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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Allowing God to Speak to you in Prayer

Palm Sunday Sermon Review

John 12: 12- 16  On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Jesus Rides into Jerusalem
( childrenschurch.wordpress.com )





During this Lent season, our church has been focusing on prayer. This past Sunday we learned about listening to the Lord as we pray. I like to take notes as the pastor speaks. I want to post my notes that I took as the Pastor spoke. Perhaps you will be blessed as you read. I was blessed as I listened. It was Pastor Ben preaching.

Here are my notes:

Easter is the climax of the Christian calendar and of our faith.
We are expecting God to work.
God keeps His promises and His word.
God is with us, He is present with us.
Jesus took our penalty upon Himself.
Our prayers move the heart of God.
We are in a relationship with God Himself, we can come to the throne of God in prayer.

In the Bible, the people are convinced that God hears their prayers and so should we also be convinced, believe that He hears your prayers and will take action on your behalf.
The people in the Bible believed that God spoke to them and guided them.
God still leads , speaks, guides and directs us today.


How Do We Hear From God?

 We have to be available and ready to listen to Him.

We need to have a routine regular time with God.

We can be in relationship with Him.

We need to tune our ears to hear God - it will not necessarily be an earth shattering experience, but it will be important.

We need to take time to be with God, regularly on routine.

Read the Bible.

Some people meet with God as they walk, or sing, find your unique place and time to meet with God.

Prayer and Bible reading need to be included in your time with God.

A tool you might consider is keeping a journal. (these tips come from our pastor reading a book by Bill 
Hybels )


Write down three things 
* Yesterday - what happened yesterday - reflect on your life
How did you see God at work yesterday?
What was good yesterday? - give God thanks
What went wrong? - tell God, repent and seek forgiveness for sins committed.

* Write out your prayers - in short
this will help to keep focused on what you are praying about
Bring God what is on your heart - think deeply and cast your anxiety on Him

* Listen - ask God to speak. Give Him time to speak.
Write down what God is saying to you, test it to make sure it is from God, does it line up with the Bible?
Scripture passages will come to your mind.

If you want God to speak to you, you must be willing and committed to obeying Him.
Are you prepared to have Him involved in your life?
Are you willing to obey Him and do what He tells you?
Are you ready to hear God's voice?
If the answer is yes, you will hear Him.

God is working on our character - who you are, more so than what you should do for a living, where you should live, what kind of car you should drive etc.
God is working on your character, making you more like His Son in character.
God addresses issues in your life such as envy, anger, lust, bitterness, unkindness, etc  - He will help you change.
Trust God and deal with your issues - He will bring healing to your life!


Monday, 7 April 2014

Praying in Faith - Sunday Sermon Review

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Jeremiah 29:12


picture from ourchurch.com


We are studying prayer during the Lent season. This Sunday our pastor preached on the topic of praying in faith. I like to take notes as I listen to the message and post them here on my blog. Perhaps you too will be blessed as I was. Pastor Ben was preaching and here are the notes I took as I listened to the sermon:
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Prayer is a discipline. As we continue in prayer we improve and grow in it. We strive to improve.

What Does it Mean to Pray in Faith?

We are a people of faith, saved by grace through faith, we walk by faith.
Prayer and faith are linked together.
We are invited to pray in faith.
What does it mean to have faith in prayer? Three points.

1) We Pray to God

Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Our prayers are directed to God.
Prayer is not talking to ourselves, nor connecting to our inner feelings.
Prayer is communicating with the God of heaven and earth.
We turn our attention to God.
we need to thin of who we are praying to. 
Think about who God is - his character
Starting your prayers with praise and worship increases your faith as you pray.
Praise and worship helps us to to turn our attention to God.
God is good, He is loving, He is our helper, our healer, our provider, our friend, our Saviour, He sees all things, He knows all things, he knows the end from the beginning, He is faithful, true to His promises, eternal, He never sleeps, and never grows tired or weary, He hears us when we pray, etc the list goes on and on.

2) Pray for the Glory of God

 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

We pray so that God's Name be lifted up and glorified.
To pray in the Name of Jesus is to ask for Him to be glorified and honored.
( example - one who represents your country in a sports or as an ambassador is there on behalf of everyone in your country - Your country's Name )
Our business is for the Name of Jesus to be lifted up!
Prayer is not magic.
Your prayer requests need to be directed to glorify God.
Ask - Will this bring honor and glory to God and How will it do so?

Bring everything to God in prayer - with the mindset of saying " God - Be Thou glorified". 

3) Pray with Loyalty

Faith is believing, trusting and being loyal to God
To be loyal to Him is to believe in Him and to give your life for Him, and putting your complete trust in Him.
Give your life for Jesus and His cause.

Believe and do not doubt. 
James 1:5-7 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

This does not mean that you cannot have any questions. God welcomes our honest questions.
This is about commitment. Have you decided who to follow? Have you decided to follow Jesus? 
This needs to be a wholehearted 100% commitment - jump in with all you got.
I am for God.
I am on God's side.
I will live my life for God.
I will jump in, even though I have questions.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Jesus Came to Heal the Brokenhearted - tract


You have probably heard of these tracts that teach on the healing of your broken heart. Jesus is that One who alone can heal your heart. John McTernan is the author of this tract. Please read this and then contact the Mr Mcternan  for prayer and to order your own tracts to share with your friends.  You can link to the John Mcternan Insights blog at defendproclaimthefaith for more information.










Unanswered Prayer

During this Lent season, our church is focusing on prayer. This past Sunday we looked at unanswered prayer.  

Psalm 13How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.



I usually take notes as the pastor speaks and I like to post them here on my blog, perhaps you too can be blessed as you read what I heard. Pastor Ben was speaking. Here are my notes that I took as I listened to the message.


Unanswered Prayer

We have all experienced this. This is a complex issue but we need to tackle this topic.

The cross is central to our lives.
God became Human - Jesus in the flesh suffered, He was born into poverty, He was abandoned by his friends, He was betrayed, and brutally murdered.
Jesus feels our hurts and pain. He understands our grief.

So Why Do We Experience Unanswered Prayer?

1) Because of who God is

because His character is love. Sometimes we ask for things that are not good for us and in His love, He withholds these things from us.

Sometimes the choices we have made are such that we are not taking responsibilities for our actions and we want God to get us out of our situation. God doesn't respond because it would not be good for us. An example of this would be when a student does not study for a test or exam and then last minute cries out to God to zap him with the correct answers. God does not answer this because He wants us to be responsible people. 
God gives opportunities for us to become patient, loving and courageous.


2) God does us answer when we are selfish - He will not participate in our selfishness. James 4:3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 

We are encouraged to bring our every anxiety and concern to God.

If we bring our selfishness into prayer, God will not answer. He is not our servant or slave, to do this is idolatry.
The core issue of many of our problems is selfishness. Marriages fail, instead of love, there is selfishness. Human trafficking, pornography are examples of selfishness, It is using and misusing other people as objects in order to get selfish pleasure. God will not participate in our selfishness. He will not reinforce our selfishness.

3) Deep Wounding and Brokenness -
If God is loving, why doesn't He answer us in our pain and brokenness.
Example - praying for healing for a friend who has cancer. Why doesn't God heal? He is able.
We may have questions and doubts and wonder if God is even listening... Does He really care?

Even though God does not do what we ask, He assures us by answering us emotionally. He reassures us that He has not abandoned us. At Communion we remember how Jesus suffered. God has not left us. God is there, even though our problems are  not fixed.
God is in the process of healing our wounds. God helps us to forgive and to let go of the anger we have towards God and others.
God pours out His grace, He holds us close.

We need God's healing touch, not intellectual answers.

Read the Psalms and pour out your heart to God as the Psalmist did. Cry out to God!
Face your unanswered prayer - Read Psalm 22 and personalize it. Do the same with Psalm 23.

Remember the cross - how Jesus suffered, God suffers with us. He cries and grieves alongside of us.

God has not abandoned us!!

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I also found the following article by Anne Graham Lotz. It also talks about unanswered prayer. 


The Silence of God

  • March, 27
  • Pursuing MORE Of Jesus
He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Psalm 32:10, NKJV
Is God silent in your life? What prayers has He not answered for you?
At a time of unanswered prayer in my life years ago, my mother taught me the verse to a hymn that I still quote when I am totally baffled by events that seem to careen out of the orbit of what I have asked:
Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him,
Seems the hardest thing of all.
Is your focus on your immediate need blinding you to a greater purpose that God is working out? Would you choose to be patient and simply trust Him? Sometimes God does not answer our immediate prayer because He has something greater in store for us.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sing Oh Sing of my Redeemer



Sing Oh Sing of My Redeemer
( from cyberhymnal.org )

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Refrain
Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.

Refrain

I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant power I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.

Refrain

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.

Refrain


Listen to a beautiful instrumental of it here - I Will Sing of My Redeemer

I really am blessed with this one as well - Sing Oh Sing Of My Redeemer

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Restoring Relationship with God and Others ( Sunday Sermon Review )

1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..

This is a review from last Sunday's sermon in my home church. I take notes as the preacher speaks and I like to post them here on my blog. Perhaps you will be blessed as you read. Pastor Ben was speaking. Here are my notes:



picture from solidjoysandlastingtreasures.blogspot




Restored Relationship with God

God did everything He could to draw us into relationship with Him.

In order to have our relationship restored we have to confess how we have broken the relationship with Him.

Identify and label the things that separate us from Him. Name them, bring them to God to be dealt with.

You have to admit where you have gone wrong. God is not reluctant to forgive us.  Name the wrong done - "this " is wrong and I need to deal with it.


Restored Relationship with Others

We need to restore our relationship with God and with others.
What have I done to others, I must also bring it to God.
Whatever wrecks our relationship with others also wrecks our relationship with God.

Jesus died to destroy the sin in our lives, to rid us of the sin.


Prayer Exercise

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to confess. What is blocking your relationship with God? Come to Him as "Daddy".

We are amazed that God invites us to come - to approach the throne of grace.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need

Jesus taught us how to pray.

Romans 8: 12- 17 
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 

 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 


The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him,that we may also be glorified together


The Spirit of God teaches us to pray "Abba Father".
We come to God through Jesus and the cross.
We are not clever or influential, or good, - we come into His presence because Jesus and the cross. We have all fallen short.

Jesus is the core.
Jesus is the center.
Jesus died for our sins on the cross.
This is the ultimate expression of His love for us.

He ransomed us, the wrath of God was satisfied. He absorbed our sin.
On the cross, God dealt with the darkness of our lives.
How we have hurt others and ourselves.
We can stand before the throne of grace forgiven!

2 Corinthians 5: 18 - 21
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Listening Carefully by Anne Graham Lotz

This is a really good thought provoking devotional from Anne Graham Lotz. Please read, you will be blessed.

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Listening Carefully

  • March, 18
  • Why?
I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. . . . I love Your law.
Psalm 119:162-163, NKJV
When have you totally misunderstood God's Word?
When He said, "Love one another,"
did you think He meant to tolerate sin? (1 John 4:7)
When He said, "in all things God works for the good,"
did you think that every story has a happy ending?
(Rom. 8:28)
When He said, "I will surely bless you," did you think that He
would make you healthy, wealthy, happy, and problem free? (Heb. 6:14)
Isn't it amazing how we can misinterpret what He says? Listening carefully to what God says is important, because if we misunderstand what He is saying, we set ourselves up for disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment.
So . . . would you be quiet and listen with your eyes on the pages of your Bible? Listen for His still, small voice to whisper to your heart through His Word.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Homosexual

Luke 18: 7-8  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Jesus asked the question - When He comes back to earth, will he find faith here? The question I am asking today is similar - Will the church stand up against the culture of today, that is Will the church cave in to the LGBT movement that is sweeping our nations or will the church stand with God's Word the Bible and condemn all such activity? It would appear that this could well be the make or break issue that will show who is on the Lord's side and who is not.  God is not going to allow people ( Christian or not) to mock Him and His revealed will and truth as recorded in the Bible. For the sake of His own Name, He will act.
The Bible says in Galatians 6: 7-8  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

As we study our Bibles we will not find one place where sodomy is approved of in any way. Throughout the Scriptures sexual sin of every sort is strongly condemned and unless repented of will have serious eternal consequences.  Sodomy and the like only brings ruin and destruction on individuals, families, cities and nations who pratice and promote such a lifstyle.

Isaiah 3: 8-10  For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were burned down to the ground due to the homosexual sin and violence that accompanies it. The Bible says that these stories from history are supposed to teach us to not make the same mistakes. 2 Peter 2:6    and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly

The Bible says that other sin is done outside the body but immorality  ( which also includes homosexuality ) is done within the body. Our bodies belong to the Lord and as such serious effort should be made to keep it clean to the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 6:18 -20  Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Many people today will say that because the Bible teaches that as Christians we are to be people of love, therefore we cannot condemn the homosexual lifestyle of the people around us. While it is most certainly true that we as Christians we are to be the most loving people on the planetthis cannot mean that we take the side of sin and oppose God and His word. It is not love to justify something that God condemns, something  that is an abomination to Him and for which He will surely bring suffering  and judgement for. The loving thing to do is to sound the warning bells and urge people everywhere to repent and escape the wrath of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-11  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.   And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

We have already seen the LGBT movement enter into the churches of Canada and the United States. There are churches where the pastors and other church leaders are gay. It seems more and more churches are failing to stand for the truth of God's Word.  The Bible teaches that in the Last Days many will be led astray and fall away from the truth and sad to say it appears that this has already begun. It is time that we who are Christians take a strong stand for truth and righteousness. Stand with God. Stand with the Bible!

When Jesus returns - Will He really find faith on the earth?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jesus is The Cornerstone

Jesus is The Cornerstone 

Ephesians 2:20  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,



Please listen to the song Cornerstone. It is a favorite of mine. Link to song here : Cornerstone





HILLSONG LIVE LYRICS

"Cornerstone"

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When Darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all
He is Lord
Lord of all

Christ alone
Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless stand before the throne.
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There is another older song titled Jesus is the Cornerstone. I have always loved this one as well. They used to sing it on the Hour of Decision broadcast. The lyrics are as follows:


Cornerstone 
Jesus is the Cornerstone, came for sinners to atone 
Though rejected by His own, He became the Cornerstone 

Jesus is the Cornerstone 
When I am by sin oppressed, on the Stone I am at rest 
Where the seeds of truth are sown, he remains the Cornerstone 

Jesus is my Cornerstone 
Rock of Ages, so secure, For all time it shall endure 
'Til His children reach their home, He remains the Cornerstone 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me find my rest in Thee 
'Til the breaking of the dawn, 'til all footsteps reach His throne 
Ever let this truth be known, Jesus is the Cornerstone 

( from namethathymn.com )


This song really blesses me as well. Please listen to it here:
Jesus is the Cornerstone