Why Can’t We ______?

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28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”  29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” — Mark 9:28, 29 NKJV

While Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration, a man had brought his son, who was possessed by a demon, to the remaining disciples.  They had been unable to cast the demon out of this particular boy, even though they had had success earlier in casting other demons out.  They were confused by this and asked the same question that people are still asking today.  “Why could we not cast it out?”   We pray for the sick to be healed and when it doesn’t happen the way and the time we think it should, we ask the question — “Why?”   Jesus explains that sometimes it takes more than a prayer, it takes fasting as well.  Some translations do not include “fasting” in the answer Jesus gave.  We know that Jesus spent many hours fasting and praying.  Before His temptations in the desert with satan, He spent forty days fasting and praying.  God does the healing, so why would we be required to pray and fast?   The Scriptures never exactly explain the connection between fasting and praying. The Old Testament prophets and David fasted and prayed. John the Baptist and his disciples practiced fasting and praying.  The disciples of Jesus practiced it, especially in Jerusalem after the Resurrection.  Jesus made a practice of doing it, so it seems that it would be a good idea for us to try it as well.  Each of us should do some research on different ways to fast, pray and allow the Holy Spirit to guide each of us into what and how long to fast. You may not think fasting is a good idea or that you have never practiced fasting.  Think about this, in the physical world, what did you give up for a little while to get what you wanted the most?   In the worst scenario, nothing unusual happens, in the best scenario, we end up with a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus, our best friend.

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

Post 10-25-2018

“Tell Your Family”

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19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. — Mark 5:19, 20 NLT

Do you remember the joy and the excitement that came into your life when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior?  Some of us felt great burdens lifted from us and immediately experienced freedom from some of our old habits.  Others just felt a peace that they had never had before.   Either way, most of us suddenly felt a great desire to tell somebody about what had just happened. Our lives were changed for the better.  It was the beginning of a journey with Jesus.  That journey has and will continue to take us through experiences and situations that will try us.   Each of these experiences will be an opportunity for us to grow closer to the Lord or a temptation for us to become bitter.  That choice is up to us.   If we choose correctly, we will find that we always come through those times a little stronger than we were before.  Our initial joy will be increased because of the victories that we have over these situations.  Those victories comes from Jesus Christ, just as our salvation came from His actions at Calvary.  Each of these experiences of overcoming temptation and suffering is another story we can use to tell people about Jesus.  They aren’t just for our benefit, they are to be shared so that others will come to know Jesus.  They are to be shared with those around us where we are right now.  It is not necessary to change your vocation.  When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to do tell others “as you go”.


 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.  — Matt. 10:7. 8 NIV

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

Post 1017-2018

“The Helmet of Salvation”

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17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..—Ephesians 6:17 NLT

 
Since we don’t actually see the angels and the demons surrounding us, it is hard for us to stay aware of the continuous battle going on around us everyday.  But there are several examples of this in the Scriptures.  The example in Daniel 10 involves at least two demonic princes and two angelic princes.20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.–Daniel 10:20, 21 NIV

Just as Daniel was not physically involved in the battle, neither are we.  Our battlefield is our mind.  That is why our armor is not physical armor, it is invisible things that protect our thought patterns from being overwhelmed by evil. These weapons are truth, righteousness, readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For us to be fully dressed in the armor God has provided for us takes time. It is not a piece of clothing that you can just throw in the corner and then grab when bad times come. It takes hours and hours of prayer, Bible study and meditation to get fully dressed.  satan knows where the holes in our armor are.  We must pray daily for the Holy Spirit to show us the holes and then spend whatever time it takes in prayer and Scripture study to mend those holes. While we reside in this old piece of decaying flesh, we will never be able to fill all the holes. That is why God has His angels encamped around us.

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.—Psalm 34:7 NIV

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

Post 03-07-2018

What A Mighty God We Serve!

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5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
— Acts 12:5 NLT
Jesus had instructed Peter to feed His sheep. He was basically appointing Peter as the leader of the church after His ascension.  He had also told Peter that satan desired to “sift him as wheat”.  That is a metaphor meaning that satan wanted to separate Peter from the others like a farmer separates the chaff from the wheat when he winnows it.  By stirring up King Agrippa to have Peter arrested and put in jail, satan was attempting to sift Peter.  The leaders of the Jews were recruited by satan and joined by encouraging Agrippa in his acts of persecution.  Peter was chained in prison with sixteen guards assigned to do nothing but watch him.  God sent an angel to free Peter from his chains and they walked right past all of those guards.  Peter thought it was a dream or a vision until they gates to the city swung open of their own accord and the angel left Peter.  I can imagine that about the time Peter realized that it was for real, he probably remembered that Jesus also said “but I have prayed for you”.  Jesus  had prayed, was now at the right hand of God praying and the whole church was praying late into the night.  God had a plan for Peter and Jesus had prepared Peter for that plan.  The enemy’s plans to thwart God’s plans were defeated because of prayer. All the demons of hell and the earthly recruits were not enough to overcome the prayers of a handful of saints.  We need to be prayer warriors and spend more time praying fervently for God to rescue our nation and keep our families safe. God is able to protect us and provide for us when He selects us for Kingdom work.  We will not be defeated!
Post 06-30-2016

Stand Up and Deliver

even-smaller-bug-light117 “Jeremiah, get ready. Stand up and tell them everything I command you to say. Don’t be afraid of the people, or I will give you good reason to be afraid of them. 18 Today I am going to make you a strong city, an iron pillar, a bronze wall. You will be able to stand against everyone in the land: Judah’s kings, officers, priests, and the people of the land.19 They will fight against you, but they will not defeat you, because I am with you to protect you!” says the Lord. — Jeremiah 1:17-19 NCV

God had just told Jeremiah to go and tell the rulers and the people of Jersusalem that the city would soon be overrun with armies from the north.  Once the disaster started, it would be over quickly, like water pouring from a pot that has been tipped over.  It is understandable that Jeremiah probably was not too excited about delivering that message to the kings and their armies.  Jeremiah would soon learn the lesson that we need to learn.  God never sends us on a mission that He has not prepared us to go on.  He never sends us alone, He is always with us.  If He says we will not be defeated, then we can be assured that He will prevail for us.  ​It is our weakest moments that God uses for His glory.  He wants the odds against us winning to be so great that when we do win and the world sees it, they have no choice but to say ​that our God is the Great Almighty God.  Jeremiah was told to “gird up his loins” (KJV) to prepare himself physically for the battle since he would be facing people.  Since our warfare now is not against people but against spiritual rulers and demons, we are told to “gird up the loins of our minds”. (KJV).

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world​ — 1 Peter 1:13 NLT​

Whether the battle is physical or spiritual, the battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord.  He will overcome and we will not be defeated.  But, just as Jeremiah was directed to stand up and deliver the message to the people, our instructions are the same.  So, we need to prepare ourselves and our minds for the tricks of the devil and be ready to stand up and tell the world everything that God will give us to say.

Post 03-01-2016

As You Go!

even-smaller-bug-light119 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. — Mark 5:19, 20 NLT

Do you remember the joy and the excitement that came into your life when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior?  Some of us felt great burdens lifted from us and immediately experienced freedom from some of our old habits.  Others just felt a peace that they had never had before.   Either way, most of us suddenly felt a great desire to tell somebody about what had just happened. Our lives were changed for the better.  It was the beginning of a journey with Jesus.  That journey has and will continue to take us through experiences and situations that will try us.   Each of these experiences will be an opportunity for us to grow closer to the Lord or a temptation for us to become bitter.  That choice is up to us.   If we choose correctly, we will find that we always come through those times a little stronger than we were before.  Our initial joy will be increased becaused of the victories that we have over these situations.  Those victories comes from Jesus ​Christ, just as our salvation came from His actions at Calvary.  Each of these experiences of overcoming temptation and suffering is another story we can use to tell people about Jesus.  They aren’t just for our benefit, they are to be shared so that others will come to know Jesus.  They are to be shared with those around us where we are right now.  It is not necessary to change your vocation.  When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to do tell others “as you go”.

 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. ​ — Matt. 10:7. 8 NIV
Post 02-21-2016

Are You Dressed?

even-smaller-bug-light13 This is the voice of one who calls out:“Prepare in the desert the way for the Lord.
Make a straight road in the dry lands for our God.
4 Every valley should be raised up, and every mountain and hill should be made flat.  The rough ground should be made level, and the rugged ground should be made smooth.
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be shown, and all people together will see it.  The Lord himself said these things.” — Isaiah 40:3-5 NCV

John the Baptist was chosen to be the “voice in the wilderness” calling out “prepare in the desert the way of the Lord”.  John was the son of Zechairah, a priest who was chosen by lot to offer sacrifices at this particular time and Elizabeth, his wife, who was a cousin of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. To fulfill this prophecy, when John became an adult, he actually lived in the desert. He wore rough clothing and his diet consisted of locust and honey. God has not called all of us to subsist as John did. However, He has called all of us to “prepare in the desert the way for the Lord”.  While John lived in an actual, natural, physical desert, we live in a spiritual desert which we call the world.  John could only preach about repentance from sin and being baptized with water since the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to stay on earth.  He preached about the One coming that would change all of that,  The One who could baptize with the Holy Spirit. Our message is that Jesus has come and that we must accept that truth along with the truth that He died for us so that we could be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Our message is that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord”.  Whether you will do that or not is not a choice, you will do it.  The choice is when will you do it?  You can do it now and spend an eternity with Jesus in heaven or you can wait until the “the glory of the Lord is shown” and all the people still alive see it.  But, if you wait until then, it will be too late and your eternity will be spent in hell, a place prepared for satan and his demons. Each day as we go about in this spiritual desert, are we daily calling out to others that “Jesus is coming back again, get ready by accepting Him as your Savior, let Him make your paths straight and your pathway smooth”
Post 12-19-2015