Do you realize the impact of prayer? (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 5])


Do you realize that prayer has power to transform? Do you realize that prayer has power to create? Do you realize that prayer has power to renew? Do you realize that prayer has the power to calm? Do you realize that prayer has power to make a difference?

Ever been in need and been willing to step out believing and ask for prayer? Was it for you? Was it for someone else? Was it about health? Was it about provision? Was it about wisdom? Was it about plans? Would you pray? Would you be willing to have someone else pray?

Imagine what people would think if they saw you go forward for prayer… Does it matter what they think? Is their thinking more important than the intercession and intervention that comes through prayer? Is what you and God have to talk about more important than what others think? Will you trust God to step out and show Him that You mean business?

Imagine this story that happened many years ago with me. Imagine there was a time for prayer for people who wanted to have children. Imagine that your wife was serving in the nursery and you were alone in the main sanctuary. Imagine they call people who are wanting to have children forward and you know that you and your wife have been trying and really wanted to have another child. Would you go even though you would have to make the walk alone? Would you go even though everyone would see you going by yourself to the front of the church? Would you put fear of man ahead of faith in God? What would you do? I know what I wanted and I know what I did. I went forward all by myself. I remember after service people coming up to me and asking if my wife knew, if my wife knew I want more children, if my wife knew that I was going forward, … I just knew what God had put on my heart and I knew that I trusted that God would be able to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. I knew that God could provide for the desires of our hearts. I know God’s Word says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I know that God’s Word says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I was more focused on meeting with God, with hearing from God, and with His anointing being over the situation than worrying about what everyone else might think or say.

Since that time we were blessed with another daughter and then the promised son.

I remember another time, home alone during my devotional time speaking with God and telling Him how I felt connected to Philip the evangelist and he had 4 daughters and asking Him if I was going to have all daughters or would I have a son. That morning my reading was about Abraham and Sarah and the promised son Isaac. I took hold of that and told my wife that we would have a son and when we did that instead of Benjamin (which had been the boy name I had selected) his name would be Isaac.

Don’t be worried about what others think about the fact that you want to have an encounter with God and find something. Don’t be worried about what others may think or say about the fact that you want to have and live in relationship with God. Let’s put God first! Let’s receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s choose to build an intimate relationship with God!

Today’s reading speaks of a woman named Hannah and her prayers, let’s take a look…

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord . On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord , she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord . She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord , Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord . Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord ; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord .”

Samuel Given to the Lord

The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord . For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord . As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord .” And he worshiped the Lord there.

— 1 Samuel 1

Would you pour out the desires of your heart to God? Would you do it no matter what others might say? Would you do it even if you were being provoked in order to try to irritate you? Would you do it even if the one who was ministering misinterpreted what was going on and be confident enough to speak the truth that they may bless you?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy speaks to an organization named Hannah’s prayer ministries which finds its root in 1 Samuel. The story of Hannah inspired this charitable organization to help women through struggles of infertility and difficult pregnancies. The purpose of the organization is

Hannah’s Prayer Ministries provides Christian-based support and encouragement to married women around the world who are struggling with the pain of fertility challenges, including primary and secondary infertility, pregnancy loss, early infant death, and adoption loss.  Our outreach extends to those who become mothers of living children through pregnancy, adoption, and/or foster care.

–from Hannah’s Prayer Ministries

This organization now includes thousands of members from around the world.

Apr 5 - 1 Samuel 1_11 - Bibles Impact on Acts of Mercy - Hannahs Prayer for a child - Samuel


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord for the divine intersection of my life with Your church at Christmas 2000 and how through that divine encounter my life has been transformed. I thank You Lord that You have shown me Your Word, Your truth, Your vision, Your wisdom, Your direction, Your instruction, Your correction, Your forgiveness, and continue to show me daily Your love. I give this day into Your hands Lord and ask for Your help in accomplishing Your will in and through my life and the life of my family into the people around us. Help me today and every day with decisions I need to make, conversations I need to have, and things I need to accomplish. Help me Lord I pray to be a good steward, that in all things, at all times that I may bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

How much do you believe? What would it take to make you a believer?


Are you a nonbeliever? Are you a disbeliever? Are you a skeptic? Are you a doubter? Are you a believer?

What if your life was turned upside and you were stuck with people from across that spectrum? Would anything through a near death experience change you? Would your faith as a believer shine even brighter in that darkness? Would that light of Jesus turn people to you and potentially to God? Would your non belief or disbelief or skepticism change if you saw a believer living out the situation with hope, joy, peace, truth, love impact you or would you become even deeper rooted in your non/disbelief? What if they helped you read through the Bible about God’s great love for you? What they provided an opportunity for people to receive the gift of God of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord? Do you think it would change things?

What if it were something that impacted a loved one, would that make a difference?

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”

29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

–from Mark 9

What if it were a life or death situation, would that make a difference? Would you want to be one of the ones cast away before of your unbelief?

Jesus Heals in Response to Faith

40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. 42 His only daughter,[a] who was about twelve years old, was dying.

As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding,and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”

50 But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”

51 When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother. 52 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”

53 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died.54 Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” 55 And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.

–from Luke 8

Would you care enough for someone else that you would seek the truth and not just ignore it? What would it take for you to get to the end of your rope before you turned back or turn to God? Would you really have to hit rock bottom before you would consider looking up to God? Do you really think you can do it on your own or in your own power? Do you really think that it is your way or the highway? Do you realize that there is a way? Do you realize there is a way that will allow you to power through the troubles and trials so that you can take heart and even consider it pure joy through them?

Are you a believer? Are you preparing daily so that if and when God needs you that you are able to stand firm on the truth and speak the truth in love, speak life, speak hope into the world around you?

Are you a non/disbeliever/seeker who when they run into trouble have someone to turn to or reach out to?

Do you know your surroundings? Do you know your situation? Are you prepared?

Do you realize you aren’t alone? Do you realize that Jesus isn’t out there somewhere? Do you realize He is God with us? Do you realize that He is wanting to start and develop and grow an intimate relationship with you so that you can walk through life together? So don’t try to go through it alone! Lean not on your own understanding! Put your trust in God!

Do you realize when 2 or more come together in His name, He is there like the cord of 3 strands that isn’t easily broken?

cord-of-three-strands

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be in the situation! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s seek wisdom! Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!

So let’s make sure to give Jesus the praise, the honor, and the glory! It is by His strength and His power that we are saved! It is by His strength and His power that lives can be transformed! It is by His strength and His power that there will be a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is our way to get to the Father in heaven!

Let’s take a moment to read the Lord’s Prayer and capture the pattern for prayer

9Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11Give us today the food we need,
12and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
–from Matthew 6
I remember going through the Lord’s prayer in a men’s group being led by @JKJenkins and even purchasing a CD with the message on it and it spoke and broke down each piece of the prayer and how we can implement it into our daily prayers. The links above the Bible verse speak to this breakdown (and linking here too).
So believers, let’s lift up the flag of Jesus by being living sacrifices through the way we live in the very places God has brought us to work and live. Let’s be prepared for when that person comes to you with questions or problems or issues and needs you to be God’s arms and hands extended! Let’s be light that shines through the darkness! Let’s be salt that spices up the situation! Let’s be salt and light that helps bring purity into the situation! Let’s go out today prepared to do the good works that God is preparing in advance to do!
You a non-believer? You a disbeliever? You questioning the existence of God?
I am happy to chat! I can tell you stories of what God has done in and through me when I was being obedient and disobedient, when I went with His plan and when I resisted it, and many of those stories can be found on this site! Leave me a comment! You connected to me on social networking? Reach out there? You someone who is near me – at work? at home? other places? Stop me! Ask me! I am happy to share and happy to pray with you and share all that God has done in my life since 2000 and then even in 2005 when He called me to start this blog. Happy to even tell you the story of how this all got started all those years ago!
Will today be your day? Let me know…

How to Honour the Lord

Day 352: Bible In One Year 2018


One of my stories that I shared with people from work…

You are not alone!


No matter where you are at! No matter what you are going through! No matter what is ahead of you! You need to realize that you have someone who is available to you 24x7x365 (and 366 in a leap year)!

You are not alone! He is Emmanuel – God with us!

He is with you every step of the way whether you realize it or not! Will you talk with Him in and through it? Will you realize that He will pick you up and carry you through the hard times?

See the source image

Will you realize even when it gets hard and you don’t think you can go any further, He is there to help you through it, He is there to help you around it, He is there to help you over it! He will even allow it to be cast out of the way!

Do you realize the power of the Son? Through the Son you have access to the Father! Through the Son things that could have gotten in the way are removed and open the door to allow you access to the Father!

So, will you pray a prayer that has power? Will you pray by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ when you ask of the Father?

I remember hearing a story of someone being asked to not pray in the name of Jesus and they answered if I don’t pray in the name of Jesus then there is no point in them praying.

I remember hearing a story of how praying without Jesus is like sending a letter without putting a stamp on it.

So be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit! Through Jesus we have direct access to the Father when we pray! So let’s not try to go it alone! Let’s give up the very situation to God and allow Him to work in and through it for His glory!


Ever considered the pattern of the Lord’s prayer? Ever tried to pray aligned to it? I remember being blessed when I learned it from an incredible Pastor name Pastor Jenkins! There have been many times when I don’t know what to pray or what to say I go back to this simple prayer and expand at each point…

See the source image

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name…

Lord, I thank You and praise you Lord for who you are and all that you have and are doing in and through my life. You are the author and perfecter of my faith! You are so amazing and incredible and I love You so much. May my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

Grant me wisdom today Lord so that in all that I think, all that I say, and all that I do, You will be lifted up! Help me Lord to accomplish Your will today in and through my life! Not my will, but Your will be accomplished today in and through my life.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Lord, You know what is coming today and You know what I will need to make it through. I ask Lord for Your provision today of wisdom, discernment, direction, and any resources I will need to accomplish your will! Help me Lord today to be Your hands extended, Your arms embracing, and Your love offered into the world around me.

And forgive us our trespasses…

Lord, forgive me. You know the mistakes and You know the temptations I have given into. Lord, forgive me Lord so that I can leave the past where it belongs, behind me and move forward in Your purpose and plans today. I ask this Lord having forgiven others for I know that as I forgive others, You will forgive me.

As we forgive those who trespass against us…

Lord, I lift up those who have harmed me, those who have lied to me, those who have mistreated me, those who have hurt me and I forgive them. I know Lord that allowing a bitter root into my life will serve no good purpose and will only make things worse. I know Lord that not forgiving them is like taking poison and expecting it to harm them which makes no sense and isn’t beneficial to anyone. I know Lord that in forgiving them, it doesn’t make what they did right but it does free me from the chains and the pain that would grow if I didn’t give it up to you and let it go. So Lord I forgive them and give it up into Your hands!

Lead us not into temptation…

Lord, grant me wisdom today to not be tripped up or tricked by the devil. Don’t allow temptations to get me off track or keeping me from achieving the full purpose and plan and potential You have plans for me today! Help me Lord to be focused more on the things that will lift You up and bring You praise! Help me Lord to live out today in the fruit of the Spirit rather than being tempted into the ways of the world! Help me Lord to live my life today by demonstrating and living out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

But deliver us from evil…

Lord, rebuke the devil and his power and vices so that I can walk free from and keep away from the evil plans he is trying to play out today. Grant me wisdom for every situation I pray so that in and through it all my actions, my responses will bring You the praise, honor, and glory! Help me Lord not to get tripped up or tricked by the lies of the devil for His plans are to rob, kill, and destroy and Lord I want to be Your witness of How Your desire and plan  is that I would live life and life to the full!

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, I give my life and this day up into Your hands that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, Your Word is so key to helping us because temptations will be with us always and so we need the antidote to temptation which is the Word of God!

Another acronym to help in prayer is the word A.C.T.S. which is the one described in today’s devotional

The psalmist’s prayer is addressed to God. Jesus teaches us to address God as our Father. As Psalm 119 draws to a close, the psalmist prays a variety of prayers, which include ‘A.C.T.S.’:

  • A – Adoration

    Praise God for who he is and what he has done.

    ‘Let me live that I may praise You’ (v.175, AMP).

  • C – Confession

    Ask God’s forgiveness for anything that you have done wrong.

    I have gone astray like a lost sheep’ (v.176, AMP).

  • T – Thanksgiving

    Thank God for health, family, friends and so on.

    ‘My lips shall pour forth praise (with thanksgiving and renewed trust)’ (v.171, AMP).

  • S – Supplication

    Pray for yourself, for your friends and for others.

    ‘May my supplication come before you’ (v.170).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and nobody gets the Father except through Him, so we need to take hold of this and rejoice in receiving Him and walking out our lives with Jesus! Today’s devotional speaks to the benefits of Jesus this way…

Jesus’ priesthood is based on a superior promise. The writer quotes Psalm 110:4 to show how Jesus’ priesthood was established through a promise of God. Unlike the temporary former priests, Jesus’ priesthood was confirmed by God’s promise (Hebrews 7:20–21). Jesus perfectly meets all your needs (v.26).

  • Jesus has defeated death for you

    It is ‘by the sheer force of resurrection life – he lives!’ (v.16). Unlike the former priests, Jesus lives forever, and his priesthood is permanent (vv.23–24).

  • Jesus is constantly praying for you

    Jesus continually intercedes for those who come to God through him: ‘He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with him and intervene for them’ (v.25b, AMP).

    Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813–1843) wrote: ‘If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.’

  • Jesus is uniquely able to represent you

    The priests had to offer sacrifices for their sin first, but Jesus was ‘completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself’ (v.26, MSG). He is the unique mediator who is fully God and fully human.

  • Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice for your sins

    ‘Unlike the other high priests he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people’ (v.27). When Jesus offered himself on the cross, it was only necessary for this sacrifice to be offered once, since it was totally effective: ‘He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (v.27).

His qualities of a superior life, a superior promise, a superior ‘offerer’ and a superior offering, all demonstrate that Jesus’ priesthood is totally effective in providing you access to the Father. As a result of Jesus’ permanent and perfect priesthood, you can ‘draw near to God’ (v.19). You can, ‘come to God through him’ (v.25).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayers! Even when we don’t know what to say He can speak through even our groans… Unlike in the old days before the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit became available to all people it used to be on specific people at specific times for specific purposes! Today we are able to have the Holy Spirit in us when we received Jesus!


You Have Access to God

Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. To the Father … Psalms 119:169-176
  2. … through Jesus … Hebrews 7:11-28
  3. … by the Holy Spirit … Ezekiel 10, Ezekiel 11, Ezekiel 12

Do you care? Pray!


Do you care about yourself? Pray! Do you care about your spouse? Pray! Do you care about your kids? Pray! Do you care about your family? Pray! Do you care about your friends? Pray! Do you care about your work? Pray! Do you care about your workplace? Pray! Do you care about your church? Pray! Do you care about the leadership over you? Pray! Do you care about your neighborhood? Pray! Do you care about your community? Pray! Do you pray about your country? Pray! Do you care? Pray!

Worry changes nothing, Prayer changes everything! Said another way…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God–Philippians 4:6

Do you care? Pray!


Do you feel the need to pray for something beyond yourself? Do you know who to turn to? Do you care? Today’s reading speaks about Isaiah’s prayer…

Isaiah’s Prayer for Jerusalem

1Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 2The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the lord’s own mouth. 3The lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 5Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. 6O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the lord. 7Give the lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 8The lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. 9You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.” 10Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 11The lord has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’” 12They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the lord.” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

–from Isaiah 62

Do you realize what you are facing? Do you realize the battle belongs to the Lord? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do? Do you realize vengeance is the Lord’s? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do?

Judgment against the lord’s Enemies

1Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the lord, announcing your salvation! It is I, the lord, who has the power to save!” 2Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? 3“I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes. 4For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 5I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me. 6I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Praise for Deliverance

7I will tell of the lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. 8He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. 9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. 10But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them. 11Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? 12Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 13Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. 14As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the lord gave them rest. You led your people, lord, and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Prayer for Mercy and Pardon

15lord, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? 16Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. 17lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. 18How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. 19Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

–from Isaiah 63

Let’s lift up our voices to God in praise! Let’s praise Him no matter the circumstances! Let’s give it up to Him through prayer and praise!

Jesus came to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! Jesus came to bring hope, hope and a future! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! So prayer gets answered! Will you be ready to notice it and receive it? Miracles still happen today! Will you be watching to spot them and praising God for all He is doing? Everyday we need Him! Left to our own ways we would be lost! It’s is only by grace through faith that we are saved!

1Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! 2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! 3When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! 4For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! 5You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? 6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. 7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. 8And yet, O  lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. 9Don’t be so angry with us, lord. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. 10Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. 11The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed. 12After all this, lord, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

–from Isaiah 64

We can’t judge people because of the way they look, sound, … but rather we need to love people the same way Jesus does! We need to be living out life trying to allow others to hear about and receive the promises of Jesus! We can’t let our selfishness or bias or prejudice get in the way of what God wants to do in and through us! Let’s share the good news!

Let’s see what Peter faced when he was called by Cornelius…

Cornelius Calls for Peter

1In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.” 7As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.

Peter Visits Cornelius

9The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. 24They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” 27So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. 28Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 29So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” 30Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. 31He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! 32Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 33So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”

The Gentiles Hear the Good News

34Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. 38And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39“And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, 47“Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

–from Acts 10

 

Do you believe in good and evil?


Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe in righteousness and wickedness? Do you believe in virtuous and dishonoring? Do you believe in diligence and slothfulness? Do you believe and wisdom and foolishness? Do you believe in up and down? Do you believe in North and South? Do you believe in good and evil?

If you don’t, why not? Don’t you realize the battle that is taking place all around you? The battle taking place in the seen and the unseen?

Let’s jump back into the book of wisdom – Proverbs – and see what today’s reading has in store…

The Righteous and the Wicked

1Whoever loves knowledge loves correction, but whoever hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from Adonai, but He condemns a person with evil schemes. 3No one is made secure by wickedness, but a righteous root will not be moved. 4A virtuous wife is her husband’s crown, but a dishonoring one is like rottenness in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the household of the righteous will stand. 8A man is praised according to his insight, but one with a twisted mind is despised. 9Better to have little honor and a servant than to have glory and no bread.

Caring for Animals and Land

10A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, yet even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases daydreams lacks sense. 12The wicked covets the loot of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Fruit of Mouth

13An evil one is ensnared by the sin of lips, but the righteous one escapes trouble. 14By the fruit of his mouth a man will be satisfied with good. The work of a man’s hands will reward him. 15A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but the wise listen to advice. 16A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. 17A trustworthy witness tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue for only a moment. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. 22Lying lips are detestable to Adonai, but those who act faithfully are His delight. 23A clever person conceals his knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.

Diligence or Sloth

24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will become forced labor. 25An anxious heart weighs one down, but a good word cheers him up. 26The righteous gives his friend guidance, but the way of the wicked leads astray. 27A lazy person does not roast his game, but a diligent person prizes his possessions. 28In the path of righteousness is life— it is a path to immortality.

–from Proverbs 12

Do you realize the power of words? Do you manage what comes out of your mouth? Do you control what you say? Do you realize the impact of what comes out of your mouth? Do you realize what is going on inside of you? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So take inventory and make sure you aren’t carrying around stuff you shouldn’t and that God never intended for you to! Use your words to build up others and to tear down strongholds! Your words have the power of life and death so make sure you realize what you are able to say before you left it fly past your lips!

Guard the Way of Integrity

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence.
3He who watches his mouth protects his life, but whoever opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.
5A righteous person hates lying, but the wicked acts in shameful disgrace.
6Righteousness guards one who walks in integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor person hears no threat.
9The light of the righteous shines brightly. The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10Arrogance yields nothing but strife. Wisdom belongs to those who take advice.
11Wealth gained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers by labor increases it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises instruction will pay a penalty, but whoever respects a mitzvah will be rewarded.
14Wise instruction is a fountain of life, turning one away from snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Everyone shrewd acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.

The Wise and the Foolish

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18He who spurns discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever accepts correction will be honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning away from evil.
20He who walks with wise men is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23The fallow field of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away by injustice.
24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
25The righteous eats to his heart’s content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

–from Proverbs 13

Do you sing? Do you dance? Do you party? Do you do any of that for God? Do you do any of that to God? Do you do any of that for yourself? So why not praise God with those gifts and talents!

Praise with Singing and Dancing

1Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim.
2Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King.
3Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.
4For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
5Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand—
7to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 149

Do you have treasure? Real treasure that will last? Will it last forever? Even after you leave this earth? Why not store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We are in a season! We need to be ready for each day and each season that is yet to come! So let’s be patient! Jesus is coming back! He won’t rush it because His will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would repent and turn back to God! He is coming back! Are you sharing His love and His hope with the world? How about the world around you? How about your friends and family and neighbors? Are you praying for those in need? for the sick?

Rotten Riches

1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.
3Your gold and your silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the workers who mowed your fields—which you kept back by fraud—are crying out against you. And the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts for a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person—he does not resist you.

Be Patient for His Coming

7So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.
8You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.
12But above all, my dear brothers and sisters, do not swear—either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. But let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no,” be “no”—so that you may not fall under judgment.

Praying for the Sick

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back,
20let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

–from James 5

We aren’t to only pray in the midst of an emergency, although we should! We are to pray without ceasing since we are to be in relationship with God and hence talking with Him all throughout the day! He can speak to us even before something happens and help us get or be prepared! He can even make sure we avoid stuff we are supposed to be avoiding!

Jesus gave it all! Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead and defeated death! He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide so that we are never alone! Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started this life changing process of asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready for something different? What’s it going to take?

Praying Along the Way

1Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2Then Yeshua said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, sanctified be Your Name, Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
5Then Yeshua said to them, “Which of you has a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6because a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.’
7Then from within he may answer, saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even if the friend will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’
11What father, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12And if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach ha-Kodesh to those who ask Him!”

Crowds Demand a Sign from Heaven

14Now Yeshua was driving out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute one spoke and the crowds were amazed.
15But some among them said, “By beelzebul, the ruler of demons, He drives out demons.”
16Others, testing Him, were demanding from Him a sign from heaven.
17But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a house against a house falls.
18Now if satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say by beelzebul I drive out the demons.
19But if by beelzebul I drive out demons, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
20But if by the finger of God I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21“When a strong one, fully-armed, protects his own estate, his possessions are safe.
22But as soon as someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, then he takes away the armor that he had trusted in and divides up his plunder.
23He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest. Not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house where I came from.’
25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first.”
27Then as Yeshua was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd, raising her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that carried You and the breasts that nursed You!”
28But He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
29With the crowds increasing, Yeshua began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The Queen of the South will rise up at the Judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation. And indeed, one greater than Jonah is here.
33“No one lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand so that those entering may see the light.
34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is sick, your body is full of darkness.
35Therefore, watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36If then your body is full of light, with no part of it dark, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its gleam.”

Dinner with a Pharisee

37As He spoke, a Pharisee asked Yeshua to eat with him, so He entered and sat down.
38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Yeshua did not do the ritual handwashing before the meal.
39But the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40Fools! Didn’t He who created the outside also create the inside?
41But give as tzadakah those things that are within, and indeed everything is pure to you.
42“But woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint, rue, and every garden herb, yet bypass justice and the love of God. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.
43Woe to you Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces.
44Woe to you, for you are like unmarked tombs, and people walk over them without knowing.”
45But answering, one of the Torah lawyers says to Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us too.”
46Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
47“Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your own fathers killed!
48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, for indeed they killed them and you are building their tombs.
49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they will kill and persecute,
50so that the blood of the prophets shed since the foundation of the world might be required from this generation—
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the one who perished between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.’
52“Woe to you, Torah lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter, and you stood in the way of those entering.”
53When Yeshua left there, the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to interrogate Him on many issues,
54plotting against Him to catch Him in His words.

–from Luke 11