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The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. - James 5:16b

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Christian Connections


This is the introduction to our Junior Partner Ministries links page:

Christian Connections

When dealing with fellow Christians, understand they are fallible. The best of intentions may not compensate for inferior skills, training, or equipment. Fellow Christians may believe what they tell you and be wrong.

Use discernment to select services; wolves may also claim to be sheep. Do not select solely on the basis of professed faith; Use all the facilities God gave you, especially prayer. Guard your relationship with Jesus, let him guide you on the paths you travel.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105

Trust God. Follow Jesus. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Pray. Do not let your desire to help, serve, or fellowship come before time with God. God can and will keep you from mistakes. Avoid those dangerous words, "I'll take it from here God."

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6b

Jesus is Lord!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Faith, share it


Read John chapter 11.
Read Acts chapter 3: 1-10
Read I Thessalonians chapter 5

Do not let anyone condemn you for your lack of faith. If you do not have enough to effect change, pray for more.

"Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief." Mark 24: 9b

There is much you can learn in scripture about faith, study God's word.

However God wishes, whomever he wishes to use, God can and will act. God loves you and wants the best for you; God is smarter and wiser, let him lead.

Learn to recognize God's voice, it is the voice of love. Time spent in the Bible and prayer will be time spent getting close to and knowing God. Find a formal and regular time for prayer if you are so constituted. Do spend time with God, wherever and whenever the opportunity.

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Make your life a prayer.

Praise God in all things, and pray.

Read his word, and PRAY!



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Follow Jesus Christ; our midweek post


If you have not yet decided to follow Jesus hit that accept Jesus now link above.

This is a bit of a different post for us, but one that may be helpful to you. A major source of stress we encounter is due to a lack of congruence. We have so many things going so many different ways in our lives, we end up fighting with ourselves.

There is a secret to removing stress from your life.

Pray. Follow God's lead. Pray.

Pray that as your only priority you will follow where God leads. All other life goals can by your choice be put into submission to God's will. God is smarter than you are, God is wiser than you are, God loves you more than you love yourself. If you truly want what is best for you, your family, the church, for everyone; do as God asks. God is more than big enough to work all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Your one goal is to follow Jesus. At work - follow Jesus. At school - follow Jesus. At home - follow Jesus. At every decision point pray, and be determined to follow Jesus.

Pray that God will help you align all of your conscious and all of your unconscious drives with your one primary goal, to follow Jesus. Each time you find a problem or opportunity, pray and follow God's will. Seek to get closer to God. Read the Bible to learn God's voice and what he has said. God will not contradict himself, knowledge of his word will help keep you from error.

There can be great power in your life with this congruence of your motivations into one driving force. Everything working in the same direction relieves stress and multiplies the effects of each action.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven. Matthew 6: 9, 10

Think of your life as covered by an umbrella that has written on it I will follow God.

Make it personal. My life goal is summed up by an umbrella over all I have done, said, or neglected to do or say. In faith, that umbrella over my life says what I want to hear as I leave this world: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

I have the forgiveness earned by Christ, with his blood, for my errors; but I re-dedicate myself now to seek God's will in all areas of my life. I know there is great peace in pointing all of my personal goals in one direction; following Jesus.

Jesus is Lord!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wait On The Lord, Sunday service 18 September 05

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40: 31

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. - Lamentations 3: 24-26

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. - Micah 7: 7

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. - Luke 12: 35-37

We live in an age of instant gratification. This has cost us a great deal, not in just financial terms, but in maturity. God is wiser and smarter than we are, he does not run with fashions and fads. There are proper attributes God will add to our lives, at the proper time and proper place.

Read Hebrews chapter 11, you can get a taste of the first 6 versus in the previous post. This is a chapter on the heroes of faith, those that knew what God wanted and waited on him. The kicker comes at the end of the chapter, versus 39 & 40.

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

They all died in faith never having received the promise (Jesus arriving to save them). That happened later, at the proper place and time. Christ took captivity captive and released those bound captive; then the heroes of faith received the promise.

Faith is required to receive what God has promised you. Hope first, build up your faith second, and continue to wait upon the Lord.

Don't try to complete in your flesh what was started in the spirit. God will answer, at the proper time and place.

Wait on the Lord.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40: 31

Jesus is Lord!


Monday, September 12, 2005

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin


Continuing with last Sunday's message:

There are few Christian precepts that raise the hackles of the luke warm like talking about the physical sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship
one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us
from all sin. - I John 1: 7
There are two remedies to watered down gospel in that one verse. Sin, and the Blood of Jesus Christ that was sacrificed to deliver us from sin.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:1-6

Faith is another irritant. The fact that salvation does not come from good works, or being a nice person, or being better than that other guy; flies in the face of what we would like to believe. We want a God that both grades on the curve, and is willing to forgive at the last minute for a final good deed.

It does not work that way. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Believing in God, or a wise Jesus as a good teacher is not enough. You must diligently seek God, and believe he will reward the search; he will. God will forgive at the last minute, if you get a chance, but only on his terms; the blood of Jesus.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. - Romans 10: 8-10

Not balance, not good karma canceling out bad karma, not pleasing both God and man. Be cleansed of sin by Christ's blood sacrifice. Proclaim faith in the Lord Jesus and his death and resurrection. Move from darkness into light.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. - I Peter 2: 1-10

Christ is offensive to those who will not believe. If you take your place in the family of God you will also be offensive to those that want you to join their fear of the absolute nature of God.

Satan believes in Jesus and fears him.

You are to fear God and live in his love.

...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Jesus is Lord!


Friday, September 09, 2005

Jesus Christ,, Sin, the Holy Spirit, & forgiveness


There are parts of the Bible we would like to skip. There are parts of the Bible the world would like us to skip.

There are things God says that make us uncomfortable saying them.

There are answers that we can give glibly, or accurately, but not both.

It is not about us, it is about Jesus. If he said it, we need to say it. It may not be fashionable, but that does not matter. Speak the truth.

Psalm 15:

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

That is an example of truth. As a fellow that enjoys finance I don't like that last verse. Usury has been part of the financial equation for centuries. It is however truth, since I don't like it, I think you may not like it. I want you to find the same joy and fulfillment I have found in Christ, so I would like to skip unpleasant or confusing stuff. I really wanted to just quote the first 4 verses rather than the whole Psalm, most of you would not have noticed. Just a note at the end, Psalm 15: 1-4 and I would have been covered. But that last part may reach someone, God had a reason for putting it there. Just possibly it is there to reach me.

God is smarter and wiser than I am. God loves you, I probably don't even know you. God loves me more than I love myself and he loves you more than you love yourself. I will give accurate introductions; you two work out your relationship.

It is God's word. It is true. I must put it out there and let God work, I will honor him and his word, sometimes to plant, sometimes to water, and the Holy Spirit will bring fourth the increase. Revisit this introduction to our young missionaries. They preached and learned not to follow comfort and fashion, but to follow God. You will find a couple of their stories in our archives; God did bring the increase.

Christians are not alone in this scheme of marketing by omission. Science has for a long time avoided mentioning how weak some of their facts really are. It took a Nobel prize winning physicist like Dick Feynman, father of nanotech, to admit that they can sometimes figure out what will happen close to exactly, but they don't know how or why it happens. Feynman, a great character, said he thought why might not matter. If you are following the current design/evolution debate, why and how do matter. (I have my own other idea).

The point of the last paragraph is that we all, no matter how brilliant, avoid uncomfortable facts. As a Christian I can not afford a cavalier attitude; I need to find where I am missing it so as to be open to all God wants to do through me. If I stay where I am comfortable I will not continue to learn. So...

If it is uncomfortable, it is worthy of study.

Back to the Bible, back to truth.

Jesus is Lord!


Tuesday, September 06, 2005



God is love.

God wants to work wonders in your life.

Romans 8: 26, 27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

We have to pray and we have to mean it. If you care about something, cry out to God. He hears, he cares, he will answer prayer.

If you do not know what to pray, let the Holy Spirit help you. Pray with force, pray believing, and if you run out of words, groan. Let your emotions out in your prayers. Emote the desire for safety of a loved one, salvation for a family member, healing for the sick.

We do not let emotions direct us, that can lead to error. Emotions however are of God.

Let your emotions Follow the word of God. Study the Word; but don't just study. PRAY!!!

Pray out loud. Pray with emotion. Pray believing.

Pray without ceasing. Pray fervently. Groan. Christ prayed with great emotion. You are called to be like Christ, pray and do not hold back.

Let God lead you in your prayers.

God wants to answer your prayers.

God will answer your prayers.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. God has asked you to pray. Pray believing.

At some point in your groaning and fervency you may feel peace and know that God has answered. Praise him for the answer. Relax and give praise to he who is worthy of your praise.

Find a church that has an active prayer service, join them and help others see their prayers answered.


Jesus is Lord!


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Offerings To A Holy God.


Time for a cut and paste from Junior Partner Ministries.

Take time to pray and see how God will have you give.

Tithes and offerings. A very touchy subject, easy to approach, difficult to escape. The first step is to realize there is more then just one type of tithe, and there are many types of offerings. The second step is deciding where to begin. God said to the delivered through Jeremiah "For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices; but this thing I commanded them saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you." Jer 7: 22,23 We now, due to our acceptance of the cleansing sacrifice of Christ, have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. With this access we can seek God's will concerning all areas of our life, including financial. How and where to tithe and / or offer gifts unto God? We must ask him, our obedience to his will confirms that we are his people, and it will be well with us.

Read all of ICorinthians chapter 9. Paul shows that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel. Notice he does not mention a tithe. Notice he states he has not accepted any gifts lest he create a hindrance to the spread of the gospel. As Christ said in Luke 10:5 "And into whatsoever house you enter, first say, peace be to this house." and then in Luke 10:7, "And in The same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire." If you read the whole chapter in Luke you will see there is no reference to a tithe, just such food as those in the house are willing to give.

Read also all of IICorinthians chapter 9. We will start about half way through verse 6 "He which soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

No tithe mentioned, just the admonition to give only if you can give cheerfully. If you are not filled with God's Joy and finding pleasure being led, don't give. Seek God and get in fellowship with him first. Giving is fruit that should come from a healthy vine rooted in good soil.

The final step is to realize; "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Are you brilliant, talented, wealthy, consistent, flexible, or strong? What can you share cheerfully at God's direction? What are your attributes? You have much, seek where God will use you much, that it may be well with you.

Jesus is Lord!