Category Archives: Desperation

Revival – “I will raise up the tabernacle of David”

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Revival   – “I will raise up the tabernacle of David”

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Revival is a bringing or coming back to life or consciousness; restoration to vigor or health; a bringing or coming back to style, use, activity, etc; an awakening or increase of interest in religion. God desires for there to be a revival of worship to Him, and there will be a great revival of worship to Him before He returns. His glory (the manifest presence of God) will be experienced in a greater measure by the  body of Christ (the church) than ever before. The true body of Christ will have a season of refreshing (renewed, restored, made pleasing) before the return of the Lord.

Acts 3:19-21  NKJV    

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

     Before the return of the Lord all the prophesies spoken by the prophets of long ago will be fulfilled.

Amos 9:11-15  NKJV    

“ ‘On that day I will raise up

The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,

And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins,

And rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom,

And all the gentiles who are called by My name,’

Says the Lord who does this thing.

‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,

‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,

And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;

The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,

And all the hills shall flow with it,

I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;

They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them’

They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

I will plant them in their land,

And no longer shall they be pulled up

From the land I have given them,’

Says the Lord your God.”

Acts 15:16-17  NKJV     “ ‘After this I will return

And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen

down; I will rebuild its ruins,

And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

Says the Lord who does all these things.’ ”

     It is the desire of God that His glory fill the earth.  In the last days when the glory of God is manifest upon His people (the body of Christ) there will be an abundance of provision (material, physical and spiritual) and harvest (souls). However, we have a part to play in seeing that God’s desire is fulfilled. Sin cannot enter into the presence of God. No matter how much someone may say that they want to experience (and stay in) the glory of the Lord, they will not with sin in their life. Man cannot come into God’s presence without going by Jesus. There is a difference between stumbling upon the glory of God and the glory of God staying upon you, just as there is a difference between a visitation of the glory of God and a habitation of the glory of God.

Exodus 3:1-6  NKJV    

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest  Midian.  And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountains of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, a God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father – the God of  Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.’ ”

     What would have happened to Moses if he had not obeyed God when he ‘came upon’ where the manifest presence of the Lord was? God expected something out of Moses in order for him to draw closer to Him. He expected Moses to regard Him and the ground that he stood upon as holy. It was set apart by the divine presence of God for His purpose. Moses was told to remove his sandals possibly as an acknowledgement of God holiness and authority. We too, when we come into the presence of God must acknowledge His holiness and authority and submit to Him.

Joshua 5:13-16  NKJV    

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, ‘Are You for us or our adversaries?’ So He said, ‘No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’ Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

     Throughout the ages God has manifested Himself over and over. When God shows Himself, He expects something out of us.

Isaiah 6:1-5  NKJV   

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean; lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.’ ”

     When Isaiah encountered the glory of the Lord, he admitted that he was a sinner and sought repentance. Repentance will keep the presence of God upon us and our lives. In the church, as a whole, there are times that God moves in a mighty fashion and His sweet presence (His glory) fills the place. In order for His glory to stay upon us, our lives, and our church we must take His glory home with us! However, God will not share His glory with the world (soulish things or people). When God visits your church (a visitation of His glory), and goes home with you He expects you to do something – He expects you to change. He expects you to go through your house with the Holy Spirit and ask, “Holy Spirit, does this grieve You?” Listen closely for His answer. When He says “Yes,” repent and get ride of it. Don’t keep it around. Every church and home  in America could use an old fashioned “spiritual burning.”

Acts 19:18-20  NKJV    

“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”

     These people showed true repentance and sincerity  by burning (getting rid of) their sinful items. What was happening on the inside of them carried over to the outside. When others saw a real change in the ones that had repented the kingdom of God grew.
Many cry out, “Lord, send the fire,” but they really do not mean it. If they did they would do in the natural what they are asking God to do in the spiritual. Prior to the Passover, the Jewish people would go through their house and search it over from top to bottom for leaven. In the Bible leaven represents sin. If leaven was found, it would be removed. As Christians we need to go through our houses on a regular basis and remove the sin. If we don’t the presence of the Lord will not stay in our homes. The church will be no different than our homes.
I have seen times that God has gripped the heart of young people in a mighty, mighty way only to have it quenched by so called religious adults. Under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit the young people left church services and went home determined to clean out their bedrooms of sinful things. Excited about God they told their parents about what God was doing in their life and what they were going to do. They were going to burn everything they had that could cause the Holy Spirit to grieve. Their sinful (worldly, soulish) CDs, games, tapes, pictures, posters, clothes, books, articles of affection and many other items. More often than not, the parents response was, “No you are not, I paid good money for that.” In order to obey their parents, but still wanting to please God, they would pack the items up in a box and put them in the bottom of the closet or in the back of a drawer somewhere. Time would go by and eventually they would find the box again and begin to take the items back out one at a time. Eventually, the young people were spiritually worse off than they were to start with.

When God tells you (through His Word or His Spirit) to get rid of something, get rid of it. The item needs to be destroyed. Don’t keep it around, even boxed up somewhere. If you do, you will eventually pick it up again. And, please do not give it to one of your worldly friends or co-workers.
In Biblical times you could not go into the holy place or the holy of holies (the presence of God) without first going by the outer court and then the laver. The priest would offer a sacrifice on the brazen altar then he would go to the laver and wash before going into the holy place. The laver was made out of looking glasses that the women had brought out from Egypt. The laver was a place of reflection and sanctification. The water in it represented the Word of God. No matter how many times the priest went into the holy place he always had to wash his hands and feet before going in.

Exodus 30:17-21  NKJV    

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them – to him and his descendants throughout their generations.’ ”

     As Christians, we too, must continually look into the Word of God to see ourselves. We must examine ourselves on a daily basis (throughout the day) with the Holy Spirit. Then we must repent of any sin. As long as we are alive, we have a continual need for repentance – a continual need for the washing of the Word.

Leviticus 6:12-13  NKJV    

“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offering. Afire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”

     The first step to the refreshing (revival) that God promised is admission. We must humble ourselves and admit that we are asleep (or dead), unhealthy, not useful or disinterested and sinful. We will never be revived if we are too proud to admit that we need it. Just as admission is important to salvation, so is admission important to revival.

Psalm 85:6  NKJV    

“Will You not revive us again,

That Your people may rejoice in You?”

Isaiah 57:15  NKJV     “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.’ ”

     God will revive the hearts of people who are genuinely humble and contrite. When we have a humble spirit we will see ourselves as God sees us, know our weaknesses, put others before ourselves and submit to God. When we submit to God, we yield to His power, His control and His authority. Submissive people are obedient people. Obedience is very important to God. When you truly love God you will obey Him.

Repentance is being sorry for having done wrong. It is regretting that you have transgressed against God. It leads to a brokenness in spirit (contrite heart).

Acts 15:16-17  NKJV    

“ After this I will return

And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins,

And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

Says the Lord who does all these things. ”

     The tabernacle of David was a tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant. The manifest presence of God was seen there. We are to be the earthly tent that houses the manifest presence of God. The people joyfully worshiped God in the tabernacle of David. We too, are to joyfully worship God.

Sacrifices of praise are to be continually offered up from us.

Psalm 95:1-3  NKJV    

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.”

Psalm 100  NKJV    

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.”

     The name “David” is a Hebrew word meaning “beloved.” The tabernacle of David is a type of the worship of the bride of Christ, the church. As the bride of Christ we are the beloved of God and we are the earthly house (tent) that should show forth the glory of God. The church is to joyfully offer up sacrifices of worship, praise, thanksgiving.

Hebrews 13:15  NKJV    

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise

to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

1 Peter 2:9  NKJV    

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.”

     The church , the body of Christ, is to be the restored tabernacle of David, a place where God is worshiped in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24  NKJV    

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

     Worship is a spiritual act, while praise is a physical act. The Bible lists seven types of praise and they are all physical activities. Anyone and everyone can praise God, however only the redeemed can worship God in spirit and in truth. When the church and believers remove the sin from within they will be able to worship God in spirit and in truth. Then they will see the glory of the Lord (the manifest presence of God) in their midst. Then the world around them will see the glory of the Lord in them and they too will seek the Lord.

1 Peter 4:17  NKJV    

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…”

     As Christians we must evaluate our lives (our actions, our words our deeds, our attitudes, our thoughts…) and allow the Lord to search us to see if there is anything evil or wicked in us.

Psalm 24  NKJV    

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the seas,

And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?

Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,

Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord,

And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek Your face.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is the King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Lift up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

He is the King of glory.”

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Why Is Worship Important?

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desperation - CopyWhy Is Worship Important?

Individual Worship :

God designed man to be a worshiper. Everyone worships someone or something. Worship means to ascribe worth unto someone or something. When we worship God we are giving great honor and reverence to Him. We are expressing our love and admiration to Him. In essence, we are giving back part of ourselves to Him (ministering to Him.)

During our worship times we consider (think about) how extremely precious God is and the love that He has for us. It is a very special time between you and God. It is a very intimate time- not a time to be talking to other people, doing other things, fidgeting, complaining, or thinking about other things. It is a time to be talking to God and listening to Him. You can expect to hear from God during worship.

God is worthy of our worship- He is the only one worthy of our worship. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Since God gave everything He had for intimacy with us, should we not do the same. As we enter into worship, let’s clear our minds, cleanse our hearts and begin to worship God for who He is.

Corporate Worship:

Worship brings us into one accord, into the unity of the Spirit. As we worship the Lord with other Christians, we are brought into a unity, a oneness. Instead of concentrating on our differences, we look at Jesus and focus on Him. As we are caught up in the wonder of His Person, those differences fade away.

It is as we look together to Jesus and worship Him that we are drawn closer to Him and closer to each other. It has been said, that Christians are arranged in a circle around God like the spokes on the outer rim of a wheel. As we draw closer to God, approaching the hub (center) of the wheel,  so also we draw closer to each other. Worshipping God brings us into one accord.

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Dear Father,

You are truly worthy of our worship- You are the only one worthy of our worship. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! You gave everything You had for intimacy with us. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we do the same. As we enter into worship may we clear our minds, cleanse our hearts and begin to worship You for who You are. We ask that in and through worship You bring us into one accord, into the unity of the Spirit –  a unity of oneness. Cause we to forget our differences and look directly into Your face and focus on You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

 

 

Intimacy Through Communion

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 desperation - Copy  Intimacy Through Communion

     Jesus instituted communion (the Lord’s Supper), as we know it today, after His final Passover meal was eaten. Jesus had celebrated many Passover meals before in His life and had even celebrated several with His disciples before this time.

Luke 22:15  NKJV    

“Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’ ”

      His final Passover was special and He had awaited it for a long time. It was at His final Passover that He instituted the new covenant. After the meal was eaten, Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them, saying ‘This is My body which is given for you.’ Then He picked up the third cup of wine (the cup of redemption) and said to them, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you.’

The first thing (first works) that the disciples did under the new covenant was to participate in communion.

Luke 22:17-20  NKJV    

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’  And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you’ ”

     Communion is much more than just a piece of bread and a sip of juice. During communion we enter into a close spiritual relationship with God. It is a very, very intimate time between you and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Communion is an act of sharing, a having in common, an exchange of thoughts and feelings, an intimate talk, fellowship, a close spiritual relationship.

Today we receive the same benefits through communion that the Hebrews received through the Passover lamb. When we receive the communion elements (bread and juice) we remember Jesus.The Hebrews ate the body of the lamb and applied the blood of the lamb to their dwelling place. In communion we use two elements: bread and juice. Each one is significant and has it’s own meaning and benefits. Also when the two are brought together, it is very significant and powerful.

I. Body of Christ:

The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus,   

I remember You and the sacrifice You made for me. I remember that Your body was broken and beaten for me. It is by Your stripes that I have healing, restoration, and wholeness. In  my mind, body, soul and spirit. Thank You that You paid the price.

In Your precious name, Amen.

Through taking the bread in communion there is restoration, healing, favor, revelation, strength. Many sleep spiritually and physically (death / sickness) because they do not discern the Lord’s body.

1 Corinthians 11:29-30  NKJV    

‘For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”

1. Healing (Physical, Emotional, Mental Restoration)

Heal means to make whole, sound, or well; to bring back to health or cure. The stripes that Jesus took provided for our healing.

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV    

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”

    By His stripes we were healed. We can be made whole. We can be made sound. We can be made well. Our health can be restored. Our diseases can be cured.

Zacharias was burning incense before the Lord when an angel of God appeared to him. Zacharius was not just burning incense before God. The room where Zacharias was when the angel appeared to him was the holy place. In the holy place was a golden lampstand, an altar of incense (golden altar) and the table of shewbread. On the table of shewbread sat wine, bread and frankincense. The frankincense would be sprinkled on the golden altar (altar of incense.) This represented prayer, praise and worship to God. The priest would come into the holy place and take some frankincense (incense) and sprinkle it on the altar. Then he would go back to the table of shewbread and eat some of the bread and drink some of the wine. He was receiving communion. He would then burn some more incense on the golden altar. The actions of the priest are a pattern for communion. Prayer, praise, worship (incense) then the receiving of the elements (bread and juice.)

Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth had no children. The Bible refers to Elizabeth as being barren.

Luke 1:5-22  NKJV    

“There was in the days of Harod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. but they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth: For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the father to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ ”And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this?  For I am old, and my wife is well advanced in years.’ And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my  words which will be fulfilled in their own time.’ And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and the perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.”

        As Zacharias was burning incense before God and receiving communion (bread and wine), he was having an intimate relationship with God. It was during this time that God sent an angel to tell him that his wife would have a baby. God had heard their prayer. God was going to provide healing, victory, and restoration. He meet Zacharias’ need during communion. God can and will do the same thing today.

Luke 1:23-25  NKJV   

  “So it was, soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, ‘Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

       God wants to minister to us just like He did Zacharias. God wants to meet our needs, but first, we must minister to Him.

2. Favor

The Israelites obeyed God. They had taken the blood of the lamb and put it over their doorway  and cooked and eaten the lamb the way that God had instructed them to. Because of this they were not only safe when the death angel passed over, they received favor.

Exodus 12:29-35  NKJV    

“And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, ‘Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, ‘We shall all be dead.’ So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing.”

   The Israelites left Egypt with treasures because the Lord had given them favor with the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:36  NKJV    

“And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”

       Like the Israelites, we can obtain favor with our ‘enemy’ through taking communion.

3. Revelation

Jesus had walked with the two men on the road to Emmaus all day long but they did not know Him. They had talked with Him, but they had not been intimate with Him.

Luke 24:13-24  NKJV   

  “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’ Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What things?’ So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.’ ”

     Many people know who Jesus is, and many have conversations with Him, but they do not know Him. They have not had intimacy with Him.

Luke 24:25-29  NKJV    

“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And He went in to stay with them.”

     Like the men on the road to Emmaus, we must have our eyes opened. When the men received “communion” their eyes were opened and they knew Him.

Luke 24:30-35  NKJV    

“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

     Communion will do the same thing for us today. Communion will:

* draw us into a deeper relationship with Jesus

*give us a deeper revelation of Jesus

*open our spiritual eyes

*strengthen our eternal life- it will cause us to walk closer to the Lord

4. Restoration

Restoration means a restoring; establishing again, bringing back to former condition, or recovery.

Luke 23:42  NKJV   

  “then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’”

     The thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember (restore) him when He ascend to heaven. When sin entered the world it separated us from God. When Jesus ascend to heaven, He went into the Holy of Holies with His own blood and poured it over the mercy seat. In so doing, we were no longer separated from God.

Jesus told the man on the cross, “You will be with Me in paradise.”

Luke 23:43  NKJV    

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

      In the garden of Eden man enjoyed a special intimacy with God until sin entered in. It was in the garden that a separation between man and God came into being. Man was separated from God. Man no longer had direct access to the presence of God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are no longer separated from God. We have been “restored” back to God. Once again we had direct access to the presence of God –  our relationship with God and intimacy with Him have been restored.

Matthew 27:51  NKJV    

“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split”

       At the death of Jesus the veil was torn in two. The veil represented a separation between us and God. When the veil split it meant that we now had access to God, and that our relationship with Him was restored.

Jesus’ response to the thief could have meant that at His (Jesus) death His blood would restore (remember) him back into right relationship with God. He (the thief) would no longer be separated from God because of sin.

5. Strength

Communion gives spiritual strength for your battles with the enemy. While hiding out from Saul David and his small group of men ran out of food (provisions). David arranged to meet them somewhere and he went to find some food. He went to Nob ( a community of priests) and asked Ahimelech for food.

I Samuel 21:3-5  NKJV    

“ ‘Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.’ And the priest answered David and said, ‘There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have kept themselves from women.’ Then David answered the priest, and said to him, ‘Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.’ ”

    The priest gave David the shewbread. It became their “bread of strength.”

I Samuel 21:6  NKJV    

“So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.”

    It was not lawful for anyone other than the priest to eat the shewbread but the priest realized that it was important to keep the spirit of the law.

Matthew 12:3-4  NKJV    

“But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those with him: how they entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?”

      If you are like David’s men (you are fighting a battle and seem to be growing weaker)  you need to receive communion.

When the Hebrews left Egypt there was not one feeble, sick, lame or weak person among them. This was because of what they had done the night before. They had received “communion” the night before. They had eaten the Passover lamb and applied it’s blood to their house.

Psalm 105:37  NKJV    

“He brought them out with silver and gold,

And there was none feeble among His tribes.”

II. Blood of Christ:

The juice represents the blood of Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus,

I remember You.

I remember how Your blood was shed for me.

I remember how You hung on the cross for me.

I remember how You died and rose again for me,

So that I could be redeemed.

Help me to prepare to be Your bride.

In Your precious name, Amen.

It’s His blood  that cleanses us, that gives us life, that took our place, that redeems us, that washes us whiter than snow. Through taking the juice we can receive protection, salvation (spiritual restoration) and life. We also make a commitment during this time.

1. Protection through the blood of Christ.

Prior to the Israelites leaving Egypt the Lord passed over the homes that had the blood of the lamb applied to the door posts. In the homes where the blood was applied the people were protected from death.

Exodus 12:13  NKJV     

“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

      Each time we take the juice in communion it is a reminder (sign, memorial or symbol) that we have protection through the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).

Exodus 12:21-24  NKJV    

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a branch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your house to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.”

2. Salvation (Remission of sins) through the blood of Christ.

Isaiah 1:18  NKJV   

  “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’

Says the Lord,

‘Though your sins are like scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson,

They shall be as wool.’ ”

     It’s Jesus’ blood that cleanses us. Through Jesus we can receive remission (forgiveness, pardon) of our sins.

Hebrews 9:22  NKJV    

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

     When we receive the gift of salvation we are delivered from sin and from the punishment for sin. Once we truly repent those sins (transgressions) are remembered no more.

Psalm 103:12 NKJV    

“As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

3. Life through the blood of Christ.

It’s Jesus’ blood that gives us life. Without the blood of Christ we would be ‘dead’ in our sins. The life of the flesh is in the blood.

Leviticus 17:11  NKJV   

  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the alter to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

4. Substitution through the blood of Christ.

It was the blood of Jesus that took our place. He willingly took the punishment (penalty) that was rightfully ours.

Hebrews 9:12-14  NKJV     

“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanses your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

     God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son to take our place. To save us from the penalty of sin.

John 3:16-17 NKJV    

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

5. Redemption through the blood of Christ.

Redeem means to buy something back or to buy a slaves freedom. Jesus’ blood redeemed us from sin. When we were in sin we were a slave to Satan, but Jesus bought us back.

I Corinthians 6:20  NKJV   

  “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” 

Ephesians 1:7  NKJV    

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

6. Precious sacrifice through the blood of Christ.

Romans 3:23  NKJV    

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

     Everyone has sinned and because of that sin we were separated from the manifest presence of the Lord (the glory of the Lord.) Jesus Christ was a very precious sacrifice. Because of Him we no longer have to be separated from the glory of the Lord.

Hebrews 9:24-26  NKJV   

  “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but in heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another- He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

7. Commitment through the blood of Christ.

Throughout the Bible when a commitment (promise or vow) was made it was sealed by drinking wine.  When a Jewish man found a woman that he wanted for his bride he would go to her father and make an offer. The man would tell the father what he would give in exchange for allowing his daughter to marry him (dowry).  After the father agreed to accept the offer, he poured a glass of wine and then called his daughter into the room. The father would then tell his daughter that an offer had been made for her hand in marriage, and he would tell her the offer. If the daughter accepted (agreed to) the offer she would pick up the glass and take a drink of the wine. By drinking the wine she was making a commitment to prepare to be the man’s bride. She had a responsibility to be ready when the man (groom) returned to get her. Each time we drink the juice in communion we are committing to prepare ourselves to be the bride of Christ. We must take very serious our responsibilities and commitments.

III. Body And Blood Of Christ :

The separation of flesh and blood brings death. Putting them back together again bring life. Before crucifixion, Jesus’ body was “torn apart.” The psalmist describes the agony that Jesus would go through.

Psalm 22:12-21  NKJV    

“Many bulls have surrounded Me;

Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.

They gape at Me with their mouths,

Like a raging and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,

And all My bones are out of joint;

My heart is like wax;

It has melted within Me.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd,

And My tongue clings to My jaws;

You have brought Me to the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded Me;

The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.

They pierced My hands and My feet;

I can count all My bones.

They look and stare at Me.

They divide My garments among them,

And for My clothing thy cast lots.

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;

O My Strength, hasten to help Me!

Deliver Me from the sword,

My precious life from the power of the dog.

Save Me from the lion’s mouth

And from the horns of the wild oxen!

You have answered Me.”

     During communion you bring the flesh and the blood back together. The bread represents the body (flesh) and the juice represents the blood.

John 6:55-56  NKJV    

“For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

     During communion your health can be put back together, your family can be put back together, your finances can be put back together, your relationship with God can be put back together. In Psalms 103:2 we are instructed to not forget the benefits of the Lord.

Psalm 103:2  NKJV    

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits”

     We are to remember the Lord. As we meditate on who Jesus is, what He has done (provided) for us, and what He is going to do for us (take His bride home), as we bring the body and the blood of Jesus back together during communion, let Him “remember” you.

If you are sick God desires to make you whole, you need communion.

If you are weak God desires to give you strength, you need communion

If you are fighting a battle God desires to give you victory, you need communion.

If you need grace, mercy and power God desires to give it to you, you need communion.

If you desire a deeper intimacy with God, you need communion.

     In the Old Testament the communion (meat and drink offering / bread and wine) was for the priest. At Calvary we became a priest.

Dear Jesus,    

I remember You. I remember how Your body was broken. I remember how Your blood was shed. I remember how You died for me so I could be made whole so I could be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. I lay hold of Your covenant. I lay hold of Your promise. I receive Your healing power. I receive the victory of communion. As I honor You, as I worship You in this intimate time of communion with You.

In Your precious name, Amen.

May the Lord be lifted up and exalted the next time you receive the communion elements.

I Corinthians 11:26  NKJV    

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

John 12:32  NKJV    

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

The Silent Cry

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1 Samuel 1:10-11  NKJV     

 “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him back to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.’”

     Hannah’s desperation before the Lord was misunderstood by Eli. Like Hannah when you begin to cry out in desperation there will be those who misunderstand, and there will be those who do not understand.

1 Samuel 1:12-14  NKJV   

  “And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.  Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!’”

     When Eli confronted Hannah concerning what he thought was drunkenness, Hannah responded in a polite and respectful way.

1 Samuel 1:15-16  NKJV  

   “But Hannah answered and said, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.’”

     The Lord ministered unto Hannah by giving her the desire of her heart, a son.

1 Samuel 1:20  NKJV   

  “So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.’” 

     When Hannah went with her husband to take Samuel to the temple, she again ministered unto God by offering up a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God.

1 Samuel 2:1-10  NKJV   

  “And Hannah prayed and said:

‘My heart rejoices in the Lord;

My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies,

Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the Lord,

For there is none besides You,

Nor is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly;

Let no arrogance come from your mouth,

For the Lord is the God of knowledge;

And by Him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty men are broken,

And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,

And the hungry have ceased to hunger.

Even the barren has born seven,

And she who has many children has become feeble.

The Lord kills and makes alive;

He brings down to the grave and brings up.

The Lord makes poor and makes rich;

He brings low and lifts up.

He raises the poor from the dust

And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,

To set them among princes

And make them inherit the throne of glory.

For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s

And He has set the world upon them.

He will guars the feet of the saints,

But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.

For by strength no man shall prevail.

The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces;

From heaven He will thunder against them,

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

He will give strength to the king,

And exalt the horn of His anointed.’ ”

     Hannah’s desperation and worship had birthed ministry to the Lord. Ministry to the Lord will in turn, birth ministry to people.

1 Samuel 2:11  NKJV   

  “Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.”

1 Samuel 2:18  NKJV    

“But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing  linen ephod.”

     God again ministered unto Hannah by giving her more children.

1 Samuel 2:21  NKJV   

  “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three more sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.”

     Even when you feel like you don’t have a word from the Lord (or revelation) ,you should still be worshipping Him and ministering to Him.

1 Samuel 3:1  NKJV    

“Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.”

     Samuel ministered unto the Lord, and the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel through revelations. Ministry to the Lord then revelation.

1 Samuel  3:21  NKJV  

     “Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” 

     God will reveal Himself to those who minister unto Him in a deeper way. There are things that are inaccessible with human knowledge and wisdom. We need revelation knowledge of God.

Daniel 2:22  NKJV   

“He reveals deep and secret things;

He knows what is in the darkness,

And light dwells with Him.”

Daniel 5:11-14  NKJV   

  “There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father- your father the king- made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called and he will give the interpretation.Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, ‘Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah? I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.’”

     The Lord speaks (and shares secret things) to those who fear Him.

Psalm 25:14  NKJV    

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him.”

Psalm 111:10  NKJV   

  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.

His praise endures forever.”

 

Proverbs 1:7  NKJV   

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

But fools despise wisdom and instructions.”

Proverbs 9:10  NKJV

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

     The fear of the Lord is to greatly respect (high regard, honor, esteem, consideration) and reverence the Lord. When you reverence someone you will have a feeling of deep respect mixed with wonder, awe and love.

Devotion

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Anna was an elderly prophetess, maybe around 106 years old. She lived in Jerusalem. Anna was married for seven years when her husband died. The Bible tells us that Anna stayed in the temple day and night worshipping God. She spent all her time praying and fasting. She spent her time ministering to God.

Luke 2:36-37 NKJV    

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of  a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

     God showed Anna His secret (who the Redeemer was) because of her intimate relationship with Him. During our times of intimacy with God, He will whisper secrets, mysteries and revelations into our ear.

Luke 2:38  NKJV    

“And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Anna was in the temple when Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus to present to the Lord. When she saw Jesus, she immediately gave thanks to God. She physically saw what God had already shown her in the spirit.

The dictionary tells us that devotion means having a strong attachment or attraction to a person or cause. To be devoted is to be dedicated, to be completely applied to some activity, purpose, or person. To have devotion to someone or something means you won’t allow anything to distract you from doing what needs to be done.

Anna was devoted to worshiping God. She had a strong affection for God, and completely dedicated her whole life to ministering to Him through prayer and worship. She didn’t let anything distract her from her purpose. Her purpose was worshiping God and she knew it. Fulfilling her purpose brought great joy and blessings to her.

Isaiah 55:2    

“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Harken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

     When we draw close to God, we begin to experience peace and joy that we can’t find anywhere else. When we fill ourselves up with God’s purpose (to worship Him), our souls will find a special delight.

Deuteronomy 6:5  NKJV    

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

     First and most importantly we should be devoted to God. Nothing should ever distract us.

1. We should be devoted to knowing Him.

2. We should be devoted to obeying Him.

3. We should be devoted to living a life that is pleasing to God.

We should not be lukewarm concerning our devotion to God or to the things of God. We should never be halfhearted in our love and devotion to God.

Revelation 3:16  NKJV    

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

     Devotion to God involves all aspects of our life, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing- in public or in private. God desires for us to be single-minded. If we are double-minded we will be unstable, even in our devotion to God.

James 1:8 NKJV    

“He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

I. We Should Be Devoted To Knowing God

To “know” someone describes an intimate relationship that includes ardor (warmth of emotions, great enthusiasm, eagerness, zeal), passion (very strong feeling or emotions, very strong love or desire), mutuality and oneness (one in kind, singleness, unity, agreement, harmony).

Jeremiah 24:7  NKJV    

“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I  am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”

     Mary and Martha are good examples of devotion to two different things. Mary was devoted to knowing Jesus intimately (worshiping), and Martha was devoted to working for Jesus (serving).

Mary, Martha and Lazarus were friends of Jesus.  Jesus would sometimes stop at their house when He was traveling in their area. Martha was the oldest female in the house, so she was in charge of running the household.

Luke 10:38-39  NKJV    

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”

     One day Jesus stopped by for a meal, and Martha hurried to get everything ready. Martha worked  hard and she began to get tired. She looked for Mary because she wanted help.

Luke 10:40  NKJV    

“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

     Martha found Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him. Martha looked at Jesus and said, “Lord, Don’t you care that my sister has left all the work for me to do? Tell her to help me!”

Luke 10:41-42  NKJV    

“And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

     Martha probably thought Jesus was going to go and make Mary help her. Instead Jesus looked gently at Martha and said, “Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us what Martha’s response was. We don’t know what Martha did. She could have went back into the hot kitchen mad, angry and hurt or she could have fell to her knees in front of Jesus and cried out, “Jesus, forgive me!”

We don’t have to wait for Jesus to pass through our town to minister to Him. He is always with us. Jesus is always near us and always listening. When we realize who Jesus is, spend time with Him, and direct our attention toward Him we are “sitting at His feet.” We must talk to Him, learn about Him, and listen to Him. We must allow Him to pour His love into us and change us.

When you love someone, you want to spend time with that person. Jesus loves us and wants to spend time with us. We are His bride. He enjoys our company! Jesus wants us to feel the same about Him. He wants us to love Him so much that we want to spend time with Him.

II. We should Be Devoted To Obeying God:

God demands obedience. We must be devoted to obeying God. Sincerity and obedience are prerequisites for worship that pleases God. The sacrifice that Saul made to God was not pleasing to God because Saul disobeyed God. God tells us in His Word that obedience is better than sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22  NKJV    

“So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great

delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of the rams”

     God desires that everyone have an intimate relationship with Him, but you cannot if there is disobedience (sin) in your life. Unconfessed sin interferes with a person’s relationship with God.

Psalm 51:10  NKJV    

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

     You cannot be devoted to obeying God unless you allow Him to take your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 11:19-21  NKJV    

“’Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.”

III. We Should Be Devoted To Living A Life That Is Pleasing To God:  

Each one of us should be devoted to living a life that is pleasing to God. A life that reflects Jesus Christ. When we spend time with God, He can change us. He makes us more like Him. When we draw close to Him, He comes into our lives, our thoughts and our hearts. The more time we spend in God’s presence, the more we will reflect Jesus.

Matthew 5:16  NKJV    

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Conclusion:

Anything can take our attention away from God, both good and bad things. Good activities (including church programs, schedules, and campaigns) as well as bad circumstances (such as worry, fear, sickness and tragedy) can distract us from God. Anything that we allow to crowd out our time with God separates us from intimacy with Him. How we spend our time gives us a good idea of what things are the most important to us.

Matthew 6:19-21     

“Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

     These verses tell us not to store up treasure on earth, but to store up treasure in heaven. It tells us that where our treasures are there our hearts will be also. We must not let ourselves become distracted by things or people in our love and devotion to God. God desires to shower us with His incredible love and to reveal Himself to us. God wants us to delight in Him, to be devoted to Him, and to desire to be in His presence.

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.”

It Is Well – The Shunammite Woman

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2 Kings 4:8-16 NKJV

“Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there.Then he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ When he called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, ‘Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the King or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I dwell among my own people.’So he said, ‘What then is to be done for her.’ And Gehazi answered, ‘Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.’So he said, ‘Call her.’ When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, ‘About this time next year you shall embrace a son.’ And she said, ‘No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!’”

 

 

When you are desperate you should seek God’s promise, believe God’s promise, hold on to God’s promise and rejoice in God’s promise.

 

I. Seek God’s Promise:

 

We have been given a promise for every situation (circumstance) that we face. God already has the answer (promise) even before we know that we have a problem (situation).

 

Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV

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

 

When you seek something you search (hunt) for it. You make an honest attempt to look for it.

 

Psalm 34:10 NKJV

“But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

 

The Bible is full of the promises of God. It is up to each one of us to read it and search out the promises that God has given us.

 

II. Believe God’s promise:

 

The prophet, Elisha, gave the Shunammite woman a promise under the authority of God. He spoke for God.

 

2 Kings 4:16 NKJV

“Then he said, ‘About this time next year you shall embrace a son.’

 

And she said, ‘No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!’ ”

 

Elisha told the woman that she would have a son within a year. She knew that Elisha was a man of God, a prophet, but she still did not believe in her heart that she would have a child.

 

2 Kings 4:17 NKJV

“But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.”

 

God had promised the Shunammite woman a son (through Elisha) and she had him. God does not lie and He does not take back His promises.

 

Numbers 23:19 NKJV

“God is not a man, that He should lie,

 

Nor a son of man that He should repent.

 

Has He said, and will He not do?

 

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

 

 

Titus 1:2 NKJV

“In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”

 

What God says is true and His Word is truth. God is not like us. He does not change. He is always the same and His Word is always the same.

 

Malachi 3:6 NKJV

“For I am the Lord, I do not change”

 

We must place our trust in God and believe in Him and His promises.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

 

And lean not on your own understanding;

 

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

 

And He shall direct your paths.”

 

III. Hold On To God’s Promise:

 

No matter what you see with your eyes or what people say to you concerning your situation, keep your eyes on God and the promise that He has given you. You can be confident that God will finish what He has begun.

 

2 Kings 4:18-20 NKJV

“And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers,

 

And he said to his father, ‘My head, my head!’

 

So he said to a servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ When he had taken him and brought him

 

to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.”

 

The son that the woman was promised now lay dead in her arms. If she had looked at things through her natural eyes she would have accepted the death of her child. But she knew that God had promised her a son and she knew that her promise was still alive.

 

2 Kings 4:21-23 NKJV

“And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. Then she called to her husband, and said, ‘Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.’ So he said, ‘Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath?’ And she said, ‘It is well.’

 

The woman took her promise that was ‘dead’ and put it in a room where no one would see it and shut the door. She determined that she would go to the man of God on behalf of her ‘dead’ promise.

 

2 Kings 4:32-33 NKJV

“When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.”

 

Sometimes God gives us a promise and it seems like the promise is ‘dead’. We need to be like the Shunammite woman- we need to shut out the things (and people) that might keep our promise ‘dead’. We must be very careful what we hear and listen to concerning our promise. There is life and death in our words. Every word that comes out of man’s mouth either brings life or it bring death.

 

Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

 

And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

 

The words we say are very powerful. They will either bless a situation or curse it.

 

James 3:10 NKJV

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.”

 

By putting the son in the room away from everyone she was protecting her promise from words of death. We too, must hold on to the promise that God has given us and shield it (and ourselves) from negative words and negative people. During these times we must only listen to (and trust in) what God has to say, not man.

 

Psalm 18:30 NKJV

“As for God, His way is perfect;

 

The word of the Lord is proven;

 

He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

 

We serve a God of completion. He never leaves things half done or undone. And He never gives us something just to take it away again!

 

Philippians 1:6 NKJV

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

We must not waver in our faith even when we do not see the answer with our eyes.

 

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of thing not seen.”

 

IV. Rejoice In God’s Promise

 

Psalm 119:162 NKJV

“I rejoice at Your word

 

As one who finds great treasure.”

 

No matter how bad things look or how negative the report is, you should still rejoice. Not at what you are going through, but at the fact that the Lord God Almighty is on your side.

 

Psalm 5:11 NKJV

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;

 

Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;

 

Let those who love Your name

 

Be joyful in You.”

 

We can rejoice in knowing that God will never leave us or forsake.

 

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 never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

We must be like the Shunammite women and say, “It is well.”

 

2 Kings 4:23 NKJV “…‘It is well.’ ”

 

2 Kings 4:26 NKJV “..‘It is well’ ”

 

Yes, she could see that her son was dead, but she knew the promise that she had been given. And she knew who to go to on behalf of her promise. She knew that the Lord would never leave her or forsake her, and that He was on her side.

 

Conclusion:

When God gives us a promise we must have faith that it will come to pass. There may be times that we think that our promise is dead, and we may be tempted to give up on our promise. During these times we must go directly to God and allow the Holy Spirit hover over our promise and to breath new life into it.

 

2 Kings 4:34-35 NKJV

“And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”

Relationships Change Circumstances

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Relationships Change Circumstances

Esther had already established an intimate relationship with the king before the desperation arose. Some people wait till a crises arises then they begin to draw close to God. Like Esther, if we already have an intimate relationship with the King before trouble arises we will have instant, direct access to the King. Our relationship with the King will change circumstances, if we draw close to Him, instead of away from Him.

In order to go into the presence of the king, Esther was willing to risk everything. She prepared herself to go in to his presence, then she served (ministered to) him once she was there.

I. We must be willing to risk everything:

Esther was willing to risk everything to enter into the kings presence. It did not even matter if she lost her life in the process.

Esther 4:15-16  NKJV    

“Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’ ”

II. We must prepare to go into the King’s presence:

Esther prepared herself to go in before the king. She put on the things that she knew he liked (her royal robes) and the perfume that she knew would get his attention. Prior to becoming queen, Esther had spent a whole year in beauty treatments and in all likelihood the king knew her smell from all others.

Esther stood in the outer court and waited until the aroma of her perfume reached the king. Once it did she had his undivided attention and she was able to go into the throne room.

Esther 5:1  NKJV   

“Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.”

     We too must prepare to go into the King’s presence. We must put on our royal robes (the robe of righteousness) and the fragrance of worship. Once the aroma of our worship reaches the King we have His attention and may go into the throne room.

III. Once in the presence of the King, we must minister to Him:

Esther ministered to the king by preparing a meal for him and serving it to him. She made sure his needs were taken care of first.

Esther 5:4  NKJV   

“So Esther answered, ‘If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.’”

Conclusion:

When we prepare ourselves to go into the King’s presence like Esther did, we too will find favor.

Esther 5:3  NKJV    

“And the king said to her, ‘What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It

shall be given to you-up to half the kingdom!’ ”

Esther 5:7-8  NKJV   

“Then Esther answered and said, ‘My petition and request is this: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

Esther 7:1-4  NKJV    

“So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther. And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, ‘What do your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!’ Then Queen Esther answered and said, ‘If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.’ So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?’ And Esther said, ‘The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!”

     Esther served the king first. She sought to please him by ministering to his needs. It pleased the king very much and in return he meet the need that she had and the needs of others.

Esther 8:7  NKJV    

“The King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, ‘Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.”

     If we minister to God first, then He will minister to us. Our relationship with God does change things. Only God can turn our sorrow to joy, and our mourning to happiness (holiday).

Esther 9:20-22  NKJV    

“And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of fasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.”