Let The River Flow

John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 

“There is a fountain within you, Child, that, when you draw from it, will provide everything that you have need of. It is the river of My Spirit within you. I am the life-giving Spirit; the one who fills you to overflowing with my provision. You will never thirst when you rely on My Spirit’s water of life. I am the Living Water; the Bread of Life; the Manna sent down from Heaven to do My Father’s will. Turn to Me and be filled with My life; My sustenance, My ever-living Spirit. I will teach you all things; I will bring back to remembrance the things that you need to remember; I will help you, for I am all things to you. There is no need or lack in Me; I am the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace; the Comforter, all in One; I am God. Learn to listen to My voice and follow My directions and I will lead you and guide you into all peace and truth. I provide a well of salvation for you to draw from. There is healing and deliverance in it; there is strength and understanding; there is hope and faith; there is life in abundance. The well of salvation flows from My Spirit within. Draw from it and be filled with a river that will flow freely from you to those around you. Let My water of life flow freely through you to water the dry ground of your life. Open your heart to Me and I will fill you to overflowing. Turn away from the distractions of the world and look unto Me for life; abundance, healing, prosperity, and wholeness.”

 

“Tell the world of My salvation; tell the people of My river that they, too, may receive from Me! The great exchange has been made; their sin for My forgiveness; their sickness for My healing; their lack for My riches; all has been provided on the cross where I shed My blood. All has been paid for and is freely given. Tell the people of so great a salvation that has been given to them. Warn them of the days ahead and share My love with them so they may be saved, healed and delivered from the kingdom of darkness. Tell the people how I paid the price for their salvation for I am the Savior of the world!”

 

 

Friend, I must share with you this morning of the Father’s love that was demonstrated for you when He gave His very own Son to die for you and for me. He paid the price for our redemption through shedding His blood on the cross when He was crucified. The debt that we owed for our sin was canceled; paid in full through His crucifixion. If you have never received Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior I plead with you today to do that. Time is running short; we don’t know how much more time we have before He returns for His church. That choice must be made on this side of eternity. None of us are promised tomorrow; we never know when we will cross over into eternity. Choose Jesus and live forever in His presence; put it off and you may not have another opportunity. If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and would like to do so, please pray this prayer with me and mean it sincerely as you pray:

Father, I confess my need for Jesus. I confess that I was born into sin and that I have chosen sin over Your ways by living my life for my own selfish desires. I have sinned against you and I ask You to forgive me, to cleanse me from all sin and to save me. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God; that He was crucified for my sin, that He went to hell in my place and that You raised Him to new life. He is alive today. I confess Him as my own personal Savior and Lord and I vow to live for Him every day of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Father, I thank you for those who have prayed that prayer to receive Jesus into their hearts. I pray that You will now assure them of Your presence within by filling them to overflowing with Your Spirit. I pray that they will yield themselves to You that You might lead them and guide them through their lives. Fill their hearts with Your peace that passes all understanding and place people around them that they can trust to help them and encourage them in Your ways. Give them close contacts with others that are strong in faith that will be an example to them of walking by faith. Help them to trust you with their cares and to lean on You in all the days of their lives. Thank You, Father, for saving them. Thank You for filling them and for giving them the sweet presence of Your Spirit within. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

Wonderful, Merciful Savior!

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Comforter, Counselor, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

 

Oh Lord Jesus, You are the One that I praise; You are the One I adore. Who would have thought that a lamb could rescue the souls of men. Who would have thought that such a meek and mild Savior would be born to rescue us from the death and destruction of the evil one. You are the One that I praise today, Lord Jesus! You are the One that I adore! You deserve the praise of my heart this morning. You deserve the adoration of my soul. Thank You for loving me, for saving me, for rescuing me from destruction! Thank You for keeping me in Your care, Father. Thank You, Lord, for Your redeeming power. You know all, see all and are all-powerful. How could I question Your ability to care for those things that are heavy on my heart, Father. You are well able to care for my loved ones; for my life and all that is within it. You are worthy to receive my praise and I do praise You this morning, Father!

 

“Oh My little one, My child. I do see those things that are heavy on your heart this morning. I do see that you care for the ones that are hurting. I see and I care as well, Child. I am working in each situation. Even when You can’t see my hand moving you can trust My heart. You can trust that I will save, heal and deliver those that you are concerned about. I am not a man that I should lie or the son of man that I would change My mind. I died for mankind, to redeem them from the curse and sting of the death of the evil one. You are always on my mind, Child, as well as those that you care about. Turn your eyes upon Me, and look to Me for I am working and will show You the miraculous that you are seeking. I will touch the hearts and lives and bring healing and wholeness as you have requested. I will have compassion on those that are hurting and lost, wandering around without a Savior. I did not die for nothing, Child. I died to secure a work that only I could do. There is no man that could save besides Me. I died for you and those that you love and care for. I will do what is best for each one of them. Do not be disheartened this morning for I care for you.”

Come Unto Jesus!

Psalm 55:4-8 My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.

I love to read the Psalms that David wrote because he is so open and honest in expressing his feelings to God. I think many times we are afraid to tell our heavenly Father how we really feel. Some of that fear comes from growing up in a performance oriented society where we are accepted and loved based on our performance, not for who we are. But God loves us unconditionally! If we’ve received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we belong to Him; we are a part of His family. God reaches down to His children in love to lift them up and pull them out of the messes they may be in. He forgives and restores us to right fellowship with Him when we acknowledge what we’ve done wrong in confession to Him. He is not like a person who changes his feelings toward those he is supposed to love when they do not respond to him as he would like. God loves because He is love!

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

It is said that David was “a man after God’s own heart”. I believe that he was described as that type of person because he wasn’t afraid to talk to God in the honesty of his feelings. He wasn’t a perfect man, because we see in the scriptures of his sin with Bathsheba, but he was a man who was quick to repent and had a soft heart towards the Lord; he was teachable and reachable! But David had deep feelings that we see so often coming out in the Psalms that he wrote.

In Psalm 55 we see where David was hurting to the point of death. Fear had come upon him and he trembled under the load of what was bothering him. He longed to run away where trouble couldn’t find him! He wanted to escape from the storms of life.

How many times have we felt the same way? Maybe you’re in that spot right now; where life has overwhelmed you to the point that you wish you could fly away where no one knew where you were. I’ve been there myself a time or two! David pours out his heart to his God expecting Him to hear and answer his prayers.

Psalm 55:16-18 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.

After pouring out His heart to his God He believed that he would receive what he had asked of Him. He knew that God would save him from the battle that was raging around him. He cried out to him morning, noon and night and he knew that God was hearing his voice and would come to his rescue. He proclaimed that his God had redeemed his soul in peace even before he saw it come into manifestation. David was a man of faith, believing that he would receive when he prayed.

Jesus told us in Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

David knew that his God would hear and answer his prayer of petition. He believed that he would receive what he asked of his Father.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The Hebrew word for “sustain” in that verse means “to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.”

David knew that his God would sustain him, providing for whatever need he had when he cried out to him. He had a living and vital relationship with his God, but it was based on the Old Covenant, secured by the sacrifices of animals. Thanks to Jesus we now live under the New Covenant, of which He is the mediator. It is a better covenant. The sacrifices David had to offer for sin that would make him acceptable to his God we no longer have to make. Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins and the way to the Father is open for all to boldly come in.

Sometimes we are hesitant to tell our heavenly Father what we are feeling because we think we shouldn’t feel that way, or we are afraid we will be rejected because of our feelings. But Jesus made a way for us to come before the Father without fearing. He paid the price for us to have the freedom to come boldly before our God when are in need.

Hebrews 4:14-16: Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

My friends, the door to the Father is open for you to enter in. Jesus experienced all that you are experiencing, but He didn’t sin through it. He didn’t fear but He trusted His Father to sustain Him; to provide for His every need. Our Father now wants to hear all about your heartaches and He wants to give you the solution to your problems. But he’s waiting for you to open up your heart to Him. He will not force Himself on you. Will you tell Him what is bothering you? Will you believe that He will hear and answer your prayers even before you see that answer in manifestation?

David knew God under the Old Testament law, but Jesus made it possible for us to know God under the New Testament grace. Jesus paid the price for us to be children of God. He made it possible for us to come boldly into God’s presence to receive the help that we need at just the right time.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant,which was established on better promises.

Jesus stands between us and God bridging the gap that once was there that held us back from being close to our Heavenly Father. He died that we might live! He took the punishment for our sin that we might be free to be children of God.

John 1:12, 13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

David still had to perform animal sacrifices under Old Testament Laws to be acceptable to God, but we are acceptable to God when we place our faith and trust in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross of Calvary.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting til His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Since Jesus died for us we are now able to call our God, “Abba, Father” because we are His sons and daughters. When we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord we are born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit; born into the family of God.

Have you been born into the family of God? If not, I would like to introduce you to the best friend you will ever have; the Lord Jesus Christ. He longs to bring you into His family where you can know the Heavenly Father. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and Lord and would like to, please pray this prayer with me and believe it sincerely in your heart:

Father, I come before you this morning in the name of Jesus. I confess that I am a sinner both by birth and by choice. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God; that He died for my sins that I might live to new life, and that You, Father God, raised Him from the dead and He now lives seated at Your right hand. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord and I thank You for saving me. I will live for You every day of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and meant it, you are now a child of God, privileged to have all the benefits of the family of God. You can now come boldly before the Father in your time of trouble to receive the help that you need. You an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ Jesus! Praise the Lord! I welcome you as my brother or sister in Christ!

If you are going through a difficult time right now, Jesus is right there with you. He is there by His Spirit who lives within you. He longs to help you with your troubles. Won’t you share your heart with Him and let Him lead you in the way you should go to receive the help that you need? Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to Him. He understands and is waiting to come to your aid.

Father, I thank You for Jesus! I thank You that He died for us, rose again triumphant over death, hell and the grave and that He ever lives to make intercession for us! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for us that we might have eternal life in You! Father, I pray for my friends this morning that are going through difficult times. I pray that You will make Yourself real to them in ways that they will understand so they will know that You are right there to help them through the difficulties. Please strengthen them by Your Spirit who lives within them. Heal their bodies that are suffering through physical illnesses; comfort those who are hurting emotionally; set free those who are oppressed and burdened by the attacks of the enemy. Father, bring to salvation those who don’t know Jesus! Lord, You are more than able to deliver Your people from temptation and trials. I ask You, Lord, to work miracles in their lives by healing, delivering and setting them free. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Faith Examples

Mark 5:25-34 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

 

This is a beautiful example of a “faith healing”. No one touched this woman; there was no prayer for her to be healed; she simply recognized what she had to do to receive her healing and she reached out to receive it! Jesus said that it was her faith that had made her well.

I love what the Amplified Bible says about this woman in Mark 5:28: For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.

This woman had tried every doctor around; she had spent all that she had on medicine and yet she only grew worse. Her faith was challenged to the maximum! The Amplified Bible says that the reason she came to Jesus was because she had heard the reports concerning Him. (Mark 5:27) She knew that the Healer was close and she wasn’t about to let tradition or negative doctor’s reports or lack of money stop her from getting what she knew Jesus would give her. Her faith spoke out that if she could only get to Jesus, touch His garments and receive that healing virtue that would flow from Him, she would be restored to health. Her faith spoke and acted on what she believed in her heart!  She kept speaking what she was believing!

The Amplified Bible says that Jesus recognized that the power had gone out of Him and He turned around to see her and then spoke to her about what had just taken place.

Mark 5:34 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Faith, trust and confidence in God, restores a person to health. Have you reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and trusted Him to bring healing to your body?

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings;

What worked in Bible days still works today because Jesus Christ never changes! He is always the same. If faith worked to bring healing into a person’s life in Bible times, it will still work today because He never changes!

When Jesus stopped to minister to the woman with the issue of blood He was on His way to the synagogue ruler’s house to minister healing to his daughter. While the woman with the issue of blood received her healing, Jairus’ daughter died.  They came to him and Jesus to report of her death and this is what Jesus said to him:

Mark 5:35-36 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Fear always stands in the way of faith! Jesus reminded Jairus that he needed to stay focused in faith for his daughter to be able to receive her healing. Are you troubled by someone that you love who needs healing but only seems to get worse? Here are two examples of situations where healing was sought after, but the people only got worse…..until Jesus arrived on the scene! Jesus told Jairus, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Sometimes we get caught up in how bad things look when we should be looking at how big God is and that His power to heal knows no boundaries; and is not limited to how impossible things look.

Mary is a perfect example of the power of God knowing no limitations:

Luke 1:26-38 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. “for with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary was told by an angel that she would have a son and His name would be called Jesus! But there was a slight problem here; Mary had never been with a man to be able to conceive a child. But the angel told her to look past her limitations and see the power of God in her life to do what He had said He would do! He also told her to look at what God had done for her cousin, Elizabeth, who had been “called” barren! Elizabeth had a word curse spoken over her; people had called her “barren”. She was pictured as hopeless; no chance of things ever being different for her. Yet, here was a perfect example for Mary to see where God had done something for someone else and, since He is no respecter of persons, that He would do the same for her. She had a choice to make; would she believe and receive, or would she say that it was impossible for God to do something outside of the realm of her understanding? God always gives us a choice; we can either believe and receive or doubt and do without! Notice that Mary’s faith in God spoke as an action to bring into existence that which He had promised. She said, “Let it be to me according to your word.” That needs to be the voice of our faith as God speaks His promises to us. “Lord, let it be to me according to Your word”! It is then that the “nothing is impossible with God” becomes a reality in us…..personally!

Elizabeth later prophesied to Mary about the promise that she had believed would happen to her in Luke 1:45:

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Believing is seeing it before the manifestation of the promise! Mary had not given birth to Jesus yet; she didn’t even have the outward appearance of being “with child”; she didn’t look pregnant and hadn’t felt the movement of a child within her. All she had to go on was what had been told to her by the Angel of God. The message gave the promise; her part was to believe and receive; God’s part was to fulfill the promise. Many times we want to do both parts, and then we are disappointed when the “impossible” part is not realized. Could it be that we have fallen short on our part by not fully believing? God will do His part; we can be assured of that!

We see a perfect example of that is Zacharias in Luke 1:11-20. He also had a visitation from the Angel of the Lord who gave him a promise from God, but Zacharias didn’t believe the message because he couldn’t see that God was the God of impossibilities and not limited by his human abilities.

Luke 1:20 “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

God blessed Zacharias with the promise, but Zacharias was not able to speak about it until it was fulfilled. His unbelief limited what God really wanted to do in his life and even though he received the promise his unbelief caused hindrances in the way the promise was fulfilled. When we do not believe God we limit Him from having the freedom to move in our lives as He desires.

It is said of the Israelites in Psalm 78:40-42: How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power; The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.

It is later said in Psalm 78:56, 57 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies. But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

God was not pleased with them because of their unbelief. The writer of the book of Hebrews instructs us to not be like the Israelites who had an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. They could not enter into the Promised Land, His land of rest for them, because they did not mix faith with the Word that He had given them.

Hebrew 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

It takes faith to receive what God has promised. There are more examples in God’s Word of people who were healed by faith; received provision through their faith; did great and might exploits by faith, but unless we spend time in God’s word meditating and saturating ourselves with that Word we will not be bold in faith to step out and believe that we are no different from them. God has not changed; He is still the same God as He was in that day and He still does the same miracles that He performed for those people in our own daily lives.

Today I want to challenge you to believe God! Believe Him for what He has promised in His Word and for what He is speaking to you personally! Begin believing for the little things so that when your faith is challenged for something big, you will have the foundation of strength that you need to receive His promise for the bigger things!

Father, I thank You for showing us through Your Word that You are a God who provides for whatever need Your children have. Thank You for showing us that faith believes, speaks and receives whatever it needs as Your grace provides. I thank You for still being the same God as You were in Bible days. You still perform miracles in our lives when we believe You for them. Help us to grow in our faith, Lord! I pray for my friends this morning who may be experiencing a “faith challenge” in their lives. Father, open their eyes to see what You would have them to do in receiving their provision. Make Yourself real to them at their point of need, Father, and reveal Your desire for their wholeness to be manifested through their faith! Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Build On A Firm Foundation!

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The rain and the floods come to all of us, both the saved and the unsaved. Jesus gives an illustration here of two people, both encountering rain and floods, but one stood and one fell. He is using this illustration to show us the importance of the foundation we have in our lives. One house was built on sand and when the flood came, it fell and great was it’s fall! The other house was built on hearing and doing God’s word. When the floods came to that house, it stood because it had a firm foundation!

Folks, the time to win over a storm is not when it comes but before it happens, in the preparation for it! The promises that God gives us in His word are to help us win the battles of life. He has given us the equipment that we need for victory, but many times we are not prepared for the battle when it comes. Hearing and doing the word of God during the good times will strengthen you for the difficult days ahead. If you are not able to trust God for provision for the little things you will not be able to believe that He will give you what you need when the storm comes.

If you want to have the right words come out of your heart when you are squeezed then you must put the right words in your heart in preparation for the times of pressure. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3:

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

How does a soldier prepare for battle? He first makes sure he has the proper dress and equipment. The armor of God gives us the proper dress. We go into battle as we are suited up for it!

Ephesians 6:10, 11 Finally, my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Our strength for the battle comes not from our own abilities, but from the Lord. He is the One who enables us to win. But we have a part to play in it. He provides the suit of armor, but we have to put it on. He gives us the weapons to use, but we have to be the ones to use them. His word will equip us to win, but we must be the ones to put it into our heart and act on it.

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

What are you holding fast to? What anchor are you using to anchor yourself in the storms of life? Paul told Timothy to hold fast to a pattern that he had seen and heard in him. Paul preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing left out, without compromise; the truth in it’s fullness. That is a pattern for us to follow. What ministers are you listening to? Are they teaching you the full gospel of Jesus Christ or are they giving only an inspirational message that makes you feel good at the moment? Jesus said the anchor or firm foundation that you would need is hearing and doing His word. That takes a day by day devotion to the word of God, putting it into your heart and obeying what it says. The victory for battle is won before you ever go into battle.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Paul told Timothy that the time is coming when people will hop from one teacher to the next, looking for someone who will tickle their ears, or tell them what they want to hear. But the truth is what counts. Beware that you are not lulled away through fables or simply motivational speakers. Keep your focus on what is right and true and fulfill what God has called you to do. Live your life by the truth regardless of what is going on around you and you will be prepared to win in the stormy times.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Man or woman of God, child of God, you must rely on the word of God! You must use the Word as your anchor! It is able to make you wise, to show you the right way to live, to give you the equipment you need to complete you, to make you ready to win and to give you what you need to pass on to others so they can live a successful life as well. It is as you search out the Scriptures for the truth that you need in your life to give you the victory that you will be strengthened for the battle. Faith will arise in your heart as you learn the word and live it! Jesus prepared for the battle of the cross through prayer, before He went to Calvary.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus was saying here to watch, keep awake, be spiritually alert and pray. Your spirit knows what is needed to win the battle, but your flesh will want to cave in.

The way to prepare for the battle of sickness is before it hits. Proper nourishment, exercise and sleep patterns help keep the physical man prepared to win the battle against sickness and disease. The spirit man needs the nourishment of the word of God regarding healing and physical wholeness.

The way to prepare for marriage issues is to study the word and apply it before you’re on the rocky road. Get the word of God into your heart about how He expects a husband and wife to respond to each other and put into practice the unconditional love and acceptance that is required to nurture love and respect. Then when the battle comes your marriage will be solid enough to endure the storm.

When fear comes against you, concentrate on the scriptures that will build faith. Faith counteracts fear. You can’t be in faith and fear at the same time. Look at people in the Word that have overcome great obstacles and pattern your life after them. If you have godly leadership in your life, watch them and pattern your lives after theirs. Make sure to remember that they are simply human, like you, and are subject to moral and ethical failures. But as they obey God and walk by faith, allow them to lead you in the way you should go as well.

Hebrews 13:7-9 AMP Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith (their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). Do not be carried away by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace (God’s favor and spiritual blessing) and not [to be devoted to] foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no [spiritual] benefit or profit to those who observe them.

Notice that there are some things that you are to look for in leaders before you follow them:

  • They bring you the Word of God; not a watered down version, but the Word that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
  • They are men and women of integrity, living their lives as well-spent, productive in their Christian walk.
  • They are people of faith, living out their belief in God and leaning their whole personality on him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness.
  • They teach the truth, not a flaky, legalistic rules-based teaching, but one that is based on the Word of God that teaches grace and relationship with the Lord, instead of simply rule keeping, which doesn’t profit you spiritually, but only puts you into bondage to a performance based lifestyle.

 

All of these different approaches to life will place you on a solid foundation and prepare you to weather the storms of life with strength. Depend on the Lord to lead you and guide you in the way you should go, not relying on your own understanding but always acknowledging Him in all that you do. He will direct you and enable you to win! Put the word into your heart and then when the time comes that you need it the Holy Spirit will bring it back to your remembrance so you can act on it!

The one thing that Jesus told Peter about the storm that was about to come into his life in Luke 22:31, 32 was that even though Satan had asked to sift Peter as wheat through the storm, that Jesus had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. And then he told him that after he had endured the storm and come back to Him, that he should strengthen his brethren. The storm is designed to get you to give up your faith; to suffer defeat and to pull you away from the Lord. But after every test comes a testimony! Through every mess comes a message. You, after you have stood firm through the storm, will have something to share with others! God does not waste your sorrows and trials.

2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Through the difficulties that I have endured in life has come the ability to comfort those who are suffering those same things. God comforts us so we can comfort and help others. He brings us out of bondage to the storms of life so we can encourage those who might be going through a storm.

This song has meant so much to me because it speaks of how God prepares us to help those around us who may be suffering as we have suffered. He takes our pain and turns it into something of meaning, of purpose, so we do not feel as if we suffered for nothing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgx3hQqkXBI

Father, I pray for those who may be going through the storm right now. I ask You, Lord, to give them the scriptures that they need to pray and to stand firmly upon until they come out of the storm victorious. For those who may be experiencing peaceful times right now, I pray that You would impress upon them the need to prepare for the storms that may come. Help us all to stand on Your word, to put it deeply into our hearts so it will take root and grow and prepare within us that firm foundation that we need to build our lives upon. Help us to not just be hearers of the word but doers also, that we might exhibit the strength that comes through a foundation built on You, on Your word and by Your Spirit. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer offered up in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Whisper A Prayer!

Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Jesus lived His life through prayer. He often withdrew to spend time with the Father in prayer. It is as He spent time in prayer that He was able to then go out and minister the healing power of God to those who needed it.

We see just a few verses down from Luke 5:16 where it told about Him often removing Himself from the masses to be alone with the Father that the power of God to heal was present as He taught. We looked at that scripture yesterday. Many times we see in scripture where He went out to pray and then when He came back into the presence of the people the power of God was present and went out from Him to provide for their needs. It was as He was spiritually re-fueled through prayer that He was able to minister to the needs of the people.

Luke 6:12-16 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

It was as He spent all night in prayer that He received the wisdom from the Father to know which disciples to choose to be His apostles.

Luke 6:17-19 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

This took place after He spent all night in prayer and then chose the 12 apostles. It was then that the people sought to touch Him for they recognized the power of God that was present within Him to heal. He spoke with authority; He made decisions with wisdom and He healed with the virtuous power of God that He received during the time He spent with the Father in prayer.

Do you want wisdom to know how to live your life successfully? Spend time with God in prayer. Do you want to have an impact on people’s lives for eternity for the kingdom of God? You receive His power through spending time with Him in prayer!! Do you want people to be able to see God’s reflection in you? Look at what prayer did in Jesus’ life:

Luke 9:28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

Jesus was transfigured through prayer. When He spent time in prayer it affected His appearance. His countenance changed! When you spend time in prayer your countenance will change also. People will notice a difference in the how you look. There will be a peace about you that will draw others to you. I’ve had people tell me that there is something different about me and they can see it and want it in their lives. I had a lady that I worked with that told me that one day while we were on our way home from a business meeting. She said she had watched me and listened to what I had to say for a year and she knew there was something different in my life and she wanted it in her life. I was then able to share with her that it was Jesus in my life that had made the difference and I led her in prayer to receive Him as her Lord and Savior. She was changed because I had been changed by my time spent with Jesus in prayer.

As I was walking tonight a little song about prayer came to my mind. You can listen to it at this web address:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yArH_l_xN7c

Whisper a prayer in the morning; Whisper a prayer at noon. Whisper a prayer in the evening; To keep your heart in tune.

Father, I thank You for the privilege of prayer. We can come to You at any time of the night or day and You will listen to our requests and answer our prayers. Thank You for empowering us for life through the time we spend with You in prayer. May we ever be aware that it is through those times spent with You that we receive wisdom for the decisions of our lives, direction for our journey, strength for the trials and the power to minister life to those around us! Thank You, Father, for making provision for us through our relationship with Jesus and the time that we spend in Your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Power of The Lord Was Present to Heal Them!

Luke 5:17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Jesus had a ministry of teaching, preaching and healing! Everywhere He went the power of God was present through His teaching and preaching to heal people. He walked and talked God; He then ministered through the power of the Spirit whatever was needed to make a person whole! The power of the Lord was present to heal them! If they needed forgiveness of sin to heal them spiritually, the power of God was present to do that! If they needed deliverance from demonic oppression, the power of God was with Him, present to deliver. If they needed physical healing, the power of God was there to flow from Him touching them in their infirmity and healing! It was the power of God working through Him that brought the healing virtue into people’s lives.

Matthew 4:23-25 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

When Jesus’ disciples were sitting under His ministry they saw first-hand how the power of God worked through Him. He explained it to them in this way:

John 14:7-11 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

Jesus acknowledge that the Father who was in Him was the One who did the works through Him. He expressed to His disciples that they could know that it was the Father within doing the works by hearing Him speak and watching Him work. He went on to tell them that those who follow after Him that believe in Him would do the same works that He did and greater works.

John 14:12-14 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name I will do it.”

Mark 16:17,18 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.

This past weekend I had the privilege of sitting under the ministry of Reverend Hazel Forrester. She is my Pastor’s mother and a mighty woman of God, who at the age of 87, is still out preaching, teaching and healing; following in the footsteps of Jesus! The power of God was present to save, heal, deliver and set free through her this weekend. It was a very special weekend for me! What an honor and privilege not only to sit under her mentor-ship this weekend, but to be included as a minister beside her helping her pray for the sick and oppressed. She has touched so many through her years of ministry. It was awesome to glean from her wisdom and watch how she followed the direction of the Holy Spirit in ministry. I learned so much from spending this time with her and under her anointing received healing and wholeness from the Lord, for the power of the Lord was present to heal! There were three of us ladies who accompanied her to North Carolina for the revival where she was ministering. We were all blessed to be a part of her ministry this weekend!

God is so awesome! Whatever you have need of, His power is present to provide the healing to make you whole! We saw many miracles this weekend and all three of us came back home changed!

 

Father, I thank You for the privilege of sitting under Sister Forrester’s ministry this weekend. I thank You that she lives what she preaches and that her love for people compels her to seek You for Your power to flow through her to heal. Thank You for the privilege of helping her pray for the sick and oppressed this weekend! I am changed because of her taking the time to teach and instruct as she ministered. Father, I pray for those who may be reading this blog who need a healing touch from You today. I pray that they will reach out and receive from You whatever it is that they have need of. You are still present to heal through Your members of the body of Christ. Thank You, Lord, for flowing Your power through your children to save, heal, deliver and set people from from the bondage of the enemy! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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