Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, May 31, 2012

THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST


“But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost…” Acts 1:5


    “Why do we want to be baptized with the Holy Ghost? All depends on the ‘why’. If we want to be baptized with the Holy Ghost that we may be of use, it is all up; or because we want peace and joy and deliverance from sin, it is all up. ‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost’,not for anything for ourselves at all, but that we may be witnesses unto Him. God will never answer the prayer to be baptized with the Holy Ghost for any other reason than to make us witnesses to Jesus. To be consciously desirous of anything but that one thing is to be off the main track.

    The Holy Ghost is transparent honesty. When we pray, ‘Oh Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost whatever it means’, God will give us a glimpse of our self-interest and self-seeking, something has to go. God is amazingly patient.

    The perplexity is not because of the hardness on the way, but the unwilling pride of sin, the stubborn yielding bit by bit, when it might be done any second. The acceptance of the Divine nature involves in it obedience to the Divine precepts. The commands of God are enablings. God banks entirely on His own Spirit, and when we attempt, His ability Is granted immediately. We have a great deal more power than we know, and as we do the overcoming we find He is there all the time until it becomes the habit of our life.

    The baptism with the Holy Ghost is the great sovereign work of the Personal Holy Ghost; entire sanctification is our personal experience of it.” (Dec. 17, pg. 727)

   "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you."   (John 16:13, 14 NKJV)

    “The love of God at work in me makes me hate with the hatred of the Holy Ghost all that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To walk in the light means that everything that is of the darkness drives me closer into the centre of the light.” (Dec. 26, pg 744).

    “When once we realize that through the salvation of Jesus Christ we are made perfectly fit for God, we shall understand why Jesus Christ is so ruthless in His demands. He demands absolute rectitude from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God. Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.” (Sept. 21, pf 546)

    “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Ro. 8:26 NKJV)

    “As the Redemption creates the life of God in us, so it creates the things belonging to that life. Nothing can satisfy the need but that which created the need. This is the meaning of Redemption—it creates and it satisfies… Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men. It is never personal testimony that saves men. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.’ ” (Dec. 17, pg.726)
The above are several quotes from Oswald Chamber’s Devotions for MORNING and EVENING


Tomorrow's post:  WHEN THE JOURNEY GETS TOUGH

FUELED BY THE SPIRIT *


    "What an incredible experience that must have been — (referring to Act 2:1-4) to
 actually see tongues of flame resting on each of them as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Many of us feel that access to that kind of power is no longer available. In fact we can sometimes feel our faith becoming dry and lifeless, as if the energy we once had for service has left us. Yet the Holy Spirit is available to you today as He has always been, waiting for you to ask for His presence and power. This example has been given to us throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments.

    One story that comes to mind, involves the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel (37:1-14) who was given a vision in which the Lord instructed him to prophesy to a valley full of bones.

    "So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them."

    The bones came together, but there was no life they rattled together. The same is true for us when we try to work for the Lord in our own power without the Holy Spirit's power or enabling there's no life in us either. Verse 9 continues,

    "Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet a vast army."

    The Bible often uses the words "wind" or "breath" to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is this breath of God, His Holy Spirit that comes upon us and into us powers and empowers us for service. The key to our receiving this power is obedience. In verse 10, Ezekiel says, "So I prophesied as he commanded me." In other words, he obeyed. In Acts 1:12, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem and waited in the upper room as Jesus had commanded (Acts 1:4). They were obedient as well.

    If you are feeling spiritually dry, or maybe you're just going through the motions of Christian life without any significant purpose or direction, then it's time to ask God through His Spirit to reveal to you in what area of your life you need to obey. Ask God's Holy Spirit to fill you as you are obedient and empowered to humbly serve Him.

   God's work in our life as well as usefulness in the kingdom is typically interrupted when we fail to obey a God directive. What was the last thing God told you to do or change that you haven't quite finished?”

Taken from the Pocket Devotions of The Pocket New Testament League www.ptl.org)


jowildflowers@gmail.com   http://www.jean-oathout.blogot.com
Tomorrow's post:  DOING WHAT'S DIFFICULT








IT HAPPENED TO ME: Prayer Note # 44


         
.

Dutch Sheets tells us, "I actually happened to me once, although I didn't make the kind of noise I'd heard others make.

(Those I had heard sounded a lot like my wife when she was in labor.)

I was probably 9 or 10 years old and it occurred while praying for an unsaved aunt.

One night as I lay in bed, I felt a strong burden to pray for her salvation.

I remembering getting out of my bed, onto my knees and weeping uncontrollable, asking God to save her

I was so young and it was so long ago that I can’t remember how long it lasted—probably 30 minutes to an hour.

Finally, the burden lifted and I went to sleep.

My aunt lived about an hour and a half away from us.

For some ‘unknown’ reason, however, she called us later that week and said she wanted to come to our church that Sunday morning.

We did not know at the time that she was actually coming to the service planning to give her life to Christ, and did.

I was amazed. I had travailed for her, and that very same week she drove the long distance to give her heart to the Lord.

I didn’t question the concept—I knew that would be irreverent.

God forbid that anyone would have questions about something so spiritual!

The things we couldn’t explain, we treated as too holy to question.

We were supposed to act as if the questions weren’t there—admitting them might be to disrespectful. So we didn’t let God or anyone else know we had them.”

Prayer Note # 43 IT HAPPENED TO ME! - Taken from Dutch Sheets’ book, Intercessory Prayer (pgs. 111, 112)

"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28 NKJV


Tonight’s post: THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Note: read the posts before and after...)

Tomorrow’s post: WHEN THE JOURNEY GETS TOUGH


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THE BEATITUDES OF ANGER MANAGEMENT PART 2




“In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

         “A minister was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed a little boy watching him. The youngster didn't say a word so the preacher kept on working, thinking the boy would leave – but he didn’t. 

            
Pleased at the thought that his work was being admire, the pastor finally asked, ‘Trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?’ The little boy said, ‘Nope. I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.’

         The people around us want to see what happens when life pushes our buttons and anger puts the squeeze on our emotions. While God created us with the capacity for strong emotions, it is our responsibility to control them instead of allowing them to control us. Yesterday, we looked at four ways to manage anger. Here are four more:

Be focused. 

             “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”   (Psalm 37:8)

I witnessed the utter strength and beauty of our daughter-in-law as she went through hours of labor during the birth of our twin grandchildren. The pain was excruciating, but Jodi worked through each contraction by doing two things: controlling her breathing and choosing a focus point. We need to do the same when we are angry. Take a deep breath and focus on the peace of God.


Be understanding.

            “Everyone should be quick to listen.”    (James 1:19)

  We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—to listen twice as much as we speak. When you find yourself getting angry with someone, take time to listen to what the other person has to say. Make sure you understand their viewpoint. 

      In fact, it might be a good idea for you to repeat it back to make sure you do get the real point. Only then, when you have processed that information and reigned in your emotions, should you offer a reply. Listening for the purpose of understanding plays a significant role in anger management.


Be kind.

             “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”   (Proverbs 15:1)

      It had been one of ‘those’ mornings and I was behind schedule in preparing to teach the women’s Tuesday morning Bible study at our church. I am fairly certain I did not exude peace and joy as I rushed around. Finally, it looked like everything was ready – everything except my heart. 

      I knew I needed to spend some time alone with God before standing to teach His Word, so I found a quiet room where I could escape for a few minutes of solitude. As I began to pray, the door flew open and crashed against the wall behind it as the husband of one of our group leaders burst into the room.

      I could tell by the look on his face that he was not happy and that whatever was wrong was definitely my fault. In a very loud and very angry voice, the man began to explain the problem, ending his tirade with the question, ‘And just what are you going to do about it?’

      I knew what I wanted to say to the man. I also knew God didn't want me to say it. In a rare moment of wisdom, I faced my accuser with a smile and whispered, ‘I'll tell you exactly what I am going to do. I am going to do whatever it takes to make you happy.’

      I was completely unprepared for the man's reaction. His mouth fell open, his eyes widened in surprise - no, make that shock - and he stumbled backwards as if I had hit him. We stared at each other for what seemed like an hour before he finally whispered back, ‘Thank you.’

       
Without another word, the man turned and literally ran out of the room. The most amazing part of this story is that from that day on, he has been one of my strongest encouragers.

           The next time someone makes you angry, put a smile on your face. It is hard to stay upset when you are smiling. Smiling is one of the best anger management tips because you can do it anytime, almost anywhere, and to pretty much anyone.

        
The next time you are angry, choose to give a friendly smile of understanding, appreciation, or patience as you listen to the other side of the story.

Be ready.

           “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)


      The best way to manage anger is to prevent it in the first place. How? Balance your schedule and priorities so that you will not live in a constant state of frustration and exhaustion. Avoid spending time with angry people. 

      Proverbs 22:24 says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man; do not associate with one easily angered.” We really do become like the people with whom we spend the most time.

      Pray constantly, asking the Holy Spirit to help you cultivate the habits that encourage peace – not anger. Memorize Scripture. The Word of God is a powerful weapon in dealing with and managing our emotions.

      Anger is today’s emotional epidemic. What does it take to make you angry? Do you have a short fuse or a long one? How many relationships in your life have been damaged by your anger? 

       
Remember … more important than the way you were and more important than the way you are … is the way you can be. Right now, surrender your anger to God and thank Him for a new beginning.

Let’s Pray:

   Father, I need Your power and strength to help me control my anger. Forgive me for the damage and pain my anger has caused the people in my life. I want my emotional health to honor and please You.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.”




Tonight’s post is:  CRISIS ALWAYS REVEAL CHARACTER


Tomorrow’s post:  IT HAPPENED TO ME : Prayer Note # 44



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PRAYING FOR PASTORS

 

Jean Oathout shares with us:
 There are two lists of prayers that I [Jean] use daily in praying for my pastors. 

One is from Revive Our Hearts ministry, entitled 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor. 


I use their pamphlet from years ago, but the listing of prayers can be obtained through their web sight www.ReviveOurHeartrs.com  


The one for Day 4 is the one I’m sharing today:



      “Pray that your pastor will counsel and teach with discernment through the wise use of Scripture and faith in God’s power to work. Pray that he will be protected from the effects of sinful or negative attitudes that he encounters as he counselsMal. 2:7; James 1:5-6; John 17:15

     The other one that I’ve used for years, is SCRIPTURE-BASED PRAYERS to pray for your pastor” by Terry Teykl, and was published in the Pray! Magazine (issue #2), and can be found at www.praymag.com .

 I have chosen Day 7 to share today:


      “I pray that the eyes of my pastor may be enlightened to know the hope to which we are called and know the riches of our glorious inheritance in the saints. Let my pastor know the incomparable great power which is in us who believe Eph. 1:18,19.



Let _________ see the full revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12). Place in him/her a desire to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Phil.3:10).”


      Saying these prayers in first person, makes them our prayers. 

May God bless you, as you are involved with the move of the Holy Spirit in your church, through daily praying for your pastor and leaders.

OUR DAILY BREAD

"For answered prayer we thank You, Lord,
We know You're always there
To hear us when we call on You;
We're grateful for Your care. -Branon

You'll never get a busy signal on the prayer line to heaven."
12/2/12

"We give the help that pastors need
For burdens they must bear
When we entrust them to the Lord
And hold them up in prayer. -D. De Haan

Leaders are their best when people get behind them."
9/16/11


Tomorrow's post: THE BEATITUDES OF ANGER MANAGEMENT 
PART 1  Mary Southerland tells us, “Everyone has to deal with anger. The challenge is to deal with anger in the right way. 
Anger is powerful





JEAN'S DEVOTION #10 from her book


God's Presence You Can
Know Right Here


God's Presence you can know right here
And His love you can feel.
It may sometimes bring on a tear
As with you He will deal.

The holiness of God you'll see
As you repent of sin.
You'll understand you're not worthy
His Presence to be in.

Salvation for you is to come
When on Jesus you call.
The Spirit's seal on you is done
As peace on you will fall.

Invite Him in to be in charge
And surrender your life.
His love will prove to be quite large
To help you as a wife.

Be confident that He will lead
When more of God you know.
With hunger now you are to feed
On His word so you'll grow.

God's gentle and He's peaceable
But He will wait on you.
Open your heart. Be teachable,
His ways to follow through.

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:6

Father, I desire Your spirit to fill me now.
Amen

"Have reasonable expectations.
Actually
lower your expectations."
Verna Bowman


I believe the Lord wanted me to share this with you. Hopefully, it will help many to release their lives to Him today.



 

TRAVAIL, WHAT IS IT? - Prayer Note # 43


Dutch Sheets shares with us, “Travail, what was it anyway? What did it do?
    I knew what I thought it was, but I wasn’t satisfied.
   Is it a valid form of prayer? I wondered. Is there really a prayer that births?
            Yes, I now believe, although it is not easy to define and explain. And it is controversial.
            How can a mere human have a part in birthing spiritual 
life? What do groaning, weeping and hard work have to do with it?” 
            [Sheets had assisted his wife in the birthing of his two daughters and was amazed at her ability to handle the whole situation.]
            One segment of the Body of Christ probably believes they already have an adequate understanding of what it is. 
            Another has likely heard enough to think they don’t want 
to know any more about it. And there’s probably a group who
 have heard nothing about it.
           (Sheets then appeals to all three to read on with an open mind.)
            This prayer called travail always puzzled me. I was raised 
in a stream of the body of Christ that believed in it, although it didn’t occur often. 
            The few times I did see what I was informed was travailing intercession, it involved a little old lady who was also one of the few prayer warriors in the church. 
            It seemed to me that it was treated as a sort of mystical thing no one really understood (such as where babies came from), very few ever did (and those only rarely), but everyone revered.”

   Prayer Note # 43 - TRAVAIL, WHAT IS IT? Taken from Dutch Sheets’ book, Intercessory Prayer  ($1.99) (pgs. 110-111) (5/29/12)

            “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  Rom. 8:22, (NKJV)


Next Prayer Note: May 31st  It Happened to Me" Prayer Note #44  Dutch Sheets tells us, "It actually 
happened to me once, although I didn't make the kind of noise I'd heard others make. 

   (Those I had heard sounded a lot like my wife when she was in labor.) I was probably 9 or 10 years old and it occurred while praying for an unsaved aunt.
   One night as I lay in bed, I felt a strong burden to pray for her salvation."



Tonight’s post:  Praying for Pastors

Tomorrow’s post: The Beatitudes of Anger Management Part 2



Monday, May 28, 2012

PROBLEMS HAVE A PURPOSE



Max Lucado shares with us, 
"God will use whatever he wants 
to display his glory.

Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.

My dying dad in West Texas.

The last three years of his life were scarred by ALS. The disease took him from a healthy mechanic to a bedbound paralytic.

He lost his voice and his muscles, but he never lost his faith. Visitors noticed.

Not so much in what he said but more in what he didn’t say. Never outwardly angry or bitter, Jack Lucado suffered stately.

His faith led one man to seek a like faith. After the funeral this man sought me out and told me. Because of my dad’s example, he became a Jesus follower.

Did God orchestrate my father’s illness for that very reason?

Knowing the value he places on one soul, I wouldn’t be surprised.

And imagining the splendor of heaven, I know my father’s not complaining.

A season of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the reward.

Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God. . . .

Your pain has a purpose. Your problems, struggles, heartaches, and hassles cooperate toward one end—the glory of God.

—from "It’s Not About Me"

      Heavenly Father, when problems and pain come my way, help me to remember that nothing comes into my life without your approval. Rather than complain and cry about the challenges I face, help me consider them as opportunities to bring glory to you.

Give me the strength and patience to bear my burdens in a way that will honor you. I will lift my eyes off the trials and keep them fixed firmly on you, Amen."


“Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” Psalm 50:15 NLT

From Lived Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Every Day Life

Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado


                                           OUR DAILY BREAD

"When long and steep the path appears
Or heavy is the task,
Our Father says, "Press on, My child;
One step is all I ask." -D. De Haan

When facing a crisis, trust God and move forward."
9/ 17/11

     “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us.”  Daniel 3:17


     “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19

Tomorrow's post:  TRAVAIL, WHAT IS IT: Prayer Note # 43





JEAN'S PROFILE

"Jean Oathout writes from her heart. Her first recently released book, SO YOU PLAN TO MARRY A MAN, is as much a personal testimony of what she’s learned from God as a book of helps for wives and gals desiring to be married one day.

Jean was born in Tacoma Park, MA, in 1937. Her father died when Jean was six, her mother remarrying when Jean was eleven years old and moving the family to New York State.

In 1955, Jean married an Air Force man and had three sons. However, the marriage failed. Jean later remarried and had one more son. Her new husband relocated the family in Vermont in 1983, where they “homesteaded,” growing most of their food and living without electricity for most of seventeen years.
Unfortunately for Jean, the second marriage also had its problems, both she and her husband “having issues.”

 Jean found it hard to be a submissive wife and wanted to leave. However, at the Lord’s prompting, she stayed and learned how to deal with life according to the way her husband wished. Through these difficult years, Jean started to journal, putting her writings in poetic form with the thought that some day she would share them with other women.

Finally in 1999, Jean had to leave her married life and seek inward healing that only God could provide. Over the years, she’s come to realize that she needed to forgive and go on with her life. She has fellowship with a body of believers in a local church and has many friends in the Madrid, NY, community."

Posted by  Marsha Hubler on her blog, 5/28/12

http://www.facebook.com/l/DAQHqSRw1/marshahubler.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/on-writing-meet-the-author/

My husband and I are learning to be friends now, something we should have taken time for before marriage!

I updated this post 1/21/13, changing some of the information at the end of Marsha's post. I am working on some poems for another possible manuscript.

THE BEATITUDES OF ANGER MANAGEMENT PART 1




        Mary Southerland tells us, “Everyone has to deal with anger. 
    The challenge is to deal with anger in the right way. 
    Anger is powerful - an emotional warning that something is wrong. 
    We have been hurt or rejected. Something has changed and we don’t like it! 

 “In your anger, do not sin”   Ephesians 4:26.



            Anger itself is not sin.

We just have to learn to express anger in the right way. 


Mishandled anger is destructive but anger that is handled correctly can become a tool for good. 


God’s Word is filled with tips for learning to handle anger in a healthy and godly way.


Be still.
             “Be still and know that I am God.”   Psalm 46:10

If we are busy, it is much easier to ignore or refuse to face and deal with the real source of anger. 

Anger that is not dealt with in the right way accumulates over time, allowing bitterness to take root and rage to simmer just below the surface of everything we do, say, think or feel. 


In order to manage anger, we need to incorporate frequent and regular 'stops' into our schedules; time set aside to simply be still and hear the voice of God.


Be quiet.
             “Everyone should be slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20

Our first response to conflict is often not a response at all … but a reaction. We jump in with a brutal rebuttal or a thoughtless correction – which is like pouring gasoline on a fire. 

An explosion is bound to happen. 


Our first action should be to stop and think instead of rushing to respond in a way that could escalate tensions or provoke an offensive response from others.


 Listen to the other person before responding. Try counting to ten before saying anything. This may not address the anger directly, but it can minimize the damage you will do while angry.


Be wise.
             “Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self-control.  Proverbs 25:28


Wisdom is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. 

Anger management comes from wisdom rooted in self-control. 


I love the story of Jesus driving the money-changers out of His Father’s temple. 


In John 2:15, Scripture says Jesus “made a whip out of cords.” Don’t miss this picture. 


At the height of His anger, Jesus gathered several cords and braided a whip. 


I imagine it took several minutes at least to form a whip substantial enough to drive grown men anywhere. 


I think Jesus was so angry that He knew He needed to cool off, so He deliberately chose to be still, quiet and wise. 


When we are close to losing control of anger, we need to be wise.


Be discerning. 
             “In your anger do not sin … search your hearts and be silent.”  Psalm 4:4


The longer I work with people the more I realize that there is always a reason for their behavior.  

Hurt people – hurt people. 


When you are angry at someone, ask yourself why. Think back to what led up to the conflict. 


Was it something someone said to you? Has a past problem triggered your present anger? 


Give yourself time to consider why you are upset and what you should do to handle it in a way that pleases God.


God created us with the capacity for emotions. That means He has a right plan and a right place for emotions in our lives. 

Anger management is a spiritual discipline that God honors, blesses and empowers.


Let’s Pray:
            Father, please forgive me when I allow anger to control what I say and do. I want to honor You in the way I manage my emotions – especially the anger in my life. Fill my heart with Your peace. Help me cultivate the spiritual discipline of anger management and learn how to control my emotions instead of allowing them to control me.
            In Jesus’ name,
            Amen.


Now it’s your turn-
            Evaluate the level of anger in your life. 

Would people who know you well describe you as an angry person? 


Identity the source of your anger; then make the commitment to face and deal with whatever is causing your anger."


Mary Southerland on Crosswalk.com  info@girlfriendsingod.com   www.girlfriendsingod.com


Tonight’s post:  PROBLEMS HAVE A PURPOSE