Blogs

Preparation for Greater Service - Slow Cooked or Fast Scorched?

Preparation for Greater Service - Slow Cooked or Fast Scorched?

Read | 1 Kings 17:1-24

In Luke 17:5, the apostles asked Christ to increase their faith. The Lord told them that if they had faith as small as a mustard seed, they could do great things. God does not enlarge our faith instantly. He begins with what little we have and proceeds to grow it.

Elijah was in a faith-building program. The Lord gave him increasingly difficult challenges of reliance and obedience. At the brook Cherith, the prophet had to depend on God for his own survival. Then, at Zarephath, he trusted the Lord to provide for both himself and a widow. Finally, he served her in an even larger way by raising her dead son to life.
Each act of believing God and the ensuing step of obedience resulted in increased opportunities for Elijah to serve the Lord and others. Raising the dead may seem like the height of his ministry, but it was to be followed by an even greater opportunity to influence an entire nation for God. Elijah was about to face the biggest spiritual battle of his life (1 Kings 18)—all his previous demonstrations of faith and obedience were the Lord’s way of preparing him.

God wants each of us to be influential in His kingdom. He knows which faith challenges to present so that we can be entrusted with even greater tasks. The Lord will provide occasions for you to believe Him and respond in obedience. These situations are what we call “problems.” Begin to look at each difficulty as an opportunity designed by God specifically for the purpose of increasing your faith so He can do great things in and through you.

Today Read: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9%3A14-29&version=NIRV

 

What Is Your role in communicating God's truth to others?

Do I have a role to play in communicating God's truth to others?

Matthew 28:19-20

God never wants us to keep what He teaches us to ourselves. Whether it is money, insight, or truth, He wants us to share it with others. There is a tremendous blessing to be gained by opening our hearts and lives to those who need to know about the unconditional love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

The truth is Jesus commands us to “make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Just before He ascended to heaven, He told His disciples, “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He never intended for the disciples to keep the truth of His Word stored away in personal reservoirs of knowledge. Instead, He instructed them to give away all they received from Him. He commands us to do the same.

Paul also admonished Timothy, his young protégé, to communicate the truth he had learned to others who would, in turn, pass it along (2 Tim. 2:2). Elsewhere he noted, “We are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20). The sole purpose of an ambassador is to relay the policies and decisions of their superiors to the people of the countries where they serve. Likewise, we have an obligation to declare the divine plan and scriptural policies of our Master.

Each one of us communicates something by what we say and don’t say, by what we do and fail to do. A father who never reads the Bible is essentially telling his family that he does not care enough about the Lord to study His Word. His lack of desire in this area sends the message that he believes he is smart enough to make his own decisions apart from God’s input. The child who never sees her parents praying mistakenly learns that trials and tribulations can be handled without any direction from the Lord. This assumption is totally wrong.

On the other hand, a father who tells his family, “We are going to trust the Lord to provide us with what we need,” declares that God can be trusted in every facet of life. When children hear their parents praying, they quickly learn to trust God for every detail. They grow up viewing Him as very loving—the God who has the very best in mind for their lives.

Even when we remain silent, we subtly state something. Although the apostle Peter recognized the Gentiles as rightful recipients of God’s grace, he developed the bad habit of withdrawing from them during meals. His fellow Jews soon picked up on his prideful practice, with the result “that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (Gal. 2:13). Without a word, Peter had effectively sent a message that the Gentiles were inferior.

We must honestly evaluate our responses to the Lord’s commands. Are we deliberately and daily applying what He has taught us over the years? When we comprehend the truth, are we conforming ourselves to the image of Christ? Are we then communicating this truth to others?

Aug 10, 2014 / Sunday Feature  - By Dr. Charles Stanley

Free Wieless Mobile Connection App - LOVE and PRAYER

WATCH THE NEWS LATELY? .. all the conflict in the Middle East ?  .. Our Southern Borders being attacked by homeless and parentless children? All the nations that seem to be lining up against Israel?

What is Faith without Love .. WHAT IS TRUE LOVE?  ... What Good Is PRAYER?

Loveless faith is useless faith .. prayerless faith will get you where? ...  In Matthew 17:19 the disciples came to Jesus wanting to know why they couldn't cast a demonic spirit from a child and Jesus responded, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you" (v. 20). He repeated the same principle in Matthew 21:21: "Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall . . . say to this mountain [the Mount of Olives], 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' [and] it shall happen."

Those passages have puzzled many people because they've never seen anyone move a mountain. But Jesus wasn't speaking literally - OR WAS HE? .. Moving mountains would cause all kinds of ecological problems and would be a pointless miracle .. unless it was done today in a spiritual revival in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth - right here in America. Consider the expression "able to move mountains" which was a common figure of speech in Jesus' day - it's meaning had to do with "surmounting or overcoming great obstacles."  Jesus was speaking of those who have the gift of faith, those who can move the hand of God through "unwavering prayer" ..

Does Americal have any claim to "unwavering prayer" ? .. let's see .. we passed laws of the land saying - NO MORE PRAYER IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ... no more prayers before football games .. and then recently our Supreme Court had another ruling .. that just might be a glimmer of hope. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/prayer-america-23599559 

The gift of faith is the ability to believe that God will act according to His will, no matter the circumstances. People with that gift are prayer warriors and tend to stand as rocks when others around them are falling apart. They see God's power and purposes at work and trust Him even when others doubt and a better understanding of proper prayer .. and praying would be of benefit to all .. especially if we could learn what Jesus said here: http://www.iaskgod.com/the-lords-prayer --- and better understand what He was trying to teach us ..

But, says Paul, even if you have such faith, if you don't have love, you are nothing. That's a harsh rebuke, but it places the emphasis where it belongs: on our motives. The Corinthians' motives were evident in their selfish pursuit of the showy gifts.

What motivates you? Remember, without love it doesn't matter what gifts you have, how eloquent your speech is, what you know, or what you believe. Only love can validate your service to Christ .. and only "prayer in your secret closet" .. will render results according to God's Word.

Suggestions for Prayer Study and Understanding might begin right here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A5-15&version=NIRV  .. and you and i might do a better job at our prayers if we "Ask God" .. for a greater capacity to trust Him, and the motivation to pray more fervently and more often ..

What are some of the results of my Insecurity?

Psalm 143:8 ..
8  In the morning let me hear about your faithful love,
    because I’ve put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should live,
    because I pray to you.

The Results of Insecurity

I'm sure you have seen or felt some of the areas where insecurity shows up in your life .. Now as you look back .. or stare at it as you look into the mirror .. it's time to turn your attention to its effects.

To start, insecure people have difficulty establishing good, lasting relationships with others. They simply cannot see how they could add value to anyone else’s life. This is a tragic loss, because every one of us needs deep and meaningful friendships to help us grow in our faith.

Also, men and women with insecurity are often seen as prideful or snobbish because they may lack the confidence to associate with others around them and it tends to cause them to withdraw from other people - which can easily be mistaken or perceived as an act of arrogance. They can thereby give the impression that they simply don’t want to be around others. What’s more, insecurity frequently leads to indecisiveness and fear. People can be so consumed with self-doubt that they can’t make any decision at all. They wonder, What if I make a mistake? Have you ever heard someone say ... "they feel like they are stuck in a rut"?

Well, so what if you make a mistake .. or wrong turn .. making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn how to do something correctly. Don’t be afraid to try. Even if you don’t succeed, you can at least rest in the fact that you did your best - or you can take this approach and ASK GOD: http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-15

After a while, insecure people typically become angry. When they go so long feeling so poorly about themselves, they start to resent the success and happiness of others. Can you see how something as subtle as a lack of confidence can have a debilitating effect on one’s life? Don’t let such devastation affect your life or your relationships. Pray for the ability to recognize areas of self-doubt. And then take a step toward freedom today by asking the Lord to heal your insecurities.

A trememndous daily help can be found here: http://www.iaskgod.com/thought_conditioners  -- Bookmark your mobile device and read and visit often ..

Can I Identify My Own Insecurity?

 

Identifying Insecurity .. Read | Psalm 139:13-26

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/index.php?version=NASB&search=Psalm%20139:13-26

Let me ask you to do what may be an uncomfortable exercise. We’re going to examine statements that insecure people often make about themselves. As you read each one, ask yourself, Do I think similarly?

Insecure people make comments like these:
• Why bother trying? I’ll never get it right.
• Everyone is looking at me, just waiting for me to make a fool of myself.
• I’m a failure.
• I am ugly and awful to look at.
• I can never win. I’m just a loser.
• No matter how hard I work, I never get any recognition.
• I am incompetent at everything.
• Nobody could ever speak well about me.
• I have failed before—once a failure, always a failure.
• I don’t see how anyone could ever like, respect, or accept me.
• I don’t deserve to be treated well.
• I don’t fit here or anywhere else.
• Everyone else looks so put together. I feel quite out of it compared to them.
• I am an incomplete person, and nothing can change that.
• Why would anyone care to hear what I have to say?
• People are nice to me only when they want something from me.

Did any of the above statements ring true for you?

Prayerfully consider the ones that got your attention. Then, take those specific insecurities to the Lord, and allow Him to show you His truth in each area. God wants to set you free from anything hindering your spiritual development.

Every day .. come here - http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-gems  and find the Thought Conditioning "Jewel" .. that God has for you. 

http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-gems

Have You Named and Recalled Your Blessings?

Have You Named Your Blessings?

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. PHILIPPIANS 1:3-4

“Count your many blessings,” the old song says, “name them one by one.” It seems the “common blessings” of life—family, friends, home, health—are the most frequently overlooked. It helps to realize that no blessing is just for the moment...it’s forever. Blessings “keep,” and when difficult times come, we can remember the ways God has blessed us in the past, being confident He will do the same in the future.

One man who understood this truth wrote a letter to a teacher who had taken special interest in him years before --- This was her reply: “Dear Willie: I cannot tell you how much your note meant to me. I’ m in my 80’s and live alone in a small room, lonely like the last leaf of summer, lingering behind. You’ll be interested to know that I taught school for 50 years, and yours is the first note of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a cold, blue morning, and it cheered me as nothing has in many years.” He got so excited by her reply that he wrote another letter of thanks, this one to a friend some distance away who had lost his wife. He received this letter in return: “Dear Will: Your letter was so beautiful, so real, that as I sat reading it in my den, tears fell from my eyes—tears of gratitude. Then, before I realized what I was doing I rose from my chair and called her name to show it to her, forgetting for a moment that she was gone. You will never know how much your letter has warmed my spirit; I have been walking about in the glow of it all day long.”

How long has it been since you have shown appreciation for the common blessings in your life? You have carried them in your heart for years. Isn’t it time thanksgiving for them spilled out and blessed someone else?

.. a Facebook Friend  .. some Tweets and twitters .. a hand-written note .. a card ..

Have You Named and Recalled Your Blessings?

Have You Named Your Blessings?

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. PHILIPPIANS 1:3-4

“Count your many blessings,” the old song says, “name them one by one.” It seems the “common blessings” of life—family, friends, home, health—are the most frequently overlooked. It helps to realize that no blessing is just for the moment...it’s forever. Blessings “keep,” and when difficult times come, we can remember the ways God has blessed us in the past, being confident He will do the same in the future.

One man who understood this truth wrote a letter to a teacher who had taken special interest in him years before --- This was her reply: “Dear Willie: I cannot tell you how much your note meant to me. I’ m in my 80’s and live alone in a small room, lonely like the last leaf of summer, lingering behind. You’ll be interested to know that I taught school for 50 years, and yours is the first note of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a cold, blue morning, and it cheered me as nothing has in many years.” He got so excited by her reply that he wrote another letter of thanks, this one to a friend some distance away who had lost his wife. He received this letter in return: “Dear Will: Your letter was so beautiful, so real, that as I sat reading it in my den, tears fell from my eyes—tears of gratitude. Then, before I realized what I was doing I rose from my chair and called her name to show it to her, forgetting for a moment that she was gone. You will never know how much your letter has warmed my spirit; I have been walking about in the glow of it all day long.”

How long has it been since you have shown appreciation for the common blessings in your life? You have carried them in your heart for years. Isn’t it time thanksgiving for them spilled out and blessed someone else?

.. a Facebook Friend  .. some Tweets and twitters .. a hand-written note .. a card ..

Looking for help in your praying?

Looking for help .. in praying?

Romans 8:26-27 (NIRV) - 26 In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don’t know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words. 27 God, who looks into our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit. And the Spirit prays for God’s people just as God wants him to pray.

Most Christians feel they need help in order to pray effectively. Even the apostle Paul admitted that he sometimes did not know how to petition the heavenly Father as he should. In the supernatural exchange between God and believers, the Holy Spirit acts as a vehicle for our communication, laying our needs and desires before the Father. I have often felt that the answer to any "praying dilemma" should be best answered by looking at what Jesus had to say to His Friends .. and Companions .. take a moment to read:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A5-14&version=NIRV  

We humans make our requests with a very limited knowledge of the future and an impaired sense of what is actually best for us. Consequently, circumstances arise that cause us to wonder how we should pray ... if we should pray .. or when we should pray - and my suggestion is to begin by ASKING GOD TO HELP YOUR FAITH ..

If all we know to ask is, “God, what is Your will?” then the Spirit, who knows the Father’s plans for us, tells Him of our need for understanding .. but how can we begin to "understand" if we do not know The Father? This is why I have always felt so strongly about the Lord's Prayer ... and the Names of God. We all like to be called by our "name" .. right?

Our Father does not hide His will from us - everything God wants to "reveal" to you about Who He Is .. What He Stands For .. is all in His Holy Name .. just take a moment in silence and see for yourself: http://www.iaskgod.com/content/names-god

God desires to equip believers with all the information necessary for making right decisions and for being continually conformed to the likeness of His Son, Jesus. Just as the Spirit carries our needs to God, He also clarifies the Father’s will to us and will open your eyes and heart to learn of Him.

Some people find the power of prayer intimidating .. yet Jesus of Nazareth Himself .. prayed daily — “Be careful what you pray for, because you might get it,” goes the old joke. Believers sometimes quit praying before receiving an answer, because they are fearful of making the wrong request - and there is no such thing as a wrong request in prayer .. the "answer" may not be what you now want or ask for .. but it will be what God wants for you. However, the Holy Spirit’s divine nature prevents Him from going before God with a petition that is outside the Father’s plan. Instead, He intercedes to make the right request .. the right way - He also impresses upon us the need to adjust our desires. Therefore, we can pray in every situation, knowing the Holy Spirit is our Helper.

Speaking To One Another - Without Love

Languages Without Love - (1 Cor. 13:1)

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love,  I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"

Paul begins his discourse on love by stating the futility of languages without love. The Corinthians were enamored with the showy spiritual gifts, apparently to the neglect of those they deemed less spectacular (see 1 Cor. 12:12-31). One of the gifts they prized most highly was tongues, which was the Spirit-given ability to declare God's truth in a language unknown to the speaker but known to others who heard. Tongues were a sign to provoke unbelieving Jewish people to consider the gospel (1 Cor. 14:21-22). Its first occurrence was on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit enabled those assembled in the upper room to proclaim the mighty deeds of God in the native languages of the Jews gathered in Jerusalem at the time (Acts 2:4-11).

The "tongues of angels" Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:1 isn't the gift of tongues, as some suppose. He was simply using an exaggeration to emphasize his point, saying in effect, "If I had the ability to communicate with angels, it wouldn't do any good without love."

In Paul's day, the worship of Cybele and Dionysus, two pagan gods, incorporated speaking in ecstatic languages accompanied by blaring trumpets, smashing gongs, and clanging cymbals. I believe Paul was drawing from that well-known practice to say that whenever Christians attempt to minister apart from the Spirit and His love, it's no different than a pagan rite. It may look and sound like the real thing, but it's meaningless and useless for any spiritual benefit.

You should take advantage of every opportunity to minister your spiritual gifts to others. But as you do, be sure it's with love, in the energy of the Spirit, and in accordance with God's Word. Then you'll have a maximum impact as Christ uses your efforts for His glory.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to convict you whenever you attempt to exercise your spiritual gifts without love.

For Further Study:
Read Romans 12:1-21.
  What does Paul say about spiritual gifts?
  How are Christians to express brotherly love to one another?

How Can I Become a More Obedient Child of God?

How Can I Become a More Obedient Child of God?

Genesis 12:1-4

Obedience is a major characteristic of a person who is mighty in spirit and honors the Lord. Generally speaking, obedience characterized the faith of Abraham from his first encounter with God until his death.

We grow in obedience by having faith in the sovereignty of God. If we fail to believe in the Father’s sovereignty, we will find it difficult to obey Him. Abraham based his relationship with God on his confidence that the Lord would always do as He had promised (Rom. 4:20, 21). Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and responding in confident trust (Rom. 10:17). We will learn to trust Him as we study and meditate on His Word.

We grow in obedience by waiting for God’s timing. The Father is very time conscious—not in terms of minutes and seconds, but in regard to our acting in obedience according to His schedule. Throughout Scripture we find Him moving in “the fullness of the time” (Gal. 4:4). He is neither early nor late. He is always right on time.

We continue to grow in obedience by refusing to subject God’s plan to “common sense” or the reasoning of the world. Some things the Lord requires may look ridiculous from a human perspective. He told Abraham that he would have a son through whom He would bless the entire world. Yet the Lord allowed Abraham’s obedience to be severely tested—first by requiring him to wait nearly a quarter of a century before providing the promised provision, and later by requiring him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. God knew the motive of Abraham’s heart. It was one of obedience. When it came time to complete the sacrifice, the Lord was the one who provided a ram to be used in Isaac’s place.

We grow in obedience by promptly responding in obedience. If you long to obey God, you will not hesitate when He tells you to do something. Many times we fail to obey the Father because we fear the consequences. Yet He never requires us to do anything outside His will for our lives. Our only responsibility is to obey; His responsibility is to take care of the consequences of our obedience.

Our sensitivity to God’s will increases as we obey Him. Along the way, He provides glimpses of the blessings waiting for us. God always blesses obedience. You can trust Him, obey Him, and be blessed. Or you can disobey Him and spend the rest of your life wondering what He would have done had you obeyed Him. Once you glimpse the blessings of obedience, however, the consequences no longer matter.

Adapted from "The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible," 2008.

Questions you might consider ...

Why should I respond in obedience to God's call?
How do I respond to God's call with faith?
How should I respond to the opportunities God brings to me?
What kinds of opportunities does God give me to serve?

 

Pages

Share This

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
MySpace icon
Newsvine icon
Pinterest icon
Reddit icon
Technorati icon
Yahoo! icon
e-mail icon