We cannot speak with God in intimate conversation, or come boldly to His throne and confidently expect Him to answer our prayers when we are not living for Him.
Prayers go nowhere when our lives do not line up to the life God has called us to live, old things must pass away, and we need to be made new, we must turn from our fleshly ways and live Spirit-led lives.
The more we surrender in prayer to the Lord, the more our inner character changes into the image of Christ, this is why it is said the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much! For the Spirit of God is at work in Him and through Him!
Our prayers must come from a clean heart, mind and soul for we are the temple of God, and He dwells in us and we live in His presence , He is Holy and demands our whole being, not just the parts we want to give Him.
Prayer creates hate for sin, because it is all Holy conversation between us and God, He is Holy, His Holiness and Righteousness demands we come into presence humble, clean and repentant of our sin against Him!
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 CSB
““I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. “This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is what I command you: Love one another.” John 15:1-17 CSB
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. “Come, let us settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1:15-20 CSB
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 CSB
“You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” James 4:3, 13-17 CSB
“The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”James 5:15-16 CSB
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:12-16 CSB
“But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:15-16 CSB
We live in times when it is easier to be told what to believe then seek for yourself.
The media tells you how you should feel, they give you talking points, anyone who doesn't agree with them is wrong.
Unfortunately, this does not just happen with the media, this form of hatred and ignorance is damaging our children and future leaders, for it is in our schools at every level, it is in our workplaces and even in our Churches.
The last place of hope has been infiltrated with theology that stands directly against God’s word, and people are flocking to it like flys on, well you know.
God’s word is clear, He has never changed His opinion on sin, He has never changed His opinion on salvation, He will never change His opinion or ways.
If people would take the time to read His word, they would see the truth of God's word and His ways.
Most people won't read their Bibles, because when they do, the Bible reads them, their inner thoughts, desires, and motives.
God calls sin an abomination, sin brings death, there are different punishments for sin, but there are also grace and forgiveness, and a new way of life that God offers, and He offers it to everyone, He lets us choose to accept His gift of love and salvation through Christ alone.
Our will is not greater than Gods, but He is willing to let us accept or deny Jesus Christ, if you say yes then you will follow and obey His commands, you can't say yes and live the way you want or listen to others, you must follow Him and listen to Him.
If you say no, then you have condemned yourself, it is simple. You must choose to do what you can live with for eternity because there are consequences for rejecting Him.
Don't let man be your teacher, ask God who gives wisdom to reveal to you His truth, don't go to a church to get your ears tickled, go where the word of God is spoken, out of love and grace, where the Holy Spirit leads the worship, speaks the words and guides the leaders and people.
It is easy to recognize these Churches for the Holy Spirit dwells there and He draws us there, don't resist Him, follow Him and never look back.
God’s word says this
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5 CSB
“Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but serve them even better, since those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved. Teach and encourage these things. If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:2-7 CSB
““If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:15-26 CSB
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”John 3:17-21 CSB
When I come to my Heavenly Father in prayer, I know God will answer my prayers because He is God and every word I pray is in complete faith and trust. I find grace in prayer, and my life is dependent upon the grace of God., therefore I pray always.
My will is to live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God every day the only way this happens is I must surrender all of me every moment of every day to Him. I get to walk with Him in the Spirit and not my flesh. None of this is because of me, rather it is only because of Christ in me.
Through trial after trial, I have learned my total dependence on God, He is my strength, shield, and salvation. Daily I ask He guard my heart and mind, my eyes and ears and watch over the things I say! It is the Holy Spirit in me that guides me through each day, He deserves all the praise and glory.
I have seen people healed, others set free from bondage, relationships mended and those who have died come back to life because of who Christ is, there is no power anywhere that can stop who Christ is or His work. So when I pray I trust in His wisdom, grace, and mercy, and I hold onto the promises of God that He has made in His word to us.
Don't get me wrong, I have been through seasons where I doubted, where I was double-minded, where I went through the motions, but God has changed my heart and shown me that He is God, and I am to bring everything to Him, and trust Him, that He is control and nothing happens unless He knows about it, that He is over all things and that He works all things to His glory and our good to those who are His!
I know these things not because I have read about them, but because I live them every day, and by His grace I am alive today to be a living testimony of who Christ is, of how He can change a life, how He will provide and make a way where there seems to be no way, of how He can take what was evil and make it good!
Yes God answers my prayers always, He has told me flat out no, He has told me to wait upon Him, He has told me to keep praying and in doing so changed my request, He has told me yes, He has told me to be persistent, and I have learned to listen to Him more as I pray, so when I come before Him I listen more than I speak and lean not on my own understanding I have learned to pray always and know that He answers accordingly.
Prayer is an intimate conversation with God, isn't it time we get intimate with our Creator, friend, savior, and LORD.
God's word says this:
“Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”Luke 21:34-36 CSB
“My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. Don’t lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to one’s whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.” Proverbs 4:20-27 CSB
“in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. The mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:4-10 CSB
“I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses. For if I want to boast, I wouldn’t be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me, especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:5-10 CSB
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit. My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let that person know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:13-20 CSB
Fervent prayer engulfs our minds, bodies, and souls! It brings our whole being into the presence of God, where He sets our souls on fire, there we cannot move or our minds wander, we are paralyzed by the glory of God, but held in awe of His presence, there is no doubt or fear, only faith, and peace as we humbly submit to the LORD our God our request!
Help me Holy Spirit, fervently pray!
Guide my heart and mind and pray for me, through me that my words would not be empty repetition, that they would be filled with my hearts desire to know God, my Father, more, that my request would line up with His will that I would walk daily with Him, fill my heart with grace, mercy, and love for others that they would see Christ in me, always!
Oh, how I long to live in His presence each day this way, not to move to the left or the right but to come before Christ on my face and stay at His feet and live!
The world we live in is perishing at a rapid rate, seemingly out of control. Sin and death seem to rule over those around me, I am helpless to stop them, but you alone Jesus have conquered sin and death, and given us the victory, may we live in that victory and help others come to know you.
Teach us each day, lead us in your everlasting way, speak deep into our souls, so others would see the glory of God upon our face, and lives.
Our time here is short, create in us the urgency of today, guard our hearts and minds, our speech and countenance, make our ways clear so we may honor you in all we do and lead others to you so they may know your love and truth.
God’s word says this!
“When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”Matthew 22:34-40 CSB
“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner! ’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 18:9-14 CSB
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”Romans 12:9-21 CSB
Praying in the name of Jesus, takes things out of our hands and puts them into the hands of God.
I don't know about you but I don't want things in my hands, my hands shake, and are weak I drop things always and have trouble picking things up.
God though, hangs the stars with His hands, He formed mankind with His hands, the palm of His hands span our known universe, and Jesus said nothing can be plucked from His hands, not the tiniest sparrow or the biggest star we see.
We can pray with confidence, in power, and in praise that our prayers, our lives are in the hands of God, there is no better place any of these things could be.
What could be so big or small that God could not handle it for us?
Is our knowledge or ability greater than God's?
What control do we have over unseen things or even things we can see or touch?
Do we know the beginning from the end?
Today when you pray, put it all in the hands of God and when you get up to walk away in a victory over what hinders you, knowing that God has our prayers, our cares, our family, our lives in His hands.
God’s word says this:
“When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with him,
He said to him, “Am I to come and heal him?” “Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment.” Matthew 8:5, 7-13 CSB
“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent.“But even the hairs of your head have all been counted.”
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10:27-31 CSB
“Who has stirred up someone from the east? In righteousness he calls him to serve. The Lord hands nations over to him, and he subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, like wind-driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them, going on safely, hardly touching the path with his feet. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I am the Lord, the first and with the last — I am he.” The coasts and islands see and are afraid, the whole earth trembles. They approach and arrive. Each one helps the other, and says to another, “Take courage!” The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good.” He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, my friend — I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are my servant; I have chosen you; I haven’t rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:2-10 CSB
“Listen to me, Jacob, and Israel, the one called by me: I am he; I am the first, I am also the last. My own hand founded the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summoned them, they stood up together.”Isaiah 48:12-13 CSB
Holiness is not based on our knowledge. Holiness is based on Christ Jesus, His nature, His character, and the Holy Spirit living in us and changing us into the image of Christ, we need to surrender to Him instead of surrendering to the world.
We are more concerned about our happiness than we are our holiness!
We need to understand there is no happiness outside of the holiness found in Christ alone.
Once we understand this and surrender to Christ happiness, peace and joy are ours to keep, for these are only found in Christ.
Are you struggling to find happiness? Are you struggling to find peace and joy?
The key to finding these things and more is found in surrendering your life to Christ. It seems counter to our culture, and believe me it is, but when we do our lives change.
Are you ready to walk in victory?
Are you willing to follow Christ, to the end?
Are you ready to do your part and surrender all to God, and let Him complete in you what He has started?
God’s word says this:
“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”1 Peter 1:13-16 CSB
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:2-8 CSB
The History of Valentines.
Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who was committed to rebuilding the once-great Roman army. However, he believed it was important for men to volunteer for armed service, rather than drafting men into service against their will. But, given a choice, most young men in the Roman Empire refused to serve. They’d rather stay at home with their wives and children that go off into battle.
Claudius came to believe that only single men would volunteer for service, so he issued a royal edict that banned all further marriages. He actually outlawed weddings in the Roman Empire, earning himself the nick-name Claudius the Cruel.
Valentine thought it was ridiculous! One of his favorite duties as a priest was to marry people. So after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine secretly continued performing marriage ceremonies. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.
One night, Valentine heard footsteps at his door. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. Many of the young couples he had married came to visit him in jail. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love.
One day, he received a visit from the daughter of one of the prison guards. Her father allowed her to visit him in his cell and they often sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing weddings. On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine.” That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D.—a day that was set aside in honor of a man who gave his life for God and for love. Now, every year on this day, people remember Saint Valentine, but most importantly, they think about love.
I read an intriguing article about 4 years ago, that said that “Despite the sweet and loving connotations of Valentine‘s day, Muslim and Hindu leaders in Asia are trying to stamp out the celebration of Valentine’s Day by young lovers. While the holiday seems trivial to Westerners, it is a serious issue of cultural tension in other parts of the world. Cities in India have outlawed cards, and guards spent the day searching campuses looking for couples daring to celebrate the holiday. In Brunei, Valentine’s Day has been declared a threat to Islam. Religious leaders fear the "Christian practice" of Valentine’s Day could "erode moral values, weaken the community and destroy Islam."
Did you notice that the Hinduism and Islam regard Valentine’s Day as a “Christian Practice”. Why would they think that? What is there about Valentine’s Day that would make it appear to be a Christian activity?
My guess is that they think that because Valentine’s Day (at least as Christians practice it) is all about honoring the person we love. It especially focuses on men buying gifts and cards for their wives and sweethearts. In fact, I just heard on the radio that on Valentine’s Day men far outspend women on such expenditures.
That doesn’t go over real well in Hindu and Islam cultures. Because in both of those settings, women are 2nd class citizens (whatever people may tell you about women in our culture being 2nd class citizens – it doesn’t compare to what you’d see in those settings). The women in those cultures exist principally to take care of guys.
“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.”
1 John 4:8-11 CSB
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 CSB
How do we live in peace in the midst of chaos or tragedy?
We turn it over to God.
Except for the fact that we are not very good at turning things over to God, we hold on tightly to the things that trouble us as if they were treasure, when in reality these are the things that weigh us down, spiritually, physically and emotionally.
How did Jesus live in peace when everyone was trying to kill Him? He prayed, how did the Apostles live in peace when they arrested and condemned them for their faith? They prayed, they knew where their strength came from, where their hope was, where they were going and they believed and trusted that God was with them and He was, the message God spoke to them, through them changed the world and continues still today.
God’s word tells us that when we give our anxiety and worries to the Lord, we will receive the gift of peace: "and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
When we pray and turn everything over to God, His peace falls on us and fills our hearts and souls! He guards our hearts and minds, and leads us in His ways.
Surrendering all things to God is the secret to living a victorious life, this is why we are told to pray always when we learn to live in prayer we will live in peace!
What worries are you holding on to?
Are you letting fear feed your soul, or are you letting faith free you from the bondage of worry and anxiety?
Trust God, His plans, His ways, for He takes what is broken and makes masterpieces.
God's word says this:
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him. Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 7:7-12 CSB
“When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 CSB
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 CSB
“For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 CSB
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”James 5:13-18 CSB
I heard a story the other day of a man who sued God and His church, it seems he opened a bar next door to a Church, the Pastor and the people felt compelled to pray that God would shut it down, so they gathered for a week and prayed.
Two weeks later, lightning hit the bar and it burnt to the ground, while nothing else around it was destroyed. The bar owner heard about the Pastor and Church praying to close his bar and sued them.
In court the bar owners case was explained about how his place was prayed over for God to close it, the judge listened intently, then he called the Pastor to give his testimony, the Judge asked did you really pray that his bar would be shut down?
The Pastor said yes, well kind of we didn't believe God would really do it!
The Judge shook his head; then he said this, I am perplexed, here I have a bar owner who believes that prayer works and God answers prayer and a Pastor and Church who isn't sure if prayers work or if God answers prayers!
How can this be?
Many times we pray and go through the motions, but we pray doubting God will answer.
Then we wonder why God won't answer our prayers the way we prayed? When we doubt God when we pray, He has already answered that prayer.
Over the years, God has answered our prayers in only ways He could, day after day He answers them, and we have learned never come before Him doubting.
My health keeps me at bay, and every day I come before His throne and pray to have the strength to get out of bed, and accomplish His plans, wherever He leads I will follow, and I mean every day!
What about you? Do you doubt when you pray? If so ask God who gives us wisdom and faith, to forgive your doubts, to give your faith strength instead of fear, believe me, He will do it!
Are you ready to see God move in your life? Then pray without doubting! And watch Him move the mountains in His way!
God’s word says this:
“Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for — believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”Mark 11:22-25 CSB
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God — who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly — and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 CSB
Let us not believe that the gods of the Democratic party or the gods of the Republican party or the gods of most churches are God of all creation, that He condones the behavior of mankind, or that He has turned a blind eye to the perverted thinking and living going on in this nation and world.
Don’t think God’s judgments are coming, He has been bringing judgment upon our Nation for some time now, in the Halls of our Government to the classrooms in our schools, on the main street and in the pews in many churches, God is pouring out the beginnings of His judgment now, we don’t recognize it because we can't even recognize sin.
You can mock God, His truths, His words, His ways, but there will be a day of reckoning and every knee will bow before Him, and tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, then He will remind those who did not believe in Him what fate they have chosen.
I believe God is graciously giving us an opportunity to repent before He turns His back on us and brings harsher judgment upon this Nation.
God is long-suffering not wanting any to perish, but God is Holy, God is righteous, God keeps His promises, He will not be mocked, ignored or share His glory with another.
God is doing now what He said He will do, these are birthing pains of judgments to come.
God’s word says this:
“For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen. For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error. And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know God’s just sentence — that those who practice such things deserve to die — they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them. “Romans 1:18-32 CSB
“Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”
Galatians 6:6-10 CSB
Our only hope is Jesus.
There is still hope if our Nation turns back to God, repents and turns away from its evil ways, humbles itself and submits itself back under the authority of God our creator, returns to prayer and His statutes, He will restore us, bless us and keep us.
God’s word says this:
“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice. If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:12-15 CSB
Jesus warned those who have seen miracles, been given the truth and ignore Him and God’s truth. We as a nation have been blessed with God’s truth and seen millions of miracles that only God could do and we turn our back on Him.
“To what should I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to other children: We played the flute for you, but you didn’t dance; we sang a lament, but you didn’t mourn! For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Then he proceeded to denounce the towns where most of his miracles were done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” Matthew 11:16-24 CSB
How we should pray!
My prayer is that God’s people separate themselves from friendship with the world, fall on our faces and repent of our sins, our nations sins, and pray God changes the hearts of our Nation that He would remove the stain of sin on this Nations soul, heal our land, change the hearts of our leaders or change them, and make this Nation His again, to bring honor and glory to His name, and let it start with us His people.
Daniel showed us how to pray:
“So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek him by prayer and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: Ah, Lord — the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps his gracious covenant with those who love him and keep his commands — we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from your commands and ordinances. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, leaders, fathers, and all the people of the land. Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but this day public shame belongs to us: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel — those who are near and those who are far, in all the countries where you have banished them because of the disloyalty they have shown toward you. Lord, public shame belongs to us, our kings, our leaders, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you. Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the Lord our God by following his instructions that he set before us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has broken your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. The promised curse written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, has been poured out on us because we have sinned against him. He has carried out his words that he spoke against us and against our rulers by bringing on us a disaster that is so great that nothing like what has been done to Jerusalem has ever been done under all of heaven. Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquities and paying attention to your truth. So the Lord kept the disaster in mind and brought it on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all he has done. But we have not obeyed him. Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand and made your name renowned as it is this day, we have sinned, we have acted wickedly. Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, may your anger and wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and, your people have become an object of ridicule to all those around us. Therefore, our God, hear the prayer and the petitions of your servant. Make your face shine on your desolate sanctuary for the Lord’s sake. Listen closely, my God, and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations and the city that bears your name. For we are not presenting our petitions before you based on our righteous acts, but based on your abundant compassion. Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for your own sake, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name.” Daniel 9:3-19 CSB
The weapon of prayer is barely used, if we started to pray as if we are in a battle we would have victories on top of victories in our lives.
We should be praying for wisdom, protection from harm or evil, strength, and grace for the day, help in all our decisions, for God to lead us in His way far from temptation, these are prayers that anticipate an enemy attack and make no mistake our enemy will attack in some way, every day.
Jesus taught us to pray this way, He also taught us to anticipate attacks, if we blindly wake without seeking the Lord first we are defenseless when attacked, we must daily seek refuge in our Lord, we must daily ask for His help, we must daily put on the armor of God, for we are weak and He is strong, our victory is in Christ alone.
Before Jesus went to the cross He prayed, He asked Peter, James, and John to join Him and He prayed fervently until blood ran from His forehead, He knew the attack was coming against Him, we don't have to worry about being attacked, we to already know an attack is coming for Christ warned us.
When we look at history we see battles are won when the preparation is done, each military force prepares before they engage in battle, the commander lays out the plan, the soldier who has trained is equipped and implements the plan they are prepared for the enemy to attack.
We are in a spiritual battle, a battle we are not equipped to fight on our own, we are outnumbered, we are weak, and unable to see our enemy, but in Christ we have the victory for He has authority over all, including our enemy, in Christ sin, death and all the forces of hell are defeated, and we can live in victory over them because of who He is, but we must submit to His authority, we must walk in His ways.
Christ Jesus prays for us each day, He intercedes on our behalf, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what to pray, if Christ is praying for us, and the Holy Spirit is praying for us, don't you think we should join them and pray, pray as Jesus taught us, let us join Him so we and our families can walk in victory over the world we live in.
God’s word says this:
“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13 CSB
“Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “ Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Mark 14:32-38 CSB
“Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”Luke 22:31-32 CSB
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.
“I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” His disciples said, “Look, now you’re speaking plainly and not using any figurative language. Now we know that you know everything and don’t need anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”John 16:1-15, 25-33 CSB
When we pray it is not a question of can or will God help us? Prayer is believing and knowing God does and will help us, then trusting Him and His answers.
The Lord alone is our confidence. The object of our faith is the person, Jesus Christ, He is the one person we can totally trust in everything. When we put our confidence in Christ it transforms the way we live.
We must trust God even when do not understand what is going on in our life. Faith is trusting God even when we don’t have all the answers. He is the author and finisher of our faith!
This is why daily we must come to the throne of grace, in prayer and in God’s word and feed our faith, when we do our doubts and fears will starve to death.
If our trust, confidence or faith is in ourselves or another person, we are bound to fail and be let down, but when we put our faith in Christ, trust Him in all things we have already won the battle over our fears, through faith in Christ alone.
God’s word says this:
“Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”Matthew 21:21-22 CSB
“For you are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth. I have leaned on you from birth; you took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is always about you.” Psalms 71:5-6 CSB
“Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 CSB
“This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 CSB