“And Yet When He Prayed Earnestly…”

17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! ​ – James 5:17 NLT

James 5:13- 18 NLT

Of course, we know that God already knows our needs and our situation, but He has instructed us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus told the story of the persistent woman and the unjust judge. She kept pestering the judge until he gave her what she was requesting. God does not always give us what we ask, because sometimes we ask for things that we don’t need. Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you pray fervently that what you end up asking from God is not what you were thinking about when you first started praying? That is when you can know that “the desires of your heart” have aligned with God’s Word and His will. Then the answer is always yes. But, if our desires don’t line up, then we often get a “no” or “wait”. Some people say that it is a cop out to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done”. But that is what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. So, if He sets the example, it is a good pattern to follow.

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

“They Wander Far From the Life…”

18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.— Ephesians 4:18 NLT

Ephesians 4:17-24 NLT

Paul is telling us not to live like ignorant and unconverted people do. They have not been regenerated and their minds are full of darkness. They do not walk in the light of the truth of the Gospel. Why? Because they have refused to heed the call of God’s Spirit and have refused to be obedient, so their hearts and minds are closed to any move by the Spirit. Therefore, they live only to satisfy the lusts of the flesh and they participate in all kinds of sinful activity. But we know better. Why? Because we have heard and accepted the Truth. So, we walk according to God’s Spirit. That means that we stop our sinful ways that were corrupted by lust and deception. We are now a new creature and we are guided by the Spirit of God. The real “us” that is carried around in these tents of flesh is being made into God’s image. We look forward to the day when we shall see Jesus. At that time, we will be totally converted into His image. “What a wonderful change in my heart has been wrought’ I’ve been washed by the blood of the Lamb.” Hallelujah and Amen!

Romans 12:1-2 NLT

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

“No, It Is Because of the Wickedness…”

4 “After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way — Deuteronomy 9:4 NLT

Deut.9:4-6 NLT

We are blessed to live in a beautiful country where we are free to travel from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast without having to stop at any border stations. We are also free to work, play, and worship without police or military interruption. We are free to accomplish most anything we have the ability and the desire to do. But, just as the children of Israel became full and fat in the land of Canaan and forgot Who it was that gave them the land, we are guilty of the same sin. We have done absolutely nothing to merit being born and raised in a country established on Judeo-Christian principles. God established this nation and has maintained it because we have been a nation “under God”. When we, as a nation, depart from those ways and turn to wickedness, God will discipline us just as surely as He disciplined the Jewish people when they disobeyed. We have been blessed because we have always blessed Israel. If that doesn’t remain true, we will be a cursed nation. God’s Word is true and He will not be mocked.

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

“His Holy People…”

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.   — Ephesians 1:18

Eph. 1:15-20 NLT

We have access to all wisdom and revelation.  Having access to something does not mean that you already have it.  Access means we have the right to enter into a particular building or room. In the computing world, it can mean that we have the right to obtain and examine a file. I think this definition fits the passage here.  So, having that right, we need to enter into studying and examining God’s Word.  As we do that, God gives us more wisdom and revelation. As we receive that, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.  In other words, we have a deeper understanding of the blessed hope that God has called us to receive.  We have access to that same resurrection power that was exhibited when God raised Jesus from the dead.  It is freely given to us, because God loved His Son and made Him the head of the church.  We, as Christians are all a part of the body of Christ.  So this wisdom, revelation, and power flows from the head to the body.  Jesus gives it to each of us in proportion to the call He has placed on us. It is a free gift, it is not something you can work to earn. We must walk humbly before our God.

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

“I Wish That You Were One or the Other!”

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

“…God’s Law Is Written in Their Hearts…”

15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. — Romans 2:15 NLT

Romans 2:10-16 NLT

It is said that on a dark night with no obstructions, the human eye can see the flickering flame of a candle up to a distance of thirty miles.  How is this possible?  Even the smallest of lights will dispel darkness.  This is true of that quality that we refer to as “good”.   Good dispels evil.  As Edmund Burke put it:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Even those who have never read God’s law or those that say there is no God know this is true.  All humans innately know the difference between good and evil.  For most humans, it is natural to choose to do good whether they believe in God or not.  That innate knowledge (we call it the conscience) that God has put in the heart of a human is what prevents total chaos from occurring on the earth. Even those who have never read the Bible or heard the Gospel know the difference between right and wrong.  That knowledge becomes more real and more powerful when we receive the Holy Spirit.  An atheist can only be an atheist because his/her beliefs are based on a wrong assumption.  If the foundation is faulty, then the whole house will crumble.  So, good men and women, let us build our house on a solid foundation of truth, light our candles and be a shining light in a world of darkness and evil.  Only God knows how much darkness each of our lights will penetrate. 

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

“…And They Cannot Turn To Me…”


27 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’ 
— Acts 28:27 NLT 

Acts 28:23-30 NLT

The Jewish leaders there in Rome had already heard the message of Jesus. They wanted to hear it again from Paul and to hear what he believed.  Any time and every time the name of Jesus is mentioned, it requires that we make a decision.  Whether we decide to reject Him, accept Him or to think about it, we make a decision.  Some of these leaders were persuaded to believe by what Paul said and others were not.  It is a mystery to us why all the people hear the same message but some respond positively and some respond negatively.  Did Paul quit preaching the Word because some refused to believe?  No!  For two years, Paul supported himself and continued to tell others about the Good News.  Paul understood that the results of his preaching the Word were not up to Him.  His part was to continue to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are to do the same thing.  Keep preaching and/or teaching and not be discouraged because we don’t see any results.  The results are up to the Lord and the Holy Spirit, not to us.  We will see the results when we get to heaven. Until then we just keep living out God’s plan for each of us and let Him handle the results.

Isaiah 55:8-11 NLT

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

“Why Are You Frightened?”

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38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?  — Luke 24:38 NLT

Luke 24:35-43

As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.  Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and frightened, how could this be?   After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing His teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected.  They thought they were looking at a ghost.  Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really Him.  He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real.  Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat.  We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things.  We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”?  God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”.  Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions?  Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow.  If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him to do exactly what He said He would do.

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

“Why Are You Troubled?”

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 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  – Luke 24:38 NKJV

Luke 24:36-40 ISV

All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people.  As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened.  The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them.  Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive!   Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb?  Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth.  It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?”  Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth?  Aren’t we just as doubtful?  Could this story really be true?  Does such love exist?  We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended.  Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.

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

“Always Have Hearts Like This”

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28 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28-29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”   If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.

9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT

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