Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What Defines You?

Jean Oathout shares with us. "Worship is an expression of how we value and honor the Divine. 

It is our heartfelt response to who God is.. 

We were designed to worship. That’s the way God made us. 

He designed us to need Him to live a long, happy, healthy life.

We worship (hold up in highest regard) someone or something, a fact easily recognized in our current age.

We are known to take something good, elevate it to number one status, thus turning it into an idol.

The question is, what things of interest are contending for first place in our efforts as "real" worship?

Do you understand who God is, and why it is we are to worship Him?

Other things of interest are trying to take first place. 

Worship happens when we see God for Who He is. Divine Deity is worthy of adoration! 

It happens when we recall what He has done. God desires for us to worship Him.

This is called worshiping in Truth and in Spirit, (and with sincerity and honesty of heart), and in awe and respect for the One Who is Creator. 

Is. 66:2a "For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD."

Are we responding to God in such a way as to honor Him?

Is He Lord of your life? Is He the One you worship? 

God desires His rightful place in your thinking, as He created you, and sustains you.

It’s God’s purpose to meet us in our worship, to strengthen, guide, and bless us. 

It is for our good that we put Him first, and to let nothing be beside or in the place of Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives.

Are you secure in your devotion to God, that Satan cannot touch you?

What choices do you make when an opportunity presents itself to worship God?

Are there other things that you put more interest in, such as sports, TV, movies, etc? 

Do you allow things to take God’s place in your life? 

If we give anything 1st place other than God, it becomes a god to us.

God’s looking for a people who will be transformed through worship.

If you have the Holy Spirit within you, there is Life in you that longs for fellowship with the Savior.

If we make worship only an event, we miss out on daily opportunities, and then we miss out on a deeper expression at the event itself. 

Worship comes from the inside out, and needs expression!

It’s not about our ability, but what comes from our hearts. 

Worship is an expression of honor, value and humility. 

We come into God's presence as we learn of His ways through the Scriptures. 

They are to guide us, as to Who God is. 

As we bow in reverence to this understanding, our hearts are enlarged and cry out "Yes!"

Remember, true worship happens when we remember what God has done, and Who He is. Ps. 7:17a "I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness."

The life you live on a daily basis declares what you believe about God.

Our praise begins in the sanctuary of our hearts, but it must be let out in expression as we grow in our understanding of what all our God has done. 

Let's give God the thanks and praise He's so worthy of.

When we come together as a congregation of people to praise God, we strengthen one another as we glorify Him together. God is lifted up in our midst.

He loves the praises of His people!" 

{These thoughts where gleaned from a class on WORSHIP, taught by my  pastor, Daniel Paladin}

(Google images and emphasis added)

Let’s pray:

   Father, we come to You today, in all sincerity, to ask that You help us worship You in Spirit and in Truth. 

   Your Spirit enables us to truly worship from our hearts, and Your Truth enlightens us as to why, 
and how. 

   Embolden us to express ourselves in ways that bring honor and pleasure to You. 

   It is our desire to be good examples of Your grateful children, because of Christ’s Atonement through the Cross of Calvary. 

   May we become worshipers You’ll be pleased with. 

   In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Today's prayer for your pastor: "Pray that your pastor will be a man of faith and have a passionate love for God, not giving in to worries, fears, or an uptight and anxious spirit." 1 John 4:18; Prov. 3:5-6

Today’s Bible verse: Isa. 66:2 NASB “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being.’ declares the LORD. ‘But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.’ ”

Today’s quotes: David Morris – “In true worship, God is preeminent and the center of our attention. Conversely, 
in false worship we are preeminent and our needs are the 
center of attention.”

Sue Schlesman - "The challenge is... to fight the desire for measured success. Make your objective a continual surrendering of personal fulfillment to the immeasurable and incomprehensible filling of the Holy Spirit, however unsuccessful that may appear day-to-day. This is your spiritual act of worship."

Some thoughts today: God plants eternity in our hearts. We tend to find our identity in something besides Jesus. As God desires greatness in us, greatness with God begins where the focus of self ends, and we become servants.

-  As it is God’s desire to meet folks in their need, He will help the seeker, in spite of other’s failures. Without a seeker’s anointing, we’ll miss the move of God. Without a seeker’s heart, there’s no anointing. If you’re not hungry and seeking for God’s anointing, why go to church? 

- If you’re not growing in faith, remember that Jesus still loves you. Seek to know Him afresh. Get under the spout of the Holy Spirit and get refreshed today!

Sunday’s post:  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross  Fanny J. Crosby

Tuesday's post:  #41  Pastors Need to Pray More  C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post:  #42  Prayer Time must be Sufficient  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  Stay the Course  Max Lucado

Sunday's post:  Wounded. Broken. Abused.  Tammie Johnson

A popular post: The Notion of Divine Control  "Notion your mind with the idea that God is there."

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse Kindle $1.99 My book in
paperback  $7.95

Samples of Jean's crafts
Where authors and readers come together!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

#40 Do Pastors Pray Enough?

C. Peter Wagner continues sharing from PRAYER SHIELD, saying:

"In recent years, I have been spending a good bit of time in teaching pastors on the subject of prayer.

Whenever I bring up the subject, they frankly admit to me and to each other that they know their prayer lives are not all they should be.

Although some have first-rate personal prayer habits, and some are happy with their 22 minutes a day, the great majority are not.

Pastor Mark Littleton remarks that he does his best to stick to a consistent prayer life, 'through sick and sin.'

His exasperation surfaces when he says, 'You try it with the television on. With the television off. At home. 

At your office. under the beech trees in the park.

In bed. You go for a week straight and don't miss once. The next week you miss seven for seven.'

Books and sermons on prayer feature a standard list of heroes of the faith who have had extraordinary prayer lives.

John Wesley rose at 4:00 each morning and spent two hours a day in prayer.

Martin Luther said, 'I have so much to do today, I will have to spend the first three hours in prayer, or the devil will get the victory.'

{Wagner goes on to relate how many others disciplined themselves to withdraw by themselves and pray. 

Such men as Adoniram Judson, John Knox, John Hyde, Henry Martyn, David Brainerd, George Muller, Robert Murray McCheyne, Hudson Taylor, George Fox are a few who habitually make the all-star list. }

"No one says it better than Mark Littleton. He says reading about these superpray-ers 'nearly wipes you out.'

'As holy as David Brainerd was', Littleton says, 'you get a bit tired of him lying in the snow, praying for six hours, and getting up wet. Not from the snow, though. From the sweat!'

Richard Foster speaks for me as well as for many others when he says, 'Many of us are discouraged rather than challenged by such examples.'

Enough lamenting about the current state of affairs. Few will deny that pastors and other Christian leaders in general need better prayer lives. The question now is what to do about it. I think the answer is twofold;
  • First, pastors need to pray more.
  • Second, pastors need to learn to receive intercession".
Today’s post -#40  Do Pastors Pray Enough?, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines. (pgs. 80, 81) By Regal Books

Let’s pray:

   Father, it is a need that we see now, that our pastors and leaders are seeking to find more time alone with You for prayer. 

We ask that You help them to be successful, and ask for others to support them in finding and making private prayer time available.

   May we understand their desire and need to pray, and may we be diligent in praying for them daily when we pray. We are obligated to support them with our concern, as they are in leadership, and need help in this very important aspect of their individual lives. 

We ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.


As we gather round the table
We bow our heads in prayer
To thank You, Lord, for loving us
And for Your constant care.

We thank You for our houses,
Our friends and families.
We thank You for Your guidance
And for Your perfect peace.

Thanks for all Your blessings,
The big ones and the small,
Especially for Jesus
Who gave His life for all.

  © Frances Gregory Pasch
Today's Bible verses: Phil. 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving." 

Ps. 97:12 AMP "Rejoice in the Lord, you [consistently] righteous (upright and in right standing with God), and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness."

Today's quote:   Harry Ironside “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” 
Some thoughts today: The Gospel is a passionate pursuit of man. Our response to it needs to be, "Here I am". The Gospel is preached all through the Bible, and finally through Jesus Christ.

- Hurtful words, arrogant and prideful hearts that respond to difficulties, can drive us away from God.

- How are you dealing with things that try to make you feel worthless? King David, in the Bible, prepared his heart before God in private. So should we. The Word of God's Truth will set us free. We are the King's kids! 

{Check my post  Who Am I?, posted 11/24}

Saturday's post:  What Defines You?  Jean Oathout

Sunday's post:  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross  Fanny J. Crosby

Tuesday's post:  #41  Pastors Need to Pray More  C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post:  #42  Prayer Time Must Be Sufficient  C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:   Praise Refreshes the Soul 
  "When we begin to praise God in the middle of the mundane,He refreshes us with a new outlook on life!

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse  Kindle addition $3

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#39 Clergy Prayer in Other Nations

C. Peter Wagner shares with us, "I personally conducted similar surveys (refer to his previous message,   #38  How Much Do Pastors Pray?), in four other nations. I found that:

  • Australian pastors average 23 minutes a day in prayer.
  • New Zealand pastors average 30 minutes a day.
  • Japanese pastors average 44 minutes a day.
  • Korean pastors average 90 minutes a day.
In Korea, another survey showed that 83 percent of pastors across denominational lines pray one hour or more a day.

One out of three prays two hours or more.

One of my close friends, Pastor Sundo Kim, whose Kwang Lim Methodist Church is reported to be the largest Methodist church in the world (more than 50,000 members in 1990), has a prayer closet built into his study.

It contains a pillow on the floor for kneeling, a Bible on a low stand, a cross and a picture or two on the wall, and nothing else.

He told me he spends at least an hour and a half a day in that closet.

That hour and a half is over and above the hour or more he spends every single day leading his church's predawn prayer meeting and the time he spends in groups and in one-on-one praying during the day. 

Like many other Korean pastors, Kim also has a motel-like bedroom and bath connected to his study because he ordinarily spends all of Saturday night there fasting and praying for Sunday's ministry 

His prayer habits are about average for Korean pastors."

Today’s post
 -#39  Clergy Prayer in Other Nations, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines.(pgs. 81, 82) By Regal Books

(Google images added)

Let’s pray:

   Father, these pastors have set high standards of prayer for themselves, and we admire them. It's no wonder their churches are having such results. We understand that our own pastors have a need to make time to pray, too.

   You are moving in us, and in our pastor(s), to realize that determined prayer time is of utmost importance. If results are to happen in our churches, we must take the challenge to hold them up in prayer. 

May they acknowledge their need to pray, and also have our support in this matter. 

In the Precious Name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Prov. 10:3a "The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish."

Today’s quote: Margaret Feinburg “God often chooses to reveal the wonder of Himself in quiet moments. Sit in silence for twenty unbroken minutes. Set an alarm, if need be, so you know how much time has passed. Keep paper and pen nearby to write down any fluttering thoughts. 

Embrace the silence then invite God to speak. Reflect on what you hear in this posture of listening. Pray that God reminds you of people for whom you can pray. Ask God to bring scriptures to mind that he wants you to consider. Enjoy the wondrous silence of just being in God's presence.”    Wonderstruck

Some thoughts today: There's nothing we can do to be in God's Family. He has to draw us. We are adopted, which means we're part of the family of God. We're accepted in the Beloved, Christ Jesus. We have a new identity in Him.

- The call is to walk worthy of our calling, to live like Christ. We're adopted, so we're to live in freedom. Every son/daughter God adopts, He chastens that we can become like Him.

Thursday’s post:  #40  Do Pastors Pray Enough?  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  What Defines You?  Jean Oathout

Sunday's post:  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross  Fanny J. Crosby

Tuesday's post:  #41  Pastors Need to Pray More  C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:  Operative Power: Prayer Note #96   "He (God)is going to do this superabundantly more than we can ask or think in the measure of the power that is distributed from us." 

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse  Kindle addition $3

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who Am I?

If you are a child of God, you can make the following claims in faith:

I am the salt of the earth Matt.5:13

I am the light of the world Matt. 5:14

I am a child of God John 1:12

I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ's life   John 15:1, 5

I am Christ's friend John 15:15

I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit John 15:16

I am a son of light and not of darkness 1 Thess. 5:5

I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling  Heb. 3:1

I am a partake of Christ; I share in His life Heb 3:14

I am one of God's living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house Pet. 2:5

I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession 1 Pet. 2:9,10

I am an alien and stranger to this world in which I temporarily live 1 Pet. 2:11

I am an enemy of the devil 1 Pet. 5:8

I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns 1 John 3:1, 2

I am born of God, and the evil one--the devil--cannot touch me 1 John 5:18

I am not the great "I am" Ex 3:14; John 8:24, 28, 58, but by the grace of God, I am what I am 1 Cor. 15:10

Christ Himself is in me Col. 1:27

I am firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built in Him Col. 2:7

I have been spiritually circumcised. My old unregenerate nature has been removed. Col. 2:11

I have been made complete in Christ Col. 2:10

I have been buried, raised and made alive with Christ Col. 2:12, 13

I died with Christ and I have been raised up with Christ. My life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is now my life Col. 3:1-4

I have been given a spirit of power, love and self discipline 2 Tim. 1:7

I have been saved and set apart according to God's doing 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus  3:5

Because I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother Heb. 2:11

I have the right to come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need Heb. 4:16

I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of God's divine nature 2 Pet. 1:4

I have been justified--completely forgiven and made righteous Rom. 5:1

I died with Christ and died to the power of Sin's rule over my life Rom. 6:1-6

I am free forever from condemnation Rom. 8:1

I have been placed into Christ by God's doing 1 Cor. 1:30

I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God 1 Cor. 2:12

I have been given the Mind of Christ 1 Cor. 2:16

[I don't know where I found this list.]

I am sharing this with you, my readers, to remind you of the blessings of being born again into God's Kingdom. I hope this encourages each of you. 

If you haven't given your life to God, through Christ Jesus, you can surely see the advantages of doing so! Open your heart to Him right now, and ask Him to forgive your sins, and invite Him into your heart, to create in you a new spirit that is alive in Him. You will never regret it, as eternity awaits you with all the promises given above.

(Google images added)

Ellen Andersen tells us, "I’d never rightly identified who I was. I learned my significance lay not in my work, social status, or accomplishments. My significance and identity is in Christ. I am His child and nothing can take that away.

When something happens that changes your life, talk to God about it and listen. He’ll answer."

Photo Credit: / By moggara12

Read Ellen's devotions.

(Used by permission)

Let’s pray:

Father, I ask that You speak to us, as we read this post today. May it become clear that You love us, and You desire to minister to our souls. 

Speak through the scriptures we read, and draw us to Your Heart, to encourage us to step out in faith and believe what has been shared. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Is. 27:5 "Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me."

Today’s quote: Max Lucado – “When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?  Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now?”
Some thoughts today: God is happy to pursue us, as He wants to redeem and adopt us into His Love.

- God brings all peoples together in Christ Jesus. He has no preferences. He loves us all. Regardless of who we are, or where we find ourselves, or what our background may be, we are invited to come to Him through faith in Christ His Son, Who died and rose again for us all, making a way for our forgiveness and salvation.

Tuesday’s post:  #39  Clergy Prayer in Other Nations  C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post:  #40  Do Pastors Pray Enough?  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  What Defines You?  Jean Oathout

Sunday's post:  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross  Fanny J. Crosby

A popular post:  How to Get a New Heart "Mike, (a surgeon), explains that the process for selecting who gets a ‘new’ physical heart is similar to who can get a ‘new heart’ from God Ezek. 36:26. In both cases, need alone is the criterion."
  Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book for women contemplating marriage.

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse Kindle $3 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Praying With Confidence

Dr. Charles Stanley tells us, "We sometimes become impatient in our prayer life. Read Matt. 7:7-11

We might get angry or simply throw up our hands and decide God is not listening to us when He doesn't answer our prayers immediately or in the exact way we hoped.

The truth is that God delights in answering our prayers and has provided plenty of promises that should motivate us to talk with Him. {Be sure to check out Jean's post tomorrow, Who Am I?}

Read today's passage one more time. If we understand what Jesus was saying in Matthew 7, we will be able to pray with greater confidence.

To ask is the easy part. We request aid in our jobs or protection of our children.

We also ask to be drawn closer to God.

The next step is to seek  this is the action stage of asking.

Oftentimes we
 need to do something before the Lord will bring about an answer to our prayers.

 For instance, if we pray, 'God , please help me understand Scripture,' we must proceed to open the Bible and start reading.

Finally, to knock demonstrates that we're coming to the Lord with a sense of dependence upon Him.

We recognize that we cannot manipulate an answer to our petitions but instead must rely upon His power.

What's more, our ability to "knock" is uniqueour God is personal and intensely interested in us.

Jesus uses the words  ask, seek, and knock in the present active imperative tense. That means "ask and keep on asking; seek and keep on seeking; knock and keep on knocking."

In the Scriptures, prayer is compared to incense, which implies an unbroken stream that flows from us to heaven.

Are you providing a continuous fragrance to the Lord with your prayers?"

This message was taken from the April 2013 IN TOUCH magazine of Dr. Charles Stanley.

(Used by permission 

Let’s pray:

   Father, we realize that our prayers are important, and we do want to learn to pray more with confidence that You're listening, and that You do want to answer them. 

   May we understand that You see the whole picture, and You are interested in creating the best answer for us. 

   We see that we need to rely on Your wisdom in each prayer's outcome. 

   May we ask, seek, and knock with confidence in Your love for us, and that the outcome will be bring You honor, and be for our good, too. 

In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.

Today’s Bible verse: 2 Chron. 6:35 AMP "Then hear hear from heaven their prayer and supplication, and maintain their cause."

Today’s quote:   Fran Pasch – “At the End of the Day

                               “At the end of the day when I'm weary,
                               And there’s no more work to do,
                               I take my tea and my Bible
                               And read a Psalm or two.

                               The verses give me a pick up,
                               They feed my soul and my mind,
                               They comfort and they guide me,
                               I leave my troubles behind.

                               I find the messages healing;
                               They strengthen my faith and my hope.
                               God’s promises nourish my spirit;
                               His words give me courage to cope.”

                                     ©Frances Gregory Pasch

Used with permission 

Google images added to post

Some thoughts today: We can know God has obliterated the walls between us and Him. It is through Christ only, and He said it is accomplished when we put our faith in Him, ask for forgiveness of our sins, and receive Him. What He's done on Calvary is for you!

- Having peace with God depends on us and our determination to seek it. Forgiveness is readily available, my friend.

- If we want a relationship with God, then we must forgive, and be willing to allow God's grace to assist us in accomplishing it. We cannot forgive on our own.  We need His help!

Sunday’s post: Who Am I?  God's Promises

Tuesday's post:  #39  Clergy Prayer in Other Nations  C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post:  #40  Do Pastors Pray Enough?  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  What Defines You?  Jean Oathout

A popular post:    Do You Expect God to Answer Your Prayers?  Sharon Jaynes asks us a good question: "Have you ever prayed about something, but didn’t really expect God to answer…I mean really expect it?" 

Fall colors!

Samples of Jean's crafts

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse Kindle $3