Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Psalm 91:1-4

1"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why Pray In The Spirit

Do you pray in the Spirit?  I remember some terrible situations that happened in the lives of both of my parents and things looked impossible.  When things look impossible our only option is to let go, but don’t give up.  Be an overcomer and never quit.  Keep praying as the Lord never tires of hearing our requests.

I have a theory that nothing happens, in this world, until someone prays.  God whispers in our hearts and give us His desires, but we also have the free will to reject His whisper.  When we reject His whisper as foolish thoughts we are the one that loses out.  

When we listen to His whispers and we pray we give Him the free legal right to move in this world.  Satan is currently the god of this world and has a temporary lease on the planet.  God can only make things happen on the earth when an earth dweller invites Him to get involved in earth matters.  The power of prayer is so important, but most of us take it for granted. 

My parents problems did not happen at the same time, but in both occasions I prayed in the Spirit for them.  The answers did not come immediately, but in time both of them experienced a miraculous event that changed both of their spiritual lives forever. 

Praying in the Spirit is praying with your tongue and not with your mind. When you hear people pray out loud you are hearing people pray with their logic and reasoning mind. Most people are not able to pray very long in this manor as we run out of things to say or to pray for. When Jesus went away from everyone to pray He most often would go up on a mountain and prayed all night long. His Spirt and the Holy Spirit, had a lot of things to talk about with the Father.

Just this morning I was reading Luke Chapter 6 and the Lord revealed His prayer life to me. Read Luke 6:12-16 "12 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. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; 15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.”

Jesus’ prayer that night was a prayer meeting with the trinity; Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and our Heavenly Father. The purpose of the prayer meeting was about choosing 12-men to be Jesus’ disciples. There were many followers with Jesus the next morning, but Jesus could only choose 12. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit choose each one of the disciples specifically for a purpose. They even choose one which would betray Jesus.

Jesus prayed to the Father all the time and He never did anything unless the Father revealed it to Him. How did the Father reveal things to Jesus? Jesus is God, but He is also a man. Because He was Man he could only reach heaven with the help of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus was also baptized in the Holy Spirit. When Jesus prayed He prayed in the Spirit and it was the Holy Spirit that communicated to the Father for Jesus.

When we believers pray in the Spirit today we are praying in an unknown language that the Holy Spirit understands and He communicates our prayer to Jesus in Heaven. Jesus intercedes for us by taking our prayer to the Father. The Father tells Jesus and Jesus tells the Holy Spirit what is in the Fathers heart to our heart. The Father also responds by sending ministering angels to us with the answers to our prayers. There is a lot of things that happen in the spirit world that we cannot see. That’s why we must live by faith.

When we pray in the Spirit, in this unknown language, we are praying in what is called “tongues”. On the day of Pentecost about 120-belivers were all baptized with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. Tongues is a heavenly prayer language that comes out of our mouth from your Spirit within your body. Your Spirit is the eternal part of you that never dies.

Jesus explains it this way: Luke 6:44-45-44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart[a] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

The key phrase here is “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”. When we pray in the Spirit our Spirit is praying in the Holy Spirit’s language and not our normal language. Our Spirit prays to the Holy Spirit the abundance of things that is in our heart that is do deep the human mind cannot verbalize it much less understand it. When we pour out our hearts to the Holy Spirit He communicates our hearts to Jesus. Jesus then represents us to the Father.

How to pray in the Spirit? Praying in the Spirit comes just the same way as the believer accepts Christ, but faith. Religion tries to make things complicated, but the believer lives by faith for salvation as well as faith for their heavenly prayer language. When you pray in tongues you pray out loud from out of the abundance of you heart, your Spirit, and not with your mind, will, or emotions. You just have to relax and turn your mind off as the mind wants to keep control of the tongue. At first your heavenly language will sound like jiberish and your mind will tell you this is foolishness. Don’t listen to your mind as the mind doubts things it cannot understand.

Like Jesus go somewhere you are alone so that you cannot be heard by anyone but the Holy Spirit. Start praying and even though it sounds like jiberish keep praying. Do not worry if your language does not sound very spiritual. You tongue is making sounds, but it is your Spirit that is speaking to the supernatural Holy Spirit. The good news is Satan cannot understand one word you have prayed in the Spirit.

The key is this; “The Just Shall Live By Faith”. Everything Jesus did was by faith as an example for us to follow. Follow Jesus by paying close attention to His words and doing what He says Luke 6:46-49  46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.[a] 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.[b] And the ruin of that house was great.”

The believer’s foundation is built on Jesus our Rock. Follow Jesus’ example and staying in close contact with the Father though your heavenly prayer language. If you do this then you will see the Lord move mountains in your life and the lives of others because you prayed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

And Come, Take Up The Cross and Follow Me

Jesus adds to the Ten Commandments

Not a day goes by that the Lord does not reveal something new to me during my scripture study.  I'm reading through the New Testament again and in Mark Chapter 10 I found a key phrase I had never seen or heard of before.   A rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked the question:

"17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 

19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[a]

20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."

Mark 10: 17-20 NKJV

Jesus recounts the seventh, sixth, eighth, ninth commandments with the phrase "Do not defraud" inserted just before the fifth commandment.  Why did he do that?   All of these commands concern the fair and ethical treatment of other people.  Why did Jesus insert this phrase to the rich young ruler?

The reason He did this is because He knew the heart of the young man and I think the man was feeling guilty because of his sin of defrauding his fellow man for the purpose of gaining money.  To defraud means to obtain money through deception, to trick or cheat someone in order to get money.

The young man went away sad because he knew his wealth was obtained through "Ill-Gotten Gains": money or things acquired through dishonesty or deceit.  

Jesus told the man that there is one thing he lacks.  What do you think the one thing is?  I would love to hear your comments as to what this one thing is.

The man's wealth was not really his and I believe that is why Jesus suggested the man should sell all his possessions, obtained through fraudulent means, and give it all to the poor.  If he can do this his heart will be healed of his lust for riches.  Notice Jesus goes on to say that the man's treasure will then be in heaven.  Then Jesus says: " . . .  and come, take up the cross and follow Me".  What did Jesus mean by that statement?  I would love to hear your take away on this one too.

The man went away feeling very sad because he had great wealth.  Do you think he went away sad because he was not willing to give up his wealth?  Or, do you think he went away sad because his evil heart had been exposed and he was sorrowful because of what he had done?  Do you think he followed Jesus' instructions, sold all his possessions and gave it to the poor?  Do you think the man took up the cross Jesus mentioned and followed Jesus?

Who do you think this man was?  I think the man was Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark.  I think Mark did just as Jesus told him to do and followed Jesus all the way.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Key Words and Phrases In Scripture

Key Words and Phrases

In the internet world the use of key words are the crucial search tools to find information online.  As I study the scriptures I have found that the Lord gets my attention by key words and phrases that jump off the page to me.  Here are some examples

"Listen, you priests, to this warning from the Lord Almighty: 'If you don’t change your ways and give glory to my name, then I will send terrible punishment upon you, and instead of giving you blessings as I would like to, I will turn on you with curses. Indeed, I have cursed you already because you haven’t taken seriously the things that are most important to me." Malachi 2:1-2 The Living Bible

We can find specific cautions or warnings from the Lord:
  • Mindful - my favorite is what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:23 and Mark 8:3 "Get behind me Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
When you stop to think about this portion of the scripture you place yourself in Peter's shoes and examine yourself.  Is Jesus saying to you? "You are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."  

These are just a few of the many key words and phrases that are in the scriptures waiting for you to explore.  I recommend that you too use the BibleGateway.com for your online search.  You will find most all the answers you are searching for by the use of key words and phrases searches.

This is how the Lord speaks to me as I study the scriptures each day as  I have to renew my mind daily through the washing and cleansing of the word.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Take Heed To What You Hear

Jesus tells us that we should "Take Heed to what we hear!"  I think we should also be careful what we watch on TV especially the news channels and YouTube.  There are newscasters and preachers that are manipulating truth into twisted lies to suit their own deception.

Many people are not able to discern what is truth and what is a lie.  Only the believers that are deeply rooted and grounded in the word are able to discern what is being said and what is being seen with their eyes.

Jesus warned that in the last days people will claim to be Christ and that we should not go to them.  Many will be deceived and will unknowingly worship an anti-Christ.  One thing that bothers me the most is the preachers on TV and YouTube that preach sermons which cause some believers to become fearful and doubt their salvation.  Their sermons cause the unbelievers to doubt they are worthy of being saved.  I am upset because of the garbage we are being exposed to in the news, TV shows and TV Preachers.  Not all TV preachers are preaching twisted doctrines, but most are.

Read Revelation 21:8 from the Living Bible Translation 

"8 But cowards who turn back from following me, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshipers and all liars—their doom is in the Lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

Preachers that make people think and feel that they are never good enough do this for the purpose of controlling their listener or congregation.  They make people believe that they can never do  enough to be worthy of salvation.  They are mixing in a false religion of works in their sermons that deliberately confuses people.

The truth is we can never be good enough.  Jesus is the only one that was ever good enough.  He is the only person that was ever good enough to be the sacrifice that would wipe out all the sins of the world.  He is the only one that is righteous and we can only be righteous in Him.  It is His finished works that gives the believer salvation and not any of our works.  Our works are as filthy rags (a soiled sanitary napkins).

It is the cleansing blood of Jesus that covers our sin, our failures, and our weaknesses.  It is by our faith in what He did for us that we are saved through Christ Jesus.  God is not looking for our good works.  He is looking at us through the shed blood of His Son Jesus.  When He looks at a believer He sees His Son.

The key is to take your mind off of yourself and instead focus your attention on what the Lord Jesus has done for you, is doing right now, and will do when He comes to take you home.  I look forward to the day when I stand before my Lord Jesus and He says to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant . . . enter in into the joy of the Lord".

Our good works do not save us, but the desire to do good works for others is the by-product of the love and compassion we have in Christ Jesus.