Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rejoice With Me!




Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)







Praise the Lord on this day!

David made a proclamation unto God when he said:

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalms 5:3)

The command has gone out that we rejoice! We are to rejoice for all that God has done, for all that He is doing and all that He is going to do!  Recognizing that God is the center of our joy should spur us to do as Paul tells the church in Thessalonia:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  I Thessalonians 5:18

When we rejoice, the atmosphere around us should be shifting and changing. Rejoicing doesn't necessarily mean a visible shout or dance, but our hearts should be merry. We shouldn't be walking around with downcast countenances, discouraged in our spirit – our hearts should be merry and jubilant. People should notice the happiness and joy emanating from us! They should feel the sense of expectancy; the excitement.

I’m reminded of the lame man that Peter and John healed in Acts 3:

And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked , and entered with them into the temple, walking , and leaping, and praising God. (Acts 3:2-8)

It started by the man asking them for money. By the time Peter explained that they had something far better to offer and helped him to his feet, the man was rejoicing in his healing. The account says he was leaping and praising God. That healing and resultant praise was a powerful testimony. The account goes on to say the religious leaders wanted to punish Peter and John but they couldn't because the man that was lame remained with them; visible for all to see his miraculous healing and it is recorded that the religious leaders could find nothing in how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done:

So when they had further threatened them , they let them go , finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done . (Acts 4:2)

They became a united force in their praise for God! And that is what we are to do now.

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. (Acts 4:32)

This is not the time to grow weak and weary. This is not the time to faint. This is not the time to become oppressed and depressed. It’s not the time to be discouraged and dejected. It’s time to rejoice in God and proclaim His goodness as the lame man did!

 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Galatians 6:9

The bible has so much to say about rejoicing and today, in our prayers, we want to proclaim and declare what God says about rejoicing.


Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, we thank You this day; we come before You with thanksgiving in our heart for allowing us one more day. We thank You Lord for one more opportunity to come before You. We thank You for Your sovereignty. Lord we thank You for Your mercy. You tell us in Your word:

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed , because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23)

We thank You for that. We thank You Lord for the refreshing that You have sent to lift us. You said in Your word:

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; (Psalms 31:7)

Lord we thank You for the peace we have in You! We thank You for strength to endure. You tell us in Your word that the race isn't give to the swift or to the strong, but to those that endure until the end! We endure by staying in Your word, by meditating on it, by our prayers to You, through our faith in You and through obedience to You. Because of You Lord, we have hope! Because we have hope, we rejoice in You! We praise Your name.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. (Psalms 9:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:18)

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)

Lord You made this day and we will rejoice in it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9)

We have so much to rejoice in and be glad about. We thank You Lord because there is none like You; we owe You our all! You said in Your word:

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. (1 Chronicles 16:31)

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalms 2:11)

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy , because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. (Psalms 5:11)

Lord we thank You for joy. It is Your joy that is our strength! We thank You Lord because You are our strong tower, You are our fortress.

Help us Lord to obey Your will, to be united in You and follow the course that You have set before us. Give us staying power to persevere in the down times. Help us to understand that You are in complete control. And that You are able.

Lord, we thank You for every single tear that we shed because of our struggles and our desire to serve You. When the enemy came up against us and the fight to remain faithful to You, those tears were not shed in vain and we know you saw them and you heard us, but we praise you Lord because you tell us in your word:

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

We thank you Lord that You are faithful to Your word. It’s recorded that:

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 1:10)

Lord You are our protector, our guide, our keeper, our way maker. Everything we need is already in You. There is no one like You and we thank You Lord.


And now Lord, we pray Lord that Your healing virtue flow to the sick and afflicted; that You touch the hearts of those that are lost and those that have gone astray and that You touch the mind of the unbelievers. Give comfort, peace and strength to those that are bereaved; in Your name Jesus. Strengthen our leaders to remain strong and steadfast in you.  Remember our frail and our elderly.

We thank You Lord for the ‘due’ season that You have put us in and we exalt Your name. Lord we worship You in the beauty of Holiness.

And Now unto Him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  (Jude 1:24-25)

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Final Scriptures:

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalms 68:3)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Blessings in the name of Jesus!

Elder C. L. Henry

09/28/15


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Occupying Your Time



Jesus answered and said unto him (referring to the Judas that did not betray Jesus), If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:23




Today, I want to talk about putting God first in our lives.  Even as we occupy until He returns for His people with our jobs, our children, our spouses, even our activities of daily living – we still put God first in our actions and in our thoughts.

As God teaches us how to connect the dots where the scriptures are concerned, you can see the seriousness of His will.  It begins in the old testament, which is a shadow and type of the things to come and it’s carried over into the new testament beginning with Jesus' time on the earth and continuing through the church age.  God has not changed; His will has not changed.  God wants us to make Him our first priority:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  Exodus 34:14

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:24

The children of Israel were trying hard to convince Joshua with their words that they wanted to serve God but Joshua strongly admonishes them and lets them know that in the present state they were in, they couldn't because of their worship of other Gods and resultant sins:
 
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive Your transgressions nor Your sins. Joshua 24:19

He advises them to make a choice and make it quickly.

When Jesus comes on the scene, He tells us that we are to:

[And thou shal]t love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   Mark 12:30

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusted to envy? James 4:5   The message bible states it like this:  And do You suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover."

I’m saying this because all of us have our wants and desires and we pray about it and then we wonder when we don’t get it why didn't we get it; we want to question God and pout about it, we want to guilt God saying, ‘He must not love me’ or sometimes we even want to blame our lack of faith without once ever considering our lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude toward God.   We take the scripture in Luke 19:13,  “. . . occupy till I come”, out of context until we've nearly occupied God out of our lives and reserved Him only for church services; while seemingly forgetting that it is because of Him that we live, move and have our very being!

So I just want to encourage you on this day to make God your first priority; your first choice every time the opportunity presents itself. 

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, we want to thank You for one more opportunity to gather in Your name in prayer; to come unto You with gladness of heart that You are our Lord and King.

We thank You Lord for breathing life into us this morning, for our health and for our strength.  We always thank You Lord for having a sound mind and a right mind which is to serve You.  Lord we don’t take that for granted.  Lord we love You and we magnify Your name.  We lift You up, even as You are the lifter of our heads.  We give thanks unto You for all that You've done and all that You’re going to do, we thank You in advance. 

Lord we ask, even now in light of the words of admonishment and encouragement spoken, that You help those Lord who have given up hope, Lord, who are struggling, those who are discouraged.  Lord we know that You are a sustainer, a keeper, a mind regulator, a comforter, a bringer of peace and somebody needs You for just that purpose.  We know that You are a supplier of our every need.  Lord You said to ask and we’ll receive, seek and we will find, knock and the door would be opened.  We come before You Lord in supplication and prayer, seeking Your will for us that we may obey You in all things; that we do all things according to Your purpose.

We need You Lord.  Now is not the time to faint in our spirit.  Lord we need our spiritual armour, we need the fruit of the spirit:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, within us so that we’re able to stand against the wiles of the enemy, against the temptations that come up against us, against the struggles that we face every day, against our nonchalant attitude towards you.  Lord even against the perverseness of this sin-sick, sin-filled world, we need You.  Lord we pray Your forgiveness and that Your mercy prevail for every contrary word, deed and thought against You.  
 
Lord, through the spiritual leaders You've given us, continue to give us clarity so that we’re not so easily deceived by false doctrine and the deception of the enemy. 

We thank You heavenly father because You are our keeper, the lover of our souls, the comforter, the King of kings and Lord of lords, You are the great ‘I AM’.   You are the one true living God and there is none like You; You said in Your word that “before Moses, I am”.   We know and acknowledge that You are the author and finisher of our faith, You are the beginning and the end, alpha and omega.   There is none other like You; You are incomparable; You are the creator and it is through You that we live, move and have our very being.  Without You, we were nothing, but through You, we are now heirs to Your holy throne. 

Lord, give us a heart and mind to want to be everything that You have called us to be; everything that You designed for us, we desire to do but we can’t do it without You.  Lord, even as King David said, cleanse our hearts, purify our hearts and minds.  Help us to keep our minds stayed on You.  You said to pray without ceasing.  Give us a mind to serve You as good servants; wholly accepting of the call on our lives to do Your will.  Help us to say yes when You call our name.  We know Lord that sometimes we make mistakes and we mess up, but Your word tells us that You are faithful to forgive when we repent before You.  Convict us when we’re wrong and help us to come before You in godly sorrow and repentance.  Help us to stay in a right relationship with You. 

We thank You Lord, when others give up on us, You won’t.  Lord help us to keep a yes in our spirit, a yes in our soul.  Help us Lord not to lose our focus on You.  Help us to remember that You won’t give up on us; You said that You would never leave us nor forsake us.  Help us Lord when we think we can’t go on, when we've given up the will, let us lean on You, our fortress, our strong tower, help us to put our faith and trust in You Lord and only You.  Lord You said for us not to be weary in our well doing and not faint and we will reap in due season.  Help us to keep going, to hold to Your hand and not let go.

Thank You Jesus, our mighty savior, our counselor, our prince of peace, wonderful, awesome and magnificent one.  There is none like You; not above or beside You.  Everyone must bow at the name of Jesus. Thank You Lord for the opportunity to bow before You now, to worship and serve You.  It is an honor and a privilege to come before You; it is no goodness of our own, nothing that we did or nothing that we said, but for Your grace and mercy.  Thank You for Your love.  It was Your love for mankind that caused You to send Your only son to be our redeemer and for that we say Thank You Lord, thank You God for Jesus. 

Now unto God, our heavenly Father be glory for ever and ever.   In Jesus name, amen.  

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all Your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

God Bless You.

Because of God, I am

Elder Candy



Monday, June 9, 2014

Manifestation of the Spirit


For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of  spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  (I Corinthians 12:8-10) 


As the church continues, just as in the beginning, the spiritual gifts received of God are still for the church today.  For sure, they are not nearly as prominent as they were at the beginning of the church age.  At that time, the outpouring of God's Spirit molded together a spiritual body (group of believers) scripturally defined as the "church," 
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.  (Ephesians 1:22-23)

Supernatural manifestations of the Spirit, commonly referred to as the "gifts of the Spirit" routinely occurred.   By "supernatural," it is meant that which cannot be explained or understood by human reasoning and is not restricted to "natural laws." No one should ever limit the power of God to work only through those things that the natural man understands, for GOD hath declared:
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts"  (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Apostle Paul, before teaching the Corinthians about the use of spiritual gifts, reminded them: "

The things (ways and thoughts) of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."  I Corinthians 2:11


This is not to say that man cannot learn the things of God, but rather that they are not perceived by worldly wisdom. Human reasoning is unable to digest spiritual truth.
The spiritual gifts are given by God to His church to profit the church and its members. 

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal" (I Corinthians 12:7). 


There are those today who contend that the gifts are no longer property of the church to be experienced. But there appears nothing in the Scriptures nor in the course of history to show when any of the gifts were withdrawn. The body of man has many members (hands, fingers, eyes, ears, etc.) so also is the body of Christ. There are many members of one body and all are important. Some may be more evident than others, but all are needed.  
The gifts of the Spirit are not to be confused with the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is spiritual grace in the character of the believer. All aspects of the fruit are to be possessed by every believer for use at all times. On the other hand, the gifts of the Spirit are divine enablements used in directing and blessing the church and it is not a requirement that you possess each of them.
There must be great care taken in the operation of the spiritual gifts. The Corinthian church became carnal and went overboard with some of the more "spectacular" gifts. For this reason, Apostle Paul was writing the Corinthians to give them instructions on the regulations of the spiritual gifts in the church. (See I Corinthians 14.)
It is very clear that the early Christians knew the functioning of special abilities that were of supernatural origin; the Spirit of God. Many spoke in languages they never learned, others healed the sick though they never had studied medicine and then there were those that often had supernatural insight and wisdom.

Here are some commonly asked questions:  What are these gifts of the Spirit?   How can you know that you have particular gifts of the Spirit? Can others give us an indication of what our gift is? What does the believer do with these gifts in the church? Are some gifts more important than others? Are the gifts of healing still being accessed today by believers? Is the gift of miracles still existent in the church today?


Each and every believer has been given by the Spirit of God, gifts of the Spirit. They are not gifts that they have developed by human capacities, therefore the believer has absolutely no right to brag on these gifts. If we exalt in our gifts, we are taking credit for something that we have not earned ourselves. It is like taking credit for a gift you receive on your birthday. It is just that; a gift that was not yours but given to you freely and it is given apart from any inherent capabilities that you have within you.


No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God. God has given all believers gifts; some have several but everyone has at least one of these gifts. These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer but for the Body of Christ. It is to make the Body complete. These gifts are intended for the church to edify it, to strengthen it, to feed it, to exhort it, to encourage it and to have the Body of Christ empowered to do the work of Christ. 


These gifts are always to exalt Christ, to witness of God’s power, to build up the Body, and to work to enlarge the Body of Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost.  (I Corinthians 14:12)


Isaiah speaks of seven different spirits or gifts:   


“And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord.  He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (called discernment).”  Isaiah 11:2-3


These are important gifts and some of them are similar to but different from the gifts of the Spirit that Apostle Paul talks about to the church at Corinth.  


This is not an exhaustive list of the gifts of the spirit, for example some are said to have the gift of mercy which is a person who is quick to forgive and not judge others who have sinned while others are not so quick to do so. God gives these gifts as He sees best and not what we think they are for. We cannot receive gifts we are not intended to receive but we can desire certain gifts, indicating that we can receive gifts of the Spirit that may fulfill the desires of our hearts while still fulfilling God‘s purpose for them. 


Romans 12 has a similar listing of the gifts of the Spirit but I Corinthians 12 is more comprehensive in nature. I Corinthians 12 begins with Apostle Paul telling the Corinthian church, and for the most part, all believers in the church today not to be ignorant concerning the spiritual gifts. Apostle Paul wants to make these gifts crystal clear to us so we will depend upon the inspired Word of God to reveal them to us.
Paul tells us that “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them”  No two gifts are the same and generally no two believers have exactly the same gifts but always these gifts are given for the common good of the church.


Jesus also spoke of the gifts that would come after the receipt of the comforter.



(Biblical Studies)


06/22/15

6/22/16