A Word of Encouragement – A Vision

To The Laborers In The Fields

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38.

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” – John 4:35.

“Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.” – Psalm 126:5-6.

9-15-2020 P.M.

Most nights I am tired and ready for bed and yet for some reason over the last couple of years, I go to bed, tired, and just lay there. A couple of years ago, I took it as a hint from the Lord and started using that time to pray. Some nights it is a short time, 30 minutes or so, most nights it is longer than that. Last night it was more than two hours and the Lord revealed to me what I hesitate to call a vision, yet it unfolded like one. In my spirit He told me to tell my fellow workers to NOT be discouraged in their weariness, the reaping is almost at hand.

What I saw as I prayed, was field upon field upon field of cultivated land. I couldn’t see it all at once for it stretched out beyond my sight. But what I did see was different patches of cultivated land in different stages of harvest growth.

The Lord led me to the first patches of overturned and plowed ground. The ground was already prepared for seeding. Rows and rows of furrowed land stretched before me and in the distance I saw workers with open bags at their sides strapped to their shoulders. The workers were reaching into the bags and pulling out handfuls of seeds and scattering them upon the furrowed and plowed ground as they moved forward. Hand after handfuls, they spread the seed so that no area of ground didn’t have seed.

The Lord told me, this seed is the Gospel, the Good News of God’s Salvation and Redemption for all who will allow it to grow and take root in their hearts. Their hearts have already been prepared to receive the seed. The workers are my messengers, the Evangelists whose calling and desire is spread the Good News of Salvation to all who would listen and hear. Day in and day out, they take from the bag the seed of the Word and spread it before them, not always knowing if it will take root or not. Many become weary, tired and sometimes discouraged at the sameness of the work, but I want them to know their rewards are at hand and the reaping can soon begin.

Then the Lord took me to another area with patches of land where the ground was already showing signs of growth at different stages. Some patches just shown forth sprouts that were barely pushing through the surface, other patches shown forth plants becoming more and more mature and then there were patches that shown forth mature plants already ripe for the reaping.

The Lord pointed out the workers in the distance and these workers didn’t carry open bags of seeds, but rather containers with spouts and out of these containers water was flowing and it was directed towards the plants in their various stages. The workers made sure that the water covered all the ground where plants were beginning to grow and also over those that were much more mature in growth.

The Lord told me this water was the Living Water that was meant to feed and give life to all the plants that had sprouted taken root and were in the various stages of growth. These workers are other messengers who work for the Lord, some are Exhorters of the Word, some are Teachers of varying stages in their teaching, and some are Preachers, Pastors whose duty is to nurture and keep the more mature plants watered and prepared for soon harvesting. Like the messengers carrying the seeds, many of these also have become tired, weary and discouraged because of the world around them and trying to maintain spreading the Living Water on to all the plants and the ground around no matter the level of growth. The Lord told me that He wants them to know also that the harvest is soon and the reaping is not far off, even for those plants that right now are just sprouts.

Then the Lord took me back to my original spot where I could see all the workers, those spreading seeds and those spreading the Living Water and He told me to observe that the seeds did not end, the supply was unlimited. The vessels holding the Living Water were never empty but available at all times with an unlimited supply of Living Water. Then the Lord pointed just behind the workers and told me to watch.

What I saw was in the form of a dove, a bird, much like the Bible described the Holy Spirit when it descended upon Jesus before His baptism by John the Baptist. This dove was carrying a vessel and He descended upon each worker individually and I could see Him pour something upon the heads of each and ever worker. I asked the Lord what the Holy Spirit was doing and what was He pouring and the Lord told me this was the anointing oil that He was pour out upon each and every worker and that as long as they needed it would always be available to them.

The Lord then told me to relay to the workers what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9.

The Lord said, “I have given them the desire to do my work. I have laid out the steps before them to follow and I am pleased and delighted in each and everyone that is doing what I have asked of them. They are not be weary or discouraged at the task I have given to each them for I will fill them with Joy and Peace as they continue to perform their tasks. The time is soon at hand when workers will no longer be needed and they will be able to rest from their labors. For now, the harvest is maturing faster and faster and I need each to fulfill the tasks I have equipped them to do. If they continue to use My yoke and surrender to my direction, they will have peace in their souls and their hearts can be at peace.”

To my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, I pray often for you individually and for your ministries as for many it is easy for me to see what ministries you possess even though some of you do not consider yourself to have ministries. We ALL have gifts and tasks given to us once we have accepted the Gift that Christ Jesus has offered. The Bride of Christ, the Church, is NOT a lazy one, but rather involved always in preparation for the soon coming of the Bridegroom Jesus Christ!

I feel in my heart strongly that this was meant as a word of encouragement to each of you from the Lord. All I can suggest you do, is pray, talk to the Lord yourself and let Him reply to each of your hearts. If the Lord can speak to me, to my spirit and heart, then He most certainly can speak to each of you. I don’t know if any of you are discouraged, I do know from personal experience, weariness is real from time to time and it’s usually caused by trying to do the tasks the Lord has given us within our own strengths. We NEED HIS yoke, for as He said in His word, it is light and the burden is easy. When we surrender and don’t fight His direction, there IS rest for our souls. (Matthew 11:29).

I do know beyond any doubt that our Lord does NOT want us discouraged, but rather keeping our eyes focused on the Heavens for His soon and glorious return. Let us NOT forget to hold one another up in prayer. It is the most effective way to share our love for one another and there truly is power in prayers prayed according to the Lord’s will. God Bless you all richly AND so very abundantly.

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I John 4:14-16

1 John 4:14-16, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

Now John, as one of the appointed Apostles, asked to follow Jesus, attests in this first verse that he and the other disciples, Apostles have not just heard that the Father sent the Son as Savior, but actually witnessed that very fact of what we now call is the Christian foundation. In this short verse, the Beloved Apostle states that as a witness, the Father’s motive was to send His only begotten Son, to be Savior, Redeemer, Payment and Sacrificial Lamb for mankind as a whole.

John is not telling us this is unsubstantiated theory or conjecture, but as a matter of factual evidenced as seen through the works and words demonstrated by Jesus Himself as they traveled and lived with Him. John is making it clear, that coming from himself and the other disciples, this is not second-hand hearsay, but rather first hand, eyewitness accounts of the truth!

Think of this; in this short sentence John is describing that what he witnessed and saw in the form and demonstrations of Jesus was Jesus’ relationship to our Heavenly Father, He, Jesus is the Son of the Father. As Son, He comes in the Father’s authority and as stated in previous lessons, He only says and does what the Father tells Him to say and do. (John 12:49-50).

Jesus’ relationship to those to whom the Father sent, was AND still is to this day, Savior and Redeemer to the whole world of mankind and to each of us as individuals within that realm of mankind.

The Father’s mission, as it were, was to send the Son to a world fallen from His (the Father’s) Grace and His relationship due to man’s inherent sin, to Save AND Redeem Him back into that relationship of mercy and grace. Again, as shown in lessons before, the Son’s desire was and is to fulfill the Father’s wishes.

Let me take a step sideways here for a brief moment concerning Salvation and Redemption. Too many only believe that Jesus came that we might be saved so that we can go to Heaven. We are constantly taught about the joys and benefits of Heaven. We are given descriptions as to what we might expect in the Heavenly Kingdom, streets of Gold, in other words, pavement; walls comprised of jewels, again, in other words, building materials. Things that people covet in this life, but in the Eternal life are going to be as common and nothing more than building materials. The value and the treasure will not be in those things as great as they might seem.

Remember this, Heaven is JUST a place! Now don’t get me wrong, I am not belittling the magnificence of the place that Jesus stated He was going to prepare for us, but even at that, it will still be an abode, a some-THING. The real treasure, the REAL Prize, will be being ONE with our Savior and Redeemer for Eternity, an heir and having a never-ending relationship with our Creator and Father THROUGH the Gift of that Oneness with Christ!! Jesus Christ came to Save and Redeem us, not to a place alone, but to our Heavenly Father! That is the real and true treasure!

I remember after being born again in the early 70s singing that song, “Mansion Over The Hilltop.” It was catchy and upbeat but it didn’t take me long to realize, wait a second, that precious gold will be nothing more than paving stones to be trod underfoot. What’s so special about paving stones, gold or otherwise?! You see, it’s all a matter of focus. What is our spiritual eyes, heart and spirit focused on? I WANT, I YEARN, and especially as I have gotten older, to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father and to be One with Christ Jesus, my Redeemer! I’ve always joked with my wife and she with me, just give us a rustic log cabin by the flowing River of Life and we’ll be happy as long as we are in the presence of the Lord!

Things just don’t matter to us as we have gotten older and matured. People do. Yeah, when you’re young, you think of all the things you would like to acquire as a sign of being successful, but when you live life without many of those things, you truly do appreciate what matters most. Family, friends and loved ones and especially as you get older in this life, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord who share your same dreams of an eternal life.

Okay, so I hope you realize the Father’s mission was to send His Son to Save and Redeem us to Himself so that we can have the Father – child relationship that He initially created us for.

As I stated before, the Apostle loves to go back and forth almost like he’s leap-frogging over a subject. He’ll go two or three steps forward and then take a step back to reiterate and remind the reader of something he stated earlier and he builds a foundation this way in his teaching.

In verse 15, he is doing this again; “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” Now remember in the previous verses we studied, John states almost the exact same thing, in 1 John 4:2, “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, . . .” and what we studied last time, “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” – 1 John 4:13.

But this time the Apostle is building upon the foundation that he laid before. We know that if we confess Jesus Christ in the flesh is of God, we have and know His Spirit and we know because of that same Spirit that He has given us that we then abide in Him and He in us. But notice now what John has added; very similar to verse two, but rather than JUST a confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is of God, now he also states that whoever confesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. So we confess and believe that Jesus Christ IS the Son of God, but that as the Son of God, He also came to us in the flesh FROM God! To think or confess anything else is the spirit of antichrist. BUT, on the other hand, to believe and confess this demonstrates to us and the world that God DOES abide in us and we DO abide in God!

Now I want to spend a little time on this thought of confession or confessing this truth, but before we do, I wanted to share a little something I read a while ago in an article about the concept of “God abiding in us and we abiding in God.” Some people look at that and think circular reasoning, it doesn’t make sense, and although trying to describe something in the spiritual with something natural is never perfect, sometimes it lets us see or get a picture of the concept in our minds.

What I read goes kind of like this and I don’t remember the article or the exact words, but you might compare it to, “a hot poker in a fire, or a sponge submerged in the water, or a balloon filled with air floating in the air around it.” To a degree, that is what we are looking at when we say that “God abides in us, yet at the same time, we abide in Him.”

Now back to the subject of confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, come to mankind in the flesh from God. When we talk about this type of belief, or when we speak out this belief in the form of confessing what we believe, we are NOT talking merely as an intellectual acknowledgement. We are stating a fact IN FAITH, and yet not just analytically. It would be like confessing that two multiplied by two equals four. We know that to be an intellectual and analytical fact because we can work it out through equation. We know that Jesus was an historical figure a few decades before the Jewish revolt with the Romans around 70 A.D. That is an intellectual fact. As witnessed by John and the other disciples approximately 40 years earlier though that this same Jesus WAS God’s Son come in the flesh and died as our Savior and Redeemer is attested too by John and others as eyewitnesses to His deeds and proclamations. That is not JUST intellectual fact, but based on factual testimony or also Faith-based facts. “The proof is in the pudding,” so to speak. The facts based on eyewitness testimony passed down by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit speaks to the truth of that.

This confession that we attest to and acknowledge is the same that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the Romans, “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:8-10. Paul explains what he means by confession. Paul is reiterating what Jesus spoke of in the latter part of the verse in Luke 6:45, “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” What you truly, sincerely believe in comes first from the heart and it is then that the lips speak it. This Spiritual Principle has been proved countless times over and over again and still is proven even in this day and age!

So, just as Paul explains that we SHALL be saved by a righteous and sincere confession, so John is telling us that by that same confession we KNOW, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that “God DOES abide in us and we DO abide in Him,” when we believe and confess it.

Here in this next verse, the Beloved Apostle does what he always does so well, he again reminds us by continuing on with the thought in the verse we just discussed, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” AND, that is the continuation from verse 15. We know “God abides in us and we abide in Him AND, ALSO, we have known and believed the love that God has for us.”

He has already established the fact of abiding in God and God in us, but he adds to it, like he so often does, by reminding us that we all, not just the Apostles and disciples now, but all of us abiding in, have known and experienced AND believed the love that God, our Father has shown and demonstrated to us. It is a fact, it is not hearsay, it is first-hand experience that we have been privy to God’s love and the knowledge of that love He has for all of us. I love this next part and I quote it so often in so many things I write and teach on, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” As you remember, this hearkens back to the previous verses, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-8.

I know, as I stated, John always moves forward, but goes back to re-establish a theme he is teaching us on. With a subject matter such as God’s love towards each of us, why wouldn’t we want to absorb that concept as much as we possibly can?! I want you though to take this one step further; when we abide in God and He abides in us, we are like that sponge I mentioned and His love is like the water surrounding us. It is not just surrounding us, but it is actually immersed within us. Where does the water end and the sponge truly begin? When we are immersed IN God’s love, and His love is immersed IN us, where does love end and we as a vessel begin? In truth, isn’t this actually what surrendering to God’s will is all about. When we can truly be like that vessel surrounded and inundated with God’s love, what is it or what will it be that people will see? They will only see God’s Love. This is the example He sent us in the form, in the flesh of His only begotten Son! Christ Jesus is our example!

Have we come to the point in our lives, where God’s love (remember He IS love) fills us so completely and surrounds us so completely that we can say as Jesus did, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” – John 14:10, (John 12:49-50). I know that is what I am striving for, what I am pressing onward towards. I’m not there yet, but I am looking forward to that as the goal, the prize, as the Apostle Paul calls it.

When we have that kind of love filling us to overflowing and we are truly abiding in it, then we can also love one another as we are supposed too. When you have that kind of abiding, it can’t help but overflow to others. It is just as Jesus stated as recorded by John, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” – John 7:38-39.

To those of you reading this today, Jesus HAS been glorified, He HAS ascended to the Father, the Holy Spirit HAS been given, it is long past time to break that dam surrounding the reservoir of your heart and let the Living Waters overflow to others and to the world! Let the world see God’s love surrounding you, encompassing you and overflowing from inside you!

Next post we will begin with 1 John chapter 4 verse 17.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Transformative Power of Prayer II

Part Two

In part one, we discussed the importance of prayer but also just touched on the fact that if you truly do pray, commune and communicate with our Heavenly Father, then it WILL create a change in you due to your getting closer to Him and getting to KNOW Him on a truly personal level.

We did discuss that though many who are in the limelight such as those in the news or celebrities say they pray, there doesn’t seem to be an evidence of a change in their character or interactions with others.

I want to share with you first Jesus’ example of prayer that He shared with His disciples and remember, this was not given as a rote prayer, something to say over and over again as the preceding verses emphatically tell us. This is not to say however that there isn’t some use and even power in praying the Scriptures, but we must remember this was given as an EXAMPLE or pattern for praying!

Matthew 6:

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.”

9-13, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Notice how Jesus when speaking about HOW to pray, He starts out by sharing with His listeners how NOT to pray, and the motives behind prayer. I have said this often before that learning can be achieved with not just positive instruction, but also by revealing the negative aspects of behavior as well. So, do not misinterpret these Scriptures either, Jesus is not saying there is no need for communal prayer, but rather, what He is pointing out is the motive BEHIND praying openly. The Pharisees used to love long, drawn out prayers to demonstrate their supposed piety and yet the Lord saw right through their motives into their hearts!

Jesus reminds us that prayer is meant to be a time of personal communion with our Heavenly Father. It is a time to develop that relationship that I have been speaking about. Our Heavenly Father already knows each of us individually, intimately. He knows our needs AND desires in advance, but His Heart motive is to have that relationship with each of us in a very loving and Fatherly manner.

Also remember, just as you might commune or communicate, talk, with your earthly parent, you don’t continually repeat yourself. You express yourself in a steady conversation. You share your thoughts and you give your loved one time to share their thoughts as well. Communion, as a way to communicate is a back and forth process. So it is when we are developing an open, intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father and again, don’t forget, He already knows your heart, much like your parents know you, so does our Father know us only in a deeper spiritual sense. There actually should be a lot of assurance that when we approach the Father in boldness and confidence, as a loved one who is loved by Him, He does know us deeply.

It opens up the path of trust that because He loves us even with our weaknesses and flaws and our deepest secrets and concerns are NOT hidden from Him, we are able to commune with Him in the boldness of truth! He WANTS and desires us TO trust Him and relate to Him in total love and surrender. We can’t always get that type of perfect love in our relationships with our natural parents, but we most assuredly can with our Heavenly Father!

Of course then after sharing with us exactly what our Heavenly Father is NOT looking for in communication and communion, Jesus goes on to give us the example, again an EXAMPLE, of HOW to pray and commune with the Father.

I want to add something here as a side thought; it is important to read our Bible and there are times that is what I do like so many others. I just read it and allow the same Holy Spirit Who inspired its writings to also share with me points of interest and such. But when I read it, I read it for the joy of what is written. But there is so much more.

The Apostle Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15. Now to be honest with you, when it comes to this verse, I do appreciate the older translation of the King James Version, though in the original language the meaning is the same. It just seems to state a bit more emphatically the importance of getting into the Word of God.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV). STUDY to show yourself approved unto God, a vessel, someone working for God, Himself, who doesn’t need to be ashamed of his knowledge of the Word because he has spent the time rightly seeking and searching out and coming to a conclusion its true meaning! Okay, you can see why I am not a translator because I would use way too many words, but you get the point, I hope. The Apostle Paul wasn’t telling Timothy to just READ the Word of God to demonstrate himself approved unto God, but rather to study, which implies so much more than JUST reading it. This was written to Timothy, yes, but it was put down as an inspiration from the Holy Spirit to ALL who read it!

I have come to realize that due to our lives in this day and age, there is so much to distract us from what is eternally important. I understand that. I am no different and no better than my neighbors, my brothers and sisters around me. I watch TV, I listen to music, I read books that are sometimes secular writings. All these things can take us from the Word of God. But just LIKE prayer, we HAVE to get to the point where we re-evaluate our priorities and maybe just cut back on some of these other things. I’m not saying to do away with them, but just cut back so that we DO have more time to spend relating to spiritual issues. After all, we might be on this earth for 70 to 80 years at most dealing with the natural side of things, but when we DO step over that threshold into eternity, there will be NO time as we know it and the spiritual will last forever and ever and ever, into infinity!

Okay, I took a side-step to lead you to this point; when it comes to what has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer,” to many have taken it as the prayer itself. As I said, I believe it is good in certain verses to also pray those verses because they can say something that we can’t quite formulate ourselves, but remember, our Heavenly Father ALREADY knows what we need even before we ask, He just wants us to talk with Him. When you actually STUDY, the “Lord’s Prayer,” you can easily see the points that are pretty much outlined in it.

First, Jesus made it clear we are praying to our Heavenly Father. Remember, Jesus came so that we might KNOW the Father THROUGH Him. Jesus’ relationship with the Father has been clearly stated in Scripture that Jesus doesn’t say or do anything unless the Father is the One Who tells Him to do or say them. Jesus is our example, that is why He came and that is why He suffered to Redeem us. We aren’t redeemed to Heaven. Heaven is just another place. A spiritual place and a glorious place, but an abode. Jesus came to Redeem us to the FATHER!! So Jesus is telling us as He also showed us with example after example, you pray to the Father.

Second, you give God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, the Glory and Exaltation He rightly deserves. Remember, we CAN go before His Throne, we CAN enter into His presence boldly (Hebrews 4:16), BUT, He is still and always has been and always will be, Holy and Just! Do you think that you would be able to enter into the West Wing of the White House to meet the President and have the attitude, “Hey, what’s up Bro?!” I don’t think that meeting would go over so well and it would be the same with any other state or foreign dignitary. Well, God, our Heavenly Father is so above any of them, so we should show Him that much more reverence even though we can go boldly. Going boldly means with confidence and assurance and not disrespectful or slovenly!

Third, we remember that God’s Kingdom is one of order and righteousness. Holiness and purity mark the character of the Heavenly Kingdom. This is what we pray for when we remember the Heavenly Kingdom. We pray that we might be Holy as He is Holy, that we might walk in righteousness as He is righteous and Just. This is not asking that the location of the Kingdom of Heaven come to dwell on earth at this time, but rather that the Character of His Kingdom come to earth in the hearts and ACTIONS of those who BELONG to this Kingdom. Remember, we are heirs to THAT Kingdom when we abide in Christ and He abides in us!

Many foreign countries do not like American tourists because we go to them with a haughty and superior attitude. We should be visiting other countries with the values and morals that make America a great place to live. The same is implied in the statement, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” We are pilgrims here on earth when we have been spiritually reborn and we should exemplify those Character traits of the Heavenly Kingdom with Holiness, purity, righteousness and Just-ness! God’s will is so much more wise than our own. We should desire His will be complete here on earth as it IS fulfilled in Heaven. When we can accomplish that, others will want to know what makes us so different from the rest of mankind.

Fourth, remember that the Father already knows our needs, yet because He loves us so and wants and desires our love, Jesus states, tell Him we desire Him to supply our daily NEEDS. Don’t forget, daily bread is a reference to our needs to live, not just the things we want and desires. God also knows we have desires of other things, but He is ALWAYS concerned and ready to meet our daily needs whether it is food or clothing as was taught in the Beatitudes! Jesus is reminding us of that, right here.

But I have to add something and continue on right here because of the way that Jesus phrased this next part, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Period. End of sentence. YET – He continues on with the implication of continuing that sentence with AND. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” So, if you meditate on this prayer, and you consider what Jesus is saying and not just skim over it, He is stating that we are to ask our Heavenly Father to “give us our daily needs, AND at the same time to forgive our trespasses, sins, wrong-doings, those things that indebt us to others AS, in other words, please do it BECAUSE we also forgive those who have trespassed, sinned, done wrong, etc., against us!” That puts a little more spin on just asking for our daily needs. It comes with a condition. Supply our needs AND forgive us AS we forgive others. Why? Because forgiveness is as much a daily need as eating and drinking is. We are no longer just natural creatures. Our spirits have been reborn. Our being forgiven and forgiving others is a spiritual necessity as much as it is to be fed and clothes and so is put on the same importance a level as food, drink and being clothed is!

Then fifth, and this sometimes causes such controversy and yet it is so simple, “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” Some would like to tell Christians that God leads us into temptation and so we must ask Him not too. The Apostle James wrote about this because even back in the early church there were some who tried to proclaim this error. “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” – James 1:13-14.

When Jesus told us to ask God to “not lead us into temptation,” it was in essence asking our Heavenly Father to help us keep FREE of temptation. You can understand this when you read the WHOLE verse, “but deliver us from the evil one.” It is the evil one, the devil that tempts and we are to petition, to ask our Heavenly Father to help us steer clear, avoid or actually be delivered from being tempted. In other words, “Help us Lord not to be overcome by our own will and desires, but again allow Your will to be done!” This is in conjunction with the previous verse that asks God to allow His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. James tells us we are only tempted when we desire our will above God’s. When we do desire our will to be accomplished above God’s will, we in essence, open ourselves up to the wiles and deception of the enemy of our souls. That is why surrender to God is such an important characteristic in the Bible.

Finally, the sixth point is to again acknowledge, just as in the beginning of prayer, to recognize that God’s Kingdom, His Character, His Nature is perfect and acceptable to us and we are surrendered to it and we recognize that He IS Sovereign and the Power and Glory of All is His to claim. That includes our surrendering to His will. The fact that we are surrendered demonstrates by our actions, just as the example of Jesus demonstrated surrender to His Father, so it is with us. God is glorified by our surrender to Him and Kingdom principles! We acknowledge that His Glory, His Power, His Sovereignty, even His Kingdom are not just for the here and now but forever and ever. We surrender to it now, in this natural realm, by overcoming the natural with the reborn spirit and we become heirs of His eternal Kingdom that will never end!

Jesus tells us to end this with the emphatic, “Amen,” which means “So be it! Let it be so!” Now remember also, this was given as an example while Jesus Himself walked this earth, but in conjunction with this, remember all that He said about prayer; in Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Mark 11:24).

Many, especially since Christ Jesus has ascended to the “Right Hand of the Father” and stands as an Advocate and Intercessor for us (Romans 8:34), like to also end our prayers “in Jesus’ Name” due to what John wrote in His Gospel about a statement Jesus made; “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” – John 14:13-14. Actually this is pretty straight-forward, yet there are some today that tell you it is not necessary, for we do indeed pray to the Father, as Jesus instructed. But understand this, we can only GO to the Father THROUGH Christ Jesus, so using His Name is recognizing His authority and that we approach the Father through His (Jesus’) Redemption and Blood and nothing that we credit ourselves with. Remember this also, praying “in Jesus’ Name” is not some magic formula that we attach at the end of a prayer. It IS however, a Spiritual Principle recognizing the truth that we approach the Throne of God boldly with confidence BECAUSE of the authority Christ Jesus has given those who have accepted and surrendered to HIM!

When we approach our Heavenly Father AS a Father Who loves us unconditionally and we go through the WAY, that He presented for us, Christ Jesus, we get to know Him in a deeper more intimate way that can do nothing BUT change who we are and that into a more close likeness of Christ Jesus and the Father. There is power in having a close, intimate relationship. There is confidence and assurance in knowing we are unconditionally loved and heirs of His Kingdom and its principles. You cannot get closer to Holiness, Purity and Righteousness without that same Holiness, Purity and Righteousness rubbing off on you. We are transformed just by loving Him Who loved us first and THAT is the way, He planned it to be!

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Abiding In God’s Love ~

Here is another awesome poem by one of my favorite Christian Poets, Deborah Ann Belka. This goes right along with the theme of our Expository Teaching of Abiding in God and God Abiding in us. Enjoy and be blessed!

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Abiding in God’s love,
is something you must do
now that the Holy Spirit
lives inside of you.

For, He has called you,
to walk in all His ways
and when you step out
His love you must display.

Abiding in God’s love,
is a choice you need to make
your past attitudes
you will need now to forsake.

For He has called you,
into a fruitful living
so that you will learn
the meaning of forgiving.

Abiding in God’s love,
we all need to do . . .
for Father we know
it brings glory to You!


John 15:7-10

If ye abide in me, and my words
abide in you, ye shall ask what
ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples.

As the Father hath loved me,
so have I…

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Love According to God-What Is Love Anyway?

My Brother-in-Christ, Wally Fry started a new devotional/study series for his church website based on God’s Love called “Love According To God,” and His command to us to love as well.

Those of you who know me and have known me, know how much I love to teach on Love, unconditional Godly Love, so this is a joy for me to see someone else take up this subject in this way. Besides, Brother Wally isn’t as “wordy” as me and comes right to the point! 😉

Here’s the next installment of his devotional series. Enjoy this SERIES and God bless you all, abundantly!

Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church

John 21:15-17

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Read John Chapter 21 here

First of all, this devotional is not going to be a deep theological dissertation on all the various meanings…

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Citizens of God’s Kingdom

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Religion: The Form of Godliness

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS (RELIGION) BUT DENYING ITS POWER. And from such people turn away!” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
(Emphasis added for clarity of point).

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Fruits vs Nuts

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25.

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On The Dissolution of The World IV – Hugh Blair

*Pastor’s Note: I was looking through my Bible software on the subject of our “Redemption Draws Near” and I became intrigued with the subject by this past great Scottish preacher and thought it would be a great addition and one my readers might enjoy and be blessed by. Now think of this; he died in 1800 and yet he was able to preach on a subject that is alive to us today! Again, it is longer than my usual posting for these great Preachers, but I have broken the article into four parts. Again, God bless you for your patience, but be blessed! – Pastor Roland

Hugh Blair (April 7, 1718 – December 27, 1800) was a Scottish minister of religion, author and rhetorician, considered one of the first great theorists of written discourse. He was part of prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society at Edinburgh (FRSE). Blair was born in Edinburgh into an educated Presbyterian family. His father was John Blair, an Edinburgh merchant. He was great great-grandson of Rev. Robert Blair of St Andrews, Scotland.

As a minister of the Church of Scotland, and occupant of the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres at the University of Edinburgh, Blair’s teachings had a great impact in both the spiritual and the secular realms. Best known for Sermons, a five volume endorsement of practical Christian morality, and Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, a prescriptive guide on composition, Blair was a valuable part of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Part Four:

On the Dissolution of the World

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:10

I know it will occur, that the prospect of that day cannot be expected to have much influence on the present age. The events of which I have treated, must needs, it will be said, belong to some future race of men. Many prophecies yet remain to be fulfilled. Many preparatory events must take place, before the word is ripe for final judgment. -Whether this be the case or not, none of us with certainty know.-But allow me to remind you, that to each of us, an event is approaching, and not far distant, which shall prove of the same effect, with the coming of the day of the Lord. The day of death is, to every individual, the same as the day of the dissolution of the world. The sun may continue to shine; but to them who are laid in the grave, his light is finally extinguished. The world may remain active, busy, and noisy; but to them, all is silence. The voice which gives the mandate, Return again to your dust, is the same with the sound of the last trumpet. Death fixes the doom of everyone, finally and irrevocably. This surely is an event which none of us can remove in our thoughts to a remote age. To-morrow, to-day, the fatal mandate may be issued. Watch therefore; be sober and vigilant; ye know not at what hour the Son of Man cometh.

Having now treated both of the creation and dissolution of the world, I cannot conclude, without calling your thoughts to the magnificent view, which these events give us, of the kingdom and dominion of the Almighty. With reverence we contemplate his hand in the signal dispensations of Providence among men; deciding the fate of battles; raising up, or overthrowing empires; casting down the proud, and lifting the low from the dust. But what are such occurrences to the power and wisdom, which He displays in the higher revolutions of the universe; by his word, forming, or dissolving worlds; at his pleasure, transplanting his creatures from on world to another; that he may carry on new plans of wisdom and goodness, and fill all space with the wonders of creation! Successive generations of men have arisen to possess the earth. By turns they have passed away, and gone into regions unknown. Us he hath raised up, to occupy their room. We too shall shortly disappear. But human existence never perishes. Life only changes its form, and is renewed. Creation is ever filling, but never full. When the whole intended course of the generations of men shall be finished, then, as a shepherd leads his flock from one pasture to another, so the great Creator leads forth the souls which he has made, into new and prepared abodes of life. They go from this earth to a new earth, and new heavens; and still they remove, only from one province of the divine dominion to another. Amidst all those changes of nature, the great Ruler himself remains, without variableness or shadow of turning. To him, these successive revolutions of being are but as yesterday when it is past. From his eternal throne, he beholds worlds rising and passing away; measures out, to the creatures who inhabit them, powers and faculties suited to their state; and distributes among them rewards and punishments, proportioned to their actions.-What an astonishing view do such meditations afford of the kingdom of God; infinite in its extent; everlasting in its duration; exhibiting, in every period, the reign of perfect righteousness and wisdom! Who by searching can find out God? Who can find out the Almighty to perfection? Great and marvelous are all thy works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are all thy ways, thou King of saints!

Sermon Public Domain. Source: Classic Sermons, Power BibleCD 5.9 –
Power BibleCD, Copyright ©2010 Online Publishing, Inc.
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Hugh Blair – Significant Scots Website: https://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/blair_hugh.htm
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Able To Come To The Father

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