Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Reflections (Lessons from a mirror)


James H. Cagle shares with us: In 
James 1:22-24, James makes an 
analogy between a man looking 
at his physical appearance in a mirror 
and at his spiritual man in the Word. 

James compares what we might do when we look in the mirror with what we might do when we look into the Word. Our attitude toward a mirror and our outward appearance should be similar to our attitude toward the Word and our inward state.

Here are some of those similarities.

1. We have full confidence in the mirror that judges our outward appearance. The mirror reveals our untidiness and uncleanness. This should be true in our relationship with the Word. The Word should judge our heart and behavior and point out any sin and uncleanness.

2. We believe and trust the mirror because we know it reflects perfectly the truth about our physical appearance and is incapable of lying. We keep using it, because we trust its uncompromising honesty.

In like manner we should also trust the Word. The Word is totally honest in all things. It reveals perfectly the state of our inner man and is incapable of lying. We don’t throw the mirror out for telling the ugly truth why throw the Bible out for telling the ugly truth?

3. The mirror is the changing point. We always look better after visiting the mirror. We go to the mirror very unkempt but leave the very opposite.

The Bible is the changing point as well. "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments." (Ps. 119:59, 60)

This is change; repentance described. The response that the Bible evokes from us, and the influence it exerts over us is evidence that supports the claim that the Bible is the Word of God.

The mirror plays a major role in our daily lives as its power is seen everywhere with every person we meet. Men and women have their hair neatly combed. Women have their makeup on properly, men have their ties on straight. 

We also meet men and women who have looked into the Word of God and made the changes in their heart and life the Bible showed them they needed to make, for we see them walking in holiness and love.

Looking in the mirror and the Word is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end, for there are no magic mirrors and there’s nothing magic about Christianity. 

We must respond to the revelation they reveal of us. We must "trust and obey." We have to trust the mirror to tell us our hair needs combing but we must do the combing. 

We look into the Word to see our sin and to see the changes we need to make to be more like Christ. But we must obey the Word and do what it says to actually experience those changes. We must be "doers of the Word and not hearers only."

(Google image and my emphasis added)



Reflections (Lessons from a mirror.)
By James H. Cagle



                                    Just Chat With Him
     ©Frances Gregory Pasch

You need not pray down on your knees,
It can be underneath the trees,
Or in the house, or in a bank,
On a grocery line, or filling your tank.

No formal words does God require
Just chat with Him—that’s His desire.
It can be in the day or night.
Any time will be all right.

What matters most is don’t forget
And get so busy that you let
Things block Him out of all you do,
For He would not do that to you.

He wants to be your closest friend.
On Him alone you can depend.

                                        (Used by permission) 

"Though God forgives us our sins when we repent, we still have an accumulation of bad habits that need to be removed. God could use strong methods of chastising us.

Instead, He uses the gentle nudging of His Holy Spirit to convict us. He points out our faults through Scripture, through written material, and through people.

He then gives us His strength to overcome our weaknesses. Stripping us of our bad habits is a tedious job, too, but after God patiently works with us and changes us, others will see the progress He has made."
 Frances Gregory Pasch

~ It’s important we examine our hearts to understand WHY we do things, not just correct our behavior.  Neil Vermillion


Our thought today: There's a constant conversation in your mind. Confessing negatives is dishonoring the God Who made you, and Who governs all situations connected with you. Start to shift your thinking, inspite of how you feel, as "This is the day the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad in it!" 

Our question today: How does confessing the truth from God's Word make us free?

Answer: When we understand that God's in control, and He loves us unconditionally, we can be free from doubtful thoughts by confessing what His Word says about the situation.



   Father, when I do feel impatient, irritable, bitter, forgetful, disorganized, and disconnected from You, may I pick up my Bible and get alone with You! Amen.

Our special link today: What Your Body Does in a Day  If you don't think you're a miracle, think again...   

Today’s Bible verses:  Ps. 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well."  


           #21 The Prevailing Christ
      March 1st- Tuesday’s post by Wesley L. Duewel

           #22 Christ Prevailed on Earth
        3rd- Thursday's post by Wesley L. Duewel

           How Do You Pray for an Election?
               5th- Saturday's post by Dave Butts

           How Does Attending Church Effect 
                       the Way You live?
        6th- Sunday evening's post by Lee Forbes
  


"Icing" on the day
Feb. 23/16

The Majesty of God check Debbie McEwen's blog post if you want to see several more awesome  "Icy" pictures of great beauty of that day!


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why Lord?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Andrea Merrell: “Lord, I just don’t understand.' I’ve found myself making this statement a lot lately.

I don’t understand this crazy weather or the ridiculous dreams that invade my sleep.

I don’t understand why people are so cruel and vindictive, or the reason such a young man died so tragically.

And I really don’t understand why my friend keeps going back to her abusive husband.

Why? Why? Why?

Questions bombard us from every angle, especially if we’re in tune with the national news. What I’ve learned is that we can either worry and fret or go to the one infallible source of truth—God’s Word.

'Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . .'


The problem with trusting is that we’ve been let down and disappointed so many times, it’s hard to place our faith in someone—sometimes even God.

'And lean not on your own understanding . . .'


We spend far too much time depending on our own understanding. We try to analyze and rationalize everything to death. If we can’t figure it out—and fix it—we get frustrated.

If we’re not careful, worry sets in and we lose hope.

Trust in the Lord is a tall order, especially when we’re instructed to do it with our whole heart—no questions asked—no matter what the circumstances might be.

God tells us His ways are not our ways. They are so much higher and greater than anything we can see, feel, or comprehend. In other words, He sees the big picture.

He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. He is the One who brings order to chaos, makes beauty out of ashes, and has a time and purpose for everything under heaven.

He is the One I can turn to when nothing makes sense. I don’t have to understand. All I have to do is trust.

How about you?"

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us. 

Why, Lord?

Nov 30, 2015 12:00 am | Andrea Merrell


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6


Andrea Merrell is an author, editor, workshop leader, and writing mentor with a passion to encourage other writers and help them sharpen their skills. 

She is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Andrea has been published online and in numerous anthologies. 
    Father, it's true, we have so many questions, and we're learning that You're the One with answers for us.
     Your Word tells us that Your ways are higher than ours, so help us to understand this, and look to You for guidance each day.
     We really don't need to figure out the answers for what concerns us, therefore, we can lay them before You for Your directions in each matter.
     May we learn to trust in You with all our hearts. In the Name of Jesus I ask this. Amen.   

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 91:15 "He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."

Our question today: What is it that is most effective in our efforts to have God's power released in our churches?

Today’s quoted answer:  "Status-quo Christianity doesn’t work to fight and win in spiritual warfare, only Christ-centered Christianity does. We need a vibrant relationship with the living God that will allow His power to change our lives and the lives of those around us. God desires to do great things through us, if we are only willing to be with Him and walk where He directs us. Spending time with Jesus is not something we do once; it is something we live breath by breath." Mike Evans



Our thought today: It's breath taking to realize that the Holy Spirit can actually dwell within us! (see Col. 1; Eph. 1, as well as Acts 2)


                                 Reflections (Lessons from a mirror)
28th- Sunday evening’s post by James H. Cagle
        

#21 The Prevailing Christ
3/1st - Tuesday's post by Wesley L. Duewel


#22 Christ Prevailed on Earth
3rd- Thursday's post by Wesley L. Duewel


How Do You Pray for an Election?
5th- Saturday's post by Dave Butts



A popular post:  What Happens When we say "Yes" to God? Jean Oathout lets us in on what is her response to the ladies retreat in Gananoque, Ontario...

As we have a Holy God, we need to understand that how we live is important to Him. His Holy Word, the Bible, 

                                                  explains in great detail..."







Thursday, February 25, 2016

#20 We can be Saved from Prayerlessness


 Wesley L. Duewel: "Chadwick has written, 'It would seem as if the biggest thing in God's universe is a man who prays. There is only one thing more amazing, that is, that man, knowing this, should not pray.'
(Samuel Chadwick, The Path of Prayer [Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 1931],11-12)

Lord, make us giants in prayer! Prayerlessness is the sin of the casual Christian. The absence of truly prevailing prayer is the sin of many praying Christians. Thank God, there is a way to a life of prayer and empowerment through prayer.

We must have an entirely new relationship to Jesus. Says Andrew Murray

    'It is vain for us, with our defective spiritual life, to
     endeavor to pray more or better. It is an impossibility.'
     (Andrew Murray, The Prayer Life [Chicago: Moody, n.d.], 31)

We must see Jesus as the Lord who waits to save us from prayerlessness. We must believe Him for a new life of closer fellowship with Him, a life in His love and communion beyond anything that we have known thus far.

Jesus longs to save you from a defective spiritual life and a defective prayer life. He must become more personally real to you. You must value His infinite love more than ever before.

You must reciprocate His longing for communion with you. Be willing to take time to share His prayer burden with Him as He intercedes at the right hand of the Father.

The resurrected, enthroned Lord Jesus, your great Intercessor, through His Holy Spirit, will teach you the life and power of prayer. May the Spirit fill you with the spirit of intercession.

Learning to prevail in prayer demands willpower. It demands recognizing your spiritual priorities. 

Ravenhill has said,

    'Prayer is a battle for full-grown men, fully armed and
     fully awake to the possibilities of grace.'  
    (Ravenhill, Revival Praying, 11-12)

God teach us the role and priority of prayer! God give us a thirst and relish for prayer for meeting face-to-face with the Lord Jesus!

God teach us to meet the conditions of prayer, to cultivate the hunger for prayer, to experience the joy of prevailing intercession and the power of God that comes upon our life and others as we pray!"

(Google image and my emphasis added)


Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana
#20 We can Be Saved from Prayerlessness
by Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 34-35) Zondervan 



    Father, we see that learning to prevail in prayer demands willpower. 
    It is our prayer to be more diligent, and to take the time to meet with You for our various concerns.
    May we see the role and priority of prayer to make it important to us, thus discovering the power released in and through our efforts.
    We ask this in the Name of Jesus, Who made this all possible by His sacrificing Himself on the cruel Cross. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Jer. 5:5 a "I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them, for they have known the way of their God."

Today’s quote: "The light that shows us our sin and condemns us for it will show us the way out of it into the life of liberty that is well pleasing to God. If we allow this one matter, unfaithfulness in prayer, to convict us of the lack in our Christians lives, God will use the discovery to bring us not only the power to pray that we long for, but also the joy of a new and healthy  life, of which prayer is the spontaneous expression." (Taken from p. 20 of The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murry)

Our thought today: In Acts 2:1-4, we find the pattern for the Church for the early believers. They kept what happened then in mind throughout their sharing of the Gospel, and of the subsequent promise of the Holy Spirit's indwelling the believers. (see 2:38; and chapters 8 and 9 of Acts for examples)

Our question today: If the Church started out this way in Acts 2, what makes us think it should be any different today?

Answer: Because God has not changed the Plan of Redemption that His Son paid for with His Blood, we are to follow the Scriptures in our thirst for Reality in our salvation experience. 

Pray for the evidence of His Presence in your life. It is the "down payment" for our eternal existence in Heaven when we die, or when Christ returns for His Own.

Why Lord?
27th- Saturday’s post by Andrea Merrell

   Reflections (Lessons from a mirror)
28th- Sunday evening's post by James H. Cagle

#21 The Prevailing Christ
3/1- Tuesday's post by Wesley L. Duewel

#22 Christ Prevailed on Earth
3rd- Thursday's post by Wesley L. Duewel


A popular post:  #20 Intercession as a Spiritual Gift  C. Peter Wagner 
shares with us that "Intercession is not one of the 25 spiritual gifts mentioned specifically as gifts in the New Testament.

But, like the gift of exorcism, I believe it should be added to the list..."





Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#19 You will Regret Prayerlessness


Wesley L. Duewel: The regret of prayerlessness begins in this life when we suddenly need to prevail in prayer and then realize how far we have drifted, how casual our relation to Him is, and how weak our prayerlessness has left us.

When we suddenly need strong faith, our faith proves feeble and wavering because we have exercised it so little. God in His mercy may still hear us, but our hearts feel guilty for so neglecting Him and disobeying him in our prayer life.

We need to ask His forgiveness instantly. Remember, forgiveness can be received in a moment if we truly repent and take steps now to do God's will. But power in prayer is not restored in a moment. Normally, it is the result of faithfulness in a life of prayer.

God keeps a record not only of our thoughts and words but also of our prayers. Ravenhill writes,

   "I believe most of us will need the tears wiped from 
    our eyes when the books are opened at the judgment 
    bar of God, and our personal record is read." 
    [Ravenhill, Revival Praying, 54.]

When you and I stand with Christ in eternity, perhaps the most amazing feature of our lives as we look back will be our prayerlessness. 

   "If there are any regrets in heaven, the greatest will
     be that we spent so little time in real intercession." 
    (An Unknown Christian, The Kneeling Christian 
    [Grand Rapids, Zondervan, n.d., 26].


If, as Andrew Murray taught, Christ intended prayer to be the great power by which His church would do its work, then certainly the neglect of prayer by the church is the greatest reason for its powerlessness.

He added,

    "Satan will bring forth all his power to prevent us 
     from becoming men of prayer." [Murry, Ministry
     of Intercession, 12; idem, Prayer Life, 127]

How disappointed God is with the spiritual life of pastor and people when they are weak in prevailing prayer and the prayer of faith. God has given us no greater means of bringing down His blessing and power upon our lives and work.

There is probably no single sin that you and I ought to acknowledge with deeper shame than the sin of prayerlessness. 

Perhaps never in the history of the church have we church leaders and our congregations been busier and more organized in church activity.

But where is the power that attracts the unsaved, that causes them to tremble in the presence of God, that brings them to real repentance and transformed lives, and that then makes them a part of an actively witnessing community?

Being busy is not enough. We must be blessed and empowered, used mightily by God.

Never has the cause of God needed more visible illustration of the possibilities and power of prayer than does the church in our age. It is prayer power that makes saints and that produces holy character, ethical living, and fruitful witnessing.

God forgive our prayerlessness and call us all again to a life of prevailing prayer.
(Google image and my emphasis added)



Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana
#19 You will Regret Prayerlessness
by Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 33-34) Zondervan 


Today's Bible verse: 1 John 2:15 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Our question today: "John exhorts the believers to NOT LOVE the world. He isn't talking about the physical world, or the people in the world. What does he mean?

Answer: It is the pursuit of possessions or experiences that are in themselves healthy and of God, but pursuing them in a way that is contrary to His will." (Taken from our 40 Days of Fellowship: With God and Man, a small group study #5).

Today's quotes:"Because of the fall, you are genetically predisposed to certain strengths or weaknesses and are influenced by the physical and spiritual atmosphere in which you were raised.

These conditions can contribute toward causing someone to struggle with particular sin. Ask the Lord to show you specifically what sins are characteristic of your family." (p. 240 in Neil T. Anderson's book , The Bondage Breaker)

Unceasing Prayer
by Max Lucado

Unceasing prayer may sound complicated, but it needn’t be that way. Do this. Think of prayer less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God. Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness. 

As you stand in line to register your car, think, “Thank you, Lord, for being here.” In the grocery store as you shop, think, “Your presence, my King, I welcome.” As you wash the dishes, worship your Maker.

Brother Lawrence called himself the “lord of all pots and pans.” He wrote, “The time of busy-ness does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon knees at the blessed sacrament.”

So talk to God, always. Besides, it makes more sense to talk to God than mumble to yourself!"

From Max on Life
Listen to UpWords with Max Lucado at OnePlace.com


    Father, help us become faithful to pray, so when we need to have strong faith, our faith proves and unwavering. 
    May we not be so caught up in our busy-ness, that we neglect this most important aspect of Christianity.
   Help us remember that it is prayer power that makes saints and that produces holy character, ethical living, and fruitful witnessing.
    I ask this in the Name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.


#20 We can be Saved from Prayerlessness
        25th- Thursday’s post by Wesley L. Duewel

             Why Lord?
        27th- Saturday's post by Andrea Merrell

                               Reflections
        28th- Sunday evening's post by James H. Cagle

                    #21 The Prevailing Christ
           3/1st- Tuesday's post by Wesley L. Duewel