Presuming Or Waiting??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #686

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #686      Presuming Or Waiting???

 

I have a word for today in regard to a conversation that we had in my Bible Study class this week; we are studying the Beatitudes.   We were discussing the merciful and the pure in heart, when the subject of faith and presumption came up, we went to the Lord’s model prayer to get God’s Word on the subject, for Jesus gives us the bottom line on prayer:

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father

which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

in earth,

as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:9-10

I’d simply like to remind us to not only be faithful in prayer, but to be biblical in our prayer and finding what God has for us.  Prayer isn’t a heavenly slot machine into which we drop our “demands” and pull the handle that requires God to answer according to “my dictates”!  Prayer isn’t a direct “demand” line to heaven, rather it is a direct line to draw near to our God, our Lord and King that we might know HIM and draw nearer to Him and know Him more intimately.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points

tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace

to help

in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:14-16

God wants us to know HIM, and to know HIM, just as Jesus said, is to seek HIS kingdom and HIS will not our own. Even as Isaiah wrote so powerfully, we are to “wait” not presume!

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,

that the everlasting God,

the LORD, the Creator

of the ends of the earth,

fainteth not,

neither is weary?

there is no searching

of his understanding.

29 He giveth power

to the faint;

and to them that have no might

he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths

shall faint

and be weary,

and the young men

shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up

with wings as eagles;

they shall run,

and not be weary;

and they shall walk,

and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:28-31

James also calls us to pray fervently knowing that God is the Sovereign Lord of all, and HE knows what is best for us in every situation.

Confess your faults

one to another,

and pray

one for another,

that ye may be healed.

The effectual fervent prayer

of a righteous man

availeth much.

17 Elias was a man subject

to like passions as we are,

and he prayed earnestly

that it might not rain:

and it rained not on the earth

by the space of three years and six months.

18 And he prayed again,

and the heaven gave rain,

and the earth brought forth her fruit.”  James 5:16-18

James makes it clear that when we walk in “right” relationship with God, He hears and answers prayers, but don’t miss the message in regard to Elijah (Elias) for when you go back and read the account of Elijah on Mt. Carmel, you’ll find that God called Him to do the things that he did; Elijah didn’t presume on God to answer prayer, but rather relied on God to direct his prayer!  Kind of a different perspective, isn’t it?

So, may we each examine ourselves and pursue God and His will in all we do—even our prayer life—a fervent, ceaseless heart of prayer!

Pray without ceasing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17

Peter therefore was kept in prison:

but prayer was made without ceasing

of the church

unto God for him.”  Acts 12:5

For God is my witness,

whom I serve with my spirit

in the gospel of his Son,

that without ceasing

I make mention of you always

in my prayers;

10 Making request,

if by any means now at length

I might have a prosperous journey

by the will of God

to come unto you.”   Romans 1:9-10

I thank God,

whom I serve from my forefathers

with pure conscience,

that without ceasing

I have remembrance of thee in my prayers

night and day;

4 Greatly desiring to see thee,

being mindful of thy tears,

that I may be filled

with joy;”   1 Timothy 1:3-4

And in conclusion, part of the very prayer of our Lord for us (and if you want a real blessing read all of John 17):

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,

Father, the hour is come;

glorify thy Son,

that thy Son also

may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power

over all flesh,

that he should give eternal life

to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal,

that they might know thee

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

whom thou hast sent.

4 I have glorified thee

on the earth:

I have finished the work

which thou gavest me to do.

5 And now, O Father,

glorify thou me

with thine own self

with the glory

which I had with thee

before the world was.”   John 17:1-5

Father God, Lord Jesus my Lord, will you take our hearts and minds and fix them on YOU.  To do as the Psalmist said,

Trust in the LORD, and do good…

Delight thyself also in the LORD…

Commit thy way unto the LORD;

trust also in him;

and he shall bring it to pass…

Rest in the LORD,

and wait patiently

for him:”,

may we ever pursue you, as we “wait patiently” for your direction in our lives!  Amen and Amen!!!

But I’m Tired??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 05

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 05     But I’m Tired???

 

It’s been a long week at our house—how about you?  It’s been a long year for most of us, what with life in general, COVID, schools off and on like a light switch, churches even more so.  Isolation, quarantine, health crises—and we could go on and on.  We had a few crises at our house just this week, some physical issues, a dear friend who went to be with The Lord, my last aunt and uncle also went to meet our Lord only a day apart after 67 years of marriage.  Joys, sorrows, and confusion yet in the midst of it all, the assurance that “God is still God!  God is still good!  And I still trust HIM!”  How about you?

While all of this seems easy to talk about, it’s often difficult to get through it!  When we are in need (and we all are from time to time) the thing we need to do is draw near to our Lord and His Word.

Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purify your hearts,

ye double minded.”  James 4:7-8

But it is good for me

to draw near to God:

I have put my trust

in the Lord GOD,

that I may declare

all thy works.”  Psalm 73:28

Even Jesus was weary sometimes, and He called not only His disciples to rest, but all of us–men, women, boys and girls—to come to HIM for rest.  I’m so grateful that HIS rest is unparalleled (and He always knows when I need it—even when I don’t!)!

Come unto me,

all ye that labour

and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you,

and learn of me;

for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest

unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.”   Matthew 11:28-30

The disciples (like many of us today) were in the midst of ministry and people, when Jesus, rather than sending them out to do more, called them to rest.  I don’t know about you, but we all sometimes need to come aside and rest.  I have to admit I have a hard time, even in this last year of grief and sorrow, being able to “stop” and “rest” in the midst of ministry and life.  How about you?

And the apostles gathered themselves together

unto Jesus,

and told him all things,

both what they had done,

and what they had taught.

31 And he said unto them,

Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place,

and rest a while:

for there were many coming and going,

and they had no leisure

so much as to eat.

32 And they departed into a desert place

by ship privately.”  Mark 6:30-32

Sometimes we just need to “come…apart” for rest, refreshing and renewal.  I would simply like to share a bit of advice from God’s Word for myself and also for you.  May God minister HIS grace, comfort and refreshing to our souls—mine is in need for sure!  It is the power of God that gives the rest to souls in need—only in HIS way!

And to whom sware he

that they should not enter into his rest,

but to them that believed not?

19 So we see that they could not enter in

because of unbelief.”  Hebrews 3:18-19

We must keep our eyes on Jesus, for HE alone is our strength and our hope, and by HIS grace we can go on when it seems that there is no way.  God gave Paul this message and I have always found comfort in it and I hope you will too. (See Hebrews 12:1-2)

For though I would desire to glory,

I shall not be a fool;

for I will say the truth:

but now I forbear,

 lest any man should think of me

above that which he seeth me to be,

or that he heareth of me.

7 And lest I should be exalted

above measure

through the abundance

of the revelations,

there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,

the messenger of Satan to buffet me,

lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,

that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect

in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory

in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ

may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure

in infirmities,

in reproaches,

in necessities,

in persecutions,

in distresses

for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak,

then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:6-10

As we find our hope, strength and confidence in God, HE is accomplishing HIS purposes in us.

I know both how to be abased,

and I know how to abound:

every where

and in all things

I am instructed both to be full

and to be hungry,

both to abound

and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things

through Christ which strengtheneth me

18 But I have all,

and abound:

I am full,

having received of Epaphroditus

the things which were sent from you,

an odour of a sweet smell,

a sacrifice acceptable,

wellpleasing to God.

19 But my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory

by Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:12-13 & 18-19

It is in giving that we receive the most; and may I say, in closing, that our hope is in the perfect plan of God, for all that HE does is for His glory and our good, as well as the benefit of a world in need of a Savior.  We must keep our eyes on HIM and march forward in hope and confidence in The One who gave HIMSELF for our sin, that we may be useful to God as we bless others!

Blessed be God,

even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies,

and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,

that we may be able to comfort them

which are in any trouble,

by the comfort

wherewith we ourselves are comforted

of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,

so our consolation also aboundeth

by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted,

it is for your consolation and salvation,

which is effectual

in the enduring

of the same sufferings

which we also suffer:

or whether we be comforted,

it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you

is stedfast,

knowing,

that as ye are partakers

of the sufferings,

so shall ye be also

of the consolation.”   2 Corinthians 1:3-7

So, here is one of my favorite passages of encouragement; may it encourage your heart today!

But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast,

unmoveable,

always abounding

 in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know that your labour

is not in vain

in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58

May the peace and rest of Jesus rest upon you and yours!

Amen and Amen!!!

Why Are You Waiting??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 04

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 04  Why Are You Waiting???

 

I love Southern Gospel Music and there are a plethora of songs about no tears in heaven, no blindness, no deaf ears, no sorrow, and I love those songs but it seems to me that many today are living so much for what heaven holds that they are missing living for Jesus right here and now!

We are to live seeking God and His ways each day or we are missing opportunities that HE is placing before us each and every day.  God is ever working to grow us into the image of The Son, Jesus, through every circumstance in our lives.

And we know

that all things work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.”   Romans 8:28-29

As God is ever working to conform us into Jesus’ image, our part is to pursue God, His Word and His ways. Jesus tells us to seek God’s purposes not the greedy ways of the world; we are to seek God first in all things, for He has promised to provide our every need.

But seek ye first

the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things

shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow:

for the morrow shall take thought

for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day

is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:33-34

Jesus reminds us that we live in an evil world, but our focus is to be on our Lord and His will for us; we are to follow Him, pursuing Him and His will, and we can only do that consistently as we delve into the scriptures and follow the leadership of His precious Holy Spirit.  We are called to choose the good over the profane—and that is most difficult in this profane world we live in.  But God has promised to provide for those who will exercise this principle.  Jeremiah gives testimony of the need to go or halt at God’s bidding, and if we are faithful to God and stand fast for His truth, HE promises to be with us.

Therefore thus saith the LORD,

If thou return,

then will I bring thee again,

and thou shalt stand

before me:

and if thou take forth the precious

from the vile,

thou shalt be as my mouth:

let them return unto thee;

but return not thou unto them.

20 And I will make thee unto this people

a fenced brasen wall:

and they shall fight against thee,

but they shall not prevail

against thee:

for I am with thee

to save thee

and to deliver thee,

saith the LORD.

21 And I will deliver thee

out of the hand of the wicked,

and I will redeem thee

out of the hand of the terrible.”  Jeremiah 15:19-21

What terrible things are you facing today?  God promised not only Jeremiah deliverance, but He has promised to walk with us through our difficulties each and every day, if we will but seek HIS face.

Let your conversation

be without covetousness;

and be content

with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”  Hebrews 13:5-6

Here and now—not just later in heaven!  And a few more passages to encourage you today.

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.”   1 John 4:4

It’s all because of Jesus!

Being confident of this very thing,

that he which hath begun a good work

in you

will perform it

until the day of Jesus Christ:”  Philippians 1:6

And a few words of challenge and hope for us all.

Study to shew thyself approved

unto God,

a workman

that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings:

for they will increase

unto more ungodliness.”   2 Timothy 2:15-16

All scripture

is given by inspiration of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God

may be perfect,

throughly furnished

unto all good works.”   2 Timothy 3:16-17

If you would– to know truth—to heed conviction of sin/error—to yield to God’s discipline—and to receive and obey His words of righteousness—all to grow us unto spiritual maturity!

And in Jesus’ own words, we are reminded that our work on earth is to be done in HIS power, as we “abide” in our “vine”!

I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”   John 15:5

May we draw near to our Lord that HE may be seen in us—as we bring forth HIS fruit!  NOW!!!

But it is good for me

to draw near to God:

I have put my trust

in the Lord GOD,

that I may declare

all thy works.”  Psalm 73:28

May you/I be “about my Father’s business” here and now, not just looking forward to heaven (which we are to do, but not to the exclusion of the present work of God)!

Amen and Amen!!!

Let What Go??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #685

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #685      Let What Go???

 

 

Just a post this morning to perhaps offer some food for thought.  There is so much going on around us, and many are struggling to find hope, and in difficult times we often turn to the wrong people, places and things to help.  But I can assure you on the basis of The Word of God, that there is only ONE hope—and His name is Jesus—The Redeemer of all who will come to Him in repentance and faith.  Yet, God has given each one of us the free will to choose to “read …hear…and keep” His Word, or we can go our own way!

For my people have committed two evils;

they have forsaken me

the fountain of living waters,

and hewed them out cisterns,

broken cisterns,

that can hold no water.”  Jeremiah 2:13

Jeremiah also recorded more of God’s truth about our choices—are we letting go of God and His way—or letting go of the the wrong people, places and things that draw us away from the cross?

A voice was heard upon the high places,

weeping

and supplications

of the children of Israel:

for they have perverted

their way,

and they have forgotten

the LORD their God.

22 Return, ye backsliding children,

and I will heal your backslidings.

Behold,

we come unto thee;

for thou art the LORD our God.

23 Truly in vain

is salvation hoped for

from the hills,

and from the multitude of mountains:

truly in the LORD our God

is the salvation of Israel.”  Jeremiah 3:21-23

And another word from Jeremiah:

If that nation,

against whom I have pronounced,

turn from their evil,

I will repent of the evil

that I thought to do unto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speak

concerning a nation,

and concerning a kingdom,

to build and to plant it;

10 If it do evil in my sight,

that it obey not my voice,

then I will repent of the good,

wherewith I said I would benefit them.

11 Now therefore go to,

speak to the men of Judah,

and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,

Thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I frame evil against you,

and devise a device against you:

return ye now every one

from his evil way,

and make your ways and your doings

good.

12 And they said,

There is no hope:

but we will walk after our own devices,

and we will every one

do the imagination

of his evil heart.”  Jeremiah 18:8-12

Jesus proclaims clearly that HE is the hope we need, but we must come to Him in repentance and faith, then we will receive of Him all that we need.

At that time Jesus answered and said,

I thank thee, O Father,

Lord of heaven and earth,

because thou hast hid these things

from the wise and prudent,

and hast revealed them

unto babes.

26 Even so, Father:

for so it seemed good in thy sight.

27 All things are delivered

unto me

of my Father:

and no man knoweth the Son,

but the Father;

neither knoweth any man the Father,

save the Son,

and he to whomsoever

the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me,

all ye that labour

and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you,

and learn of me;

for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest

unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:25-30

I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful for the hope, grace, truth and strength that Jesus has supplied to me—and He’s also reaching out to you, if you will but let your own way “go” and cling to His cross.

Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

which according to his abundant mercy

hath begotten us again

unto a lively hope

by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible,

and undefiled,

and that fadeth not away,

reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power

of God

through faith unto salvation

ready to be revealed

in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5

 

How about you; will you be “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation”?  Or will you keep on going your own way.  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test.

Sow to yourselves in righteousness,

reap in mercy;

break up your fallow ground:

for it is time to seek the LORD,

till he come and rain righteousness

upon you.

13 Ye have plowed wickedness,

ye have reaped iniquity;

ye have eaten the fruit of lies:

because thou didst trust in thy way,

in the multitude of thy mighty men.”  Hosea 10:12-13

Amen and Amen!

Will I Pray Like Daniel??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 03

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 03   Will I Pray Like Daniel???

 

I don’t usually do an article like this, but there are times when God’s Word needs no commentary other than to ask that we do that which Jesus calls us to do in the Book of The Revelation.  And that is the question that I want to ask us today, as we consider Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.  I simply share this question with you and pray that we will get it.

Blessed is he that readeth,

and they that hear the words of this prophecy,

and keep those things

which are written therein:

for the time is at hand.”  Revelation 1:3

May we all:

Read it

Hear it

Keep it

For surely “the time is at hand”?

My heart breaks as we see around us the same hearts of rebellion and disregard towards God that Daniel saw around him; but will we identify with Daniel’s heart for his people (and us for ours) or will we be “rude—crude—and unkind” as we throw verbal rocks at those around us rather than praying for God to touch our hearts with a burden like Daniel had for revival of his nation!  I share only one other caveat about our own attitude’s part in it all.

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,

The spirit that dwelleth in us

lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith,

God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore

to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purify your hearts,

ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted,

and mourn,

and weep:

let your laughter be turned to mourning,

and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves

in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”  James 4:5-10

May we ponder these words of Daniel, seeking God’s face, and asking God to use you and me to make a difference in our world.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes,

which was made king over the realm

of the Chaldeans;

2 In the first year of his reign

I Daniel understood by books

the number of the years,

whereof the word of the LORD

came to Jeremiah the prophet,

that he would accomplish

seventy years

in the desolations

of Jerusalem.

3 And I set my face unto the Lord God,

to seek by prayer

and supplications,

with fasting,

and sackcloth,

and ashes:

4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God,

and made my confession, and said,

O Lord,

the great and dreadful God,

keeping the covenant

and mercy

to them that love him,

and to them that keep

his commandments;

5 We have sinned,

and have committed iniquity,

and have done wickedly,

and have rebelled,

even by departing from thy precepts

and from thy judgments:

6 Neither have we hearkened

unto thy servants the prophets,

which spake in thy name

to our kings,

our princes,

and our fathers,

and to all the people of the land.

7 O Lord,

righteousness belongeth unto thee,

but unto us confusion of faces,

as at this day;

to the men of Judah,

and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and unto all Israel,

that are near,

and that are far off,

through all the countries

whither thou hast driven them,

because of their trespass

that they have trespassed

against thee.

8 O Lord,

to us belongeth confusion of face,

to our kings,

to our princes,

and to our fathers,

because we have sinned

against thee.

9 To the Lord our God

belong mercies

and forgivenesses,

though we have rebelled against him;

10 Neither have we obeyed the voice

of the LORD our God,

to walk in his laws,

which he set before us

by his servants the prophets.

11 Yea, all Israel

have transgressed thy law,

even by departing,

that they might not obey thy voice;

therefore the curse is poured upon us,

and the oath that is written

in the law of Moses the servant of God,

because we have sinned against him.

12 And he hath confirmed his words,

which he spake against us,

and against our judges

that judged us,

by bringing upon us a great evil:

for under the whole heaven

hath not been done

as hath been done

upon Jerusalem.

13 As it is written in the law of Moses,

all this evil is come upon us:

yet made we not our prayer

before the LORD our God,

that we might turn

from our iniquities,

and understand thy truth.

14 Therefore hath the LORD

watched upon the evil,

and brought it upon us:

for the LORD our God

is righteous in all his works which he doeth:

for we obeyed not his voice.

15 And now, O Lord our God,

that hast brought thy people forth

out of the land of Egypt

with a mighty hand,

and hast gotten thee renown,

as at this day;

we have sinned,

we have done wickedly.

16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness,

I beseech thee,

let thine anger

and thy fury

be turned away

from thy city Jerusalem,

thy holy mountain:

because for our sins,

and for the iniquities

of our fathers,

Jerusalem

and thy people

are become a reproach

to all that are about us.

17 Now therefore, O our God,

hear the prayer of thy servant,

and his supplications,

and cause thy face to shine

upon thy sanctuary

that is desolate,

for the Lord’s sake.

18 O my God,

incline thine ear,

and hear;

open thine eyes,

and behold our desolations,

and the city

which is called by thy name:

for we do not present our supplications

before thee

for our righteousnesses,

but for thy great mercies.

19 O Lord, hear;

O Lord, forgive;

O Lord, hearken

and do;

defer not,

for thine own sake,

O my God:

for thy city

and thy people

are called by thy name.”   Daniel 9:1-19

May it be so dear Lord?  May our hearts be moved to seek Thy face?  May we truly fulfill your call:

If my people, which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,

and pray,

and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Amen and Amen!!!