Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Religion: Pure and Simple

James H. Cagle: The word religion comes from the word re-ligare which means to bind back or bind together. 

The idea being that one is bound to a specific system of belief that they must adhere to when they embrace a particular religion as the Christian-religion, the Buddhist-religion, the Hindu-religion, etc..

Religion today is a multi million-dollar business, and mostly about show and the feel-good experience. Religion today addresses mostly a persons felt needs but not their real needs.

It would be safe to say that we have gotten away from the purity and simplicity of the gospel that the first century church had.

We must wonder where and when did we go wrong and take what was so simple and beautiful and powerful and meaningful and turn it into something so complex, weak and anemic, that’s hard to understand and hard to find Scripture to support it?

"Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James.1: 27).

James in one sentence describes true biblical religion as pure, meaning there must be impure religion, and undefiled, meaning there must be religion that is defiled.

As James described true religion and simplified its meaning, Jesus in similar fashion simplified and summarized the whole teachings of the law when He said, we were to first love God with our total being and then our neighbor as our self (Matt. 22:37-40; Micah 6:8). 

The religion or religiosity of the average Christian is strictly confined to their activities within the church building or on church grounds, and that’s where they intend to leave it.

In James’ description of "pure" and "undefiled" religion he makes no reference to any of those things done during a normal worship service. 

Nor does he say anything about theology, or church doctrine, or tithing, though these are vital for having a strong church. James with one sentence describes true religion with all its tenets in a most powerful and yet simple form that everyone can understand.

Pure religion according to James is taking theology and church doctrine wherein is revealed the Person and will of God and putting it into action, by being charitable to others and walking before God in obedience and holiness.

A person may know all about theology and church doctrine, but if the fruit of charity and holiness is not seen in their life they do not have pure religion.

What then is pure and simple religion? It’s loving God and walking in obedience to His Word in order to remain clean and usable for Him, and then going to our neighbor in their affliction and showing the love of God to them. 

Simply put pure and undefiled religion is all the theology and doctrine put into practice in our daily lives in the manner James described. And he tells us a charitable heart and a holy life are the best pictures of pure religion.

Religion: Pure and Simple

James H. Cagle

(Google image and my emphasis added.) 

"Expect to see an abundance of great grace, strength, and faith being imparted to you as you encounter higher realms of God's presence. Expect to see new manifestations in the realm of miracles, signs and wonders, and divine appointments to minister to unbelievers in public everywhere you go.
It's time to become the encounter!"
Alex Parkinson
Alex Parkinson Ministries

  Father, make our hearts seek for what's important to You in and through our 

  Let our obedience be marked with a strong witness of Your power to change us into Christ's likeness.
  May others be drawn to You, not by our "talk", but by our living our faith before them.

  Please have Your way in us, to Your glory, and our good. I ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible verses-

(2 Chron. 20:14 b) "...came the spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation."

(Ex. 2:7) "And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

Today’s quote- 

"When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. And so on. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what GOD can do."   A. C. Dixon

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new Canton Church begins tomorrow, May 1st! We'll be located in the Seventh Day Adventist Church building across from the Court house' parking lot on Court St. in Canton.  9:30 coffee and social time. Service at 10 am sharp! Bagels this Sunday! Ramp to front door, and chair lift on stairs to basement. Come visit us soon! Jamie Sinclair is the pastor.

Our thought today-

God looks for us to have expectancy of His showing up in our meetings with brothers and sisters of like faith.

Our questions today-

This coming Sunday, are you going to pray and believe that the Presence of the Holy Spirit will truly be in your particular church gathering? Will you invite Him there to enable the leaders to be effective in their ministries?

Upcoming posts-

    5/1 Sunday evening's post by Jean Oathout

    3rd- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

    5th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

    7th- Saturday's post by Debbie McEwen 

A popular post:  

Why Choose Jesus? Jean Oathout tells us many of the reasons to choose Jesus over Satan's plans for us. Jesus is the One Who can change us, for the good!

 "1. Jesus loves us..       Satan hates us
 2. Jesus offers life and peace..   Satan offers death, pain,  destruction..."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

#38 The Dynamics of Prevailing Prayer

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: All prevailing in prayer depends on the full enabling, guidance, and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

From one viewpoint, there is only one source and dynamic of prevailing prayer—God the Spirit. Only as He fills us, possesses us, yearns through us, permeates and empowers every aspect of our praying, and discloses to us the priorities for our praying—that is only as He is Lord of our praying—can we prevail.

From another viewpoint, there are eight all-important dynamics of prevailing prayer:

  1. Desire
  2. Fervency
  3. importunity
  4. Faith, 
  5. The Holy Spirit
  6. Uniting in prayer
  7. Perseverance
  8. Praise
As you study the scriptural accounts, the biographies of God's holiest prayer warriors, and thrilling narratives of answered prayer, you see repeated mention of how these eight dynamics have been used by the Spirit to lead God's prayer veterans to outstanding victories for Christ.

In some prayer battles, one or more of these dynamics seem to predominate, but in most cases most of them have been used by the Holy Spirit as He has prevailed and triumphed through the prayers of God's children.

No two situations are identical in their need or in the activities Satan employs to try to prevent or limit Christ's victory. The people involved in the situations prayed for differ in their attitudes, personalities, and prejudices.

Satan will not give up his strongholds without strong resistance and spiritual battle. He is not only insolent and inveterate in his hatred of God and man, but he is full of wrath at his repeated defeats by the prayer offensives of God's children.

Your prayer, however, can prevail over all circumstances and over all the cunning deception and the demonic power that Satan can marshal. God has ordained that Satan be routed and defeated by your prayer.

But who feels sufficient to take on in spiritual conflict the embattled forces and strongholds of Satan?...

God the Holy Spirit! He is not intimidated by Satan and all the wrath of that roaring lion. He is not disheartened, no matter how long Satan has usurped control over a place, a situation, or a people.

God has ordained to dislodge and defeat Satan by the prayers of His people. The Holy Spirit has been charge with the responsibility of engaging in conflict all the powers of darkness and enforcing Christ's victory.

This is the age of the Spirit and also the age of battle. Age-long, all-out war exists between God and Satan.

In the mystery of God's purpose, He has chosen to conquer Satan by the cross of Christ and the prayer of God's children. Satan was defeated once for all at the cross.

The victory Christ won alone—alone in the garden, alone on the cross. But that eternal victory must now be applied and enforced by the Holy Spirit working through the prayers and obedience of God's children.

We are to launch our prayer battles from that triumph of Christ. From that mount of victory we are to keep a constant offensive against all the defeated forces of hell.

Prayer warfare is of the very essence of New Testament Christianity. Prayer victories are your challenge and heritage as a believer.

Arise to your holy privilege, your Christ-purchased, God-ordained role! Onward to victory after victory for Christ through prevailing prayer by the eightfold, Spirit-provided dynamics of prevailing prayer!

(Google image and my emphasis added)

Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana

#38 The Dynamics of Prevailing Prayer
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 64-66) Zondervan

"Prayer is GOD'S ordained way to bring HIS miracle power to bear in human need."   Wesley L Duewel

"O believing brethren! What an instrument is this which GOD hath put into your hands! Prayer moves HIM that moves the universe." 
Robert Murray M'Cheyne

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new Canton Church begins May 1st! We'll be located in the Seventh Day Adventist Church building across from the Court house' parking lot on Court St. in Canton.  9:30 coffee and social time. Service at 10 am sharp! Come visit us soon. Jamie Sinclair is the pastor.

Let's pray-

Father, may we learn to be victorious
in our praying, so You will receive the glory
and so Your will can be done.
God has ordained to dislodge and 
defeat Satan by the prayers of His people!
Once we understand and believe that,
may we then pray prevailing prayers.
Christ conquered Satan by dying on
the cross. We can now be overcomers for the
Kingdom in our efforts to reach 
with the salvation message.
Help us obey Your leading, and experience
prevailing praying.
I ask this in Jesus' name.

Today’s Bible verses-

(1 Chron. 16:11) "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."

(Ecc. 2:26 a) "For God giveth to man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy."

Today’s quote-
1 Samuel 8:5-6: "Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations... Give us a king to judge us."
"God's people rejected Him as their King and chose a man. It is easy to see a man with our natural eyes, but it takes diligence to "see" and "hear" the Lord. This dynamic is still true of God's people today. It is inherent in our fallen human nature. We reject God and look to man. This leads to idol worship within the Church. This is why it is imperative that we seek to become transformed into the very image of Christ." 

Kevin Basconi: "The Restoration of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Approaching Global Revivals" 

Kevin Basconi
King of Glory Ministries International


Our thought today-

With the thought that prayer victories are our challenge and heritage as believers, let's make every effort to make praying a priority, and to believe we're being heard by God.

Our question today-

What is it that prevents us from being effective and fervent in our praying, and do we know that the King is listening? Are our petitions in line with His Word and will?
Upcoming posts-

Worship: Pure and Simple
30th- Saturday's post by James H. Cagle

When You Pray...
31st- Sunday evening's post by Jean Oathout

#39 The Dynamics of Desire
5/3- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#40 Recognition of the Need of Prevailing Prayer
5th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

A popular post-

Max Lucado: We are not a victim of our thoughts. We have a vote. We have a voice. We can exercise thought prevention!

“Don’t talk to me,” we say. “I’m in a bad mood.” As if a mood were a place to which we were assigned, rather than an emotion we permit. 
we say, “Don’t mess with her..."

Looks inviting...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#37 Jacob's Night of Prayer

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Note the various aspects of prevailing in Jacob's night of prayer (Gen. 32:9-31).

His life had not been flawless, yet God had an eternal purpose for him, for which Jacob needed spiritual preparation. The immediate need was to prevail for the safety of his family. 

Above all, he needed to be a new, more spiritual Jacob. Jacob became Israel by prevailing with God. Both symbolically and literally he prayed till he prevailed. It is a model of what it means to prevail before God. (#36 You Must Prevail Before God)

1. He was returning at God's command (Gen. 31:3). Prevailing is often required, even when you are asking in God's will.

2. He was returning at God's promise.

3. He pleaded the promise of God. Your prayer takes on a new dimension of faith and power when you claim God's promise.

4. He had proofs of God's presence and approval.Laban testified that God spoke (Gen. 31:24-29). God's angels accompanied Jacob (32:1).

5. Difficulties, obstacles, and delays are no proof of being out of the will of God.Esau came with his private army. Satan's attacks most likely prove you are in God's will.

6. He went instantly to prayer (Gen. 32:9-12). No spiritual victories are won without instant, frequent recourse to God. Jacob reminded God of His command, promises and previous blessings and presented a specific request.

7. He humbled himself.(Gen. 32:10). He called God Elohim (mighty) and Jehovah (Lord), confessing his own unworthiness and his poverty apart from God.

8. He did what he could to help answer his own prayer.

9. He was unable to sleep.When God keeps you awake, He has something to say to you.

10. He committed all into God's merciful hand—wives, servants, children, and possessions.

11. He prayed on alone. (cf. Hos. 12:4). He wrestled literally and symbolically. It was a spiritual struggle. He wept. Note these translations of the verb in Hosea: He pleaded (LB, JB), begged God's favor (NEB), and entreated God for mercy (BV).

12. He refused to let go until God blessed him.He persisted in holy boldness. The more he realized who the Wrestler was, the more determined he was to be blessed by Him. Whatever the cost, he held on, even when he suffered.

13. He quit fighting and began clinging. He insisted only on God's blessing.

14. He got a new name.This change indicated a new nature. He received a new face-to-face understanding of God. His name indicated a new royalty—he became a prince.

15. His power with God preceded his power with men.When he had prevailed before God, he had no problem prevailing before his brother.

(Google image and my emphasis added)

Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana

#37 Jacob's Night of Prayer
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 62-64) Zondervan

Let's pray-

      Father, when we realize that our praying will effect what happens, may we begin to do it more seriously.
   Melt our hearts to be conformed to what is on Your Heart for our situations and concerns.
   Following Jacob's prayer night as our example, help us get to the point and seriously spend time with You, and to be in tune with Your will.
   May we commit it all to You and to what is the best to have happen, even though it may not be what we want. Your will, timing and way we know will be best.
   I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse-

(Jer. 10:23) "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."

Today’s quote-

"I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books, and praying over, if possible, every line and word. This proved meat indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above." George Whitefield

Our thought today-

A casual relationship with the Bible will not be of much benefit. We need to be able to refer to it to guide us in our daily living. As all Scripture is breathed by God, we're to live by its every word. (Matt. 4:4)

Our question today-

How did Jesus use the Father's Word? (Matt. 4:1-11) Shouldn't we follow His example?

Upcoming posts-

#38 The Dynamics of Prevailing  Prayer
28th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Worship: Pure and Simple
30th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

When You Pray...
5/1- Sunday evening's post by Jean Oathout

#39 The Dynamics of Desire
3rd-  Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

A popular post- 


At first thought, somber images come to mind, but those are quickly displaced by the sweetest memories of waiting in the delivery room..."