WHERE’S YOUR JOY

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WHERE’S YOUR JOY

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 NKJV
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Romans 12:12 NKJV
“…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…”

True joy only comes from God. Too many times people are looking for things or other people to give them joy. When that does not materialize they keep looking somewhere else. Often times these people are continually discouraged. Up one day and down the next.

Things or people will not give a person true joy. Knowing that all is right between you and God and that He is always with you, no matter what you are going through, and that He has a plan for your life brings true joy. Instead of wallowing in self-pity when things are not going the way you want them to, we must try to find the good in the circumstance. Something beautiful can be found in whatever season you are in. – good times and bad times. However, you must purposely look for it.

Just like the Israelites in captivity, many have allowed their circumstances to rule how they feel. They have ceased looking to God for joy.

Psalm 137:1- 4 NKJV
“By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land?

After going into captivity, the once joyful people stopped singing songs of praise and adoration to God. They allowed their grief to rule over their lives rather than remembering that God was with them and that He had a plan.

Dear Father,
Thank-you for everything that You have done for me and everything that You are going to do. May I never cease to rejoice in You. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may I walk in Your perfect will and may I never allow things or people to come before You. Help me to continue steadfastly in prayer. My joy comes from You, and You alone. Things or people can never fill that place within me that belongs to You. I can rejoice in knowing that You are with me no matter what I am going through – no matter what season of life I am in. You will never forsake me or leave me. Help me to look for the good in every situation and in all circumstances. May I never cease to sing songs of praise and adoration to You. Thank-you for the plan You have for me and my life.
In Jesus’ name. Amen

One Christian’s Perspective On The Unrest In America

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One Christian’s Perspective On The Unrest In America

The problem with America (and people) is that they would rather talk about problems, situations and negative attitudes than to actually pray about them. They would rather go on television or social media and voice their opinion instead of going to the One that is actually for the oppressed and hurting.

People tend to see the world through their own personal life experiences, no matter what color their skin is. We must get to the point that we see things through God’s eyes – not through yours or mine. And certainly not through television or social media. The old saying, “There are three sides to every story – yours, mine and God’s“ has a lot of truth in it.

Put down your signs and pick up your Bible, dust it off, read it, obey it, and it will change your life. And it will change our nation.

My challenge to you is for every post you put on, or share, on social media about the condition of our nation (or our leaders) spend one hour on your knees crying out to God concerning the situation. Maybe you could spend half an hour in prayer for every time you hit “like” to those same type of posts/photos.

Pray For Holy Spirit Conviction

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Pray For Holy Spirit Conviction

 

Dear Father,
Our heart’s desire is to please You in all that we do and say. Please don’t allow us to be more concerned in pleasing man than in pleasing You. We don’t want to be just another social club. We desire to follow Your command to make disciples.
Convict us of our sin and bad habits. We never want to grieve or quench Your precious Holy Spirit. May we prepare a place for His presence to abide with us. When people enter into our churches may they have an encounter with You, through the work of the Holy Spirit, not an encounter with man. We ask that the Holy Spirit convict everyone in every service of sin, bad attitudes and wrong. May everyone be changed in Your presence. Cause us to rise up and be the watchman in this world that You have called us to be through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

LACK OF CONVICTION

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LACK OF CONVICTION

Could it be that churches and believers have left the Holy Spirit out of their lives and churches by being more concerned in pleasing man than in pleasing God?
Within the churches have they been more interested in making friends (social clubs) than making disciples?
Have churches quenched and grieved the Spirit for so long that they don’t even realize it?

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin. He desires to minister in our churches but we must allow Him to. We can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by refusing to follow His leading – by disobeying Him. Another way to grieve and quench the Holy Spirit is by planning and scheduling Him completely out of the service. When people enter into our churches they need to have an encounter with God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, not an encounter with man.

There is something very wrong when backslidden and unsaved people feel very comfortable sitting in churches listening to sermons and not feeling the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. They come, they listen and they leave unchanged. Will God hold us accountable for this?

Ezekiel 3:18-21 NKJV
“When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

If the church really believed that they are God’s watchman in this world would they do whatever it takes to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit to dwell in their midst? It is the Holy Spirit that convicts a person of sin, wrong and bad habits. Without His presence in our midst we are hopelessly lost.

Everyone needs the Holy Spirit …
We need His convicting power and presence in our churches.
We need His convicting power and presence in our individual lives.
The backslidden and the prodigals need His convicting power.
Those that have never accepted salvation need His convicting power in their lives.

Dear Father,
Our heart’s desire is to please You in all that we do and say. Please don’t allow us to be more concerned in pleasing man than in pleasing You. We don’t want to be just another social club. We desire to follow Your command to make disciples.
Convict us of our sin and bad habits. We never want to grieve or quench Your precious Holy Spirit. May we prepare a place for His presence to abide with us. When people enter into our churches may they have an encounter with You, through the work of the Holy Spirit, not an encounter with man. We ask that the Holy Spirit convict everyone in every service of sin, bad attitudes and wrong. May everyone be changed in Your presence. Cause us to rise up and be the watchman in this world that You have called us to be through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

HAVE YOU BECOME COMPLACENT?

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HAVE YOU BECOME COMPLACENT?

The dictionary describes complacence as self-satisfaction, complaisance (going along with the way things are), and unconcern (lack of care or interest, indifference).

Revelation 3:15-21 NKJV
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Complacency grows out of a false sense of security and it will eventually lead to a lukewarm relationship with God. Many in the body of Christ are satisfied with the status quo – they don’t want change, or they don’t see a need to change. People have become self-satisfied and half-hearted. Left unchecked complacency can eventually destroy a person..

Proverbs 1:32 NKJV
“For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them…”

HAS YOUR HEART BECOME HARD (CALLUSED)?

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HAS YOUR HEART BECOME HARD (CALLUSED)?

A callus is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Since repeated contact is required to form a callus. Normally, a callus will form on any part of the skin exposed to friction over a long period of time. (Examples: the middle finger due to writing, fingers used to play a stringed instrument…)

A heart can become callused (hardened) by repeatedly resisting the Holy Spirit. It can also be caused by repeatedly failing to act upon what you have heard God speak to you through His Word, sermons/messages, or the Holy Spirit. Basically a callused heart is caused by ignoring the Holy Spirit.

After a heart becomes callused the person will feel less and less of the Holy Spirit’s convicting power and His warnings.

Proverbs 29:1 NKJV
“ He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

God will judge those who stubbornly reject His correction.

Hebrews 3:7-9 NKJV
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.”

Your heart can become callused even while sitting in the church or doing ministry work. When we hear the Word of God we must apply it to our daily lives.

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

The Bible sin as to know to do right and not do it.

James 4:17 NKJV
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

During Bible days, much like today, people love to hear powerful teachings but they fail to act upon or obey what they hear.

Ezekiel 33:30-32 NKJV
“As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.”

The people were eager to go to hear Ezekiel, and they would invite others to do so also, however they never applied it to their lives. They did not obey the Word that they heard. Their behavior did not match up to what they confessed as their beliefs.

Like many that were eager to hear Ezekiel, many attend church today as a form of entertainment or social gathering. Today many hear God’s Word but they do not put into practice what they hear.

 

Pray Out Loud

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Pray Out Loud

God hears our silent, whispered, murmured and loud prayers, however there are many good reasons to pray out loud. A few are:

1. When we pray out loud it zeros in on our thoughts. At any given time we have many thoughts going through our mind so when we pray out loud it helps to single out what we are praying for.

2. Praying out loud together is the pattern set for us by the early church

Acts 1:14 NKJV
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Acts 2:42 NKJV
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 12:12 NKJV
“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.”

3. Praying out loud declares your faith.
According to Romans 10:9-10, confession is made with the mouth.

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

By praying out loud, you are declaring, or confessing, your faith.

4. Praying out loud is an encouragement.
When we pray out loud those that hear can be encouraged by our words.

When Jesus prayed for other people He prayed out loud so that those who heard Him could be strengthened in their faith and encouraged.

5. Praying out loud can help stir up faith and prayer in others.

Hebrews 10:24-25.NKJV
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

6. Praying out loud helps others to pray.
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. By listening to Jesus pray they gained greater understanding on prayer and how to pray.

7. Praying out loud can speak things into existence.
Our words contain power and they have the ability to speak things into existence.

8. Praying our loud (in a group setting) is a way of sharing our struggles and weaknesses. It can also be comforting for others to pray out loud for us.

James 5:13-16 NKJV
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

9. Praying out loud helps build your faith. Your mind thinks it, your mouth says it, your ears hear it and your mind believes it.