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Archive for September, 2011

Praying Your Spirit To Fill Every Moments In Our Lives With Grace.


Elohim, I join my brothers and sisters in agreement to commit our spirits and dreams into God`s hands by living lives of prayer and fasting, as we seek fulfillment in every areas of our lives and we trust Him for our seasons of release and blessings.

Father,  in all our lives, You have never been one minute too early or one minute too late, we pray for strength to resist the devil when tempted to question Your timing in the future, help us to remember Your track record from the past, we will rest in You and wait for Your promises and all our days, may we always that You are never and can never be late.

Heavenly Father,  we know that we lack trust sometimes in our lives, so often, we have failed to trust in You,  we beseech Thee to help us in our unbelieves and lack of trust today, give us the strength to wake each day with a new and ever – strengthening love for You in our hearts.

Giver Of Grace, Father,  we pray for grace like that of David, to choose Your truth, our hearts desires to know only Your word, we will cling to Your promises and trust in Your plans for our lives and in times of our greatest weakness, we will run to You and find Your strength and power and may we understand that the glory of the human story is that we can`t exhaust God`s mercy.

Jesus Lord, we pray for grace to  be passionately in love with our Savior today, we pray for wisdom to seek Him out today as eagerly as He is seeking us, Jesus, we eagerly seek You today and we pray that this day will not be full without Your spirit filling every moment with Your grace and power, how we love You, Lord, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

A Compassionate Heart.


And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Here, as throughout the Gospels, Jesus unveiled the compassionate heart of God to the people.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the words “mercy” and “compassion” are derived from the same word and carry the same meaning: bestowing sympathy and selfless tenderness.

Psalm 145:8 says, “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

Our Father is a God of boundless love.

It is not our faith in God’s power that brings about His wonder-working presence, but faith in His love and in His will for us: to pour out His blessing upon us.

Micah 7:18 says that He is constantly searching for those He can bless.

He is not only willing but eager to pour out His blessings on those who call Him Lord.

The Lord is eagerly seeking you out today.

Are you eagerly seeking Him out?.

Are you passionately in love with the Savior today?.

Seek Him out today as eagerly as He is seeking you.

Jesus, I eagerly seek You today.

This day will not be full without Your Spirit filling every moment with Your grace and power.

How I love you, Lord. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

When Should We Fast?.


… and humbled myself with fastingPsalm 35:13

You might be thinking, I’m willing to fast, but when do I do it?.

I would therefore like to suggest five occasions on which fasting is justifiable.

I think the first of those would be when the burden we are under is so great that we do not really have a desire for food—for this may be a hint from God that we should fast.

David experienced a time of great mourning when God smote the son born to him as a result of his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:15-16).

The second occasion that justifies fasting is when we are about to embark on a very great task for God or have to make an important decision.

At the beginning of His ministry, after His baptism, Jesus fasted (Matt. 4:2).

Maybe you need to know God’s will and don’t know what to do.

It is justifiable to fast because you need wisdom for something in the future.

A third reason is if we feel that God is hiding His face.

Perhaps we are in a rut or have known better days spiritually.

Perhaps God is not as real as we have known Him to be, and we are not sure whether we have grieved Him or whether He has just chosen to hide His face for reasons we can’t understand.

Perhaps God is hiding His face from us in order to drive us to our knees to seek Him.

The fourth occasion is when we have experienced delay in the answers to our prayers.

In the Old Testament in particular we have accounts of situations where God did not step in as it had been hoped He would, and as a result the people fasted.

The fifth occasion that justifies fasting is when we feel the need of unusual power that we don’t have, such as in the case of demon possession in Matthew 17, which was too big for the disciples to handle.

Fasting is a way of ensuring that we are completely dependent upon God and open to Him.

It seeks spiritual emptiness and cleansing, and it enables us to hear God speaking.

Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).

By R. T. KENDALL.

{ Day 273 }.


I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.

I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:30-32

David faced many external enemies, but he also triumphed over a much more formidable foe: his own heart.

He knew how to commit his spirit into God‘s hands when confronted by his own weakness.

This is one of the hardest things to figure out in the Christian walk, but to be people after God’s heart, we must.

The glory of the human story is that we can’t exhaust God’s mercy.

Our weakness never disqualifies us if we sincerely repent.

David discovered that there is a contingency for human weakness, which comes to us by God’s grace.

In his times of weakness, he ran toward God instead of away from Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, like David, I choose Your truth.

My heart desires to know only Your Word.

I cling to Your promises and trust Your plans.

In the times of my greatest weakness, I will run to You and find Your strength and power.

The glory of the human story is that we can’t exhaust God’s mercy.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Faithfulness


Faithfulness

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4

Second only to the 23rd Psalm, this verse in Psalm 37 is one of the most quoted verses in history.

Growing up, I remember my grandmother quoting it to me often.

What was her lesson to me?.

It was: Put God first and He will care for you.

Then I got older and noticed one very important word in this verse.

I noticed the word “also.” “Delight yourself ALSO in the Lord.”

Clearly, David was using this word “also” to point us to the previous verse, which says, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.”

This is when I really captured what God was relaying to us through David.

The key to our relationship with God is trust.

There is really not much we can do in life without trust.

We trust the car will make it to the destination or we would never get in.

We trust the water or we would not drink it.

We trust the air so we don’t put on a gas mask.

Absent trust, think of all the things you would not do in life.

So, how in the world are you supposed to delight yourself in the Lord if you do not fully trust Him?

Perhaps you are where I was many years ago – running from God’s will for your life.

In reality, you lack trust. Do yourself a favor and read Psalm 37:3-4 until these words become a permanent part of you.

Write them on a card and stick it on your bathroom mirror or tape it to your fridge.

These two verses hold the tremendous promise of unlocking trust for you.

For as you trust Him, your life will change for the better to the point where all you will do is delight yourself in Him.

At that point, the desires of your heart and the desires God has for you will be one and the same.

Trust God. It’s a journey worth taking!

      *                       *                      *         

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know I lack trust in my life.

So often, I have failed to trust in You.

Help me in my unbelief and lack of trust today.

Give me the strength to wake each day with a new and ever-strengthening love for You in my heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

      *                       *                      *      

    

When you read the words of Psalm 37:3-4, what is the first thing you think about?

Written by Jim Penner.

Clear and Concise.


For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and morrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Recommended Reading
Nehemiah 8

Over the past twenty years, the amount of money spent on public education has nearly doubled.

But some wonder if students are coming out of school twice as educated?.

There are so many more resources, more technology, more gimmicks to entice students to be interested in learning, yet it appears that education is still on the decline in some communities.

It seems as though all the “extras” are taking the place of clear, concise instruction.

Like many schools, some churches today are complicating the recipe for a thriving church by adopting the world’s methods for motivating people.

But what we really need is the clear, concise teaching of God’s Word.

It alone is the greatest motivational technique God gave His people.

Aren’t you thankful it’s that simple to “come alive” in Christ and gain motivation?.

And there are so many churches today that offer clear, concise Bible teaching.

We can be thankful that God has given us His Word and teachers to help us understand the Bible and apply it to our lives.

The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.

D.L. Moody

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Mark 9:1-10:34

Faithfulness.


“He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ - Luke 19:17

It is remarkable how much the Word of God makes of faithfulness – simple faithfulness.

It is not great things that God requires of us unless our mission is to do great things; He asks only that we be faithful in the duties that come to our hand in our commonplace days.

That means that we do all our work as well as we can; that we serve well in the varied relationships of life in which from time to time we find ourselves; that we stand heroically in our lot, resisting temptation and continuing true and loyal to God; and that we fulfil our mission in all ways according to the grace given unto us, using every gift and talent for the glory of God and the good of the world.

The world crowns “success;” God crowns “faithfulness.”

Jesus tells us that faithfulness in this life lifts us to places of authority hereafter.

So, then, life here is only a trial to see what we are capable of doing.

It is after all a real probation to find out who may be set over large trusts.

And the real life is to be begun in the other world.

Those who prove faithful here will have places of responsibility in the kingdom of glory.

This ought to give a new and mighty motive to our living in this world.

Our eternal honor and employment will depend upon the degree of our faithfulness here. good men and women often say at the close of their lives, “If I could only begin now, with all my experience, I could live my life much better.”

Well, if they have been faithful, that is the very thing they will be permitted to do in the next world.

A mother who had brought up a large family said: “I have just learned now how to train children.

I could do it well if I could begin it again.”

If she has learned this, that is just what Christ wanted her to learn. Now she is ready for full service in His kingdom.

Apply This To Your Life Today… !field_life_application_value

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: September 30th…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Nahum 1-3 Jeremiah 1-2-30 Philippians 1:27-2:11 Psalm 115:1-11

Thanking For All, He Did For Us In September.


Jehovah God, I join my brothers and sisters in agreement to praise You for all Your goodness, mercies, love, caring and kindness upon our lives throughout the month of september.

Jehovah Rophe, we bless You for healing our infirmities and for make us whole through the precious blood of the Lamb.

Jehovah Jireh, we reverence You for providing, supplying and granting all our needs, wants, desires and requeats throughout the month of september.

Great Protector, we worship You for protecting, saving, preserving and watching over us throughout the month, if not for Your divine intervention, our enemies, would have rejoiced over us but we magnify You for putting them to shame and disgrace.

Giver Of Divine Package, we lift Your name High, for granting us the divine package of grace, strength, power and wisdom to operate with throughout the month, Father, if not for Your intervention, we would have made a fool out of ourselves and our enemies would have been happy but we exalt You for making out the best out of nothing from us in the month of september.

Faithful God, we adore You for all You did for us throughout this month and we beseech Thee to even do far greater for us in the coming  month and may the eve of the new month launch in a new era of change and break-throughs into our lives, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Saying Nice Things about People With Whom You Disagree.


Can you say nice things about people with whom you disagree?.
On the anniversary of 9/11 I posted a nice comment on Facebook about the leadership of President Bush after 9/11.
It wasn’t a political statement, just a note of admiration.
I was surprised at how many people (many Christians) who wrote scathing things about the President.
Some were conservatives upset he wasn’t conservative enough.
Others were liberals who were convinced he was the 2nd coming of Hitler.

I think this is a shame.

I see this same dynamic when I post nice things about President Obama.

Now a few words of explanation.

I’m generally a conservative when it comes to politics.

I didn’t vote for President Obama and I’m likely to vote for a more conservative alternative in November.

I’m glad our political system gives us this choice.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things about President Obama to admire.

So from time to time I’ve posted those things.

The other day I recommended an article where he testified about his Christian faith.

Now, because I’m not God, I don’t know if the President is a true believer in Jesus Christ.

But I take him at his word.

Again this provoked all kinds of charges.

People are convinced the President is a Muslim, born in Kenya, and on a collision course to destroy America.

I don’t share those opinions.

I have been disappointed in his leadership, but  think him to be a genuinely sincere man whose policies I disagree with.

Because I have this position, I’ve heard from a number of friends and other folks who are concerned that I’m “liberal.”

One prominent conservative leader privately accused me of “moving to the center and abandoning Biblical truth.”

I freely admit that I’m not always right and that my opinions on politics and other stuff is as flawed as the next guy.

But I wonder if Christians have forgotten the Christ-like ability to love and admire people with whom they disagree.

This isn’t confined to the political realm.

It happens in the evangelical world.

Mention the name of a prominent Christian leader in certain circles and you’re likely to hear a laundry list of all that person is doing wrong in their ministry.

I think we need to consider a few things here, in light of Scripture:

Complimenting someone’s character is not the same as agreeing with them completely on every issue.Every soul is created in the image of God, even if they are fallen.

Part of living out our faith is loving people enough to find the good things about them, even if they are hard to find.

Our highly-charged polarized political culture forces us into “sides” but as Christians we should resist this.

We can hold to our political positions or theological positions firmly without compromise and still be winsome and warm and respectful to those on the other side.

We can also do this in real life among regular people whose lifestyle or personality rubs us the wrong way.

We can affirm and respect leaders without swallowing everything they teach or espouse. The Scriptures are pretty clear that leaders hold their positions because ultimately God placed them there (Romans 13:1).

It’s okay to be dissatisfied with leadership and want a new direction.

But overwhelmingly the New Testament urges us to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3), honor them (1 Peter 2:17), and obey them (Hebrews 13:17).

This is not some optional thing for the more “soft” Christians.

This is commanded of every believer who takes seriously the call to live out their faith.

Jesus overturned the money-changers but that doesn’t mean you should. Every time I speak about praying for and respecting leaders with whom we disagree, I get the “But Jesus overturned the money tables in the temple.”

Yes, Jesus did this and no, Jesus wasn’t the soft, effeminate liberal some make him out to be. But anger wasn’t the predominate response of Jesus throughout his ministry.

And Jesus had gospel and kingdom motivations to overturn the tables.

Your hacked off Facebook post about the President, I’m pretty sure, doesn’t fit this category.

Most often our anger arises from our fleshly and worldly impulses.

And remember that Jesus was bipartisan.

Among his twelve chosen disciples were Matthew, a despised politician/tax collector and Simon, a zealot who advocated the overthrow of Rome and probably despised Matthew.

There is a strong Biblical history of believers kindly respecting and serving wicked leaders. Nehemiah, Daniel, and Joseph all served very pagan, wicked kings.

These are just three examples of many.

I’m pretty sure the worst political leader in our current system would pale in comparison.

Consider their examples, how these men of God stood firm for biblical truth without making it personal, how they respected and loved leaders with whom they disagree.

We can all learn from this.

We should live at peace with all men. Romans 12:8 says, as much as possible, we should “live at peace with all men.”

This is rather convicting, because I’m prone to arguing my point until the other side cries “uncle.”

But this verse reminds us that, when we can, we should seek peace in our relationships.

Let’s face it, we all have differing opinions on politics, church methodology, etc.

It won’t be possible to always have peace in a world of fallen men and women.

However, we, as Christians, should work hard to promote peace.

This may mean we think twice about posting an inflammatory comment on Facebook about a public figure we don’t like.

It may mean swallowing hard when a friend compliments somebody you despise.

It may also be, as Christians, that we promote a tone of civility and love even in the rough-and-tumble of the public square.

We should ask ourselves, are my opinions alienating people who might disagree and are they clouding the gospel message? 

We should not be conformed to this world. We make a difference by being different.

We have to remember that we are first Christians, then everything else.

The world wants to conform us to its mold, to lure us into the snarky, mean , angry opinion-making that characterizes much of public discourse.

And often we Christians excuse our behavior as “well the other side is worse.”

or “That’ just politics or business or whatever.”

But we are Christians.

Sometimes we say nasty things because our position is being attacked, often unfairly.

But again, this is an opportunity to demonstrate Christlike love.

Peter reminds us, in 1 Peter 2:18-20 that responding in love to unfair treatment is a terrific opportunity for gospel witness.

The few Christians in public life who have the strength to do this are a wonderful witness to the world.

This is not a sign of “being soft” it’s a portrait of the gospel.

By Daniel Darling.

Rob Bell Not the First Megachurch Pastor to Step Down.


(RNS)–For pastors with ambitions to reach huge audiences, there’s often no better platform than the megachurch, which has given rise to powerhouse media empires from T.D. Jakes to Max Lucado to Joel Osteenand many others.

But some high-profile pastors are opting to leave congregational ministry altogether to pursue publishing and other media ventures full time.

And that, some observers say, carries its own risks and rewards.

On Thursday (Sept. 22), up-and-coming pastor Rob Bellannounced he’s leaving Mars Hill Bible Church inGrandville, Mich. in December.

Bell’s best-selling book,Love Wins, raised more than a few eyebrows with the premise that hell doesn’t include eternal torment.

Now he’s moving on.

“Our founding pastor, Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience,” the church said in a statement.

Bell’s resignation makes him the latest in a string a celebrity pastors who have said goodbye to weekly sermons, potluck dinners and other staples of church life.

“A New Kind of Christianity” author Brian McLaren, “Crazy Love” author Francis Chan, “Deep Church” author Jim Belcher and the popular British Bible scholar N.T. Wright have all left their church leadership positions in recent years.

Having left high-profile pastoral roles, these big-name pastors have become prolific publishers.

But not all evangelicals are convinced the gospel is well-served when pastors trade a local flock for a global one.

Within hours of the Mars Hill announcement, best-selling author and Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren was on Twitter, saying pastors who leave churches have less impact and no base for credibility.

“Speaking tours feed the ego = All applause & no responsibility,” said one Thursday tweet from Warren.

“It’s an unreal world.

A church gives accountability & validity.”

It’s not uncommon for megachurch pastor-authors to consider leaving church leadership, according to Rick Christian, president of Alive Communications, a Colorado Springs, Colo., literary agency that represents megachurch pastors.

At a certain point, some feel more like a CEO than a shepherd, Christian said, and can be tempted to leave the headaches behind — especially when they’re making good money from royalties.

But he encourages them to go slow and remember that “there’s something inherently great about the accountability that comes with” leading a congregation.

Authors who leave that world incur new risks, he said.

“You can have somebody who leaves for the wrong reasons and becomes a lone ranger,” Christian said.

“They’re just running and gunning for the Lord on planes, in hotels, zipping around at 30,000 feet.

You can lose touch very quickly.”

Others agree parish life keeps communicators grounded.

Elaine Heath, associate professor of evangelism at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, noted a long history of leaving the parish for wider outreach opportunities — even Methodism founder John Wesley gave up a settled pulpit to be an itinerant preacher.

But in today’s world, she said, book tours and online virtual relationships are not enough to sustain a pastor’s moral authority.

“Sometimes God calls someone like Brian McLaren to a `global parish,’” Heath said.

“What I need to know in order for such a person to remain credible, is that they are still part of a local faith community with whom they pray, worship, and serve in ministry. …

Nothing can take the place of flesh and blood community.”

To be sure, many megachurch pastors still find value in sustaining congregational ties.

Lucado, for instance, earns his living from various publishing ventures and the royalties on more than 80 million books sold, but he still serves without salary as minister of preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.

“From a business standpoint, I just think there is a grounding that happens in the local church,” Christian said.

“It’s not for everybody.

Seasons can change; callings can change. But if you’re called in (to church ministry), make sure you’re called out for all the right reasons.”

c. 2011 Religion News Service. Used with permission.

Publication date: September 26, 2011

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

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