Reaching the Father Through Prayer

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Prayer is the very vital tool to reach the Heavenly Father.  If people realized how important prayer was, they would pray more often. God is able to heal us, help us with our finances, help us with Depression, or any fiery dart Satan sends our way.  God can answer any prayer, but he is waiting on us to ask.

Learn to pray to the Father with a sincere and humble heart. Pray to him everyday. Pray often —several times a day. Pray without ceasing, which means continually. You can pray to God when you are at home —when you are at the store —when you are at work. A person doesn’t always need to close their eyes to pray.

If you want a closer relationship with the Father then first, repent of any un-confessed sin and examine your heart. Get rid of things in your life that affect your spiritual growth. Praise God during the times when you are at your highest and feel blessed, and worship him when you are at your lowest. Pray and ask God to lead and direct your steps and your actions in your everyday life.

You will never be sorry to be a child of God. God will stick closer to you than a brother and will always be there when you need him. You don’t have to make an appointment to see him. You don’t have to look for him at any time, for he is always there. when you need him. Just find a place by yourself and seek God with your whole heart. Call upon him and he will hear you.

Now if you pray to God for things that he knows will interfere with your spiritual growth such as: asking for money or fame, he may chose not to answer those prayers.  Always remember God knows what is best for you and he is in control.  He loves you and only wants the best for you.  Keep in mind, sometimes people go through sickness and trials, but it helps us to come out a stronger Christian.

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Boldness to Stand for the Gospel

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Lately I have seen news post about Christian churches hosting Muslim and allowing them to pray in their churches.  One church in England even offered to cover up a cross and portrait of Jesus, not to offend the Muslim people who were coming there.  What a truly sad thing to see this happening and it is all around us.  Where are the true Christians in the world?  Where are the ones who will stand up for the gospel of Christ?

It is not hard to say, that without standing for gospel of Christ, Christianity will cease to exist.  Christians need to take a bold stance on what they believe in.  Don’t allow anyone to corrupt your beliefs.  Its not going to be easy, but we must stand for the faith, despite all cost.  Yes, it may cost us our jobs, our friends and even our life.  Some have lost their lives recently in Nigeria and other parts of the world for standing for Christianity.

2 Corinthians 4:3-10 says:  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

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Are you a Christian?

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10

Serve Christ by telling others about the love of Jesus. Share the gospel despite opposition. Tell others how they can receive salvation.

Once I heard a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King on the “If” Christian.  The “If’  Christian is one who has decided to follow Christ only when everything runs smoothly.  They are willing to serve Jesus Christ when it is easy and considered the “In” thing.  Often they bargain with God and agree to follow him “If” everything is easy; if they don’t have to endure sufferings or persecution.  They follow the Lord when it makes sense for them; if they receive something in return, such as: a good job, a nice family, plenty of money and great health. When bad things start to happen to them, then their faith is tested.  They do not want to do anything that will make their life uneasy.  They don’t want to lose friends, family or their great lifestyle, so they often compromise on their beliefs.  They choose to be silent when people oppose their beliefs or their faith.  Dr. Martin Luther King wasn’t a “If” Christian but a minister who stood against those laws that were evil.
In this sermon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr preached on three Christians that refused to bow down and worship the image of gold.  Daniel Chapter three tells us that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood against the evil of the land.  They had a faith greater than that of man.  They believed on the God above and took a stand against King Nebuchadnezzar and his law.  They knew that God would deliver them out of fiery furnace that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  They said, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Their faith was deep enough and real enough that nothing was going to compromise their faith; nothing was going to get them to forsake their true God for a false god.  They had enough faith that they trusted in God to deliver them; but if not, they would die with their faith intact.  What about you?  Are you willing to take a stand against injustice or evil laws.  Are you willing to die for your belief in God?  Are you willing to stand up against those things you know God hates? Will you continue to serve Christ during the hard times.

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Salvation Begins at the Cross

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You cannot work yourself into Heaven.  You can’t live a perfect life.  You cannot earn a way into Heaven; without going to the cross.  At the cross of Jesus, you can be forgiven from your sins and receive eternal life.  There is no other way but through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  The cross holds power because it is where Jesus shed his precious blood as an atonement for our sins. First you must accept and trust in Jesus, then ask his forgiveness for your sins.

Colossians 1:14-In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

John 3:16-17- says: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 Corinthians 15:2-4- By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Hebrews 9:22-28- And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

John 19:16-20- Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

1 John 5:13-These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Are you ready to go to the cross?  Pray and ask Jesus into your life. Turn from your sins and he will save you and forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 –If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

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What Crowns Can We Receive

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I came upon this when I was studying the Bible tonight, so I wanted to share.  These are the crowns that a Christian can receive by serving Christ.

  • Isaiah 62:2,3- Crown of Glory- And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 1 Peter 6:4-And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
  • 2 Timothy 4:8- Crown of Righteousness- Henceforth there is laid up form me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, they righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
  • James 1:12- Crown of Life-Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Revelations 2:10-Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:19-Crown of Rejoicing-For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
  • 1 Corinthians 9:25-Incorruptible Crown-  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. This crown is given to believers who faithfully run the race, who take up their cross daily, denying their flesh, and pointing men to Jesus.
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What Are You Willing to Lose

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What are you willing to lose for the sake of the Gospel?

Luke 9:23,24,25 says: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gave the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

I have read this group of text before but never really thought about what it meant: If he gave the whole world, and lose himself.  I thought it meant only money, but have recently realized that it could be talking about friendships, jobs,  or money.

Last night a group of people at work were talking about the recent bombings at Sir Lanka where it killed over 200 people.  We continued our conversation about why someone would bomb a Christian church.  We discussed how we had read that it was in retaliation to a mosque attack the week before.  Then all of the sudden a Muslim woman in the group gets very angry and says her faith doesn’t ever say to kill people.

I was a little shocked how this woman was so blind to things that had been happening.  First of all, she hadn’t heard of the attacks.  She had said that she doesn’t watch the news.  She is from another country and acts as if she hasn’t heard anything that has happened lately regarding terror attacks and such.  Then I wondered how someone that had claimed her faith so strongly but didn’t know of teachings from her own faith.

This lady had been a dear friend to me and had talked about the Lord before, but I thought she was talking about Jesus.  I didn’t realize she didn’t have the same faith as me.  It is one thing to say you are Muslim, Christian or any other faith, but if you don’t know what you faith believes in, then you need to perhaps find out.  I have seen people claim they are Christian but never go to church, read their Bible or pray.

Last night, I worried about losing my friend because of the truth that was spoken.  I wondered if I should say I was sorry for offending her.  Then I thought that I couldn’t say I was sorry, because I spoke the truth.  Saying I was sorry would be telling this woman that we were wrong, or not speaking truth.  The fact is: we must stick to truth, no matter who it offends.  I learned a lesson that night, that we might lose friendships or even a job.  This lady could go to our boss and tell him the things that were spoken and we could be fired.  So after praying about it last night and today I came across this group of scripture.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gave the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  So I know that I cannot worry so much about losing my job or this friendship, because I spoke the truth. And by speaking the truth, maybe this lady will think about her faith and perhaps study up on its teachings. We must speak truth no matter who it offends.

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He is Risen

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Matthew 28:6- He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

One Easter morning we had planned a short testimonal service where those that wanted to participate in the service could hold up a small poster board with a phrase or word of what the Lord Jesus had done for them in their life.  We passed out black markers and small poster board paper amongst the crowd before the service began.  After the song service had ended, our chosen singers began to sing songs about Jesus.  One by one people began to walk to the front of the church holding up their poster board for all to see before returning to their seats.  What we thought would be a quick presentation became longer and longer.  People held up signs saying different things.  One held up a sign how Jesus saved them.  Another held up a sign how Jesus delivered them from death by healing their sickness.  Another held up a sign how Jesus helped them go through a terrible divorce and give them a new partner in life.

The service that was suppose to be quick became one of the most powerful, heart-felt services I have ever seen.  Where I thought only a few people would participate became almost the whole congregation.  Then after taking a while, the preacher told the congregation how he decided to change his message that day.  From preaching from his planned sermon, he began to ask people who had held the poster boards, to stand while he read what they had written.  Tears began to fill faces and God’s presence was felt everywhere.  The preacher began to say how Jesus was alive.  How he had changed so many people’s lives.  Jesus wasn’t a dead Savior but an alive one.  He had saved people from death; healed the sick, helped people out of financial burdens and so he had changed many many people’s lives.

Until we realize that Jesus is still ALIVE,  we cannot fully comprehend that he is able to save others from death.  He is not in the grave.  He is not only in Heaven but amongst each and everyone of us.  He hears our prayers, cares about our sorrows, heals our diseases and he has sacrificed his own life on the cross for each and everyone.  He is Alive.  Death could not hold him.  Romans 6:9 says: Romans 6:9-Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:4-Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Philippians 2:8-And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Acts 2:22-24-Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

2 Timothy 1:10-But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

1 Peter 3:18-For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Revelation 1:18-I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

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God Cares About Us

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So many times we look at our lives and wish they were better.  We have all the comforts of life; good health, good jobs, air conditioned homes, microwaves that cook easy meals, etc…. But, for some reason we are depressed, sad, wishing our lives were better.  Today I seen a one-legged man walk in front of me.  He was walking on crutches today with the best attitude. He walked across the parking lot as if he had two legs.  I heard him say, as it was rainy and gloomy, “What a great day it is today.”  I don’t think he was saying it sarcastically either. Then I followed him into a Dollar Tree store and with such a sweet expression and smile, he asked me where the Bubble Wrap was.  Evidently he must have thought I worked there, so I just turned to find someone who did work there and ask them where it was.  Then he said, “I’m sorry I thought you worked here.”  I am ambarrassed to say that I am one of those that have been depressed lately about things in my life.  There isn’t one thing really that has me feeling this way.  It’s just a time that I have started to analyze things in my life, and wished that they were different.

If anyone really has a reason to be unhappy, it was this man.  Somehow I believe this man was put in my path to help me.  Funny how things like that happen to us.  God knows our sorrows and he cares about us.  He wants us to be happy and realize that he loves us.  However we need to learn to put our trust in Jesus no matter our circumstances. 1 Peter 5:7,9,10 says: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Do not ever let anyone tell you that Jesus doesn’t care about you.  He loved you so much that he died on a cross for you.  John 3:16,1 says: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Romans 8:35-39 says: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Easter is Sunday!  Try to remember how much Jesus loves you.  Please put your trust in him today!

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Are you Ready for the Wedding

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My daughter was recently married last year and now my niece is getting married this weekend.  I have always enjoyed weddings.  …The decorations, the food, the decor.    ….Many new faces to see and new people to meet.  …Usually great food is prepared.  ….It is free to attend.  …People seem to be friendly and in a great mood.  A beautiful bride is adorned for her husband.  The Groom is waiting patiently on his bride to walk down the aisle.  Soft music is playing in the background.  Love is in the Air.  Smiles are on the faces;  Laughter can be heard.

As I think of my niece’s wedding, I think of an upcoming wedding.  A wedding that will be most memorable.  A wedding where there will be love, joy, peace for eternity.  A love that will not end. A groom that is waiting patiently on his bride.  He has already made preparations in advance.  He is already built mansions.  He has built a kingdom; with streets of pure gold.  He has talked with his father about his bride.

How excited he must be to receive the bride into his eternal home.  He already loves her and has spent many days getting to know her.  He knows her weaknesses.  He loves her sadnesses and tears.  He knows her trials that she has overcome just to make it to him.  He remembers the day when she first talked to him.  Despite all her mistakes, he has forgiven her.  See his bride is the church, the ones who have chosen him (Jesus) as their groom.  They have chosen to love and honor and cherish him all the days of their lives.

I cannot wait until this wedding.  It will be pure happiness to those who attend.  It is free but by invitation only.  You must have a wedding garment on.  You cannot enter the wedding venue without his approval.  No thieves or robbers are allowed.  He has sent out the invitation to all that would attend, but many have rejected the invitation.  They still have an opportunity until they take their last breath to attend.  But many still refuse.

Matthew 22:2-14- The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

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Learn to Serve As Jesus Served

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We are here on this earth to serve others, not live a life of a king or queen.  Our reward as a Christian will be to live in Heaven for eternity.  Jesus sat down with his Disciples and they began to ask him who would be the greatest in Heaven among them.  Jesus said, But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.  For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth (Luke 22:26,27). 

Jesus was born in a humble animal stable.  He told him Disciples, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head (Matthew 8:20).  He didn’t live a life on this earth as a king.  He lived a humble life and lived a life of service to others.  He taught his disciples to love others, to care for others and to help them.  Jesus healed the sick, fed the multitude and taught the people about God. 

Mark 6:7-11 teaches us how we are to witness to others about Jesus.   And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Matthew 20:28 says: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Romans 12:1 says: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

Ephesians 6:5-8- Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

Revelations 2:19- I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

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