GOD desires to have unending fellowship and communion with you…

The purpose for prayer is two way communication with GOD…

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are instructed to “pray without ceasing.”

What does that mean and how do we do that?

Certainly it doesn’t mean that we are to stay in our devotional prayer closet all day, because we have other things to do in life – like earning a living; taking care of our families and the business of life.

Listen to the words of Jesus along this line, when He answers the question of what it mean to love GOD, from GOD’S point of view.

John 14:15-20
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Jesus promises the Spirit
15-20 “If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you someone else to stand by you, to be with you always.

I mean the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognise that Spirit.

But you recognise him, for he is with you now and will be in your hearts.

I am not going to leave you alone in the world—I am coming to you. In a very little while, the world will see me no more but you will see me, because I am really alive and you will be alive too.

When that day come, you will realise that I am in my Father, that you are in me, and I am in you.

John 14:23-24
23-24 And to this Jesus replied, “When a man loves me, he follows my teaching.

Then my Father will love him, and we will come to that man and make our home within him.

The man who does not really love me will not follow my teaching. Indeed, what you are hearing from me now is not really my saying, but comes from the Father who sent me.

Jesus asks the question, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?”

John 6:46-51
43-51 So Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. Nobody comes to me unless he is drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up when the last day comes.

In the prophets it is written—‘And they shall all be taught by God,’ and this means that everybody who has heard the Father’s voice and learned from him will come to me.

Not that anyone has ever seen the Father except the one who comes from God—he has seen the Father.

I assure you that the man who trusts in him has eternal life already. I myself am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, and they died.

This is bread that comes down from Heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.

I myself am the living bread which came down from Heaven, and if anyone eats this bread he will live for ever. The bread which I will give is my body and I shall give it for the life of the world.”

Actually the purpose of our having this unending communion with God, called prayer, is not for us to give God our instructions and advice Him of our daily needs, though that’s part of it; but mostly it’s about our having a connection with Him throughout our day – every day – 24/7 365; and it’s also about our receiving instructions from Him and rhema revelation (see Matthew 6:31-33).

Jeremiah 33:3
GOD says: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

What Is Prayer?

Most people might say it’s talking to God, mostly to ask for what we need.

This is partially true, but a crucial piece is missing. In Jeremiah, God tells the Israelites, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer 33:3).

As F. B. Huey Jr., says, this verse links revelation with prayer:

“The invitation suggests that divine revelation becomes reality when it is sought” (see Mt 7:7; cf., Jas 4:2–3).

Timothy Keller further explains how prayer is connected to God’s revelation:

What is prayer, then, in the fullest sense?

Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him. . . .

The power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God.

This is why, as Donald S. Whitney says, “of all the Spiritual Disciplines, prayer is second only to the intake of God’s Word in importance.”

Prayer is second in importance because it relies on our knowledge of God, which comes from reading his Word.

Without engagement with Scripture, our prayers are lacking. It’s like having a phone conversation where the other person can hear us but we can’t hear them.

Hearing from God by engaging Scripture changes us. But does prayer change God?

The Bible doesn’t explicitly say how our prayers influence God. But it does say we can be confident he hears us if we pray according to his will (see 1Jn 5:1).

Our concerns about whether prayer changes God are lessened when we consider we would not want him to answer a prayer that was not according to his will.

Now that we have these missing pieces, we can craft a more comprehensive definition of prayer:

Prayer is an encounter with God that is initiated by him through his Word and that changes our hearts as we humbly communicate and worship the Lord, confess our sins and transgressions and ask him to fulfill both our needs and the desires of our heart.
(from Lifehacks Study Bible)
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And finally…

Charles Spurgeon said – “Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.”

“God has of his own motion placed himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated himself to answer the prayers of men.

He has ordained prayer as a means whereby he will do things through men as they pray, which he would not otherwise do.

If prayer puts God to work on earth, then, by the same token, prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents him from working.

The driving power, the conquering force in God’s cause is God himself.

‘Call on me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which though knowest not,’ is God’s challenge to prayer.

Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.”

[E.M. Bounds “The Weapon of Prayer” Chap. 2]
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The Faith of Abraham…

ABRAHAM: the father of all who have faith and believe…

The GOD kind of FAITH provides limitless power when mixed with our prayers, but our doubts and fears will exclude God and will cancel our faith.

We must learn to believe without doubting!
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How do we develop this GOD kind of faith?

James 1:6-8
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The Christian can even welcome trouble
2-8 When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!

Realise that they come to TEST your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.

And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask GOD—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.

But he MUST ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants GOD’s help or not.

The man who trusts GOD, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next.

That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from GOD, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.

Abraham was called the father of faith for a reason:

Romans 4:17-22
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

16-17 The whole thing, then, is a matter of faith on man’s part and generosity on God’s.

He gives the security of his own promise to all men who can be called “children of Abraham”, i.e. both those who have lived in faith by the Law, and those who have exhibited a faith like that of Abraham.

To whichever group we belong, Abraham is in a real sense our father, as the scripture says: ‘I have made you a father of many nations’.

This faith is valid because of the existence of God himself, who can make the dead live, and speak his Word to those who are yet unborn.

Abraham was a shining example of faith
18 Abraham, when hope was dead within him, went on hoping in faith, believing that he would become “the father of many nations”.

He relied on the word of God which definitely referred to ‘your descendants’.

19-22 With undaunted faith he looked at the facts—his own impotence (he was practically a hundred years old at the time) and his wife Sarah’s apparent barrenness.

Yet he refused to allow any distrust of a definite pronouncement of God to make him waver.

He drew strength from his faith, and while giving the glory to God, remained absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise.

This was the “faith” which ‘was accounted to him for righteousness’.

As Christians, we must learn to incorporate this “GOD kind of FAITH,” that we see in Abraham, in every area of our life; and to ALWAYS make room in our faith and confident reliance upon GOD, for Him to do the unexpected, by answering our prayers in ways that we did not even consider — as we are trusting GOD with all of our heart and NOT leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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Look at What Is Unseen
by Kenneth E. Hagin

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
—2 Corinthians 4:18

How can you look at something unseen?

You’re certainly not looking at it with your physical eyes. No, you’re looking at it with your spiritual eyes, or the eyes of your spirit.

You’re looking at it through the eyes of faith.

A person who does not look at what is seen is not motivated by what is seen. Rather, he or she is motivated by the unseen.

People who are sick and are prayed for again and again do not get healed because they are motivated by their sight or by their feelings.

The same people, if they feel well, say they’re well. And if they feel sick, they say they’re sick.

They’re motivated entirely by their feelings.

I pay no attention to my feelings whatsoever. I couldn’t care less about them. I’m moved only by what I believe.

I adopted a motto from Smith Wigglesworth many years ago:

“I’m not moved by what I see. I’m not moved by what I feel. I’m moved only by what I believe.”

That has helped me through many a hard place.

I mean, I have looked around me in times past when everything seemed to indicate defeat. But I just kept looking the situation right in the face, saying, “I’m not moved by what I see.”

I stood my ground calmly and deliberately, saying, “I’m not moved by what I see. I’m not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe.”

That’s faith. It has brought me through many a hard place, and it will do the same for you.

Confession:
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe. And I believe that God is working everything out for good, according to His Word.

Source: Health Food Devotions by Kenneth E. Hagin.
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Moses asked of GOD, “Show me your way”…

GOD spoke to Moses face-to-face…

Exodus 33:12-15

The Promise of God’s Presence
12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me.

Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’

13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.

And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.

Moses here, in these four verses, is getting real with God, because he knew that he was not able to do what God was calling him to do without God’s leadership; God’s power; and GOD’S presence in his life.

Now let’s travel 3,467 years into the future, from 1,447 BC to 2020, to the battles we are facing.

Are our battles and our obstacles any less real and formidable to us; do we not also need God’s leadership, power and presence in our lives today?

As God once said to Jehoshaphat, when he was out numbered and out powered by the enemy forces,

“And GOD said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you,

‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'”
—2 Chronicles 20:15

The key part in Moses’ prayer is when he asked of God, “show me now Your way.”

Moses was asking GOD to,

“give me your wisdom and show me your way, that I may follow you.”

Is that not also our pray today, in whatever battles we are facing, that God give us His wisdom and show us His way.

1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us, speaking of those things, written in the Tanakh (Old Testament),

“Now ALL these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

And in verse 13 we are told that,

“No temptation (Grk: peirazō = to be tested) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

And in Ephesians 6:12 we are told to put on our battle armor daily,

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

And so equally for us today, as it was for Moses 3,467 years ago, the battles we fight today also belongs to the Lord, because it’s a battle between light and darkness.

In the New Covenant, Jesus tells us that,

“I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE…”

—John 14:6

Our job, as Christians today, is to take His yoke upon us and to come to Him and learn of Him (Mat 11:29); and for us to then prioritize, in our life, the seeking of His Kingdom; to follow Jesus and to understand His WAY of doing things.

This is the same knowledge that Moses was seeking from God in Exodus 33, when he said “show me your way.”

Being a Christian is all about our developing a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ; our being filled with His Spirit; and our learning to practice His presence in our lives 24/7 – 365.

And finally James warns us not to be half-hearted and of a divided mine in this pursuit,

James 1:5-8
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.’

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Let us NOT take our Constitutional guaranteed liberties for granted…

God’s Watchmen on the Wall…

Ezekiel 3:17
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me”

Let us remember to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world, who are today being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Please click on link below to read article:

“Top 10 Countries Where it is Most Dangerous to Practice Christianity”

In these places there is a high cost to follow Christ, because you do so at the risk of your life and the well-being, security and safety of your family”

At the same time let us not take for granted the liberties that we enjoy here in America, liberties that have been bought and paid for through the shed blood of so many, to give us this freedom that so many today are taking for granted.

It’s through our de jure organic Constitution and our Bill of Rights that these rights and liberties are granted us, and make no mistake, but that the forces of Antichrist today in our country are trying very hard to take those rights and liberties away from us; and mind you, there’s no question but that the future these corrupt politicians and Antichrist forces would have for us is exactly what you see happening in these persecuted third world countries.

In the words of Edmund Burke,
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

As Christians, our battle starts on our knees, as per Jesus’ instructions that we are to both “WATCH and PRAY;” and as the Apostle Paul admonished us, that we NOT be ignorant of the enemy’s devises, least he take unfair advantage of us.

Jesus said for us, “To be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

As Watchmen on the Wall, like we read of Gideon’s 300, it’s our job to prayerfully keep our eyes on the horizon, to see what the enemy forces are doing; and then to warn the people of any impending dangers that we may see.

It is our prayers that provide the air support that go in advance of the ground forces, to soften and eradicate the enemy’s forces.

Charles Spurgeon said:
“Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.”

“God has of his own motion placed himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men.

He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do.

If prayer puts God to work on earth, then, by the same token, prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents him from working.

The driving power, the conquering force in God’s cause is God himself.

‘Call on Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which though knowest not,’ is God’s challenge to prayer.

Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.”

[E.M. Bounds “The Weapon of Prayer” Chap. 2]

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God’s timing…

God’s timing is often much different from ours

What if God says for us to, “Wait a minute?”

A man once asked God: “God, how long is a million years?”

God: “To me, it’s about a minute.”

The man: “God, how much is a million dollars?”

God: “To me it’s a penny.”

The man: “God, may I have a penny?”

God: “Wait a minute.” 😊

“An old Jewish prayer, uttered somewhat wistfully, begins, ‘O Lord, I know that Thou wilt help us; but wilt Thou help us *before* Thou wilt help us?’

It’s not always easy to wait for God, especially when we are in pain or anxiety, but we must never, ever, give up.”

(Hebrew for Christians)

For most of us waiting and having patience is not our strong suit.

What to do when God’s Timing Is Taking Too Long?
by Joyce Meyer

We all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now…not later.

When it doesn’t happen that way, we are tempted to ask, “When, God, when?”

Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the “when” question.

If you’re missing joy and peace, you’re not trusting God. If your mind feels worn out all the time, you’re not trusting God.

The tendency to want to know about everything that’s going on can be detrimental to your Christian walk.

Sometimes knowing everything can be uncomfortable and can even hurt you.

I spent a large part of my life being impatient, frustrated and disappointed because there were things I didn’t know.

God had to teach me to leave things alone and quit feeling that I needed to know everything.

I finally learned to trust the One who knows all things and accept that some questions may never be answered.

We prove that we trust God when we refuse to worry.

God wants us to live by discernment—revelation knowledge, not head knowledge.

It’s difficult to exercise discernment if you’re always trying to figure everything out.

But when you’re willing to say, “God, I can’t figure this out, so I’m going to trust You to give me revelation that will set me free,” then you can be comfortable in spite of not knowing.

Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it.

We often say God is never late, but generally He isn’t early either.

Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives.

Wait with Patience
We spend a lot of time in our lives waiting because change is a process.

Many people want change, but they don’t want to go through the waiting process.

But the truth is, waiting is a given—we are going to wait.

The question is, are we going to wait the wrong or right way?

If we wait the wrong way, we’ll be miserable; but if we decide to wait God’s way, we can become patient and enjoy the wait.

It takes practice, but as we let God help us in each situation, we develop patience, which is one of the most important Christian virtues.

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). It’s developed only under trial, so we must not run from difficult situations.

“But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

—James 1:4

As we develop patience, the Bible says we finally feel completely satisfied—lacking nothing.

Even our relationship with God involves progressive changes.

My relationship with God is so much different now than it was in the early days of my Christian experience.

It is not nearly as emotionally exciting…and yet it is better.

Every change I’ve gone through has made me more mature, solid and well-grounded.

We learn to trust God by going through many experiences that require trust.

By seeing God’s faithfulness over and over, we let go of trusting ourselves, and gradually we place our trust in Him.

Looking at it like this, it is easy to see how timing plays an important part in learning to trust God.

If He did everything we asked for immediately, we would never grow and develop.

Timing and trust work side by side.

Accept God’s Timing
God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn’t always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan.

Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program.

There are times when we might give up if we knew how long it was going to take, but when we accept God’s timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems.

We know that God’s plan for our lives is good, and when we entrust ourselves to Him, we can experience total peace and happiness.

The book of Genesis tells the story of Joseph, who waited many years for the fulfillment of the dream God had given him.

He was falsely accused and imprisoned before the time came for him to do what God had shown him he was to do.

Exodus 13:17-18 tells us that God led the Israelites the longer, harder way on their journey to the Promised Land because He knew they were not yet ready to go in.

There had to be time for their training, and they had to go through some very trying situations.

They wasted a lot of time wondering about God’s timing, but God never failed to take care of them and show them what He wanted them to do.

The same is true in our lives. It was many years after I received my call from God in February of 1976 before I finally began to see major fulfillment of what God had called me to do.

God’s training period simply requires us to do what He tells us to do when He tells us to do it…without questioning or trying to figure everything out.

Learn to Rely on God

Proverbs 16:9 says, A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

Proverbs 20:24 says, Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?

When God directs our paths, He sometimes leads us in ways that don’t make sense to us so we’re not always going to understand everything.

If we try to reason out everything, we will experience struggle, confusion and misery—but there is a better way.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”

This sounds so simple, yet too many people make the mistake of trying to figure everything out themselves.

Most of us have spent our lives trying to take care of ourselves, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, we must learn to trust our lives to His care.

When we do, we can say with the psalmist,

“…I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands…”

—Psalm 31:14-15

First Peter 5:5 tells us that

“…God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”

Anyone who thinks they’re a self-made man or woman has a rude awakening coming because Jesus said,

” …apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

—John 15:5

Humility is a covering that draws the help of God into our lives to protect us.

When we humble ourselves by saying, “God, I don’t know what to do, but I’m trusting You,” God gets in gear to help us.

God won’t allow us to succeed at anything unless we’re leaning and relying on Him.

But when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, in due time, He will exalt us (see 1 Peter 5:6).

“Due time” is God’s time, when God knows we’re ready, not when we think we’re ready. The sooner we understand and accept that, the sooner God can work His plan in our lives.

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The Bereans got it right…

Let God’s Word be a lamp unto our feet (Ps 119:105)…

The Berean church (from the city of Berea – in Macedonia, northern Greece) set the right example.

It can be very difficult to know what is true and what isn’t.

We often can feel a bit overwhelmed and exhausted by all the fact checking that is required for us to discern what is true.

First of all the Bible tells us that TRUTH is a Person (see John 14:6), and so in our quest to decern TRUTH we need to start with the Living Word Himself, who is Jesus the Christ (Messiah).

We are CONSTANTLY receiving new information: articles shared over mass media and on social media – from Facebook, opinions on Twitter, advertisements on Instagram, books, movies, app notifications…the list goes on and on.

Let’s look at Acts 17:10-12 and see how the Bereans handled all the information they were receiving.

“As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”

— Acts 17:10-12

The Bereans weren’t unaware of the pressure to have correct information.

With the news Paul and Silas were spreading about Jesus, everyone was on edge.

The Gospel challenged the current thought trends on religion, politics, socioeconomics, and more.

So, choosing sides was a lot more threatening than picking Democrat or Republican.

This decision was religious rulers versus Jesus, Rome versus Jesus, cultural values versus Jesus…and behinds the scenes, Satan versus Jesus.

But in Acts 17:10-12, we see Luke write something attention-grabbing. He lifts the Berean Jews up as an example for all of us to follow.

Why did he choose to say this, out of all the people they met on their journey?

A very important characteristic stood out to him, when it came to the Berean Church — a very important one.

The scriptures tell us,

Acts 17:11

“These were more NOBLE than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

When everything they were taught was challenged by the Gospel, they didn’t run away plugging their ears or start shouting over Paul and Silas.

No, rather with eagerness and a willing mind they began the process of fact checking, to see by examining the scriptures themselves, whether the Old Testament (Tanakh) really did prophecy Jesus to be the Messiah.

In the end, they discovered the Gospel to be true and became followers of Jesus.

How can we be like the Bereans in times like this, where sometimes our long held doctrinal and religious beliefs and values are being challenged?

In scripture, we are admonished to RIGHTLY divide the truth:

2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Here are some other recommendations that might be helpful;

  • Don’t lose your temper
  • Have a willing mind
  • Listen to what others are saying
  • Evaluate the claims others make
  • Compare what we hear with Scripture
  • Consider if some of your long-held interpretations of Scripture need to be re-examined
  • Ask some friends to join you in your research
  • Rinse and repeat

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The back side of Calvary…

Why do some question whether it’s God’s will to heal us?

We discussed this subject on yesterday’s PRAYER CALL, while taking Communion, in how Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, as our Passover Lamb, paid for both our HEALING and our REDEMPTION.

They were BOTH paid for in full, by the stripes on Jesus’ back and the blood that He shed, so why wouldn’t He want us to be healed, as well as forgiven from our sins?

Yet so many Christians today would still question that fact – as they often pray, “Lord, if it be thy will, Heal this person.”

However, I never hear anyone say “if it be thy will Lord save this person.”

The scriptures tell us,

1 John 5:14-15
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He hears us.

15 And if we know that He hears us, WHATEVER we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Matthew 8:16-17
16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed ALL who were sick,

17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”

1 Peter 2:24
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you WERE healed.

The Spirit-Filled Believer

SALVATION: IT’S ALL-INCLUSIVE
by Dick Mills

“Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases”
— Ps. 103:3

Salvation and healing are inseparable. The same Lord who forgives our sins, heals our diseases.

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the word “salvation” is all-inclusive, including within its meaning forgiveness, reconciliation, deliverance, healing, safety, rescue, setting at liberty.

When Israel left Egypt, the sacrificial lamb slaughtered before their departure served two purposes.

1) The blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorposts protected the people from the judgment of sin that came that passover night.

2) The flesh of the lamb was eaten to provide sustenance and strength for the journey ahead.

The physical benefits were so great that Psalm 105:37 (NKJ) states of God’s people:

“THERE WAS NONE FEEBLE AMONG HIS TRIBES.”

One lamb covered both SPIRITUAL and PHYSICAL needs.

Jesus went about forgiving sins and healing the sick (Acts 10:38).

He told the twelve to do the same. He told the seventy to do the same. He could have told the five hundred to do the same.

Everyone called to preach the Gospel of forgiveness of sin is also told to heal the sick.

The two are inseparable.

Every time we take Communion, we are reminded of man’s two areas of need: spiritual health and physical health.

The cup reminds us that the blood of Jesus takes away all our sins.

The wafer, or broken bread, reminds us that with His stripes we are healed.

Salvation and healing come to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ. You can claim them both!

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
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What is God’s purpose for our life…

Jesus did not come to give us a happy life, nor did He come to give us an easy live…

He did come however to give us an abundant life (Mat 6:33), which only can happen when we plug into God’s purpose for our life.

God’s first purpose is that we be conformed into the image of His Son and also to train us to do spiritual warfare, in order that we may effect a rescue mission to save as many as we can, snatching them out of Satan’s hands, with the Gospel; and in the process to take authority over the “turkey” and put him under our feet (Rom 16:20).

Jesus speaking: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
— John 16:33

“For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
— Romans 8:29

MAY 31
My Utmost for HIS Highest

PUT GOD FIRST

Jesus did not commit Himself to them…for He knew what was in man.
— JOHN 2:24-25

Put Trust in God First. Our Lord never put His trust in any person. Yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God first.

He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone.

I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right.

Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God.

Put God’s Will First. “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9).

A person’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need— our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father.

The rallying cry today is, “We must get to work!

The heathen are dying without God. We must go and tell them about Him.”

But we must first make sure that God’s “needs” and His will in us personally are being met.

Jesus said, “…tarry…until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will.

Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere.

Put God’s Son First.

“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” (Matthew 18:5).

God came as a baby, giving and entrusting Himself to me. He expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.”

Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God?

God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.

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Importance of our learning to fight God’s battles God’s way…

Putting on the mind of Christ, for Christians, is especially important at times like this…

Right is still right and wrong is still wrong!

And the Bible says, in Isaiah 5:20,

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The young man in the video is obviously acting out his anger and feelings of frustration, and understandably so, of a long line of injustices, against a seemingly prevailing and precieved ideology (from the Black point of view) that, to quote the modern phrase, “Black lives matter,” with the obvious preceved intent that, at least from the white perspective, that the opposite is true, that their lives don’t matter.

There is an old saying that, “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

The person who first uttered this American saying is lost to history; but the fact that it’s so well known is a good indication of the importance of our learning to empathize and try and identify with that other person before judging them, be they male or female and regardless of the color of their skin.

The point is, you can never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view, until you climb inside of his or her skin and walk around in it for a while.”

As Christians, I believe that we’re called to do just that.

Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

Is that not what Jesus did, when He humbled Himself and became a part of His own creation, in order that He may give His life as a propitious offering for OUR sin?

Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church, in what our attitude should be at times like this — times exactly like what we’re going through now.

In all things in life, Jesus is our example; and the admonishment of scripture is that we learn each day to put on the mind of Christ.

The Apostle Paul put it this way:

Philippians 2:1-18
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Above all things be loving, humble, united
2 1-4 Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of His Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hope for you come true!

Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you.

Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves.

None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.

Let Christ be your example of humility
5-11 Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be.

For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man.

And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death He died was the death of a common criminal.

That is why God has now lifted Him so high, and has given Him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow”, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth.

And that is why, in the end, “every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ” is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God is himself at work within you
12-13 So then, my dearest friends, as you have always followed my advice—and that not only when I was present to give it—so now that I am far away be keener than ever to work out the salvation that God has given you with a proper sense of awe and responsibility.

For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose.

14-18 Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be God’s children, blameless, sincere and wholesome, living in a warped and diseased world, and shining there like lights in a dark place.

For you hold in your hands the very Word of Life. Thus can you give me something to be proud of in the day of Christ, for I shall know then that I did not spend my energy in vain.

Yes, and if it should happen that my life-blood is, so to speak, poured out upon the sacrifice and offering which your faith means to God, then I can still be very happy, and I can share my happiness with you all.

I should like to feel that you could be glad about this too, and could share with me the happiness I speak of.

The teaching of the Bible and more specifically from the Apostle Paul’s perspective (found in 2 Cor 2:11) is that, as Christians,

Lest Satan should get an advantage over us, that we should not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (his strategies and modus operandi).

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

Who is the real “instigator” behind racial bigotry and prejudice, in order to cause this division and separation between the races?

As Christians, we already know the answer to that question — it’s Satan!

As Watchmen on the Wall prayer warriors, we should be able to see what the enemy’s strategy is and what he is doing in our society today, to put forth his agenda.

Divide and Conquer
To divide and conquer is one of the oldest strategy of War that we have.

In political and sociological warfare, it entails the gaining and maintaining of power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into smaller pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.

The use of this technique is meant to empower the instigator, which in this example is Satan, to control the population, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule and authority.

What about the black on black violence, that we see in certain places across our country.

[NOTE: According to the FBI’s uniform crime-reporting data for 2016, 90.1 percent of black victims of homicide were killed by other blacks, while 83.5 percent of whites were killed by other whites.

While no life is inconsequential, the statistical evidence shows that—just as for blacks when it comes to black-on-black crime—whites are mostly victimized by other whites, with the vast majority of white murders committed by whites]

Also there are strong indicators that many of the agitators, in these inner-city conflicts are paid and come from outside the area.

As happened in Ferguson, MO a few years ago, in the inner-city rioting that took place there.

The following was taken from an article from the Kansas City Star:

“The people causing all the trouble, they aren’t from Ferguson,” said resident Mike Marion, 26. “They’re from all over.

They’re not trying to make things better or stand up for Michael Brown. They’re just taking advantage of the situation.”

It was a sentiment shared by dozens of residents interviewed by The Star on Monday afternoon after arguably the worst violence in a week of unrest broke out the night before.

While laying much of the blame for the strife at the feet of police, they say peaceful protests are being hijacked by people with other agendas.

“People of Ferguson are getting punished for the actions of outside agitators,” said Kenny Murdock, 47, who hosts a show on a St. Louis radio station.

Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who had been documenting the protests and the security response on social media, pointed via Twitter to a small group of people who “cannot be defined as protesters/demonstrators. They are more like fighters/rebels/insurgents.”

[https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article1251108.html]

Who’s the source of this wanton violence and where are these paid outside agitators getting their funding?

Does the name George Soros ring a bell?

No, as Christians we need to have a more discerning spirit, in order that we recognize what’s really going on, and not let the enemy manipulate us; and divide us.

The scripture tells us that Jesus came to undo ALL the evil works of the Devil, but we as Christians must learn to resist and do spiritual battle with the enemy the way Christ instructs us.

1 John 3:8b
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy ALL the works of the devil.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

“The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level.

The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds.

Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God.

We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.”

Jesus told the following parable, discribing the cunningness of the enemy and his worldly followers, in devising wicked schemes:

Luke 16:1-8

The Parable of the Unjust Steward
16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.

2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me.

I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.

4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’

So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’

7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’

So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’

And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.

For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

And Jesus also said,

Matthew 10:16
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

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The Lord is all around His people…

He both precedes and follows us wherever we go…

Listen to what Paul said,

Acts 17:24-28
New Life Version (NLV)

24 “The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.

He does not live in buildings made by hands. 25 No one needs to care for Him as if He needed anything.

He is the One who gives life and breath and everything to everyone.

26 He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live.

27 “They were to look for God. Then they might feel after Him and find Him because He is not far from each one of us.

28 It is in Him that we live and move and keep on living.

Some of your own men have written, ‘We are God’s children.’

Read the lyrics:
As the mountains are around Jerusalem,
The Lord is all around His People.

As the mountains are around Jerusalem,
The Lord is all around His People.
From this time forth, and forevermore,
The Lord is all around His People,
From this time forth, it shall always be,
The Lord is all around His People.

Like Mount Zion in the midst of Jerusalem,
We cannot be moved, we cannot be moved.
Like Mount Zion in the midst of Jerusalem,
We cannot be moved, we cannot be moved.
From this time forth, and forevermore,
The Lord is all around His People,
From this time forth, it shall always be,
The Lord is all around His People.

From this time forth, and forevermore,
The Lord is all around His People,

From this time forth, it shall always be,
The Lord is all around His People.
The Lord is all around His People.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, know that God always surrounds His covenant children.

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