“I Will Not Let You Go…”

​​24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”  But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”—Gen. 32:24-26 NIV

There are people who pray and then there are people who really, really pray. Which one of these are we?  God is concerned about the biggest and the least little problem or issue that bothers us. He stands ready to send in a thousand angels to protect us, if that is necessary. But He wants us to ask and keep on asking until the answer comes. We may not get the answer we want, but He will always answer us. Jesus is our example and He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane until He sweat great drops of blood. Jacob refused to turn loose until He got His blessing. The woman with the issue of blood pressed through a  crowd of people just to be able to touch His garment. We, too, can really get serious about prayer when lives are at stake. What would happen if we just asked God every moment to take care of the little things? At His Mother’s request, Jesus turned the water into wine. Couldn’t we all use that kind of miracle in our daily lives?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Remain In My Love”

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. ​ – John 15:9 NLT

John 15: 6-10 NLT

To abide in Jesus we must obey His commands. If we do this, we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. It is this power of the indwelling Holy Spirit flowing through us that produces good fruit. The best and everlasting fruit is love. If our finite minds could grasp the power of the infinite love of God, nothing would be impossible for us. To understand this love requires us to spend time alone with God reading His word to Him. You cannot truly love someone you do not know and you can’t know someone without spending time alone with them. God cherishes the time His children spend alone with Him. You may be thinking that people decide to love each other through letters, phone calls and emails. That is very true.. But how much time have they spent writing and/or reading those letters and emails or talking on the phone? In today’s wireless world, you don’t have to be face to face with someone to spend time with them. We should be thankful that God has the original wireless system. God has been having love affairs with His children without the internet or computers for years. But His system is so much better because it doesn’t cost anything, it is never busy, it never breaks down and we always get an answer.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-07-2020

“The Love of God”

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.— Romans 8:39 NLT

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety.   How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us?  Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray?  At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what God created us to be.  We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”?  Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us.  You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine.  With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you.  Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us.  Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain” Amen.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-18-2019

“Great and Mighty Things”

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  –Revelation 3:15 NLT 

Revelation 3:15-19 NLT

God wants each of us to be totally committed to Him. Our lifestyles should reflect that commitment.  We have to look inside ourselves and allow God’s Holy Spirit to show us where the problem lies.  What is keeping us from being totally committed to Jesus?  Are temporary physical pleasures more important than eternal life in heaven?  Eternal life with Jesus is a free gift, so earning more money is not going to get you there.  The only true peace and contentment we have is in Jesus.  He knows our hearts and He knows the solution to not only the sins we try to hide, but to any situation we are facing. He is waiting to share that information with You.

Stop!  Listen!

If you do, He will speak to You.

3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’   — Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-01-2019

“Come and Talk With Me”

8  My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” — Psalm 27:8 NLT 

Psalm 27:7-10 NLT

As Christians, we are bond servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We serve Him because we love Him. Our prayers should not be a “to do” list for God. Good morning, God, here is what I need for You to do for me today. Got it? Good, I will talk to You again soon, maybe tomorrow.  That is not prayer, my friend, that is what you might say to your employees, but not to God. Is He interested in your tiniest need?  Yes, He is, but He is also the King of Kings. He deserves our respect. As this verse from Psalms says: “Come and talk with me”,  with me not to me.  After you have talked, be silent and let God speak to you. He already knows your needs and He already knows His answer.  He doesn’t need to think about it overnight.  Just rest in His arms for a few minutes and God’s Holy Spirit will not only give you the answer but will help you understand the answer.

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
— Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-30-2019

Ask and Keep On Asking

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13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!  — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
It has been said that when we get to heaven, if we should ask God why He didn’t answer our prayers, He will show us a list of all the prayers we have ever prayed and His answer to each one. Then, He will show us a list of all the prayers we should have prayed but didn’t and His answer to all of those.  The list that we prayed will be in the thousands and the list we should have prayed will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.  Why are we so hesitant to ask God for everything that we need?  No, He isn’t some heavenly Santa needing a list of our needs, but He does want us to ask.  We need to realize that every breath we take is an answer to prayer.  God owes us nothing, but He wants to give us everything.  The old expression that “God helps those who help themselves” is not Biblical.  God wants us to be totally dependent on Him for our needs.  As long as we think that we can do it ourselves, He will allow us to struggle.  We must reach the same point that Solomon reached and admit to God, that we can’t.  As Solomon asked, “how can one man do this?”,  we need to admit to God that we can do nothing without Him and that we believe with all of our hearts that we can do all things through Him.  It is at this point of need and full realization that we are helpless, that God can move in and use the full force of heaven to accomplish what needs to be done.  When we feel that God has not answered our prayers, He has either said “No” or “Wait for my timing”.  That is the two answers we don’t want to hear, so we just say that God hasn’t answered.  Instead of rebelling and complaining, we need to use that time of waiting to prepare for what God is going to give us that we didn’t ask for.  After all, He gave us the most precious and expensive gift He could give when He gave us His Son, why would He withhold anything else?

32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? — Romans 8:32 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-23-2018

Touch Me Again

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23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”  24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”  25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. — Mark 8:23-25 NLT

John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus did were written down, all the books in the world would not be enough to hold them (John 21:25).  What we read about is a sampling of the things He accomplished while He walked the earth as one of us.  Those samples are given to show us not only His great love and mercy toward us but, also to show us that He uses all kinds of methods and people to demonstrate that love.  Sometimes the healing was immediate, sometimes they were a process.  Some required only a touch of the hem of His garment, others required a word and others a word and a touch from Him. He has the authority to answer our requests in any way or time frame He chooses.  But know this, He always answers.   Just because the answer wasn’t what we wanted to hear or did not come in the expected time does not mean that He didn’t hear and answer.  Paul prayed three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed.  Paul could have said that God didn’t answer his prayer, but after the third time, Paul accepted “No” as the answer.  God’s answers can be compared to a traffic light, green is “go”, yellow is “go slow” and red is “no”.  We always want the green light, but when we have the red light, it gives others the opportunity to move.  We must wait our turn.  When we see the yellow light, we know that there is danger in proceeding, so we must be careful and prepare to wait, but be prepared to go when God gives us the green light. (Isaiah 40:31)  The old saying that hindsight is 20-20 is true.  When we look back over our lives, we can see clearly that God’s answer was the correct answer. The times we refused that answer is the times we experienced our troubles and sorrows.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-24-2018

Right Idea – Wrong Time

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14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. ​ – John 6:14-15 NLT
 
​Aft​er Jesus had miraculously fed the multitude with a few loaves and a few fish, the people realized that this man was different from anyone they had ever seen before. Jesus knew with their misunderstanding of His purpose here on earth at this time, that they would try to make Him their King. This was the same situation Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees. After all, the Messiah that the Jews were expecting, would build His Kingdom here on earth and be an earthly king. Jesus knew this was not the time for that, so He slips away to be by Himself. The Jews were not looking for a Suffering Servant, they wanted a King to free them from the rule of the Romans. Because of their traditions and their current situation, they wanted a King and they wanted Him now. So, they missed all the blessings of being with Jesus in His first advent here on earth. How many blessings do you and I miss because we have preconceived ideas about when and how God should answer our prayers? How many times do we miss God’s answer because it isn’t what we expected or wanted? How many times have we been upset or angry with God, because we thought He wasn’t listening and answering our prayers? God knows exactly what we need, how much we need, and exactly when we need it. There has never been a prayer that God didn’t answer. No matter what we are going through here and now, Jesus is fully aware of it and He never asks us to go through anything alone. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He has never failed on any of His promises.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.–2 Peter 3:8-9A (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 09-02-2017

Do You Want a Good Answer or a Great Answer?

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 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. – James 4:3 NLT
 

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​
1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-05-2017

Lift Up Jesus!

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Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
— Titus 3:3 NLT
We should always remember that all of us were once sinners and slaves to sin.  We lived ungodly lives satisfying the ungodly desires of our flesh.  We wasted our lives chasing after earthly pleasures that fade away with the dark of night. But, Jesus Christ, through His mercy died for us and we have been justified by His grace. We could not and can not do anything to save ourselves. So, we need to keep those thoughts in mind and always live our life remembering that we owe a debt of love that we can never repay.  We need to thank God may times every day for all that He  has done and is doing for each of us.  We can show our gratitude by telling the old, old story that is still true today. We were born in sin and needed a Savior. Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. The story never changes. Tell it to those God puts in your path today. And tell it with love.  Let our thoughts, words and actions lift up Jesus.  We live in a fallen world filled with lost people looking for an answer to their feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Our lifestyles should show them that there is only one answer and that is Jesus.
Post 10-14-2016