Monthly Archives: September 2012

Psalm 133:1-3

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     Psalm 133:1-3  NKJV    

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing- Life forevermore.”

Dear Father,

Fill me with a desire for unity. Help me to be in agreement with and in  harmony with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me speak the same thing, and let there be no divisions among us. Let us be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Don’t allow the unity to be a facade, just an outward appearance, but a genuine harmony, without pretense,  that recognizes we are one body in Christ, and that Jesus Christ Himself is the head. Remove all hypocrisy.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Rise Above The Crowd – Get Away From It All

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Rise Above The Crowd – Get Away From It All

 

 

Luke 19:1-2  NKJV    

“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.”

          There are times that you need to get away from everything and seek God’s presence. To seek His direction.  Zacchaeus desired to see Jesus, but there were so many people crowding around. He had to find a way to get Jesus’ attention.

Like Zacchaeus we don’t need to be held back by the crowd. We must not allow our intimate times with God or our times of seeking His face to be crowded  out. Many times, we too, must swallow our pride in order to get God’s attention. We too, must discern where God is moving.

I. Don’t be held back by the crowd:

Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV    

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

           We must seek God first, before things or people. Things and people must never come before God. Our intimate times with God must not be allowed to be crowded out.

Luke 19:3-4  NKJV    

“ And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him for He was going to pass that way.”

          We must not allow people, circumstances, or things to crowd out our time with God. Nor should we allow what man may see as a physical limitation to be an excuse for not seeking God’s face. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus – he wanted (sought) to draw close to Him. Throughout the Bible we see that whenever people truly seek the Lord they find Him.

Matthew 7:7-8  NKJV    

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

          Zacchaeus was determined that he would not be kept away from the Lord by the actions of the crowd. The crowd surrounded Jesus so Zacchaeus decided that he would climb a tree (rise above the crowd) in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus. When we allow our time with God to be crowded out, we are allowing our enemy to push us away from God. Our adversary is very subtle. Many times he doesn’t tempt us with bad, evil or sinful things. All he has to do is keep us so busy with good things (works) that our time with God gets crowed out. It is very subtle- a little at a time until our relationship with God is lukewarm and we are indifferent. God does not desire that our relationship with Him be lukewarm or indifferent.

Revelation 3:15-16  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.”

          A person that is indifferent to God will have or show no (or little) interest or attention to Him. Eventually their relationship with God will become mediocre.

Psalm 27:4  NKJV    

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,

That will I seek:

That I may

dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life,

To behold the beauty of the Lord,

And to inquire in His temple.”

          God desires (longs) to spend intimate time alone with each one of us, and that we seek His face with all our heart.

Song of Solomon 7:10  NKJV    

“I am my beloved’s

And his desire is toward me.”

II. Swallow your pride:

We must swallow our pride and do whatever we have to do get the attention of God. Pride is having a high opinion of one’s own worth or possessions; pleasure or satisfaction with oneself; acting as if better than others. Zacchaeus was a rich man and it was probably a very humbling thing for him to have to climb a tree in order to see Jesus. Climbing the tree also was like placing a spotlight on his physical shortcomings (his short height). Pride will always come between you and God (God hates pride) and it will have a negative effect on your relationship with Him.

Proverbs 8:13  NKJV    

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

Pride and arrogance and the evil way

And the perverse mouth I hate.”

          Naaman’s pride was injured and he became angry when he was given the pathway to his healing. Naaman had to swallow his pride. He humbled himself and followed the prophets instructions.

2 Kings 5:9-11  NKJV    

“Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.’  “But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, ‘Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ ”

          Only after he humbled himself did God cleanse him of leprosy. If Naaman had not swallowed his pride and humbled himself he would have missed out on his healing.

2 Kings 5:14  NKJV    

“So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”

III. Discern where God is moving:

You must run ahead of and climb higher than the crowd.

Luke 19:4-5  NKJV    

“So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ ”

          We must discern (recognize and distinguish) where and in what direction God is moving and align ourselves up with Him. However, we can not discern what God is doing or where He is moving outside of the Holy Spirit. We must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!

1 Corinthians 2:10-12  NKJV    

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things of God.”

          Only the Holy Spirit can reveal things about God to us. When the Holy Spirit reveals to us where God is moving we must be willing to go in that direction.

Conclusion:

Jesus would go off alone to seek God’s direction and to draw closer to God. Should we not do the same? There are times that the Spirit will draw us away from everyone in order to give us strength for what lies ahead. We must discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us. Prior to Jesus’ ministry the Spirit led Him into the desert by himself.

Matthew 4:1 NKJV    

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

           Spiritual victories are often followed by times where we have been alone seeking the face of God. Also, after a spiritual victory, we need to get alone with God for fresh strength and fresh vision.  After Jesus heard the news about John the Baptist’s death, He went off by himself.

Matthew 14:13  NKJV    

“When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.”

          The people heard where Jesus was and they went to where He was. Jesus was moved with compassion for the people. He healed the sick people then He performed a miracle by feeding over five thousand people from five loaves of bread and two fish. Later, after all the leftovers had been gathered up, Jesus went alone by Himself to pray.

Matthew 14:22-23  NKJV    

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountains by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”

          After Jesus’ last Passover meal, He went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray and seek God.

Luke 22:39-41  NKJV    

“Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the p[lace, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed”

          Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him to be alone on a mountain after He had taught for six days.

Matthew 17:1-8  NKJV    

“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him! And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’ When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”

          Moses would leave the camp and go to the tabernacle to talk (fellowship) with God, then he would return to the camp. But Joshua stayed behind to be alone with the Lord.

Exodus 33:11  NKJV    

“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.”

          May the Lord fill each one of us with a desire to get alone with Him.

Revelation and Relationship

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          Revelation is God’s disclosure of Himself and of His will. Revelation without a relationship (intimacy) will birth religion. Revelation with a relationship (intimacy) will birth true worship. When revelation of who God is comes together with an intimate relationship with Him, mighty things happen.

2 Chronicles 5:11-14  NKJV    

“And it came to pass when the priests who came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), and the Levites who were singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the alter, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets- indeed it came to pass, when the trumpets and singers were as one. to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: ‘For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,’ that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”

Acts 2:1-4  NKJV    

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

          When the manifest presence of God filled the temple in 2 Chronicles, all the priests and singers had just came from ministering to God. On the day of Pentecost, the early church was ministering to the Lord (praying and fasting) when the presence of God filled the place. Also, in Acts chapter thirteen the Bible gives us another example of the church ministering to the Lord, then the Holy Spirit ministering to them.

Acts 13:2  NKJV    

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

            The early church ministered to God in private and in public (in a corporate setting). We need knowledge of who God is and a life giving intimate relationship with Him. Just like the Pharisees, today many have a revelation of God, but they do not have a life giving, intimate relationship with Him. They know His name, but they don’t know Him. God desires for us to have both.

2 Samuel 6;14-17  NKJV    

“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.”

          David had a revelation of God and an intimate relationship with God. His wife, Michal, had a revelation of who God was, but she did not have an intimate relationship with God. Michal was filled with contempt for David when she saw him worshiping the Lord. She felt that David’s intimate dance before the Lord was a very low and worthless thing. She rejected David’s worship to the Lord. As a result, she remain childless.

2 Samuel 6:23  NKJV   

  “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.”

          The Bible does not say that Michal was barren, it says that she was childless.  Could it be because she rejected David’s worship to the Lord that he was no longer had intimacy with her, causing her to be childless? She was still married to David, she still lived in his house, she was still part of his family but, they were no longer intimate.

Today, many people reject true worship and in so doing, intimacy between them and God is non existent. They still consider themselves part of the family of God, they still go to His house, but they are no longer intimate with Him.

In essence, when we reject true worship, we reject intimacy with God.

Bulldog Desperation – Being A Bulldog For God

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          When we hear the word bulldog the first thing that comes to mind is a little dog with a smashed in face – a dog that when it bites into something  it won’t let go. While that first thought has some truth to it, there is more to a bulldog than meets the eye. In the past, I always thought of a bulldog as an ugly, mean little dog. To a breeder, someone who knows all about bulldogs, that is far from the truth. I found ten things that breeders look for in the character and attitude of a bulldog. As I read over these things, I thought that it would be wonderful to have a church full of spiritual bulldogs. People that have bulldog desperation for the presence of God.

I. Bulldogs have a loving disposition.

Disposition is one’s habitual way of acting toward others or of thinking about things; one’s nature or tendencies. Bulldogs act in a loving way toward others. They have a loving way in which they think about things. Their very nature exhibits love. As a refection of Christ, we too should have a loving disposition. Our very nature should exhibit love. If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must have a loving disposition.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8  NKJV    

“Love suffers long and is kind: love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it’s own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

          The way we think about things (and the way we think about God) should be different than the way the world thinks. We should have a loving way in which we think about things and people.

John 13:34-35  NKJV    

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

          We should show the love of Christ in everything that we do and say. When people look at us our very disposition should show that we are disciples of Christ.

1 John 4:7  NKJV     

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

          Our very nature will show if we really know God or not. If you are truly born again you will habitually show the love of God.

II. Bulldogs have great stability.

Stability is being fixed in position; firmness, permanence, steadfastness of character, purpose. Stability is having the ability to maintain or to return to an original position. Bulldogs have great steadfastness in their character and purpose. They have a great ability to maintain their position.

2 Peter 10:14  NKJV    

“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless”

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must be steadfast in our service, in our faith, in our growth in Christ, and in our perseverance.

Steadfast: firm of purpose; loyal and unwavering; firmly fixed; not moving or changing.

A) Steadfastness in service

1 Corinthians 15:58  NKJV    

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

          We should press on to fulfill God’s calling on our lives. Every believer is called by God to minister to Him, then to the saints, then to the world. Every person bought by the blood of Jesus Christ is called by God, every person has a ministry. Ministry can be wearing on your body, soul and spirit. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to work (minister) through us. By allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us we will not grow weary in well doing.

2 Thessalonians 3:13  NKJV    

“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.”

B) Steadfastness in our faith.

Colossians 2:5  NKJV    

“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”

         Things of this world and things of the enemy should not shake our faith. We, as Christians, have a solid foundation. We have Jesus as our cornerstone.

1 Peter 5:9  NKJV   

  “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

         When we are steadfast in our faith we are stable. True victory comes when we are steadfast in our faith and remain committed to God no matter what we are facing (in all situations). We are not easily disturbed or likely to fall apart when trouble comes our way. Stability is a sign of maturity.

C ) Steadfastness in growing in Christ.

2 Peter 3:18  NKJV    

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

1 Thessalonians 3:11-14  NKJV    

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

          It is important that we grow (mature) individually and as a body. If we remain “children” we are vulnerable and gullible.

Vulnerable: can be wounded or injured easily; open to attacks; sensitive to criticism, temptations, influences.

Gullible: easily deceived or cheated.

          Many new believers are drawn away from the faith when they do not mature (grow) properly. Also there are some churches that close their doors because they refused to grow (spiritually). When proper growth is not taking place in a believer’s life (or church) they are injured easily, open to attacks, sensitive to criticism, temptations and influences.

Ephesians 10:14-16  NKJV    

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

          We should mature in all aspects of our relationship with Christ. Maturity comes from practice. You must practice (put in action) what you are taught.

Hebrews 5:12-14  NKJV   

  “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

D)  Steadfastness in perseverance

God has commanded us to stick to our calling in Christ Jesus. We are to hold fast to the things of God that we have been taught.

Revelation 3:10  NKJV    

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on earth.”

Perseverance: sticking to a purpose or an aim; tenacity.

Tenacity: firmness in holding fast; stubbornness; persistence; ability to remember; firmness in holding together; toughness.

Endurance: power to last and to withstand hard wear; power to put up with.

          When facing trials, tribulations (hardships, suffering, distress) or desperate situations, we must not give up or give in. We must stand firm in our faith and persevere. We must remember what God has told us and stand firm on His Word.

Romans 5:3-4  NKJV    

“And not only that, but w also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

          We are counted as blessed (enjoy the favor of the Lord) when we endure what God has allowed to come against us.

James 5:11  NKJV    

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

III. Bulldogs are full of vigor.

Vigor is active strength or force, healthy energy or power. Bulldogs are full of vigor. They are strong and active. They are energetic and forceful. When a bulldog encounters a fight (war) it wages a vigorous war against the enemy.

Isaiah 59:19  NKJV    

“So shall they fear

The name of the Lord from the west,

And His glory from the rising of the sun;

When the enemy comes in like a flood,

The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must be full of vigor.   When the enemy comes against us the Lord will judge the enemy (person or thing). He will wage war against the enemy. Our part is to be full of the power of the Holy Spirit, and He will help us stand firm in the face of the enemy. He has armed us with strength for the battle.

Psalm 18:39  NKJV    

“For You have armed me with strength for the battle;

You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.”

          The battles that we go through do not belong to us. They belong to the Lord. We should not try to fight the battle for God.

1 Samuel 17:47  NKJV    

“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.

           Unlike a bulldog, our vigor (strength, force, power) does not come from the physical. It is supernatural. It only comes from the Spirit of God.

Zechariah 4:6b  NKJV   

  “ ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” 

Philippians 4:13  NKJV   

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

IV. Bulldogs have great strength.

Strength is quality of being strong; power; force. Strength is the power to resist force, degree of intensity, something that makes you strong; support. A bulldog is strong, powerful and forceful. It has the power to resist force. If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must have great strength. We must rely on God’s power for our strength. God’s power is limitless. The resurrection of Jesus from the grave was an example of God’s power.

Ephesians 1:19-20  NKJV    

“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ Jesus when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”

          When, not if,  the enemy comes against us we must stay strong. We must stand fast under pressure.

James 1:2-4  NKJV    

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

        Believer’s have the power of Christ in them. That power is greater than any other, therefore we are able to resist whatever the enemy attacks us with.

1 John 4:4  NKJV    

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

V. Bulldogs are equable.

Equable is changing little; uniform; even. When something is even it is not easily disturbed or angered, it remains calm. Even can also mean something that is fair or impartial.

Calm: not stirred up; quiet; still; not excited; peaceful.

          A bulldog’s disposition and temperament changes little. It is not easily disturbed or angered, it remains calm.

Malachi 3:6  NKJV

“For I am the Lord, I do not change..”

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must be equable.  God does not change. His mercy toward us is continuous (it never ends). He is fair and He is impartial. He does not show favor to one person over another.

Acts 10:34  NKJV    

“ Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.’ ”

          God is fair and just. God loves us very much and He is not easily disturbed or provoked.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  NKJV   

  “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

          We should be not given to change. Our disposition and temperament should vary little (be even). We should not be easily disturbed or angered, but remain calm.

Proverbs 24:21  NKJV    

“My son, fear the Lord and the king;

Do not associate with those given to change.”

          As followers of Christ, we too, should be fair and impartial. God requires for us to show absolute fairness in all aspects of our lives. There is to be no partiality (favoritism) in our lives.

James 2:8-9  NKJV    

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scriptures, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

VI. Bulldogs are kind.

Kind means doing good rather than harm; friendly. Kind also means a gentle, gracious, sympathetic, considerate attitude toward others. The attitude is genuine, natural and sincere. A bulldog is genuinely kind. It’s kindness is natural and sincere.

Friendly : on good terms; not hostile; wanting to be a friend; supporting.

Gentle : not severe, rough or violent; not harsh or extreme; easily managed; having or showing good manners; polite.

Gracious : pleasant and kindly; courteous; merciful.

Sympathetic : having or showing kind feelings toward others; sympathizing; agreeing; enjoying the same things and getting along well together; harmonious; agreeable.

Considerate : thoughtful of others and their feelings.

Ephesians 4:32  NKJV    

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

         As the body of Christ, we should strive to be genuinely kind. The kindness that is shown must be natural (instinctive) and sincere (honest), free from pretense or deceit. We are to be friendly, gentle, gracious, sympathetic, and considerate toward others. Even to the unthankful. God, Himself, is the model of kindness for us.

Luke 6:35  NKJV    

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”

VII. Bulldogs are resolute.

Resolute is having a fixed resolve; determined; firm. It also means constant in pursuing a purpose; bold. A bulldog is determined and bold.

Resolve: make up one’s mind; determined; come to a decision; decided.

Determined: with one’s mind firmly made up; firm.

Constant: never stopping; continuous; incessant; always the same; faithful; loyal; steadfast.

Bold: without fear; daring; brave; showing courage.

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must be resolute (determined and bold).The body of Christ has been commissioned to go into all the world and make disciples. We must be determined and bold to fulfill what God has instructed us to do.

  Ephesians 6:19  NKJV    

“and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.”

          Our heart must be the same as Paul’s. He desired to proclaim the Gospel courageously. He was a faithful witness for the Lord.

VIII. Bulldogs are courageous.

Courageous is full of courage; brave; fearless. A bulldog is full of courage, brave and fearless.

          1 Corinthians 16:13  NKJV   

  “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” 

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must be courageous.

Psalm 27:1  NKJV    

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”

          With the Lord on our side we can be courageous. Danger (and opposition) can be met  without fear. Courageous people will follow their convictions. When we get to a place where we are desperate for the presence of the Lord we will do whatever has to be done without fear.

2 Chronicles 15:8  NKJV    

“And Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Obed the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord.”

           Desperate circumstances can be endured with a firmness of spirit by courageous people that are looking to the Lord for their help.

2 Chronicles 32:7-8  NKJV    

“Be strong and courageous; do not fear nor be dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”

          The body of Christ must be able to face danger (opposition) boldly and with determination that with the Lord on their side they will overcome.

Deuteronomy 31:6  NKJV    

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

IX. Bulldogs are not vicious or aggressive.

A bulldog is not evil or wicked. It does not have bad habits or a bad disposition. A bulldog is not spiteful or malicious. A bulldog does not start a fight (war) or a quarrel- it does not have an attacking nature. Vicious is evil or wicked, having bad habits or a bad disposition, spiteful or malicious. To take the first step in a war or quarrel, attacking, quarrelsome is to be aggressive. If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must not be vicious. We must turn from our wicked ways.

2 Chronicles 7:14  NKJV    

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

         The above passage is not talking to the world – it is talking to the church (the body of Christ). His people, called by His name.

Nehemiah 9:35  NKJV    

“For they have not served You in their kingdom,

Or in the many good things that You gave them,

Or in the large and rich land which You set before them;

Nor did they turn from their wicked works.”

         We must turn from (lay aside) every evil work and abandon evil practices.

Ephesians 4:31-32  NKJV    

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Colossians 3:5-8  NKJV   

  “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked you lived in them. But now you yourselves are put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”

1 Corinthians 14:20  NKJV  

   “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

1 Peter 2:1  NKJV   

  “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking”

X. Bulldogs have a pacific and dignified demeanor.

Pacific means tending to make peace; peaceable. Pacific also means loving peace; not warlike, peaceful; calm; quiet. Dignified means having dignity of manner, style, or appearance; noble; stately. Demeanor means the way a person looks and acts; behavior; manner. A bulldog shows honor by the way it acts (behaves) in a peaceful, loving and calm manner.

Matthew 5:9  NKJV    

“Blessed are the peacemakers,

For they shall be called sons of God.”

          If we are desperate for the presence of the Lord in our life and in our church we must have a pacific and dignified demeanor. God has called us to peace.

Hebrews 12:14  NKJV   

  “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Psalm 34:14  NKJV    

“Depart from evil; and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”

Conclusion:

Each of the above characteristics and attitudes should be countenanced by a Christian’s expressions and a Christian’s behavior. Especially by one that is desperate for more of the Lord.

Going Under With Humility – Rising Victorious

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              Desperation leads to humility, humility leads to obedience, and obedience leads to victory.

I. Desperation:

A general in the Syrian army, name Naaman, had leprosy. He was the highest ranking officer in the Syrian army. Naaman was a man of high social standing and importance, even to the king himself.

2 Kings 5:1 NKJV    

“Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.”

          Despite Naaman’s great importance, his leprosy could eventually lead to his separation from society. Leprosy was contagious and incurable causing Naaman to be in a hopeless situation. Even though Naaman was a man of high rank, influence and riches he was still a desperate man.

2 Kings 5:2-3  NKJV  

   “And the Syrians had gone on raids, and brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.  Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”

          A young girl that was taken captive from Israel was a servant to Naaman’s wife. One day this young girl told Naaman’s wife about a prophet in Samaria that could help Naaman.

2 Kings 5:4-6   NKJV    

“And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, ‘Thus and thus said the girl who is here from the land of Israel.’ Then the king of Syria said, ‘Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to  you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.”

          Naaman told the king what the young girl had said about the prophet. The king instructed Naaman to go to the prophet for help.

II. Desperation leads to humility:

When you are truly desperate you will do things that you normally would not do.

2 Kings 5:9-10  NKJV    

“Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.’ ”

         Instead of meeting Naaman himself, Elisha sent his servant to tell him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman became angry and his pride was insulted.

2 Kings 5:11  NKJV   

  “But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, ‘Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ ”

          Before going to the prophet (Elisha), Naaman had preconceived ideas of how he would be healed. When Elisha did not do things the way Naaman thought he should, he turned around to go back home, unhealed. There are times that we have preconceived ideas of how God should do something. We put limits on God when we do this. Today there are people that are still waiting on their healing (or an answer to a desperate situation) because they have their mind made up about how God should do it. Naaman let his pride get in the way of receiving what he desired (healing.)

2 Kings 5:12-13  NKJV    

“ ‘Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more than, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’ ”

          Finally, Naaman humbled himself and listened to the good advise of his servants.

III. Humility leads to obedience:

Naaman decided that he would swallow his pride and obey the prophet, Elisha, by doing what he was told.

2 Kings 5:14  NKJV  

   “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God;….”

IV. Obedience leads to victory:

When Naaman stepped out in obedience he was healed of his leprosy.

2 Kings 5:14  NKJV   

  “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”

Conclusion:

Naaman was healed because he swallowed his pride and obeyed the instructions that he was given. Sometimes we stay in desperate situations because, we hear the voice of God but, we do not want to do what He tells us. There are times that people throw out the message (their answer) because they don’t like the messenger. They won’t receive an answer from God because they don’t like who or what God may use to bring the answer. We must allow God to be God and not set limits or conditions on Him.

Contrite Hearts and Broken Spirits – Contrite Spirits and Broken Hearts

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  Psalm 51:17  NKJV    

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart –

These, O God, You will not despise.”

          The Lord will never turn away from a contrite heart and a broken spirit. The woman that anointed Jesus’ feet had both.

Psalm 34:18  NKJV    

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”

          She went to Jesus in response to His message of compassion for sinners. The Holy Spirit had already began a transformation in her heart. The Lord drew near to the woman to comfort her. The Lord will reach down and lift up those who are humble.

Isaiah 57:14-15  NKJV    

“And one shall say,

‘Heap it up! Heap it up!

Prepare the way,

Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.’

For thus says the High and Lofty One

Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

‘I dwell in the high and holy place,

With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,

‘To revive the spirit of the humble,

And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ ”

          Had the woman heard about Jesus raising the dead son of the widow of Nain? Had she realized that Jesus put more stock in helping someone in need then in remaining ceremonially clean or in gaining the approval of man?

Luke 7:11-17  NKJV   

  “Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was  being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up from among us’; and God has visited His people.’ And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.”

          Had the woman been one of the people in the crowd as Jesus spoke in response to John’s disciples?  When Jesus spoke about the tax collectors being justified, did she realize that they (the tax collectors) were justified because they believed in and submitted to the message of John?

Luke 7:18-36  NKJV   

  “Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things, And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, ‘Are You the coming One, or do we look for another?’     When the men had come to Him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.’ When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,

Who will prepare Your way before You.’

For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist;

but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’

And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. And the Lord said, ‘To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children, sitting in the marketplace and calling ro one another, saying: ‘We played the flute for you,

And you did not dance;

W e mourned to you

And you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.’ Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.”

          Quiet possibly alone, at home, the woman experienced convection and true repentance. She had already had a heart change before she went to the house of the Pharisee.

Isaiah 66:1-2  NKJV  

   “ Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne,

And earth is My footstool.

Where is the house that you will build Me?

And where is the place of My rest?

For all those things My hand made,

And all those things exist,’

Says the Lord.

‘But on this one will I look:

On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,

And who trembles at My word.”

          Because of her new heart she wanted to let Jesus know how much she loved Him and what He meant to her. She wanted to worship Him.

Luke 7:37  NKJV   

  “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,”

          There are people that instead of truly turning to Jesus and loving and worshiping (honoring, respecting and reverencing) Him they do lip service. They are a lot like the men at the table with Jesus when the woman came in to worship Him. They don’t want to shower the Lord with love, and they are quick to criticize the people that do.

Luke 7:44-46  NKJV  

   “Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair on her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed ,My feet with fragrant oil.’ ”

           The woman knew that she had been forgiven of her many sins and she was grateful. She wanted to show her gratitude to Jesus in a way that showed both love and faith.

Luke 7:47  NKJV    

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

           God desires for you to give Him your old heart so that He can give you a new heart.

Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV    

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

           God is just as desperate for intimacy with you as you are to have intimacy with Him.

Cry Out, “Don’t Pass Me By!” – Capture the Attention of God

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Cry Out, “Don’t Pass Me By!” –   Capture the Attention of God

 

Psalm 3:4  NKJV    

“I cried to the Lord with my voice,

And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah.”

          David captured the attention of God many times. Zacchaeus and the woman with the issue of blood captured the attention of Jesus (even though they was in a crowd ) as He passed by. Blind Bartimaeus and the disciples captured the attention of Jesus as He passed by. We too, must capture God’s attention, minister to Him and in return He will minister to us.

I. Capture the attention of God:

When you capture a person’s attention you attract and hold (catch and keep) their attention.

Attention: act or fact of attending, heed, power of attending, notice, care and thought.

          Jesus sent His disciples out in a boat and told them to go to the other side. Around evening time they were in the middle of the sea, and it began to get stormy. The disciples were having a hard time rowing because of the wind and waves. Jesus saw them from where He was. He could see that they were in trouble so He went out to them (by walking on the water). Jesus would have passed them by had they not cried out to Him, had they not captured His attention.

Mark 6:47-48  NKJV    

“Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.”

Matthew 14:25  NKJV    

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It’s a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.”

          The Lord can see that we are in need and He is more than able to help us, but we must cry out to Him. We too, must capture His attention.

Matthew 14:27  NKJV    

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

          The Lord is the great I Am. With Him nothing is impossible. He is more than able to act on our behalf (to attend to our need). He holds all power and He care about our needs.

Exodus 3:14  NKJV    

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

          In their distress, the Israelites cried out to God for help (they captured His attention). God heard their cries and He answered their cry for help.

Exodus 2:23-25  NKJV    

“Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.”   

           Battimaeus was desperate for help. He knew that if he could get Jesus’ attention that He would help him. He did not want Jesus to pass him by, so, Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus with everything within him.

Mark 10:47  NKJV    

“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ ”

            By faith Peter stepped out on the water when Jesus instructed him to. After Peter stepped out of the boat he became afraid and he cried out to Jesus.

Matthew 14:29-30  NKJV    

“So He said, ‘Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ ” 

         When the judgment on Nineveh was given by Jonah, the people cried out to God for mercy and forgiveness. They desperately sought the attention of God.

Jonah 3:5-9  NKJV    

“So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the King of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”

          The people of Nineveh captured the attention of God. Their repentance moved the Lord to offer mercy and grace to them.

Jonah 3:10  NKJV    

“Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil; way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”

II. Minister to God by acknowledging who He is:

When you get God’s attention, minister to Him. One way to minister to the Lord is to acknowledge who He is and who Jesus is. You can not draw close to the Father or worship Him if you deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Denying the deity of Jesus is the same as denying God the Father.

I John 2:23  NKJV    

“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

I John 4:15   NKJV    

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him, and he in God.”

John 5:23  NKJV    

“That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

          Peter ministered to Jesus by recognizing Him for who he was, he addressed Jesus as such (Lord). Peter knew that with Jesus (and His power) he could do the impossible.

Matthew 14:28  NKJV    

“And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord. if it is You, command me to come to You on the waves.”

          Bartimaeus ministered to the Lord by acknowledging who He was.

Mark 10:48  NKJV    

“Then many wanted him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”

          The gentile woman who had a daughter with an unclean spirit recognized who Jesus was. She had heard about Jesus and she believed in Him. She ministered to Jesus by showing great faith in Him.

Mark 7:28  NKJV    

“And she answered and said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.’”

III. God will minister to you:

After Zacchaeus had ministered to the Lord, Jesus ministered to him and to his house.

Luke 19:9-10  NKJV    

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’”

        Peter’s needs were met (when he began to waver in his faith) by the Lord reaching out to him as he began to sink.

Matthew 14:31-32  NKJV    

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got in the boat, the wind ceased.”

          The Lord met the need that the disciples had by calming the winds and the sea. He provided peace, protection and safety for them.

Mark 6:51  NKJV    

“Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.”

            Jesus granted the woman’s request (He met her need) as a result of her faith in Him and who He was.

Mark 7:29-30  NKJV    

“Then He said to her, ‘For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.’ And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.”

Conclusion:

When you cry out (capture the attention of) to God and minister to Him, He will meet your needs.

Luke 9:37-42  NKJV    

“Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountains, that a great multitude met Him. Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, ‘Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. So I implored You disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Then Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.”

           The father of the boy cried out to Jesus, recognizing that only He could help his son. The father had asked man (the disciples) to help but they could not. He knew that his son’s only hope was in Jesus, therefore he cried out to Him. It did not matter to the father who was around (a great multitude), he was desperate for the attention of Jesus. As those around you see the Lord ministering to you, the Lord will be glorified.

Luke 9:43  NKJV   

  “And they were all amazed at the majesty of God.”

Matthew 14:33  NKJV    

“Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God!’ ”

           If your desire is for ‘more of the Lord,’ then begin to cry out to Him. Capture His attention (attract and hold).

Psalm 84:2  NKJV    

“My soul longs, yes, even faints

For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

          No matter what your situation or circumstance is, Cry Out To The Lord .

Psalm 119:145-152  NKJV    

“I cry out with my whole heart;

Hear me, O Lord!

I will keep Your statutes.

I cry out to You;

Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

I rise before the dawning of the morning,

And cry for help;

I hope in Your word.

My eyes are awake through the night watches,

That I may meditate on Your word.

Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;

O Lord, receive me according to Your justice.

They draw near who follow after wickedness;

They are far from Your law.

You are near, O Lord,

And all Your commandments are truth.

Concerning Your testimonies,

I have known of old that You have founded them forever.”