How do you handle change? You’re up early getting ready for the day…your texting music goes off and blink, your day changes. I would think some of the reaction would depend upon what that message conveyed. Did it add more … Continue reading
10″Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand stand.
14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-
19And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Looking at this passage of scripture, what do you see? Do you see a call to prayer? Do you see a dress code? A work ethic? A call to action? To what end?
What priority does prayer have in your life? Are you “dressed for success” in the whole armor of God?
Do you pray as a child with a humble heart surrendered and obedient to God?
When you pray is it with the bigger picture of what is eternal? The souls that need salvation and the battle raging to keep them from salvation?
Jesus, the Son of God, prayed. He taught His disciples to pray. He chastened them when they slept when they should be praying.
In James 5:16 we’re told that the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much!
The Message, paraphrase translation of the bible reads, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
My encouragement, my exhortation today, PRAY! Make it a priority. Be someone that has a prayer life that is powerful and “something to be reckoned with”!
This morning I was spending too much time on Facebook reading posts commenting, watching videos, all that fun stuff and when I realized my morning had become a bit of a black hole. I stop for a moment to assess what it was I was looking at. I admit I found Great joy in listening to my friend Roger play his keyboard. I got caught up on some news with friends, but The post I spent the most time on was in regards to a false teacher that has captured the minds and hearts of millions of people here in America and around the world. His deceptive teachings are far from the truth of repentance, forgiveness and everlasting life. Both in Galatians and second Peter we are warned about people just like him that will come and pervert the Gospel for their own gain deceiving many. This famous TV personality known as a Christian preacher has perverted the Bible so far that he actually says the apostles were wrong and the Bible is out of date.
2 Peter chapter 2 talks about destructive doctrines. Verse one says, “but there were also false prophets among the people even as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves Swift destruction.” Verse two,” and many will follow their destructive ways because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words for a long time their judgment has not been idle and their destruction does not slumber.”
Verse 3 in the King James Version is even clearer, “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
In the book of Galatians chapter 1 in verse six it says, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel. 7 which is not another but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 but even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
This is heavy stuff! This is the place where we need to be wise and diligent in our own study of the Word of God so that we are not deceived! It is pretty easy when someone comes out and says that the Apostles are wrong and that the bible is outdated to know they are not following the truth but if you don’t know that the word of God is eternal and is just as relevant today, yesterday and forever more, you can be deceived.
2 Peter 2:3 (KJV) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
There is a judgement already in place for the deceivers.
Mark 13:31 (KJV) 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Why would someone claiming to be a follower of Christ not trust in His Word?
Jesus is the Word. The gospel of John is full of teaching that Jesus is the Word of God. John chapter 1 verse 1-3, ” In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God all things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made.”
John 1:14, “And The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.”
Mark 13:31 (KJV) 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV) 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Those preaching false doctrine or a different gospel are anathema or accursed. This is a strong word.
This word speaks of a person doomed to destruction.
My prayer today is that the eyes of those that are being deceived would shed the blinders and come to the fullness of saving grace in Jesus Christ. That there would be a revival in the understanding of the need for repentance. That God’s people would have a hunger for His Word and desire to seek after those that are lost and lead them on the path of eternal life.
Psalm 32:9 (KJV) 9 Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Psalm 32:8 says, ” I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go I will guide you with My eye.”
There are many commentaries on these two verses and translations broken down word by word. None I saw addressed the horse and rider!
Look at these two verses from the perspective of a horse owner and trainer. When I have a new horse that has had little or no training the bit in its mouth is an important tool in training. I also need to train the horse to come to me and to work with me. This can often be a daunting task especially if the horse is ornery. There is a period of learning for the horse to understand the cues or how I am communicating to get an end result. Without training aids I get nothing. There is often a lot of forgiveness and love along with very defined discipline during this time. Once I have worked with a horse for a period of time the communication can be done more and more without the forcing of training aids. My best girl Ziggy will literally go where I look. Once we have spent time together and she is listening for my cues, I can be in the saddle or on the ground and change where my eyes are focused and she will go in that direction becoming one with me in action. Bridleless riding is a goal for training. Bit less riding is also the sign of a well trained or giving horse. A horse well connected or tuned into its master will know what the master wants intuitively and with very little or no force. The horse becomes one with the rider ready to respond to the riders directing.
As I grow in my relationship with the Father am I becoming more intune with his desires and directing? Is it a natural directing and communing or do I still need harsh training aids to get me to obey His commands? Have I given myself, like the giving horse, to His leading and guidance?
I pray today that I would be the bridleless horse in my relationship with you Lord!
The last two days I have spent in Del Mar as an outpatient being desensitized to aspirin. In some ways it has been a mini vacation. I’m away from home. I am spending a large amount of time reading and studying. Today I even ordered food delivered to my room! My mind set puts me in a place of being content with my circumstances. I need to suffer a little while in order to reap a benefit for my long term health. So I chose to suffer for a greater good.
Do I choose to suffer for the greater good of the kingdom of God? How different from the message coming from many mega preachers today. The people living in areas of the world where believing in Christ is an immediate step into ostracization from their social groups or even death know what the verses below really mean.
15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”[fn]19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
Where will we stand when we are judged for our willingness to suffer for the furtherance of the kingdom of God?
Is my fear of suffering greater than my fear of the judgement of God?
This picture of my prayer bench is very poetic. It shows a treasured spot under the embrace of winter. How like our prayer lives when we take time away from spending time in prayer. When the prayer bench was placed in this grove of oak trees the desire of my heart was to spend many hours sitting here talking to the Lord and listening to Him. In reality it’s just a spot. Symbolically it’s much like the seasons of prayer we go through as Christians. Sometimes there’s a great desire to go to that spot. Other times it’s hard to take the time to go and sit there. There are many distractions in this place. Although it seems to be secluded and private the reality is when I sit there everything from the birds, horses, the dogs and the neighbors distract me. My own thoughts can carry me away! We have a real prayer bench in our heart. A place where we need to spend time with the Father and our Lord Jesus. Prayers can be short and direct like when Peter stepped out of the boat walking on the water to the Lord and he started to sink, being overwhelmed by what he saw around him. Peter cried out, “Lord save me”. The Lord answered that prayer! or Nehemiah chapter 9:5-38, Nehemiah praying out his heart. This is noted as what some call the longest prayer in the bible. Psalm 119 is also a long prayer. Length or poetry or song the heart yearning for the Lord reaching out to Him, stretching out, crying out to be embraced in fellowship with Him is a place of prayer. It is good to go to a quiet place and pray. Even Jesus did it. Going off to a quiet place in and of itself is not the whole package. When my kids were little they knew when Mom said she was taking tub time it meant I was going into bathe and pray. That was my quiet place then. My bible in hand I would pour out before the Lord and then wait on Him as He poured in. Sometimes it’s the car in a parking lot. A bench by the Bay. A few minutes sitting in the barn or when I’m doing chores. If I’m pouring out before Him and He’s pouring in, I’m on the prayer bench.
One of my favorite prayers to read is in the Gospel of John chapter 17. There I can actually read words Jesus prayed for me!
There is a model of prayer when the disciples came to Jesus and asked Lord teach us to pray, (Matthew 6:5-15).
In Revelation chapter 5 verse 8, it tells us of golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the Saints. Wow! think of that! your prayers rising up in the throne room of God like golden bowls full of incense!
May our prayers rise up and give Him glory!!!!
Have you ever found yourself saying, after hearing about someone’s immense wealth, “I wish they would adopt me”! I’ve heard stories of people going to adoption agencies and children there asking to be adopted. Why would someone want to be adopted? My first answer to that would be to change their future; change your circumstances; know that they have a family and inheritance. In the Bible we’re taught that we have been adopted into the kingdom of God, not only adopted but begotten into the kingdom of God, so born into it. Nicodemus came to Jesus and asked how he could get salvation how he could enter heaven and Jesus told him he must be born again. It was a confusing statement to this educated leader. Nicodemus had to ask how can a man go back into his mother and be born again? Jesus explained it to him that we have two births. We have a birth of the flesh or body as babies and we have a spiritual birth. 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 3, ” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, in this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while, if need be you have been grieved by Various trials that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that parishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to the praise honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
How should it change our perspective of this world, how we live each day knowing we have a father like our God, knowing that our inheritance and our future have been secured in heaven through salvation in Jesus Christ?