutions, a future of victories, a future of saved souls.

God calls us to be a people with purpose and our purpose is doing the will of God – spreading the Gospel. When rising in the morning we pray for purpose, thought-out the day we act with purpose, at the end of the day we reminisce about the purposeful events of the day with Jesus. Who did we purpose to speak kind words to, how did we purpose to ease someone’s burden, who did we purposefully pray for and witness to? We thank God for blessing our lives with meaningful, purposeful witness. We thank Jesus for pouring out His blessing through us. We become changed by beholding day after blessed day the purposeful witness Jesus has wrought through us. Oh what a foretaste of Glory Devine!

Today, I was listening to a recent podcast from Flyover Conservatives and a comment their guest speaker, Doug Billings made caught my attention because it feed into my blog. He quoted President Abe Lincoln as telling people his cabinet would never have an ugly man on it. On the surface that sounds wrong, un-Christ like, but Doug went on to explain that Lincoln was referring to the men’s characters. (I have taken the liberty to paraphrase his comment) Those (us included) that follow Jesus have a peaceful, joyous countenance that is a witness in our itself. This Godly countenance makes us glow with an inter beauty that is compelling, that draws lost souls to us, that instills in them a trust in our purpose.

This is the lifestyle that the prophets of old chose. This is the lifestyle that Daniel, Job, John the Baptist, Jesus and His disciples chose. This is the lifestyle I choose to live. By the grace of God, I pray for more purpose each and every day. Is it easy, is it pain free, trouble free? No, but all that fades deeply into the past as we behold and become changed, as we become daily eyewitnesses to what God can do, as we find extraordinary joy in sharing in such a life changing purpose.

Let not our hearts be troubled, purpose to surrender to the will of God. Amen!

Until my next blog, God bless and keep you.

08/29/21 – Pray Warriors! In All Things, At All Times!

Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing. The means of promoting religious joy is prayer. This prayer is to be “without ceasing,” 

Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

 Matthew 15:21-28, Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2, James 5:16, 1 Chronicles 16:11 and so many more!

Hi fellow warriors! What a time to be alive, to be witnesses, to be warriors for God. What swells in my heart and mind, as I ponder our stage in history, is that I can’t help but connect with what the disciples felt in their significant point in history. They experience the early rain, stayed in the race, crossed the finish line and now we are called to latter rain battle as we race to the victory of the 2nd Coming of Jesus. Wow! To be able to witness the culmination of the Great Cosmic battle, while fighting beside our Savior, is awe inspiriting, intimidating, eye opening, and real. Today I want to go into greater detail concerning the area of prayer – being a prayer warrior for God.

In his book Prayer Warriors, Ron Halverson stated; “Prayer warriors on the battlefields – in the earth, the heart, the mind, everyday life, the church – this is God’s key to victory. Whenever Satan attacks there God’s battlefield sensitive warriors, clad in God’s own armor, stand up and do prayer battle. When they do, victories follow.”

Let’s pray! Father God, in humility we come before You, we come in the name of Jesus, asking that You forgive our sins and that You keep us steadfast upon the path to salvation. God, Your Word calls us to pray about all matter, to pray without ceasing, and the crucial need for prayer when face to face with Satan. By Your might and power, please keep up fit armor clad warriors. Give us Your Spirit that we may clearly see and understand the path You have set before us. In Jesus Christ our Lord we pray, Amen!

As we look at Scripture, we begin to understand the tremendous importance of warfare prayer. It is that golden thread of communication between us and God – the golden path of asking and receiving, giving and sharing, the universal connectiveness that will lead to victory. Spiritual warfare, warfare prayer, and the prayer warrior are vitally important to ourselves, our families, our church, and our world. The impact is cataclysmic, the impact is eternal. Today, every day, moment by moment, we decide if we will be doers of the word, if we will continually choose to walk with Jesus, if we will be prayer warriors for Him.

Several years ago, when my daughters and I lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, my two youngest daughters and I were part of a prayer warrior group. There were 6 us of that came together once a week and stayed in contact daily. We prayed in unison on all things, big and small, global and personal. I miss our prayer group and what we experienced together – I count it as one of the greatest highlights of my journey with Jesus. From my experience I can say emphatically that warfare prayer does work. Our small group were eye witnesses to many miracles.

In the early 90’s Rock Hall, Maryland was flooding, many homes were in the path of the flood and the tide was not supposed to recede for several more hours. The Chesapeake Bay was 1 inch from entering the home of one of our warrior’s. The connections were made and we all started our warfare prayers. The results were miraculous – within a short time of praying in unity, the tide started receding 4 hours ahead of its normal time. The miracle was shared by all residences of that small community and was written up in the local newspaper. Amen!

A very close cousin by marriage had been through so much in her life that she was often a prayer topic for us. At this particular time, her husband had accidently shot himself through the head while putting his handgun in his glovebox and my cousin and their daughter were in a terrible place with grief. On a day when we were meeting as a group, I got a very strong impression to pray for them and we did. When I got home that night, I got a call from my cousin. Her 90 pound daughter had overdosed on a full subscription of heart medication washed down with a fifth of whiskey. Her daughter regretted her choice and call the paramedics who told my cousin that her daughter was still conscience when they arrived. They said her last words before she slipped into a coma was, “Jesus, forgive me.” The ER doctors told my cousin that her daughter had taken enough medication to kill two 200 pound men and she had a slim chance of surviving the night and if she did she would be a vegetable. The next morning, at 9:00 am, this young girl woke up in full health with no side affects from her horrific choice. The power of prayer, Amen!

There are so many but I will only share one more. My friend and partner in prayer was at my house and before we got started praying, she told me she was pregnant. We talk about it for a while and then she, my daughters, and I started praying. While kneeling in prayer, my friend screamed out in pain and collapsed to the floor. Immediately, my daughters and I started praying for healing and my oldest daughter called 911. Twenty minutes later, as the ER doctor performed emergency surgery, he discovered that her fallopian tube had ruptured. The doctor told her next of kin that she should have bled out in 4 minutes but the site looked like it had been cauterized. He thought it was a miracle that she was alive. And, yes, it was a miracle, Amen!

God does promise that the latter rain will be greater than the former rain of Pentecost. That direct answers to prayer will be given, miracles wrought, and so much more. So, besides the armor of God, what other tools do we have, what should we ask of God? I would like to suggest that we prayerfully consider asking for the following:

  1. Blood of the Lamb – study and accept the blood and power of the Lamb.
  2. The Name of Jesus – call upon His manifestation in your life continually.
  3. God’s armor – study the armor and don’t do anything without it.
  4. Faith – ask for it, step out, trusting in your Lord and Savior prior to seeing results.
  5. The word of our testimony – make sure it speaks to the Word of God.
  6. Praise and Thanksgiving – study repentance and forgiveness, put them into practice.
  7. Know the types of prayer – intercessory, petition, praise, thanksgiving. Use them all.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Study each of the seven tools. Search out other life and power giving source. Know the scriptures – their place in history – pertaining to each tool. Then just as the Master Carpenter, put the tools into constant use, absorbing them into your continual practice and your soul. As your let the Spirit build and refine these skills in you and you let Jesus manifest Himself in you, call up on God with confidence and boldness. Pray without ceasing, pray in the face of doubt, pray in the face of discouragement, pray in the face of ridicule. Pray, pray, pray, Amen!

Prayer is the key that opens the doors of communication with the our Lord and King, opens us to spectacular, forever experiences that far outweighs the pain and suffering brought on us by the overwhelming flood of sin. Prayer is our golden ticket to understanding God’s Word, to reaching other for Jesus, to our freedom, to life everlasting.

Until next time, may you hear the words “well done good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:23

8/22/21 – God’s Armor, A Template For Victory!

Scripture

Fight the good fight.” 1Timothy 6:15, “Be a soldier of Christ.” 2 Timothy 2:4, “Put on the full armor.” Ephesians 6:11

Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” 2 Timothy 1:9

Hi everyone! It’s great to be sharing with you again. I pray my blog finds you safe and well in Christ. We know, through what we hear and witness, and Scripture, that the months ahead are going to be increasingly difficult, and perilous to navigate. In fact, I believe that our world will be in an upheaval up to the time of Christ’s return. As events worsen and chaos grows, we will realize a greater need to answer God’s call to be soldiers of the Cross, warriors to the end. There in lies our safety and assurance.

There is one field of battle I believe we are all called to and that is prayer. As warriors, we are called to “specialize” in areas that match our spiritual gifts, but prayer is a “universal” gift given to everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus and is saved. I shared last blog that this would be my topic of discussion for this blog. However, I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to spend more time on the tremendous gift and purpose of God’s armor. So…. my next blog will be about God’s prayer warriors.

Let’s pray! Heavenly Father, great are Your ways, mighty are Your works, perfect is Your gift of salvation. We bow down before You, seeking forgiveness for our sins and asking for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Your full armor, and Christ dwelling in us as we take part in the completion of the Gospel Commission in these last days. May we bring many souls to the foot of the Cross, may we engage in life changing prayer, and may we open ourselves to the complete power of Your will. May Your will be done in us as it is in Heaven, in Jesus precious name, Amen!

How can I move forward doing God’s will, what am I called to do? When I was teaching special education, I used what is called a “scope and sequence” of instruction, electricians use a schematic, builders use a blueprint, cooks use a recipe, tailors use a pattern, and – for me – God uses His armor as His Gospel Template. This analogy has clarified how I am to move forward sharing Christ and Him risen. As I move forward into battle, God’s armor keeps me focused on Him, blocks the attacks from the enemy, and fills my life with the awe and wonder of God. After delving into a deeper study of God’s armor, I have a better understanding of its purpose. Putting on God’s armor means being filled with the Holy Spirit so that I can be a vessel for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – being poured out in battle to win souls. It means my part is to surrender to this process over and over again, day by day, week by week until the end shall come. Understanding the purpose of the armor has taken the guess work and complications out of sharing Christ.

So, does this mean that the battles will all be cookie cutter events where everything happens in a set pattern of steps? Absolutely not! Our part in each battle is the same – surrender to the filling of the Holy Spirit and pouring out the Spirit to others is the repetitive action. But just as no two people are the same, everyone’s path to Jesus is different, the detailed events of each battle will be different. Some battles will just involve an act of kindness, some a request to pray for a person we meet, some receiving a piece of literature, some a walk to the foot of the Cross, some a request to know more about Jesus. All of the detailed events are orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and He will give us the actions to take and the words to say. Blessed be the Lord!

I am sure all of us already find ourselves surrendering to the Holy Spirit when we give a smile and a word of encouragement to a store clerk, when we stop and help a person struggling with a heavy burden – there are so many ways in which we reach out for Christ. So many times when we listen to the Holy Spirit as He brings the needs of other to our attention. So essentially, God is calling us to take what we already do and what we already know and make it a moment by moment life pattern. He is calling us to make the choice to devote our life to this purpose – to become life long warriors for Christ. To humbly wear our battle fatigues with pride and purpose because we serve a crucified, victorious, risen Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has chosen us for just a time as this to save His people. (Ester 4:14) March on soldiers of the Cross, don’t stop to stone the devils dogs, but march on, march on. (Carlyle B Hayes)

blogspot.com

8/08/21 – God’s Armor – Don’t Live Your Life Without It!

Scripture – Ephesians 6:13-18 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD’s people.

Fellow believers in Christ Jesus, we are at war! Our Earth is a spiritual battleground, a war that has been raging for more than 6000 years. Ron Halverson, in his book Prayer Warriors, states that: “Our streets, our neighborhoods, our communities, our states, our country, our world – all are battle zones… The battle to break through the barriers Satan has built around us is not a game. It is part of a war – a battle to the finish.” If I didn’t know that his book was published in 1995, I would think he just wrote it. He has described exactly what we are seeing today – what we are witnessing with our spiritual eyes.

Let’s pray! Gracious Father God, we humble ourselves before You, seeking Your wisdom, Your righteousness, Your acceptance. We know, on our own merit, we are not worthy – therefore we come baring the name of Jesus Christ who bore the pain our iniquity so that we could come before You seeking an everlasting covenant relationship. Today, Father, we need Your Spirit to guide us through our great need for Your armor and the purpose for each piece. For without You we are lost, but with You we are victorious. Seal Your instructions in our minds and hearts. In Jesus precious name, Amen!

In my last blog, we studied Ephesians 6:10-12. In these Scriptures we learned that the events taking place today are bigger than the physical realm, bigger than our day to day physical struggle and worries. The purpose of these Scriptures are to pull our minds away from the physical distractions and bring our focus and efforts into the true battle taking place on Earth. God is calling us into a spiritual battle with everlasting consequences – so how do we prepare, what are we expected to do, where do we begin?

Our first step is to accept and surrender to His great plan for each of us. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” (Proverb 3:5-7) No matter what God has called each of us to do, He calls all of us into a covenant relationship that is renewed daily, moment by moment.

Second, we need God given tools and skills – we need to wield the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13-18) We need to put to memory each piece in our set of armor, its purpose and power. In his book Prayer Warrior, Halverson states: “Don’t leave your home without the armor. Don’t go into the world without the armor. Don’t turn on your TV without the armor. Don’t talk without the armor.” God is calling us to make His armor our go to choice for outerwear. A familiar and comforting choice that we know so well.

Third, pray without ceasing.  “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thessalonians 5:17-18) We are called to pray in all situations, on our knees, in our car, while working – pray always! We need to consult God on ALL things – yes even the small day to day busy work – calling on His power for everything.

As we make the afore mentioned steps part of our daily, moment by moment routine, we are prepared to call upon God to impower the armor, we are prepared to do spiritual warfare. Some may ask why we do battle since Jesus won the battle on Calvary’s cross. Yes Jesus won the battle, the outcome has been determined, Satan has been defeated, with no comeback. The spiritual battle we face today is for lost souls, those entangled in Satan’s snares, those having lost their way, or never finding it in the first place. The spiritual battle is over those of whom are lost and who is saved. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) Be assured that God’s children, in full Godly armor, will come up against Satan, without fear and trembling. Know that Satan is powerful, but God is ALL powerful.

Let’s study the purpose for each piece of armor. I like the illustration below but have a few areas I believe need more information.

  1. The helmet protects our thoughts and understanding concerning the will of God
  2. The breastplate does not have a back – we are to face our enemy knowing God is with us. He will guide out thoughts, words, and actions.
  3. The shield protects us from Satan’s fiery darts – not every thought that enters our mind originates with us. The shield blocks his mental assault upon our mind.
  4. The belt keeps our minds focused on the truth – keeping us on the Godly path to victory.
  5. The footwear keeps us in a ready state to do God’s will.
  6. Wielding the sword opens the door in a person’s life to respond to the Holy Spirit, giving them the hope of salvation.

The first 5 pieces of armor keep up in a covenant relationship with God so that we are able to wield the sword for the salvation of souls. I would like to suggest that everyone prayerfully study this illustration, memorizing the pieces and their purpose. Our time is short, God is calling us to be about His business of saving souls. Does God need us to get the message out to the lost? No, He doesn’t, instead He gives us the tools and the privilege to take part in the most importance event in our time – only eclipsed by the gift of Calvary.

Please share my blog with others if you enjoy them and they bring hope and promise to your soul. Until next blog, God be with you and yours. I pray He keeps you in His steadfast love. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Psalms 118:1-29)

pinterest.comtake

8/01/21 – The Enemy of My Enemy is My Savior?

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Welcome back brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of a 3 ring circus gone bizarrely mad. I feel that we are being hit from every side with one problem, disaster, crisis after another. Politics, civil unrest, nature seem to have gone topsy turvy in the past year and a half. The comfortable, cozy life with its occasional hiccup seems to be a thing of the past. My thought for this blog is… As Christians, how are we to view current events and what should our response, our action, our commission be?

Let’s pray! Our Father God, we praise Your Holy name for all that You continually do for us – sending Your Son as recompense for us, gifting us with Your Spirit as our Spiritual Guide, and so much more. Please forgive us for our shortcoming and lead each of us upon the path You have set. Put within our hearts an unquenchable desire to give our lives fully to You and the finishing of Your work. Guide our thoughts and understanding as we consider the message of Ephesians 6:12 in light of world wide unrest. And at last, save us in Your eternal kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen!

If you are keeping an eye on current events, you are very much aware of the many fractures and divisive event taking place all over the world. Many of us are afraid to say anything for fear of bringing wrath and destruction down upon us and our families. And we find ourselves deeply concerned about our future as a people, a nation, a global society. Many of us find an exorbitant amount of time taken up with these event and concerns. However, when I read Ephesians 6:12, I find myself in a quandary. Just who is my enemy, because God is telling us that it is not the flesh and blood humans around us, the humans we don’t agree with, the humans we consider to be causing all the trouble. And, if they are an enemy we should be focused on, then who is?

We can find our answer at the end of the verse – against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. We have many enemies on this earth that work against our efforts to share a Risen Savior to the lost souls on Earth, but there is only one definitive enemy. Satan is THE ENEMY of our souls. We were taught in school that there are special adjectives in our language called articles. There are only 3 of them – the, a, an. When using “a” and “an” we could be describing a variety of like objects such as a group books, but when “the” is used then we are describing a very specific object such as the Bible. Thus Satan is the definitive enemy of our souls – he is the enemy, your enemy, my enemy.

I believe this blog Scripture is telling us to get things into perspective. Narrow our focus down to what is really happening, what is really taking place, where the direction of our thoughts and actions need to go. Quite often, in the news, we hear mention of false flags, events staged and ideas put out there to distract us from something more important taking place. The message behind our blog Scripture attests to the reality of these smoke screens.

In the past several month, I must confess I got caught up in all the emotions, the disenfranchisements, the false flags flying high. Before long, life overwhelmed me, I lost my true focus, and I realized I was backsliding from my commitment to Jesus. I have struggled in pray and had to prayerfully reconsider my path forward, my God given path forward. Praise God, when we are willing to surrender, He never fails to pull us back into His full embrace – within the loving shelter of His grace.

Several years ago, Carlisle B Hayes wrote, “Don’t stop to stone the devils dogs, march on, march on.” What befitting words for the challenges we face in this crucial time in history. Like Jesus, we must be about our Father’s business, (Luke 2:49) we must not let ourselves be distracted by the false flags – by devils dogs. As humans, we find it extremely easy to become distracted, sidetracked from our purpose. So, left on our own, fulfilling God’s purpose for our life is impossible. We would find ourselves outside in the parable of the wedding feast, claiming to serve Jesus, while He states, “I know you not.” (Luke 13:26) What a devastating end to our struggle to know Jesus.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, we are shown a better way. We are gifted with all the skills and knowledge we need, we are equipped by Jesus to wage war with the enemy of our souls. In Ephesians, is described the armor of God and the purpose of each piece. This is what I want to talk about in my next blog.

God be with you, may His countenance shine upon your and give you peace. Until my next blog, I pray God will equip you with abundant grace to surrender to His will for your life! Jeremiah 29:11

livingfaithchurhwi.org

7/25/21 – Before We Were Born!

Scripture – Jeremiah 1:4-5

Hi fellow believers! The times are unpredictable and worrying but it is comforting to know we have a haven in Jesus Christ. Before our Earth was formed, the Godhead had a plan, a redeeming plan, an everlasting plan – and each and everyone of us has been included in that saving plan since the beginning of time. Amazing! Life changing!

Today, I want to talk about God’s plan for humankind, for each of us individually. First, let’s pray. Father God, we humble ourselves before Your throne, seeking Your forgiveness as we prepare to contemplate Your Word and the great plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Coming to You in prayer is a sanctuary for our hearts – a sanctuary that is greatly needed in these final days of Earth’s sinful history. Lift us up Lord, make us mighty soldiers for Your cause – the cause of saving souls in Your kingdom. As we interact with others, give us Your words and thoughts – helps us to lead all that we meet to the foot of the cross. Please lead and direct, tell us what You would have us do. In Jesus precious Name, Amen!

As we read through the Holy Scriptures, we are given many examples of people being chosen by God for a specific purpose – many of them chosen before they were born into this world. Jesus, Himself is a powerful example of such a life. In Mark 1:1-4, God tells us about the pre-existing plan for the life and purpose of John the Baptist, who was to herald the coming of Jesus. In the first chapter of Matthew, starting with verse 18, we are told of the pre-ordained plan for Jesus to step down from heaven to be born an babe. A master plan set forth as an example of our humankind could live a sinless life and gain eternal life. God’s handiwork in our behalf, is also demonstrated in the pre-existing plans for Jeremiah, Samuel, Samson and many others.

The question I think we need to ask ourselves is…what is God’s plan for each of us? In Jeremiah 1:4-5 God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God does have a plan for each of us according to our talents and strengths, which are in line – empowered – with the spiritual gifts given us by the Holy Spirit.

So, next question! If everyone’s walk with Jesus planned before their birth, then why isn’t everyone living a sanctified life in Jesus? As we look at what the Bible says, we see the pre-existing plan played out in many lives but not all lives. Yet, if we are interpreting Jeremiah 1:4 and Scripture concerning John the Baptist, Samson and others correctly, we are led to understand that everyone has a pre-destined plan before they are born. Right?

This is where some of us tend to start questioning ourselves. Through these Scriptures, is God talking to all of us or just specific individuals? Let’s look at Ephesians 1:4-5, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ…” I am convinced that God has a plan for me – one set before I was born. So why does it still seem confusing? If God has a plan, why isn’t everyone living it, why aren’t the populations of the world ready to meet Jesus in the clouds of glory, why are we commissioned to be searching for lost sheep, why does sin still abound?

God’s plan for each of us is for all who will accept it. Look at Matthew 5:6, John 7:37, and Revelation 22:17. A plan is in place for every person who has been born, but why are so few are following the plan? Is it God picking and choosing or is it up to us? In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew writes God inspired words, “Jesus clearly stated that, comparatively speaking, only a ‘few’ find the way to salvation, whereas ‘many’ enter into the broad way that leads to destruction.” (paraphrased) In the parable of the wedding feast, many of the guests refused to attend. (Matthew 22) Accepting and surrendering to the plan God has laid out for us is a choice. A choice we can refuse to accept. We can refuse at great cost to ourselves for many reasons. But, God willing – and we know He is – we will accept and find peace and joy in the future outcomes of our choice.

We must understand and acknowledge that our tailor made plan has been in existence before we were born. We must pray for a mindset to embrace His plan, not asking, “What is Your plan for me” but rather, “How would You have me carry out Your plan for me?” And like any gift or talent, practice makes perfect. There will be struggles along the way, lessons in surrender and humility, many tearful prayers. Earnest prayer and persistent surrender to God’s plan opens the gateways of heaven so that there may be abundant blessings poured out on us – setting us again and again upon the right path to doing God’s will for our life.

When called by God, Jeremiah resisted because he believed “I do not know how to speak, I am to young.” God replied, “Do not say, ‘I am too young’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” God did not accept Jeremiah’s excuses because God Himself is the Author of our ministry. We go by the power of God to minister to His people, not that of our own. Our feeble excuses and weakness are nothing to God and if we rely on ourselves we are not fulfilling the plan of God. Through obedient surrender and fervent prayer we are given the power and ability to fulfill God’s purpose in us. We are able to speak blessed words to those seeking a better way. We are able to recognize the needs of those around us and lessen their burdens. We are able to do these acts from heaven because of Jesus abiding in us and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We will be living the plan!

Until next blog, pray God reveals His purpose for your ministry just as He did for Jeremiah. Amen!

christianbook.com

06/21/21 – Barabbas? Jesus? I Want Jesus!

Scripture Reading – Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15, Luke 23:14-25, John 18:38-19:16

Hi fellow followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus! I am so glad to be back with you in fellowship. Since December, starting with the death of my step-father, my family and I have faced one mountain after another. With thankful hearts, we celebrate Jesus’ victory in every crisis – every battle. Life has calmed down and I am slowly recovering from a ruptured disc. Please pray for my family and me as I pray for all of you. God’s grace and glory shines through all the darkness we will face in the world and He is ever ready to carry us through our darkest hours. Amen!

Today, we will ponder the final hours of Jesus’ time on the earth as He is taken before Pilate. Let’s pray before we get started. 🙏🏼

Gracious and loving Father God, You have granted us the privilege of coming before You in worship and praise, in submission and reconciliation, in a deep desire to know and serve You better. Father, please cleanse us of all unrighteousness and through Your Spirit, put us in the right frame of mind to listen to the message You have for us concerning the topic I wish to share. May my words and our understanding of you precious Word glorify You. In Jesus everlasting name, Amen!

Let me set the stage for Jesus’ second time before Pilate. As we read the Gospels, we see the Jesus’ last night in Gethsemane, He earnestly prayed, if possible (Matthew 26:42,) let this cup pass from Me. So great was His agony that the Gospels tell us He sweat drops of blood. (Luke 22:44). In the early morning hours, His betrayer came – Judas came to kiss Jesus, indicating that He was indeed the Savior of the world, the one they called Jesus. (Mark 14:43)

With much abuse, ridicule and false accusations, they taunted and questioned Jesus, they took Him before Pilate the first time, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod – wanting no part of the insurrection again Jesus, Herod sent Jesus and angry mob back to Pilate. (John 18:28-29 & Luke 23:5-7). All of this painful abuse, our Lord and Savior took with patience and long suffering. And this is the point at which I want to delve deeper.

Jesus now finds Himself back before Pilate – weak, exhausted, and grievously treated. The angry mob, guided by the Jewish leaders and satanic agents, were found behind Jesus once again – shouting, cursing and jeering Jesus, calling for His death. Satan was only to happy to excite and rouse the crowds against Jesus – his true Adversary. Yet, Jesus, praise His holy name, stood firm, in humility and love, for humankind. The Scriptures tell us not even a negative look crossed over His countenance, rather He remained peaceful and submissive to the great plan of salvation. It was His faith and allegiance to God, His sinless life of obedience, His great love for His creation that kept Him faithful and true to His last breath. There will never be sufficient words to convey my thankfulness that Jesus stayed His path. Thank You Lord Jesus, Amen!

Pilate had hoped that the decision concerning Jesus would be taken out of his hands and once again – in fear of losing his high position in the Roman government – he sought to appease the evil mob, priests, and rulers by flogging Jesus and then releasing Him. (Luke 23:13-18). The crowd, incited by Satan and his evil angels, refused. They cried out for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus. Each time Pilate tried to placate the angry crowd, their response was the same – release Barabbas, crucify Jesus. Crucify Him, Crucify Him! The shouts rang though the temple courtyard.

Pilate had his guards take Jesus to be flogged. They striped Jesus of His garments and flogged Him, causing agonizing welts and deep cuts all across Jesus’ back. The guards put a purple garment on Jesus, crowned His head with a wreath of thorns, and hailing Him the king of the Jews while slapping Jesus in the face and smacking the crown of horns on His head in order to drive the thorns into Jesus’ scull. After this Pilate brought the robed and crowned Jesus before the angry crowd, hoping they would be satisfied. Yet, history tells us they would not relent, Satan would not relent in his desire to destroy Jesus. Their response – Crucify! Crucify! (John 19:1-6)

At this juncture in the narrative, a very crucial, life changing shift takes place. I firmly believe understanding this dynamic is critical to our own salvation. In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus describes the destruction of Jerusalem as it correlates with end time prophesy. The Jewish leaders of Jesus time sealed the fate of those people denying Him, at this crucial point in history. In John 19:14-15 is described that vital moment – prayerfully consider what transpired. I have bolded key word that changed lives forever. “It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. Here is your king, Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, Take Him away, take Him away! Shall I crucify your king? Pilate asked. We have no king but Caesar, the chief priests answered.” They had no king but Caesar they cried. How those words must have stabbed deep into the heart of God, how they must have broken Jesus heart, how the angels must have wept over the loss of so many souls.

Before the people, were put Jesus, the Heaven sent representation of eternal life, and Barabbas, the self proclaimed messiah that represented Satan in a life of robbery and murder. Good versus Evil and the masses chose, will choose, Evil. It is crucial that we pray and ponder the events of Jesus’ trail and conviction, that we consider the persecution of the disciples and followers down through the ages. We must analyze the similarities facing us in the closing times of Satan’s reign of terror with the trial of Jesus. We literally have two choices and only two choice. Is Jesus our King or is this world run by Satan.

You see, the rulers of the Jews, many of the people, the Roman guards, Pilate and Herod knew who Jesus was – the Son of the Most High. Yet, in the end, they gave themselves over to their wealth, their power, their positions, and the fear of losing them. They forsook Jesus for the fleeting treasures of this world – they forsook so much. Father God, intervene and keep us from this path to destruction, rather deliver us unto eternal life, in the sweet name of Jesus, Amen!

By the will of God, I plan to be back with you every 4 to 5 days with Bible study that profoundly impacts my walk with Jesus. I pray that my thoughts, as they are directed by the Holy Spirit, bring you hope and peace. If so, please share my posts with other. I would love to hear from you, receive topics of interest, needs for prayer, and enrichment in our fellowship one with another. Drop me an email from time to time, using the comment box below.

Until we are back together, God bless and keep you on the path of eternal life! Proverbs 12:28

Photo from Rumble

%d bloggers like this: