Praise Uplifts Our Hearts??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #27

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Praise Uplifts Our Hearts???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #27

I simply want to share a bit of encouragement from God’s Word with you this morning, and I pray that it will lift your heart and mind on this mid-summer morning.  God knows my heart and HE knows yours, so whatever your need or mine, may we do the best thing that we can do when we’re down—look up and Praise The Lord!!!

God is our refuge

and strength,

a very present help

in trouble.

2 Therefore will not we fear,

though the earth

be removed,

and though the mountains

be carried into the midst of the sea;

3 Though the waters thereof

roar and be troubled,

though the mountains

shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

4 There is a river,

the streams whereof

shall make glad the city of God,

the holy place of the tabernacles

of the most High.

5 God is in the midst of her;

she shall not be moved:

God shall help her,

and that right early.

6 The heathen raged,

the kingdoms were moved:

he uttered his voice,

the earth melted.

7 The LORD of hosts

is with us;

the God of Jacob

is our refuge. Selah.

8 Come,

behold the works of the LORD,

what desolations he hath made in the earth.

9 He maketh wars to cease

unto the end of the earth;

he breaketh the bow,

and cutteth the spear in sunder;

he burneth the chariot

in the fire.

10 Be still,

and know

that I am God:

I will be exalted

among the heathen,

I will be exalted

in the earth.

11 The LORD of hosts

is with us;

the God of Jacob

is our refuge. Selah.”  Psalm 46:1-11

Let’s remember—let’s be still—let’s rejoice in our God!  HE IS in control!  Don’t give up, but rather run to The One who is able to deliver us in the storm, from it, through it, or whatever it takes to grow us In HIM!

The name of the LORD

is a strong tower:

the righteous runneth into it,

and is safe.”  Proverbs 18:10

For of him,

and through him,

and to him,

are all things:

to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”  Romans 11:36

How Long Will You Wait??? Bible Ballistics:Vol. 19 NO. 10

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 10   How Long Will You Wait???

There is a story in the book of Acts that I want to touch on today, for I think it is so pertinent to the day in which we live—a day much like Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa—curious, but not really wanting to know God or have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, The Son.  Paul had answered Felix the governor of the charges brought against him by the religious leaders, and Felix, being familiar with the situation had allowed Paul to openly respond, and Paul shared Jesus with him/them, and called his accusers into account for the things they accused him of.  Let’s pick jump in and take it on through portions of Acts 24-26!

And when Felix heard these things,

having more perfect knowledge of that way,

he deferred them,

and said, When Lysias the chief captain

shall come down,

I will know the uttermost

of your matter.

23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul,

and to let him have liberty,

and that he should forbid

none of his acquaintance

to minister

or come unto him.

24 And after certain days,

when Felix came with his wife Drusilla,

which was a Jewess,

he sent for Paul,

and heard him

concerning the faith in Christ.

25 And as he reasoned

of righteousness,

temperance,

and judgment to come,

Felix trembled, and answered,

Go thy way for this time;

when I have a convenient season,

I will call for thee.”  Acts 24:22-25

And just to remind us of what Solomon said, “there is no new thing under the sun”—politicians haven’t changed:

He hoped also that money

should have been given him of Paul,

that he might loose him:

wherefore he sent for him the oftener,

and communed with him.

27 But after two years Porcius Festus came

into Felix’ room:

and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure,

left Paul bound.”  Acts 24:26-27

I think we learn something from Paul, though, even though I’m sure he knew that a little “grease across the palm” could have purchased his freedom, God had already told him that HE had plans for his travels so Paul took every occasion to share the gospel with Felix for some two years.  He didn’t give up, get tired of the rejection, and he didn’t resort to fleshly solutions.   How about us?  How about you?  Are you and I becoming “weary” in “well doing” or are you like Felix and just keep putting Jesus off.  You don’t know how long you have.

Boast not thyself of to morrow;

for thou knowest not

what a day may bring forth.”  Proverbs 27:1

To make a long story a bit shorter, Paul went through almost the same things with Festus so he appealed (as a Roman citizen, he exercised his right to appear before the emperor rather than the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem) to Caesar and in the course of events had the opportunity to speak before King Agrippa, who had heard from Festus about Paul; and it also reminds us that our opportunities aren’t ours to set.

And he said,

Therefore said I unto you,

that no man can come unto me,

except it were given unto him

of my Father.”  John 6:65

So, as we consider Paul’s encounter with King Agrippa, I think it worthy our examination of our own relationship with Jesus.  What’s your excuse for denying Him?  If you’re HIS, what’s your excuse for not serving HIM now?

But when Paul had appealed to be reserved

unto the hearing of Augustus,

I commanded him to be kept

till I might send him to Caesar.

22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus,

I would also hear the man myself.

To morrow, said he,

thou shalt hear him.

23 And on the morrow,

when Agrippa was come,

and Bernice,

with great pomp,

and was entered into the place of hearing,

with the chief captains,

and principal men of the city,

at Festus’ commandment

Paul was brought forth.

24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us,

ye see this man, about whom all the multitude

of the Jews have dealt with me,

both at Jerusalem,

and also here,

 crying that he ought not

to live any longer.”  Acts 25:21-24

To continue we see the result of Agrippa’s desire to hear Paul.  After sharing his personal testimony, Agrippa made his famous reply.  Will you stand with Agrippa in rejection or bow in repentance and faith before Jesus, and be born again?

And as he thus spake for himself,

Festus said with a loud voice,

Paul, thou art beside thyself;

much learning doth make thee mad.

25 But he said,

I am not mad, most noble Festus;

but speak forth the words of truth

and soberness.

26 For the king knoweth of these things,

before whom also I speak freely:

for I am persuaded that none of these things

are hidden from him;

for this thing was not done in a corner.

27 King Agrippa,

believest thou the prophets?

I know that thou believest.

28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul,

Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

29 And Paul said,

I would to God,

that not only thou,

but also all that hear me this day,

were both almost,

and altogether such as I am,

except these bonds.”  Acts 26:24-29

Will you stand with Paul for all of eternity IN JESUS, or will you bow before Jesus in judgment with that said wail: I was “almost persuaded…. but lost”?  I pray that you will hear the voice of God’s call and come to Jesus today!

…I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

Behold,

I stand at the door, and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

 I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20

(For he saith,

I have heard thee in a time accepted,

and in the day of salvation

have I succoured thee:

behold, now is the accepted time;

behold, now is the day of salvation.)”.   2 Corinthians 6:2

Today may be all we have.

Amen and Amen!!!

Buried In The Sea??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #26

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Buried In The Sea???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #26

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!  We got rain—a good rain last night.  Thank YOU, Jesus!!!  So, a brief word to encourage you this morning, that God’s precious physical rain is a blessing, yet there is HIS blessing of what I call “soul rain”—the renewal and joy that Jesus gives to us when we think we can’t go one step farther.  When we think we’ve ruined our lives!  When we think we have no recourse!  JESUS still changes hearts and lives TODAY!  And HE can and will change your darkness into light.  He died to forgive your sin and mine—and HE does it permanently!!!

Who is a God like unto thee,

that pardoneth iniquity,

and passeth by the transgression

of the remnant of his heritage?

he retaineth not his anger for ever,

because he delighteth in mercy.

19 He will turn again,

he will have compassion upon us;

he will subdue our iniquities;

and thou wilt cast all their sins

into the depths of the sea.”  Micah 7:18-19

When we come to Jesus for salvation through repentance of our sin and faith in Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning sacrifice, we also receive the forgiveness of our sins.  And I love what Corrie Ten Boom used to say about God casting our sin into the “depths of the sea”, she said not only were our sins cast into the sea, but God also puts up a “no fishing sign”!  Don’t let the enemy of your soul go fishing in your past—it’s just that PASSED—GONE!  Yes, we have memory, but we also have a Savior with a great big eraser that will help ease the pains of those past failures, mistakes, and sin.  He saves and FORGIVES!  They’re buried in the sea—don’t go fishing, but press on in God’s Kingdom work not regrets and fears but right thinking (a sound mind)!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power,

and of love,

and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance of the saints

in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”                Colossians 1:12-14

You are forgiven—redeemed—and a possession of the KING!  Don’t let that toothless lion disturb you, but “withstand in the evil day”—remember we win!

Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him;

for he careth for you.

8 Be sober,

be vigilant;

because your adversary the devil,

as a roaring lion,

walketh about,

seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith,

knowing that the same afflictions

are accomplished in your brethren

that are in the world.

10 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.

11 To him be glory

and dominion

for ever

and ever. Amen.”  1 Peter 5:6-11

Just remember whose you are!

There is therefore now no condemnation

to them which are in Christ Jesus,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1

Amen and Amen!!!

How Fast Are You Going??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #25

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How Fast Are You Going???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #25

As I just sat down after watering my flowers before the temperatures soar, I can’t help but thank God for HIS amazing grace, mercy, and love towards us. It’s so easy (muchly because Satan is always nudging that jealousy and discontent button when we see our friends and loved ones in cooler places—in less stressful situations than we are in—doing things we’d like to do, but can’t—you fill in the blank) to grovel in discontent when God calls us to exercise the fruit (no ‘s’) of The Spirit not just once a week as a ‘workout’, but moment by moment as we walk through each day; be it in the heat, in the sorrow of loss, in concern over economic issues, or just the demands of ‘LIFE’!  It’s not an easy task, but it is a doable way of life through Jesus!

But godliness

with contentment

is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world,

and it is certain

we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment

let us be therewith content.

9 But they that will be rich

fall into temptation

and a snare,

and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,

which drown men

in destruction

and perdition.

10 For the love of money

is the root of all evil:

which while some coveted after,

they have erred from the faith,

and pierced themselves through

with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God,

flee these things;

and follow after

righteousness,

godliness,

faith,

love,

patience,

meekness.”  1 Timothy 6:6-11

And as Paul put so aptly in many ways and places, I want us to ponder all the things that we speed through rather than taking each moment as God leads, directs, prompts, and directs; determining not to be rushed by the enemy of our souls.

I can do all things

through Christ

which strengtheneth me.”  Philippians 4:13

But my God shall supply

all your need

according to his riches in glory

by Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit

of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 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 15:1-5

Also, in my opinion, one of the most neglected passages of Paul’s today; for instead of “name it and claim it”, God responded to Paul’s prayer with “my grace is sufficient”!  Remember, “not my will but thine by done….”!

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 12:7-10

Is God’s grace sufficient for you and me?  We can find power to be spiritually successful in JESUS’ power and the work of The Holy Spirit producing the “Fruit of The Spirit” working in and through us, as we yield to HIS work, and HIS power in all we do “Moment by Moment”—no matter the circumstances!!!

But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

In closing, here’s a great old Hymn that says it way better than I can, I pray that it will encourage you today and point your heart and mind toward Jesus—every moment of every day!  Amen!!!

Moment By Moment by Daniel W. Whittle

1 Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.

 

Refrain:
Moment by moment I’m kept in his love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.

 

2 Never a trial that he is not there,
Never a burden that he doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that he doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under his care. [Refrain]

 

3 Never a weakness that he doth not feel,
Never a sickness that he cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus, my Savior, abides with me still. [Refrain]

Amen and Amen!!!

Here Am I!!! Really??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 09

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 09  A Repost of BBs #480

Here Am I!!!  Really???

Then said I,

Woe is me!

for I am undone;

because I am a man of unclean lips,

and I dwell in the midst of a people

of unclean lips:

 for mine eyes have seen the King,

 the LORD of hosts.

6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me,

having a live coal in his hand,

which he had taken with the tongs

from off the altar:

7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said,

Lo, this hath touched thy lips;

and thine iniquity is taken away,

and thy sin purged.

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,

Whom shall I send,

and who will go for us?

Then said I,

Here am I;

send me.”  Isaiah 6:5-8

Isaiah had a total transformation when he encountered God, and while most of us don’t see God in His glory at our conversion, as Isaiah did, we do receive the indwelling Holy Spirit when we are born again, when we are “washed in the blood” of Jesus!  So, when we hear the voice of God asking for one to go “in His name” what is our response?  And when we respond, what are we expecting?  Sometimes we must face the reality that ministry isn’t simple, easy, or even pleasant sometimes.  Ministry is work—it’s serving God with our all, no matter the cost, the inconvenience or the difficulty—or the response!

When we respond to God’s call, it’s not always to the task that we expected, and we may not receive the response that we expected.  I can imagine that Isaiah was surprised by God’s response to his volunteering.  What about you and me?  What is our response when God calls?

And he said,

Go,

and tell this people,

Hear ye indeed,

but understand not;

and see ye indeed,

but perceive not.

10 Make the heart of this people fat,

and make their ears heavy,

and shut their eyes;

lest they see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears,

and understand with their heart,

and convert,

and be healed.

11 Then said I,

Lord, how long?

And he answered,

Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant,                                 and the houses without man,                                                           and the land be utterly desolate,

12 And the LORD have removed men

far away,

and there be a great forsaking

in the midst of the land.”  Isaiah 6:9-12

God didn’t water down the difficulty of Isaiah’s task or the fact that he was being sent to a people who, God warned him, would not truly see, or hear, or understand the message, or the urgency of repentance and returning to God!  And that he was being sent to preach this message until God’s judgment fell—because most wouldn’t heed.  Not the fluff and ease that we often hear about today.  Sadly, the people of Isaiah’s day are much like the people around us today—they give God a measure of credence, but they don’t really want to see Him, or hear His truth, or understand that “today is the day of salvation”—yet it’s as true today as it was those many years ago!

One of my favorite prophets is Jeremiah, and the call that he received from God was such a heart-breaking one, that he was later called the “weeping prophet” because of the hardness of the people and the grief that Jeremiah experienced as he preached with such broken-hearted passion to a people who didn’t want to hear his message.  When God calls us, and sends us on a difficult mission, we are often surprised and disappointed to find it full of tears, grief, and sorrow, where there is often no positive reception or response from the “masses”.  Yet like Isaiah and Jeremiah, when we come face-to-face with Jesus, and the holiness, grace, and awe of The Almighty God, it makes a change in our hearts and lives, and we too are empowered to do God’s work, God’s way—regardless of the outcome.  The outcome is God’s job!  We are called to sow (Plant and/or water, but God gives the increase!)  —remember, the harvest belongs to God.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing,

neither he that watereth;

but God that giveth the increase.”  1 Corinthians 3:7

 “Then saith he unto his disciples,

The harvest truly is plenteous,

but the labourers are few;

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,

that he will send forth labourers

 into his harvest.”   Matthew 9:37-38

 God is: “Lord of the harvest”—it is “his harvest”!  Jesus reminds us that our focus must be yielding to God as we say, “Here am I; send me”, remembering Jesus’ words:

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

Amen and Amen!!!

May we each choose today to respond to God’s call, whatever it may be?  May we each be ready and willing to respond as Isaiah and Jeremiah did, “Here am I; send me”!

May we remember the words of Jesus, and be aware of the hour:

Say not ye,

There are yet four months,

and then cometh harvest?

behold, I say unto you,

Lift up your eyes,

and look on the fields;

for they are white already to harvest.”  John 4:35

And in closing I can’t help but think of a line from a song:

My house is full,

but My fields are empty…

…who will go and work for Me today?..

…  it seems My children all want to stay

around My table…

…but no one wants to work in My fields…..”                                             (From “My House Is Full” by Lanny Wolfe.)

Amen and Amen!!!