Friday, May 28, 2010

I have no luck at all

I want to ask a question. How lucky are you? I mean on a scale of one to ten how lucky would you say you are? I hear this term "lucky" a lot. I have always heard this term. I have even used it myself. Or when something doesn't go the way you want it to you refer to it as bad luck. So here we have the concept of good luck and bad luck. One form being good and the other bad. I have a verse I want to share with you today.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

This verse just destroyed your concept of luck. According to this verse, it doesn't exist. Everything happens for a reason. Some things we like and others we don't like. Everything happens for a reason. So what do we have instead? We have providence. God is in control. He controls situations to the smallest detail. Think of how your body is made. According to science you are an organism comprised of cells and amino acids and a lot of other parts. According to God, you were created in His image and He gave you what you need. According to science. evolution is the accepted theory. There was this big bang thing and a bunch of goo that formed an amoeba. Now that would be lucky!! No gambling house on earth would allow you in if you were that lucky! You would break the bank!! There is no luck in gambling. The odds favor the house. It's not's math. I use this only as an illustration. Gambling is not an activity I recommend for anyone. Most evolutionists don't believe in God. I don't believe in evolution. What happened is God made you and everything you know. When you think about it...there is much more logic in that.

I read in the book of Acts about Paul and what he went through. If there was ever a case of bad luck he would have it. He was ridiculed. He had a bounty on him. He was arrested and thrown into prison. He was stoned, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake!! He did get the gospel of Christ out, didn't he? God allowed these things to happen for a reason. So many lives are still being touched this day by his ministry. Oh yes...God has a plan and He is in control. Make no mistake about it. I suppose I write this because so many people believe in chance. It is frustrating to me and I think it hurts God's feelings. I believe it really hurts Him when a Christian believes in chance situations. He loves you so much!! You are not here by chance or luck. You are someone He wants to be here. He put you here and has allowed you to have a choice. You can choose Christ and allow God to be sovereign or you can reject Him and take your chances. How lucky do you feel?

My Father in Heaven, I do praise you and exalt your name above all. I thank you for allowing me to be here and to have the choice to come to you. I thank you that there is nothing which happens by chance circumstance but you are always in control all the time. I thank you for that and I ask you would guide me and help me to choose things wisely. I pray once again for all who read this. May you encourage them and give them just what is needed for their individual situations. You know all of their hearts Lord. You know them better than they know themselves. Bless them and keep them I pray Lord. Draw them ever closer to yourself. On a personal note Lord, I would ask for the healing of my friend Debbie who is so very ill. I am giving over this matter to your mercy and love. I am expecting life over death. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

That little voice

I have felt the need to pray more lately in the form of intercession. I pray for my needs of course but I feel a special need to lift up those I promised I would pray for. Some of these people I know very well and some I don't even know personally. My wife helps me edit these posts because it is something she does well. She tells me I am a "wordy" person. I am sure some of my prayers are that way too. However, some of my prayers are just a few words long. I am confident God hears all of my prayers. I have to be careful that I not only pour out my heart to God but listen and wait for His answer.

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
1 Kings 19:11-13

In the verses above, Elijah was told by an angel to meet with God in a specific place. When God passed by all manner of things happened. He didn't find God in any of the powerful events which occurred. After all of this he heard a still small voice. God was speaking to him.

When you pray do you stop to hear that still small voice? Do you have this thought of a person come across your mind? Sometimes it is just that simple. God is so merciful. He knows we as humans lack the ability to always keep our train of thought. He also knows the things we need. He knows the needs of those you are praying for. He is God! I have tried to be mindful and take care I do not try to dominate all of this conversation. I am open and receptive to what He has to say. As much as I hate to admit it, there are times I have been less than thrilled with His answer or what he wanted me to do. Eventually I come around. It is an honor for God to be willing to use you or me for anything. I don't take it lightly. You never know what kind of blessing you will be to others if you will take the time to just listen a little. I know sometimes it makes me seem very peculiar indeed when I try to implement what He gives me. We are a peculiar people aren't we? (1 Peter 2:9) There are times someone I haven't thought about in years comes to mind. I won't even be in prayer at that time but I try to take just a moment to whisper a prayer. I believe God has put them on my mind for a particular reason and He wants me to pray for them. This still small voice is just that. A still small voice. If you ignore miss out.

One more thing before I close. If you promise someone you will pray for them...please pray for them. It only takes a moment and it costs you nothing. The rejoicing you will both do for answered prayer has its own reward. Just remember God's voice is not always that of thunder.'s a whisper.

Thank you Father for giving me the opportunity to pray. Help me to keep my eyes and my heart focused on those things which are important to you. I want to be more inclined to hear your voice when you speak to me. May all who read this be blessed in a special way today. Give them what they need and encourage them as only you can. They are such a blessing to me and I ask for blessings upon them. I thank you and praise you in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To live and not die

I wasn't planning to post today but something happened yesterday that changed that. While driving to work I was heavy-hearted. Those of you who know me also know I am prone to bouts of depression. The Lord has blessed me because I never think of doing harm to myself. I know a lot of people with depression think of suicide often. Some even attempt it. Some... succeed. When the Lord speaks to me, I do not hear an audible voice. It is more of a strong impression that comes all at once. No, I'm not psychic or clairvoyant, and I don't have a magic wand. What I do know is someone out there is thinking about ending their life right now. This is for you.

My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”
(Psalm 55:4-8)

I know how David felt when he wrote this. He cries out to God because there is no one left to cry out to. Knowing what I know about David he probably cried out to God before anyone else. David did have one important advantage right here. He knew that he and God made a majority. Anytime you add God to the equation you end up with a majority. You feel so alone and so helpless. You cry out too. Don't you? He is waiting to hear from you. He wants you to pour your heart out to Him! Hearts are His business!

Maybe you think you have had enough. You want out. You want to end it and life be over with. I have a few personal thoughts for you. First thought..don't!! I have sat with people and held their hands while they grieved the death of someone who committed suicide. I have tried to encourage and help them to believe it wasn't their fault. I always...ALWAYS!!! fall short of this goal. Such a waste. It rips their hearts out!! Since I have been in this situation a few times I finally came to the conclusion that those who kill themselves are some of the most selfish people of all. There is no consideration for those they leave behind. If there were, they would live and be there for them.

Second thought...while my depression is chronic, it does come in spells. I usually wait them out. I even fight back. Yes, I am battle scarred and walk with a limp...but I am more than a conqueror!! Jesus is so very faithful!! I posted before on this subject and you can read that here. Because I have been through depression, I have a special love for those who suffer it. In many respects it has made me a more compassionate person. If I am having a really bad time I try to rally prayer support from those who love me.

Third and last thought...the breath of life which God breathed into Adam is holy. That breath of life has been perpetuated through time till it became your turn to live. Please do not kill that holy thing of God! If you only knew how much He loves you. He wants to be there for you to guide and prosper you. He wants you to live and not die!! (Psalm 118:17) Before you do this thing you cannot undo...won't you talk with Him? It could only help and certainly do no harm.

My email is on my blogger profile if you need a human to talk to. You are welcome to use it. All I know is God loves you enough to make me pull my car over and pray for you. If He doesn't care then that's hard to explain.

Father, I come to you and ask you to reach out to the one for whom this is intended. Give them a chance to choose life instead of death. Reach into their heart and give them hope and assurance. Replace the despair they feel with joy and peace. Give them a sound mind and help them keep their eyes on you. I pray you will intervene in this situation, Lord. I have your assurance this is what you wanted me to do. I thank you for the opportunity. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When you pray...

A long time ago, before GPS and cell phones, I had a situation which needed closure. I was to meet with someone from out of state to be able to resolve some issues in my own heart. The problem was I had a street address but no phone number. Unfamiliar with the area, I wandered in circles for a while. After a while I asked:  "Jesus, lead me there." I had no doubt He would answer this prayer. In about five minutes I had this strong urge to turn down a particular road. The street I was looking for was connected to this road. I met with the person and resolved my situation. On my own, I drove around this place many times without success. After the prayer, it was five minutes. Out of all the answers to prayer I have received, this one stands out to me because of what it meant to my heart at the time.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
(Mark 11:24)

Prayer is a living thing. It is holy communion with the Creator of all things. It is communication with Him who knows you better than you know yourself. There are so many references to prayer in scripture. There is no way I can effectively communicate all aspects in this post. Today I want to focus on

The verse tells us to "believe that ye receive." How many times have you prayed thinking God wouldn't do something for you? If you approach prayer with this attitude, you are probably correct. You have to believe God loves you enough to answer your prayer. There should be no room in your heart for doubt! I want you to think of it as when you were a child. You would ask your Mom or Dad for something and all you had to do was ask. More times than not, you would be given that which you wanted. You would also be denied things that were not good for you. Not all prayers get the answer we want if they are outside of God's will for our lives. The key thought here is to believe He wants to answer you. He does. In my experience, God loves His people and He loves them to pray. How many times has God looked at me and wondered why I don't ask Him for what I need? We keep Him at arm's length when we give up and don't ask. Prayer is a wonderful gift God has given us. We should use it often! Nothing can usher you into His presence the way prayer can.

Do you have things in your life you need? Is there someone on your mind who needs something of the Lord? You can keep driving in circles without an answer or you can bring it to God in prayer. The choice is yours.

Thank you Father for hearing our prayers. I praise you for the opportunity. I ask you would continue to teach me how to pray more effectively. I thank you for all who read this and ask you to encourage their hearts and renew their minds. Help them to believe you want only good for them. Help them with their faith in what they ask for. Fill them with an intense sense of your love for them. Fill them with the joy and peace which only comes from you. I give you the glory for all that you do for them. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What are you planting?

I have always loved to work with plants. I love how you can put a seed in the ground and watch it grow over time. Roses tend to be my favorite plants but I do grow vegetables and annual flowers as well. When I was younger, I would plant a kernel of corn in the ground and watch it sprout. The corn stalk would eventually produce two ears of corn. From one seed you would get hundreds of kernels on the two ears of corn. The Bible relates our actions as sowing or reaping. Not just some of our actions...but all of them.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(Galatians 6:7)

This is such a basic truth that it often gets overlooked. In the above verse the Apostle Paul relates this passage to sowing and reaping. If you look for similar references in the Bible you will see it compared to sunshine and rain as well. (Matt. 5:45) So who does this verse apply to? The answer is that it applies to everyone. Christian and non-Christian alike. In some religions you have the concept of "karma." Your actions do have consequences. How many times have you heard someone say: "What goes around, comes around." Same concept. So this is indeed recognized as a universal truth. I believe Christians have an advantage with God to lead and direct them.

Prisons are full of people who are reaping what they have sown. We bring a lot of the bad things on ourselves with choices we have made. Perhaps we treated someone badly in the past. We reap that. We may have thought something evil of someone. We reap that too. We reap in action and deed and in the mind as well. Sooner or later it all comes to pass. Remember what I said about that kernel of corn? One seed produces hundreds. This is how I view this verse because of the context in which it is given. You could reap one to one, twofold, or even a hundred fold! I think it has to do with what exactly you have sown. I have seen people really destroy themselves with alcohol and drugs. I have seen them become Christians but they still have a lot of the health problems associated with their past life. Like I said, it applies to everyone with no respect to persons. I have also seen people miraculously healed of health problems. They still had to endure their consequences.

Before I go any further, I want to be clear about something... Sometimes we go through trials as Christians. You have to remember God will "test" his followers to strengthen them. He did this with Job. This is universal with all Christians. Remember that the testing is to build you up rather than break you down. This is a totally different concept and I don't want to bring unnecessary grief to someone going through a trial.

Two actions people make sum up why I am writing this post. Both actions reap much more than hundred fold. We can choose to accept Christ as Lord and Savior and live our lives for Him. He is faithful to help us make good choices even though we may make mistakes along the way. The other action is to reject Christ when He calls to your heart. When you really think of the seed you sow...then it baffles me why someone would turn Him down. We all have our gardens to plant. What are you planting today?

Father, I thank you for who you are. I recognize you as a just and merciful God. Help me to make good decisions in my life. Forgive me for those decisions that I have made which have fallen short of your will for me. Help me to build people up rather than trying to tear them down. May I think of the consequences each action has beforehand. Keep me always mindful of people's feelings and needs. I pray for all who will read this and ask your blessing on them. Make them aware of their actions and the consequences of those actions. I thank you for hearing me and ask these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Do Over!!

Do you remember the times you played a ball game as a kid? Sometimes the branch of a tree may block your view of the ball. Sometimes you would trip over something that shouldn't have been on the playing field. Even a playful dog could interrupt the game. "Do over!!" someone would shout and we would do that play again. Not everyone always agreed to a "do over" because their team was leading or had an advantage because of what had happened. Most times we were given a second chance. It all depended on the rules laid out before the game. As we go from childhood to adulthood, life can become more challenging and perplexing. The rules seem to change and there appears to be more gray area instead of black and white. How many times in the course of our life have we wished we could get a "do over" when things don't turn out the way we want.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22:36-40)

In the days of Jesus' ministry, the law handed down by God to Moses, set the standard of how things were supposed to be. In Genesis God gave Adam and Eve rules to live by in the garden of Eden. In Exodus, you have the 10 commandments. In Leviticus you have laws pertaining to the priesthood and other laws. The law was to show man what God required.

Holiness is not taken lightly by God. It does not require near perfection. It requires perfection! Mankind has always fallen short of this. The law showed men how far from holy they were. Centuries later, Jesus came and started to turn their religious system upside down. The leaders were afraid of how the people loved Him and the authority with which He spoke. He was perceived as a threat to all their religious customs. To this day, Jesus is the only one in history who has ever been able to keep God's law and not break it. In the above verses, one of the religious leaders tries to trap him and asks about the law. Jesus made his answer very simple and clear. He sums up the entirety of the law in a few short words.

To me, this is a miracle in itself to be able to get that much information in such a concise form. All we have to do is to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls. Then we have to love everyone the way we love ourselves. Wow! That's simple, right? I really hate to be the one to pop your bubble...but doing this is not possible apart from God. Making the law more concise didn't change the fact it's still the law. No matter our desire, we still fall short of perfection.

You see there are three types of love. Eros is a sensual type of love. Philia is a brotherly love. The type of love spoken in the verses above is Agape love. This is the kind of love God has for us. It is a sacrificial love...a holy love. Apart from Christ there is nothing holy in any man or woman except the breath of life God gave us! Sure, there are some people that are pretty nice once you get to know them. However, I really doubt they would hang on a cross for you. It wouldn't do you any good even if they did. That price has already been paid.

God in His mercy has offers us a "do over" for the condition of sin. He planned it, He made the way for it and He paid for it. God's way is for us to have forgiveness for our sins. A fresh start! A clean slate! Jesus' purpose in His earthly life was to fulfill the prophecies of scripture and to pay our sin debt with His own blood! All He asks is that we yield our heart to Him. We accept Jesus into our hearts by trusting Him and taking Him at his word. To trust in someone that you cannot see is an act of faith on your part. For those willing to take that step of faith, He will change you from the inside out. Scripture says that you become a "new creature."(2 Cor. 5:17) I know this to be the case. You don't have to worry about trying to clean yourself up to come to Him. He wants you just like you are right now! God will fill you with the love you need to love Him and to love others. He will give you peace. I cannot explain this peace. It is something you must experience.

Let me ask a question... How is it with your life? Do you feel something is missing? Do you feel an emptiness inside? Do you wish someone understood you? Well, someone does understand you. He made you! Who better to understand than your Maker Himself? He loves you very much!! He wants to give you a "do over." He will teach you the meaning of true love. He will give you what you need to live your this world and the next.

Say this prayer aloud with me and I can promise your life will never be the same!

Heavenly Father, I am a sinner. I admit this sin before you and I am sorry that I have sinned against you. I lay my life down before you and I turn away from my sin. Forgive me God. I accept the fact that Jesus died in my place because of sin. I ask for Jesus to come into my very being and I make Him the Lord of my life. From this day forward I will live for you and do your will as you lead me. Show me what you would have me do from now on. I thank you for hearing this prayer and making me your child. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

My prayer for you:
Father God, I thank you that you hear the prayers of a sincere heart. I ask that you would hold and keep the soul that has cried out to you. I ask your blessing upon them and their household. I ask you to bless all people they come into contact with. Hedge them from all attacks they encounter and lead them through all they may face. Teach them your ways and your Word. For those who read and didn't pray, I ask that you would continue working on their hearts and minds until the day they can come to a knowledge of your glory. Protect them and keep them until that day Lord. Lead them to yourself. For those who know you and read, I ask that you would bless them in abundance Lord. Encourage their hearts and renew their spirits. I give you the honor and praise for all who read. I thank you for all of them. In Jesus' holy name I pray, Amen.