Sunday, April 26, 2015

THE PARADIGM OF THE NEW

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thingnow it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert". (Isaiah 43:18-19)
The promises of God are yes and amen and true and will never fade away.  Jesus Christ, the Creator of ALL things, is the same yesterday, today and always. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is the Image of the Invisible God, the First Born of All Creation...begotten but not created. He considered equality with God not a thing to be grasped but humbled Himself to be born as a baby to a corrupt and filthy generation. Before His brief time on earth, He brought Isaiah up to the Throne Room who immediately realized his unworthiness. Still even though we - you and I - are like Isaiah and a people of unclean lips in a foul society run by evil men and women, He uses us. 

Jesus Christ sends out the call "Who will go for Us?" Who indeed?! Not one of us, on our best days are worthy to shine the brass sandals on His Holy Feet, yet He stands at the right Hand of God when one of us is martyred for His Name (Stephen in Acts 7 ). Who will go for the Lord? We will. He has no one else. We are His people. We who are called by His Name are His elect. He was born for us. He was born to reconcile us to God. He was born to make things new! He said so in His Word.


The Apostle Paul, who was taught by the Savior, whose followers he killed and jailed previously, said in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation...behold all things are now new". The amazing thing about becoming a new Creation in Christ is that it can happen in deep depressing depths of winter to the bright days of summer or the beautiful blossoming Spring.

The Savior bids us go back to His promise in the lead verse above from Isaiah 43:18-19 to forget the past and not dwell on our sins and past transgressions, iniquities and sins against Holy God, but focus on what He is doing - as the God for all Seasons. What Abba Father, through the Son is saying is the "new thing springs forth", is God taking our dead in the water flesh and souls we were. which were absolutely and completely useless, unproductive, fruitless and of no use, even to other people - and making a NEW Creature out of us! In essence He has taken us to a new height which we could never attain on our own, or even knew we wanted! 


Then knowing that God is doing this new work of rejuvenation in our lives, He is asking us "do you not perceive it...can't you see it, acknowledge it, understand it or know it"?! It is a rhetorical question! He knows that after this rejuvenation, like then one when the Spring snows turn to green grass and blossoms, the lights He put there will eventually come on. 

This is all His Work.  This is our Great God making a way in the former dry, dead barren wilderness of our lives! Things we never noticed before - creation, evidence of the Flood and young earth, God's Hand in the affairs of mankind or even the signs of the evil times - we start noticing. This is because He has made  "a way in the wilderness" to lead us to the fertile ground. 

This fertile ground is His Kingdom, which knoweth no end! This Kingdom is an oasis, thus sayeth the Lord!  He made a new thing and did something which no sudden rare wadi or rainstorm in the desert can do - He put rivers in the dry deserts of our lives. Our great God says of rivers and streams in the desert that those whom He has chose, the man or woman who walk in His Ways, learn and live His Word and Worship Him will be "like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season" (Psalm 1:3a). This is the paradigm of those whom God has renewed, if we are willing, submitted, committed and most of all - forgiven.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MODERN DAY EPHRAIMITES? - WESTERN CHRISTIANITY & COMING JUDGMENT

A stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God. The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law. (Psalm 78: 8a-10)

This passage, in context, from Psalm 78 describes the Tribe of Ephraim. God
Himself was angry with Ephraim, one of the tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel which sold out to false pagan gods until they were finally wiped off the map by the Assyrians. Hosea 5:9-10 says "Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure...on them I will pour out My wrath like water". People in the west, who have 3-10 dusty bibles in their houses have no clue what any of this means. Even so, the question most people of Christian-life faith would have is "what does any of this 'Ephraim' stuff have to do with me, anyway?"

As we will, right as rain, find out on Judgment Day, it has everything to do with us. We are a people born for such a time as this, when the possibilities and potential of reaching the 'ends of the earth' are greater than they ever were. The Apostles and disciples from Bible-writing days would have longed to see days like these. These are times when we have Bibles galore in all forms - electronic; audio, video, book form, even magazine form. We have super-star multimedia ministries all over the place. Rock star preachers and "worship singers" and television empires masquerading as ministries all over the place. Still, the Body of Christ, in what was once the most Christian nation in the world - the United States is feckless, reckless and void of any passion, courage, knowledge or biblical discernment. We don't pray, study the Word and worse, those who know the Word of God and even spout platitudes to their millions of viewers worldwide weekly, would NOT even stand up for ANYTHING at ANY TIME. 

The number of church leaders and clergy who stand for righteousness outside of the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and some Independent Bible (John MacArthur etc.), Assemblies and non-denominational churches may number less than 20% of the church in America. Credit men like SBC president Drs. Ronnie Floyd, Johnny M. Hunt, Robert Jeffress and power evangelists like Franklin Graham and Greg Laurie for standing up for Jesus, regardless. Christians around the world are being dehumanized and religious cleansing is happening over and over before our eyes, yet, apart from these courageous men, not one word of encouragement, or prayer or concern from the guys with the big national Christian TV shows etc. who have the reach and influence to ask millions to pray for Iraqi Christians, or the families of those left behind when Christian villages are burned in Nigeria or people are thrown into the Mediterean by the 'religion of peace', because they were praying to Jesus, the Savior of the World. The silence from those who can do something about it is deafening and in this way, they are exactly like the Ephraimites of Psalm 78:9. God has equipped them with everything at His disposal. The church in America and the west could not be more blessed with riches, buildings, electronics, comfort and good food. Yet, we do nothing with it. We pack up our picnic baskets, dust off the blanket, say we would "pray for ...(fill in the blanks), never do...and walk over to Starbucks for a latte. God help us.

It is time to stop writing books about "Your Best Life Now" and starting preaching repentance, prayer and perseverance of the saints. Any real Christian knows our best life is not NOW, but the one to come!!! 

It is time to stop worrying about $65 million state of the art jets and $5000 suits and start reading the Book of Romans to get your mind back on the sinful nature of man, and why Grace is all we need and actually have.
It is high time to stop being ashamed of the Gospel as if it is something to be twisted and manipulated to conformed to the corrupt debased culture of the day.
it is also high time to stop worrying about what political leaders ought to do because why are we surprised when lost people act like lost people? We need to worry about what WE are not doing for which we will answer one day!

Should we ignore the warning, which Hosea went on to give to Israel in Hosea 6:1-2, the church in general will face a terrible time when the Books are open on the "day of Rebuke" (Hosea 5:9). There is still time, but it will require the men and women of God, who are all in for Jesus in these last days, to stand up and say:
1 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has [a]wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,

Like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

SPEAK LIFE: LESSON 8 - PRAY IN JESUS' NAME. Part 3

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. (John 16:24)
We have heard the following many times, and have even said or thought the same ourselves that "God does not hear me, care about me or answer my prayers". This statement is not true at all, in light of Scripture and the protocols of Abba Father, Who hears all His Children and processes in His own time and according to His own holy Will!. 

CONDITIONAL:
It is understood that we are positioned to be praying to the Father, in Jesus' Name through our adoption as His sons and daughters (based on John 1:12). Therefore, we are authorized to approach the Throne of Grace for His Grace, Favor and Mercy in all things, according to His purposes. This key verse in our journey to understanding the "Power Prayer Life" from John 16:24, gives us the condition. This condition is similar to a math equation: if you add one plus one, you will get two!

It is this simple, ask IN FAITH (knowing that God only hears the prayers of the righteous, and those asking for His forgiveness and salvation) and thou shalt receive. Therefore, this equals peace, joy, contentment and victory in Jesus! To fully grasp this what this joy really is, please understand that praying in the Name of Jesus is not a chant, mantra or formula for yours or mine own selfish pursuits, but a powerful and humbling realization and acknowledgement that we are nothing, can do nothing and deserve nothing UNLESS we are in the Presence of the Name above All Names! This is the true conditional status of the intercessors, prayer warriors and just plain old Christian like you or I who pray daily (or several times per day) to the Father!

In My name - means just that! It means we are praying as directly commissioned by Him, to seek His presence and intervention for our prayer requests. Please do not neglect or misunderstand what this truly is. This is the Creator of ALL things, paying direct and close attention to seemingly insignificant people like us! Who am I that the King would bleed and die for (as they song says) and then when He returns to His throne after the Ascension, send His Spirit to live in those He saves.....THEN LISTENS TO OUR PRAYERS??!! Who are we indeed? Blessed and more fortunate than we can ever imagine is the response!

Your joy may be made full - This is truly an amazing statement by God the Son! He simply says "ask in My Name....and your joy will be complete"! The true meaning of this is both amazing and even unfathomable. The original word "Joy" here is "chara" or "xara" and means, in essence, that the awareness of the Heavenly Favor of God will be so present in your own spirit that the resulting joy and exuberance in your spirit will want to cause you to leap, jump and dance for joy in your heart. It exemplifies the presence of God's goodness in the life of the Christian which, if the Christian is properly submitted and committed to the Will of Christ, will burst forth and show all over his/her countenance.  This, my friends, is the condition we find ourselves if we are prayerful obedient servants who seek the very Face and Presence of the Master, as much as we can, during each day!

GOD'S RESPONSE:
Does God owe us a response? In general, God owes us nothing, but because of Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross, He has given us everything and that includes access to the Throne through prayer! He has promised us, when we pray like this, in the Name of His Son? Yes He does and those promises can ALL be found in His literal, inerrant and Holy Word. 

He says in John 15:16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." Regardless of anything else, that very fact - that GOD HIMSELF CHOSE US. This means everything and like any good parent, the Father listens to and responds to us!

The Bible also says in 1 John 5:14 "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." After knowing that our Father has chosen us, how can we help NOT having confidence? The wonderful thing about being saved and called a child of Christ is we inherit eternity. An upcoming post will discuss what eternity really means - past, present and future. 

This inheritance is more than just the blessed hope of living in anticipation of a future heaven. It is about living in the NOW, with confidence (as the verse tells us), that we can appropriate every aspect of our lives to His safe keeping as no one cares for as God does! Praying in the Name of Jesus is not just a stock ending to a prayer we are supposed to "say" or "mumble" like some pagan mantra. It is the sole and exclusive privilege of the blood-bought son or daughter of Christ, and thus God the Father, who knows the Heart of the Father and how He loves us. It is therefore, this love, which compels us to boldly approach the Throne of Grace, in Jesus' Strong and Powerful Almighty Name, in humility and but with confident hope - that He would do what He said He would. Amen. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

SPEAK LIFE: LESSON 7 - PRAY IN JESUS' NAME. Part 2

Prayer is an imperative from the Lord Himself and no Christian life is complete without it. The Lord Jesus said the following in Matthew  6: 5 “And you, WHEN you pray…..”. In Matthew 6:6 He said “But you, WHEN you pray…” and in Matthew 7 He also said “And WHEN you pray…”. Previously He said in Matthew 6:9 “In this manner, therefore, PRAY” (All emphasis mine). There are no “if’s”, “maybe’s” or….”do this only when you feel like it” in these major portions of the most significant teaching from the Lord Jesus – the Sermon on the Mount! In fact, He goes on to endorse fasting, in verse 19, something which many people also ignore today, unless it is for a medical procedure or something.

All of these imperatives or commands from Jesus stand true today, as it did when He said it. Jesus Christ, the Same – yesterday, today and tomorrow. So the foundational truth is we are to pray. But not just this,  the under-girding of the Christian’s prayer life and those the main truth is, “on what authority or under WHOSE authority” are we authorized or even qualified to pray?  Three things come into play when we consider the ordered measure of the Power Prayer Life which is expected of us, by the Father. 

Conversely, can you still be a Christian and not have an active, meaningful fulfilled prayer life?  Yes, and that proves itself as the permanent state of the western Christian church. The percent of prayer warriors in the average church is less than 3% after all the factors are swept out of surveys. Even less churches in the west conduct prayer services. One church leader did away with a monthly Wednesday night prayer service after two such separate hours of prayer, because he was concerned that the average 15% of the Sunday crowd would stop coming to his Wednesday night bible study. Stories like this are multifold everywhere. It is different in the persecuted countries like China, India, Pakistan all of the islamic nations, where Jesus is all our brethren there have. 

Therefore what are the pillars of the Authentic Prayer Life of the Believer, who MUST pray in Jesus' Name to be heard? I will go through several steps in this post and the next part of this most critical part in the Believer's Life.


1. QUALIFIED:

We are qualified, authorized and commissioned to pray "IN JESUS' NAME" for this reason: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12). This word in this verse - "RIGHT" - is exousia, or the Power and Authority of Heaven. Thus, as we are now true adopted children of the Father, we have the duty, right and responsibility to come to Him, just as we did with our natural parents. The same is true with our own children, who have access to us as THEIR natural parents.  When our own kids go out in the world, whether they are aware of it or not, they represent us and are going under the banner of our family name. Therefore their conduct ought to reflect that truth. In essence, we are Ambassadors of Prayer. As His Ambassadors, we represent the King of Kings and are duly authorized to go back to His Throne for further instructions or for comfort and more.  Daily communication with "headquarters" is recommended to keep the flow of information, the friendship and relationship on firm fluid footing so we are functioning on all cylinders while on Kingdom business! Anyone who calls him/herself an ambassador and does not recognize or wish to acknowledge or even care to use His Name, should examine him or her self to see whom they are really representing!

2. POSITIONAL:
Because of our right standing as a true child of God, through re-birth, salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are now in the following position: In Matthew 21:22, Jesus said "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, IF you have Faith

This is amazing. In Scripture, language, the tense of a verb and the original word actually spoken are of EXTREME significance.  This is why the translation of the Bible you read is so important. God is serious about His Word and any modern cultural fad which takes it upon itself to alter or dumb down His pure word will be held up to His Judgment one day.

- Whatever: this really means whatever or as great as any prayer request or petition you have - He will listen. That includes prayer for your relative to recover from cancer; for a young child to find her first job; for your safety on a business trip on a snowy day or for the funds to pay for the new brakes you have been needing on your car. Whatever it is - God knows and will provide.

- Ask: the original word: 'aiteo' implicitly implies the seeking of a response of an inferior person (us, mankind) from the Superior (Creator God, our Father). Would we ask a lost person to help us in finding a good commentary on understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes? Would we ask the butcher at the Shop and Stop grocery store to discern the effects of a statin drug on our cholesterol caused by eating too many cheeseburgers with bacon? No, we, who seek favor and answers and critical help go to the Only One Who can help us. This would be the Almighty God of the Universe, through Christ our Lord. 

- In Prayer: In this positional status and under the old paradigm (pre-Calvary and the Cross); the Synagogue was the main place of prayer. The Jew out in the fields or who had no access and needed to pray, had to find the nearest stream and wash himself before approaching the Lord. Since the Cross, death, burial and Resurrection of Cross, we who are saved by His Name, His Grace and forgiveness now carry the temple in our bodies. The Holy Spirit is embedded in our spirit as the guarantee of that so great a salvation, so He has made us this temple. 
Secondly, because the Spirit (Who is God the Third Person), requires spiritual cleansing, also known as Repentance. Just as you need Repentance and to be saved, you and I need daily cleansing and repentance to be sanctified. Do not listen to those who say you can live as you wish and that will be alright with God, because you said a prayer once and therefore you're a Christian! You and that person will be accountable one day before God - if there is no repentance. Status of the praying person is prime and this is a qualifying attribute, or petitions may receive scant attention.

- You will receive: The literal meaning of this world, which the English translators missed is "actively lay hold of to take or receive". Here is where the believer who prays may get discouraged. How many times have we heard "God did not answer my prayer" or "God does not like me" or "Where are you God, why aren't You listening"? We have all done a version of that, at some point in life. What is note-worthy here, is that if the answer or result does not come for your prayerful petition right away, well, then take hold of this! That is, as a dutiful authorized ambassador and child of the Savior, grab it, own it and keep going back to the Lord in prayerful submission and prayer. This is an ACTIVE verb. God owes us nothing, but through Grace, He has given us EVERYTHING, we do have to work out this growth as a believer. So what Jesus is saying here is "grab the issue", take hold and go to prayer. The persistent prayer warrior who perseveres always has the Ear of the King, Who is merciful, just, loving, kind and generous. He will listen and respond when the time is best for us.

- If you have Faith: If you and I are confident and persuade in the Saving Power of Christ to rescue us from an eternity of fire and hell, why should we not have the same belief and confident faith that He would do as He says? In this context, the pre-condition or qualifying word is this one - "believing or if you have faith".  To avoid wasting words, what this simply means is - "we must believe in order to receive"!

This is the main thing. We have the authority, we positioned to prayer, now what are the conditions and what does God say His response will be....if we ask, in Jesus Name, amen. This will be addressed next.

Monday, April 6, 2015

SPEAK LIFE: LESSON 6 - PRAY IN JESUS' NAME. Part 1

"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14.
There is ceremonial prayer and then, there is actual prayer. Ceremonial prayer
is similar to the account which the Lord Jesus Himself gave when He told of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector both praying in the house of worship. He said in
Luke 18:11: ""The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector." Then in verse 13, we read: "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'

The difference between the two men:
- The Pharisee prayed to Himself.
- The Tax collector cried out to God in repentance.

Across the spectrum, and I have even heard this in some churches while visiting - many are refusing to pray "In Jesus' Name". American Military Chaplains were ordered to stop praying biblically over a decade ago. A well known-evangelist was visiting the White House a long time ago, and told not to pray likewise during a high-profile prayer service. Another well known pastor/teacher from Dallas was invited to open a city council meeting with prayer, then told not to pray in "Jesus Name". He knew he would never be invited back after accepting and went in there, preached the full Gospel of Christ, and left. The liberal senate of a Mid-western statehouse is making local pastors sign documents stating they will not pray non- sectarian prayers (which means, no Christian prayers in Jesus Name). One pastor got up in front of his church and recounted that, told how he refused to sign it and they ran after him to come back "this time". Any "pastor" who signs that document has not only denied Jesus Christ, but will face Judgment from God from that act of valuing corrupt men rather than Holy God....and on and on.

So why does it bother the world systems that someone would pray in Jesus' Name? They would not dare tell moslems not to mention their prophet or a Buddhist etc...but somehow, the Name of the Good Shepherd stirs up something in those who are of the kingdom of darkness. The reason is multi-fold. Over 2000 years since He was born according to prophesy, Jesus occupies the time period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve (Christmas). Only a few short months later, an equally hated group - the Jews, celebrate Passover which means Good Friday and Easter/Resurrection Sunday are here.  Lately, more and more Bible series and movies have saturated the airways as the prime focus of the civilized world is JESUS! He is EVERYWHERE (and He IS actually EVERYWHERE...."the Eyes of the Lord runneth to and fro across the whole earth, on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him- 2 Chronicles 16:9)

No wonder they don't want real Christians to pray in His Name! The devil could not tempt Him. Sure Judas and the fickle betrayed Him. But the Pharisees could not stop Him. Pilate wanted to free Him. The grave could not hold Him. Death did not conquer Him. The demons flee from Him. The dying turned to Him (the Thief on the Cross). The Romans tried to eradicate Him by sending His followers to the lions. The caliphs of 1000 years ago could not wipe them out either. The dark ages and corrupt Roman churches could not stop His Word from getting to the masses. Tynedale, Wycliffe, Hus and others gave their lives for Him. His followers - we Christians - started the hospitals, schools, universities, homeless missions and other things which define compassion and civilization. The books written cannot describe Him. Movies cannot define Him. The rich, powerful and pagan deny and decry Him, but the faithful deify Him.  He is the Lord of the Universe, the Commander in Chief of Heavens' Armies and we know....and even the pagans know, He is coming soon to take back His Creation and rule with His saints - those who are saved.

Now, do you wish to know why today's temporary rulers are commanding believers not to pray "In Jesus' Name"??!! Well?! But enough about them! What about the Faithful? How do we learn about the power of His Presence and His Name? How do we approach Him in prayer and what is the Biblical foundation for the true Christian to ask in the Name of Jesus? We will examine this in some detail, in Part 2.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SPEAK LIFE: LESSON 5 - WATCH AND PRAY

"Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:42
In a world of distraction, dysfunction and discombobulation, it is no wonder a vast majority of people are in a constant state of emotional depression.  The world systems have everybody right where they want them, with their eyes completely away from the prize and occupied with mindless pursuits.  The increasing-by-leaps-and-bounds use of electronics and streaming entertainment leave almost no time in a person’s day for anything but the pursuit of pleasure, leisure with epicurean delights thrown in for good measure.  It used to be that only seniors in the twilight of their years would say “time went faster, the older one gets”. This is not true anymore. More and more people are complaining there is not enough time to do what THEY wish as well! So many hours per day are taken up in watching products of the secular world, in passivity, that the activity which benefits is absolutely overlooked.

Watching the calendar for the occasional “religious” holiday like Easter/Resurrection Sunday seems to be sufficient for too large a population in western civilization, where the appearance of being “Christian” is more respectable than anything else. But Jesus Christ is calling us to something more intentional, personal and everlasting than the temporal. His directive to the disciples (and thus, to us) is simple but profound. “Watch and Pray” mean complete engagement with not just the spiritual heart tuned into God, but with every facility.  Here is where the Greatest Commandment comes into play: “You shall love the Lord your God with ALL (emphasis) your heart, soul and mind”.

Watching and Praying required the entire person or “extreme” engagement. For instance, our hearts could be right with the Lord – completely. Yet if we’re sitting there doing something as harmless as drinking coffee ….or even having soft classical or hymnal music in the background playing, we are really not totally engaged in intercession. He demands 100% of us. That’s another reason to have eyes closed, television OFF, computer on screen saver and every distraction removed. Satan is the master of distraction, distortion and dissolution of our spiritual resolution.

“WATCH”:
With all your senses fixed upon Yahweh, the Great I am. Be ready to press in eyes, ears, voice and even touch. There is a huge reason for this- the Fear of the Lord. Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 12:13 the following: “let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man”.

This is how we walk it out and apply the Word to daily living. The condition which enables this ability is defined by what may seem like a paradox to most. This is “daily dying to self”. In the natural, dying to self that one may live, makes no sense. It should not – to the lost and perishing.  But this attribute of Biblical discipleship is what enables the true believer to be on the alert and become eternally vigilant, so we can “watch”.  Daily dying to self is the daily renewal of our faith and trust in God, through Christ, and walking in that truth ALL DAY LONG, even when surrounded by the things of this world. The foundation of such a paradox as “dying to live” IS found in the above verse from Ecclesiastes 12. Only someone who fears the Lord (in the way He desires) and keeps His Word, can then proceed to “die and then live”!

“PRAY”:
Because we are not “falling down on the job”, or even sleeping (due to our vigilance), Christ wants us to keep praying. Those of us who strive to walk closer and closer to Christ and be empowered by the enabling of the Spirit’s magnificent work in us,  know the drawer and even disabling work of temptation.  We do not go out looking for trouble as a rule, but sure as rain, trouble finds us.  The most deadly temptation are those which appear suddenly and give you almost no time to thoughtfully react. Here is where every resource and bit of biblical knowledge and integrity comes into play.

There are only two choices. Choice Ais the one the Bible selects for us.  Simply put, in times of temptation – flee! Or in modern English – turn and run the other way! This is not cowardice. This is “Bible”. Choice B is standing there and negotiating with the serpent like Eve did. The latter will not end well, the former (flee, run etc.) will result in the Mighty Hand of God’s Protection over you.  It takes a watchful “warrior” to discern, discover and dash out of there when temptation stares one in the face.  This watchful warrior is a Worship Warrior! Dying Daily to Self does that to a man or woman of God. We embody both the spirit and the substance of what the Christian walk means and thus, its fuel. The fuel is the Word of God and “prayer without ceasing”.

When we were saved, we were not called to a picnic, or a walk in the park. We were not even told that we will prosper in wealth and health. The current age and temporal circumstances require that now, more than ever, we remain on constant alert. It also requires that we become Watchmen on the Walls of our homes, communities and churches. We can only do that through prayer. The Lord of Hosts, is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Those whom He has enlisted represent the only army where weapons are words – words of prayer and the Word of Almighty God! Amen. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"THE I AM STATEMENTS OF JESUS CHRIST" - PART 2

The book of John has Seven of the Great "I AM" statements of King Jesus, the Lord of the Universe - your Lord and my Lord and Savior. In Part 2 of this PLUMBLINE program, we look at the rest of the story. The great author/commentator Warren Wiersbe had a great exposition of the I AM statements of Christ and I exhort you to read them here, along with watching this program:

SEVEN "I AM" STATEMENTS FROM THE BOOK OF JOHN
1. The Bread Of Life
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)
2. The Light Of The World
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

3. The Gate
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

4. The Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

5. The Resurrection And The Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

6. The Way, The Truth, And The Life
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

7. The Vine
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

"THE I AM STATEMENTS OF JESUS CHRIST" - PART 1

The Lord Jesus, in His Ministry on earth, said many things while alive as a man. While His Biblical Name - YHWH ( Yahweh) - literally means "I AM WHO I AM", His "I AM" statements are both stunning, educational, instructive and inspiring. Here is the first of two parts of "THE I AM STATEMENTS" of Jesus Christ, from the PLUMBLINE Television show, now seen worldwide on ROKU, on the BARAK TV network. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MIDWESTERN 21st CENTURY MARK TWAIN? (A BOOK REVIEW)

REVIEW OF "BEST FOOT FORWARD" BY LARRY CROSSETT
HUMORIST LARRY CROSSETT's
 BOOK #1
I think we have found our own Midwestern 21st century “Mark Twain” – right here in Mason City, Illinois, in the form of newspaper reporter/author/graphic designer Larry Crossett!  I usually do not write reviews on every Kindle book I purchase and/or read, but this one brings a ready smile which stays all the way through this very fast read.  The name of the work is “BEST FOOT FORWARD: God Honoring Humor (Midwest Journey).

Derived from a collection of essays, which Larry mentioned were published in several area weekly newspapers, the short chapters are bite sized enough with descriptive expertise for which Midwestern humorists like Twain, Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor have come to be recognized. The humor is both personal, from Crossett’s family life foibles as well as from observation of Midwestern small town and rural life.  

For instance, having seen the environmentally destructive flying Asian carp fish operate in our Midwestern rivers, one gets the same feel of being in the boat on “Redneck Fishing Tournament” days as Huck Finn had on the Mississippi on a raft (chapter on Jumping Fish). Also, the winter of 2015 brought infestation of ants in almost every Midwestern homes and kitchens, due to high water tables. So the chapter on “Ant Infestation” brings a little humor to that real life annoyance. The essay on “ENFIDOL” is an extremely funny satire on medication infomercials (or maybe it wasn’t a satire…hmmm)!


Chapters include titles like ICM not IBM; Amy vs Cat; When Golf Ball Collide and more. This is definitely a fun read to lighten the seriousness of the time, even for an hour or two. Also, fear not – Book 2 – “The Wisdom of Answer Man….More God Honoring Humor” will follow this Spring. All us who love the writings of Mark Twain and now,  his modern day successor, eagerly look forward to that  and more Midwest Journey humor, along the way!