God Is Working While You Wait

Image result for Sculpture               Some boast of chariots and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the Lord our God………oh that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil to make Your Name known to Your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things that we did not look for, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides You, who works for those who wait for Him. ”                                     (Isaiah 64:1–4, Psalm 20:7)

I ran across these passages this morning and I wanted to share briefly on why every family and every person should raise this banner over your front door.

Image result for isaiah 64:4

The reason is given in Isaiah 64:4: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides Thee, who works for those who wait for Him.”

To that I added Psalms 20:7 that says what we all need to consider for thought and apply to our lives:

“Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

“We do not trust in horses, we do not trust in chariots, we trust in Lord our God” means that God works for people like that……like those who trust in His help only.

God is SEARCHING…

“For the eyes of the LORD search to and fro over all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is fully devoted to Him.” 
(2 Chronicles 16:9)

GOD IS SEARCHING TO HELP THOSE THAT CALL OUT TO HIM

And if God is working for you, surely things will turn out better than they would if everyone else in the world were working for you, but not God.

“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides You, who works for those who wait for Him. (4)

If God is undertaking the initiative to search out for us and help by working for us, it’s not possible He has, can, or ever will fail.

In our seasons of waiting on God, my wife, Patty and I have learned valuable lessons from Him that motivate us to do more of what He has revealed and we have discovered that while waiting.

He taught us the value of doing something. We got closer to hearing His voice in more prayer and as we made prayer a priority alongside the reading of His Word, as He spoke into our hearts, we began to trust Him! I mean REALLY trust Him!

Because, it’s not about what we can do for Him, it’s about His desire to want to work for us, in our lives.

He is a Living God, who continues to work in those who ask Him for help and trust in His faithful ability to work things “out for good.”

‘Confidence In Crisis’ -Happy New Year 2016

a trusting

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s…..

Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel……  

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”  (2 Chronicles 20:15)

Have you ever experienced a time when it felt like you were facing a battle of your life alone…your enemies surrounding you, the attacks unyielding? 

Did you ever think to yourself, “This is it! there’s absolutely no way I can win this?” 

Jehoshaphat surely did….. his reaction can help me to have confidence in crisis when I am confident in my God and not in myself in this New Year 2016. Jehoshaphat had a character flaw that God saw and wanted to correct, so He brought a battle bigger and stronger than Jehoshaphat had ever seen. It seems that Jehoshaphat had a thing with making the wrong allies with godless men like King Ahab.   

As the story goes God delivered the surprise package in the form of not one, but a multitude of enemies knocking at his front door as the Lord would be ringing in the year with spiritual reform for the nation of Israel. (19:4-11)

However, Jehoshaphat’s response was anything but confident as his intelligence sources came running in with horrifying news…… “A great multitude is coming against you fro  beyond the sea, out of Aram, (Edom) and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar.”  In other words, the enemy coalition was only 15 miles south of Jerusalem, on the western shore of the Red Sea. Needless to say it seemed that Jehoshaphat’s life and his entire kingdom were….on the ‘brink of extinction’!  Enter panic!  

a panic

So what does he do?  I thought to myself, Marty, ‘what would you do’ if you heard threatening news that would affect your future and plans for your life? 

Jehoshaphat known to be a godly king did the right thing: He called for a national prayer meeting and encouraged the people to….trust God as together, they faced a most overwhelming crisis…  

The result? They did it! they won what seemed impossible by prayer alone…not swinging one sword!  I like this description of my ENEMY and how he works daily to defeat me.  Rodney Frye describes it as a 3-fold assault going on against us.  The WORLD, the FLESH, and the DEVIL.”

 We have our on flesh wanting to distract us with to sin. We have the World always enticing up back to our old lives and we have the Devil making sure everything goes according to plan.  He describes a story in his own life to illustrate the point of this life being a battlefield  and how we must take a stand against it but yielding to God and trusting Him to fight the battle.  

a bully

He writes: “There used to be a bully who who would demand my lunch money every day….since I was smaller I would give it to him. Then one day I decided to fight back…I began taking Karate lessons but the instructor wanted $5.00 per lesson….that was a lot of money for me so I found it was cheaper for me to just pay the bully…..I gave up karate.”  

To many of us  easier to pay the bully than to learn how to defeat him.  Face it, living in this world is a battlefield…NOT a playground!  It is going to take the full armor of God to our prayer closets to battle with Satan.  

Jehoshaphat and the nation of Israel did, and won the war by prayer alone!   As we enter into a New Year in 2016 , we are sure of one thing, there will be a crisis coming our way, but when it comes, what confidence will we have?  We can be confident that in that time of crisis, if we just let our great needs drive us to prayer God will not hesitate to fight our battles!   You may have thought to yourself when the crisis comes knocking at your door, “I can do this!” only to find yourself collapsing under the weakness of what you perceived to be was your strength.  

You know, one day you go to sleep; all’s well! and the next day ‘all hell breaks loose’…  You didn’t know if you were ‘coming or going’.   

a confidence

For me on this New Year’s Day / 2016 it led me to ask myself 3 questions… While most people were making resolutions last night, I decided it was time to take inventory and see where my confidence during a crisis  was going to be, in myself…or in the might of God’s power.  

(1.) What challenges have i been facing that I just can’t seem to shake and have tried to ‘handle’ myself.          (2) What obstacles keep me from ‘letting go’ and submitting to God in prayer?  

(3) Have I allowed people around me to control my life and not trust God?   My answers were yes, yes, and yes.  And so I decided to write God a letter, writing these things down and looked up scripture promises and reminders of His faithfulness to me in fighting my battles and having confidence trusting God. relinquishing control attempts by the world, my flesh and the devil by taking every crisis to prayer.  

Ephesians 6:12 is at the top of my list: ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 

Three times the word ‘against’ is mentioned. It doesn’t say ‘stand by’ and just ‘wait it out’….it says do something!  In the following verses the command to put on the armor of God, in preparation for verse (18)“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..”    

If only we take this to heart this New Year 2016PRAY, STAND STILL, WATCH FOR VICTORY IN THE CRISIS as the LORD destroys my enemies!  

Imagine a year filled with victory after victory as we exercise trusting God with confidence that His ‘yes is amen!’ “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication from Me, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)  As the nation Jehoshaphat had gathered at the Temple for prayer, something quite remarkable occurred, the Spirit of God came upon  a prophet in the assembly.(14)  He begin to encourage them not to fear and went on to assure them that God would fight their battle…..for them. (15-17) 

When the people heard these words through the prophet, everyone fell down and worshiped and stood up and sang loud praises! (18-19).  What a display of humility that one man setting aside his own pride and chooses to humble himself and acknowledge in him is not enough, but in God he has victory!   If Jehoshaphat had acted in pride and sent his troops out to ‘defend the honor’ they surely would have been wiped out….and then as he called this prayer meeting, God shows up and instead chooses to speak through someone else!  If Jehoshaphat had acted in pride saying, “wait a minute! I’m the king! It was I who called this prayer meeting! Who does this prophet think he is to get a message from God?  Instead, he was humbly willing to submit to God’s Word….through another man….  Confidence in Crisis this year means I need to keep myself, the world, the flesh, the devil from ‘stealing the show’.   

And THEN, based on the ‘PROPHET’S’ word from God, the people got up early the next morning and marched to the battlefield …..led by Jehoshaphat?  NO,  they were led by a choir singing praises….of all things…(20:21)  

God would cause the enemy armies to ‘turn against each other”  All that was left for the people of Israel was collect the spoil and celebrate the victory!

        Okay, the promise God gave through this prophet (14-30) was one thing….believing and taking action on it was something else.  These singers were all about taking action staking their lives on the Truthfulness, (The fact of being true) of the word they heard from God.

Have you ever done something so crazy that it becomes life-changing?  I remember when I first came to know Jesus  as my Redeemer. Family and friends all had that same look on their faces; ‘Marty has done something really crazy, my goodness he isn’t becoming another one of those Jesus freaks is he?’ Pretty soon I’m attending church three times a week, going to anything to do with Jesus.  Not long before I was going on Mission trips to Mexico, and then attending Bible College and Schools of Ministry and the latest, Marty and Patty moving 500 miles north leaving everything behind to follow God’s calling.

These singers had probably had that same spirit doing a ‘crazy thing’…..marching unarmed before an army, singing praises to God against a fully armed powerful enemy!  

Jehoshaphat encouraged the people saying, “Put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will be established, put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” (20) This led the people into putting some leather in their shoes and marching for the Lord!  

When we become totally reliant on God, we are always rewarded by Him. He never fails all who trust Him and obey His Word.  Of course this doesn’t mean that He will deliver those who trust Him from suffering and death. Hebrews 11 is full of saints who trusted God and lost their heads.  

The wonderful thing is that there’s more than just this earthly life, this isn’t the final chapter.  Just as God rewarded Israel with the spoil of victory, so will he reward the followers of Jesus.  

Patty and I being baseball fans, I ran into this really neat T-shirt. It say’s: ‘Bottom of the 9th, down three runs, bases loaded, 2 outs, full count 3-2……the hitter swings and that ball is outta here!’ No fear!  The shirt effusing the confidence in a crisis… As Christian’s, 2016 is a brand new page in our stories. Why not ‘take a page’ and join Jehoshaphat in rejecting anything to do with self-confidence and acknowledge, “O God, I’m powerless and I don’t know what to do….but YOU do!  My eyes are on You God!  

Corrie Ten Boom author of “The Hiding Place” and survivor of a German concentration camp used to have people come up to her and say, “Corrie, my, what a great faith you have!” She would smile and reply, “No, it’s what a Great God I have!” 

Confident in Crisis 2016  starts with one person, one prayer at time and then comes the earthly dress rehearsal for heaven!  

Maybe you’re like I used to be before I began my ‘free trial’ in day by day; crisis after crisis putting my trust in God and letting Him fight the battle.  It wasn’t long ago when I was fighting my crisis against cancer.

It’s been three years since God delivered me. He gave His Word to Patty and I (John 11;4) asking us to simply trust in Him in the midst of the surgery, in the deep of the chemotherapy.  One thing we learned was that God keeps His Word and simply asks us to believe it always remember that He is faithful!. (Philippians 1:6). 

Jehoshaphat’s prayer teaches us that God alone will fight for you.

There is a story of a man who had a firewood factory who use a circular saw for cutting the timber. Until recently this saw was previously worked by a crank ….turned by men.  It was slow work, until we bought a gas engine.  The saw, now driven by this engine does more work at less cost!  It’s the same saw, but the difference maker is in what powers and drives it.  Before, driven by ‘hand power’ and now, by this engine, the only thing needed to keep the connecting band tight is adjustment. It is not a question of our abilities, but of the power behind us. (F.B. Meyer) 

And so as 2016 officially begins, I am not entering this year blindly and deaf,  I will ponder the words I have written and I will thank God that He will be with me when the crisis come. And I will lean on Him trusting that He is at work, faithfully completing the work He first began in me. (Philippians 1:6).  Maybe you’ve been moved or challenged in what moves you in a time of crisis and you know about religion, but don’t know Jesus.  He is the One who has come to set you free from yourself. Ask Him into your life. All He requires is you confess who you are, a sinner in need of forgiveness. He will wipe away every one. He loves you to the degree that He gave His life for you. Right now, right here, ask Him to be your Savior. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame..’ for there is no distinction between Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him, for everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)


Here I Am Lord, Use Me’

HERE I AM

”  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”     Isaiah 6:8

Every once in a while it is good to look back at something you wrote and be re-inspired if you will; especially when the Holy Spirit is the One making the prompting.  And so it is with this past study I made while finishing up my chemotherapy treatments. Truly that was a time of celebration at all God had done and accomplished through that wilderness experience.

The good news is that it’s been 1 1/2 years and everything is going great. I thank the Lord daily for His goodness and favor upon Patty and me and we are excited about all God has in store this new year!

It seems there are many of you from Brazil , the UK, and the Russian Federation that are have been passing this particular study around according to the Word Press Stats for this web site and I’m thrilled to know that everything of what this study is about is being exercised in your lives, that Jesus Christ is the difference maker, not only had He redeemed you, He has given you a purpose for life through Him, and has commissioned you to go out and tell as many people you know and don’t know about Him.  The world doesn’t need new fashions, buildings, heroes; the world needs to know Jesus!  And that is your calling from Him to you that you go out and tell everyone of His salvation through Jesus Christ!  “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord.”

ISAIAH 55 11 YES

‘So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return void unto Me: but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”  Isaiah 55:11

This is the first time I’ve been led to post not just one lead passage, but two.  It’s only fitting that they be here in this post, since the Holy Spirit went about on this day to join them together, to challenge, exhort, and bless me, as well as my wife Patty, and a whole slew of special guests that God brought together on a day when most people aren’t thinking about these kind of things..and so here goes.

God’s Word has something to accomplish. God doesn’t just speak to hear Himself talk. His Word is not empty, or lacking in power.   He didn’t speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose.

God’s Word doesn’t help us if it stays on the bookshelf..   God’s Word won’t accomplish what He wants to do with it if we don’t speak it.  Yes, we do need to study, read and meditate on His Word, but what use is it if stays inside.  We need to speak the Word of God to as many people as we meet.

2 Timothy says we need to be ready to “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they ‘hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

What a wonderful thing that God has provided us with a written Word that we know as the Bible.  It is through His written Word that God communicates with us  every day….

word

I don’t know about you, but I love guarantees.  Whenever I take my truck into the shop for repairs, I am so happy that the problem was resolved; but do you know what I like even more that it was fixed?  I love a guarantee that if something goes wrong with the repairs, that the shop gives, ‘written assurance’ that it will stand behind their work.

guarantee

The Dictionary defines the word ‘Guarantee’ as a ‘Promise’ or ‘Assurance’ especially in writing that something will perform satisfactorily for a given amount of time.’ We will make purchases that with a ‘guarantee’ and then hope that the giver of the guarantee will stand behind their product.

unsatisfied face

But what happens when what we bought, not only doesn’t work the way we anticipated, but the company behind it, doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain?

I think most of us have been there. And it can make for an unpleasant situation, because we put our trust,; in the product, and in the person behind the product.

However, we can be sure that when God say’s something is so, we know it to be true, because He has a track record of. ‘saying what He means, and meaning what He says’! Oh how thrilling is that!

happy face

Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the “Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”

I just love the Hawaian translation which reads: “Cuz you know, da Stuff God tell us guys get plenny power, an get life. Wat God say goin go inside us mo betta den one sword dat get two side sharp. Goin check out wat we stay tinking, an wat stay inside our heart, an how come we stay doing da kine stuffs we do. Dass jalike one sharp sword dat can open da joints an da bone marrow stuff.”

  sword

 Our passage today say’s that the word that “will not return void” is God’s Word and not the word of humans. In other words, people cannot make their desires a reality just by applying Isaiah 55:11…….to whatever situation they desire.   The only word that guarantees is the Word that “proceeds from His mouth”.  Any other word…..doesn’t carry the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God.

          In other words, to say that God’s Word “does not return to Him void” is to say that His Word, His promise doesn’t ever return to Him empty.  An extremely strong declaration of His sovereignty.    Not even Satan himself, can frustrate the purposes of God’s Word.
When God opens an opportunity for us to proclaim His Word, He enables, He unlocks the power in His words through the Holy Spirit in us, to establish the purpose of it’s destination.  That purpose is that the world would know that He so ‘loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that by believing in Him, that we might be saved”
Another purpose of God’s Word is that we, “comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
We are encouraged to build each other up in the faith.
One of the most powerful ways is by sharing the Word of God.  Often times, the Holy Spirit will lead you, in meeting people, in hospitals, in church, anywhere where there are hurting souls, He will send out His ministers to become His purpose in putting into motion His plan, and accomplishing all He has to give to the person you’re talking to as well as yourself.
appointment
Yesterday , I had an appointment at the hospital for a ‘Day Surgery’ to remove the ‘port’ that was surgically placed inside the right side of my chest.
The purpose of the port was to allow the nurses, while I was undergoing chemotherapy to stick their needles in so they didn’t have to be poking my arm
trying to find a suitable vein so they could administer the treatment.  This ‘port’ had a specific purpose, and to accomplish all it was designed to do.   To take a page from Pastor Chuck Smith, it performed ‘marvelously’!
While I was waiting for my surgery appointment….. several other things begin to evolve.   God’s Word promises us in Isaiah 43 :5 that He will “send men for us and people for your life, fear not I am with you.”
Well, as promised, God began to send a whole lot of people my way, some bringing the Word of God, some confirming the written Word of God, some to be encouragement throughout this very trying day.
DIVINE APPOINTMENT
As Patty and I entered Torrance Memorial Hospital hospital at 7:15 a.m. we were met by a much smiling receptionist at the Information Desk.  Then we were sent to an already waiting and no waiting  Registration desk where there was yet one other woman who greeted us with yet another huge, warm  ‘welcome’ smile.  We were escorted by a volunteer to the surgery prep area where we met an RN named Fe. (pronounced Fay)  She proceeded to take blood samples, blood pressure etc.
About the same time in walks in Pastor Tuvai from my church who came in early to pray for the surgery.  During the prayer he makes mention of a Scripture passage out of Isaiah 41:10.
is 41 10
Fe comes in after the prayer and Patty, (My Wife) and I begin to talk with Fe. We find out she is also a believer, and she goes on to quote Isaiah 41:10 as her favorite passage….not knowing that Pastor Tuvai had earlier also quoted from that same verse.   Fey  tells us she is from the Philippians and her name means…….Lydia…..AND  guess what color she is wearing?   You guessed it, purple!
Time passes and it’s time to go to surgery. I am encouraged and strengthened by the spiritual support God has given me in His Word and through these faithful saints.
In walks the man who would wheel me to surgery, his name?………Luke… we chat on the way, my reminding him that his name is in the Gospels, when he responds saying that he also has two brothers named……..you got it….Matthew and John…….and his father is named Mark!  
We run into Shawna and Letty who are RN nurses and find out they both go to my home church.  Once in the surgery room, prepped and ready to go, I ask everyone if I can pray verbally and they all say yes, including my surgeon.  Everything comes out good, and I’m recovering for the next few weeks.
The really exciting thing here is that God’s Word did not return void, empty. From Pastor Tuvai, to Fey, to all those in the surgery room, His Word was given.  It became a very powerful opportunity for God to bring so many people together under circumstances that involved all our faith that God was in control, and that He wanted all us including Patty and me to know, that His Word accomplished all He set it out to do.
God gives all of us many opportunities to share His Word under many different circumstances; and you know what?   There is comfort, strength, and encouragement in His Word for anything you, or someone you know might be going through.
I’m so happy that God was truly glorified throughout this day, and that others were able to see the Holy Spirit make a spiritual link chain throughout this day, and do you know what?  It was the difference maker for all involved.  The thing I learned is that God wants to do this every day.  All we need to do is raise our hand to Him every morning and say to Him, ‘Here I am Lord, send me!”
HERE I AM SEND ME
Here’s Today’s Musical Video ~  Enjoy! 
 

‘HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015… A SEC0ND CHANCE

“As for you, you were once dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  “ Ephesians 1:1-10

 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have never being born, getting a Second chance coming back and seeing just how many lives you would have touched if you had been born.   That’s exactly what happens in this movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

On April 11, 2013 the USA Network is launching The Moment, a new series hosted by legendary NFL quarterback Kurt Warner who just happens to be a Born Again Christian.   This show will  have nine individuals who will  be taken on a life-changing journey, and given a second chance to go back in time and rewrite their life stories.

 The Bible covers this topic quite well and serves a timely reminder that God sees, cares, and loves you so much, He’s wiling to forgive you of your past life and give you a fresh start, regardless of whatever happened in your past life.

a second chance3

From Rahab to David to Zachaeus  to Peter, the Thief on the Cross the Bible can be trusted to reveal clear and concise examples of people whom God gave 2nd Chances. From  one end of the spectrum to another, we can see clearly how God had all of us in mind when it comes to forgiving our past and giving us a fresh start.

a RAHAB2

In Joshua 2:1-22 & 6:20-25 we begin with Rahab who was a prostitute, a profession that even 3,000 years ago was not considered to be a honorable profession. To make matters worse she was a Gentile who was living in the city of Jericho, the land of Canaan at a time when Israel was on the verge at conquering that land.  However, here is Rahab of ill repute who had happened to hear about the God of Israel and His greatness.  The story goes that Israel sent spies to scout the land and ended up at Rahab’s house.  What she did would open the door for her 2nd chance. She put her own life on the line and proceeded to hide them in her house. As a result, God grants her a 2nd Chance. Jericho would end up being completely destroyed and it would be Rahab and her family that would survive the destruction, and the amazing finish is Rahab’ name is found in the Gospel of Matthew inside the …….genealogy of Jesus Christ!

a moses

 Patriarch Moses also was a man of 2nd Chances; Two to be exact.  Moses was born in Egypt during a time when it was quite dangerous to be a young Jewish boy. Condemned to death by order of the Pharaoh, God chose to spare Moses’s life.  Moses was instead spared and Moses was raised up as royalty.  He would end up being in a position that would later help the nation of Israel to be freed from enslavement. God save him after Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster while saving a young Hebrew man.   40 years later God gave Moses a second chance to return to Egypt and set His people free.

KingDavid_web_sm

2 Samuel 11-12, and Psalm 51 we read that David was a man after God’s own heart. But that’s not all he was. He was also an adulterer and murderer—both of which were capital offenses according to the Law of Moses. The story of his affair with Bathsheba and his attempt to hide his sin by having her husband, Urriah, killed by putting him on the front line in battle is one of the most appalling tales of sin in Scripture. But when confronted with his sin, David’s heart broke in repentance and God granted him grace and a 2nd chance.

a z

How about Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke 19:1-10 where tax collectors were even more despised than they are now. Most were greedy, dishonest men who had the power and authority to take advantage of the poor and become rich at their expense. Zacchaeus was just like this, he fit the description.  And yet when  Jesus came to town and He chose to stay with Zacchaeus.  Of course people couldn’t believe it. Why would Jesus, obviously a man of God, choose to even associate with this sinner? This is just the kind of person Jesus came to save—and to give a 2nd Chance!

a peter

Peter in Matthew 26:31-35. I think we can all agree that we have blurted out the first thing that comes in our minds. That was Peter. The rest of the apostles could always count on Peter to be the one who would open his mouth without thinking first.  Even during the final hours before Jesus’s crucifixion Peter boldly proclaims that he would stand by Jesus’ side even if it meant death. Peter emphatically deny that Jesus save His own life. And yet Jesus had plans to use Peter to build His church and give him a 2nd Chance!

 a thief

 Finally we see the Thief on the Cross in Luke 23:39-43, most certainly the greatest need for a 2nd Chance.   There are the two men crucified on both sides of Jesus were these three men. Men who lived their lives in such a way that according to this thief, were more deserving of death.    As they hung, nailed to a cross, next to Jesus. One of the men joined the crowds and soldiers in mocking Christ. But the other realized who it was being crucified next to him and, with death nearby, asked for mercy. This simple act of faith this humble request was heard and answered as  Jesus promised him a 2nd Chance that would lead him into Eternity.

a eph

And then there is you and me….. I don’t know about you but I need a 2nd Chance.  I’m thankful that God is willing to give it.    I think Paul the Apostle says it best in his letter to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 2:1-10. I quote from the Living Bible paraphrase:

“Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins.  You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.   All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

 But God is so rich in mercy; He loved us so much   that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, He gave us back our lives again when He raised Christ from the dead—only by His undeserved favor have we ever been saved—  and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with Him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.  And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich His kindness is, as shown in all He has done for us through Jesus Christ.

 Because of His kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God.   Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it.   It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”

 a chance

 As the calendar changes and 2014 ebbs away and 2015 charges forth, it’s a good thing to know that we have a God of 2nd Chances! Regardless of what failure, rejection, whatever we did wrong unto others, know that He is willing to erase the past with all its disappointments  and bring you forth into a year of a fresh start.   Maybe today after the unwrapping of the gifts, the pleasantries of gatherings with family and friends you’ve got issues that are choking off your life. Behold, Jesus can and is willing to help you and give you a 2nd Chance. A right relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount to living the life He intended you to live.

a confess

If this is you and you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, you need a 2nd Chance; the Bible says in Romans 10:9 that if you just, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; and believe from your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Maybe pray something like this and mean it from your heart: ‘Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, and that You died to take away my sins, I believe You were raised from the dead and can help me to have this 2nd chance. I receive You into my heart, come live, and teach me how to live this new chance right!  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and write my name in the Book of Life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Congratulations, you have received the perfect gift, forgiveness of your sins and a 2nd Chance! I suggest you pray and ask God to help you find a good Bible teaching church and a Bible. Read it every day starting maybe in the Gospel of John, and find believers to fellowship.

A chronicle

Maybe you’re already a believer and need to make a new start this upcoming year, you too can have a 2nd chance in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if : “My people which are called by My Name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them and heal their land”. Often times we don’t think we need healing, but if we find we are stagnant in our lives, listless, going through the motions, we need a new start, a 2nd  Chance  that we can live life ‘more abundantly’.  Take a moment today and contemplate where you are today.  Sit before the Lord and ask Him to search my heart and see if there be any wicked thing”and “Cst your cares upon Him because He cares for you.”

Thank You Jesus that You are forever praying for us and looking out for our best interests, forgive us when we assume that everything is alright when they aren’t.  We yield our hands, minds and hearts that always seem to want to do things first and leave in situations and circumstances  that result in disappointment.  We praise You that Your Word is ‘Yea and Amen!”

a amen

Happy New Year in 2015 everyone as we all grow into the loving saving life that Jesus gives us in Him!

‘HELP! DIAL 333 FOR GREAT & MIGHTY THINGS!’

 

a call

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33;3

 Lord Jesus, I offer up this labor of love in presenting your Word to all those You would lead to this Ministry web site that by the power of Your Spirit, You would transform lives and reveal Yourself to each one, opening their understanding of Your Greatness and love through Your Son Jesus Christ. That we would know the truth and the truth of Your plan for man would set them free indeed, amen.

‘Help, I need somebody,  Help, Not just anybody
Help, You know, I need someone Help!

When I was younger so much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But know these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors..

If you’re a Believer you KNOW where you get YOUR help from, right?  But like this song let’s turn our ‘time-clocks’ back if you will and ask the very same question…. Where did you get YOUR help in a time of need?  I think for most of us it could be answered in anything that would take away the pain of life’s pitfalls.  For some help came from alcohol, for others it was drugs.  Maybe it was sex.  All in all we agree that it more didn’t help than these things made is addicts of the very thing we thought could ‘help’ us.

‘Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate your being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me? Help me, help me, ooh..’

   You know, when the doctor leans over with a clipboard in his hand and goes on to tell you that ‘you’ve got cancer!’ and leaves you with no real help in mind. When the Oncologist reviews your ‘charts’ and begins to review his plan for ‘help’ that will begin the process of healing that will help heal your body….. For me this was very much a reality two years ago as my wife and I pondered and then sought and found where our help was going to come from.

‘And now my life has changed in oh, so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you like I never done before.’

What a difference it makes that when your life situations change and you’re left with depending on someone else to help you through it that it becomes so more real to know with confidence that the help you need is far more real and close than you ever imagined?   Instead of independence it becomes more dependent.  Instead of insecurity it becomes secure.

For my wife and I the help we needed was going to come through my surgery and a year of chemotherapy, but the real help, the real healing was to come from the One who created me and formed me.  For the first time in my life, I would go from knowing what I needed to help me to knowing the One who would be doing all the help.  God gave Patty a promise that fateful afternoon in that hospital, that He would be ‘faithful to complete the work He started’  (1 Thessalonians 5:24) when He said that , ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that therein the Son of God might be glorified” .(John 11:4)  He would become our help not just in fixing what was broken, in becoming our very direct~lifeline that we could have access to 24 hours a day and be there to help us in a time of need.

The older I get the more I am realizing that the  most important thing in my life is not  work, business, rushing here and there; but the most important thing is to live truly a life of prayer.   Prayer is the most essential part of my life.  Jesus said that, ” Men ought always to pray and not to faint”  Luke 18:1

When I’m finding myself up against a challenge in my life I am often reminded of God’s Eternal un- diminishing Greatness in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” 

 

There are often times when I need to see good things larger than the bad things that surround me in this world.  Just last night, my wife and I were weighing the circumstances of how we were going to provide me health insurance since the employer I previously had was taking me off their coverage. Since everything surrounding my cancer follow-ups were tied into this medical coverage; especially my doctor, it quickly became a source of worry. What would happen next?

Perplexed but not defeated, we prayed, and faithfully gave the problem to the only One who can solve it, Jesus Christ. It has   Although we don’t know what to do, we do know who does know, and so we entrust Him to work it out. It doesn’t mean we sit back and just wait for something to happen; although I’ve seen things happen without me doing anything.  But often God allows us to partake in His work by knocking on doors, making phone calls, following through looking for a window of opportunity God would open for us. All in all, praying “with thanksgiving, that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”  Philippians 4:6

a prayer 5

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

 Time is growing short; the city is being squeezed, and the dreaded enemy is one step closer to victory. Some of the locals were holding out hope that it might be Egypt that would come to Jerusalem’s rescue, but destiny was saying that nothing could stop her inevitable defeat.

In those dark days just before the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah is still a prisoner of the king. We see the picture of these people Jeremiah had preached to turn away from their lifestyle apart from God as Jeremiah sits shackled in a courtyard, surrounded by guards. In this humiliating scene, another message comes to the prophet from God. Once again, Jeremiah is looking past the city’s present despair to a future God is showing him: one day God will restore Jerusalem and the people of Israel.

a prayer 6

“Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known.

Have you ever been at a point in your ministry where you thought you had it all figured out and than found yourself in a one on one meeting with God that reveals a particular aspect of your relationship with Him is actually flawed?

Here in this verse we find OT Prophet Jeremiah being counseled by God Himself. For forty years the prophet Jeremiah had warned that Judah and Jerusalem would be destroyed for their sins, and now the armies of Babylon were at the very walls of the city.

Imagine 40 years Jeremiah faithfully preached the Word of God, only to see God’s Word rejected by the people God had called.  It would be very difficult to conceive of a situation more painful than the situation that Jeremiah was facing.

To make matters worse, Jeremiah was cast down into a pit in prison because king Zedekiah didn’t want Jeremiah openly prophesying the coming ruin of Judah. To the human eye it would be without doubt that God’s promises to Israel had dried up and all was going to fail.

And yet, it would be exactly during this time; Babylon knocking on the door, Jeremiah God’s mouth piece locked in prison that God would come to His servant with these words of encouragement.

Maybe Jeremiah in all his human nature was expecting a different outcome. Reading in Chapter 32 he had been praying about this deliverance for his people, but now he finds himself in a pit where he could do……nothing more.  What then would God do now for him?  The  encouragement…. the answer God gives him was PRAY!

The Word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah the second time. And that Word of the Lord was: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

When all appears at its worse, when everything appears darkest, when we give ourselves over to the hopeless, to the spiritual prisoner it is prayer that God gives as the instrument to confirm in our heart God’s promises even in the darkest of times.

Maybe today  you find yourself shut up in the heaviness of prison, the heaviness of your own heart, and you simply can’t find a way out; so much to the point that your eyes fail to see just how God’s promises can be fulfilled in your own situation.  God says to you, “Call upon Me.”  PRAY!

Old or young, male or female, child or parent. we are called to pray…. God says, “Call upon Me.” 

“When you are in trouble, call for Me, I will come and rescue you”   ‘Call on Him while He is nearby’  ~  “Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you.”  ~  Psalm 50:15~ Isaiah 55:6~ Matthew 7:7

a prayer 7

No doubt Jeremiah had prayed and had prayed intensely.  Those who have ever been in jail or prison can all attest how much improved our prayer life improves. And in it all, God say’s to us ‘Call upon Me!’

 

There are times when like Jeremiah we have prayed….and prayed… and yet we might hear what God would say to Jeremiah ; ‘Jeremiah, though you have prayed and prayed intensely, this is still My encouragement to you: Pray. Call upon Me.”  God’s  response…….. Pray on.

Although Jeremiah had prayed, God calls him to continue because, as long as I am in this body of flesh, I need the command to pray or else God would not give it.

a wrestle

I often forget to wrestle with God in prayer. I am so prone to set aside plenty of time for myself and for the world but a few moments for God?  Oye vay, now that I find myself forgetting.   I give the world around me my best, and whatever is leftover for prayer……THIS church is why God says: “Call upon Me!”

This is why, I believe, one of the most realistic and beautiful pictures of prayer in the Bible is found in Genesis 32:22-32 where we see  Jacob wrestling with God all night and not letting God go. THAT to me is prayer: wrestling with God.

a prayer 3

Are you troubled?     “Call upon Me”

Are you at your wits’ end and you see now no way out?  “Call upon Me.

Are you lonely?  “Call upon Me”

Do your friends or family fail you? “Call upon Me.”

Are you struggling with anger or rage? Call upon Me”

Do you feel you are distant from God?  “Call upon Me”

a burfen

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”  Psalms 55:22

Maybe today you are searching for answers to your life; maybe you’ve tried religion and you feel you’ve come up short. After all the ‘good feelings’ you thought would make you better, you’re left looking into a mirror, not liking what you see when it’s just you alone. Call upon Me.

a wary

Maybe Babylon has come knocking at your front and you feel outnumbered, unqualified, and empty handed. Call upon Me.

Maybe you’re a prodigal son or daughter and have run away from God, only to discover your inheritance is spent and have nothing but the shirt on your back…Call upon Me

Maybe things have so spun out of control in your life where you’ve tried everything and you find yourself contemplating taking your life..Call upon Me.

a w

Good news,  God is a God of second chances! No long list of instructions from God.  No  “rub prayer beads. recite ‘Hail Marys.’” No, God’s Word simply says, “Call upon Me.” It doesn’t say, “Come through a saint, come through the virgin Mary, come through some priest.”  It says Call upon Me..

a j

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”   Isaiah 65:24     ‘I’ll anticipate their prayers and respond before they know it;even as they speak, I will hear.

Prayer is all of  God’s grace. God giving to us what we don’t deserve…God working in us to seek Him and God graciously supplying our need,  by His promise that rests upon His character which is immutable.

a aw  A.W. Pink  is quoted:    ” God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations…….Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” James. 1:17.

a awe

 “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

With so many variables in this life, finding truth can be difficult to find. But when God says “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee” you can be sure that God ‘says what He means and means what He says’ “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

a yes 1

God is immutable in His essence…….in who He is, He never lies, you can count on Him to come through for you. This means that there was never a time when He was not; and there will never come a time when He shall cease to be.

God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.


a I am

He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.  He is perpetually the same. He only can say, “I am that I am” (Exodus. 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade.

 His truthfulness is immutable, for His Word is Eternal!

a eternal 1

“forever settled in heaven” (Psalm. 119:89).

His love is eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah. 31:3)

a everlasting

And “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

a love

  A sparrow is being pursued by a bird of prey, a hawk. In desperation the sparrow  flies into a cabin where a man catches the sparrow and proceeds to throw the sparrow violently to the ground and kills it.

Would God do that? No. When He calls us to seek His face, and when we, out of this present life, by His grace, fly to Him in all of our fears and toils, will He not have mercy? Will He not hear us? Will He not rush to our side and rescue us?

a new mercy

The Word of God is trustworthy, His promises are faithful so we can be assured that no matter what circumstance, hardship, temptation, trial you are facing right now, nothing can cut you off from the ear of God.   Jeremiah was in prison.  There was nothing the king wanted more than for everyone to forget about the prophet Jeremiah. He wanted the veil of silence and forgetfulness cast over this man. And Jeremiah knew that at this time no one remembered him, really, and there was none to whom his soul was counted dear. And yet, God says, “I will hear and I will answer.”

My own experience confirms that He does hear and answer my prayers, not because of any worthiness of my prayers but because  as a child of God. I have Saviour in Jesus Christ, who “ever liveth to make intercession for me at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 7:25

What’s more, as a child of God I can come boldly to Him..”Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

A HELP

Come boldly, that we might receive what? Our own way? The answer to everything that we want? No. that we might “receive mercy and grace to help us in time of need.”

 

So God says: “I will answer Thee and I will show Thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Remember Jeremiah. He could not see it. He saw God’s judgments falling upon Judah. He saw the people of Judah hardened in their sins and forsaking God. He saw the Babylonians at the city walls. And in the midst of that, he said to himself, “Where are the promises of God to His people to preserve them and to bless them? I don’t see this.” God said to him, “Jeremiah, even though you don’t see it, I promise to do good to My own people. Through all of these things I am chastening them for their sins and I am going to bring them back after seventy years. Now you go buy a field. I tell you, Jeremiah, all My children, My true children, will have a place in My blessing.”

But still there was nothing to confirm that promise as far as his own eye could see. All his own eye could see was the army of the Babylonians. His ears heard the war-drums and the smash of the boulders from the catapults thrown against the walls of the city and the crash of the rams against the city doors.  In prison, forgotten by man but then the Word of the Lord comes to him …..“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

There will come times in your life where you will not have answers, especially when you find yourself in what appears to you is this prison where man may be saying no to what you’ve been called to speak. Maybe it will be a week or years where what you see around you cannot be trusted because the Bible says we must ‘walk by faith and not by sight’ 2 Corinthians 5:7 and we know that faith is  the “substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1.

And although it may seem that the Babylonians have surrounded us and we begin to lose strength, we must never give in to fear because “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world”              1 John 4:4 and so we remember to cling onto the Rock and know that the “promises of God are Yea and Amen” 2 Corinthians 1:20 because “Faithful is He who called you, who will also do it” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “and being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”     Philippians 1:6

a prayer 1

And so what are you waiting for?  Do you have a call you need to make that will free you from the yoke of whatever the bondage it is that is sealed wrapped in doubt, filled with worry and sealed with fear?  “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

a behold

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

A PAIN MAN

Maybe you’re reading this today and are struggling with the issues of this life. Perhaps it’s an addiction that attempted to lay claim on your soul, maybe it’s a divorce, bankruptcy,  something you’ve been ashamed of for years, and you feel a strong conviction that says come free!  You may be a prodigal son or daughter,  or maybe just seeing the truth about the extent of  God’s love and forgiveness of your sins, then today is the day God made for you and we will rejoice in it!

” Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool…….. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”  Isaiah 1:18-19

a come

If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that He is the Son of God and receive by His grace through faith His free gift of forgiveness, you can declare before God right where  you are this promise of God that,  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 than say this simple pray.   ‘God, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. Forgive me. I believe that Jesus  You died for all my sins.  I believe Jesus You are the Son of God. Wash me and cleanse me by Your precious blood and write my name in the Book of Life, Thank You, in Jesus Name, Amen.’

If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, the Bible says that “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”