Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To Pray Or Not To Pray Out Loud

That is the question. Christians are fighting for the right to pray publicly and use Jesus name. I have been reading in the paper lately accounts of Christians voicing their opinions about the ACLU wanting to ban the prayers ending with in Jesus name, before County Board meetings here in our county. They are not wanting to ban prayer altogether, they do not want the prayers being ended with In Jesus name, because all the board members may not be Christians. If we are praying in silence who knows whose name we are ending our prayers in? Hello.....GOD KNOWS. You can't hide what is in your heart from God.

First of all let me make this very clear, I am a Christian and I know the Lord Jesus as my personal savior, not just on Sundays, Wed. or at a special mass for Christmas or Easter. I know Him everyday and spend time with Him everyday in His word. So that no one thinks I am taking sides with the ACLU, let's just make that clear.

However spending quality time in His word daily helps me to see Him clearly and the way He would have us to treat others.

How do we know when something is of the Lord or of man? If there is condemnation involved it is of man. If there is no condemnation it is of the Lord.

Romans. 8 v 1-2...There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death...

If we as Christians are causing people to feel condemnation then we are not presenting the gospel Jesus gave us to teach.

God Himself said He sent His Son, so that the world might be saved not condemned. I'm not saying they may not feel conviction to change. I'm saying we do not cause them to feel condemned using Jesus' name.

John 3 v 17...For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.....

We do not have to pray out loud for God to hear us. We can pray out loud but it is not a command from God, He knows our every thought. AMEN! We need to take Him out of the box we try to keep Him in.

Matthew 6 v 5-8....And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. ......

First of all where is your room? Where is the secret place? If you are a Christian it is in you. God resides in you. The secret place of the Lord is resting in His word. Having understanding of His word deep in our hearts.

So instead of fighting to pray out loud in public in our work place, why can we not do as was suggested and take a moment of silence to pray to our Father in secret as He has instructed us to do? And those who are not Christians can pray to whomever they wish as well in silence.

God says all authority is ordained by Him. He didn't say some, He said ALL.

Romans 13 v 1-2.....Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves......

I'm not saying that Christians should compromise their faith in any way that would go against the word of God. I'm just saying God knows what is in our hearts and He hears us when we pray, whether it is out loud or in silence.

For every action there is a reaction and then there is a result. We need to be careful what results we might get.....

Someone told me long ago, not to fight so hard to get prayer back in school. For if we allow Christians to pray publicly in school then we must also allow all other forms of religion to pray their prayers as well. So what would you rather have your child learning at school, prayers of an atheist or Buddhism, or any other form of religion other than Christianity? You will not be there to supervise and to correct whatever beliefs are being taught to your children when this is allowed. So they would be getting fed the wrong teachings according to our Christian faith, all because we had to lean on our own understanding instead of letting God show us in His word what to do. God says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Well, what if the hearing is not the word of God but the word of Buddha? What then is your child's faith being built upon, since they spend the majority of their time in school?

Just like with the ten commandments. We fight very hard to keep them present for everyone to see, yet the word tells us that Jesus died on the cross to fulfill those commandments once and for all. When Moses brought the ten commandments down the people perished because they could not keep the law. The people were not allowed to touch the ark that contained the law or they would die.

The law was how God showed us we needed a Savior. I'm not saying He did away with the ten commandments, I'm saying He fullfilled them. So why would we want to keep them before our eyes instead of His gospel?

When Jesus died on the cross and brought Grace to us, three thousand were saved.

We need to get caught up with the word and know what is written and when it was written before or after the cross. The law was the old covenant and Jesus is our new covenant. Jesus brings us life and tells us to come to Him.

Acts 2 v 41....Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them....

In Acts we go on to see that as long as the apostles were teaching the grace and forgiveness of Christ Jesus, (the cross and Him crucified) there were more and more being saved. That is the love of God.

So I guess I say all of this to remind us to not react out of our flesh when something comes against our faith but to instead respond with the love of Christ. Take a deep breath, get His word out and see what does He (not your church doctrine) tell you to do in your situation. We need to look to Him for the answer and not just react.

It reminds me of a saying that I've often heard, sometimes the best way to show we are a Christian is not with words but with our actions.

I am also reminded of the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus forgave the woman with His unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor. He extended her His grace. And she went away and sinned no more. Why? Not because she saw what was written in the law, but because she saw His love.

He reacted to the situation with LOVE.
Remember Jesus gave us all free will and never meant for us to force His name on anyone.

The best way to learn how to respond and not react is to


Religious Education

I found this in my bible study today and thought it very interesting.

The religious education of children was the parent's responsiblity (Deut. 11:19, 32:46) No exceptions were made for parents who felt they were too busy to teach. Even when children came of age and married, the parents' responsibility did not end; they also had an important part in educating the grand-children (Deut 4:9). In fact, they often lived in the same house.

The Israelite father was ultimately responsible for the education of the children, but mothers also played a crucial role, especially until a child reached the age of five. During those formative years she was expected to shape the future of her sons and daughters.

Clearly, parents wanted to see the proverb come true: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6)

When a boy became old enough to work with his father, the father became his principal teacher, even though the mother continued to share in the teaching responsibility (Prov 1:8, 9, 6:20) If someone other than the father had to assume the responsibility of teaching a boy, then that person was considered his "father."

How much wisdom we can gain by reading a chapter of Proverbs daily. AMEN!

If we ask first for wisdom each day and then combine with the love of Christ, we can't go wrong.

I for one am so glad I have the Lord to help me to guide my future grandchildren with His word.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where Is His Power

Where can we find the same power Jesus had while He walked on the earth with us, going about healing all who were oppressed by the enemy?

Ephes. 3 v 20.....Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us........

According to this scripture the power is in us. When Jesus left the earth He left us with His power, the Holy Spirit in us.

Acts 1 v 5....for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.....

Acts 1 v 8...But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.....

When we are in need of the power of God in our lives, we have only to look into ourselves. God resides within us as the Holy Spirit. First we must know what His will in our situation is, and only then can we tap into the power that is within us.

Remember, the power of God can only be found where the will of God is known.

Let me put it this way. Say we were going down the road and we had a flat tire. What would be the first thing we would do? Get our spare out of the trunk to fix it. Why? Because we know where the spare is and we know what to do with it. We have knowledge in that situation.

Well, say we are going down the road and our car just stops running. What would we do? First we would have to find out what the problem is with the car, so that we can have it repaired. How do we know where to look? We call a mechanic, someone who has knowledge of the situation. We then trust them to fix it.

The same is true with whatever problems we are facing today. We only have to find in His word what He says His will is about our situation and then trust Him when He says we have the power within us to overcome any situation. We have to realize exactly Who the Holy Spirit is that resides within us. We have to realize that God's will for us is always good.

John 16 v 33..."These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, "I have overcome the world."......

We must have knowledge of His will in the situation so that we can trust in His power to bring us through. Where do we find this knowledge? Romans 10 v 17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 8 v 37...Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us......

Recognize the enemy for who he is, sickness, diseases, poverty, malice, strife, weakness of any sort, and then recognize who you are in Christ Jesus. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You have the Holy Spirit residing in you, the same power that worked in Christ Jesus now works in you. You have authority over the enemy. AMEN!

Ephes. 3 v 16-19....that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strenghthened with might (power) through His Spirit in the inner man, (Holy Spirit), that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend (have knowledge of God's will) with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; (your own understanding) that you may be filled with all the fullness of God......

What is God's will for us? Where do we find His Perfect will? Where do we find the answers to these questions, so that we may find the Power of Jesus?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How's God's Forgiveness Works

You have heard me say and others how one scripture in the Bible is misquoted so many times. And that is the scripture about money. You hear people say "Money is the root of all evil", When in fact the scripture says, "The love of money is the root of all evil". You see it is not money that is evil, it is the love of money.

Well, there is another scripture that is taken out of context just as frequently, and I cringe even more when I hear this one. It is found in Mark. I only got a revelation of this myself about 3 years ago, and I am so sorry for every time I used it wrong.

Mark 11 v 25-26....And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.......

Yes this is Jesus speaking, but this is before the cross. Once Jesus died on the cross your sins were forgiven. and it was not by any works of yours. He died for ALL sins for EVERYONE, past present and future. To say that you have to forgive someone so that you can be forgiven would be to cancel out His FINISHED work on the cross. That would be you having to work for or earn your forgiveness. And that is just simply not true.

Forgiveness is Jesus' Grace to us. Free, unmerited, undeserved, unearned GRACE. We can not or will not ever be able to work for it, or earn it in any way through how good we are or how much we forgive anyone.

The reason I cringe when I hear that scripture is because there are so many hurting people out there who have been wronged in horrible ways that it takes time for them to be able to forgive. They need to know that God loves them anyway and that He forgives them even when they can't bring themselves to forgive those who have hurt them. His love will be sufficient for them to overcome their unforgiveness for others. It may just take some time.

Yes Forgvieness gives you a release, a freedom to be able to love more. Unforgiveness is a sin, and it is like a disease that will eat at you until it destroys you. But to tell people that they can not have God's forgiveness something His Son died on the cross for is a lie from the devil. It is another one of those times when the devil is quoting the word to you but taking it out of context like he did with Jesus in the dessert. Just like Jesus you have to rebuke him and tell him that yes the word does say that, but it is also written, that Jesus died on the cross for ALL sins, and He took care of that unforgiveness with His love for all of us not just some of us.

Let me show those who are dealing with unforgiveness how forgiveness will work in your favor. This is the scripture that helped me.

Romans 12 v 19...Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, " says the Lord. .....

This scripture is the Lord telling us to let it go, give it to Him, He wants to free us from this disease of unforgiveness that is eating away at us. Unforgiveness is our form of vengeance. He wants us to be healed of unforgiveness so that we can live. So that we can have that life that He promised us, an abundant life.

When we try to hold on to unforgiveness we are telling the Lord to take a seat that this problem is too big for Him to handle that we are bigger than Him and that we will have to take care of this one ourself. WOW! When a pastor told me that about my unforgiveness, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately apologized to the Lord for thinking that I was more able than Him.

You see God says that vengeance is His. So when we try to hold on to unforgiveness it is like we are taking something that does not belong to us. We are stealing from God in a sense. I am telling you once you get a revelation of this scripture and realize that you are holding on to something that does not belong to you and put it in its rightful place, give it to GOD, you will be set free. You will feel that release, you will see your unforgiveness under the Blood. And everytime it tries to rear its ugly head, just say take it up with God, you are not my problem anymore.

How can we find it in our hearts to forgive those who have wronged us?