Four Compelling Questions for Christians

Our nation and the world are facing challenges that could be devastating for our way of life and even our lives – war, financial crashes, and natural disasters.  When you interact with friends, family, and co-workers, here are four questions that may trigger a deeper conversation.  Follow-up questions are in italics.

  1. TOUCHING BASE – How are you doing?  What is happening in your life?
  2. HAND OF THE LORD – Have you ever seen the hand of the Lord in your life or sensed His presence?  When and in what was it like?  Do you believe we can learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit?
  • YOUR GIFTS AND CALLING – Do you know what your gifts are and what the Lord is calling you to do and become in this life? 
  • HOLDING YOU BACK – What is holding you back from fulfilling this calling in your life?  Is it
  • burdens you are carrying (that you haven’t given over to the Lord)?
  • sin (unconfessed sin)? 
  • not being in touch with the Lord / not spending time with the Lord each day in His Word and in prayer?

Finally, it would be good to ask what you can pray for your friend, and then go ahead and hold him/her up to the Lord in prayer.   You don’t want your friend to experience The Greatest Danger.

THE GREATEST DANGER

The greatest danger facing all of us is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel that life has no meaning at all – not these things.

The danger is that we may:

– fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning,

– fall short of its highest good,

– miss its deepest and most abiding happiness,

– be unable to tender the most needed service,

– be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God,

– and be content to have it so.

That is the danger – that some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself.

For life without God, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible.  That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared – satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father.     Phillip Brooks (1835-1893)

Are You Dead Yet?

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly extravagance, spiritual insensibility and endure it as Jesus endured, THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown, THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances, THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, THAT IS DYINIG TO SELF

Are you dead yet?  In these last days, the Spirit would bring us to the cross, so that we can be free of sin and filled with the Holy Spirit of the sovereign, living God.

“That I many know Him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”  Phil 3:10

Divine Appointments

Today was a day of reflection.  As the hours marched on, God revealed to me during my fasting and prayer that we take for granted the many times we are given a divine appointment.  We can choose to allow it to bless someone or miss an appointment that God set up for us to show others Christ lives in us.

I know that the hours draw nearer and nearer to the moment when Christ will come to take those whom He loves home to heaven.  But today I realized that every hour we are given divine appointments and we are blessed to serve God even in the midst of a storm.

These are events over the last few months that occurred, and today God showed me clearly how very much He loves His children, even unto the very last one.  He shows His love through His servants.

Standing in a grocery line the women in front of us, checking out her groceries with her teenage daughter goes to pay with her debit card.  The cashier passes it through and it is denied.  They do it again, only to have it denied twice.  She was very embarrassed, so she tries another card to no avail.  I could see the sheer horror on her face, and her daughter completely humiliated.  Knowing that God had blessed us with a monetary gift, I heard God saying “pay for her order”.  I told Bob, if it is denied again, we are to pay for her groceries. 

As the manager came over, and they checked again, they told her it was not going through (she asked what day it was, as if a paycheck should have hit her bank).  She was just about to leave with nothing, and I told the manager “use this debit card”.  She was shocked and tears started running down her cheeks.  I told her that God gave her a gift and that He loved her, go in peace and give thanks to God.  Not only was that appointment used for her, but her daughter was speechless, the manager and the young cashier were in tears … DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

A young couple who have nothing and love God with all their hearts live on a third floor, sleep on the floor, have a baby, and are trying to start a business. Bob goes there on a business call and his heart is moved.  He comes home to share with me, so we go and pull out provisions and supplies to share so they have food, toilet paper, and fun things that they would not buy for themselves… DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

Giving a homeless man a birthday wish of a lasagna and a birthday cake.  When he says that last year he spent his birthday with “Captain Morgan” (the rum bottle), and he never had a birthday cake in his life, and no one cooked something special just for him… DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

Going through the items we had left, and realizing that some veterans who just got housing and needed everything, all they got from our government was an apartment.  Giving up a mattress and box spring that was new and in storage, was again trusting God to supply what we need at the time we need it. Going shopping with tithe money to buy things they never had for themselves and seeing them cry with joy and sharing a hug and telling that Jesus loves them… DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

Seeing someone crying and stopping long enough to see what you can do for them.  Hours later, you have shed tears of sorrow and joy.  They just needed someone to listen and show the love of Christ… DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

Today leaving the ministry, we headed home early.  Thinking we would get some things done so that we could catch with life.  We were on the highway, when all of sudden Bob sees a small Mini Cooper come across three lanes of traffic out of control, take flight, hit the median, and start on fire.  We stop the car, run over, and get this precious young man out of the car, his face covered in blood, in shock, and confused.  I sat him down on the median.  I ran and got out wet wipes, cleaned his face and wounds, as Bob went back to get what he could out of the car.  My grandson who is 7 and my little dog in our car watched everything on the sidelines safe inside our car.

We stayed with this young man for 4 hours.  He was such a sweet young man, 27, and found out that he knows the Lord.  I knew in my spirit that today was “for such a time as this”.  After hours waiting for the state police to arrive, and finishing the accident report, we took him to his work to show his boss that he was in fact in an accident.  (His short covered in blood, his suit pants split in half, and still a bit out of sorts), we drove him home only to find out that he only lives three blocks from the ministry.  We got home at 7:30 p.m. after leaving at 1 p.m., only to both realize that we saw God save this man out of a car for a greater purpose… DIVINE APPOINTMENT.

These are just a few of the things I have experienced these past few months, and there are many others.  I know that time is very short, and the hours draw even closer, but we all need to realize that each day God gives us divine appointments to keep.  They may be small, and some large, but God will use them for His glory.  We are to keep our eyes fixed on our great God and King.  Time is irrelevant.  Does God make time for us?  Are we to share the provisions that God gave to us?  Are we to be Christ in a dying world?

Let us never forget to use our time left wisely.  Stop, listen to those who seem unlovable, God thinks they are important.  Stop, let go of the things that hold you here on the earth, they are going to be gone soon.  Look for every opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ, in the smallest, to the greatest opportunity, every encounter matters.  You cup will be overflowing.  Give God all the glory and give Him the praise.  Time may be short, but divine appointments are still just that – DIVINE.

May God use His people to bless the lost, lonely, hurting, and hopeless.  We all can make a difference in someone’s life.  Make your time count.

In the precious blood of Jesus,

Manette July 29, 2014

Bible Verses That Provide Direction

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.     Isaiah 55:6-7

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.     Deuteronomy 4:29

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks shall receive; and he that seeks shall find; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.   Matthew 7:7-8

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.    II Chronicles 7:14

Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.    II Chronicles 20: 16-17

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.   John 7:37-38

Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.    Isaiah 51:4

 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.  
  Psalm 34: 1-7

Becoming a Person With a Purpose

Philippians 1:12 “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

Paul was in prison, but was exuberant that his time he was being used by God to reach the entire network of palace guards with the Gospel of Christ. He also recognized that most of his Christian friends had been encouraged to be bolder in their witness. Paul was a man of focused purpose and knowledge of God.

What kind of work situation are you in these days? Positive? Negative? Overly stressful? Dynamic and exciting? Dull and routine?

Remember two things:

1) No matter how good or how bad things are … HE HAS PUT YOU THERE for this moment in time TO BE A LIGHT. Don’t get caught up in your successes or stresses. Remember you are a person with purpose;

2) He WILL USE YOU if you surrender yourself to him.

O Lord, thank you for sovereignly placing me here today. I surrender my will to you to be used by you however you desire. 

http://youronedegree.com/

Are You in Love? 13 Signs That Say Yes

Are you in love with another person? Here are some signs that say yes:

  1. When you think about the future, your partner is in it.

When you make plans both in the near and distant future, you automatically factor your partner into them.

2. When you are away from them, you miss them immediately.

Every moment with them means so much more than the times you are without them. When you’re not together, you miss them all the time.

3. You have great chemistry.

You can’t be in love if you don’t have good chemistry both mentally and physically. The spark should always be alive.

4. You love spending time with them.

You could spend all of your time with your partner and never get sick of being around them.

5. You have stopped caring about past relationships.

People you dated in the past no longer matter – you don’t stay in touch with them or check up on them on social media.

6. Other priorities are no longer as important as they used to be.

Things that used to be important to you are now easily put on the back burner because the priorities you have with your partner are so much more important.

7. Every little thing reminds you of them.

Little details you see while walking down the street or doing daily activities make you think about your partner.

8. You find their little quirks and flaws to be adorable.

The things they don’t like about themselves are the traits that you love about them. You think their quirks are sweet.

9. You feel comfortable talking to them about anything.

You know you can tell your partner anything without being judged. You feel comfortable being open about your thoughts and feelings.

10. Even when you get mad at them, you always forgive them.

You may argue, but that will never stop you from making up and being together. Love can be passionate both in good and bad ways.

11. You find yourself always bringing them up in conversation.

You can’t help but bring up their name when talking about something with another person. They are such a big part of your life that it’s too easy to do.

12. You feel like they make you a better person.

Being with your partner improves who you are as a person every single day. You feel better about yourself.

13. The thought of living without them is unimaginable.

Life without the one you love is unfathomable. You want them around, always and forever.

Now review these same signs about your relationship with the Lord, the sovereign, living God of the universe.  Jesus said we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37  Do you love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Are you in love with the Lord? He loves you, and invites you to spend eternity with Him – here and in heaven.

Adapted from:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/love-sex/are-you-in-love-13-signs-that-say-yes/ss-AAhpfVi?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=SL5MDHP#image=13

Scars in Life – an Alligator Story

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.  In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.  From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms, just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim, and shot the alligator.  Remarkably, after weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the large reptile. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh, in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

A newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the little boy if he would show him his scars.  The boy lifted his pant legs. Then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past, and from our experiences with the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret and pain to those whom we love. But, some wounds are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of our struggles, He’s been right there, holding on to us.

The Scripture teaches that God loves us.  Each of us is a child of God. He wants to protect us, and provides for us in every way. But, sometimes, we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril, and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack.  That is when the tug-of-war begins. If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will never let you go. Our job is to walk with Him, to be aware of the alligators coming after us, our loved ones, and the people the Lord brings across our paths.  And to hold on – to be a witness to Jesus, to confirm his truth, His mercy, and His love, so that God will prevail in all of our lives.

God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. We just never know where a person is in his/her life, and what they are going through.  We should never judge another person’s scars, because we don’t know how they got them.  Right now, someone around you needs to know that God loves them, and that you love them too ~ enough to not let them go!!!

The Merchant of Death is Dead

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist who made millions of dollars from inventing and selling dynamite. One day in 1888, he was shocked to open the newspaper and see this headline: “The Merchant of Death is Dead.” It was his obituary! The newspaper had confused him with his brother Ludvig who had in fact died in France. The article remembered Alfred as a person who had gotten rich by helping people kill each other.

After reading his own obituary, Alfred Nobel realized that the legacy of his life was not what he had hoped. He set out to make a change becoming a generous person who shared his resources to make a positive difference in the world. You probably recognize the name from the Nobel Prizes (like the Nobel Peace Prize), which Nobel created with a $9 million investment to honor individuals of many professions whose work and efforts have benefited humanity. The Merchant of Death, Alfred Nobel, learned what it meant to become a generous person.

God blesses you and me so that we can be a blessing to others. He desires us to be generous people, and when we are, our joy and happiness overflows. Jesus said in Luke 6:36, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” There is a spiritual principle here: When you give, you will be blessed! When you give, God will grant you not only what you need, but it will overflow.

You and I have been blessed with time, talents, and treasure. We have been blessed with freedom, education, intellectual abilities, friendships, material possessions, skills, and wisdom. The mistake we often make is when we use these things just for ourselves. God has blessed us to be a blessing to others. When we hoard it all to ourselves, we miss the blessing. The gift actually becomes a burden! Rather than experiencing joy and happiness by giving, too many of us become stressed out by debt and the care of “our” material possessions.

Learn to give. Learn to become a generous person. For then you will see that the real gift from God to us is NOT the gift, but what happens when we give the gift. Generosity: it’s the true gift from God.

A Special Letter from Jesus

My most precious child, if you are receiving this letter, it is because someone loves you very much. He or She may not have been able to talk to you about this in the past, or perhaps they have talked to you about Me, but you were not ready to listen.

The most important thing I want to tell you is that I LOVE YOU. I love you more than anyone in this world could ever love you. I want you to read this now and learn of Me because you are running out of time to learn the truth. Life as you know it now will suddenly and radically change in an instant and I want you to be ready.

My Name is Jesus Christ the Messiah, I have come to you to give you eternal life. I have come in the flesh and given you the most ultimate sacrifice anyone could give in that I died for you, shedding My blood to atone for your sins; not only those sins you have committed in the past, but for every sin you will ever commit. 

The price for your sins has been paid. I was the sacrificial lamb, slain for you. Your debt is paid. I did this so that you could have access to the Kingdom of Heaven with Me and Our Father forever. You were beautifully and wonderfully made, intricately designed, and purposed for so much more than this life. You have known all along that there was more, that your heart yearned for something greater, something that would fill the emptiness, fill that space inside and ‘complete’ you.

It is My greatest desire that you know that what you have been looking for is Me! I am the One who has created you for a special purpose and whose love for you will never die! My gift is a free gift, no conditions, all you need to do is accept this most precious gift from Me and you will then have all My promises. 

You must know that you could never do anything on your own to earn My love, or earn your way into Heaven. Your acceptance of Me and My sacrifice is all that is required. My blood covers all, and ensures you will live with Me always.

I have given you a book- The Holy Bible – that tells you all about who I am. It is your instruction manual in this life, and it tells you not only what has happened in the past, but it also tells you what is about to happen to this earth.

I love all of My creation so much that I always let you know what I am about to do. This is why you are receiving this letter. I am about to make Myself known in a very powerful way. Because so many have chosen not to accept Me for who I am and follow My commandments for your lives, I will shake the very foundations of all you know to be your security. This is how I will get the attention of My creation.

I do not want you to be in fear, and I do not want you to miss the most important reason that you were born to be here. This reason is to have an intimate relationship with Me. To not choose Me is to choose a life in darkness eternally.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I offer you this gift and this decision because of the free will I have given you. I would never force you to love Me, but you must know that to ignore My desires for your love means eternity without light, love, peace and joy. It is a life wasted and cast away.

Don’t waste another moment believing the lies of My enemy, the devil. Don’t believe that life will go on continually the way it always has been. Time as you know it is over and I am coming to make all things new. The signs of the times in which you live are all around you. Life as you know it has become unsustainable. Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken, and you will be forced to make a choice for your very survival. You will choose to trust Me, the One who created you, or you will trust in a system that will fail. My Word speaks truth and all else that is not of Me will collapse. Please, come to Me now. Come as you are. I love you no matter what you have done. 

My blood washes away all your sins and makes you white as snow. I will keep you and protect you, I will provide for you and when it is your time, I will take you home with Me.

I will only have so many warnings, and then the sudden-lies will be upon you. Will you be ready? The choice has always been yours. If you accept this free gift and desire to know Me intimately, and want to spend eternity with Me in complete peace and love,

Please say this prayer (out loud) 

Father, please forgive me for all of my sins. I accept your gift. I believe that you sent your Son Jesus to die for me, and that He is your only Son. I believe that His blood has paid the price for all the sins I have ever committed, and all those I will commit. I trust in you as My Creator and in all of your promises. I surrender my life to you and ask that only your will be done. I invite your Holy Spirit to come into my heart and change me, and make me more like you. I want to be obedient, and I need your help. Please come into my heart this moment Jesus and make me a new creation in you. 

In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN

Your loving Father, Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Yahushua ha Mashiach)

Received By Julie Whedbee

Excerpt from http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2018/05/the-war-on-israel-begins-the-mark-of-the-beast-is-coming-3614964.html?currentSplittedPage=0

A Call to Personal Holiness

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.    Hebrews 12:14

We are called to spiritual completeness, and we are called to empty ourselves before God and men, to humble ourselves as empty vessels to be filled with the Spirit of God.

Steps to Personal Holiness

STEP 1 – HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE GOD AND MEN.

God calls men to be humble:

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14

The steps to personal holiness (being sin-less and separated from wickedness) are clear:

  • Humble ourselves (personal humility);
  • Pray (communicating with God);
  • Seek God’s face (personal devotion to God – obedience); and
  • Turn from our wicked ways (repentance).

God guides the humble in what is right:

You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.  Psalm 18:27

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in His way; He guides the humble in what is right.   Psalm 25:8-9

For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4

This is the one I esteem, saith the Lord, He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My Word.    Isaiah 66:2b

This is what the high and lofty one says who inhabits eternity: “I live in a high and holy place but also with him who is contrite [crumbled, bruised, beaten to pieces, crushed, humble, or smitten] and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite”.    Isaiah 57:14

Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-29

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another with love. Ephesians 4:2

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?  But he gives us more grace.  That is why scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.          James 4:4-6

Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.  James 4:10

SUMMARY:  God seeks the humble, contrite, or broken heart that He might mold it and fill it with His Grace.  The admonishment is clear: we must humble ourselves before God and Men to receive the blessings of a loving and gracious creator.

STEP 2 TO ACHIEVING PERSONAL HOLINESS – PRAYER

God’s supernatural power can be released through prayer.  Many talk about prayer but what, truly, does scripture say about successful prayer?

Those who walk in faith and obedience to Christ can expect to receive answers to their prayers.

Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”     John 14:6

  • Contact with God through prayer begins when we accept Jesus into our lives as Savior and Lord. 

Praying with a clean heart is vital to successful prayer:

The psalmist said: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. “ Psalm 66:18

The Lord is far from the wicked but He hears the prayer of the righteousProverbs 15:29

We must come to God with a forgiving heart if we are to receive the Christian’s legacy of power in prayer.  An unforgiving spirit is a frequent hindrance to prayer:

Jesus says: “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  Mark 11:25

  • We must have a believing heart if we expect God to answer our prayers.  We must have faith and

in the exercise of our faith we develop trust that God is hearing our prayers and is attentive to our requests:

Jesus says: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

According to your faith will it be done to you.  Matthew 9:29

SUMMARY:  Pray with adorning hearts, confessing sin, thanking God for the blessing He has abundantly poured upon us, and in supplication, we are to pray for everything in specific terms.

STEP THREE TO ACHIEVING PERSONAL HOLINESS – SEEK GOD’S FACE – A LIFE DEVOTED TO GOD.

Examples of men who were known as men devoted to and obedient to God:

Noah:  (Genesis 6)

            * Noah was known as a righteous man.

            * Blameless among the people of his time.

            * Noah walked with God.

            * Noah was obedient to God.

Abraham:

            * Called the Servant of God (Genesis 26:24

            * Called God’s friend (II Chronicles 20:7 and Isaiah 41:8)

            * Found to be righteous (Genesis 15:1)

David, Daniel, and Joseph of the Old Testament

Joseph of the New Testament and many less notable men of the Bible

What were the common characteristics of these men?

            * They were righteous in God’s eyes,

            * They were obedient to God,

            * They were humble men.

SUMMARY: God commands men to be righteous, obedient, and humble.

STEP FOUR TO ACHIEVING PERSONAL HOLINESS – TURN FROM WICKEDNESS (REPENTANCE)

Repentance: a Hebrew, primary root word meaning to turn back (hence, away); to bring back; to call to mind; bring back home; come back again; draw back; recall; recompense; reverse or return.

God’s commands can not be more clear in this area:

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…  II Chronicles 7:14a

 …yet, when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, “We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickednessI Kings 8:47

As seen in the above verse, Solomon, in his second temple dedication prayer, prayed for mercy from the Lord when the people:

* sinned (missed the mark),

* did wrong (deliberately disobeyed), and

* acted wickedly (failed to conform to the true standard of God).

Elihu, in his fourth speech, says of the Lord God:

He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.  Job 36:10

Therefore this is what the Lord says: If you will repent, I will restore you so that you may serve Me.    Jeremiah 15:19

Ezekiel’s prophetic message to the house of Israel on individual accountability and the need to repent:

Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord.  Repent!  Turn away from your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.  Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get anew heart and anew spirit!  Why will you die, O Israel?  For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord, “Repent and live!”  Ezekiel 18:16-32

The ministry of John the Baptist was a ministry characterized by a call to personal repentance.

The ministries of Paul, Timothy, James, and John were ministries which were characterized by a call to turn from wickedness and accept the truth of God’s redemptive love through Christ.

Jesus preached repentance in Luke 13: 1-5:

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?  “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus spoke to the seven churches in Asia Minor in Revelation, but first to the church in Ephesus, the church pastored by Paul and Timothy and the first church established in Asia: 

Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.  Revelation 2:4-5

SUMMARY:  It is not enough to seek forgiveness from sin.  God commands repentance, a rejection of wickedness, a rejection of worldly pleasures and return to Him, who through His abundant grace, pours out the blessings of heaven upon us.

OVERALL SUMMARY – ACHIEVING PERSONAL HOLINESS:

 God has called His people to:

  • Humble ourselves before God and men,
  • Pray for forgiveness of sins, with adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication,
  • Seek God’s face – become devoted and obedient to Him and His commandments, and
  • Repent (turn away, reverse, reject wickedness).

Michael Drake