God answers your prayers


In the world in which we live today, there are many people inside and outside the church who don’t believe in God’s ability to answer our prayers. Many times God answers our prayers almost before we pray them. Sometimes the answer is “no” or “not yet” but sometimes the answer is “Yes!”. We may not recognize His answer as if it came from God but I believe that many of our answers, if not all of them, do come from Him. Just like any parent or guardian, God says yes to some prayers which will give glory to Him and will help us in our journey. Then there are prayers, usually spoken in haste or anger, that God will answer “No!”. 

Sometimes we can understand His reasons when we don’t get a positive answer but many times we act like a spoiled child and pitch a fit when we don’t get our way. It is the negative answers which teach us how to be truly patient and one day we will understand why He didn’t answer our request with a “yes”. 

In 1 John 5:14-15 it says: 

14 This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him.

Notice that John writes “If we ask anything according to His will…”, meaning that our request should be prayed about, and in asking Him to do one thing or another we must be in His will for Him to answer us with a “Yes!”. In other words, we should be walking with Him, studying His Word, and in a state of prayerful living so that we will know what is His will for our lives. 

Unfortunately, there are many people in the church and in the pulpit, who are not walking with Jesus on a daily basis. We tend to visit Him on Sunday or on a holiday or when something goes wrong in our lives and He is the only recourse for us to turn to at the time. Other than that, we just go through our day without a thought about Him or His Word…until we really NEED Him to show up! 

God does answer prayers and He hears the prayers of those who belong to Him in their hearts. The Holy Spirit speaks to Him even before we do especially when it is a request that is painful to ask for and it is during those times when God’s answer shows up before we even know that we need it. Sometimes it shows up in a way that we weren’t expecting but many times it will show up in an unexpected way and it will bring joy into our lives that we never knew we had.

Considering our prayers and our relationship with God, we need to remember that He is not a genie. God doesn’t answer at the same moment that we ask and He is not willing to give us the desires of our heart unless our desires and His are the same. Would He give us the desires of our heart? Yes, if it would bring Him glory and bring more people into His Kingdom.

We have to have a close relationship with Him in order for our requests to truly be in line with His will for our lives. Today there are many people in the church who really aren’t that close to God at all. Even though they may think they are. Some of those who think they are close to God are not and some of those are in the pulpit. Are they saved? Maybe or maybe they think they are, only God can answer that question.

That is the most important question of all. Are you truly saved like the thief on the cross? Believe in Jesus for your salvation because He is the only way. Or…will you leave the church with the idea that you’ll get around to it one day but not today. Are you sure that you will be here the next time we meet? Not one person knows that they have tomorrow as another day to make that decision. I don’t and none of you know without a doubt that you will live another day or another week. The only person who knew when He would die was Jesus and that only because He was God in the flesh.

Love makes a difference


Sometimes I have heard people ask in a wondering tone, “Why did Jesus die for me?”. The simple answer is love. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.”

It is the love of God which restrains His wrath even now. It is the love of God which calls to those who will hear Him to come to know Jesus as your Savior and you will be forgiven. It is God’s love which keeps our lives and our world going and moving and being in this world where there are many who don’t want His love.

God sustained Adam and Eve perfectly for a time. He sustained them and their offspring even after they disobeyed His command about the Tree of Knowledge. God has sustained the universe and our little speck of a world since creation and He will do so until it is time to change things as it says in the book of Revelation.

Yes, love does make a difference. Whether it is God’s love for us or our love for Him and for each other, true love does make a huge difference. In our lives and the lives that we touch and in the work that we do every day, it is our love which makes a difference now and will make a difference to someone else who sees what we do or say. We won’t know about the effect that we have had on other’s lives until we meet them in Heaven one day.

A kind word, holding the door for someone, paying for their meal when they didn’t ask you to, thanking God for your meal when you go out to eat, all of these things are little things but God can use them in ways that we can’t imagine.

Love is powerful and it does so many wonderful things in the world and in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Love comes from God and perfect love is His to give freely to each of us every day. Make sure that you give some away to your family and to strangers alike because you never know the impact it could have in their life and in yours too.

Are you His?


I ask this type of question because people, in general, don’t believe in God or the prophecies in the Bible. While it is true that there are many in the world who claim to believe in God, the “God” which they believe in is just a generalized idea of the real God and Creator of the universe. Even Satan knows Who God is because it was God Who created him! My question is in reference to your salvation or lack of it. Are you His and do you truly know Him?

The most important part of this is does He know you? Your eternity depends on the answer to that question. Granted, your soul is eternal and if you do not choose to serve Jesus and accept Him as your Savior, you will be in eternity one day but your eternity will be in punishment. Why? Because you have refused the offer of grace and mercy when it was offered to you.

I truly pray that more of you who read this will seek Jesus as your Savior because that is the ministry which I was called to. I was called almost ten years ago to be a voice telling others about our Lord and Savior, hoping that the Holy Spirit would draw at least some of you to Him. This is not a light nor easy ministry because there are so many who truly need salvation. I am not able to go to those places which this medium can reach, but I do pray that He will reach you.

God does love each of us but it’s up to us to love Him enough to ask Him into our lives and our hearts. He doesn’t force us in any way to come to Him because love and devotion cannot be forced, they must be given willingly and humbly by those who know that they don’t deserve the grace that they have been offered. The most well-known verse from God’s Word says it all:

John 3:16

Amen!

Is God in control?


First and foremost, God is sovereign. Nothing that happens in the whole universe is a surprise to Him. Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matthew 10:29).

So, why do we look around at all of the tragedies and the aborted babies and think that God either has a part in it or He doesn’t care about them at all? God does care and one day soon the whole world will see this and understand. They may not like what they see or how they come to understand that He is in control…but they will come to that conclusion.

Is our life in His control as well? Not in the sense that He makes us do things in our everyday lives, but He does cause things to work together for our good in the trials which we face. We may not see that this is happening and it may not feel that way at the time but God is in control. Whether the outcome is good or bad or better than we expected it to be, it is He that directs our path and the outcome as well.

There seem to be more people in America who think that they know better than God about how to live their lives, especially when it comes to being “moral” or “good”. God is still in control and always has been yet people want to argue with Christians about the “mythical” book which is the Word of God. There are too many archaeological proofs which have been found all over the Middle East which point to verses in the Bible. Proving that a city or a place which was mentioned in God’s Word actually exists.

In America, it seems that since our country has always been identified as a “Christian nation” many people here seem to take the message of Jesus for granted. We don’t seem to put much weight in preaching or learning about Jesus or about our own sinful condition which He came to save us from. Also, it seems that nobody looks at or even cares about where their eternal destination may be, even though that is what most of the New Testament was written to prepare us for!

Our lives, as short as they are by comparison to eternity, are the spiritual proving ground for that life which we enter into after this one is done. The problem in America seems to be that nobody wants to learn about it (eternity) and they don’t want to hear about their own sins or how to live righteously while going through this life. I did not say that we could live without sin, but living a righteous life is possible even when we fall and make mistakes in this life.

Living a righteous life is actually what we are called to do as a Christian. By prayer and telling others about Jesus, essentially showing the fruit of the Spirit in your life and in your walk with Jesus every day…that is living a righteous life in Christ!

Image result for fruit of the Spirit

Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Shepherd knows His own and He can see the fruit which we produce in our lives and in the lives which we live through Him while we are walking with Him in this life. Is it easy to be fruitful as a Christian? That depends upon your priorities. If you place more importance on life around you or your career or your family then this life is going to feel like a burden. Some people even treat it as a hindrance to your happiness, but when you do this you are only thinking of this life and not eternity. Live with eternity in your mind so that the life around you doesn’t get in the way.

How does the love of God compare?


There is no comparison between God’s love for His creation and for us in all of the Earth. No human can understand God’s love because His love is deep and without limits. He loves us because we are made in His Image and we are to be His servants into eternity. We will not be as slaves in this but we will be willing servants as bondservants in ancient days. They loved their masters and did not wish for freedom and would serve him even if they were to be set free.

God’s love for humanity is fierce and limitless and yet the angels have no understanding of His love for us. Why should God love mankind so? Because He is God and if it pleases Him to love us in this way then He will do it! God is our Creator and has made us be His adopted children, we are not forced to be His but we are voluntarily His children because of His love for us!

So, why do we live as if He doesn’t love us or doesn’t care for us? Mostly because of the fact that we can’t see God even though we can see all of His Creation and it shows His majesty and His creativity and His artistry in Creation! It is His Creation after all! We didn’t have any part in it except when He created us. He knows your talents and abilities and all of your problems. He gave you your talents and your sense of humor and your abilities so He knows more about you than you do about Him.

Why not pick up the Bible and learn more about your Creator and your Savior and get to know Him personally. Then when you hear His voice speaking to you, you will recognize Him and then you can respond accordingly! God wants the best for you but only if you know Him and He knows you can both of you benefit from what is best for you. Give your heart to Jesus and let Him come in and clean up every part of your life so that you can represent Him in every area of your life as well.God is good all the time

Grief


What can I say to a friend who has lost someone dear to them? I love you

What can I do for someone who is going through a gut-wrenching time of pain in their grief? I love you

What is it that a friend needs in their time of pain and heartache? LOVE

How can we, as Christians, fill any of the holes which are gaping in their lives at this time? By loving them

Love, true Christian love, is the only balm which will ease the pain. It will not cure it and it won’t take it away, but it helps…a little. Just show them that you love them. It doesn’t take much and it doesn’t cost you anything but love is the only ointment which can begin the healing process. God’s love can and will heal it in time, but a friend showing love to a brother or sister in Christ is felt immediately and in a physical way. No amount of food or money or any physical thing helps more than the love of Christ.

I am posting this because I know there are many out there who are hurting from the loss of a loved one, regardless of the cause of the loss. God loves you and He is always by your side to comfort you.

Grief is what you feel when a person is not around to share the love that you have for them. 

A love note from God


Romans 8: 31-39

God loves us so completely and totally without reservation until He sent His Son, One of the Trinity, to pay for ALL of mankind’s sins. Not just those which had been done by Israel or those from centuries in the past, but for ALL of mankind until the end of the age of man. Love is the factor which brought God to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus the Christ.

We receive His grace every day with our life as we wake in the morning when we are bound to Earth by the gravity which God placed into creation or when we breathe the air given to us by God and recycled by the plants and trees and chlorophyll-laden plankton in the ocean. God provides for us in so many ways until we have come to take all of them for granted as if we have a right to them.

We do actually, as long as we are in love with Him too. But when we burn the forests down or pollute the oceans and streams which He gave to us to manage but not destroy, God doesn’t look kindly on us as part of His creation, which was made in His Image, while it destroys other parts of creation.

God tells us in His Word, the Bible, that He loves us. He does this so many times until it should register with you and me without it being pointed out by a preacher or someone who has taken the time to chronicle the number of times it shows up in the Bible. The numbers are not exactly staggering but they do show that God wants us to know that He LOVES us!

It depends upon which version/translation that you use to track the number, but if you use the King James Version there are 310 times in which it appears. Some translations use the word in ways other than what love should be used for but the fact is that God expressed His love for all of us through His grace and mercy and all of the blessings which we have in our lives.

Yes, we do take most of them for granted today and most of the world doesn’t notice any of them as being given to us by God at all. The air we breathe, the water we have to drink, the food which we have are all part of our inventiveness and our own work. Much of the world doesn’t attribute any of our accomplishments to God at all! It has all been done by the ingenuity of our minds and our talents.

Who gave us our talents and our intellect and ingenuity? God did. Yet, we treat our talents and our intellect as ours, as if we had a part in bringing it to bear in our lives. God gave each of us unique talents and abilities which only we, as individuals, have in our possession. While a degree or a talent for music may be shared in the general population, each person has some unique talent or ability which no other person in the world has.

So why do we seem to think that “natural selection” made such a difference in the world? Because of the scientists and legislators who have pushed God and any mention of Creation out of their curriculum. That is the reason most colleges graduate people who have no concept of God because He isn’t allowed in the classroom! So why would God bless our country so much when we have pushed Him out of schools and out of our government or public life? There is really only one reason which explains why He has not taken His blessings away from America.

He blesses the land which has blessed Israel and our country has done that. While it is true that a few others have blessed the land and the people that God holds dear in His heart, America has done it for the longest amount of time.

God is still active in Creation, whether we recognize His hand in it or not. The world is His and everything in it is His to do with as He pleases. So, forget the political processes and the parties, the Ruler of the universe is truly in charge of each facet of life here and we should be following Him as closely as possible every day.

Are you in a wilderness?


There are days when we find ourselves lost or at least groping around for the way out of wherever we are. Sometimes it is figurative and sometimes it is a spiritual wilderness without trails or road signs or any other clues about the way out. When you feel like this, what do you turn to for help? Who do you turn to for guidance?

Image result for God's word as a compassA person who is on a hike in an area where they have never been before will usually take a guide or at least a compass so they can find a bearing or the trail which will lead them from one place to another. When we are spiritually lost, most of us don’t even know that we are until God touches our heart and lets us know. Until that time we won’t look for Him nor will we seek to know Him because we don’t feel the need for a Savior.

So, are you lost in a wilderness of your own creation? Do you feel like something isn’t like it should be in your life? Many of us who were lost and away from Jesus, even if we didn’t know about Him, have always felt an emptiness as if something was missing. Many of us have tried alcohol or drugs or sex or who know what else to fill that empty place, but it is never filled. We may feel better or happy for a time but when we come out of the high…the empty place remains. Many times this is why people become addicted to drugs because they are trying to keep that feeling of fullness of joy and peace.

The problem is that no man-made drug or high of any kind will ever fill that space because it is only filled by the Holy Spirit of God when you accept Jesus as your Savior. Then you will be free of the empty feeling and you will belong to Jesus because He can make you whole again. All of us are born with a place in our soul which feels empty and sometimes we don’t find out what fits in that place until we meet Jesus. Only He can make you whole and give your life a True Purpose through Him.

Your job and your family may fulfill your life in many ways but without Him in your heart working in step with Him to really fulfill His purpose in your life, even those will be only a shadow of what they could be. Being saved by Jesus’ Spirit and believing in Him for your salvation is the greatest decision you will ever make in this life. Everything else falls into place after that.

While giving your life to Jesus will not make your life perfect it will give you the strength and the ability to seek His Wisdom for your decisions for the rest of your life. The Bible is the best “self-help” book ever written and it does have many words of wisdom for business and life too. Don’t believe the lie of Satan or the rest of the world which tells you that it is an old outdated book with nothing in it for today! Its wisdom is useful for today and tomorrow on into eternity.

The Bible, God’s Word, is the best and most useful “compass” for this life and every situation that can be found. No other book has the Wisdom of the Creator inside it because the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, so every word in it is true.

Chesed


This is an Old Testament term meaning an oath-bound commitment expressing freely given love. The closest English term for this is devotion. In the Old Testament, it is almost exclusively used for God’s sovereign devotion to His own people. In our modern times, I suppose you would think of a parent’s love for their children as an expression of devotion.Related image

Although, many people today seem to think that God doesn’t care about us when, in fact, He cares very deeply for us! We may not perceive it as clearly and openly as we do with each other, but His love for us is much deeper than we can understand or comprehend today.

God provides for us, collectively and individually, everything that we need. Yet, we worry about things which usually means we are worried about something which we rarely have control of anyway. His love and His presence are available all of the time because He never leaves us, but if we don’t practice our prayer life and being aware of Him we will feel as though He isn’t there.

In your daily life, you can see the evidence of Him all around you. In the clouds and the trees and the wildlife which you see during the day and in the sky with its stars at night! He is present in your child’s laugh and in a baby’s cry. God is in and around you whether you actually believe in Him or not, but He wants you to know Him and He wants to know you better too.

Whenever you feel His Presence, answer His call in your life and in your heart. Why? Because He is devoted to your life and your well being, no matter what you may be going through…even if it is stage 4 cancer or a horrible accident. He is there to give you strength and healing if that is His will for your life. Sometimes He may use your death for a purpose which you don’t know about yet, but if you belong to Him then you will see the outcome when you are with Him. Every good thing in life comes from Him, every bad thing is allowed to happen because there is something good which will come from it.

Just as the time when Jesus delayed coming to Lazarus‘ side when he was ill, there was glory and honor to be given to God the Father because of his death. If Jesus had come before he died, He could’ve healed him of his illness, but a greater glory was shown because Jesus called him from the grave after four days.

John 11: 41-44 KJV

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.

Our God is Awesome!


 

Psalm 47

Clap Your Hands, All You Peoples

(2 Kings 18:13-16; 2 Chronicles 32:1-8; Psalm 46:1-11; Psalm 48:1-14)

1{To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.} O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

2For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

4He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

5God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

6Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

8God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

9The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

 

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