Sunday, August 17, 2014

HIS FAITHFULNESS IS TO ALL GENERATIONS


Remember your word to your servant,
    in which you have made me hope.
50 
This is my comfort in my affliction,
    that your promise gives me life.
51 
The insolent utterly deride me,
    but I do not turn away from your law.
52 
When I think of your rules from of old,
    I take comfort, O Lord.
53 
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
    who forsake your law.
54 
Your statutes have been my songs
    in the house of my sojourning.
55 
remember your name in the night, O Lord,
    and keep your law.
56 
This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts

Psalm 119:49-56 (ESV)


These are horrible times for the Faithful - the true Children of God, and those who are called by His Name. We see the product of the tolerance of demonic cults, where Christians (and Kurds etc) are being literally wiped out by islamic hordes in northern Iraq, the Biblical region of Nineveh and in the ancient mountains of Syria. The latter used to house the last remnants of those who spoke the biblical language of Aramaic.

While persecution has always been with the followers of Christ: from the original eleven disciples and Apostle Paul, to the early church fathers and those who bucked the Roman system until the Reformation of the Middle Ages, down to present, the vile nature of the current genocide is staggering. The west and western pastors/church leaders - from the American prosperity and purpose-driven proponents to the majority of liberal mainline apostates - are so silent (to their shame on day) that even the secularists are asking them about their silence. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said "'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.".  But it is not enough to point out these things, Our part is to encourage the saints, pray for the persecuted and make sure that we are also in the Word and found in Him.

Psalm 119 in its entirety is such a wondrous ode to the Word of God and His Commands. But in these time of pain, persecution and peril, Verses 49-56 speak to us loudly, about the Promises and True Purposes Driven by God. He is the God of all Truth, Compassion, Comfort and Care and His mercies never fail. Great is His Faithfulness to us, to all generations. 

In the verses above, the Word says "when I think of Your rules of old, I take comfort, O Lord" and "Your statutes (Your Living Word) have been my songs...." Psalm 30:5 says "though weeping may last for a night, Joy cometh in the Morning". For many of our brothers and sisters, this does seem like the longest night and their earthly tomorrow may never come. But the Good News, which their persecutors cannot say is that the Saved of the Lord  - the True Christians - wake up on the other side of Glory, in the Presence of the Savior. As the old saying goes "this is as good as it is going to get for those in the world, this is as bad as it will get for the people of God"


Let not your heart be troubled, our Lord and Savior has gone ahead to prepare a place for us. For now, let's pray and support wherever and whenever we can. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SINK OR SWIM?....PUT ON THE LORD JESUS....

A good brother in Christ of mine, brother Bob, did an illustration at a recently concluded meeting, which both he and I attended, where he took a peeled orange and dropped into a full pitcher of water. It immediately sang to the bottom. Then he took an unpeeled orange (with its skin on) and dropped it in the same water. It floated on the top.  Now that is a good example of the Apostle Peter - before and after - he tried to walk on the water.

However, it is also a great illustration of what would happen to the man or woman of God who goes out daily into the world, without the protective covering of Christ in their lives. To the unsaved, this will make absolutely no sense. The devil has convinced the entire world that he does not exist and is just the figment of some thousands year old book - the Bible - made up by Christian "extremists" to keep people from "having fun". So the corrupt culture, media, politics and academia tell us to go "for the gusto" and "if it feels good, do it"! 

To be honest, the majority of those professing Christianity in the west are all down with that worldly sentiment. Any mention of sin and evil in this world is called "intolerance and  being judgmental". They think that way because the devil does not bother them. Why should he? They sure ain't bothering him!  

I just heard the most popular pastor in the world, who tells everyone that their "Best Life" is NOW, when we in the remnant know our Best Life is Yet to Come, slam those who question his prosperity gospel theology and shallow preaching as judgmentalism.  While it is absolutely true that we all live, preach and teach the unconditional Love which God has for us, that "Love" by itself does not save. That kind of Love is a precursor to Salvation - but this is a subject for the next post to flesh out.

The person who is following Jesus Christ intentionally, and who is sold-out disciple and adherent to the Holy Scriptures, has a major bulls-eye on his or her back. This man or woman of God is hated by the hierarchy of hell, who hates the fact that we wake up each day to serve and obey God in Heaven through Jesus Christ. This is the remnant and actually, according to recent Pew and Barna Surveys, the US number is less than 15% of the population. In Great Britain and Canada, it is between 2-5%! There is absolutely NO reason we should walk around, even in this perverse Romans 1 Culture, with our collective heads down when we have the Truth and they do not!

Too many of us are that orange at the bottom of the pitcher. The question we all need to ask is are we the peeled orange at the bottom of this water-filled jar or are we going to float? You and I should resolve to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14a) and not be like those other people, the majority who call themselves Christians but do not know the meaning of the word.

We put on the Lord Jesus, in order that we may float on the turbulent waters of Life and through the storms ahead. 
We put on the Lord Jesus to keep from sinking.
We put on the Lord Jesus to keep from stinking thinking whereby we start believing the lies of the enemy, but now He enables us to reject the lies of the enemy.
We put on the Lord Jesus when we put on the shoes of the Gospel and tell someone else what Christ has done for us...as much as we can.
We put on the Lord Jesus when the Belt of Truth so girds us that our level of discernment about the tricks and false doctrines of the world will reveal that we are more than conquerors, through Him Who has overcome the world.

We put on the Lord Jesus when the Breastplate of Righteousness of Christ guards our hearts, minds and souls so that we grow in sanctification and receive the full measure of His Holiness which He is just so willing for us to walk in. 
We put on the Lord Jesus when the Helmet of Salvation leaves on room for confusion and doubt, because this Helmet - or head covering - is permanently on our head. We cannot lose our salvation because the King said so - nothing will snatch us out of His Hands. Therefore operate in this Truth and win!

We put on the Lord Jesus when the Shield of Faith, one of the major defensive weapons God has equipped us with, is so hardened by battle and experience that all the slings, arrows, 50 cal guns and Howitzers from Hell will fall off like the annoying pests they are.
We put on the Lord Jesus when we hold up the only pro-active and weapon of mass instruction God has given us - the Word of God! We may think that the Word of God is only a literal book called the Bible....well, that's only the physical manifestation of the Living Breathing Mind and Thoughts and Plans of God. Ignore at your own risk and accept to your eternal benefit.

Knowing all of the above, when we "put on the Lord Jesus Christ", is there ANY reason at all we followers of the Way, the Truth and the Life, should be downcast, oh my soul? Is there any reason we should be a sinking orange when we can sail through the choppy seas of Life to God's Golden Shores? Ask thyself, seek the Lord and He will direct to and through the paths of all Truth, Comfort and Hope! Amen.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

THE FINAL PRAYERS OF JESUS: PART 2 HIS FOLLOWERS - YOU AND I

THE HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER

20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may [a]believe that You sent Me.

Their Future Glory

22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected [b]in unity, so that the world may [c]know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 “O righteous Father, [d]although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

THE FINAL PRAYERS OF JESUS: PART 1 - FOR HIS DISCIPLES

THE HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER


John 17:1-19New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to [a]all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth,[b]having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME PART 1 - SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke)

Just as the Nazis marked Jews during World War II, with the word "JUDE", their World
War II allies - radical islam - are now the rampaging moslem hordes of ISIS through biblical Iraq/Mesopotamia are marking the homes of Christians with an "N". This N stands for Nazarene, as in Jesus the Nazarene. One of their spiritual fathers was the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini of Jerusalem. (Al-Husseini was appointed by the British and himself supported the execution and persecuted of Christians. He met with Hitler in 1941. Click here for the photo of their meeting and more information).

Before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003,  over 1 million Chaldean Christians have lived in what had been their home for almost 2000 years! Strangely enough, they were protected by Saddam Hussein. Since the persecution began shortly after the liberation, less than 500,000 remained until this current conquering by the Mohammedans of ISIS. The sheer brutality of this mob of dangerous invaders into the ancient land of Abraham is unsurpassed. It is not just enough for them to burn down churches and steal homes and businesses of Christians. They have issued an ultimatum of flee, "convert to Islam" at the point of a gun, or face execution. Most have fled, but as they were fleeing with their meager possessions leaving their homes behind, they are being harassed, robbed and tortured.

While close to a half a million of God's people are persecuted in stunning intensity in Iraq.....while their Syrian brethren are decapitated and run out of their Aramaic-speaking villages...while Coptic Christians were murdered by the muslim brotherhood....and even in Nigeria, while entire Christian villages, schools, pastors, homes and people are being wiped out - American church leaders and most of their flock say and do NOTHING!  Absolutely nothing!

This stunning lack of courage (or caring) has been so bad that US Congressman Frank Wolf called out two well-known American preachers in November 2012, for being silent in the West while their brethren were persecuted in increasing numbers and brutality worldwide. The two preachers he called by name were John Piper and Rick Warren. John Piper is the retired pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota and his Desiring God website does contain messages on the Persecuted Church. However, there is no one speaking out nationally to even ask for a concentrated prayer movement for these saints. No one expects to hear from the big money prosperity gospel preachers like Joel Osteen, Copeland and others of the Word Faith movements. Thank goodness for men like Franklin Graham who just called for Christians to stand for righteousness, truth and Biblical values. Franklin, son of Billy Graham, seems to be the only one of God's men who stands for rightouesness and Jesus Christ in these last days.

Why is this so? Why is the Western church in general, and America's wealthy preachers
silent in the face of evil and loss of religious freedom? Why are they more like a combination of the two churches of Revelation 3 (rich and squishy Laodecia) and Sardis? Jesus said He would vomit the church of Laodecia out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16) due to their safe and comfortable lukewarmth. He said of the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:1b "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead." America has had the reputation of being a "Christian nation". Jesus knows us better than that - we are dead. The church in America is navel-gazing and caught up more in self-aggrandizement than intercession, evangelism and even being a Romans 1:16 kind of church. We seem to be more interested in getting along with the world and its pagan religions, cults and culture than the one thing which has eternal consequences - the Truth of the Gospel.

The great Moody Church pastor Erwin Lutzer recounted the testimony of a member of a small German country church during World War II whose conscience led him to repent of participating in "singing louder" as the Nazi trains carrying German Jews to the death camps of the Holocaust, so they could drown out the screams. Week after week, they sang louder and louder. In the West, we don't have to sing louder because the amplified electric guitars are drowning out the screams of the persecuted world wide. All that is left for the comfortable western church to do is to keep their heads firmly planted in the sand.
Associated Press Photo from Google Images.

What's the solution to this "Ostrich Syndrome" where these lambs (as Jesus called His church) and their well-off under-shepherds, ( those pastors and elders who have already gotten their reward on earth)? Well, the remnant should pray...and never let up. Pray and where possible, support Voice of the Martyrs and other such ministries like Gracia Burnham's financially, rather than giving to some organization so a celebrity "worship" leader can buy another $150 pair of jeans to perform on stage on Sunday morning.  This is the very least we can do. When one of our brethren hurts, we, who are turned into the Body and Will of Christ, should hurt and intercede on their behalf.  It is the very least we can do.
(Google Images)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE EYES OF THE LORD PART 3 - "ON THE RIGHTEOUS"

“ Behold, the Eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him (Psalm 33: 18 )…..”the Eyes of the LORD are toward the Righteous and His Ears are open to their cry (Psalm 34:15).
The razor sharp eye of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) easily resolves the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104 (M104). 50,000 light-years across, the galaxy is located 28 million light-years from Earth at the southern edge of the rich Virgo cluster of g...
(Photo - NASA)
You have heard it said that “eyes are windows to the soul”. This is absolutely true. I have street evangelized in all kinds of settings for many years, and come face to face with souls that are dark and seemingly lost to perdition.  Those are HUMAN eyes. These are NOT The Eyes of the LORD! The all-powerful; all-seeing; all-knowing and all-wise Eyes of our Great God in Heaven  are good. They are alive. They were alive in Eternity past and can see the end from the beginning.

So, what about this seeming difference between Psalm 33:18 and Psalm 34:15 (AS SEEN ABOVE)? What does He mean by both “The Eye of the Lord” and the “The Eyes of the Lord”? Is the Lord using a different “eyes” for different functions? Well, no – God does not compartmentalize. 

Look at it this way: in Psalm 33:18 we see that “the Eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him”. This is general statement.  God Himself said in Proverbs 1:7 that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge” and in Proverbs 2: 28-29, He says “Then they will call on me, and I will not answer. They will seek me diligently and I will not answer because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord”. The word for knowledge, which HaShem uses is also a Hebrew root word for "Truth"! Therefore, if you KNOW Truth, you will "fear" Him - which is to have the proper reverence, awe and understanding of Who God really is. Those who have no knowledge of the Holy, do NOT fear, reverence, worship, adore or even have the slightest clue Who He is....and increasingly, this goes for the majority of evangelicals (mostly young) and mainline churches.

At one point in time, America was known as the most God-fearing nation in the world.  Because of that, the late 19th and the first six decades of the 20th centuries were America’s time.  The favor of God was upon this country.  Everything most industrialists touched almost seemed  to gold.

A person could have come from the worst background, from any country in the world and with the Grace of God and hard work, build something completely out of nothing. To a certain extent, this can still be done - with perseverance. But corrupt politicians and a godless educational/cultural/judicial system has turned the mind of the hopeful into complete hopelessness. Now, those who have transformed this unique God-fearing country which God does not recognize anymore, will pay on Judgment day when the books are open before the Great White Throne, but as long as there is life, there is hope.
This is the Corporate "Eye of the Lord" - the Eye which sees entire tribes, tongues and nations - like America. You and I should be more interested in the "Eyes of the Lord" first, because once we find favor in THOSE Eyes, then we can work on being a society and a people favorable unto Him!

Scripture says "the Eyes of the LORD are toward the Righteous and His Ears are open to their cry (Psalm 34:15). 1 Peter 3:12 quotes this exact passage of this psalm in order to emphasize the Lord's point. The full quote used by Peter is For the Eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer. But the Face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”(1 Peter 3:12). Both uses of this passage represent a conditional offer to man.  The majority of humanity alive today has chosen the latter, even if they don't think they are evil, or do evil. If they are not following Christ as Lord and Savior, they are already completely separated from God. They will enjoy the same "rain which falls on the just and the unjust" but that is only for this brief life. Those who walk in unrighteousness by following false and fraudulent religions and cults other than Biblical Christianity should get a notion what the full attention and "Face of the Lord" really means. This is no picnic!

What about you and I who are completely sold-out and committed disciples of Christ? 

Well, we have two wonderful promises here:
First, "the Eyes of the LORD are toward the Righteous": that alone tell us that He is for us! Just as God's Face is AGAINST those who practice iniquity, His entire gaze is TOWARD us - His elect, saved and set apart for eternity. We are not Righteous because of anything we have done, but are thus because we accepted the same offer that He made to even those who will face His wrath. The word "toward" means "on the basis of"....Christ the Advocate, being our Lord and Savior, that is the reason for His Loving Eyes on us!

Secondly, "His Ears are open" to our cry" (or prayer) is a definite promise that because we have His personal attention (EYES - as in both EYES), He listens. The fervent and effective prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). But it is more than that. When Scripture (and therefore God) promises that His "Ears are  open", the literal terminology used by the Holy Spirit in Scripture, in essence, means Abba Father is continually and perpetually bent towards giving us an audience when we approach Him in the proper manner of Prayer. He always answers our prayer. Even if we do not like the answer, He answers!

In the final analysis, this is what we should strive for, during our short time on this wonderful creation called Earth.  We should strive for the Favor of His Divine Gaze upon us, all our families and our goings and comings.  We cannot earn a single measure of it, and once we have it (through Mark 1:15 - repent and believe the Gospel and be saved), we can sure mess it up. But if your heart and mine and set on Above and are completely loyal, devoted and "all-in" for Him, when His Eyes go across the whole earth in search of those who are so, they will land on us and His entire sensory perception will be directed to us, lovingly. Do you know any better promise? Are you His? Do you know Him? If not...do not waste another moment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THE EYES OF THE LORD PART 2 - "ALL IN"

“For the Eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

The theme of the 2014 Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual sports camp (for high school kids and led by its powerful Chaplain Kirby Myers of the Naval Academy FCA) is “All In”…..as in totally sold out to Christ, or committed to walking in His Ways – which are not our ways.  At least one quarter of the high school teens are only there for the sports camp training from the best football, baseball etc. coaches in any state.  Some of these coaches are many times state champions like the Central Illinois father-son team of Ken and Derek Leonard, the latter having four straight state 4A High School football championships under his belt. We can say that kids like those are not “all in”.

So it was with a king of Judah named Asa, who was ruled the southern kingdom around     the 9th century BC. When he had been king for 36 years, the southern kingdom of Judah was attacked by the northern kingdom and its vicious armies.  But instead of turning to the Lord, Who had favored the southern kingdom, Asa made a treaty with the pagan kind of Aram (Syria)….a man named Ben-Hadad.  The Lord had already sent the prophet Azariah to warn Asa that if he (Asa) sought the Lord, the Lord will be gracious and open to him. But God also warned Asa that “if you forsake Him, He will forsake you”!  2 Chronicles 15:17 said that Asa’s heart was “blameless all his days”.


But then, something happened. When Asa made his pact to seek Ben-Hadad’s assistance to defend Judah, he disregarded the Word of the Lord. The Lord then sent another prophet, Hanani, to deliver the word from on high. When Hanani went to tell King Asa of the direct admonishment of the Lord, for relying on a pagan alliance with Ben-Hadad rather than God whom Asa followed for most of his life, the King through Hanani in prison! Not just that, but King Asa had a complete shift in character from the majority of the many decades of good rule, and began oppressing his own people. In due course, King Asa developed a severe disease in his feet and instead of turning to the Lord for healing, as apparently he used to do, he turn and trusted only in his mortal doctors. There was a strange end to this once Godly turned prideful and selfish man - King Asa. When he died, he was buried in a grave - WHICH HE DUG FOR HIMSELF!

There are some critical lessons for us to learn from a man like King Asa. They are relevant for even these modern times. The first one is that you can do all kinds of wonderful work for the Lord. You can do go missions to dig water wells for people or build churches in Central America. You can feel the homeless at the local breadline or even win souls for Christ in passionate street ministry. You can be the best preacher in town with the liveliest church. If all of this means your self-reliance on your own judgment, is more important than seeking the Lord.... or you have some notion about making friends with the world to "get along", then you are in mortal King Asa territory. In this case, it would be a good idea to search your own heart to see if you are truly born again!

Secondly, the scary thing was - Scripture said Asa's heart was "blameless all his days"....until that 36th year when he committed a HUGE sin by taking the gold and silver from GOD's TEMPLE in Jerusalem and giving it to Ben-Hadad, for some defense "alliance". We can be deceived into thinking we are alright for most of our christian life and show our true colors towards the end of life, when it counts the most. We can appear to live the perfect life, in the eyes of the world, yet suffer shame and loss on Judgment Day. Asa shook his fists in front of Holy God not once, but many times in the last three years of his long reign as king. He knew the power of God - we know the power of God. He knew God would fight his battles, if he asks - we know the Source of our Strength, but sometimes do the opposite of Philippians 4:13. 

He knew the prophets of God (Azariah and Hanani) and persecuted them for speaking truth - we stick our heads in the sand because we, as a church, are afraid to acknowledge sin, call it sin, call evil evil and then stand up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are no different from King Asa sometimes...to the point of doing it our way, with no apologies to Frank Sinatra. Some of us refuse to even pray and/or intercede for our families and friends or country, because "God knows I'm okay". Some of us are so full of our own pride and self-importance that we even dig our own philosophical grave, as King Asa did so we could be buried "his way"!

The Scripture, whose context anchor this historic event, says that "the Eyes of the Lord run and move to and fro" across all mankind....to find AND support those whose hearts were ALL IN, or LOYAL to Him! King Asa was NOT loyal to HIm when it counted. Are you?
Jesus said in Matthew 24:13 "But the one who endures to the end will be saved." What the Savior really means is that the elect - those who are called by His Name and are saved WILL make it all the way to the end of all things.  This is absolutely true. True believers have the capacity to persevere (also called "Perseverance of the Saints") because the Holy Spirit of God, who lives in us to guide us to the path of all Truth, leads us into the path of all Truth. The challenge from now on is for each of us to set our eyes and hearts to "Jerusalem" to fix our gaze on Him; to never waver and to never, never, never give up and never give in.

Let us then resolve to be like King David in Psalm 139:23-24" Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts and see if there is any wicked way within me". Then beseech the Lord to remove all filth, sin, iniquity and the propensity towards transgression, that His Eyes may find us "all in" for Him! Amen.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THE EYES OF THE LORD, Part 1 - NOAH

Genesis 6:8 says "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD".
The eyes are the windows to the soul, but how are the Eyes of God…the Almighty, All Powerful, All-seeing; All-knowing Mighty Eyes of our God?

In human terms, our field of vision is limited to the physical environment we currently occupy. Not so with the Lord.  The Voice that spoke the Creation into being has Eyes which always WERE, ARE and WILL BE. Therefore those Eyes pierce to the quick of the matter, the core of the human condition.

Those are also the Eyes which looked down at Creation in the Book of Genesis and said "it was Good"! In this short series of posts, we wish to look at some of the mentions of the "Eyes of the Lord" and what each one means. Today, we see right of the bat at the beginning of time (in the sense of humanity), that Noah, the great grandson of Enoch - found Favor in the "Eyes of the Lord".

Taken in its fuller context, we see from this chapter 6 of Genesis that everything man was doing was perverted, evil and corrupt. It was so horrible and horrid, as a foul aroma to the Lord, that He said in Genesis 6:6, that He regretted ever creating man! How bad is it, for the gracious and most merciful God of Heaven, to be so aggrieved (according to Scripture) that He was so sorry that He made man, He wiped everyone out except Noah and his immediate family?! 

We know how disgusting and foul-smelling evil is. We see it from border to border, from sea to shining sea, from culture to church corridors all over America and western Europe. What we need to focus on, is goodness and righteousness and the veritable FAVOR OF THE LORD.  Noah found favor. How did that occur?

Well, we look back to a man named Enoch who lived only a "few" years compared to others in his family tree! Enoch, a direct descendant of Adam, became father to Methuselah at age 65. Then Scripture says that Enoch "walked with God for three hundred years" after Methusaleh was born...(Genesis 5:22). Then in Genesis 5:24, the Lord says that "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him".


There was something about this family. All Enoch's ancestors were fruitful and multiplied and created enough people to populate the known earth at that time. Before Enoch was taken into Heaven without dying at age 365, he had other children who are not mentioned here. Only Methusaleh and his son Lamech and Lamech's son Noah (and his three sons) are mentioned by name before the great Flood. This family had the Favor of the Lord upon them. This was literally four generations of men who were preachers for the Lord!

In the original Paleo-Hebrew language (which Moses wrote and is different from modern day Hebrew) we start with Enoch and immediately notice that his name means "teaching or commencement".

Methusaleh, was the prophet of doom, for the corrupt around who refused to listen to his messages. He lived the longest life in the Bible, because like the prophet Jeremiah, God was trying to give His people time to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Methusaleh, who was preaching God's message of repentance (like Jeremiah) means "his death shall bring"....and as soon as he died - BOOM - the Flood's plans were put into motion by the Lord.

Lamech, the grandson of Enoch, son of Methusaleh and father of Noah, means "lamentation" or "despairing". You see the parallel to Jeremiah here, who wrote the book of Lamentations about the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians!

Noah, the last of these four great preachers for the Lord, means "to bring rest, or comfort". He brought rest and comfort, not to the evil what was wiped out by the Flood but to the new earth after God had reset things. 

By being obedient to the Lord and taking ridicule for decade after decade while he painstakingly built that Ark, and raised his family in righteousness, Noah was loved mightily by God - he found favor and grace was showered upon him. God literally saw, with His own Eyes, Noah's faithfulness and loved him, with a mighty love.  The fourth in this line of preachers, then got to save a portion of all creation, and even the members of his own family.

Are the Eyes of the Lord looking into your heart and mine, and seeing that same faithfulness, love, obedience, integrity and more? Let us then search our heart to see if our walk is like Enoch through Noah, and if we even merit the Favor and Grace of the Lord! This can only occur, if we, like Enoch through Noah, are walking in the Light of the Lord - and that Lord is Jesus Christ, Messiah of the whole world.
Amen.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

MIRACLES LINKED TO PRAYER AND FASTING

The following insight and blessing was written by frequent blog contributor CHERI MAJORS M.S., a former (and occasional) movie actress, model and more:
God Hears the Devoted Prayers of His People 
The Bible declares that any need or insurmountable problem, requiring quick resolution, should begin with prayer and fasting. Miracles always followed these events in Biblical days of old, and can still happen today.
I was not raised with fasting and prayer, as it was even a foreign concept to my Christian Sunday-School-teaching grandmother. Fasting or any other means of self-control was certainly never followed in my immediate non-practicing Christian home, so the very concept of starving myself seemed extremely uncomfortable at first.
I had even questioned whether fasting was Biblical, because my family dismissed it as a spiritual concept (not literal starving) but I had my doubts. I did however fast faithfully during my modeling years, without employing Christian or other religious doctrines as the basis for my exercises in restraint.
Practicing Restraint
Every Monday I would fast, in an effort to clear out the damaging effects of weekend dating, drinking, and dining (the Devil's playground) and although I tried, I was not very good at throwing-up the excesses. God did however patiently allow me to continue my wildly-excessive weekends, without losing my modeling face or figure, as I enjoyed the abundance of His undeserved, yet unending grace.
Miracle Fasting
As idiotic as my "Barbie" logic was, fasting once a week to continue living wild on the weekends, God blessed me anyway. For my simple, 1-day-a-week fast and show-of-restraint, He kept me thin and semi-flawless through many years of self-inflicted misery-filled weekends.
As I got older I began hearing more about Biblical fasting through various televangelists, and the whole concept started making more sense. God didn't want to deprive us (He was the One providing for us) but He did want us to show restraint, and dedication, along with prayers to get us past any roadblocks.
Biblical Miracles
There are 25 passages in the Bible (New International Version) about fasting, as well as the book of Esther. A short story in the Old Testament, turned into a novel, inspiring the movie "One Night with the King" (2006) explaining how an orphan girl "found favor" with King Xerxes and with God.
Queen Esther uncovered an insidious plot, intended to destroy her heritage along with the entire Jewish nation, so she called her people to prayer and fasting, in an effort to save them from extinction (mass genocide) at the hand of the King's adviser. The nation of Israel needed a miracle, and God not only granted their prayer requests, by allowing the survival of the Jewish race, but turned the extinction plot around on those who would harm the "apple of His eye".
Other Biblical miracles can be found in the book of Daniel, showing how his refusal to bow down to a foreign King (in place of God) or even eat the King's food (not ordained by God) got him, and his friends, thrown into a furnace, and a lion's den. However Daniel's devotion to God, coupled with his restraint, brought God's angels to ensure that no one was harmed in the fiery furnace, or in the lion's den. 
Following Biblical Instruction
Isaiah 58 gives us the Lord's instructions and guidelines for fasting and praying, and offers us miracle solutions for our problems. Although God is not specific about the food and liquid intake (or lack thereof) he does tell us how we should be acting toward one another while fasting, in order to experience the fullness of our miracles, and blessings from Him.
The "Esther Fast" is an extreme 3-day liquids-only fast. We learn through the book of Esther that the Jewish people prayed and fasted while only drinking water for 3 days. The first day begins after eating dinner, and after the sun sets. Only healthy liquids are consumed until the sun sets on the 3rdnight, when you can once again eat dinner.
The "Daniel Fast" is a much longer 40-day fast, without eating meat, sweets, or bread, but those are the only restrictions. Vegetables, grains, nuts, pasta, beans, fruit, dairy, (some say fish is allowed) along with healthy liquids, such as water, milk, and juices. If you are already a healthy eater this extended fast is not as difficult as you think. 
Remember to pray along with the fast of your choice, to bring miracles, even if there doesn't seem to be any hope left. Today we can stand on the same miraculous promises as provided by God, and documented in the Bible, whether personal, national, or world-wide. But don't take my word for it, try it for yourself, and wait for your promised miracles to happen.
A former model & actress who cared for more than 70 special-needs foster children, while earning a Masters degree in Human Sciences & Early Childhood Education. Authored 5 books (including childrens bilingua...  View profile