Watch and Pray

20931167_1754424497918224_1024887147_oTwo simple words that carry such power. Why? Because the power is not in the words, or the action of them, but in God Who works with power to perform His will in the earth. Of all the LORD’s commands, I believe these to be the most difficult to obey, not because they are difficult to do, but because it is difficult to do that only and not want to do something more. When an expert says, “watch me and learn.” It’s always a good idea to pay close attention to what they do and how they do it. Much can be learned by watching a professional do a task. I feel just like this sitting at the feet of Christ. Completely in awe of Him, as He does what only HE can do! I know that I will never be able to attain to His perfection and abilities (at least not on my own), nevertheless I desire to learn as much as I possibly can from Him! So what does He tell us we can learn from Him?

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”‭‭ – Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‬

So first He tells us to come to Him! Then He tells us to rest from all our own labors (because that profits us nothing), then He tells us to take His yoke upon us (because without Him we can do nothing), next He tells us to be meek and lowly like Him (for He came to serve not to be served), then He says we’ll find rest for our souls (no more needless striving for things we could never hope to achieve), just rest (be still and know that He is God) leave those impossibilities to our all powerful God and learn to trust Him with all our hearts and yoke up with Him in prayer How? Simply agree with Him! Agree that if He said it then it shall be! Stay connected to Christ Jesus and move when and where He does. Then and only then, can we become useful to Him! All we need to do is trust and follow walking in complete covenant agreement with all He wants to do, when, where, and how He wants to do it! The difficulty comes when we think we know what He is doing and want to help Him! (Great intentions but that only slows down or halts the process) The difficulty is in doing all this and nothing more! Of all the lessons of Scripture, this, at least in my opinion is the most difficult. Trust, pray, and obey! Nothing more and nothing less! This is truly being led by the Spirit and not walking in the flesh or emotions of our soul. I know in my own life, when I get excited about what God is doing I want to press that gas pedal and go a little faster, but if I feel fear, or am simply lacking in faith, I want to hit the breaks a little. Both of these responses are wrong, they throw you out of God’s timing and may cause you to have to repeat the course, instead we should cling to Jesus and trust Him in every moment of the journey. Only He knows best how to get you to the finish line right on time!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”‭‭ – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-7‬ ‬

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭8:2-8‬ ‬

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”‭‭ – Galatians‬ ‭5:16-25‬ ‬

“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭8:10-15‬ ‬

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”‭‭ – 2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‬

“See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.‭‭” – 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15-24‬ ‬

Submitted by @ Heather Wright

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

e761a206c0a9500607e625d2c1af43ea“…and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” – Acts‬ ‭16:30‬ ‭

Jesus tells us in The book of John, chapter 14, and verse 6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This means that there is no other way, no other person, and no other god or deity that can save you from the penalty of sin, which is an eternal death (or separation from God) in hell. For only Jesus died to pay that penalty for you with His own atoning blood that you might be reconciled to God the Father and be able to inter into eternal life and your blessed rest with Him in Heaven. This is why scripture so clearly states in Acts 4:12 that, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” but by the Name of Jesus Christ only, the chosen and anointed one.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” – John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭

So scripture is clear Jesus is the only one who can save us, but what must I do to be saved by Him? In John chapter 3 a pharisee (a priest) named Nicodemus ask Jesus this very thing, to which Jesus tells him, “you must be born again“. Jesus explains that we were all born once into this natural world, naturally of water by way of our mother’s womb, but to be able to inter the Kingdom of heaven (which is Spiritual) we must be born again of the Spirit. This will allow us to be changed, to be cleansed, to be made pure and sinless, to be made new, to become a child of God.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭

So to answer the question what must you do to be saved, it’s not really “what you do“, for there is no work or ritual that can save you, but rather it is “what you believe“. Not what you say you believe, but what you really believe, because what you believe you will obey with your very life. Because you see, while your actions won’t change what you believe, what you believe will most definitely change your actions. Therefor, are we saved by grace through faith and empowered unto good works.

So this is what you must do to be saved according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Truly believe in your heart that Jesus is the son of God who died to take away your sin. Believe that He is the only way to the Father and to Heaven. Believe that He can take away your sin and give you His heart and Spirit that you will be born again as a child of God freed from the bondage of sin and the penalty of it. Believe that by the power of His Spirit (or Grace) you can now resist the devil and overcome him and his temptations. You must confess these things with your mouth. Repent (or turn away) from your sins. Pick up your cross (which represents laying down selfish desires for obedience to God’s will and the leading of His Spirit) and follow Him. By this are men saved! That first by faith in who Christ is and what He has done is released by us, to which God then sends us His Spirit (the Spirit of Grace), to impart unto us His favor, power, and divine influence, that we might abstain from evil and do good works unto His glory and become a witness of the saving grace of the risen Christ to a fallen world.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” – Acts‬ ‭3:19-20‬ ‭

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26-27‬ ‭

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” – Zechariah‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans‬ ‭10:9-11‬ ‭

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” – Romans‬ ‭8:11-16‬ ‭
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Has Your Promise Died?

prayerIn the book of 2 Kings chapter 4, you can read the story of a remarkable woman of faith. As often as the prophet Elisha would pass by, she would invite him in to eat with her and her husband. She even went so far as to petition her husband to build an upper room within their home for the man of God to lodge in when he passed, to which her husband graciously obliged. For all her faithful service and kindness to God’s servant, the prophet, she was promised that in a year she would have a son seeing as how she had no children.

All came to pass, but one day when the child was still young, he fell ill in the field, overcome by the elements of laboring in the field with his father, the child died. The woman had been given a promise from God, yet now her promise was dead in her arms. All hope seemingly stripped away. Yet when her servants asked what was wrong, she replied only, “it is well“.

You see, though her promise was dead, as long as her faith in it was not, “all really was well“. Instead of giving up, blaming God, or anyone else, she drove as fast and as hard as she could to God for help. For who can steal from God and not be made to repay what was stolen? This promise was from God, therefor she trusted that even though it had died, as long as her faith in it had not, then God would resurrect it; and resurrect it He did.

“Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.” – 2 Kings‬ ‭4:35-36‬ ‭

Has your promise died? What has God promised you that you have held close to your heart for so long? Has it only become more impossible then when He first promised it? Has the hope of it ever coming to be as it was promised become utterly hopeless, except by faith? Good! Because until it comes to this point, the point of utter death, of complete hopelessness of completion by natural means, by you, by anyone, or even any devil; will God finally step in and do what ONLY HE CAN DO! For only He has resurrection power and by it does He prove that He is God and none other!

You see our God specializes in bringing dead things back to life, therefor we need to specialize in believing that. The truth is that your promise has to die before He can bring it to life in all its glory and power. It has to die so that it can stop being “your” promise and be resurrected by His mighty hand and manifest as “His” promise. By this is He glorified and your faith secured!

Many years after this woman’s child of promise was resurrected, God sent an other promise into the world. A promise of hope, deliverance, salvation, Kingship, power, majesty, and might! That promise walked the streets of Jerusalem healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, causing the lame to walk, the captive to be set free, preaching, teaching, and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord! Yet while He labored lovingly in His Father’s field, He was nailed to a cross and the promise died.

“And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.” – Luke‬ ‭24:19-21‬ ‭

Yet again, all would seem lost, but for the limitless power of our God who specializes in bringing dead things back to life! Full of resurrection power toward those that believe! Dead promises, dead hopes, dead relationships, dead ministries, dead situations, He can bring life to anything, even to you! Are you dead in sin? Believe that He can even bring life to you by the power of His Holy Spirit! The more impossible it seems the more you can stand in faith that He is willing to do it, not just for you, but for the faith of others, and for His glory!

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭

If your promise has died, then stand in faith and praise God because it means that the promise is not just for you and that the faith of many will be effected by the impossible resurrection of that promise by His own hand! Have faith and He will turn your mourning into dancing! What began as impossible, through faith will end as the miracle that everyone around you has been needing to see to cause faith to rise up in them. In this is your seed of faith planted, buried, left for dead yet waited on until it springs up in newness of life, bares fruit and is multiplied in the hearts of others.

You see, if the woman had only received the promised child, it would have brought faith to her and blessed her alone, but when the promise died and it became completely impossible, she then had to stand in impossible faith in her God of impossible power in the sight of others! Then God was able to move in impossible ways to resurrect that promise, not only bringing the promise back to life, but the faith of others with it!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” – John‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭

Being A Godly Leader

prayerdfsdf“And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth–el in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” – Judges‬ ‭4:4-5‬ ‭

In the time before Kings, Israel was ruled by Judges. These judges acted as decision makers for the people, as head general over the armies, as protectors and deliverers, and as a proxy King. They were not like the judicial judges of today, but were more akin to Chieftains, tribal leaders of the fledgling nation.

A quick read through the book of judges will reveal two things. The first thing you might notice is a cycle of sin, which led to God removing His favor and protection, which led to the Israelite’s being conquered and oppressed, which led to them repenting and crying out, which led to God returning to them and raising up a deliverer (a judge), which led to deliverance and blessings, which led to them going back to sin, which started the cycle over again.

The second thing you might notice is that as things got progressively more wicked among the Israelite’s, so did it among the judges. Though God, in His faithfulness, still worked to bring about His promises with what He had available, nearly all the judges were wicked, corrupt, ungodly people themselves. Showing forth the very sad state of God’s people and the depths of God’s power to see His promises fulfilled.

The reason for this cycle of wickedness and corruption is expressed in the final verse of the book of judges which states: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” You see, Israel was never meant to have a fleshly King, God was meant to be King over Israel and the judges His prophets and generals. However, though the people acknowledged God, they did not acknowledge Him as King, they did not seek Him, and they did not obey Him. Therefore, relying on their own wisdom (or lack thereof), sin abounded because God was not acknowledged as King and decision maker over the people’s lives in Israel, they all did what was right in their own eyes. Laying aside God’s righteousness (what God says is right) for their own righteousness (what they thought was right), wickedness and sin waxed worse and worse. For though they claimed to believe in God, they did not take the time to get to know who He really was. Because of this, they did not know His character nor did they seek, believe, or obey His words. So that many times they ended up in sin, idolatry, and even devil worship thinking they were still serving God.

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans‬ ‭10:2-3‬ ‭

“Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” – Proverbs‬ ‭19:2‬ ‭

“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭

However, during this time, a rare exception to this trend arose and her name was Debra. Debra was a good judge, a Godly ruler, a great general, and above all, a woman of prayer. She did not go out trying to make her way in the world, or force her will on the people. Instead she sat on her mountain under a tree and prayed, and as she met with the Lord there, the people came to meet with her. Not to hear her wisdom, but to hear the Lord’s.

You see, scripture records that Debra was a prophet. This means that she sought and heard from the Lord daily. Therefor, her wisdom was not her own and the people knew it, her judgments were not her own and the people knew it, her rule was not of her own hand and the people knew it, it was God’s through her. Therefore, when the people sought God’s wisdom, judgments, words, and decisions, they sought her.

We see this in the following verses where Barak, a great general comes to her for orders and then refuses to go to battle unless she goes with them. She was a woman of great faith and prayer, talking with God and ministering His words to the people of Israel, however, though Barak had faith in her and in her faith, he showed a lack of faith in God. He believed that God was with Debra but doubted that God was with Israel. He believed in God but doubted what He said. Because of this lack of faith, he lost his chance of honor though the victory was still assured.

“And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh–naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” – Judges‬ ‭4:6-9‬ ‭

So what made Debra so different from Barak, the Israelites, and even the other judges? She sought the Lord and believed what He said. It really is that simple. Though all Israel believed in God at that time, only Debra actually believed God. She had enough faith in who He was to also have faith in what He said. Therefore, she found favor in His sight and He met with her and talked with her as she sat under that tree on that hill, an archetype of the cross of Calvary. So the moral of the story is this. God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith, not just in who He is, but also in what He says. In short, God chooses to trust those who choose to trust Him.

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” – John‬ ‭5:30‬ ‭

Is God Impressed?

1280x1024_mountain_top-1398227“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

Do you take pleasure in your strengths? In your skills, abilities, or talents? In finances, friends, social supports, programs, or agendas? In your education, intellect, understanding, or manipulations? Or do you, as Paul did, take pleasure in your weaknesses, lacks, and infirmities?

You see, the modern Christian often thinks they need to be successful to serve God with their successes. When in reality, God is not impressed. Our greatest possible successes could not even begin to impress the architect of the universe.

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:1-2‬ ‭

God sees the big picture of time and eternity. He is not concerned with our petty playing and empty empire building anymore then a ruler might be concerned about a toddler building a sand castle at low tide. He knows it will all soon be washed away.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:10-12‬ ‭

No God is not at all impressed with our big churches, our nice homes, our landscaping, our fancy stages, our flashy lights, or even our large crowds. There is only one thing that impresses God, and that is faith. Why? Because true faith proves to God that we are not impressed by these things either, but rather recognize that they fail to even register on the scale of comparison to what He can build and do. No God is not impressed with anything that we can do, He is impressed when we impress upon Him the recognition of how much more He can do then what we can.

In this, Paul chose to glory more in what he could not do, in what he did not have, and in what he did not know, knowing that in all that he lacked, God was more able to miraculously shine forth through him, His own great limitless divinity! For only in the areas that Paul was weakest was God’s strength made most evident.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭

No He is not impressed with eloquent speech, He is impressed with a tongue tied stuttering man named Moses who trusted what God told him enough to stand before the greatest armies of the earth and say, “let my people go”. No He is not impressed with large followings, He is impressed with a faithful preacher who preached his whole life and never saved anyone outside of his own wife and kids Named Noah, who trusted what God told him enough to keep preaching an un-excepted, unappreciated, and unpopular message of repentance and judgment all the while building and setting before them the only way of escape. No He is not impressed with money or possessions, He is impressed with a homeless, diseased, grieving Job who trusted Him enough to say, “yet though You slay me, still will I serve You!” No He is not impressed by prestige or strength, He is impressed by an old man named Abraham trusting what He told him enough to lay down what meant most in the world to him. To give up land, life, and promise trusting in God’s faithfulness and ability to give more back then he could ever hope to lay down.

No He is not impressed with anything that we can come up with to do of our own understanding, effort, logic, or labor; or else He would have been impressed with Cain’s crop, and He wasn’t. He is only impressed when we trust what He tells us to do, this is why He was impressed with Abel’s sacrificial lamb. No He is not impressed with our achievements, He is only impressed by His, and by our acknowledgement that His are far better then ours could ever hope to be.

“For I (Paul) am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:9-10‬ ‭

“….for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” – Luke‬ ‭9:48‬ ‭

“Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalms‬ ‭113:5-9‬ ‭

If You Trust Him, You Will Praise Him!

Praise stromPraise God in the storms. Most of the time we say that we trust God, but really we are just merely speaking words and our hearts really don’t trust Him. We say, “God give me faith”, but when the first little wind blows and messes up our plans we say, “No God, not this way!’, or “Why God why?”. Why is that? It is because we don’t actually trust Him.

We acknowledge trust with our mouths but deep down inside trust is really not there. We serve a big God but yet we think He cant help us physically or spiritually, or we just don’t believe that He wants to. In reality we are just leaning on our own understanding. We serve a God who spoke the world into existence, but yet He can’t provide for us? Whether it’s to help us spiritually, financially, health wise, or whatever may be the case. How many times do we put God in a box? How many times do we hinder our own blessings and victories? All because we truly don’t trust Him.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6:25-34

Praising Him in the storms will bring us to a deeper trust in Him because we are drawing closer to Him and if we truly trust Him at all, we will praise Him. Praising God gives Him what He truly deserves. whether He pays that bill or heals that sickness, its trusting that no matter what happens, He is worthy to be praised. Not just so that He will move on our behalf, but because we truly love Him and if we truly love Him we will trust Him and we will praise Him, no matter the outcome.

“Praise ye the Lord : for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” – Psalms 147:1

I would say that no matter what we go through, praise Him because you love Him and you trust Him. Praise Him because He is worthy to be praised, and no matter what, He will take care of His children. It may not be the way we want it to be but we have to trust that His way is better. He loves us and He truly knows what is best.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” – Psalms 91:1-4

Submitted by @ Priscilla Bazer

You Must Forgive To Be Forgiven

Black-Man-Praying-1“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew‬ ‭5:44‬ ‭

We as Christian’s need to be an example, but how can we be an example to people if when they hate us we hate them back? When they persecute us we persecute them back? Thats not the right example. Out of all the people in the world that hated Jesus and persecuted Him ,did Jesus hate them back? Did He persecute them back? Well here’s your answer for those questions:

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – Luke‬ ‭23:33-34‬ ‭

There is your answer after they beat Him and then crucified Him on the cross, instead of Him hating them, He said; “Father Forgive Them For They No Not What They Do“. If we are Christians, then we need to be like Christ. If you are a Christian, you have no excuse to not forgive somebody because we have to be like Christ!

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” – John‬ ‭15:18-19‬ ‭

This is saying that the world will hate Jesus’s followers. You can’t expect the world to love you. The second you surrender your life to God you are no longer of this world, He adopted you into His family, and because He adopted you out of this world, this world is going to hate you. I mean, you can’t expect the world that is of the devil to love the people that are of God!! So being that the world is going to hate you (or already hates you), you have to learn to forgive because God did the same for you. So I will leave you with Jesus’s words in Mark 11:25-26 which says that you need to forgive people and if you don’t, then neither will God forgive you.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” – Mark‬ ‭11:25-26‬ ‭

Submitted by @ Marissa Bazer (age 12)

The Unchanging Rescue

come-follow-me“Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.” – Lamentations‬ ‭5:19‬ ‭

From generation to generation, from everlasting to everlasting, He does not change, but everything He touches does. One moment in His presence can change everything, how you believe, how you think, how you feel, who you are. The word brings us understanding of what we need. It brings correction, direction, it brings death to our flesh. However it’s His presence that changes us and brings life to our soul. Not by power, or by might, but by His Spirit.

“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-9‬ ‭

If the word has done its perfect work of conviction, proving your desperate need of change, then lay it down for a minute and cry out to the one who does not change, that you might be changed. Do you know why He never changes? Because He is the only one that doesn’t need to change. He is perfect, it’s us that needs to be changed to line up with His perfection.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:48‬ ‭

You see, God never changes because He can’t improve, yet everything He touches does change because everything He touches, He improves. So once you come to realize that you need improving, lay everything down, worship Him in His great perfection, cry out to Him, and let Him touch you. Let him change you. Let Him improve you. Let Him make you better then you could ever hope to make yourself. Welcome His presence into your surroundings, into your life, into your very heart. For that life changing, life giving presence is the very Spirit of the Son crying Abba Father (Galatians 4:6). He longs to give you a new Spirit, a better Spirit, a perfect Spirit, His own Spirit. Get alone with Him and let Him touch you and change everything you could not change yourself. “Not by power, or by might, but by His Spirit” (Zachariah 4:6)

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John‬ ‭14:17-18‬ ‭

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26-27‬ ‭

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” – Psalms‬ ‭51:10-13‬ ‭

Never Give Up!

63188eeb1020b18813e4394e9828ae14“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
God says in His word that we have all sinned, and come short of His glory. We all at some point have messed up or will mess up. When this happens, we need to rise up as the child of God that we are, dust ourselves off, repent, and keep moving forward.
God does not condemn His children. When we ask to be forgiven, we are forgiven and we need to move on or the enemy will tear us apart with condemnation. One time I had said something being a new Christian at the time and I felt horrible about it. The Holy spirit convicted me and that’s a good thing. I asked for God to forgive me, but then I kept on asking Him to forgive me, I just felt so horrible. Then God told me, “Did I not forgive you the first time you asked?  I said “yes, You did”. God said, “Then why do you keep asking Me for something I have already done?” Then He told me, “It is condemnation, rebuke it, and move on.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
God is faithful and just. He loves us and does not want us to stay down as if the enemy has authority over us. As a child of God, we have the authority over the enemy through the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for us. So don’t give your authority to the enemy that’s the only way he can have authority is if we give it to him.
“Neither give place to the devil.” – Epeshians 4:27
Don’t give the devil a place in your life, kick him out! Use the authority that was given to you! We need to stand up against the enemy and stop being defeated by him. Cast down the thoughts and everything that exalts itself above God and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5-6
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14
Rise up stand your ground and fight the good fight of faith!
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called…” – 1 Timothy 6:12
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” – 2 Timothy 4:7
Submitted by @ Priscilla Bazer

It Is Well

girl_reading_bible“Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.” – 2 Kings‬ ‭4:26‬ ‭

The context of this verse is truly remarkable, because when the story surrounding it is taken into account you realize that at this point the situation was most definitely not well, yet her faith was. Therefore the outcome will be accordingly.

You see, this woman had recognized the presence of God in this man Elisha and wanted to make a place for him in her home. She built for him an upper room, which in the culture of the day was a place of honor. Therefor, God rewarded her with a promise. In one year, she would bare a son.

God was faithful to His promise (as He always is), but one day the child fell ill in his father’s field and died. The woman did not scream, yell, complain, curse or blame God, or put on any public display. In fact she told no one, but simply laid the child in the upper room and pursued the presence of God on his behalf.

She told all that asked that “it was well“. All the while she pressed on as hard and fast as she could to find the prophet Elisha. Yet even when his servant called to her from a distance, asking if they were ok, still she replied, “it is well“. She would not speak against her faith! She would not speak to what was, but rather she spoke to what would be. She would not let herself even for a moment live in the fear and doubt of what was, nor would she allow it to be shown and spread to others, but chose in faith to plant herself firmly in what would be.

She knew that no matter how much the enemy fights and how bad it looks in the moment, God is faithful to His promises. She chose not to be ruled by her emotions but by her faith, therefore she could say “It Is Well“. She knew that what God had given her, even if the enemy comes and tares it all down and steals it all away, God who gave it is able to give it again, revived, renewed, restored, and more. Not only did she get her son of promise back, she got him with a testimony that glorified the manifest character of God Almighty and has built the faith of thousands for generations. All because she trusted the impossible power and faithfulness of God more then what she saw, heard, and felt. She stood in faith that God is more able to give then the devil is able to steal, that God is more able to heal then the devil is able to kill, that God is more able to preform miracles then the devil is able to crush your faith in them. She chose faith over fear and was able to say with all surety in the face of what seemed like udder defeat and betrayal, “It is well“.

She pursued God in faith knowing that He is faithful to fulfill His promises even if He has to raise something from the dead to do it. She was fully persuaded, therefor in the midst of what should have caused her emotions to overtake her, her faith was able to overtake her emotions and stand knowing that it will be well, therefor it is well. She understood that if all things work together for the good of those who love God in the end, then if the situation isn’t good, then it’s not the end. Keep believing and pursuing God! Even when the current situation isn’t well, if your faith is, then the outcome will be.

Don’t doubt, don’t give up, don’t loose faith for without it it is impossible to please God, and above all don’t turn on God, turn to Him and run to Him! Nothing is too hard for Him. If it’s not good, it’s not over, because God is good and His promises are yes and amen, if you don’t quit you win! So press on and press in and know that even if what you see, hear, and feel is not, you can still say, “it is well with my soul, for God will take what the enemy means to destroy me and turn it for my good if I only have the faith enough to speak life in faith and not death in fear!” When everything falls apart and doesn’t happen the way you thought it would or think it should, don’t turn on God, run to Him, pursue Him with all you are and let your mouth prove your faith! It maybe that He has a much grander plan then you did and this testimony is all part of it.

“Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.” – 2 Kings‬ ‭4:35-36‬ ‭

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” – Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭

“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” – Romans‬ ‭4:21‬ ‭

“(As it is written, I have made thee (Abraham) a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” – Romans‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭