Sunset

When all of your hope is drifting away in the sea of problems and trials of this world, it helps to focus on what is true and Who is your source of strength. If you belong to Christ, there is always a reason to hold on because He lives to intercede for you and to bring you the victory through all of your troubles. Never give up when the lies of the enemy make you falter in your faith. Hold on and be strong. Your God is with you and you must trust that He is working all things out for your good and for His purpose.

The article below was taken from the blog, Six Measures of Barley. I hope you will be as blessed by it as I was. Remember that you are never alone to fight your battles and that you are already declared a victor.

Do Not Give Up On Your Promise

Last week at church during the worship service, I felt Holy Spirit reminding me this verse from Psalm 46:10 ” Be still and know that I am God” . Usually when God speaks that verse to me, I will be in a state of fidgeting ,rumbling over many little things and trying to figure out things by my own. Just how a pacifier does its trick on a screaming baby, I calm down as soon as I hear that verse. It has always taught me to be peaceful in the midst of many storms. But this time when I heard that verse in the quietude of my soul, I knew that the emphasis was not on me being still , but on the latter part…’to know that I am God’. I knew that God is asking me to know Him better as the one who is working on my behalf when I am still.

To understand that better, God took me to one of the Old Testament stories..the story of Joseph. Joseph was a dreamer. God had put His purpose upon Joseph in the form of dreams and visions. But the journey to its fulfillment was not that easy. The day, his brethren realized that Joseph has something from The Lord, they plotted against him. It is not often ‘YOU’ but the vision that God has put in you that bothers others. They put him in the pit hoping that this could be the end of his visions. In that pit, Joseph experienced misunderstanding, rejection and betrayal from his own. But in that pit, he learned to be still and know his God who is able to fulfill his dreams.

The adversary tried to tempt Joseph and sidetrack him from achieving his purpose. The distractions and temptations at Potiphar’s house did not deviate his focus from The Lord. I have read somewhere that ‘If Satan cannot get us to sin by withholding our needs, he will try to by offering us what we desire. ‘But joseph overcame the allurement and the distractions of the enemy. In the prison, when the cupbearer’s dream was interpreted, Joseph waited for a chance to be mentioned to the King, but even when human forgetfulness ruined his hope, Joseph learned to be still and waited for his Lord to act for him.

In the solitude of the prison, though it seemed like ages, the beauty of God’s promise remained fresh and bright as the day he first received it from The Lord. He did not offer anything from his own to speed up the fulfillment of God’s promise in his life . Neither did he give up on his dreams considering the long wait and unfavorable conditions. Rather…he waited…learned to be still…knowing who God is and trusting that He will work for him. And Pharaoh’ s chariots did come for Joseph looking for someone to interpret the dreams and that day changed his life completely.

Do you carry a dream of God? Are you conceived with a promise from God? Just like Mary, you know that which has birthed in you is from the Holy Spirit. But what about others? Do they look at you and say,” here comes the dreamer!” In this journey between conception and birth you might go through many pits of betrayal and misunderstandings. Remember that nothing can destroy the seed that God has put in you…circumstances, people, the plots of the enemy..the four walls of man made boundaries…nothing can stop you from receiving what God has purposed for you. Don’t give up on your promise just because your circumstances are unfavorable. Be still in this wait and trust God to work for you. Remember that all things work together for good for those who love Him. And at the end of it all, you will be able to look back and say along with Joseph, “God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result.” (Genesis 50:20) THAT my friends, is a dream worth waiting for!

God Bless,
Rani John
Redeemed Ministries

Taken from Six Measures of Barley

Marianne Bernard:

Watch the video at the end. This young boy gives a powerful message of the bible showing Christ in every book of Scripture! He does an amazing job.

Originally posted on Advancing Christ's Kingdom:

Isaiah 40:28… Hast thou not known?  Hast thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?  There is no searching of His understanding.

Romans 16:25… Now to Him who has the power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the Everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.

Revelation 15:2… And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, You are the King of Saints.  

I have been…

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BY ANNA GRACE WOOD on The Cross Is All

Psalms 34: 18, The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

broken womanWhen my mother was pregnant with me, my father beat her so badly she was afraid she was going to miscarry.

When I was born, my father denied that I was his.

When I was about 12 weeks old, in a drunken rage my father threw me violently across the room and into a wall. By God’s grace alone, I landed on a bed with no broken bones.

When I was about 16 weeks old, I came down with a raging fever and my father refused to let my mother out of the house to take me to the doctor. For several days, he kept us both locked in the house. When my mother finally managed to persuade him to let her take me to the doctor, the prognosis was that my immune system was damaged and I’d “develop every allergy in the book” along with other possible complications. It was worse than that doctor could have realized. The resulting health problems nearly took my life on many occasions. To this day, I live with the consequences of his negligence.

When I was three years old, I was placed on heavy doses of phenobarbital and other medicines due to what my mother described as episodes of “blanking out” and walking into walls as a result of severe emotional trauma brought on by my father’s alcoholic rages and abuse.

When I was five, my mother and I made one final effort to escape, this time succeeding.

When I was seven, my health problems were finally “officially” diagnosed. I’d already come near death on multiple occasions and would spend my childhood in and out of hospitals while doctors fought to save me, something that for years was considered a losing game.

When I was 8, I began many long years of being bullied, laughed at and mistreated at school by classmates who couldn’t comprehend my long absences from school and thought I was receiving some kind of special treatment by the teachers and administrators.

When I was 9 years old, my mother’s fear and depression caught up with her, resulting in wild mood swings, emotional abuse and the loss of the only real parent I’d ever had. From that point onward her emotional state went downhill.

Through the years, I’ve known poverty, abandonment and abuse of various kinds. I’ve been lied to by those I believed and lied about by those I trusted. I’ve been cursed out by loved ones, threatened and betrayed. Three of my children were prodigals; two still are.

I’ve known a lot of trouble, pain and fear in my life but I’ve also known God. God has saved my soul, my life and my sanity. He saved one of the prodigals from a rebellious lifestyle while preventing my other six children from falling into it. He’s blessed me in innumerable ways, most of which I’ll never fully realize this side of heaven. I know God as my Father and my Provider as well as my Savior.

God sometimes gives us far more than we can handle. But He never gives us more than He can handle. He breaks us to remake us in the image of His Son. He comforts us in our brokenness so that He might then use us to comfort others.

No matter what we face, no matter who turns away from us or hurts us, no matter how broken we feel, God is always faithful. Each one of us will be broken at some point in our lives. Some of us will be broken over and over and over in our lives. Looked at correctly, our times of brokenness are times of blessings for it is then we are most dependent upon the Lord. Our dependency on Him never ceases, of course, but sometimes we are far more aware of it than at others. When we are broken we are deeply aware of our need for Him.

God is the God of everything. He is the God of our brokenness, too.

Jesus forgives
I found this powerful message by Darrick D. McGhee that is just a life changer. If you can learn to give to God the things that are too much for you to handle, you can learn to rest while he works it all out for you. Too many people are trying to carry burdens that are way too heavy for them. When victory never seems to come, they grow desperate and discouraged. Jesus said to come to him for his yoke is light. He is willing to help you in every situation. Learn to go first to his throne before you try to fight a battle that belongs to the Lord.

I pray you will be as encouraged as I was with this message of hope.

Give It Back To Him!

It’s a wonderful day to be a child of God. Today, I have been commissioned to come and minister to you. My brother, my sister, have you taken back what you asked God to take from you? Have you taken back the same situation or circumstance you laid on the altar? Have you gone against the promise you made to God? If you remember, you said, “God if you get me out of this, I promise to never do it again!” Do you remember saying this? Are you trying to fix the same situation God asked you to trust Him with? Are you trying to help God be God? Have you really surrendered your all to the Lord? Have you really let go of that person, that place and that thing? Are you trying to secretly work on the matter as if God cannot nor does not see you?

In life, we know the things we must let go of. We know God is instructing us to release it to Him. We know we must lay it at the altar and never return to pick it up again. Beloved, now that you know, it is time to start doing it. The Bible declares in 1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you. My friend, today, Give It Back To Him! Give that person, place or thing back to the Lord. You cannot fix this. You have tried it your way for far too long. God is asking for you to release it to Him and trust that He will work it. In your eyes, things appear real horrible. You cannot see how things will get better for you and your family. Right now everything seems hopeless. This is the reason God is asking you to cast your cares on Him. The way you see the matter and the way God sees it is totally different. You see it as over, but God sees it just beginning. You see it as defeat, but God sees it as victory. You see it as bondage, but God sees it as liberty.

Today, whatever the situation is or whomever you are trying to change, Give It Back To Him! The Bible declares in Isaiah 55:8-11 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. My Prayer for You: Father, I pray for the recipient of this devotional. Whatever (s)he is holding onto that You are asking them to give up, I pray (s)he will obey You and trust in Your word. In the name of Jesus … Amen!

Scripture Reading for Today: Proverbs 23:26

May God Bless you at Your point of need!

Minister Darrick D. McGhee

Written by David Whitney on Freedom Outpost

Louis Albert Banks tells of an elderly Christian man, a fine singer, who learned that he had cancer of the tongue and that surgery was required. In the hospital after everything was ready for the operation, the man said to the doctor, “Are you sure I will never sing again”? The surgeon found it difficult to answer his question. He only shook his head no. The patient then asked if he could sit up for a moment. “I’ve had many good times singing the praises of God,” he said. “And now you tell me I can never sing again. I have one song that will be my last. It will be of gratitude and praise to God.” There in the doctor’s presence the man sang softly the words of Isaac Watts’ hymn:

gods-love-doesnt-leave-usI’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler power;
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.”

A body is not crippled ’til its heart has ceased to praise God. Scripture views the glorifying of God as a six fold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others’ needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us. Thus we might say that the basic formulas of worship are these: “Lord, you are wonderful”; “Thank you, Lord”; “Please Lord”; “Take this, Lord”; “Yes, Lord”; “Listen everybody!” This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God.

Turn to Exodus 15, and imagine for a moment what happened at that glorious sunrise where the Children of Israel were safely on the East bank of the Red Sea. They saw with vivid reality the complete destruction of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. As the crashing noise of the returning waters subsided, there was a deep stillness, a hushed awe as the tremendous truth dawned upon the audience of over 2 million people. At first there was a quiet whisper, you could almost hear someone ask, is this a dream? Then someone said in a quiet voice, “I will sing unto the Lord,” then some else a little louder, “for he hath triumphed gloriously”; Now others a little louder, “the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” And now with one voice the people sang, “The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation.” And then with exultant shouts they sang at the top of their lungs, “He is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” What a chorus of praise is rendered to God from the hearts of the Children of Israel.

Worship precedes the victory. We need to remember that praise gives us the proper perspective. As we praise and worship God, it puts other things into their rightful place in our thinking. On the West side of the Red Sea, they were terrified of Pharaoh and his army, on the East side of the Red Sea they knew that God was great and Pharaoh a bloated corpse on the beach.

C.S. Lewis wrote,

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. If it were possible for a created soul fully to ‘appreciate,’ that is, to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme blessedness. To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds.”

Have you yielded your life to Jesus Christ? Andrew Murray wrote, “God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.” Christ, the mighty warrior, will come and defeat all those who oppose His absolute sovereign rulership over this earth, but that rulership must first come to fruition in our lives.

Leah
Leah DiPascal
February 7, 2014

The Day I Almost Gave Up
Leah DiPascal
taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help … The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:15-18 (HCSB)

I gripped the steering wheel of my car and stared at the hospital emergency doors. My heart pounded furiously, like a time bomb waiting to explode. The pressure in my head was almost unbearable. The invisible weight on my chest felt like someone dropped a sledgehammer on me.

Thoughts raced through my mind. I wanted to scream but could barely breathe a whisper. I just sat there lonely, afraid, shattered and completely empty inside.

Should I check myself into the hospital?

What if they admit me in the psychiatric ward and won’t let me go home?

Who will take care of my children?

Will my husband still love me?

What if my friends find out?

Reaching for my phone, panic rushed over me like a tidal wave. A pool of tears cascaded down my face, as I cried, Jesus, please help me!

Sitting in my car, unable to move, I continued to pray and ask God questions like, How did I get here? I’m a Christian for heaven’s sake! Things like this just don’t happen to Christian women – or do they? I feel like such a failure.

Looking back now, I can see how years of worry and stress had brought me to that day.

Concerns about my family’s finances kept me up most nights. Stress over a high-pressured job caused erratic panic attacks. Worry about my children’s health created knots in my stomach. Struggling to help my aging parents resulted in midnight crying sessions.

My concerns consumed me. Worrying became an addiction, demanding my ongoing attention. I was trying to “hold it all together” on the outside, but on the inside, a sea of doubt and fear haunted me.

Maybe you’re in a similar place. Have the stresses of life caught up with you too? Are you worried about your finances, health, marriage, job or kids? Do you wonder if anyone sees your pain or even cares? If you’re brave enough to cry out for help, will anyone rescue you?

In today’s verse, we are reminded we do have a Rescuer:

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help … the righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:15-18).

God sees you and hears your cries for help, even when no one else does. He knows your heartache. He sees your pain. If your heart is broken and you feel crushed from all sides, God promises to be close to you. Though you may not see Him with you physical eyes, He is there.

God rescued me that day in the hospital parking lot. After several hours of prayer, God calmed my heart and I called my husband. I reached out to close friends for help, and the healing started. Although I wanted an instant miracle, it took time, but God never left my side. He gently mended my broken heart and renewed my mind through His Word. He guided me along a journey that led to true freedom, for which I am forever grateful.

Has the stress of life taken its toll, causing you to feel afraid, lonely or ready to give up? Is your heart broken today? Let God rescue you, friend. He is ready. He is willing. He is able.

Dear Lord, it feels like my life is falling part. I desperately need You to rescue me. Thank You for hearing my cries and for delivering me from my troubles. Even when I am hidden from others, You see me, Lord. Thank You saving me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Today Leah DiPascal is sharing more of her story on her blog, plus discussing when it’s important to get professional help. Click here to visit Leah’s blog where you can submit a prayer request and enter her drawing to win a signed copy of A Confident Heart book.

Pre-order a copy of Suzie Eller’s next book, The Mended Heart, releasing February 20th.

Reflect and Respond:
Read Psalm 139 and highlight every verse that tells of God’s presence and protection over you.

Write out a prayer thanking God for all the things you are grateful for today.

Power Verse:
Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV 1984)

© 2014 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

Written by Julia on I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel
isaiah
It is written recompense is mine, I will repay saith the Lord. By this statement we can rest in knowing that no matter what is going on in our lives, God is overseeing our entire life from birth to death. When we live for him, he allows us to see he is at work in the earth and our enemies do not over take us. “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth”.(Psalm 58:10,11).

Dear people of God don’t ever feel like your alone, we serve a God of gods who is all knowing and will repay those who have chose to trouble us in this life. It is even written God considers if we are his children and do his will it is then a righteous act on his part to repay those who trouble us. “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God; that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

(2 Thessalonians 1:4-8).

When Davids house was surrounded by his enemies to kill him he writes in the 59th Psalm of this event of his life. We find comfort in the words he is praying to God for, because David knew as well as us that God is our strength and defence in our life. “Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies”.(Psalm 59:5-10).

No matter how fierce the power of the enemy seems, God is above every single life created and has no problem bringing to pass his righteous judgement in the earth. Yes we all suffer from time to time and it is an honour if that suffering be for living by the name of Christ. God hears our supplication to him when prayed from a heart in following him! ” Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. What do you imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time”.(Nahum 1:6-9). “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord”.(Psalm 31:22-24).

Written by Julia on I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ
first4
Life is full of many challenges and we have to remember this is a temporary place we are passing through. The sooner we place God in the center of our life the more answers we’ll find in solving any problems. If we seek God he assures us we will find him if in fact we search with our whole heart. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart”.(Jeremiah 29:11-13).

It is written there is a broad way many people find that leads to destruction and this way will never get them to heaven. There is a very narrow way and this way will lead to heaven (eternal life) and very few find it. “Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”.(Matthew 7:13,14).

The book of Luke tells us to strive to enter at the straight gate. To strive is not an easy task for it means to devote serious energy for an endeavour, to struggle in opposition. How true that the way to eternity is a struggle! Imagine how Jesus must of felt when he strived to tell a world which had it’s own way of serving God, but that his doctrine was the one true only way to heaven. “Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and though hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know ye not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity”.(Luke 13:24-27). The very end of this passage gives us the answer if we continue in iniquity (sin) he will not allow us into heaven. This is why repentance is so important and he is merciful and will forgive us if we turn to serve him and reject a sinful life!

People lose sight that God is ever watchful over our ways for he neither slumbers not sleeps and the darkness is as the light to him which means we cannot hide anything from him. Why gain all that a temporary world offers and lose your own soul, when heaven is promised to us if we are obedient to such a kind and loving God. Remember the word strive when your going through difficult times of your life and know that there are other brethren fighting the good fight of faith as you are. Yes life is a struggle, but to gain eternal life will be well worth it! “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”.(Acts 14:22).

narrow gate Plain and simple we are told flesh and blood cannot inherit heaven, so if we focus on what God has for us (Spiritual) and not what the flesh (world) can offer us we will see a change for the better and God will be right there by your side and will never leave you or forsake you. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.(Galatians 6:7-9).

My Comment:

This is an excellent message of faith to understand that all that you go through and all that you must endure is actually the workings of our God who is making you ready for his kingdom. Never think that he has forgotten you when the fire gets too hot. It is then that he is doing his best work. Believers are living as aliens in a perishing world. It is not easy. There is evil all around and sometimes it seems like we are losing the battle but the truth is that we already won it through Christ! We cannot be taken down or destroyed by anything of this life.

Take heart, weary Christians. Your God sees where you are. He is already working it all out for you. Just believe!

Thank you, Rhonda Lewis, from Forums Of The Heart for this wonderful message of hope for all of us.

mily way of starsThe message below was written by a very dear friend of mine, Al Donley. He is a true brother in Christ and is always willing to share his faith. He wrote this article many years ago but it is truly fitting for today. It is a message of hope through Jesus Christ.

As you begin this new year, let it be the year of your surrender to Christ. It will be the beginning of a new life which can never be destroyed. You will know that you have a future with promise no matter what struggles you face. You will understand that your life is now in the hands of the Master and he will not fail you.

Throughout this year, I will be praying for all of you who visit this site. Please know that you are loved and that God will never leave you alone to fight your battles. You now have hope because Christ lives!

A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION – Which plan will you choose?
By Allen Donley

As we awaken each new day and reality replaces the night dreams, do we find ourselves still imprisoned and enslaved? But you say we are free to move about and do as we please, so how could we possibly be slaves or prisoners? Yet in the deep recesses of our minds we are not totally sure and we ask the age-old question, why?

Are we indeed imprisoned by our own thoughts and desires? Do
we have no hope? Why do the mistakes of yesterday or even of
years gone by still plague us? We seem to dwell on them all of our
waking moments. Is there no answer, no solution? Doesn’t this
world always offer instant gratification? There must be those who
have the answers, the keys to all of life’s problems. These people
are all around us. We have seen them. They have broad smiles, a
quick handshake, and a pat on the back. Some even call themselves
Christians. We have all heard them brag about their tried and proven plans, for many of them have written volumes on their one formula that fits all problems. I have to admit that it certainly has worked for many of them, so I don’t see any reason it won’t work for me.

Perhaps I will be one of the enlightened ones that will be able to expound on the subject and make my fortune. I have to admit I’m a little anxious, even at times skeptical, but I have been assured not to fear. If the plan doesn’t work right away, I just have to work harder.

I might even have to try a different approach, but it is guaranteed to work! Really, I ask, guaranteed? By whom? Why it’s guaranteed to work by you, the user. You just have to keep trying. How long do I have to keep trying? Don’t you get it? You keep trying until it works. It’s guaranteed!

That’s good enough for me. I’ll just read the book, study it, map out my plan, write it down, visualize it, then, pour my whole being into it.

What’s that old saying? Body, mind, and soul? I never have quite
figured out the soul part, but it sounds good. It just takes self-confidence and time, and I’m still young so I have plenty of time to develop it; but I do have to admit my parent’s were right, time does seem to go quicker with each passing year. But then why should I worry about that, that’s for people my dad’s age to worry about. You know I have been working this plan for quite some time now and I have to admit that I don’t quite understand why I still wake up each morning with the same old anxieties and worries. Somehow I still feel like a slave to the system. I guess I’ll just have to work harder because I Know this plan is guaranteed to work. I probably just haven’t recognized it yet. That’s strange, the time is passing rather quickly and I’m getting overwhelmed. Maybe if I tell others about the plan, even teach them what I know to be true, then I can master it.

I’m getting more anxious by the day because the time is passing
faster and faster. This plan must work; it’s guaranteed! Time is
running out and the plan still isn’t working. I don’t understand this.

I’m in a state of shock. This cannot be happening. I refuse to
believe it. I have spent my entire adult life pursing this plan. It’s guaranteed! I’m getting desperate. Could there be another plan? One that doesn’t take so long to develop, because the sands of time have taken its toll, and the last grains are about to pass through the narrow opening. The narrow opening, the narrow opening, why is that important?

Let me analyze this thought. Is the phrase the narrow opening significant or even an awareness to a bigger and better plan? Or is my mind just desperately searching for a plan that doesn’t exist?

Is there perhaps another part of my being that I have refused to
acknowledge? The soul? Is there a real soul in each person? I
remember as a small child hearing of a plan, a very simple plan; but it seems too simple, and how could something so simple really work?

The sand is still draining through the narrow opening, and it’s nearly finished. All I can do is stare at the hour-glass in total disbelief. I know I have only moments left and my mind is reeling in total shock. I’m scared, even terrified. What was that plan, the simple plan? Oh God, if you are real, please hear my desperate cry for help. I can’t remember the simple plan. A prayer; but from my heart? Yes, God!

Just ask for forgiveness and accept the finished work on the cross by the carpenter – the carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who has the Perfect Plan. He died in my place and took all of my sins upon Himself so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, for if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Lord Jesus, I believe, and accept your free gift of salvation. Thank you Lord Jesus for revealing Your Perfect Plan to me – as the last grain of sand passes through the narrow opening!

December 20, 2013

Samantha EvilsizerCombating Loneliness by Samantha Evilsizer

“My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalm 25:15-16 (ESV)

Don’t look his way, her heart and mind insist.

She doesn’t want to look. Then again, she does. Though my friend did not check the “Plus One” box on her RSVP card, she wishes she had. Why had she come to this party alone? Maybe then she wouldn’t gravitate to him.

He’s reckless and destructive. My friend knows better, but he’s the only one who can relate to her. Even so, she avoids eye contact, hoping to make him believe she doesn’t need him anymore.

She succeeds until another round of laughter fills the Christmas party. Her resolve walks out as he walks up to her, extending a knowing hand. Fingers entwined, she falls in his snare. She can’t stand him … this companion called loneliness.

In the midst of listening to marriage, baby, vacation, life-is-grand stories, she hears the voice of loneliness, high above the conversations: You’ll never have this. You’ll be lonely forever.

She had promised herself she wouldn’t turn her eyes to him this time. As she was getting ready for the party, she put this truth on: “My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” (Psalm 25:15-16 ESV)

But she forgot this hopeful promise as she fell into the trap of loneliness.

By the time the clock chimed an acceptable hour to bid her goodbyes, she was eager to be gone. One step out the door and she lowered her guard too soon. Loneliness had saved his best for last. Powerfully, he pummeled lies until she believed: You will always be lonely.

When he trotted off, leaving her alone, a different hand reached down. One that is gentle and healing. Let me help you up. Rough night, huh?

She looked up to see His scarred hand extended.

How’d You know I was here?

He tells her He’s been there the whole time, always near, at the ready to rescue any time she looked to Him for help. As she faced Him, He began to untangle the false claims of loneliness with truth: I am near (Psalm 145:18). I will never leave (Deuteronomy 31:6). I am your joy (Psalm 16:11).

Hollow parts of her heart filled with the confidence of Jesus. She knew it was time to break-up with loneliness for good. Not just at parties, during holidays, or weekends with nothing planned.

Maybe it’s your time too? Truth is, loneliness can tag along whether you are alone or surrounded by family and friends, on special days and ordinary days.

There’s only one way to keep loneliness from being a constant companion in life. It is to make sure our “… eyes are ever toward the LORD …” Psalm 25:15a (ESV).

Let’s keep our focus on God and call out to Him when we feel loneliness setting a trap for us: in the festive times, in the quiet times, at all times.

Dear Lord, my eyes are ever toward You, for only You will release my feet from the trap of loneliness. Will You please turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted? Thank You for being near and being my joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Encouragement for Today: Devotionals for Everyday Living is a great way to connect daily with the Lord.

Reflect and Respond:
Christmas can be a time when loneliness is overwhelming. If you struggle with this, what can you do to combat loneliness?

Choose a Bible verse to memorize that you will use to fight loneliness. Write it on a piece of paper or make it your phone/computer screen saver as a constant reminder of the nearness of Jesus.

Power Verses:
Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (ESV)

Lamentations 3:22-26, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (NIV 1984)

© 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

Marianne Bernard:

THIS IS A POWERFUL MESSAGE FOR THOSE WHO ARE GOING THORUGH PAINFUL TRIALS NOW. NEVER FORGET THAT YOUR STRUGGLE IS ONLY FULFILLING GOD’S PERFECT PURPOSE IN YOU. HE HASN’T LEFT YOU NOR WILL HE LET YOU FIGHT YOUR BATTLE ALONE. I PRAY YOU WILL BE AS BLESSED AS I WAS WITH THIS MESSAGE OF HOPE.

Originally posted on Filled With God's Fulness:

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The LORD has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him. Isaiah 8:17 (TEV)

God is real, no matter how we may feel at times.

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life—when He has provided food, friends, family, health and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking Him during a trail or a tragic event, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk.

In your relationship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him.  There are…

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Eastern Sierra by Rob Bohning        

                           His power is sufficient for all our needs

 God’s power to work all things out for your good is a promise for all believers that will never fail. But watching and waiting for him to turn around a bad situation in your life can be a time of great pain.  It is hard to understand the wait when your marriage is failing or after you have received a bad report from the doctor.  How are you expected to hold on when your financial problems overwhelm you and you soon may lose your home?  Rebellious children can break your heart as you stand helplessly by as your son or daughter chooses a path of destruction.  Your own life can be changed in an instant by the death of someone close to you.  Is God really able to turn these and other impossible an impossible situation into a blessing in your life? 

The truth of this matter is that God can use all things to work for our good because he foreknew the storms of our lives and had a plan to take us through every one of them.  No disaster in your path can take him by surprise.  Our God can see the past and the future and his power is sufficient to fulfill the purpose he has for your life.  By his strength alone, you can forge the rivers of your pain and climb the mountains of your problems until you get the victory that God has promised.  He knows your ways and he can help you in your weaknesses. Even the timing of every one of your trials has a purpose that holds eternal ramifications.  

In Genesis, we read how Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He became a servant in Potiphar’s household where he ultimately was falsely accused and put in prison.  He languished there for years but God was with him the whole time. . While this young shepherd boy was suffering in prison, God was working out his plan to make him royalty!  Joseph was eventually released and appointed second highest in all of Egypt.  That was something that even Joseph could not have imagined as being possible in his dire circumstances.  But God had the power to turn the injustice done to Joseph into a training ground that would make him a mighty leader who would save his people. 

This message is for believers who are struggling right now in a painful situation that seems to have no end.  You may feel that there is no solution and no one that can help you.  That is a lie from the father of lies.  

Jesus is the master of the wind and with a single word, he can calm the storm you are in.  He is sovereign over all of creation and he knows how to resurrect the dreams you thought were dead.  He can find purpose in everything that touches your life if you put your faith in him. He is never farther than you next prayer and he is waiting for you to call on him.

Dear Lord, I lift up all those who are reading this who need a touch from you.  May your presence will be felt in their life as you give them the peace to know that they have nothing to fear for you are in control of all that comes against them.  Most importantly, may they have your assurance to know that no matter what they are going through, your perfect plan will never fail.  Amen

Photo by Rob Bohning Photography

Marianne Bernard:

We are living in times of darkness and evil. The enemy is seeking to bring down those who belong to Christ. Believers are members of one body in Christ. When one member suffers, we all do. I am asking for prayer for Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, who was arrested and imprisoned in Iran where he went to visit his family. He has been tortured for his faith locked in a dungeon cell. On Monday, January 21st, Pastor Saeed will face a judge in Iran known as the “hanging judge”. We must keep Saeed in prayer and petition our elected officials to do all that they can to demand that Saeed be returned safely from Iran! He is an American citizen who lives in Idaho with his wife and children. There should be outrage from our government. I pray that you all will keep this story going until Saeed is set free.  We need your voice to be heard!

Originally posted on 'I Am NOT Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!':

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) — A letter from Saeed Abedini, a U.S. minister imprisoned in Iran, has made its way, through family members, to the Assemblies of God national offices in the United States.

Saeed Abedini and his family via ACLJ

The letter, carried out from Iran’s notoriously brutal Evin Prison, in northwestern Tehran, tells of beatings and interrogations, around-the-clock bright lights and ongoing lies designed to create hope, in order to crush it.

According to a story from Dan Van Veen of the AG News & Information Service (www.ag.org), “The remarkable letter also reveals a depth of faith and compassion that could only be granted by God.”

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. minister, has been imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran for his faith since Iranian authorities removed him from a bus in September 2012 while he was visiting his homeland.

Recently, Naghmeh…

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This is a great message and reminder of what is true from my friend, Debra Aiken from her blog.  Read it and be blessed!

                               Where is God when life hurts?

I just finished reading Eye of the Storm by Alexander Kumpf and found it to be a very comforting, bible-based reminder of the truth that God is our strength through every storm we face in life.

The cover reads, “What would happen if we stop blaming God and actually start trusting him during difficult times?  Could you imagine what God’s power can do in your life? Through our storms, we come to realize we have a God who is there for us every step of the way. We have a God who wants to guide us through the treacherous waters of life.  As long as we trust Him, He will never let us be lost at sea.”

This book is a short read of nine chapters with the tenth chapter being discussion questions.  Alexander helps us understand where God is during the storms of life.  He gives examples and advice on preparing for each trial using the power of God’s word.  He reminds us that we are not strong enough to take on storms by ourselves.  We always will need the strength of our God to take us through to victory.  Alexander explains in Chapter 7 that, “God is like the eye of a storm. All around you may be hell on earth, but in God, you will feel the peace of heaven.”   He shares his experiences and Scripture promises that God will be an ever-present help when we face painful trials.

All in all, the book is a great little gem  filled with truth and encouragement for those who  need assurance that God is with them in their trial.  Alexander reinforces the truth throughout the book that God never leaves you to face the storms that come upon you adding that you are always a conqueror through Christ. It is the perfect easy read to give to someone who needs a reminder of God’s power to safely lead us through every problem we face. I plan on getting several copies of this book to share with the girls in  with my jail bible study.  I think Alexander did a good job of showing biblically how God will never let the storm take us down.  However, I would have liked for him to give more focus on the fact that trials  are God’s tools and his  way of growing our faith – and that is good.  God allows us to face the challenges of this world to give us a greater knowledge of his power and love.  With that said, I do recommend this book for its simple, right to the heart truth of Christ’s love.

Alexander Kumpf is on the pastoral staff and is director of discipleship at First United Methodist Church of Stuart, Florida.

Originally posted on God's Promises Are Real:

Christ is the reason we can have hope in our lives despite the storms we face. .  He is the promise for all good things and the strength to endure the trials of this life. 

 

The promises of God are real and his faithfulness will never fail us.  We have nothing to fear as believers because the power of God is always with us.  Yet at times those words may ring hollow when you are in a crisis situation.  You may be enduring the effects of a serious illness for which there is no cure. You may be struggling with financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. You may be suffering the pain of a broken marriage or relationship and have lost all hope for the future.  Whatever the struggle, it can be hard to stand in your faith when your circumstance seems hopeless.

 

We read in Proverbs…

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My wonderful friend, Debra Aiken has an awesome blog titled, Tell The Lord Thank You.  She always has powerful and timely messages of hope and I wanted you to read her latest message.  We all go through trials and tribulations in this world.  Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in our storm instead of focusing on our God!  The truth is that nothing you face as a believer has any power to destroy you.  All of your struggles are used as the tool God uses to promote you to higher ground and closer to him.  Please read Debra’s message and be blessed.  It is the truth you may need for today.

CAUGHT IN A STORM

Matthew 14:22-25 – Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

In this passage of Scripture we find Jesus disciples trapped in a fierce storm. They find themselves in that storm, because they have been commanded by Jesus to cross the Sea of Galilee. These men are obedient to Christ command, yet, we see them struggling against the storm. They are struggling to fight against it and it appears that they are making no progress and are unable to get out of it.

Have you ever found yourself in that place? Have you ever found yourself stuck in one of life’s storms, and no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it seems that you cannot make any headway? Well, we all have times like that! It may seem to you like the storm will never end and that there is no possible good that can come from what we are going through.

There is some good news for us, even in the storm. Romans 8:28 declares that all things work together for good to them that love God, them that are called according to His purpose.

Of course, one could easily ask the question “HOW does a storm benefit my life?” STORMS ARE GOD’S MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION! It is through the storms, test, trials and struggles that God reveals himself to us. Christ used this storm to reveal Himself to His disciples. Christ will do the same thing in your life and in mine.

Verse # 25 says that He came to them in the darkness of the night; “the fourth watch”. Sometime between 3 AM and 6 AM, during the darkest hours of the night, Jesus came walking on the water!

Maybe your storm may be raging and you are walking in darkness today wondering where Jesus is. You may be facing some of the darkest days of your life right now. Let me remind you that our God is ever with you, Heb. 13:5! Let me remind you that even in the darkest hours of life God is still God and He is still in control of your life.

1 Kings 8:12, “Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”; Psalm 139:11-12, “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Even the darkest hours of life cannot hide us from the face of God. He is there even when you cannot see Him.

The disciples were in a fight for their lives. Mark 6:48 says that they were “toiling in rowing”. That is, they were struggling against the storm. I get the impression that these men were afraid for their lives. When they thought all hope was gone and that they were doomed, Jesus came walking on the waves!

There are times when we all feel like we have lost the battle with our storm, but may I remind you that just as surely as the Lord is in control of your blessings, He is also in charge of your storms? When things look the bleakest, just look around, Jesus is about to show up! Remember, He may not keep you from going into the storm, but He will keep you in the midst of the storm! Think of the 3 Hebrews, Daniel, and Noah. God did not prevent any of these from going into the storm, but He saved them all in the midst of their storm. What He did for them, He will do for you and I.

Our word on today is that regardless of what we are facing in life, remember that Jesus is greater than that storm we may be facing. If you will be patient and wait for Him, He will show up right on time. You will see that the storm was used by the Lord to make Himself clear to you. The very thing wen  fear will be the vehicle He uses to show up in our life.

We must remind ourselves that though the storm keeps on raging in our lives and sometimes its had to tell the night from day, our soul is anchored in the Lord!

WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST, I LOVE YOU ALL! TELL THE LORD THANK YOU!

DEBRA


Do you doubt in times of trouble?

In the gospel of Luke, chapter 8:22-25, we read where Jesus and his disciples set out across the sea heading for Gadarenes.  As they sailed, Jesus soon fell asleep.  Suddenly, a large storm came upon the lake and the boat was swamped as it was being battered by the wind and high waves.  The disciples cried out saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  Jesus got up and with a word, he calmed the winds and the waves and then said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

These four words are a challenge for us even today.  In the course of all that we do, there is going to be struggles and strife as we face financial difficulties, marriage failures, health problems, family concerns and heartaches of every kind.  Can Jesus do anything about the pain we are experiencing as we cry out in despair, “Master, Master, I need you to help me now before I drown in my own tears!”

The truth is that Jesus is close to the brokenhearted.  He is with you in every storm even though you can’t see him or feel his presence.  He gave us his promise that he would never leave us.   He died to pay the price for us to live life abundantly despite what is overwhelming our day.  The wind and the waves of our problems are no match for the Master of the wind, and the ruler over the waves.  He knows the difficulty that you are in and he knows how to rescue you and bring you through it.   The fear that is gripping your heart is only a lie given by the enemy to hold you in bondage and keep you from experiencing the joy that God has set before you.

So where is your faith?   Are you letting a trial or circumstance decide your day?  Have you turned your hope over to the enemy instead of trusting in your God?  Your faith in the bad times must be exactly where it is in the good times for Christ is in control of both!  If your strength wanes when difficulties arise, you need to learn of the love of the God you serve.   His power is like no other as he alone is sovereign.  Never allow your trials and pain to be your master.

In all things, you must always remember that Jesus left you his peace in this dark and perishing world.  He already knew what you would have to endure and by his blood shed on Calvary, you have been set free!  The Apostle Paul knew that in all his sufferings that God had a purpose to take him to it so that he could take him through it.  God’s glory was always revealed in every ounce of suffering that Paul endured.  It is true for us also.  God cares enough to hold all of our tears in a bottle {Psalm 56:8 } and he has a plan to one day wipe away every tear  {Rev.7:17}.

Though your may be going through rough waters at this time, Jesus still can quiet the wind with just a word.   He is accomplishing great things through you as you hold on in faith trusting that he will never fail.  Never let the enemy fill you with doubt.  He has no power to destroy you or the plan God has for your life.

Where is your faith?  If it is in Jesus Christ, take rest from all your fears for he has redeemed you. He has summoned you by name for you now belong to him!

It is my prayer that God will reach those who need to understand this truth and that he will give them peace in the struggle they are now experiencing.


“For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard that which I trust to him for that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:12)

In order to have a life of joy and victory no matter what trials you face, you must know the God you serve.  There must be nothing that keeps you from standing against the enemy no matter how difficult things become in your life.  For that reason, your faith must be hinged on knowing that Christ is more than enough to take you through your pain.  You must know that he will never fail you. And unless you have his Spirit living in you and working through you, you will never experience all that God has for you.

There is always going to be storms and trials in life.  Jesus came to this earth to set us free from the bondage of sin but he told us that we would have trouble in this life.  His purpose was not stop all struggles in this life but rather to show us his power and his character as he takes us through them all.  It is only in going through the fire that you know that God is over the fire.  It is by facing disappointments and heartache that you find that God is able to heal your pain and make you new.  Only by living through the battles that you face here on earth can you realize that your God is bigger than any enemy you face. And it is by facing the winds and waves of trouble that you know without a doubt that God is in authority and control over all things.  You can have peace despite all that you endure because you know that nothing can destroy you and all things will be used for your good – for the purpose he allowed.  God’s permission must be given for everything that touches the life of a believer who lives in Christ.

If you know Christ as Lord and Savior, you have the protection of legions of angels who are commanded to watch over you.  The enemy knows that he can’t win over the army of God so he works to convince you that God is not able to help you.  When you start to fear in the midst of a trial, you are giving the devil a foothold to take you down.  You are letting the seeds of doubt overwhelm you and take your eyes from the truth. You are letting a lie keep you in bondage instead of taking God at his word.

The Apostle Paul knew his God.  He trusted that whether in life or death, God was in complete control.  There was nothing that Paul was going to face that God did not know in advance and prepare him for.  Paul did not look at his circumstance and cower in fear.  He looked at the power of his God and fought the good fight until the end.  He understood that death could only bring him to see the face of the God he loved.  Nothing was going to happen to him outside of the will of Christ who had every detail of his life secure.

When you face difficulties and trouble in your life, you can choose to believe God or fall victim to the deceiver from hell.  We are only passing through this life. It is a journey that is going to take us to riches and glory that our minds cannot now comprehend.  We will live with Christ is a place of unspeakable beauty that will never end.  Never let that truth leave your heart.

Start today to seek out Christ in everything that you do.  He is able to give those who trust him the peace and joy and work out all of their struggles.  When you give in to fear, you are giving in to a lie from hell.  Jesus overcame the world and he has the power to help you get to victory.    I am praying for you!

A good father brings honor to GodRecently, I visited the blog, CHRIST CENTERED LOVE,  and I was touched by the message contained in the article on fathers.  It broke my heart and I pray that it touches the hearts of everyone who reads it.  Children need the love and guidance of a father who cares and leads them.  The struggles that children face as they grow up can be tied in to whether they were secure and unconditionally loved while they were a child.  A good father, like the one pictured here, will touch eternity with the life of his daughter as he raises her in the ways of Christ.

What if this was your Father’s Day card?

As father’s day approaches, it’s a time for reflection on the role of a father.  Sadly, there are many ”professing Christians” that don’t understand the impact that they have had on their children.  They don’t see the damage that they have done with their lies, hypocracy, and ”religion”.

What if your child sent this card to you on Father’s Day? 

Dad,

I wish you would have set a better example for me. 

I wish you would have realized that work, video games, and time on your computer weren’t as important as the time you could have spent with me.

I wish you would have loved Mom with the kind of love that the Bible talks about.  The kind of love that would have kept our family together.   The kind of love that overlooked her mistakes, and cherished her for all that she did for you and for us.

I wish you would have understood that the love and commitment you showed toward your parents was the kind of love and commitment that I felt toward you, and wished you would have felt towards me.

I wish you knew how much I love you.  That I overlooked your mistakes, and just enjoyed having you as my dad.

I wish you knew how much it hurt me when you lied to me.  When you told me you loved me.  When you told me you would never do anything to hurt me.  When you told me you’d always be there for me……and then you weren’t.

What I wish the most, is that you knew Jesus.  If you did, this Father’s Day card would say Thank You for all of those things instead of “I wish”.

Happy Father’s Day anyway Dad.  I love you, and I have forgiven you.  I pray every day that the Lord will heal you, and bring you back to me.  In the meantime, I have a Heavenly Father that loves me enough to fill the hole in my heart.

Your child.

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

 

I am praying for anyone who needs to see this message and understand that even if their worldly father fails them, they will always have a heavenly Father who will be there.  I also pray that fathers will stand up and take the role of leader of their home and priest of their family very seriously.  God himself holds men accountable to how they treat their wives and children. 

Walking the path of life by faith

Faith believes what the eye cannot see, what the ear cannot hear but what the heart knows without a doubt is true!  The promises of Christ will never fail you no matter where you are or what battle you are facing.  Nothing is too hard for the hand of God to take you through and to raise you above.  You must keep your faith and not doubt no matter how strong the winds are that come against you.  They may rock your boat but they will never sink your ship when Christ is at the helm! 

I could not have said it better than the poet and believer Ella Wheeler Wilcox did.  She mirrors the words of the Apostle Paul who said:

“For I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that  he is able to guard that which I give to him for this day.”  ( 2 Timothy 1:12)

 

I will not doubt though all my ships at sea,
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails,
 I shall believe the Hand that never fails,
 From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are battered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,

‘I trust in Thee’ ”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox -1850- 1919

To anyone who is facing a trial that is making  you weary and fearful, please know that you are not alone.  The eyes of God are upon you and he will not fail to take you through your pain if you will put your trust in him. 

I am interceding on behalf of all who need to know this truth.  Christ will always be bigger than the problems you face.  He has defeated all of your enemies and nothing has the power to alter the perfect plan that he has for your life. 

Be in peace and stay strong.  I lift up prayers for all who come to this site. 

Photo by Francesco Cosi

 
 
What an awesome reminder for us all!  
 

Let the grace of the Lord be the measure of your sufficiency;
let the peace of the Lord be the measure of your quietness;
let the power of the Lord be the measure of your strength;
let the goodness of the Lord be the measure of your contentment;
let the love of the Lord be the measure of your service;
let the faithfulness of the Lord be the measure of your trust;
let the beauty of the Lord be the measure of your worship;
let the fullness of the Lord be the measure of your joy;
let the sovereignty of the Lord be the measure of your confidence;
let the promises of the Lord be the measure of your expectations;
let the coming of the Lord be the measure of hope.

You are my portion, O Lord. Psalm 119:57 AMP

Read more encouraging messages by Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder

 and writer, on Roy’s blog Meet Me in the Meadow.

 

 

 For Christ himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14)

 

I have given this message before, but we are living in a time of testing when it warrants repeating. We read in Psalm 23 that the LORD is our shepherd who leads us to green pastures and  quiet waters, but that may not seem true for you in your life now.   It is tough to survive on a planet that is literally being destroyed as every form of evil fills the heavenly realms.  Can God truly restore your soul to his peace despite the battles raging all around you? 

Keeping your hope alive in the midst of your struggles and fears can be difficult.  Although Christ has promised us that he would never leave us but would always take us through our problems, the strength to stay in faith when the storms of life come upon us can seem impossible. 

The truth is that Jesus did not die just to give you eternal life in heaven.  He died so that you might have an abundant, joy-filled life right here on earth.  He who knew your name before the foundation of the earth is able to heal your pain and ease the heartache that you may be going through.  There is nothing that comes upon you that can destroy your life if you have put your trust in the risen Savior.  Jesus is not just waiting for us in heaven.  He is here with us now in all that we do.  His power and strength is the force sufficient enough to demolish any stronghold that seeks to defeat you.   

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.   Those are life changing words!  He is speaking with all the power of God when he tells us that we do not have to fear any problem or impossible situation.  Jesus will not only take us through our problems, he will give us the peace that we need to stay trusting while we are in the battle.  The peace Jesus speaks of is the truth that sets you free.  It is the irrevocable promise of God that you can still have hope despite your trial because nothing can destroy his purpose and plan for you.  He is ready to shine a light to guide you on the path he has set for you.  Jesus is your friend, your counselor and an ever-present help in all things.  There is nothing too strong or too impossible for him to do for you because he alone is the source of all power. 

 Throughout the scriptures, we read of how God would make a way in impossible situations to help his people.  There is nothing that can change the course of victory for those whom he has redeemed.   In Exodus, we learn that God did not lead the Israelites around the Red Sea but rather he brought them to the Red Sea that they might understand his power as he parted the waters for them to cross safely to the other side.  

The victories written in scripture are here for us today.  God is willing to part the deep waters of trouble and pain that is in your life and bring you through safely to the other side.  Impossible situations are no match for the power of the risen Christ who defeated darkness and death and bought for you eternal life. 

Whatever painful situation you may be experiencing at this time, take heart and remember that Jesus is with you.  The hope that he gives you is not just a desire, it is a promise. God can always make a way to help you!  It is my prayer that he will help you to understand this truth. 

 

Dear Lord, I am praying for those who are going through a trial in life that is bringing fear and doubt.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your Presence and let them know that you have legions of angels surrounding them now who at your command.  I pray that anyone who is struggling with a financial problem, a marriage or relationship conflict, a serious health issue or a bondage of any kind will know without a doubt that you can make a way above and beyond their circumstance and bring them to victory.  I am praying that your truth will fill them and drown out the lies of the enemy who is leading them to believe tha there is no help.  Jesus, I pray that you will touch hearts all over this world and give them the peace and strength to know that your perfect plan will never fail them.  I give you praise and honor for you love that endures throughout eternity.  Amen

I just want to be loved

                                                                                                                                 To my sisters in suffering

Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
And let me take your hand.
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours,
Can understand.
Let me come in – I would be very still
Beside you in your grief.
I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
Tears bring relief.
Let me come in – I would only breath a prayer,
And hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
And understand.

by Grace Noll Crowell

 

 

There are many women who are living with some form of domestic abuse in their marriage.  It is heartbreaking to know that so many women are suffering with physical or verbal abuse by a spouse who had once vowed before God to love and cherish her forever.  God’s plan for a man and a woman who marry was for them to be a demonstration of Christ’ love for his church.  That is not what is happening as more than 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce.  Sadly, some of the rest are just existing in loveless, lonely marriages. 

While it is true that God hates divorce, there are times when a woman may be in danger if she remains in her marriage.  Abuse in any form should never be tolerated.  It is a difficult subject but one that must be addressed.  One of  my dear friends, Anna Wood, has a wonderful Christian site which helps women deal with the pain of abuse.  Her blog, At the end of myself….at the feet of Jesus, gives many great messages of loving support to those women who feel alone and weary from enduring the control and abuse from a spouse.  I hope you will check out this site and let God speak to your heart by the messages of hope.

In addition, I want you to know that I am praying for anyone who needs help with a marriage struggle.  I know that when you face a troubling situation like this in your marriage that may feel that you can’t tell anyone.  You may be afraid.  My heart is burdened for women who struggle in a relationship because they feel that they are unworthy or don’t deserve anything better.  That is a lie from hell sent to keep you in bondage.  Christ has deemed you worthy to be a joint heir with him in heaven.  He loved you enough to die to give you life and a future with promise.  He has a plan for your future no matter what painful trial you are in right now.  God has not left your side and he will see you through your pain.  I pray that God will give you peace and the strength to do what you must do and to know that his love for you will never fail.

Becoming dead to sin and alive to God!

In all that we do, we make a choice of whom we will serve. When you continue in our sin or allow others in sin to influence you, you are in fact choosing the path of destruction. There will never be victory for a person who lives in rebellion to God.  If Christ is truly living in your heart, you must follow in his way because he has given you the strength to do so. Paul gives us this message in Romans:

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14)

You will have no control over your body if the power of Christ does not reign in you. He can’t be your Savior unless you also make him your Lord! If you are tired of living a life that constantly brings you down with its consequences, then choose to live the life that God intended for you. We all have sinned and fallen short of righteousness, but we don’t have to remain in our lost state. We can allow Christ to rule in our bodies and let his truth guide our steps to overcome all that comes against us. He will always provide a way to help you on the right path. Many of you have struggles that you deal with everyday. They seem to overwhelm you and it is hard to believe that Jesus can help you. That is a lie. Jesus died so that all the chains and bondages that have you in slavery were broken. There is no power that can come against a true believer that is stronger than the force of Christ that is in you. Even the devil knows that he cannot destroy a believer who trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! He knows that God’s plan for every believer is one that cannot fail. All the enemy can do is to try to get you to forget that God is with you in ALL trouble and every storm that comes against you.

Whatever struggle you face, Christ can help you through it. Never let your circumstance and your pain seem bigger than your God! Jesus can always make a way for those whose hearts seek him. But to live as a conqueror in this fallen world, you must not continue in the same lifestyle. You must want to change and to leave the path of destruction that you are on. You cannot have one foot in heaven and one on this earth. You must choose to offer all the parts of your body to do what is right! Anything else will take you down and give the devil a foothold to come into your life and destroy you. What breaks my heart is that so many have believed the lies from hell for so long that they don’t understand that there is a way out to victory! Many have just become comfortable living a painful life that is going to destroy them forever because they don’t know the truth. The truth is that Jesus made a way for you no matter how far you have fallen. He is willing to give you hope and a new future IF you will allow him to rule in your life. Don’t give the devil permission to rule your life anymore.

Call upon Jesus and ask him to change you and to give you hope. He will never fail those who truly want him. Your past is filled with the devil’s lies. Now is the time to turn to the truth. God knows how to take you above your struggles and to conquer your addictions. Call on him today to help you! You are loved. Never sell yourself short for you are worth so much more than you know!

      Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

I want to share with you a wonderful message by Charles Spurgeon.  In this world we sometimes look at our circumstances instead of our God.  The darkness shadows us everywhere but the truth is that God is watching over those who belong to him. We cannot be crushed; we cannot be destroyed; and we can never be lost when Christ is our shepherd.  All that comes against us is being woven into the perfect plan that Christ planned long before we were born.  Remain secure despite your pain for you will see God’s power to take you through this battle safely.

Read Spurgeon’s message and find hope knowing that God will never fail us and that his plan for us cannot be stopped despite the troubles we endure. Keep your faith, dear friends, for Christ is coming soon to take us with him!

A message by Charles Spurgeon:

We are sent into the world, if we are believers in Christ, like sheep in the midst of wolves, defenseless, and in danger of being devoured, yet no power on earth can destroy the chosen disciples of Christ. Weak as they are, they will tread down the strength of their foes. There are more sheep in the world now than wolves. There are parts of the world where wolves once roamed in troops where not a wolf can now be found; yet tens of thousands of sheep feed on the hillside: one would not be very bold to say that the day will come when the wolf will only be known as an extinct animal, while as long as the world lasts the sheep will continue to multiply.
In the long run, the sheep has gained the victory over the wolf. And it is so with Christ’s people. They appear to be weak, but there is a force about them which cannot be put down: they will overcome the ungodly yet, for the day will come when mighty truth shall prevail. God hasten that blessed and long-expected day. Till then, when persecuted we are not forsaken, when cast down we are not destroyed. Many Christians, are placed in positions where they are subject to very great temptations and persecutions; they are mocked, laughed at, ridiculed, called by evil names. Persecuted one, will you deny the faith? Are you going to put aside your colors, and relinquish the cross of Christ? If so, I can only tell you, you are not made of the same stuff as the true disciples of Jesus Christ; for when the grace of God is in them, if the world be iron, they are northern iron and steel; they can bear all the blows which the world may possibly choose to lay upon them, and as the anvil breaks the hammers in the long run, so will they, by their patient endurance for Christ’s sake, break the force of all persecution, and triumph over it.

 

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “The Northern Iron And The Steel.” Image by John Davey under Creative Commons License

                  For God so loved the world……. (John 3:16)

This is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and lonely.  During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a time of pain and sadness.

The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the shopping and busyness of the season.  When God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world.  He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing.  His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away.  It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end.  Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ.  He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good. 

Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy.  Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world.  You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems.  Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can not stop his perfect plan for your life.  His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through.  Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you.  He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him.  Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.

If the joy of this season is overcome by a situation in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations.  The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life.  His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle.  He knew your name and loved you long before you were born.  He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses.  He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed.  Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”. 

Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.   He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain.  This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways.  His gift of life is free for the asking.  His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year.   Take heart for the Savior is born!

Dear Lord,  as we enter the holiday season of Christmas, so many hurting people are feeling lost and alone. Some are in major trials that are testing their faith.  Financial problems are overwhelming people everywhere.  Serious health issues are bring fear to many believers.  And marriages are being destroyed as the world is enticing many to believe that there is something better.  I am praying for all  of these issues as well as for those who are in bondages to drugs or alcohol. This world is growing dark with evil and your people are struggling everywhere.  I pray, dear Jesus, that your light will shine in the hearts of those in need and give them the strength and hope that they need as they trust you to take them through this valley of tears.  Help them to know that you have not left them for a moment and that right now legions of angels are surrounding them in every battle that they face.  I am praying for your peace to fill lives and for your joy to be with them.  For those who don’t know you as LORD and Savior, I pray for you to unveil their eyes to the truth that they may have life everlasting with you.  I pray all of this in the name of Jesus, the Hope of this lost world. Amen

         God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73)

As you look around those in your life,  it is hard to find someone who is not enduring a trial of some kind.  These days are troubling and it doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.  For that reason, so many believers are falling into the trap of thinking that evil is winning over good. They are overwhelmed and weary as each day just brings another set of problems.

The truth is that the plan of Christ for this world is unfolding before our very eyes. Your problems should not surprise you for we are told in God’s word that we will suffer in this world.  Our hope as believers is in knowing that God is working all things out for our good and to strengthen us for the battle.  If you can just understand that nothing that comes against you has any power to destroy you or weaken you, you can have peace even in the midst of your most troubling trial.  That which Christ allows to come against you in your life is manifesting a power in you that is getting you ready for the royalty that awaits you in God’s kingdom!  That may seem like something far off in another decade; but, as the days grow dark and evil increases, the Son of God is getting ready to return soon for those who are faithful to him.

When you let the storms in life make you feel overwhelmed it is only because you are listening to the lies of the enemy.  You are holding onto burdens that are too heavy for you carry alone.  The deceiver wants you to believe that God is nowhere near to help in your battle. That will never be true! 

Jesus is very close to the brokenhearted and he saw your struggles long before the foundation of the earth. It was he who prepared a way to victory in every one of them.  Why do you worry about things when God has in place a plan and provision to bring you safely through?  We cannot control what goes on around us, but we can trust that our God is stronger and able to get us through all things. 

All this may sound over-simplified to those who are in a serious illness and fear the outcome.  Many people are suffering through failed marriages and financial ruin.  The darkness of uncertainty can bring desperation in the life of a single parent wondering how she will support her children.  We are living in the terrible times of the last days where truth is being thrown to the ground and lies are being welcomed by the masses who demand their rights to do as they please without interference from God! When it all this going to end?  Or is it?

It shall end! God has a plan and he is not going to fail to complete the work he started. To those willing to stand in faith, though weary and overwhelmed, and still declare that our God is greater, he is going to bestow the crown of eternal life very soon.  We are not going to be in this struggle forever.  God knows the path that must take place but it is only for a time.  Your painful trial is working out something of value to your life.  You may not like it but you must trust that God is still in control of taking you through it.  You must have hope that does not give up at each arrow shot by the demons of hell!  We are winners and victors because our trust is in the finished work of Jesus Christ! There are no losers on the side of the kingdom of God. 

I don’t know what storm you are in at this moment.  I only know that as a believer you cannot be destroyed.  If your spiritual eyes were opened, you would see the legions of angels that surround you in every single battle! You are never left alone to fight the wars against the army of darkness.  You have the force of heaven with you right now so you must never accept defeat no matter how impossible your struggle seems.  You were made a conqueror when Jesus paid the price for your redemption.  All of your problems are under your feet as you live in the body of  Christ!  Surrender your life only to him for no one else can take it from you.  Let God restore you to wholeness despite your brokenness. 

 Beloved friend, you are going to see your God work all things out for your good  as he  safely lifts you high on the rock. Your troubles have a time to end.  Trust God to work it all out in his way and in his timing.  His love will never leave you for a second so take joy knowing that Christ has overcome the world!

 

Dear Lord, I am praying for all who come to this site needing a word of strength from you.  I pray that they will understand that you have not deserted them or left them to fend with their struggles alone.  You are always in the midst of every storm that we face and you are the force that brings us safely through it.  I pray that all those who are weary and overwhelmed with life will understand the truth of the message that you gave me to write.  May they have the peace and joy knowing that the problems of this world cannot defeat those who belong to you. Victory is ours.   The lies from a defeated enemy have no power to destroy those who trust in you.  I pray that those in need will be comforted by your presence today. For it is by the name of Jesus that all power is manifested in our lives.  Amen

 I found this message on the Watchman Nee Ministries and I felt it was one that I should share with you. We are all going through trials and struggles and sometimes we  grow weary trying to understand it all.  I ask that you read through this message and find some peace knowing that God is fully aware of all you are enduring.   God bless you, my friends, as you grow in God’s grace and mercy!

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bible Verses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 Cor. 4:7  But we have this treasure [Christ] in earthen
vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and
not out of us.  (8)  We are pressed on every side but not
constricted; unable to find a way out but not utterly without
a way out;  (9)  Persecuted but not abandoned; cast down but
not destroyed;  (15)  For all things are for your sakes that
the grace which has abounded through the greater number may
cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is an amazing thing that in our experience the Holy Spirit
can empty us. When we first became a Christian, we considered
ourselves to be rather good and capable in everything. But
after some time we noticed that the life we were living was
short of the Christian standard; we realized that we had
failed and could not go on anymore. Consequently, we felt
dissatisfied, and we prayed for God to fill us up and make us
obedient. God then ordered some unbearable and distasteful
circumstances to come upon us. Yet by the grace of God, we
eventually overcame them. Then we had something to testify
about, and we were able to say that we overcame. We were able
to say that we overcame a certain particular matter and that,
at a certain point in time, God filled us. We may have even
thought that we would be an overcomer from that point on. But
surprisingly, after some time, the victory was lost, and
failure came back again. We thought that it was very easy to
overcome, but it seemed as if all strength was gone, and new
obstacles were before us again. There seemed to be a wall in
front of us; we could not find any way out, and there did not
seem to be any way to bypass it. Consequently, we said that
our previous victory was lost, and we were no longer filled
with God.

What is the significance of this kind of experience? You
should bear in mind that in God’s eyes the Christian life
should be an ever-deepening life. A Christian should become
emptier and emptier, and the Lord’s riches to him should
become fuller and fuller. After passing the first hurdle, you
may think that there can be no higher life than what you have
experienced; you may think that you can advance no further
and that you have reached the summit. The Lord knows your
condition. He does not want you to think that you have
abundant life already. Therefore, He allows new difficulties
to come upon you, and He places impossible things before you.
Based on your past experiences, you may think that you will
overcome again. But you fail at your first attempt. You may
attribute your failure to the lack of vigilance and effort,
and you may take greater care and exert more energy in
tackling the situation the second time. Yet you fail again.
Eventually, you will find that you cannot overcome this
hurdle; there is no way to handle the matter. But God has
only one reason for doing this–to lead you on further and to
dig more deeply into you so that you may receive more
filling. This is why new difficulties are in front of you all
the time. Unless you have fresh filling, you will not be able
to overcome these fresh difficulties. All your difficulties
are ordered by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of creating a
stronger craving and hunger in you for Him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible
and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, General Messages,
Vol. 37, in The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, pp. 133-135. 
Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.

                I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13

We will all have trouble in this world and there is no escaping it.  And there will always be consequences for you when you rebel against the ways of God.  But there is also going to be struggles in this life as you try to walk in the ways of God.   That just doesn’t seem fair. 

But in God’s word, James gives us hope for the times when we suffer when he wrote: 

“Consider it all pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” (James 1:2-4) 

The word perseverance is your ability to persist to the end despite any opposition or obstacles you face.  It is standing firm and trusting God when the going gets tough and not giving up.  When you are able to persevere in your faith even when you feel down and out, you are trusting that God’s power is more than able to get you to victory.   It means that you are able to believe that God is bigger than any problem that comes against you.  It is faith in action! 

You will have to face opposition when you try to live for Christ.  There will be others who will tempt you to do the things they do that are not right. But your faith must be strong enough to walk away from evil and to continue in the path that Christ set for you.  You must seek his kingdom and his ways because everything else is going to take you down and destroy you!  Your future has been planned by God but you must surrender your will to his.  If you decide to follow the world instead, you will pay the same price that they do!  Your life will not be blessed as you walk the path to destruction.  You will end up with nothing instead of having a future with promise that Christ died to give you. 

I don’t care how hard your life is, Christ always has a way to take you through it.  He knows what you need but you must seek him and not others in getting it.  Everyone in this life will fail you. It is only the love of Christ that never will.  Look around at the people you surround yourself with. Are they good for you or do they lead you to do wrong?  It is better to be lonely for a while than to be with those who will corrupt your character and tempt you to do what you know is not right.  Don’t deceive yourself to think otherwise. You will never get away with anything for your sin will find you out.  You cannot have a full, victorious life unless you decide to do it God’s way.  There is no compromising the truth.  You have to decide what is important to you: the temporary pleasures of this life which do not last and will destroy you; or the things of God which will last forever and bring you to glory?  The choice is always yours. 

 Make the decision today to let the power of Christ change your life for the better.  Let him give you a future with promise.  And remember always that victory over the battles in this world comes by Christ alone! 

Don’t let the devil deceive you. No trial you face is too impossible for God power to bring you to victory. 

                            It doesn’t depend on man’s desire or effort but on God’s mercy

Troubles can plague every single one of us.  Right now,  your situation may be pretty bleak andit may seem like there is no hope in sight.  It may even appear that your world is crumbling right before your eyes.  So what do we do and what does God’s word tell us about our problems?  Paul tells us this truth in the book of Romans: 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28) 

In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37) 

No problem that you face is able to destroy a child of God who has faith in the work that Jesus did for us on the cross.  God knows how to change your situation and make the outcome one of hope.  He knows how to restore families, heal sicknesses and provide for all of your needs in life.  He is more than able for  the price has been paid at Calvary for your victory. There is nothing sadder than to see a believer downcast and acting defeated by the burdens he has.  Each trial and struggle has a purpose in your life to bring you to the knowledge of the love and power of the God you serve.  Never surrender in your difficulties and think that your situation is too impossible for anyone to help.  God is the Master and the Lord over all things on this earth and in heaven.  He calls the stars out one by one each night and he does not lose one.  He has the days of your life numbered and nothing can change that.  He has given you purpose and design so that you can live in victory despite what others may think or how bad your problems are.  

Your past has nothing to do with your future when you have surrendered yourself to Christ.  He already knows where you are and he knows how to get you where he wants you to be.  He is the lifter of your head and he is the one who carries your burdens.  His love never fails an you cannot fall too far for him to help you.  In all things he is sovereign and his power knows no end. The winds of every struggle must obey his will in your life!

So what do you fear in your life? What anxious thoughts do you dwell on?  Whatever they are, give them over to Christ.  There is nothing that you can do to help yourself for your strength is limited.  Give your struggles, your problems, your fears and your desires to the One who can make all things happen for the good in your life.  Trust in the power that Jesus died to give you. Decide this day that you will choose to follow Jesus.  Then watch and see how he gives you back what the enemy stole from you –  your future!  

God bless you and never doubt that you are loved and that God’s grace can meet you where you are.  Just surrender your will to his.  There are no losers with Christ!

                  Knowing that Christ is more than enough in your problems 

Going through a painful trial or heartache can bring you down lower than you have ever been.  It can seem unbearable and crushing especially when you don’t understand why God would allow this struggle in your life. How can the torment that you are experiencing be part of God’s perfect plan for you? It just doesn’t make sense.

 

The things that come against us in this world will never make sense to us.  However, that does not mean that there is not a purpose for all that happens. In Luke 22:43-44 we read that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray before he was to be crucified.  With great anguish over what he was to suffer, his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Yet as he obeyed his Father’s will, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  Jesus understood that there were eternal implications in all that he had to endure. He willingly gave his life that we might be saved. 

 

As a believer, you should understand that God will also send his angels to strengthen and comfort you as you grow weary from the battles of this world.  He will never let you stand alone and carry burdens that are much too heavy for you.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from their trials. His purpose in allowing pain in your life is to develop you into the image of Christ and to actually make you stronger for the journey set for you. In 2 Corinthians, God’s word says that you may be hard pressed on all sides but never crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but never abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. The storms of this life can rock your boat but Jesus has promised that you will get to the destination that he planned for you before you were born.  When you can trust God despite your broken heart, you defeat the father of lies who wants you to forget that Jesus paid the price for your victory.  All the troubles that we must face are obtaining for us an eternal reward that will last forever. You must keep your eyes on Jesus who is able to keep you in his peace even when you don’t understand the purpose for your pain. 

 

Scripture says that after losing his children, his wealth and his health, Job cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:13). God had a purpose in allowing Job to go through such a trial.  Ultimately, Satan was defeated and Job received a great reward.  He was given beautiful children, greater wealth and a longer life because he trusted God when even when all was taken.

 

God’s purpose and plan will forever stand though the earth may be shaken.  God’s ways are much higher than the logic of this world so you must trust him even when you don’t understand.  There is nothing you are suffering that God didn’t plan in advance to take you through. May it help you to know that there are believers praying for you right now and that God’s love for you will never fail!

  

Dear Lord,  I pray for those who are weary in the battle of life and who are unable to take that step and trust you completely.  I pray that you will lift them from their pain and comfort them in your mercy.  May your peace fill their lives as your strength fills them to wait upon your perfect plan for them..

 

 

 

 

                                

     For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

When you are born again and have Christ’ spirit living in you, there is a difference in all that you do as you seek to live a life apart from the ways of the world.  In that way, you are working for God and his kingdom if you truly belong to him.  You can fool others but you cannot fool God.  Your actions reflect where your heart is and what matters most to you.

In Galatians 6:7-10, Paul brings home this important message: 

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.    

What you treasure most in life is where you spend most of your time and effort.  If the things of God are not first in your life, you will be involved doing the same things that the lost of this world are doing.  You will be sowing your time and interest into that which will lead you to destruction.  If you truly desire that which is good, you will be giving of yourself to doing the work of God. You will seek his ways because you know that it is only there that you can live in his peace.   If you plant kindness and love in your life, that is what you will receive  If you are generous, you will receive blessings from God both here and in eternity.  However, if you live for greed and worldly possessions, you are planting seeds of destruction which will destroy your future. .  There is always a cost for living apart from the will of God.  You do not get away with anything for your sin will always find you out.  You cannot live with one foot in the world and one foot in heaven.  It is a choice you must make.  Those who belong to Christ know that victory only comes through surrendering their life and walking in the path that Jesus set for them.  All that you do in this life is played in heaven. God sees all and he knows if you truly are his. 

There is nothing more important in this world than to belong to Christ. Everything else will perish and only that which is blessed by God will remain.   Why would you ever waste your time and your effort on living as a slave to sin?  If Christ is living in you, you have his power to overcome sin.  Those who choose to live as the world lives are simply remaining in bondage to Satan and his evil kingdom. If you are not serving God, you are serving the devil!  There is no middle ground.  

Evil and darkness fill this world but they do not have to fill you.  You can live in the light of Christ and let him help you overcome all of your problems and struggles.  You are never alone to work things out for Jesus will be with you in all things. Don’t sell your future to the enemy when Jesus paid the price to give you freedom.  Let Jesus work through you to do good.  Salvation comes from trusting completely in what Jesus did for you on the cross.  Everyone and everything else in the world will one day fail you.  Jesus  is the only one who loves you enough to die for you.  Trust him when you are afraid.  Let him work out your life.  He is more than able to give you all the help you need.

           Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom

The truth of belonging to Christ is not a product of saying a particular prayer, but by the evidence of a changed life.  You can say that you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he is the Savior of the world but it means nothing if you have not made Christ the Ruler of your life. Knowing in your mind that Jesus is LORD does not make him LORD over you.  Even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he is the Savior of the world and they shudder but they are not saved!  What makes you different from them?

In 2 Timothy 2: 19 , the Apostle Paul gives us a very strong message:

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his”, and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness”.

The Lord knows if you belong to him.  The truth is that if you  profess Jesus but yet continually have the same attraction to sin as before, you need to know that you are not saved and are headed for destruction.  Those who know Jesus intimately will seek to live the greater life of righteousness. They will have a desire to do what is good and to turn from what is evil.  While the corrupt flesh will still do battle with the spirit, those who have Christ living in their heart will have an aversion to the sin which once kept them a slave.  They hear the voice of their Shepherd who guides them to do right.   They have received a new heart that is willing to surrender. 

Keep in mind that to live for Christ is to pick up your cross and follow the path that is set before you.  Your old self is put on the cross as the nails of truth and conviction bring death to that which hinders your relationship with Christ.  The Holy Spirit works in you to shape you into the image of the Savior who bore the debt you could not pay.  You are  now a new creation made for the glory of God who desires a relationship with you.

No matter what is going on in your life, there is nothing more important than knowing that you belong to Jesus Christ.  Everything else in this world will perish.  All that will be left is that which you have that will not burn up as it comes before the all-consuming fire of God. Your place in eternity rests on whom you chose to believe and follow.  Salvation is only for those who have put their trust in Christ alone. 

What makes you different from the demons who know that Jesus is the Son of God?  If you are a believer, your sins are covered by the blood of Christ who has reconciled you to himself and eternal life is yours. You have been set free!

Dear Lord,  it is my prayer that you will open the eyes of anyone reading this who does not know you as Lord and Savior.  I pray that you will let them see that you are all that they need.  I pray that you will reach them right where they are and bring them to the saving knowledge of your truth.  I pray that they will understand that you are willing to forgive all who come to you and that you will lead them on the path of  righteousness by your power.  No one is too far that you cannot reach their heart and bring them to you.  I pray for your mercy in touching those who are struggling right now to understand that anyone can love them.  May you fill them with your perfect, forgiving love and draw them to you today.  In the name of Jesus, the name above all names, I pray.  Amen

 

                                    Our hope never dies!

I wrote this message over a year ago and posted it on my other site. But, this truth is so important that I believe that this message needs to be posted again. The enemy does not want believers to remember that we are conquerors living as aliens in a perishing world.  Despite the darkness surrounding us, there is eternal hope for us and a future with promise.  We are living eternal lives for we know that death is not the end.

We have watched as thousands upon thousand of people died recently in a terrible earthquake in Haiti.  The enormity of this disaster has brought the grim reminder that everyone will one day die.  And, of all that comes against us in this world, death is probably the one most feared.  Yet, for believers, death is the only thing that releases us from this evil world and frees us to be with our LORD who has planned great things for us.  The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 25 that the Sovereign Lord will swallow up death and wipe away the tears from all faces.  Death only came to us when man sinned. But God had a plan to save us from death by sending his only Son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our transgressions and bought for us eternal life in heaven.  It is a free gift that cannot be earned.  Jesus says in John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.   

 To those who have Christ in their heart, death has no power to harm but only to release us to be with God who has riches and reward with him.  We will be clothed in heavenly garments for with Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory.   Isaiah 25:8 says, “Where,O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting?”  My friends, death cannot destroy a child of God.   

 Our life on this earth is just a waiting period for God to come a rescue us and bring us to him.  While we mourn those who pass on before us, we take joy in knowing that we shall be united with those believers that have gone before us in a place that Jesus has prepared for us.  In Revelation 21:4 God word says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.  For that reason, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 not to store up treasures on earth where it can be stolen or destroyed but to store up treasure in heaven which will last forever.  Our bodies may be on this earth, but our spirits should be longing to be with our God forever in heaven.  The temporary joys of this earth hold nothing compared to the eternal unspeakable joys that God has planned for those who love him.    

Friends, heaven is not just a state of being, it is a real place filled with glorious rewards.  The word of God says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him: (1 Cor 2:9)  It is so wonderful that Satan is committed to getting believers to forget that we cannot be destroyed but only freed to receive all that God has planned for us.  What destroys our body cannot destroy our spirit.  In 2 Corinthian 5:1, Paul tells us,  “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven , not built by human hands.”.  That is a promise from God for all who believe.  

 Those who are facing a serious illness, take heart for God is with you and  nothing  can stop the perfect plan that God has for you if you have asked Jesus into your heart. Jesus is able to heal and restore you and bring you to wholeness.  He will not leave you to fear or be afraid.  He is with you right now.  For those who have lost a loved one and the pain is still with you, you have the promise that God will one day wipe every tear away.   

I pray for the peace of Christ to fill you at this time and to help you to understand that his love is sufficient for all of your needs.  You are being prayed for right now.  You are not alone in your pain and you never will be.                                   

 

                                             Fear is nothing but a lie

The words that Jesus spoke in Matthew, Chapter 8, are a reminder that our trust must stand the test of trials that fill this life.  Jesus conquered death and evil when he paid the price for our sin.  Yet so many times, we get anxious and worried when an unexpected crisis comes into our lives.  But the truth is that no matter what hardship comes against you in this dark world, it is never beyond the power of God to help.   With just a word, he can make all things calm.

 Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  (Matthew 8:23-26) 

There is such a very important message in this verse.  When disaster or trouble comes in your life, who do you trust?  Do you trust that God is able to bring your through your trial or do you believe that your problem is bigger than your God?  The Apostles were in the boat with the King of the universe and yet they somehow feared that the storm would take them down!   Jesus is forever the Master over the storm and at his command, all things must obey!  

We are going to face painful attacks from a perishing earth.  Jesus told us that we will always have troubles in this world but that we should take joy in spite of them because he has overcome and defeated them all.  Not just some of them – ALL OF THEM!

Every struggle you must endure is used by God to strengthen you in your life and in your faith so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes.  The problems that you face cannot destroy you if you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  You are covered by his protection and it is his power that defeats the attacks from this lost world and a defeated enemy.  You cannot fail if you can trust that Jesus is enough! 

The storm in your life is not going to destroy you or steal your future  no matter how bad it now seems. Your entire life was planned by God and he knows how to bring you to victory.  Don’t give up or fear defeat because it seems like there is little that can be done for your situation.  The enemy wants to frustrate you so that you will take your eyes off of the Source of your Hope. Don’t listen to him.  The devil is a defeated foe brought down by the cross of Jesus Christ.  His power over you is useless and he himself knows it.  You need to know it also. 

No matter what has happened to you, there is always a way for Jesus to restore your life and give you renewed hope.  He knows what you to need to give you a future with promise if you will walk in his ways.  You cannot reach a dead-end in life despite how you have failed in the past for Jesus is the Author and Finisher of your life.  He will give you all that you need to walk in victory on the road that he has planned for you.  

The only way that things will work out in your life is if you give them completely over to Jesus.  There is no other way to have victory unless you surrender your life to him.  Darkness may be filling this world, but there is always a light for your path and all the strength you need by the power of a risen Savior.

Why are you so afraid?  Turn over your life and your fears to Jesus and watch him transform your future.  He always can make a way.  

Never give up.  God loves you way too much to let you fail now!

                            Worry is a spirit from hell!

In Matthew, Chapter 6, Jesus was talking to his disciples and teaching them his ways. He gave them a command not to worry despite what was happening in their lives because he wanted them to trust that he could provide them with all that they needed.  

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?” (verse 6:25)

So don’t worry about these things saying ‘What will we eat? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need. ( verse 6: 31-33)

Jesus is giving a very important message in these passages.  If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation, you must grow in your faith to where you can believe that he will take care of all that comes against you no matter what the circumstance.  To believe that God will not help you in your need is to listen to the voice of the enemy.  God has planned each step in the path that he has for your life.  He knows what is good and he knows how to get you there.  Most importantly, God is stronger than any struggle or pain you may have.  Never make your problems bigger than your God!  When you do, you are allowing a defeated enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ to dictate your future.

Remember that it was God who spoke the worlds into existence and who breathed into the dust and formed man.  There is nothing too hard for him to do for you and there is nothing that is impossible for him.  You need to believe that God is all that you need.  Your hope is in Jesus Christ who died to give you life.  Don’t ever surrender to the enemy or give up because you think you can’t win.  If you belong to Jesus, YOU HAVE ALREADY WON!   The devil himself  knows it but he is trying to get you to forget it.

God is with you in every storm and he is aware of  the help you need from him right now.   When you worry and get anxious, you are doubting that God is able to keep you from being destroyed by your circumstance.  That is blasphemy and a lie from hell.  Always remind yourself that God’s love is enough to see you through to victory.  He has a time and a way to do it, but he will never fail.

Every day brings with it another set of struggles that we must endure because we are still living in a lost world.  This is not heaven.  But one day soon Jesus will bring us to live with him and there will be no more troubles and tears.  Death will be gone forever.  Until that day, we must live in the hope that Jesus can keep us strong and lead us to victory even when this earth is shaking and nothing but darkness fills the sky.  Jesus did not die for you only to lose you to the problems of this world.  He paid the price for you to have victory.  Let him work out your struggles while he fills you with his perfect peace.  You need to pray and ask him to help you in your weakness and to keep you from falling.  He knows how to keep you safe.  You have to trust him and believe all that he has promised! 

 You can never fail when you call on the name of Jesus!

              His presence is always with you!

Keeping your hope alive in the midst of your struggles and fears can be difficult.  Although Christ has promised us that he would never leave us but would always take us through our problems, the strength to stay in faith when the storms of life come upon us can seem impossible.

The truth is that Jesus did not die just to give you eternal life in heaven.  He died so that you might have an abundant, joy-filled life right here on earth.  He who knew your name before the foundation of the earth is able to heal your pain and ease the heartache that you may be going through.  There is nothing that comes upon you that that can destroy your life if you have put your trust in the risen Savior.  Jesus is not just waiting for us in heaven.  He is here with us now in all that we do.  His power and strength is the force sufficient enough to demolish any stronghold that seeks to defeat you. 

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.   Those are life changing words!  He is speaking with all the power of God when he tells us that we do not have to fear any problem or impossible situation.  Jesus will not only take us through our problems, he will give us the peace that we need to stay trusting while we are in the battle.  The peace Jesus speaks of is the truth that sets you free.  It is the irrevocable promise of God that you can still have hope despite your trial because nothing can destroy his purpose and plan for you.  He is ready to shine a light to guide you on the path he has set for you.  Jesus is your friend, your counselor and an ever-present help in all things.  There is nothing too strong or too impossible for him to do for you because he alone is the source of all power. 

Throughout the scriptures, we read of how God would make a way in impossible situations to help his people.  There is nothing that can change the course of victory for those whom he has redeemed.   In Exodus, we learn that God did not lead the Israelites around the Red Sea but rather he brought them to the Red Sea that they might understand his power as he parted the waters for them to cross safely to the other side. 

The victories written in scripture are here for us today.  God is willing to part the deep waters of trouble and pain that is in your life and bring you through safely to the other side.  Impossible situations are no match for the power of the risen Christ who defeated darkness and death and bought for you eternal life.

Whatever painful situation you may be experiencing at this time, take heart and remember that Jesus is with you.  The hope that he gives you is not just a desire, it is a promise.  It is my prayer that God will help you to understand this truth.

Dear Lord,  there are so many believers that are struggling in the storms of life.  Please help them to know that you are with them and that you will not fail them.  I pray for your peace to fill them.  I pray that you will give them the hope that they need to continue on in the battle.  Lord, help them to rise above their pain and to be victorious in all that is bringing them pain.  We always have hope because Jesus will never fail.   To him be the glory.  Amen

Hello all.
 
Sebastian Ombima, founder and pastor of WOREM in Kenya, Africa, is asking for prayer for  9 of their kids that are at the orphanage that have Cholera and are in the hospital.  They are also in urgent need of prayer for their food supply for the orphans as well.   What can we do to help them out?  On top of that, I know that they need more bibles for their pastors.  How many bibles do we own?  Also pray that the Lord supplies the resources for Sebastians trip to the US early next year.  Would you have him come to your church?  Would you at least, in all seriousness, petition the Lord for them and be open to what the Lord would have you to do?  Below is a small video clip I put together.   Sebastian is looking to go to different churches in the US, would you be one of them?  Feel free to contact me or Sebastian directly at: rev_ombima@yahoo.co.uk
 
 
 
WOREM website: http://www.freewebs.com/worem/ or click the site to the right of this blog page.
 
God bless and thank you for your prayers and Lord willing your support!
 
Jeremy
PS.  Know that with the purchase of every book, Christian – A Dangerous Title to Claim, you will help WOREM!  What a great time for Christmas and for helping the indigenous missionaries and persecuted Christians around the world.

                         Making a lie out to be truth!

I recently visited the blog of a man I respect, Rev. Bill York, at http://hiddenmanna.wordpress.com.  He draws from the word of God and addresses these perilous, dark days that we live in to show how they align with Scripture.  His messages always get me thinking.   We know that Christ is coming soon as we watch the increase of evil and the blatant disregard for the things of God.  To be honest, I never thought I would be around to see some of the atrocities that are going on in this world.  It is unfathomable to me that people live with such a sense of entitlement that there  is now a new definition on what is now considered  a person’s “rights”.   The lost and  perishing have clamored and demanded their right to kill an unborn child; their right to same-sex marriage and their right to disrespect and abuse the constitution of this great United States.  In sheer frustration I left this comment on Rev. York’s site knowing, without a doubt, that there is going to be a price to pay for our rebellion against the ways of God!

It’s apparent that I get discouraged with these days of evil but perhaps that is to make me focus my eyes on what is to come. Christ has glorious things waiting for those who hold to his teaching to the end. Sadly, I cannot see anything that can help this world now for it has gone too far in welcoming and accepting aberrant behavior against a holy God! Truth is thrown to the ground as the name of Jesus is blasphemed everywhere. It is now time for the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ! I await that final battle standing in the army of the true and living God! It will happen soon so we must not grow weary despite darkness and persecution.

I pray that God will bring together those whom he trusts to pray for strength and guidance in these last days. We need wisdom from above to discern the work that we were called to do. We now must make the most of every moment for God has put us here at this time for his holy purpose and the days are growing short.

This country must repent or face the consequence.  As I write this, an article in our newspaper tells of a 15-year-old girl in our Ohio area who refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance in school. She said it was her “right” to refuse since she is an atheist.  The ACLU rushed to this area to defend her! She also added that she also didn’t believe in the pledge because “Gays and Lesbians don’t have justice”. What?!  What does that mean? How and why are we allowing this blatant disrespect from our youth? I am sure her family must have helped inspire these “swell”  values in her that she feels she can simply do whatever she pleases.  If she chose not to recite the pledge of allegiance, that would be one thing.  But to refuse to stand in respect for the flag is quite another.  We live in a country where our men and women paid with their blood so that our flag still stands. When did we just start accepting outright insolence in our children?  We are just handing over our children to Satan! And we wonder why we need more prisons to house offenders. Does anyone think that a teen like this will grow up and miraculously respect authority of any kind?! 

Similarly, a 10-year-old boy in Arkansas refused to say the pledge because as he said, the line “liberty and justice for all” does not pertain to gays and lesbians! Lord, help us all! The enemy does not have to go far to push his agenda when he gets all the help he needs from our kids!

Once again, I must not grow discouraged. The plan of Christ is going to happen just as he said. The evil of this world cannot stop the will of a powerful God.  I just will continue to lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help and know that my God will not fail.

                Given from Christ who gave his life for you! 

All things in this earth will pass away and only the kingdom of God will endure forever.  Each day of your life you have to decide if you will serve the temporary pleasures of this fallen world or store up riches in the never ending kingdom of heaven that is to come.

 Those who endure until the end will receive the unspeakable reward which Christ has prepared for those who love him.  We are given only a glimpse in Scripture of what it will be like to be in the presence of God in heaven forever because our finite minds could not possibly comprehend the magnificent beauty that awaits believers.

 For now on this earth, we must face the battles that each day holds as we continue to trust in the unfailing strength of our God who provides all that we need.  We serve a God who alone has the power to turn a curse in our life into a blessing (Deuteronomy 23:5).  No stronghold has power over your life as a believer but what you give it. You only grow weary in the battle when you empower your situation instead of magnifying your God who has the power to crush all of your enemies. You can believe the lie that says your situation is hopeless, or you can walk in the truth that says by faith you can literally move mountains.

 No struggle or trial is beyond the strength of the Creator who spoke all things into existence.  He who breathed life into your body can assuredly breathe new life into your broken dreams and restore what the enemy took from you. Your situation can never separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  Have no fear when it seems like the ground all around you is crumbling.  You are not standing on the sinking sand of this earth but on the promises of Christ who will hold you and keep you standing while those around you are perishing. 

 Every believer is given a future with promise and a plan to succeed in all that God has called you to do.  You cannot be robbed of your inheritance as a child of the King of Kings.  Jesus came to this earth to die for us so that we might have eternal life with him in heaven.  Your weaknesses and failures cannot stop the promise of God who reconciled us to himself in Christ not counting men’s sins against them   Through Christ, we have become the righteousness of God.  God’s word tells us in 1 Corinthians. 6: 11,”But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.  We were made clean and right standing not by anything that we could do, but only by what Jesus did for us on the cross.  He paid the price that gave us victory over death and set us free from the bondages of this world. We only need to believe that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

If you are unsure of your future and want assurance of eternity with God in heaven, now is the time to call upon the name of Jesus and ask him to reveal himself to you in a personal way.  It is by his power that you are saved.  He has come to bring you life that will never end!  That’s a promise!

Dear Lord Jesus,

There are so many people who are facing hardship and struggles of every kind in this world.  The enemy has them believing that there is no way out of all of their problems.  The struggle of trying to carry their burden alone is making them weary and tired.  I pray that you will open their eyes to the truth that you have died to give us.  The truth that said that you are with us in all of our problems and you will take on our problems and carry us safely through them.  I pray that they will know you as Savior in a very real way.  I pray that they will be filled with strength as they put their trust in you.  Help them to know that you will not fail.  Let them understand that you always can make a way no matter how impossible their painful situation is.  I pray that they are filled with peace and joy that can only come from you.  Amen

                              Jesus has the power to win this battle for you!

The promises of God are real and his faithfulness will never fail us.  We have nothing to fear as believers because the power of God is always with us.  Yet those words may ring hollow when you are in a crisis situation.  You may be dealing with a serious illness for which there is no cure. You may be struggling with financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. You may be suffering the pain of a broken marriage or relationship and have lost all hope for the future.  You are feeling overwhelmed and weary in a battle that never seems to end.  Whatever the struggle, it can be hard to stand in your faith when your circumstance seems hopeless. 

We read in Proverbs 24:10, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!”.  The truth is that those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ have limitless power to defeat anything that comes against them.  In 1 John 5:4, we are told that everyone born of God overcomes the world.  The forces of evil cannot conquer a child of God. The devil himself knows that he is unable to harm a hair on your head but only what God permits.  And God will only allow that struggle or pain for which he has prepared in advance to bring you through to victory. Each trial we endure is permitted to help us to develop the perseverance that we need to stay strong in this life so that our faith may be proved genuine.  Christ did not suffer and die to lose the battle.  His death paid the price for our victory and it cannot be taken from us.  It does not matter what trouble you may be experiencing, God is willing and able to bring you through it. He alone can turn a painful situation into something that will be used for good with a reward that will last forever.  God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3 is to give you beauty for ashes and gladness instead of mourning.  

Those who have Jesus as their Savior have a living hope.  It does not matter how weary you may feel for it is Christ who will fight your battle and he knows how to rescue the godly from trials.  He has made us more than conquerors which means we cannot fail despite our weaknesses.  The Apostle Paul understood that all he had to suffer was permitted for a purpose.  He believed that God’s grace was able to meet all of his needs despite the pain he had to endure.  For that reason, Paul was able to be content in any and every situation, good or bad.  He said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.  That is the kind of faith that honors God and defeats the enemy. 

You can have the peace that surpasses understanding if you will keep your eyes on Christ instead of your problems.  There is nothing that is impossible for him.  He cannot fail you because it was by his great love that he created you.  He defeated death and left us a promise that he would always be with us.  Jesus will make a way through the mountain of your problems because his perfect plan for your life cannot be stopped. 

 It is my prayer that you understand that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are going through for Jesus will be there to help you.  You are never alone.  Never let the enemy of your soul convince you otherwise!

I was very saddened today as I read in the obituary of our newspaper about the death of a man named Allan with whom I was acquainted.  I was introduced to him years ago shortly after his 20-year-old son committed suicide.  I didn’t know him well but I decided to go and talk to him and see if I could help during this painful time.  I made dinner for him and his then 17-year-old son and brought it over.  I just felt led to go there.

When I entered his apartment, I was shocked at the  complete clutter and mess that left no room on the table to eat.  This man was a very articulate, intelligent man and it was hard for me to believe that he lived in such disarray.  His mind just was not functioning clearly.   But I was there to encourage him so I did not let my feelings show. 

After talking to him for a while, I had compassion for him because he was so incredibly lost to salvation.  He spoke of intellectual things but did not want to dwell on the subject of Jesus Christ.  There was nothing I could do for him and his son but pray, and that is what I did.

I continued to drop dinner off to him over the next several weeks but I could not get through to him about his need for a Savior.  I tried.  About a year later, Allan and his son came down to our business to borrow some money.  I got a chance again to talk to them about Jesus.  They listened politely but they did not want to talk about what would happen to them after they died.  I asked the young man to tell me why he had no interest in hearing about salvation through Jesus Christ.  He said that he may change his mind later, but  he felt that he was young and did not have to make that decision now. 

I sadly watched them both leave our shop with the money they needed without even a backward glance.  They were blinded by the lie of the enemy of this world who wanted to destroy them.  They lived for the here and now and never gave a thought to the only thing that mattered – where they would spend eternity. They were like so many other people who live like they will never die.

Over time, I would read about Allan’s son being in and out of jail for different crimes.  I tried to go visit them again but when I got to their apartment, I found out they had moved and left no forwarding address.

So when I read Allan’s obituary today, my heart just dropped. He certainly was not old.   I can only hope that somehow God got his attention and he repented before he died. I can also continue to pray for his son who is still lost and blinded to the truth.

I believe this message is important because Jesus said that wide is the road that leads to destruction and many are on it.  How many of those people think they will have time to learn about the truth of salvation at another time?   Too many!

I am reminded of  a story that I heard many years ago and the message of  it has never left me.  It begins with three demons who come together to decide how to get more people into hell.

The first demon said, ” I will tell them that there is no hell.  Then they will continue in their evil and not worry about the consequence for their sin.  That will surely work!”

The second demon said, ” I will tell them that there is no heaven.  Then there will be no reason for them to lead a good life.  That will work even better!”

The third demon listened to them and  then said, “ We aren’t going to tell them that there is no hell or that there is no heaven.  To get more people into hell, we will simply convince them that there is NO HURRY!”

Sadly, this is one of the enemy’s greatest tools.  People plan all the time for tomorrow, next week and next year as if it were a certainty.  Yet God alone knows the number of our days.  Tomorrow is not known and it is not a promise for anyone.   Most people won’t have a deathbed experience.  There is no time to wait.  The day of salvation is now.  One day we will either be in eternity with God in heaven or in the torment of hell!  What could be more important in your life then to know the Savior who died so that you might have life everlasting? 

This world is perishing as the days grow short and darkness fills the earth.  Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved.  He alone paid the price for our sins.   He has prepared a place for us in heaven that will never end.  Those who trust in the work of Christ at the cross have passed from death into life.  Seek him now while there still is time!  You may never have another chance.

                                                    The path to eternal life begins with Christ

Where do you stand in your relationship with Christ?  For that matter, do you have a relationship with him?  My friends, the time is here and the time is now for the days are growing shorter and if there is one certainty in your life, I pray it is a knowledge that you belong to the Savior of this world.  Everything else is temporary and will pass away.  The only reward that lives on is for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Jesus taught on this subject in Matthew 7:12-14. There we read where a crowd had followed Jesus  as he went up on a mountainside and began to teach his disciples. He spoke of different topics but then he focused in on what it took to be saved as he said:

Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”  

I am sure that it got their attention when he said only a FEW find it!  Jesus continued to speak  saying that a good tree will bear good fruit but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  It is a warning to  those who think they are saved but who are living  no differently than the world.  He said:

Not everyone who says to me  ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me you evil doers’.”  Matthew 7:21-23

 The fact is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, your life should give evidence to a change.  You should not be able to sin as easily as before and your desire should be to follow in the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It does not mean that you won’t fall or that you will never sin, but it does mean that your heart has been changed and you have turned from the old ways of sin.  If you continue to hang out with the same lost people that you know are trouble than you will have a problem.  Without a doubt, you will be led back into the life that will be your downfall!  You will be on the wide road that leads to destruction.  You will lose everything

When you seek instead to follow Christ and to live in his light, you will receive the promise of a new life and blessings to make it through this world.  You will get the peace to know that all things will be filtered through the hands of Christ before it touches you.  You will understand that all of your problems will be used by God for your good and will make you stronger in your faith.  You will find that Christ will be with you in all of your battles.  And most important, you will know that when you die, Jesus will meet you and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.  You will then be a joint heir with him in heaven for eternity.  

There is always forgiveness at the cross of Jesus.  It does not matter how far you have fallen or how badly you have messed up in your life for he can and will restore you to wholeness.  Your weakness and failures can’t stop him from giving you a future with hope and a life that is worth living.  The Lord knows what you need and he knows how to give you what is good if you will trust him.  But you must want to follow him.  Let go of your past mistakes and take hold of the blessed life that will give you peace and joy.  Let your families and your children know that you now belong to Jesus.  Never again do you have to sell yourself short to the enemy.  You have been redeemed!  You matter to God and he cares for you with a love that will never end.  Start over today.  Give your life to Christ and watch and see what happens.   

Remember that you can never be so lost that Jesus cannot find you.  He knows where you are right now and he wants to give you his strength.    You are loved!

       He has broken the shackles which have kept you a prisoner

 

All that we do in this life is a result of who we believe.  Every decision we make either gives glory to God or it is sin.  There is no middle ground in our relationship with God.  Jesus said in John 8:34-36, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed“.    Only he is able to break the chains that restrain you and keep you from living a life that is abundantly blessed.   It is by surrendering all that you have to Christ that you become a conqueror.  Until you have made a commitment to have Jesus as your Savior, you are in bondage to the devil! You are his slave! You have no power to live a righteous life because you cannot do it by yourself.  It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to help you to win over the spiritual forces of evil that are present in this world. 

Never underestimate the enemy!  Your strength alone cannot defeat him.  It is only the atoning death of Jesus on the cross that can crush the force of Satan in your life.  Because of his great sacrifice, there is now no struggle, no addictions and no pain that can withstand the redeeming power of Christ!  He alone can take you through your trials and calm every storm.   But you must choose to follow him on the narrow path.  All of the failures in your life have come about because you believed an evil, deceitful enemy! He was able to convince you that you really weren’t so bad and that the sin in your life wasn’t that big.  But that is a lie from the pit of hell!  Every sin has a consequence and unless you stand under the blood of Jesus, you will suffer for your rebellion. We serve a holy God and every offense merits eternal death. Only by repenting and believing on Christ who paid the price for your life can you ever enter heaven.  You must turn away from your old ways and keep your eyes on the One who has the power to save you.  You cannot continue to live in your same life of sin and have a relationship with Christ.  Jesus must be Lord over your life in order for you to stand righteous before God. 

 My friends, if you want a new life that will give you hope and joy, there is only one Way and his name is Jesus.  There is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved.  The good news is that he wants a relationship with you.  Your Creator knows you by name and he understands all that you are going through.  He knows your weaknesses and struggles.  He wants to give you a life with purpose and a future that will endure into eternity.  You no longer are without hope  despite your circumstance because Jesus has the power to set you free.

 

Dear Lord, I pray that all those who read this message will understand that your sacrifice paid the price for us to be free.  Help those who put their faith in you to know that there is nothing that can defeat them or destroy the plan that you have purposed for their life.  Give them wisdom to know that you have overcome the world and we have nothing  to fear.  Death no longer has a hold on us for you have given us eternal life.  Make this truth real to all those who are struggling in their pain right now.  May they know that you will be with them in every storm that they face.  For our strength and hope is in the unfailing name of Jesus.  Amen

God always has a way to help!

Christ came to give us joy in the midst of our pain. He knew that we would have to endure hardship in this fallen world, but he had a plan that would carry us through and give us peace despite our struggles. There is absolutely nothing that you will lack if your faith is in Christ Jesus. It doesn’t matter difficult your circumstance in life may be, Jesus has a way to bring you his perfect peace as he works out the purpose and plan that he has for you.

We are told in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but that Jesus came to give us life that is abundant and overflowing. That means that believers do not have to live an unfulfilled, mundane life. Those who put their trust in Jesus are now a new creation with the ability to live in complete victory despite the circumstances that they face. The shadow of death will bring no fear to those who know that their debt was paid for on the cross at Calvary. The hand of God will supply you with the strength and power that you need to stand against the forces of evil that try to destroy your family, your health and your finances. You cannot be defeated because God has a perfect plan for your life to give you a future with hope. The destructive lies of a defeated enemy cannot harm you because the hand of God is mightier than any weapon that is formed against you. In Isaiah 40, we are told that God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Those who put their trust in the enduring love of the Savior, Jesus Christ, will never be disappointed.

Jesus tells us in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. Jesus came to bring light to a dark world. He came to bring life to a world that was perishing. He came to show us the way to eternal life. Jesus is all these things. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to the Father. He has given us life by his death and resurrection. And by his power, we are now set free from the bondages of sin and destruction. There is not a force in the heavens or earth that is more powerful than the power of Christ who dwells in a believer. There is now no sin, no pain and no addiction that can hold you in chains when the truth has set you free. The knowledge that God is your protector and your vindicator should fill you with the peace that Jesus won at the cross. His sacrifice not only bought us eternal life but also the right to reign with him in heaven. That is a promise that is worth the momentary trials and pain of this world. You should live your life with the knowledge that the love of God will see you through the battles of this world and bring you safely to the glory that awaits you in heaven.

If you are feeling weary and troubled at this moment, please understand that you may be trying to carry your own burdens. Scripture says to cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you (Psalm 55:22). In order to do that, you must trust that Jesus has the power to lift the pain that you have and to give you the peace that he will work all things out for your good. It is my prayer that all who read this will be set free by a revelation of the truth of God’s unfailing love.

Dear Lord, I pray that you will be the strength for those who have become weary in the battles of this fallen world. Bring them your peace and help them know that the truth that sets them free is that your plan for their lives cannot and will not fail. Problems and pain will be used to give them a greater understanding of your love. Help those who feel that they have no hope. Give them the assurance that you are the LIVING HOPE and that you will make a way to help where there is none. You are all that we need. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen

                                    

You have a living Hope in Jesus Christ!

In Mark Chapter 5, we read at Jairus, the synogogue ruler had just asked Jesus to come and heal his very sick daughter.  Before they got to his house, Jairus was told that it was too late for anything to be done now.  They had no idea that the Creator of this world was there walking in the sandals of  a carpenter!

 35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

 36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”  37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40But they laughed at him.
      After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). 42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished

Comment:

The truth that is shown in this passage is that Jesus has the power to overcome all things in our lives including death!  Nothing is impossible with Jesus who can bring to life any situation that is hopeless.   No trial or painful situation is beyond his reach.  He knows how to rescue you from where you are and take you to where he wants you to be.  The only thing you have to do is to trust him as you wait on his timing.  If your trust is in Christ as Lord and Savior, you must believe that he is able to do over and above all that you ask him to do.  You have to know in your heart that He is bigger than your problem.  You cannot let the impossibility of your situation limit your prayers for God is able do all things.  When you doubt, you are saying that Christ is not enough.  You are giving  more power to the lie of the enemy than to God himself.  Never surrender your hopes and dreams to a defeated enemy whose power was destroyed at the cross.  Jesus paid a heavy price to purchase your freedom and to give you his power to do all things!  Nothing can destroy a true child of God so you must not give up hope.  No dream of yours is dead no matter how  it seems for Jesus is able to resurrect your shattered life and restore you to wholeness.  It is never over while the hope of Christ lives in you!  The enemy will always try to get you to forget that the promise of a new life can never be stopped by your failures and weaknesses.  God can always find a way to heal you and bring about his plan for your life.  You must believe.  In this bible verse, we see that Jesus put all of the unbelievers out of the room before he brought the little girl back to life.  Jairus had to look away from his daughter lying dead on her bed and put his eyes on the one who created all life.  His faith in Christ gave him back his daughter.   Your faith can open the way for Jesus to do miracles in your own situation.  If Jesus were going  to do a great and miraculous work right now, would you be one of the unbelievers who had to be put out of the room?  Your faith stands on the Promise that Jesus came to earth to give.  He knew what you would face long before you were ever created.  He had a purpose in all that you had to endure and he has a way for your struggles to be used to give you strength and hope.  The God who loved you so much that he sacrificed his only Son knows your pain and your weakness.  He will not fail you.  He is with you right now!

Dear Lord, I pray for all those who need your strength in their life right now.  The struggles and pain of this world is overwhelming them and it is hard for them to believe that you are in complete control.  I pray that you will lift them where they are and give them a peace that will carry them through this struggle.  Help them in their struggle to believe.  Be with them in power and let them feel a very real sense of your Presence as you work all things out for your perfect purpose and plan in their lives.  I pray that you will comfort them now and open their eyes to the truth that you will fight this battle.  You have made us more than conquerors.  May we walk in that victory in Christ precious name.  Amen

 

                                       Jesus paid the price for your victory

The lies of a defeated enemy should never fill you with hopelessness.  Christ came to earth to give us a new future that can never be destroyed.  It is always so sad to see believers walking as though the weight of the world was upon them when Jesus  told us to give him our heavy burdens.  Why would we continue to carry the chains of  bondage when the cross has set us free?   The truth is that the troubles of this world are never bigger than the power of a limitless God to whom nothing is impossible.

Our debt has been paid in full by Jesus and he has proclaimed that , “It is finished“.   No struggle has power over a child of God.  Our failures and weaknesses are now made strong as Jesus works through them to  use them for our good.  There is a purpose and a divine plan in every one of the storms that come against you.  Keep in mind that the promises of God can stand the test of every trial that this world brings.  We are conquerors in the army of a living God!  We serve a risen Lord who is able to keep us in perfect peace if we just keep our eyes on him.   That is the truth that brings you freedom  from the bondage of fear.

We are told in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but that Jesus came to give us life that is abundant and overflowing.  That means that believers do not have to live an unfulfilled, mundane life.  Those who put their trust in Jesus are now a new creation with the ability to live in complete victory despite the circumstances that they face.  The shadow of death will bring no fear to those who know that their debt was paid for on the cross at Calvary.  The hand of God will supply you with the power that you need to stand against the forces of evil that try to destroy your family, your health and your finances.

You cannot be defeated because God has a perfect plan for your life to give you a future with hope.  The destructive lies of the enemy cannot harm you because the hand of God is mightier than any weapon that is formed against you.  In Isaiah 40 we are told that God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Those who trust in the enduring love of the Savior, Jesus Christ, will never be disappointed.  

If you are feeling weary and troubled at this moment, please understand that you may be trying to carry your own burdens.  Scripture says to cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you (Psalm 55:22).  In order to do that, you must trust that Jesus has the power to lift the pain that you have and to give you the peace that he will work all things out for your good.  It is my prayer that all who read this will be set free by a revelation of the truth of God’s enduring love. 

 Dear Lord, I lift up all those who are broken by their struggles and pain.  Somehow along the way, they have lost sight of the fact that you are their strength and they have nothing to fear.  I pray that you will give them a very real sense of your Presence.  Let them know that you are with them in the storm and that you have a way out of every difficulty.  You will never fail those who put their trust in you.  May they know your peace as you turn their problem into a blessing to give them hope and  an unfailing future.  Amen

                                      

                       Jesus will never fail those who love him

 

So many times as we falter in our faith as we go through painful trials.  Struggles and difficulties can overwhelm us and it is easy to think that we are all alone and that God is not going to help us.  That way of thinking is a lie perpetrated by the father of lies! Jesus died to give us victory despite our problems and joy in the midst of them.  How can that be? Is it possible to trust completely even when your situation seems hopeless?  If your faith is in Christ Jesus, nothing is impossible.

 

The Apostle Peter had a time when his faith was gravely tested, yet he stood trusting.  In the book of Acts, Chapter 12:1-10, we read how Herod imprisoned Peter after having James, the brother of John, put to death.  He saw that this pleased the Jews so he seized Peter also.  After arresting him and putting him in prison, Herod handed Peter over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each.  He intended to bring him to trial after the Passover.

 

 

5While Peter was being kept in jail, the church never stopped praying to God for him.

 

6The night before Peter was to be put on trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains. A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrance to the jail. 7Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared, and light flashed around in the cell. The angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up. Then he said, “Quick! Get up!”    The chains fell off his hands, 8and the angel said, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” Peter did what he was told. Then the angel said, “Now put on your coat and follow me.” 9Peter left with the angel, but he thought everything was only a dream. 10They went past the two groups of soldiers, and when they came to the iron gate to the city, it opened by itself. They went out and were going along the street, when all at once the angel disappeared.   

                        

 

One of the most remarkable messages in this verse is that Peter, who was probably going to be executed the next day, amazingly was sleeping soundly chained between two guards, with two other guards watching over him!  He was able to rest despite this death sentence because  of his  unrelenting faith in the power of Christ.  The peace of God which surpasses our understanding filled Peter that night and he had a trust that Jesus was able to work things out no matter how bad the situation.

 

Peter was guarded on all sides by squads of soldiers and was bound in chains.  Yet God was still able to dispatch an angel to go to Peter, loose his chains and release him from that dungeon without the guards knowing!  The truth is that God is never limited by our troubles or circumstances.  Nothing is impossible for him.  He heard the prayers of the Church for Peter and he answered them!  He was able to rescue Peter and he is able to rescue you from any storm.  You always have hope when your faith is in Christ because he has a perfect plan for your life that cannot and will not be stopped.  He has given us power to speak to the mountain and it shall be moved.  The power that raised Christ from the dead resides in the heart of every believer so that nothing can destroy us.  Our time is in his hands.  He knows the hardship and the struggles we must endure.  The biggest thing to remember as you go through your trial is that Jesus has a way to not only take us through our pain but to help us to rise above and to be stronger for having gone through it.  That is peace beyond description.  That is a Hope that is living and alive.  That is a promise from Christ that we can believe in.  That is all the strength that we need to overcome every obstacle in our lives.

 

Dear Lord,  I pray that you make yourself real to all those who read this message.  Help them to know that there is no problem, no chains, no bondage and nothing in all of creation that will stop your love for them. You have a plan to work all things out for their good.  May you give them the peace that only comes from knowing you in a very personal way.  I pray that you will comfort them in their sorrow, heal their pain and give them a new future with promise that will never end.   Amen

 

Never give up because Jesus will never give up on you!  You are loved.

 

 

 

 

 

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