Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sin Is Not Part Of God's Program

(4-6) All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God's order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in
Him, and sin is not part of His program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They've got him all backward
-- 1 John 3:4-6 (MSG)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forgiveness. Consequences. Mercy.

Forgiveness can come in just a moment,
But sometimes the consequences last.
It's hard to walk into that mercy,
When the present's so tied up with the past.
-- Bob Bennett, Singer, Songwriter

Thank you, Lord, that we can walk in Your new mercy for this day.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

* For extra encouragement, saturate in Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, February 27, 2012

"All Of Yourself, All Of Myself."

Ben served the Lord as a full-time minister for over 70 years, but it all began when at the tender age of sixteen he knelt to pray in his local church. As he prayed, Ben sensed the Lord inviting him to be His messenger of Good News. While listening to the Lord, Ben declared, "But Lord, I am not sure I have what it takes." To which He sensed the Lord's response: "Ben, if you give me all of yourself and I give you all of Myself, do you believe that would that be enough?" To which Ben cried out, "YES!"

Note: B. Edgar Johnson (Ben) recently went to be in the eternal realized Presence of the Lord at age 90.

I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins. -- Galatians 2:19b-20 (GWT)

Yes, Lord, Yes, to Your Will and to Your Way!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Practice Prayer

This morning I received a message from a dear friend saying:
Keep praying for our family,
that God would lift our heavy hearts.

When the message arrived, I was praying in the Psalms. Immediately I sent this response back to my friend:
Keep practicing Psalm 30:8.
And Psalm 30:11 is my prayer for you.

(8) I will cry out to you, O Lord. I will plead to the Lord for mercy:
(9) “How will you profit if my blood is shed, if I go into the pit? Will the dust of my body give thanks to you? Will it tell about your truth?”
(10) Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me! O Lord, be my helper!
(11) You have changed my sobbing into dancing. You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
-- Psalm 30:8-11 (GWT)

Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy on us!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wait For The Lord With Shouts Of Joy! Ps. 27

By David.
(1) The Lord is my light and my salvation. Who is there to fear? The Lord is my life’s fortress. Who is there to be afraid of? (2) Evildoers closed in on me to tear me to pieces. My opponents and enemies stumbled and fell. (3) Even though an army sets up camp against me, my heart will not be afraid. Even though a war breaks out against me, I will still have confidence in the Lord. (4) I have asked one thing from the Lord. This I will seek: to remain in the Lord’s house all the days of my life in order to gaze at the Lord’s beauty and to search for an answer in His temple. (5) He hides me in His shelter when there is trouble. He keeps me hidden in His tent. He sets me high on a rock. (6) Now my head will be raised above my enemies who surround me. I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy in His tent. I will sing and make music to praise the Lord. (7) Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud. Have pity on me, and answer me. (8) When you said, “Seek my face,” my heart said to You, “O Lord, I will seek Your face.” (9) Do not hide Your face from me. Do not angrily turn me away. You have been my help. Do not leave me! Do not abandon me, O God, my savior! (10) Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will take care of me. (11) Teach me Your way, O Lord. Lead me on a level path because I have enemies who spy on me. (12) Do not surrender me to the will of my opponents. False witnesses have risen against me. They breathe out violence.(13) I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in this world of the living. (14) Wait with hope for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.
-- Psalm 27 (GWT)

Let us wait for the Lord with shouts of joy,

Friday, February 24, 2012

They Would Have Swallowed Us Alive

(1) If the LORD had not been on our
side—let Israel say-
(2) if the LORD had not been on our
side when men attacked us,
(3) when their anger flared against
us, they would have swallowed us alive.
-- Psalm 124:1-3 (NIV)

Indeed, if the right man, Jesus, were not on our side,
All of our enemies would still swallow us alive.
But Jesus is on our side (ok, we are on His side).
So, let's exhale! He is The Overseer of The Overcomers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Your Greatest Opportunity

Don't be afraid to obey the Lord.
It is your greatest opportunity in life.
-- James Spruill

Look: to obey is better than sacrifice...
-- 1 Samuel 15:22 (HCS)

Let's trust and obey, day-by-day, especially today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Will We Leave Christ Or Stay With Christ?

(66) Jesus’ speech made many of His disciples go back to the lives they had led before they followed Jesus. (67) So Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave Me too?” (68) Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to what person could we go? Your words give eternal life.
-- John 6:66-68 (GWT)

(28) And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for Him when He appears, ready to receive Him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when He arrives. (29) Once you're convinced that He is right and righteous, you'll recognize that all who practice righteousness are God's true children.
-- 1 John 2:28-29 (MSG)

Beloved Lord. I want to stay with You, not stray from You. Amen.

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A God-Ordered Not A Self-Scheduled Life

Make my steps secure through Your promise,
and do not let any sin control me.
-- Psalm 119:133 (GWT)

Click here: Brooklyn Tabernacle - Order My Steps (1994)

Lord, I want my life to be ordered by You, not scheduled by me.
Yes, please let my life be God-ordered, not self-scheduled.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Victor Or Victim?

Lock arms with Jesus and become a victor in holiness
or lock arms with Satan and become a victim of sin.
-- James Spruill

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. -- Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

When God's People Pray

Where two or three have come together in My name, I am there among them. -- Words of Jesus in Matthew 18:20 (GWT)

Click here: When God`s people pray by Crystal Lewis

"When God's People Pray" Lyrics by Crystal Lewis

Deep in the dark of despair
Deep in my heart there's a prayer
That faith will reign over fear
That courage and strength will be mine
My heart is heavy I don't understand
Yet I know my life is in your hands

I realize that I am incapable
Of changing alone the impossible
But I believe in miracles
Together our voices will rise
We are not powerless in the face of fear
As one we will stand and make our voices clear

When God's people pray things will change
When God's people pray all the earth will obey
My faith can't be shaken because I have seen
The amazing, miraculous happens
When God's people pray

Our defense in danger
Our light in the midst of life
Our strength in the weakest moment
Our hope through the night, the night
All things are possible when we let go
Let go of what we can't control

When God's people pray things will change
When God's people pray all the earth will obey
My faith can't be shaken because I have seen
The amazing, miraculous happens
When God's people pray
The peace that we need will only come when we get on our knees

When God's people pray you know things will change
When God's people pray all the earth will obey
My faith can't be shaken because I have seen
The amazing, miraculous happens
When God's people pray

"However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country." -- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (GWT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

So Far To Find You

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Who is there to fear?
-- Psalm 27:1a (GWT)

I will not leave you all alone. I will come back to you.
-- Words of Jesus in John 14:18 (GWT)

A friend, Rickey, sent me this Youtube song yesterday. Beautiful.
Let's never forget how far Jesus came to find us in our brokenness.

Click here: So Far To Find You by Casting Crowns

Love Never Fails. God Is Love.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Those Born Of God Do Not Continue To Sin

(18) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (19) We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (20) We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true — even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (21) Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
-- 1 John 5:18-21 (NIV)

“I don’t condemn you either. Go! From now on don’t sin.”
-- Jesus' words to woman caught in adultery, John 8:11b (GWT)

Holiness unto The LORD!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

As You Suffer For A Little While...

(5) Young people, in a similar way, place yourselves under the authority of spiritual leaders. Furthermore, all of you must serve each other with humility, because God opposes the arrogant but favors the humble. (6) Be humbled by God’s power so that when the right time comes He will honor you. (7) Turn all your anxiety over to God because He cares for you. (8) Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. (9) Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering. (10) God, who shows you His kindness and who has called you through Christ Jesus to His eternal glory, will restore you, strengthen you, make you strong, and support you as you suffer for a little while. (11) Power belongs to Him forever. Amen.
-- 1 Peter 5:5-11 (GWT)

If I suffer with Him, I shall reign with Him.
-- My Granny Margery's Deathbed Declaration of Hope

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our God Only! No Other God!

(28) Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He sent His angel and saved His servants, who trusted Him. They disobeyed the king and risked their lives so that they would not have to honor or worship any god except their own God. (29) So I order that people from every province, nation, or language who say anything slanderous about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb. Their houses will be turned into piles of rubble. No other god can rescue like this.
-- Daniel 3:28-29 (GWT)

Click here: Our God is Greater - Chris Tomlin - YouTube

Holiness Unto The LORD, OUR GOD... ONLY!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oh What A Friend We've Found!

During our Sacred Assembly of Prayer last evening, the Lord's presence was so very faithful to inspire us. Seems this morning, one song from the prayer gathering last evening is still stirring my soul with hope:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear.
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer.
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Words: Joseph Scriven (1857)

O, What A Friend We've Found In Jesus!

Monday, February 13, 2012

On The Day He Comes To Help You

Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day He comes to help you.
-- 1 Peter 2:12 (GWT)

Click here: Paul Wilbur-Where Does My Help Come From (Psalm 121)

(Please read yesterday's blog post, too.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Help Is On The Way! Let Us Pray!

A song for going up to worship:

(1) I look up toward the mountains. Where can I find help?
(2) My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
(3) He will not let you fall. Your guardian will not fall asleep.
(4) Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps.
(5) The Lord is your Guardian.
The Lord is the Shade over your right hand.
(6) The sun will not beat down on you during the day,
nor will the moon at night.
(7) The Lord guards you from every evil. He guards your life.
(8) The Lord guards you as you come and go, now and forever.
-- Psalm 121 (GWT)

This morning I told the people of our local congregation: "If you feel overwhelmed by life, HELP IS ON THE WAY!" I said this as I announced that our local family of faith, hope, and love would be gathering for a sacred assembly of seeking God's face in vulnerable prayer tomorrow evening, yes, Monday, February 13, in our worship center from 5 - 6:30 p.m.

I really believe that God hears the cries of those who belong to Him. I have a holy anticipation that God's mercy is running towards us even now as I post this blog entry. One precious lady came up afterwards weeping and thanking me for planning this special prayer gathering. I embraced her and prayed over her as the prelude for the promises that the Lord has in mind for all of us when we come together Monday at 5 pm in His Name.

As we left the church foyer after today's worship services, Pastor Joseph, our worship pastor, asked me if I'd ever heard Michael W. Smith's song titled, "HELP IS ON THE WAY!?" I had not heard it. But I have now. Here's the link below.

(If you cannot be with us in person Monday from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, we invite you to please be with us in Spirit -- The Holy Spirit!)

Click here: Help Is On The Way - Michael W. Smith/Israel Houghton

The Lord is far from wicked people, but He hears the prayers of righteous people.
-- Proverbs 15:29 (GWT)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Art Of Losing

One Art
By Elizabeth Bishop 1911–1979

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love)
I shan't have lied.
It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

(24) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses, and follow me. (25) Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me will find them."
-- Matthew 16:24-25 (GWT)

Losing is sometimes winning,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mercy And Compassion

(76) Let Your mercy comfort me as You promised.
(77) Let Your compassion reach me so that I may live...

-- Psalm 119:76-77a (GWT)

Click here: Hillsong-Mighty to Save - YouTube

For God's Compassion, I Am...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Being Played By Satan And His Strategies?

You want to know what really saddens me as a believer? The way we as Christians too often forget the kind of warfare we are really in. It's disheartening to think of the sure victory that can always be ours if we will only be found always adorning the armor that God's Son died and rose again to outfit us in. Will we ever realize that our struggle really is not against flesh and blood, that our battle is not against one another as human beings? And will we ever be found praying all the time to our Almighty God, instead of being played constantly by Satan and falling victim to his deceptive strategies? I pray aloud these four words: "God forgive! God forbid!"

(10) Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from His mighty strength. (11) Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. (12) This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. (13) For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. (14) So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. (15) Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. (16) In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (17) Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies. (18) Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people.
-- Ephesians 6:10-18 (GWT)

So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.
-- James 4:7 (GWT)

Holiness Unto The LORD!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Lord's Eyes, The Lord's Ears

The Lord’s eyes are on those who do what He approves.
His ears hear their prayer.
-- 1 Peter 3:12a (GWT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11),

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why We Are Not Discouraged

There is nothing, naturally speaking, that makes us lose heart quicker than decay — the decay of bodily beauty, of natural life, of friendship, of associations, all these things make a man lose heart; but Paul says when we are trusting in Jesus Christ these things do not find us discouraged, light comes through them.
-- Oswald Chambers, "Place of Help"

(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory...
-- 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NKJV)

(16) That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. (17) Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.
-- 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (GWT)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where Is The Kingdom Of God?

They can’t say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’
You see, the kingdom of God is within you.”
-- Words of Jesus Recorded in Luke 17:21 (GWT)

John Wesley wrote these words to correspond with Luke 17:21:

For behold the kingdom of God is within or among you -- Look not for it in distant times or remote places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.

God wanted His people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery—which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory.
-- Colossians 1:27 (GWT)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bring The Children To Jesus

Jesus did say for His disciples to "Bring the children to Him!"
-- Pastor Vic Bright

Lord, as Your fully devoted disciples, help us to heed Your command to bring the children within our circles of influence to You. Help us to bring them to You in prayer and by the way we live our lives may the little ones be brought to You, especially. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Jesus said, “Don’t stop children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God.”
-- Matthew 19:14 (GWT)

Jesus Loves Me. This I Know.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Don't Live The Kind Of Lives You Once Lived

(13) Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again. (14) Because you are children who obey God, don’t live the kind of lives you once lived. Once you lived to satisfy your desires because you didn’t know any better. (15) But because the God who called you is holy you must be holy in every aspect of your life. (16) Scripture says, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (17) So if you call God your Father, live your time as temporary residents on earth in fear. He is the God who judges all people by what they have done, and He doesn’t play favorites. (18) Realize that you weren’t set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed. (19) Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections. (20) He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good He became publicly known in the last period of time. (21) Through Him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God.
-- 1 Peter 1:13-21 (GWT)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Real Reason To Hope

(3) Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, He has given us new life and a hope that lives on. (4) God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. (5) You have faith in God, Whose power will protect you until the last day. Then He will save you, just as He has always planned to do. (6) On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. (7) Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. (8) You have never seen Jesus, and you don't see Him now. But still you love Him and have faith in Him, and no words can tell how glad and happy (9) you are to be saved. That's why you have faith. (10) Some prophets told how kind God would be to you, and they searched hard to find out more about the way you would be saved. (11) The Spirit of Christ was in them and was telling them how Christ would suffer and would then be given great honor. So they searched to find out exactly who Christ would be and when this would happen. (12) But they were told that they were serving you and not themselves. They preached to you by the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven. And their message was only for you, even though angels would like to know more about it.
-- 1 Peter 1:3-12 (CEV)

We Have New Life! Hope, too!

Effective Prayers

Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective.
-- James 5:16b (GWT)

In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Never Again Fear

The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
-- Zephaniah 3:15b (ESV)

Lord, with You ruling on the throne of our hearts, there is no need for us to worry ourselves, only to worship You! Please let Your tremendous Love cast out all of our tormenting fear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

No fear exists where His love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.
-- 1 John 4:18 (GWT)

Love never fails. God is Love. God never fails.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are We Foreigners?

Let's pray together with the Psalmist these simple but profound words:

I am a foreigner in this world.
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
-- Psalm 119:19 (GWT)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!