“Father, it is a great comfort to us that you and your Son are never glib and never gloomy. We delight in the truth that you can be infinitely happy without being callous to our pain. We stand in wonder that the light of Jesus’ joy makes a rainbow in the tears on His face. We long to be like this. We want to be strong, and unshakable in the joy of our faith. But we don’t want to be oblivious to the grievousness of our own sin or the pain of other people’s distress. O God, fulfill in us the purpose of your Son in promising that his joy would be in us and that our joy would be full. Make the fruit of the Spirit—joy—flourish in our lives. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad in you. Waken our slumbering souls from the sleep of listlessness. Take away the lukewarmness of our hearts. Fan the flame of zeal for the glory of your name. May Christ so dwell in our hearts with his indestructible joy that day by day we are conformed more and more to his glad image. And so may we be a place of refuge and refreshment for a hopeless, joy seeking world of people who do not know they are starved for the glory of the gladness of God in Jesus Christ. In his name we pray, Amen.” (John Piper)
Wow....AMEN and AMEN ... Larry
Unlike the question "Does God exist?" very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man. The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.
“C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, modern "scholars" claim the "true historical Jesus' did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God's Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a "scholar", two thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?” John Piper(Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ)
“Why is the question over Jesus' true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus' deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus' deity is why He proclaimed, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).” From Gotquestions.org
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15 ….. Larry
“You’ve never met Him in person, and you don’t know anyone who has. But there is a way to know who He is. How? Jesus Christ-- the divine Person revealed in the bible—has a unique excellence and a spiritual beauty that speaks directly to our souls and says, “Yes this is truth”. It’s like seeing the sun and knowing that it is light, or tasting honey and knowing that it is sweet ..... Look at the Jesus of the bible. Keep your eyes open, and fill them with the portrait of Jesus in God’s word. Jesus said, “if anyone’s will, is to do God’s will he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” Ask God for the grace to do His will, and you will see the truth of His son.” (Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ) John Piper
Jesus Christ is solid truth. I know this, I believe this. Do you? ….. Larry
"Have I ever come to the point in my life where I can say, “I indeed…but He…”? Until that moment comes, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit means. I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do anything more— but He begins right there— He does the things that no one else can ever do. Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come and do His work in me as long as there is anything blocking the way, whether it is something good or bad. When He comes to me, am I prepared for Him to drag every wrong thing I have ever done into the light? That is exactly where He comes. Wherever I know I am unclean is where He will put His feet and stand, and wherever I think I am clean is where He will remove His feet and walk away.
Repentance does not cause a sense of sin— it causes a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am absolutely helpless, and I know that through and through I am not worthy even to carry His sandals. Have I repented like that, or do I have a lingering thought of possibly trying to defend my actions? The reason God cannot come into my life is that I am not at the point of complete repentance.
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John is not speaking here of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. “He will baptize you….” The only experience that those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit are ever conscious of is the experience of sensing their absolute unworthiness.
“I indeed” was this in the past, “but He” came and something miraculous happened. Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing, but where He does everything". Oswald Chambers.
"There are many chains which enslave the preacher. His very tenderness makes him weak. His attachments to the people tend to bring him into bondage. His personal encounters, his obligations to his people, his love for them, all tend to hamper his freedom and restrain his pulpit deliverances. What great need to be continually praying for boldness to speak boldly as he ought to speak.!
The prophets of old were charged not to be afraid of the faces of men. Unawed by the frowns of men, they were to declare the truth of God without apology, timidity, hesitancy or compromise. The warmth and freedom of conviction and of sincerity, the fearlessness of a vigorous faith, and above all the power of the Holy Spirit, are all wonderful helpers and elements of boldness. How this should be coveted and sought with all eagerness by ministers of the gospel in this day!" E.M. Bounds
We, who are 'Ministers of the Gospel' in this day, must encourage daily, rebuke when necessary, and most importantly pray and then pray some more. Pray that the full armor of God be worn and the enemy rendered ineffective in each others lives........Larry
"There are earnest Christians who have just enough prayer to maintain their spiritual position but not enough to grow spiritually. Seeking to fight off temptation is a defensive attitude rather than an assertive one which reaches for higher attainment. The scriptural teaching to cry out day and night in prayermust, to some degree, become our experience if we are to be intercessors.........Unless we are willing to pay the price- to sacrifice time and attention and seemingly necessary tasks for the sake of the heavenly gifts- we cannot expect much power from heaven in our work." Andrew Murray.
"Effective prayer is indeed work. We have to learn to walk with God, so we meditate daily on Him and His ways in order to become more and more humble, which is essential for effective prayer (2 Chronicles 7:13-15). We also study Scripture thoughtfully every day to learn what is pleasing to God and therefore what constitutes acceptable prayer. We learn to eliminate hindrances to prayer (Mark 11:25; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 3:21-22) and not to grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30-32). We learn that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan, so we must pray for our own spiritual well-being to maintain our strength and focus in praying for others (Ephesians 6:12-18).
Prayer warriors have a heart for God, a heart for prayer, a heart for people, and a heart for Christ's church. Therefore, we pray continually and trust that God answers each prayer according to His perfect will and in His perfect timing." Taken from Gotquestions.org
Father in heaven, create in me (us) a clean heart, a heart for God, a heart for prayer, a heart for people and a heart for Your church. ......Larry
" the utmost possibilities of prayer have rarely been realized. The promises of God are so great to those who truly pray, when He puts Himself so fully into the hands of the praying ones, that it almost staggers our faith and causes us to hesitate with astonishment. His promise to answer and to do and to give "all things", "anything", "whatever" and "all things whatsoever" is so large, so great, so exceedingly broad, that we stand back in amazement and give ourselves to questioning and doubt. We stagger at the promises through unbelief..........let us ever keep in mind and never for one moment allow ourselves to doubt the statement that God means what he says in all of His promises. God's promises are His own word. ..........God's promises are for plain people, and He means to do for all who pray just what He says He will do. "For He who promised is faithful". E.M. Bounds Father God, may we no longer be a nation that fails to pray, a generation that limits the Holy One of Israel. Holy Spirit, by your grace and power create in us the ability to pray...........Larry
"God's omnipotent power is the basis of omnipotent praying. "All things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23), and "Whatever things you ask" (Matt 21:22) are given to him who prays. God's decree and death yield readily to Hezekiah's faith and prayer. When God's promise and man's praying are united by faith, then nothing shall be impossible. Importunate prayer is so all-powerful and irresistible that it obtains promises, or wins where the prospect and premise seem to be against it. In fact, the New Testament promise includes all things in heaven and in earth. God, by promise, puts all things He possesses into man's hand. Prayer and faith put man in possession of this boundless inheritance." (E.M. Bounds)
"the effective , fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16) We are witnessing desperate times in the world today, and it will continue to get more desperate in days ahead. How much can effective, fervent prayer avail? Only God knows. Father in heaven, may there begin, and continue to be, effective , fervent prayer across our nation, and throughoutthe world......Larry
"The possibilities of prayer are the possibilities of faith. Prayer and faith are Siamese twins. One heart animates them both. Faith is always praying. Prayer is always believing. Faith must have a tongue by which it can speak. Prayer is the tongue of faith. Faith must receive. Prayer is the hand of faith stretched out to receive. Prayer must rise and soar. Faith must give prayer the wings to fly and soar. Prayer must have an audience with God. Faith opens the door, and access and audience are given. Prayer asks. Faith lays its hand on the thing asked for." (From E.M. Bounds'Prayer--Its Possibilities) Lord teach us to pray.....Larry
"The great command to go out and preach the gospel was not only meant for the disciples but for us too. So the very last command "Stay here ....until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven" (Luke 24:49), is also for us. "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what He promised.....In just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1: 4-5).
Take time to think of what a cry of need there is throughout the whole Church. There is only one remedy to be found to enable us to gain victory over the powers of this world. It is the manifest presence of our Lord........ Only He can call His hosts for the great battle against evil. Our main prayer should be for the power of God on all His people - to give them power from on high to make the gospel in very deed the power of God unto salvation". (Andrew Murray)