“Not One Was Lost”

12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. – John 17:12 NLT

Protection

Even though we call the prayer in Matthew 6 the Lord’s prayer, it is really an example of how we should pray. This prayer in John 17 is the Lord’s priestly intercessory prayer for all of God’s children. The ones that God had given Jesus to accompany Him on His earthly journey and all the others from then on including you and me. God had given them and us to Jesus because of His obedience. They would now bring glory to Jesus and to God. Jesus protected them by using the name of the Father and now that He is leaving, He is putting them and us in the hands of God to protect us by the power of His name. Once we accept Jesus and become the children of God, we are in His hands for safekeeping. There is nothing or no one that is more powerful than our God, There is no way we can be taken from His hands. Paul tells us “there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love”

.Nothing Can Separate Us 

We have God living in us, we have God praying for us and we have God keeping us. What more could we possibly need? Knowing this should cause us to be faithful and fearless in our witnessing for Jesus.

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

“Elijah Was As Human As We Are”

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 set 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

Post 01-05-2020

“Your Motives Are All Wrong”

3 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

James 4:1-3 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
​.
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 12-30-2019

A Steady Stream of Praise Sacrifices”

15 So we no longer offer up a steady stream of blood sacrifices, but through Jesus, we will offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices—these are “the lambs”[a] we offer from our lips that celebrate his name.  ​– Hebrews 13:15 TPT

Hebrews 13:15-17 NLT

We are strangers in this land, we are just passing through. While we are here our job is to carry out the Great Commission. Jesus said go into all the world and make disciples. Don’t just tell them about the plan of salvation, but baptize them and mentor them. That is what we do, as we walk, we witness about Jesus. We should have a continual attitude of prayer and praise, letting people know how much we love the God we serve. Because His Spirit indwells us, God is always with us teaching us what to say as we walk together.  Obey those that God has put in authority over us in the church. We should always be praying for and encouraging them as we go about doing our good deeds. Above all else, continually praise God. Praise Him with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It will also help to make the rough ​w​ays smooth.

Psalm 34:1-3 NLT

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

Post 12-12-2019

“He Paid Attention to My Prayer”

19 But God did listen!  He paid attention to my prayer.— Psalm 66:19 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

Even when we sin, God still loves us. He wants to bless us all the time. But He can’t bless us if we do not confess our sins. When our relationship with God is broken because of sins that we have not confessed, His heart is broken. He leaves the 99 sheep to bring back the 1 lost sheep when we confess. We are never alone, He hears our prayers and knows our situation, but He is limited in what He can do for us because of our sins. God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess and then our relationship with Him is restored and there is joy in heaven. What amazing grace and love that God would love sinners enough to die for us!

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

Post 09-10-2019

“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

“Who Did Not Ignore My Prayer”

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.— Psalm 66:20 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.

Romans 8:32-34 NLT

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

Post 08-17-2019

“By The Way They Act”

16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?– Matt. 7:16 NLT

Matt. 7:15-20 NLT

We need to remember that everyone, regardless of their lifestyle, bears fruit. Wrong thoughts, motives and actions produce the bad fruits. Right thoughts, motives and actions produce fruits for the Kingdom. When people observe our lifestyle, what kind of fruit do they see? If we are to produce the kind of fruit that Jesus wants us to produce, we must get our sustenance from the True Vine. Stay connected to Jesus by daily prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and singing praises. Then, we can be sure that we will produce good fruit and our actions will draw people to Jesus Christ.

John 15:5-8 NLT

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

Post 08-02-2019

Intercessory Prayer

1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  — 1 Timothy 2:1

1 Timothy 2:1-6 NLT

Jesus willingly gave His life for each of us. He gave it for those who cursed and persecuted Him as well as for those who followed Him. He did it because of His great love for humanity of all religions and nationalities. It is His desire that everyone be saved. Will everyone accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord? No, but that does not change what Jesus did for us. Once any person accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord, should they decide to do that, the Holy Spirit indwells that person. As we progress in following the example of Jesus there is a change in our hearts’ desires and our actions. We are to attempt to live at peace with everyone around us, even with those who curse and persecute us. Is this possible? Yes, or Jesus would not have asked us to do it. When we are mistreated for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, our response is to love and pray for those that commit the acts. Praying for our persecutors pleases God because we are following the example that Jesus set for us. How they respond to that love and our prayers for them is not in our control. It is ultimately between them and God. If revenge of any sort is necessary, God says that is His responsibility, not ours. So pray for everyone, family, friends, neighbors, cults, religious people, anyone in authority over you in any situation. You can be assured that your flesh is not going to want to pray for some of these people, but God’s Holy Spirit will draw you, teach you, and even do the praying for you if you choose to be obedient.

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

Post 07-20-2019

“I Will Praise You”

4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. — Psalm 63:4 NLT

Psalm 63:1-8 NLT

God made each of us a little different from everyone else.  These differences are not just physical, they continue through every part of us.  Each of us has a different learning capacity and we react to things and situations differently.  Some of us are much more vocal and enthusiastic in expressing our joy and excitement.  Some of us see great things happen and we are awestruck and quiet in our observations while others may scream loudly or talk unceasingly trying to describe or explain what is happening.  Praising God is necessary for Christians whether we do it quietly or with loud exclamations of joy and praise.  We can become so overpowered by the presence of God that we fall to our knees and just weep.  God understands it all and accepts it graciously.  He made us different so that our praise to Him would be like listening to an orchestra play a great masterpiece.  While that may be just noise to some people, others are thrilled and uplifted.  So, however we choose to do it,  let’s just praise God continually for all of His love, goodness, mercy and grace. 

Psalm 150 NKJV

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

Post 05-05-2019