Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Key to Answered Prayer!



Have you been praying about something for a long time but have not received the answer? 

Take a look at what the Apostle John said about prayer. I hope you are ready for this, it will change your life forever! 

John said, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." 1 John 3:22

Take a moment to meditate on the verse. Is your lifestyle pleasing to God? 

This is not a time for presumption and false modesty. You must be truthful with yourself. If you are living in sin your prayers will be hindered.

 Scripture says, "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear." Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV)

Scripture also says, If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. Psalms 66:18 (NKJV)

Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible explains Psalms 66:18 as the following: "If I regard iniquity in my heart - literally, “If I have seen iniquity in my heart.” That is, If I have indulged in a purpose of iniquity; if I have had a wicked end in view; if I have not been willing to forsake all sin; if I have cherished a purpose of pollution or wrong. The meaning is not literally, If I have “seen” any iniquity in my heart - for no one can look into his own heart, and not see that it is defiled by sin; but, If I have cherished it in my soul; if I have gloated over past sins; if I am purposing to commit sin again; if I am not willing to abandon all sin, and to be holy."

The Lord will not hear me - That is, He will not regard and answer my prayer. The idea is, that in order that prayer may be heard, there must be a purpose to forsake all forms of sin. This is a great and most important principle in regard to prayer. The same principle is affirmed or implied in Psalms 18:41; Psalms 34:15; Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 15:29; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 15:1-9; Jeremiah 11:11; Jeremiah 14:12; Zechariah 7:13; John 9:31. It is also especially stated in Isaiah 58:3-7.

The principle is applicable:

(a) to secret purposes of sin; to sinful desires, corrupt passions. and evil propensities;

(b) to acts of sin in individuals, as when a man is pursuing a business founded on fraud, dishonesty, oppression, and wrong;

(c) to the feelings of an awakened and trembling sinner when he is professedly seeking salvation.If there is still the love of evil in his heart; if he has some cherished purpose of iniquity which he is not willing to abandon; if there is any one cannot hope that God will hear his prayer; he may be assured that he will not. All prayer, to be acceptable to God, must be connected with a purpose to forsake all sin."

God still loves you and eagerly wants to bless you. He wants to answer your prayers but He cannot if you are living in sin, because he's concerned about your soul. 

If He answered your prayers now he would be preparing your soul for hell; because you would have no desire to to stop sinning and thus die in sin. God hates sin. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to set you free from its power.

You have been set free from the power of sin now you must live like a son or daughter of God. This will cause you to receive the wonderful benefits of Salvation

One of the prime benefits of Salvation is being able to call God father. You are now an heir of Salvation and a member of Gods' household. 

When you are a member of Gods household you have access to the things in Gods house. Imagine all of the goodies in God's house!

So the first thing to do is to confess your sins to God so he can begin the cleansing process. 1 John 1:9 says,"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Notice you do the confessing and He does the cleansing!





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cheer Up He's Calling You



My daughter has a closet filled with name brand clothing  One day last Summer she decided to clean out her closet to make room for more. I asked her to give the unwanted clothes to a young lady in the neighborhood. I hadn't officially met her but had seen her a few times as she walked to the bus stop. I thought about how excited she would be to receive the clothes, some with tags still on them!

When I saw her, we were some distance apart, so I beckoned with my hands to get her attention. After I got her attention someone else started calling her. She simply looked at me then looked away and went inside her home. She ignored me, she did not say a word or motion to say "just a moment" she went inside, totally ignoring my call.

I was surprised by her response but quickly thought about our response to God's call. So often we ignore his beckoning because the world is calling us. Like the young lady we may miss out on special blessings because we choose to ignore Him.

If she had taken a  moment just to acknowledge my call, she would have had bags of nice name brand clothing at no cost.

I wonder what kind of gifts we forfeit when we ignore God's call. Do we forfeit the gift of a sound mind, the gift of peace in troubling circumstances, wisdom to make right decisions, help to find our soul mate, help to find that perfect job, help with a wayward spouse or child, or a free bag of name brand clothing! 

Paul said, since God gave us His son won't he give us the other things we need! What do you need God to do for you? Don’t' be afraid to ask him for he's calling you.

Will you answer the call to receive eternal life and all of the other benefits and privileges we receive as heirs of Salvation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Power of Hope




Living a life filled with hope will help us live by faith and not by fear. If we view situations and circumstances with fear we may try to solve problems by implementing our own plans and ideas.  This  creates a false peace and dependence on natural hope.

Natural hope is based upon what we perceive with our five senses.The ideas and plans developed with natural hope offers a temporary solution and makes matters worse.

Supernatural hope is based on trust in the one who possess the ability to change circumstances with the words He speaks. This is the One who defied natural law over and over again. Imagine a virgin having a baby! Virtually impossible,but God!

Imagine feeding 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread! Virtually impossible,but God!
   
Imagine being dead in a tomb for four days, wrapped in grave clothes and the Son of the living God’s calls your name, telling you to come forth. You hear his voice and begin to walk. Given a second chance you bow down in humble adoration to worship the God of life. You sit and dine with family and friends at what was supposed to be a memorial service! Virtually impossible, but God!

It’s time to place your  hope in the God who loves you so much that he will defy natural law to help you. Look at the cross, and remember that Jesus died but he rose again and the same power that raised Him from the dead is available to help you do the impossible.


Monday, November 21, 2016

What the Bible Says About Prosperity




God the Reliable Promise Keeper:

Numbers 23:19 says, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

What is a Promise?

God will make good on his promises but what is a promise? Webster’s dictionary says, "a promise is one's pledge to another to do or not do something. It is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act. That which is promised to engage, to do, give, make or obtain."

God’s promises are the ground for hope and expectation!

Important Promises Regarding Our Well-Being:

John 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

3 John 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 29:9  Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

Joshua 1:7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

 Prosperity and a Biblical Worldview:

Vines dictionary says, "prosperity is successive, following in order; consecutive: It comes from making one good decision after another. And the first decision is to accept and follow Christ.  For it is in and through Him the promises are fulfilled."

Strong’s Bible Dictionary says, "prosperity is from a compound of G2095 and G3598; meaning to help on the road, that is, (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively to succeed in business affairs: (have a) prosper (-ous journey)."

Thayer's Greek Definitions says, "prosperity means to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way."

Your road or journey to a successful life is uniquely yours but God has committed himself to help you prosper and reach an expected end. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11). God loves you and thinks good things about you. You must believe He has planned to do good to you and not evil. You  must believe you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living if you only believe. 

God wants your soul to prosper. Soul prosperity leads to eternal life with him in paradise. Revelation 2:7 says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 

Yes, prosperity begins on earth in this life and lasts throughout eternity!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Faith Wins


Scripture says, the "Just" shall live by faith but what is faith? Harper's Bible Dictionary says faith is:

  • An act or state of acknowledging the existence and power of a supreme being and the reality of a divine order. 
  • The acceptance as real or true, that which is not supported by evidence of the senses or by rational proofs. 
  • An affirmative response of the will of God as revealed, especially by Jesus Christ. It is thus a compound of belief, trust, and an attitude of mind, will, or spirit.

What Jesus revealed about faith:

Matthew 9:27-29   When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."

Notice in verse 27 the men were following Jesus crying out "Son of David have mercy on us".  It appears they cried out for some time before Jesus answered them.  Albert Barnes said "they had followed him, but thus far he had not seemed to heed their cries, and he entered the house as if he did not intend to regard them - probably for the trial of their faith."

Passage break down:

But they followed him into the house. They showed a determination to persevere until they obtained what they asked.

And Jesus said to them~Believe ye that I am able to do this? - To work such a miracle. Though they had followed him and cried after him, yet he required of them an open profession of their faith in regard to his power.

They said unto him, Yea, Lord - We have no doubt of this. We came with that assurance: we have followed thee with that belief. It was on this simple profession of their faith that the miracle was performed.

According to your faith let it be done to you!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's Time to Think Yourself Happy!


In Acts 26:2 we see the Apostle Paul experiencing very trying circumstance but we discover by his own words he is not discouraged but actually finds himself to be quite happy. 

What's the key to such an attitude? The key is to keep your eyes fixed on the good things in your life. Unfortunately, the good things aren't always visible! Sometimes the good things in life are spiritual and can only be seen with spiritual glasses (the word of God).

Paul had his eyes fixed on Jesus and the benefits of Salvation. He realized his sins were many and he was happy to have them forgiven. Because Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, he had avoided the pit of hell and was granted access into God's kingdom. 

Like Paul we too can be happy if we keep our eyes on the benefits of salvation. This will keep us from worrying while God is working on our problems!

We can be happy our sins are forgiven.

Psalms 32:1-2 (NKJV)Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.


We can be happy we've been transferred out of Satan’s kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

Colossians 1:12-14 (NKJV)giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

We can be happy about being adopted into God’s family. We are members of his household!

Romans 8:15 (NKJV)For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

You are a member of God’s household. When you are member of a household you have access to what’s in the house.

Imagine what ‘s in God’s house and recall the fact that he loves you.

Remember Jesus said it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. This also includes having our daily needs met (Matthew 10:24)  . 

So rejoice and think yourself happy, for I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread!(Psalm 37:25)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are You Praying Properly?





Are you praying properly? After acknowledging who God is (your father), after asking for daily bread, and for forgiveness of sins, in faith you must talk/speak directly to the problem or situation. 

Jesus shows us how to do this in the following passage. “Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away." So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

In faith Jesus spoke directly to problems, situations, circumstances and the disciples did the same.

Examples:

Mark 9:25     Deaf and dumb spirit I command you, come out of him and enter him no more.

Luke 13:12       Woman you are loosed from your infirmity.

Matthew 8:3     Be cleansed.

Mark 5:34        Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

John 5:9          Rise, take up your bed and walk.

Acts 3:6           In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 9:40         Tabitha, Get Up.

Acts 16:18        I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of Her
                              
Acts 20:9          Don’t worry! He’s alive.