Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, April 30, 2015

#62 Draw Near to God

C. Peter Wagner: Drawing near to God is the second lesson. This has to do with our personal prayer life. 

  Prayer in general is a broad subject with many extremely important facets. But none as more important for a Christian who desires to do effective spiritual warfare than personal prayer.


  Why is personal prayer that important?


  Our personal prayer life is the principal barometer used to measure the quality of our relationship to God. I agree with John Wimber when he says,


    "Intimacy with God in prayer is a primary goal of the Christian 
life."

  Jesus provides our example. The world knew that Jesus was authentic because Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19).

  Wimber asks, "Why is our goal intimacy with God?


  His perceptive answer is that only in sustaining a close relationship with the Father..


   
"do we experience forgiveness, renewal, and power for
     righteous living. Only in an intimate relationship with
     God can we hear His voice, know His will, understand
     His heart."



  Like it or not, drawing near to God requires time. If we are motivated to pray, the first and most important act of self-discipline for implementation is to set aside blocks of clock time.

  Once you budget the time, a kind of spiritual Parkinson's law comes into play and prayer tends to expand to fill the time available.


  Those who do not carve out time, particularly those who rationalize their reluctance to do so by claiming "I pray without ceasing," usually end up praying very little.


  One reason some do not dedicate much time to prayer is that they don't enjoy it. 


  My daughter Ruth hated to wash 
dishes when she was at home.

  I was amused to observe through the years that by far the most urgent and critical demand on her time invariably came immediately after we finished dinner. Since she hated to wash dishes, there was always some higher priority demand on her time.


  Many Christians have the same attitude toward personal prayer. There always seems to be something more urgent to do.


  Time for prayer is scarce because other activities have higher priority. Some even make the statement that "prayer is hard work."


  I have difficult time understanding this if the essence of prayer truly is a relationship of intimacy with the Father.


  It would be like me saying, "Spending time with my wife, Doris, is hard work." I would never say that for two reasons. First, it is not hard work, it is pure joy.


  Secondly, if I did say it, she would take it as an insult, and I wouldn't blame her. 


  Could it be that God might take such an attitude as an insult also?


  (Google images and emphasis added)


#62 Draw Near to God
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 109, 110) Regal Books






Let's pray:


    Father, because it's very important to
make time with You, most likely, it will
be hard at first to carve it out of our busy
days.
    May I become diligent in this effort to
make sure that my time with You is first.
    Whether it is best in the evening before retiring, or early in the morning before starting the day, I ask for Your Spirit to prompt me, and to give me Your thoughts, to urge me to set aside time for meeting with You.
    I ask this in the precious Name of Jesus. Amen
.

Today’s Bible verse: 

(2 Kings 23:25 a) "..that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might."

Today’s quote: 

Dr. Charles F. Stanley - "What is God calling you to do that's "far more abundantly" beyond all you think you can achieve? Stop making excuses and get to work! Within you lies untapped potential—not your own strength and abilities, but the unlimited might of the holy spirit. His power will be unleashed in response to your acting on faith." 

(Taken from Dr. Charles F. Stanley's In Touch, daily readings for devoted living - May 2015 pg 33. Used by permission - customercare@intouch.org)

Some thoughts today: 

- Read the Bible out loud with your mate, friend, or children. Situations, hearts, and lives can be healed by it!

- God's desire is to show His power in our weakness. He wants to break us of our human weakness and self sufficiency.


- When we are at our worst, God is at His best. If you flaunt the gift God's given you, you're through! 

5/2- Saturday’s post:  The Fear of Man
Kimberly Damon
3rd- Sunday evening's post:  When the Waves Come
Lisa Buffaloe

   ~My vacation time~  (I plan to visit my family and friends downstate)


19th- Tuesday's post:  #63 Enjoying Prayer
C. Peter Wagner
21st- Thursday's post:  #64 Fasting
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post: 
Lord, I Want to Know You More 
"Lord I want to know you more, than just a figment of the mind, I want to know you in a way, that I will let Your light shine.

I hear others talk about the intimacy they have with You. I want to get to know You like they say they do..."



jean-oathout.blogspot.com   (save to check in sometime)

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse


 A great gift for someone who
needs help in their marriage


Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women
Or choose the topic of interest each day.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#61 Submit to God

C. Peter Wagner: We live in a permissive
society where almost anything goes. Many 
of today's adults grew up in dysfunctional 
families where they never learned what it 
means to have a loving father who leads the 
family, protects and provides for his household, earns the love and respect of his children, and also expects obedience.

Not only non-Christians, but even some Christians have a difficult time relating to the commandment,

    "Honor your father and mother" And the biblical admonition:
     "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Eph.
     6:1).

Rebellion often seems to be a more popular attitude today than loyalty.

Christians who never willingly submitted to a natural father frequently find it difficult to submit to their heavenly father.

They seek God for love, gentleness, forgiveness and healing but draw back from God's demands for obedience and commitment.

They have never fully come to terms with the concept that "Jesus is Lord." In first- century society when the New Testament was written, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that a lord was to be obeyed without question.

Christians who are not ready to obey 
God unconditionally are no more ready 
for warfare than Marines who are not 
ready to obey their commanding officers.

The Bible uses some very strong language when it deals with obedience. How do we know that we know God?

     "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His
     commandments" (1 John 2:3).

The New Testament does not allow the false separation of loving God on the one hand and submitting to Him as master on the other, which many believers these days wish might be true.

It clearly says,

     "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments"
     (1 John 5:3).

Submitting to God is the first lesson of spiritual boot camp.


#61 Submit to God
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 108, 109) Regal Books







     Father, it is my desire to be active in putting you first in my life. I ask that You draw me closer in my prayer and worship times, so I can learn to submit more fully to You.
     I am determined to wait on You, and to see Your glory more fully. I will praise You for Your faithfulness to me, and to be sure to give You the credit for all of the blessings I receive.
     I trust You to go with me in every endeavor You ask me to do. I do ask for Your presence everyday, and in every way.
     In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Zeph. 3:8 "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD."

Today's praise verse:  Ps. 16:7 "I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me."

Today’s quote: Missionary David Livingstone -  “God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.”   

Some thoughts today: If you seek the Lord in prayer, He will protect you.

- Satan has the disadvantage when you're walking with Christ.

- Everyday, we can choose to stay in close contact with God.

Peaceful Warrior

O Lord make me Your peaceful warrior
Let me not lay the blame where it belongs
Allow me the grace to forgive without being asked
Fill my heart with Your wisdom so I may follow Your gentle ways
Please give me Your compassion for those in need
Allow me the wisdom to help others respectfully
Teach me to be humble
To give glory only to You who humbled Himself before all creation
If I am persecuted for Your name's sake
Let me rejoice that I do not stray from You
Teach me always to do what is right rather than to worry 
about being right
I pray that when I lay down my head for the last time, that I 
have learned Your lessons
and may become Your peaceful warrior for eternity in 
Your mighty Kingdom.

by Debbie McEwen
tmcewen91@yahoo.com

30th- Thursday’s post:  #62 Draw Near to God
C. Peter Wagner

May/2nd- Saturday's post:  Fear of Man
Kimberly Damon

3rd- Sunday evening's post:  When the Waves Come
Lisa Buffaloe

     ~My vacation time~  (I plan on visiting my family and friends downstate)

Next post 19th- Tuesday's post:  #63 Enjoying Prayer
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:  Putting God First Joyce McCullough tells us about her sister's thoughts: “How can I possibly feed my family this month if I also pay my tithe to the church?

My sister, Debbie, sat at the kitchen table mulling over her grocery list. Times were tough..."


jean-oathout.blogspot.com   (save to check in sometime)

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
Kindle $1.99


 A great gift for someone who
needs help in their marriage


Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women

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

 AuthorsDen.com
Where authors and readers come together!




Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pray First

Jennifer Benson Schuldt: When my 
husband and I supervise our son's piano
practice sessions, we begin by asking
God to help us.

We pray first because neither my husband nor I know how to play the instrument.

Together, all three of us are coming to understand musical mysteries such as the meaning of "staccato" and "legato" and when to use the piano's black keys.

Prayer becomes a priority when we realize that we need God's help. David needed God's assistance in a dangerous situation as he considered fighting the Philistines in the city of Keilah. (see 1 Samuel 23:1-5)

Before engaging in battle, "David inquired of the LORD, saying, 'Shall I go and attack these Philistines?' " (1 Sam. 23:2).

God gave His approval. However, David's men admitted that the enemy forces intimidated them. Before a single sword was lifted against the Philistines, David prayed again. God promised him the victory he later claimed (v.4).

Does prayer guide our lives, or is it our last resort when trouble strikes? We sometimes fall into the habit of making plans and then asking God to bless them, or praying only in moments of desperation.

God does want us to turn to Him in moments of need. But He also want us to remember that we need Him all the time (Prov. 35:6).


Dear God, please guide me as I walk through this life. Help me not to act only by my own wisdom, but to seek Your will in every situation.


God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.
Oswald Chambers"

Our Daily Bread 4/13/15

Today’s Bible verse: 1 Sam. 23:4 "Then David inquired of the LORD once again."

Today’s quote: John Bevere"Remember that, if you're in the place where God wants you, the devil will try to offend you to get you out. He wants to uproot men and women from the place where God plants them. If he can get you out, he has been successful. If you will not budge, even in the midst of great conflict, you will spoil his plans." (p 54 of The Bait of Satan)

Some thoughts today: Prophetic ministry can strengthen and enlarge your vision. They give a perspective as to who you are, and how God sees you.

- If you've received prophetic ministry, don't forget what that word was, and hold onto it, making effort to walk it out. Let your pastor go over it with you, to help you better understand what was said, and what you can do about it.

- The more of God's Word that you have within you, the more the Spirit of God can get a hold of. Stir up the gift of God. 2 Tim. 1:6.

28th- Tuesday’s post:  #61 Submit to God
C. Peter Wagner

30th- Thursday's post:  #62 Draw Near to God
C. Peter Wagner

5/2nd- Saturday's post:  Fear of Man
Kimberly Damon

3rd- Sunday evening's post:  When the Waves Come
Lisa Buffaloe


Hope Interviews Modern Day Revivalist

by Lift the Cross of Jesus! by Hope Finchbaugh (An excellent message about praying for revival!)

A popular post:   Seizing and Securing Our Inheritance  Dutch Sheets says, "What He (Jesus) provided for us, we must seize by faith with spiritual weapons.

           A word of caution is necessary at this point. As we involve ourselves in spiritual warfare, it is imperative that we remember we are not trying to defeat the devil. He is already defeated..." 


jean-oathout.blogspot.com   (save to check in sometime)

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
Kindle $1.99




 A great gift for someone who
needs help in their marriage


Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women

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

 AuthorsDen.com
Where authors and readers come together!




Saturday, April 25, 2015

Seasons of the Heart

    

Seasons of the Heart
There are seasons of the heart
Which we live through time and again;
And, with every season, a span of time
Remembered for its growth, rest or pain.

Winter comes and brings its chill
With arms that coldly embrace the soul,
Then pruning back is done by God
That we may bear fruit to a hundredfold.

The sun doesn’t shine and the trials mount
Like the snow piled high at the door.
The light is dim, the darkness long,
‘Til we think we can’t stand anymore.

But spring soon comes; and our soul revives
Through the warmth of the Savior’s love.
The seed of faith held through winter’s cold
Opens to bear fruit for the Father above.

Then comes summer, bringing the drought,
And the heart sends its roots down deep;
Tapping into God’s reservoir of grace,
That the fruit He gave, the soul may keep.

Fall then comes, when the harvest is done
And the fruits of God’s grace are laid in;
Maturing our soul and changing its face
To reflect more the image of our Friend.

We circle again, through the Savior’s plan,
To the quiet stillness of wintertime,
And learn by experience, the season’s of the heart,
Are measured out in God’s will and time.

We must submit to every season of the heart,
Never choosing just the warmth nor the cold;
Allowing the elements of every season
To mold our character ‘til His glory He beholds.




Seasons of the Heart
by James H. Cagle





    Father, when I think of all You've brought me through thus 
far, I have to admit that You are not only merciful, patient, 
strong, wise, and all-knowing, but that You really do love me...
    May my life become a life of sweet fragrance to You.
    Guide me through each of the remaining seasons of my life, 

and help me to please you.
    I ask this in the precious Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 34:22 "The LORD redeemeth the souls of his servants: and none of them that trust in him, shall be desolate."

Some thoughts today:  When someone gives you a prophetic word, and it agrees with what God's been impressing you with, take it into what you're doing, embracing it.

- Sometimes, a word comes to confirm what's already going on. It helps to understand that God sees us, and knows our giftings.

- He may deposit a new direction for your giftings.



26th- Sunday evening’s post:  Pray First
Jennifer Benson Schuldt

28th- Tuesday's post:  #61 Submit to God
C. Peter Wagner

30th- Thursday's post:  #62 Draw Near to God
C. Peter Wagner

5/2nd- Saturday's post:  Fear Of Man
Kimberly Damon



Thursday, April 23, 2015

#60 Spiritual Boot Camp




C. Peter Wagner: When young people enlist in the Marines, their first stop is boot camp. There they receive intensive, basic training geared to carry them across the threshold from civilian to military life.

The major purpose of boot camp is to develop the character that will sustain a Marine in the crisis in situations of battle.

This partially done through grueling physical disciplines designed to build both muscle and stamina. 

But even more important is the psychological conditioning necessary to assure that every Marine believes in the mission of the Marine corps, develops courage and self-discipline, and is fully prepared to submit to authority and obey commands with no questions asked.

Without the basic training of boot camp, Marines would never win a battle, much less a war.

Basic training applies equally to Christians who desire to do spiritual warfare. Too many Christians want to get involved in the action without first submitting themselves to the discipline necessary to equip a warrior for battle.

To the degree that they do, they leave themselves open to serious personal attack and they run the risk of bringing discredit to the Body of Christ.

Spiritual warfare should be seen as involving two simulaneous movements: the upward and the outward. Some call them Godward and Satanward.

In a book that has become a Christian classic, Quiet Talks on Prayer, S. D. Gordon, at around the turn of the last century, pointed out that "prayer concerns thee."

It first concerns God to whom we pray, then the person doing the praying, but also the evil one against whom we pray.

"The purpose of prayer," says Gordon, "is not to persuade or influence God, but to join forces with him against the enemy."

Joining with God against Satan is essential in prayer. "The real pitch is not Godward, but Satanward," Gordon says.

Although our goal in spiritual warfare is to join God in defeating the enemy, we must never forget that we, in ourselves, have no power to defeat him. "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts: (Zech. 4;6).

The principle here is that it is extremely dangerous to attempt to move too far outward without first moving far enough upward.

Moving upward is the spiritual boot camp, while moving outward is the battle. Just as in the Marines, the battle cannot be won without first going through boot camp.

[Wagner gives a diagram on page 107, conceptualizing what he is saying.]

The rest of the book will describe in some detail our battle plan and what it means to move Satanward. But the sequence cannot be changed. We must look at the Godward side first.

A central text for understanding the relationship of the upward to the outward is James 4:7, 8: 

    "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee
     from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to 
     you.Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your 
     hearts, you double-minded."

In verse 7 "submit to God" is the upward or Godward relationship and "resist the devil" is the outward or the Satanward relationship.

These verses elaborate on the upward action by setting out three things we must do if we are to successfully resist the devil:

    (1) submit to God; (2) draw near to God; and (3) cleanse
    our hands and purify our hearts.

These are three essential parts of a spiritual boot camp designed to equip the warriors.

(Google image and emphasis added)


#60 Spiritual Boot Camp
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 106-108) Regal Books





     




    F
ather, may we be willing to look to You for the guidance we'll need to be successful in our spiritual warfare efforts.
    Make it clear to us that You're the one Who has the power needed to overcome the evil one, and that we're supposed to wait on You to lead the way to the victory promised in Your Word.
    I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.


https://docs.google.com/a/lasalleinstitute.org/file/d/0B5QcEjaTpxkDc2tWUnh0SVdyZXM/edit?pli=1

Copy and paste the above link, and you'll be blessed! God talks with a man about changing him into Christ's image...

Today’s Bible verse: 2 Sam. 22:2 "And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer."

25th- Saturday’s post:  Seasons of the Heart
James H. Cagle

26th- Sunday evening's post:  Pray First
Jennifer Benson Schuldt

28th- Tuesday's post:  #61 Submit to God
C. Peter Wagner

30th- Thursday's post:  # 62 Draw Near to God
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:   Listening to God in the Little Things Sharon Jaynes tells us, "God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you already know..."


jean-oathout.blogspot.com   (save to check in sometime)

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
Kindle $1.99


 A great gift for someone who
needs help in their marriage


Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women

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

 AuthorsDen.com
Where authors and readers come together!