Call

As I was reading my Bible I came across this verse again.  It is an often quoted passage.  I wonder if I really get the meaning of this.

As my family and I have been experiencing some really difficult trials the past couple weeks it has caused me to simply look at passages like this again with a little more intent look.

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

As I thought about the first phrase “Call unto me;” I was reminded how most people really do not want a Saviour.  Far too many people today want a genie in a bottle.  Thy want a “personal diety” who will just show up when they need someone.  They want some super being that will be ready at their every beckon call.  It does not work that way.

The word “call” means we are accosting a person by calling out.  There is no time here to give up.  There are people and things that I have been praying for that have not been answered.  Some of these requests have been on my heart for many years.  We have to keep calling.

When we call out to God it means we keep going to Him and going to Him boldly asking.  It is not a one time request.  We keep going back and back until we get the request answered.

We will know it when God answers too.  The word “shew” means to front, to stand out boldly.  When God answers we will know it.  We had a very large situation in our lives and I prayed about it and God answered the request in such a way that I know for sure it was Him.

Too many so-called Christians do not see their prayers answered because of various reasons.  One that stands out to me is that they do not call upon God and ask Him.

So, how are you doing?

 

Pray For One Hour 7

Matthew 26:40-41, “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

VII.  Pray for one hour:  Petition – share personal needs:  Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and is shall be opened unto you:”

I shared with you yesterday that it is difficult for me to share personal needs.  It is my pride.  There have been times that I have felt led of God not to share personal needs with other.  It was as if God did not want me to share them.  Then, what an awesome blessing to see Him provide whatever the need was.

A brother preacher shared with me the acronym A.S.K.  It came from Matthew 7:7.  Let me share that with you now.

A – “ask” means to ask.
S – “seek:” means to seek, to worship
K – “knock” means to knock: rap (not the music either)

I think that we can learn here to persevere in prayer.  Don’t just pray about it once; but, keep praying for it until you receive an answer.  Far too many of us just pray about it once and give up and say that God has not heard or answered our prayers.  Maybe He is trying to teach us something by waiting to answer our prayers.  When it comes to pray we must “A.S.K.”  We have to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking until He answers.

So, how are you doing?

Why We Don’t Have Revival 4

I will continue my thoughts today on “Why We Don’t Have Revival”.

If we are going to have real revival we must pursue it.  I have heard all my life that “If something is worth having it is worth fighting for.”  Well, what about revival?  Is it worth fighting for?  I don’t mean take up arms and go to battle for it, literally.  What I am talking about is the idea of doing what it takes to have revival.  We need to be willing to abandon what God says to abandon in order to remove all hinderances preventing revival from coming.

Look again at II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  People do not want to “turn from their wicked ways”.  We get so attached to our “pet” sins that we love them and adore them and we refuse to give them up.  If we would just realize the freedom we have when we do give up those things.  The freedom to live like God wants us to live.  We can have a deep, fulfilling relationship with Him that will be far greater than all the other things combined.  We must pursue God and His revival like we would pursue our last breath if we knew it was coming.

If you and I get a true glimpse of the Saviour everything else will pale in insignificance.  If we pursue revival with all of our heart then everything else will pale in insignificance because we are seeking God in all reality.  Our God is the God of revival.  When we seek God we will have real, Heaven sent, Holy Spirit revival.  Will you prepare, pray, plead and pursue revival and more importantly God?

So, how are you doing?

A Command To Ask

As I have written recently, you know that my Aunt passed away.  As we cleaned out her apartment there were so many memories.  She had saved so many things as mementos over the years.  With each memory came a few tears also.

As we were cleaning things out different relatives wanted different things.  You would ask about some particular thing and someone would say that someone else got it.  If you wanted something you had to ask for it.  If you did not ask for it then the item was either sent to the trash dumpster or it was sent to the mission.

In our verse for today God is telling Jeremiah to tell the children of Israel to “ask”.  Look at Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

The word “ask” means to request; by extension, to demand.  James tells us in James 4:2, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”  We need to ask.  We refer to Him as our Heavenly Father; but, we do not treat Him that way.  As a father I want my children to come to me and ask for things.  This way I can teach them valuable lessons for life.  If they never ask then I might not be able to teach them these lessons.  God does the same for us too.  This is why He commands us to ask.

So, how are you doing?

The Shepherds

You have all heard some of my stories from my years growing up on the farm.  I will do my best not to bore you to death with one today.  I was thinking about the whole Christmas account.  I began to think about these shepherds.

What do we know about the shepherds?  We know they carried great responsibility.  The sheep were a source of wool for clothing.  Maybe they were a source of milk.  Maybe they were even a source of food to the families of these shepherds.  The Bible does not let us in on such secrets.  What do we know about these humble shepherds.

They were faithful shepherds.  Look at the words of Luke 2:8, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

They were fearful shepherds.  Look at the words of Luke 2:9, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

They were first to hear the message.  If you read the words of Scripture in Luke 2:10-14 you can listen in on the message they received.  The message of Messiah coming.  Humble shepherds were chose to receive the message.

They were faithful shepherds.  Look at Luke 2:15, “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”  They did not call the media or anyone else.  They made immediate arrangements and went to see Messiah.  I believe they were waiting for Him and so it was made known to them where they could find Him.

Are you like these lowly shepherds?  We see the bumper stickers and signs all over this time of year that tell us, “Wise Men Still Seek Him!” and this is true.  Yet, humble shepherds can seek Him and find Him too.

So, how are you doing?

Are You Seeking?

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The other day my family and I took a couple days off to get away.  It was much needed and a wonderful time away.  We were able to see family that we have not seen in a year and that was so good to catch up.  We were able to see sights.  We stayed in a hotel with a pool and that excited our precious son.  He and his mother made good use of the pool.

On one such trip years ago we wanted to see a particular light house.  The town natives continually directed us to the state park across the waterway from the lighthouse.  I finally stopped at yet, another gas station for directions.  I told the man behind the counter that I had been railroaded multiple times to the state park and I was tired of it and I wanted directions to the lighthouse.  We got them!

In order to get to this lighthouse you have to walk on a public sidewalk through two neighborhoods and those people do not like the visitors.  It is sad.  We walked a mile on a path marked through parking lots, across roads and finally ended at a beach.  There it stood.  My heart went pitter-patter.

It reminded me of Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
My dear reader, what are you seeking?  Is there anything in your life that you are just longing for?  It is my desire for you to seek Jesus until you find Him.  Once you find Him all this other stuff is just that, stuff.

So, how are you doing?

Preparation

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail that thrilled me to tears.  I received word that someone very near and dear to us will be coming to our area for a visit.  I cannot wait.  As I sat pondering when, where and how of the details a thought came to my mind.  This thought made my heart break.

The thought was this.  You are so excited and eager for this visit; but, I promised to come back and you do not anticipate my coming with that much excitement and joy.  Ouch!  I was convicted to rivers of tears.  It is true that Jesus’ own bride does not even really anticipate His coming.  We have His Word that He will return one day and yet we live like it will never happen.

It is no wonder that we have such a vivid picture in the book of Revelation.  Look at the words in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  We as soul-winners often us this verse as we speak to people.  The truth is that this “door” that Jesus knocks on is the door of His Church.  This is a heart breaking reality.  We are so busy with our programs and stuff that distracts us from the life that Jesus gives us that we do not hear Him knocking at the door.  God please forgive me!

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 5

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

As we continue making our way up the path of reconciliation the next principle we need to put into practice is is this.

We need to Return to the injured person.  Up to this point we have recognized our involvement, repented of our involvement and requested God’s forgiveness.  If we are going to get victory when we have been the offending person we must return to the one we have hurt.  This is easier said than done, I know.  It is not easy to look someone in the eye that we have wronged and make things right.

If we are going to be useful to God then we have to be the more mature person and go to the one we have hurt or offended and seek to make it right.  That return trip is the longest trip of this journey, I promise.  Yet, it is worth every effort we make to go.  You will make an enemy a friend more than likely.  They have a will of their own and I cannot promise that they will be ready to forgive and move on.

We need to pray about these steps before we ever strike out on the road to reconciliation.  As we pray about what is going to take place then we can humble ourselves before God and then it will help us go in a right attitude.

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 4

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Today we will look at the third principle of falling down and getting back up.  Today’s principle is Request God’s forgiveness.  Look at I John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  The idea of confession is to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it.  It is not that we are letting God in on our sinfulness.  He knows.

There are many reasons that people do not request God’s forgiveness.  One is shame.  They are ashamed to admit to God what they have done.  The thing is that the sooner you confess it and forsake it the sooner you can move on in life.  Don’t expect to go anywhere or do anything for God with known sin in your life.  It will not work.  Once the confession is made and God immediately forgives you then you can move on like it never happened.

So, how are you doing?