PRAY CALIFORNIA - Short Sermons for the Christian Life with an Emphasis on Prayer and Praying

June 2024 Part 2

 

To the preachers, the pastors, and those who wish to speak the gospel and evangelize others into the Christian Faith:

 

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
  2. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
  3. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”

 

If you are not preaching the Gospel with miraculous power (or marvelous works of God, not man) then you are a clanging cymbal.

 

What is the object of your love?  Is it the people who hear you or is it your preaching, your voice and your position?

 

If you are preaching the Gospel in word only, and not in power, and also not in the Holy Spirit, and also not in fully assured faith, then you are making noise; you tickle ears; you fill seats; you make money.

 

Repent, you braying donkey!

 

You have forgotten God!

 

You are without miraculous power and without faith.  You are blind leading the blind.

 

Talk to Jesus and ask Him to fix this behavior, so that when you preach, you will preach in the Holy Spirit, in Power, and in faith.

June 2024

 

Psalm 127:1-2

1Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

 

-

 

All Glory Be to Christ
Kings Kaleidoscope
 
Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive
To you who boast tomorrow's gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ

All glory be to Christ our King
All glory be to Christ
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love
Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ

All glory be to Christ our King
All glory be to Christ
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new
Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ

All glory be to Christ our King
All glory be to Christ
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ

 

May 2024

 

 

2 Chronicles: 1-7

 

1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.

2And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

3For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images.

4They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

5He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

6And so he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and all around, with axes.

7When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

 

2 Kings 18:1-7

1Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign.

2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.

3And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.

4He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.

5He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.

6For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

7The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

8He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

 

Be like Josiah.

Be like Hezekiah.

 

Tear down the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, the molded images, the altars of the Baals, the incense altars, the sacred pillars and the bronze serpent in your life.

 

Then tear them down from your churches, your groups, your fellowships.

 

Then tear them down from your cities and towns, your states, your provinces, your countries.

 

Be holy for the Lord God of Israel calls you to be holy.  Leave no room for Baal, idol worship, sex perversion.

 

Selah

 

 

April 2024
 
 
Lamentations 3:22-23
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

 

So you sinned last night.  He is merciful to you this morning because of his compassion in forgiving your sins.

 

Talk to Jesus.  He loves you.

 

March 2024

 

Matthew 6:33  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

 

Sometimes (all the time) you just have to let the things of this world go.  It is not going to last.

 

What does last is the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

 

 

February 2024

 

The Greatest Sin

 

The greatest sin one can commit is to live faithless in Jesus Christ.

 

John 3:18: 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 3:36: 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Hebrews 3:15-19:

15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

 

The act of sin is the disobedience.  The disobedience comes from unbelief in Christ Almighty.

 

Believe in Christ and obedience follows.

 

Keeping the 10 commandments does not save.  The keeping is the symptom of belief in Christ.  The belief in Christ saves.

 

Genesis 15:6: And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

 

Abraham was saved because of his belief.

 

Do the same.  Believe in Christ.

 

 

 

January 2024

 

Brutality vs Intimacy

 

 

Brutal is extremely ruthless or cruel.

 

Intimacy is very personal and private, marked by very close association, contact and/or familiarity.

 

The world is brutal.  No need to prove it.  The reader has experience with the brutality of this world.

 

Be intimate with God. 

 

Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

 

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations

 

The choice is simple.  Choose the world's ruthlessness and cruelty.  Or choose God's never ending love - love Him and keep His commandments.  The blessings are numerous.

 

 

December 2023

 

 

WORKING THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL WITH THE POWER AND GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

Your First Demonstration of the Power of the Holy Spirit:

Jude 1:9

9Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

 

Practice:  Say it out Loud, “The Lord rebuke you.”  Again, three times.  The next time evil confronts you, invades your thoughts, or temptation whispers – say, “The Lord rebuke you!”

 

 

Approach to Working the Gospel with the Power and Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

 

1) Genesis 18:1-2

1And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

2And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

 

Note:  Abraham left his tent to meet with God.  He left the safety of all that he knew and RAN to meet with God.  And they conversed where God was, not where Abraham could control.

 

 

2) Matthew 14:28-29

28And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

29So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

 

Note:  GET OUT OF THE BOAT!  GO MEET WITH JESUS.  Do you prefer the boat with decaying fish guts or do you prefer to be in the presence of Jesus, even if it means walking on water?

 

3) Matthew 12:20

20A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench,

 

Note:  Also see Isaiah 42:1-4.   Jesus is kind and gentle in all His power and might. Consider doing as He does when you operate in the gifts.

 

4) Acts 8:18-25

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

 

Note:  The Holy Spirit, The Gifts of the Spirit, Salvation, Jesus Himself, are not a currency.  See Matthew 21:12-13.  Everything about Christianity is about restoration with God Almighty.

 

5) Acts 5:1-11

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

 

Note:  The Holy Spirit, The Gifts of the Spirit, Salvation, Jesus Himself, are not transactional.  Be careful how you exercise the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as your attitude is an existential event for you and the wife.

 

6) Matthew 16:18-19

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

 

Note:  God grants power to the Christian.  The Christian has the keys to the Kingdom.  You are a trusted member of the Family of Jesus! Whatever are you waiting for?

 

7) Romans 8:1

8There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

Note:  There is NO shame in having and / or using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  If you speak in tongues, allow no one’s shame to fall upon you.  If you heal someone, the same.  If you deliver words of knowledge, the same.

 

 

8) Matthew 7:9-11

9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

 

Note:  The Gifts are just that: gifts.  They are presents, good things given to His beloved.  You are His beloved.  You have His gifts.  And if you do not, then the text implies you are to ask Him.  It is His desire to bless you.

 

9) 2 Timothy 3:1-5, esp 5

3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away

 

Note:  The Holy Inerrant Written Word of God declares that those who deny the Power of the Holy Spirit are unholy, brutal, and traitors among other slurs.  In fact, those who deny the Power of the Holy Spirit are blasphemers.  If you indeed hold to Christ, then you have His Power.

 

10) Isaiah 58:6

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”

 

Note:  Practicing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is not for the benefit of the Christian’s bank account or of his list of sexual conquests.  Utilizing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit means removing wickedness, eliminating heavy burdens, freeing the slaves, and breaking every chain.  LITERALLY!!!

 

11) Proverbs 16:18

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

 

Note:  A warning to Christians:  The Gifts are for freedom (see above – break every chain) of humanity, not for status.

 

12) 1 Corinthians 14:12

12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

 

Note:  Reiterating above – If you want the title of Pastor, it better be because you have the little old ladies in the congregation at heart, not because it provides you a position in the power ladder.

 

13) John 10:25, 27, 14:12-14

John 10:25

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.

 

John 10:27

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

 

John 14:12-14

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

 

Note:  The Christian’s normal daily practice is the delivery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the Works of Christ and even Greater than Christ has done.

 

14) Colossians 2:15

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

 

Note:  The common practice of the victor over his enemies.  Jesus defeated Hell.  You take your rightful role as a victor with Jesus over hell’s minions when you use your Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

15) 1 Chronicles 5:20 & 25

20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him.

25And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.

 

Note:  Verse 20 – they were successful because they trusted God.  Verse 25 – they took their trust from God and they failed.  A cautionary note:  God will place you among certain people to deliver the Good News with the Power and Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Trust God and God alone.  Do not lose faith in Christ as you exist with His Power and Gifts.  Talk to Him.

 

 

16) James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

 

Note:  James coaches the Christian to practice the Gifts with meekness of wisdom from above.

 

17) 2 Kings 5:20 & 26

20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.”

26 Then he (Elisha) said to him (Gehazi), “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?

 

Note:  Don’t touch it!  You have and operate with the HOLY gifts of God.  You have no reason to profit from them.  Worried about money – see Matthew 17:27

 

18) 1 Peter 4:10

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

 

Note:  It’s not, ”maybe I have a gift” nor “I shouldn’t use my gift”.  It’s you have it and you use it because you demonstrate the GRACE of God.

 

List of Gifts:

 

19) 1 Corinthians 12:7-10

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

 

20) Romans 12:6-8

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

21) 1 Corinthians 12:28

8 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

 

22) Proverbs 10:22

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it.

 

23) Ephesians 4:11

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Every moment of the rest of your life on earth, you are now equipped to work the Gospel with the Power and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit!  Working the Gospel with Power and Gifts is goodness.  You restore the order of Eden before the fall this way.  The enemies of God cannot stand before Christ’s power and Gifts in you!

 

2023 and Earlier

 

 

 

 

American Christians and their churches have hardened their hearts towards God.  They go on their merry way, choosing idolatry and comfort rather than cross.  God has pretty much hardened our hearts as we have and do play the harlot with the world.

 

The boards, the committees of our churches, what color, what temperature, what size building.  They say they believe scripture, and what does it say about Eldership – but to spend their days and nights studying the Word (but they forget the Word is living – meaning Jesus, but they search the scriptures because they think eternal life is found in them, but rather the Bible points to Christ who is and gives Eternal Life), and to pray.  How many Churches, and Elder boards, and preachers, and evangelists can raise up Christian men (who are the priests of their households and set the generational expectations and blessings or curses for future generations) to pray longer than fifteen minutes once a week! 

 

Putrid are the hearts of the American church leaders.  The American Christian sets those leaders higher than Christ in their own hearts.

 

Look how many churches have fallen since Covid; they sought to implement the ways of a hooker (light shows, rock bands, ted talks, seeker sensitive, lip service praying).  What is left?  Nothing.  Sin is exciting for a moment, and then comes destruction. 

 

Almighty God, Whose throne is heaven, Who holds the universe in the expanse of His Hand, Who makes the earth His footstool disciplines those He loves.  There is coming a huge spanking from God in slow motion to America and American Christians.  This country can only work with a religious moral people.  We, Christians, have allowed into American leadership, men who wear women’s clothing, sodomites, thieves, those who want millstones tied around their necks and to be thrown into the sea, those who tie down its people with heavier burdens and greater yokes, a justice system where bad is called good, and good called bad.

 

As in the days of Joshua, after winning, becomes arrogant and decides without consultation of the Almighty, to go to war against his neighbor and he gets yanked (lucky to be alive), America believes it can operate without asking God, “shall I go up?”  The American Christian forgets that after a while, not wanting to repent, God will hand him over to his sin (God will harden his heart), so that he might recognize his erroneous ways, repent and turn to God.

 

As in Daniel:

Daniel 4:25-35 ERV

King Nebuchadnezzar, you will be forced to go away from people. You will live among the wild animals. You will eat grass like cattle, and you will become wet with dew. Seven seasons will pass, and then you will learn this lesson. You will learn God Most High rules over human kingdoms and gives them to whoever he wants.

 

It is God Almighty who rules, and American Christians have forgotten this basic premise: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:2-3).

 

Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever. – 1 Chronicles 28:8

 

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.

A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness. – Psalm 101:3-4

 

28 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes;
But by a man of understanding and knowledge
Right will be prolonged.

A poor man who oppresses the poor
Is like a driving rain [a]which leaves no food.

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But such as keep the law contend with them.

Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all.

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son,
But a companion of gluttons shames his father.

One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion
Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.

11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory;
But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

-Proverbs:28:1-14

 

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. – Proverbs 13:22

 

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it. – Proverbs 10:22

 

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus  20:12

 

=

 

Generational wealth is due to God’s blessings on the prior and current generations’ attitude and behavior before God.

There is nothing wrong with having wealth, an inheritance, or being wealthy.  There are cautions, but it is a blessing from God, for He is Good!

 

Enjoy the blessings of Him, but always enjoy Him, and His commands, first and foremost.

 

Stop Hitting Her!!!

 

"For not even the Father judges anyone, but he has given all judgement to the son" - John 5:22

 

Stop Hitting Her!!!

 

"You are altogether beautiful my darling, and there is no blemish in you." - Song of Solomon 4:7

 

Discontinue raising your hand to her!

 

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her" - Ephesians 5:25

 

STOP HITTING HER!!!!!

 

"So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies, he who loves his own wife loves himself." - Ephesians 5:28

 

Jesus says, "stop hitting her"

 

 

Proverbs 1

The Beginning of Knowledge

 

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

 

2

To know wisdom and instruction,

To [a]perceive the words of understanding,

3

To receive the instruction of wisdom,

Justice, judgment, and equity;

4

To give prudence to the simple,

To the young man knowledge and discretion—

5

A wise man will hear and increase learning,

And a man of understanding will [b]attain wise counsel,

6

To understand a proverb and an enigma,

The words of the wise and their riddles.

 

7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Shun Evil Counsel

 

8

My son, hear the instruction of your father,

And do not forsake the law of your mother;

9

For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,

And chains about your neck.

 

10

My son, if sinners entice you,

Do not consent.

11

If they say, “Come with us,

Let us lie in wait to shed blood;

Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;

12

Let us swallow them alive like [c]Sheol,

And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;

13

We shall find all kinds of precious [d]possessions,

We shall fill our houses with [e]spoil;

14

Cast in your lot among us,

Let us all have one purse”—

15

My son, do not walk in the way with them,

Keep your foot from their path;

16

For their feet run to evil,

And they make haste to shed blood.

17

Surely, in [f]vain the net is spread

In the sight of any [g]bird;

18

But they lie in wait for their own blood,

They lurk secretly for their own lives.

19

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;

It takes away the life of its owners.

The Call of Wisdom

 

20

Wisdom calls aloud [h]outside;

She raises her voice in the open squares.

21

She cries out in the [i]chief concourses,

At the openings of the gates in the city

She speaks her words:

22

“How long, you [j]simple ones, will you love [k]simplicity?

For scorners delight in their scorning,

And fools hate knowledge.

23

Turn at my rebuke;

Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;

I will make my words known to you.

24

Because I have called and you refused,

I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,

25

Because you disdained all my counsel,

And would have none of my rebuke,

26

I also will laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when your terror comes,

27

When your terror comes like a storm,

And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,

When distress and anguish come upon you.

 

28

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;

They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

29

Because they hated knowledge

And did not choose the fear of the Lord,

30

They would have none of my counsel

And despised my every rebuke.

31

Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,

And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

32

For the [l]turning away of the simple will slay them,

And the complacency of fools will destroy them;

33

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,

And will be [m]secure, without fear of evil.”

 

  1. Proverbs 1:2 understand or discern
  2. Proverbs 1:5 acquire
  3. Proverbs 1:12 Or the grave
  4. Proverbs 1:13 Lit. wealth
  5. Proverbs 1:13 plunder
  6. Proverbs 1:17 futility
  7. Proverbs 1:17 Lit. lord of the wing
  8. Proverbs 1:20 in the street
  9. Proverbs 1:21 LXX, Syr., Tg. top of the walls; Vg. the head of multitudes
  10. Proverbs 1:22 naive
  11. Proverbs 1:22 naivete
  12. Proverbs 1:32 waywardness
  13. Proverbs 1:33 at ease

Proverbs 2

 

The Value of Wisdom

 

2 My son, if you receive my words,

And treasure my commands within you,

2

So that you incline your ear to wisdom,

And apply your heart to understanding;

3

Yes, if you cry out for discernment,

And lift up your voice for understanding,

4

If you seek her as silver,

And search for her as for hidden treasures;

5

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,

And find the knowledge of God.

6

For the Lord gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

7

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;

8

He guards the paths of justice,

And preserves the way of His saints.

9

Then you will understand righteousness and justice,

Equity and every good path.

 

10

When wisdom enters your heart,

And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,

11

Discretion will preserve you;

Understanding will keep you,

12

To deliver you from the way of evil,

From the man who speaks perverse things,

13

From those who leave the paths of uprightness

To walk in the ways of darkness;

14

Who rejoice in doing evil,

And delight in the perversity of the wicked;

15

Whose ways are crooked,

And who are devious in their paths;

16

To deliver you from the immoral woman,

From the seductress who flatters with her words,

17

Who forsakes the companion of her youth,

And forgets the covenant of her God.

18

For her house [a]leads down to death,

And her paths to the dead;

19

None who go to her return,

Nor do they [b]regain the paths of life—

20

So you may walk in the way of goodness,

And keep to the paths of righteousness.

21

For the upright will dwell in the land,

And the blameless will remain in it;

22

But the wicked will be [c]cut off from the [d]earth,

And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

Footnotes

 

  1. Proverbs 2:18 sinks
  2. Proverbs 2:19 Lit. reach
  3. Proverbs 2:22 destroyed
  4. Proverbs 2:22 land

Proverbs 3

 

3 My son, do not forget my law,

But let your heart keep my commands;

2

For length of days and long life

And peace they will add to you.

 

3

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;

Bind them around your neck,

Write them on the tablet of your heart,

4

And so find favor and [a]high esteem

In the sight of God and man.

 

5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall [b]direct your paths.

 

7

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

8

It will be health to your [c]flesh,

And strength[d] to your bones.

 

9

Honor the Lord with your possessions,

And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

10

So your barns will be filled with plenty,

And your vats will overflow with new wine.

 

11

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,

Nor detest His correction;

12

For whom the Lord loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

 

13

Happy is the man who finds wisdom,

And the man who gains understanding;

14

For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,

And her gain than fine gold.

15

She is more precious than rubies,

And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

16

Length of days is in her right hand,

In her left hand riches and honor.

17

Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

And all her paths are peace.

18

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,

And happy are all who [e]retain her.

 

19

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;

By understanding He established the heavens;

20

By His knowledge the depths were broken up,

And clouds drop down the dew.

 

21

My son, let them not depart from your eyes—

Keep sound wisdom and discretion;

22

So they will be life to your soul

And grace to your neck.

23

Then you will walk safely in your way,

And your foot will not stumble.

24

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

25

Do not be afraid of sudden terror,

Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;

26

For the Lord will be your confidence,

And will keep your foot from being caught.

 

27

Do not withhold good from [f]those to whom it is due,

When it is in the power of your hand to do so.

28

Do not say to your neighbor,

“Go, and come back,

And tomorrow I will give it,”

When you have it with you.

29

Do not devise evil against your neighbor,

For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.

30

Do not strive with a man without cause,

If he has done you no harm.

 

31

Do not envy the oppressor,

And choose none of his ways;

32

For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,

But His secret counsel is with the upright.

33

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,

But He blesses the home of the just.

34

Surely He scorns the scornful,

But gives grace to the humble.

35

The wise shall inherit glory,

But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Footnotes

 

  1. Proverbs 3:4 Lit. good understanding
  2. Proverbs 3:6 Or make smooth or straight
  3. Proverbs 3:8 Body, lit. navel
  4. Proverbs 3:8 Lit. drink
  5. Proverbs 3:18 hold her fast
  6. Proverbs 3:27 Lit. its owners

When you confront evil incarnate and someone asks you to pray for the removal of that evil from another, understand you come in the Name of Jesus.

 

Many people think that Jesus was saying you must abstain from food in addition to praying in order to cast some demons out. 

 

He was not. 

 

Remember he was the bridegroom and everyone was eating while in His presence and would only fast in His absence.  In addition, Jesus Himself says he comes eating and drinking.

 

Jesus is referring to the passage in Isaiah where God is angry with the self-serving abstaining from food fasts in order to gain worldly lucre. 

 

God declares that the fast He honors is that which removes wickedness and its effects; to free the oppressed and destroy the chains of evil on His people.

 

When the disciples ask why they could not cast out the demon, Jesus declares, “because of your little belief” (Matthew 17:20.)  He does NOT say because you did not abstain from food for the last few meals and snacks.

 

When Jesus says, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” 

 

He is referring to Isaiah’s type of fast – granting freedom to the oppressed, those harmed by wickedness and heavy burdens.

 

That kind of fast depends upon belief in Christ Almighty.

Mark 9:28-29

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

 

 

Isaiah 58:6

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I am under the Blood of Jesus"

 

&

 

"In the name of Jesus"

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

 

 

 

 

GET OUT OF THE BOAT!!!

 

GET OUT OF THE BOAT. 

 

Jesus calls you out of the boat.  Get out and walk on the water straight to Jesus.  In fact, keep your eyes on Jesus, so much that when you do look around, you won’t see the boat anymore, because you walk with Him ON THE WATER. 

 

Literally!  Walk on the water with Jesus.  Ask Him to bid you come to Him on the water

 

Figuratively:  Why would you ever want to go back to the boat, when you ask Jesus to command you to come to Him on the water?  The boat is safer, well known, stinky, but tolerable.  But why stay there when He calls you to walk on the water to Him?

 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

 

Too often, Christians resort to eisegesis to justify their perspective.

 

Consider the current form of Christian Worship/Church expression.

 

And that is a result – in general (there exist spots of holiness) – of the American Protestant Church of the last 65 years.  America is for a Christian Religious people.  They are losing it because the Church (again there are exceptions) has played whore and also has pimped Jesus. 

 

And by Church, is meant those who identify as Christians.  Consider the modern American church with its bang-bang music, smoke machines, disco lights and rock star performances – it is a night club.  The sermons are Ted talks of Christ light.  Their structure is a 501c3 – which means the government can and does tell the priests, bishops and cardinals what to say – today’s church is a modern version of the Germanic state church of the 1920s and 1930s. 

 

Don’t like Burger King, try McDonalds.  No good, try Chic-Fil-A.  If that doesn’t work, there are many other places serving burgers and fries.  The American Christian has forgotten that Christ consumed is eternal life - John 4:13-14 - because he would rather have franchised food.  Leeks and onions – yum!

 

Today’s church prevents the gathering together of one another, because she raises her skirts and lowers her blouse in an unending performance for eyeballs.  You don’t have to go to church anymore – you can watch “church” on TV.  So how do you fellowship with one another?  How does Communion happen? 

 

Consider the modern expression of American Christianity with what Jesus says in John 14:12.  They couldn’t be more different.

 

Once you walk on the water with Jesus, you never want to go back to the boat with its rotting fish heads, sea water, and rocking and rolling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 14: 29

 

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God, in Heaven, Loves us.  His love is Agape, a strong, selfless and sacrificial love.  One way of seeing God’s Agape is His Grace, unearned favor, He gives to the Christian.  His Mercy, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross for the forgiveness of sins demonstrates His Grace. 

 

His Mercy leads the Christian into Liberty.  The Christian is no longer tied up in the Mosaic Law.  Law binds the individual down to hell; Mercy unshackles the Christian to live free in relationship with Christ Almighty.

 

Liberty rides inseparably with Mercy.  They are equally yoked.

 

Therefore, the Christian is free!

 

Let me be very clear – The Christian is free!  The one who says, “Christ is Lord and Savior” and believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead is free!

 

You have heard it said, “chose this day who you will serve…”  But consider: the Christian is no longer a servant.  He is free of servitude.  The Cross broke service, and re-established relationship.

 

Conversation is foundational to every relationship. 

 

Praying is simply conversing with Jesus.  Hear me again, Praying is simply conversing with Jesus.

 

Praying is NOT an obligation.  Not a requirement.  Not a status symbol.  Not an act of power.  Not something defining a warrior.  Not a transaction describing a team or a room. 

 

Praying is the definition of the freed man who wants to talk with the Savior who made him free.

 

Repentance is the logical state of the person in prayer.  The unrepentant has no need of a savior.  The penitent seeks to speak to the Savior who listens and speaks back. 

 

Repentance cannot be earned or achieved.  It is a sign of the Christian who prays.

.

 

Luke 5:16

 

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2

 

“This morning, I realized that everything is about to change. No matter how I vote, no matter what I say, lives are never going to be the same.
I have been confused by the hostility of family and friends. I look at people I have known all my life so hate-filled that they agree with opinions they would never express as their own. I think that I may well have entered the Twilight Zone.
You can't justify this insanity. We have become a nation that has lost its collective mind.
We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, but it seems like a great plan to us.
Somehow it’s un-American for the census to count how many Americans are in America.
People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.
Universities that advocate equality, discriminate against Asian-Americans in favor of African-Americans.
Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now.
Criminals are caught-and-released to hurt more people, but stopping them is bad because it's a violation of THEIR rights.
People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.
After legislating gender, if a dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.
It was cool for Joe Biden to "blackmail" the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquiries about it.
People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees.
Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.
Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate gang-bangers who jump the southern fence are welcomed.
$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not.
If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.
And, pointing out all this hypocrisy somehow makes us "racists"!
Nothing makes sense anymore, no values, no morals, no civility and people are dying of a Chinese virus, but it is racist to refer to it as Chinese even though it began in China.
We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.
Wake up America. The great unsinkable ship Titanic America has hit an iceberg, is taking on water and sinking fast.

 

Dave Ramsey

 

 

==========================================================================

 

Breathe penitent.

 

You can go to church, attend bible studies, memorize scripture, sing in worship, fight the good fight, hold the right doctrine, do your job, raise your children, preach, be an elder/deacon, fight in wars, campaign for the right politician, get out the vote and literally millions of other actions.

 

But they are all of self-will  They smell of onions and leaks.

 

The only thing you cannot do of your own free will is talk to God, because that requires complete submission of your own will under His.  The very act of talking to The Savior is acknowledging the need for The Savior.  And what do you need a Savior for?  Your own self-will.  Do not confuse this with the common evangelical / post-evangelical concept of prayer meetings, prayer cards, prayer teams, “prayer warrior”, or praying while driving, “There is power in Prayer!”, which are all transactional self-willed utilitarian-istic behaviors.  All those things make God a whore and you his client.  “I give you something, you must give me something.” 

 

And you wonder why America is in such a state.

 

Whoring is dirty, leads to disease, lies, greed, cursing, murder, fornications and all other types of witchcraft.

 

God did not make us objects for that would be a means to an end.  He made us persons with which to have relationship.  Accepting the Creator’s design means accepting His Will as the right one, and not ours in the state of forgiven sin.  We then must pray (“have relationship with Jesus), which is in itself an act of repentance.

 

It bears repeating: Repent!  When you do, you give up complete self-will to His Will.  Remember that Paul said, “Pray without ceasing.”  What he means is not constantly talking to Him, but constantly in relationship with Jesus – which means, complete submission of one’s own will to His, which STARTS with repenting.

 

“You can do nothing apart from Me” – John 15:5f.

 

Dave Ramsey accurately describes the state of the USA.  His next action should be crying for mercy upon his soul from the Giver of Life.

 

It is mine.

 

Is it yours?

 

 

Matthew 6 

 

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the [b]hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you [c]openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
[d]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you [a]openly.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh God,

 

Please strike down those in civil office who do not hold Your Name, Your Precepts, Your Law, Your Mercy, Your Grace close to their heart!

 

They are Your enemies.  Rebuke them.  Remove them from office who hold You in contempt.  Those who lie, cheat, steal (the elections), kill (babies), who take away our liberty and enact laws to do the same - remove them from your sight.

 

Cause burning coals to be brought upon their heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 69
 

22 Let their table become a snare before them,
And their well-being a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see;
And make their loins shake continually.
24 Pour out Your indignation upon them,
And let Your wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their dwelling place be desolate;
Let no one live in their tents.
26 For they persecute the ones You have struck,
And talk of the grief of those You have wounded.
27 Add iniquity to their iniquity,
And let them not come into Your righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
And not be written with the righteous.

 

 

Repentance of the individual soul, of the family, the church congregations, the pastors and elders, the city leaders, and the national leaders will save us from God’s wrath.

 

In His mercy, He may restore the great nation of the United States.

 

It will only come about when self-willed attitudes are freely laid at the cross, so that Christ Almighty may work with us; not through (passive aggressive hands off, I don’t care, I’m still in control), but with us in an Agape permeation - requiring the submission of one’s own will to God’s will.

 

American citizens today are so torn up with their own perspective, they cannot, will not, and do not pray.  They cannot pray as long as they are self-willed.  It could be exhortation, recitation, flatulation, but it is not prayer.  Prayer demands complete submission of one’s own will to the Creator of all nations.  Our prayer lists, and cards, and notebooks are pushed aside as an act of contrition; and our action is waiting upon the Savior to speak to us in prayer.

 

This is what Paul means when he says, “Pray without ceasing.”  Our attitudes are no longer ours, nor our wills.  We are to be in an Agape relationship with God where he works with us (as said above.)  We are repentant, listening to Him.  This is praying without ceasing.

 

It requires denial of self-will.  This is repentance.

 

Everyone expects fighting on a civil level.  Battles and Wars should be fought on a spiritual level.  What happens in the spiritual directly affects the civil.

 

In order to win the battle, the war, retake our country, etc., our wills must be denied, His will made supreme in our lives, and penitent our breathing.  

 

You want your country back?  I want my God back!

 

I repent.

 

Do you?

 

 

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

 

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have to ask yourself amongst the pain of life, what structures have you built up in your minds to protect from the pain.  Others revert to fantasy, things that are not real take up the time and space to protect from the reality of a sinful and fallen world.  Yet others immerse themselves in pleasures better unspoken in order not to hurt.

 

Yet,

 

The pain is still there.

 

The Christian knows and acts on the promises of his Savior.  The Christian moves immediately to Christ Almighty who sets the Christian on high.  Christians have safety in Christ and no where else.

Proverbs 18:10

 

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Fruit

 

Women, be careful.  Many men walk around with apples.  May your attention be given to Jesus Christ.  Let your desire be given to Him only and not to other men and their trinkets, bright and shiny, that they carry to seduce you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genesis 3:1-7

 

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
 

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 

In Christ Alone

 

 

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Songwriters Keith Getty (music), Stuart Townend (lyrics)

2 Corinthians 3:5

 

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Your Conversations with the Almighty

Key phrases as you walk through your life today:

 

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

 

and

 

18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.

 

===

 

We pray for repentance for us and for our neighbors, our cities and towns, our states, provinces and country, for the whole world.  We have turned away from you.  We seek Your righteousness, we seek our humility, we seek Your great mercies because of Who You are!

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel 9:1-20

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake [a]cause Your face to shine on [b]Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God,

 

 

The Cross is Critical

Your world is falling apart.

 

You knew certain elements of your existence were in perfect alignment.  Nothing could go wrong.

 

You're in jail; you're dying; you have a bad disease; all your relationships are broken;

 

It ain't right, it ain't right, it ain't right.

 

Fear is all around you wanting to enter you; wanting to consume you.

 

Your thoughts aren't good.

 

The voices keep screaming at you.

 

They want to jab you, cook you, hurt you, fight you, steal from you, kill you, destroy you.

 

Enough!

 

Look at the Cross.  It is empty.

 

The Cross is critical.  It was blood stained, holding the God-man in our place so our wounds would be healed.

 

The Cross is empty.  Jesus won!  He died so you might live.  He died, so those elements of your existense would align with His.  He died to set you free from jail, death, disease, brokeness, fear, screaming demons.

 

Jesus Lives!

 

The Cross is critical.  At that point in time and space, in all dimensions and no dimensions, the Cross that lifted up Jesus, that killed Him, could not hold Him.  Jesus was crucified, died, dead and buried for three days, and then God, His Father, resurrected Him.

 

Without the Cross there would be no crucifixion.  From that loss then would be no salvation.

 

The Cross is critical.

 

From the Cross, Christ brings salvation.

 

 

Luke 23

1 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting [a]the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

3 Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

5 But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”
Jesus Faces Herod

6 When Pilate heard [b]of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. 7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his [c]men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.
Taking the Place of Barabbas

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for [d]I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17 (for[e] it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men [f]and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released [g]to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 [h]Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was [i]written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, [j]“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said [k]to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Jesus Dies on the Cross

44 Now it [l]was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was [m]darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in [n]two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who[o] himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

 

There is no shame in Jesus Christ.  And He demonstrates it.

 

AT A WEDDING!

 

His momma comes to Him and says, we are out of refreshments - WINE, specifically, WINE!  No more Vino.  Like a momma she knows Who can fix things.  So she turns to the servants and says, "Do what He says!"  And they do and they return to the guy who runs the catering service with between 120 and 180 gallons of wine.  GALLONS!  The best tasting wine you could have.

 

The point is Jesus reacted with kindness and no shame.  He made what was great, a wedding with lots of food and drink, even better.  At the point where wonder could fall to mundane, He blessed without shame, without expecting anything in return, without enslavement, without payment - without shame!

 

The next time someone wants to hurt you, in the Church or out, remember the God/Man on the Cross adds no shame to your life.

 

 

John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and [a]manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

 

 

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

 

Jesus loves me! He who died,
Heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!

The Bible tells me so.

 

Jesus loves me! loves me still,
When I'm very weak and ill;
From His shining throne on high,
Comes to watch me where I lie.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

 

Jesus loves me! He will stay,
Close beside me all the way;
He's prepared a home for me,
And some day His face I'll see.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so

John 3:

 

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Keep Trusting Jesus!

 

 

Proverbs 3:
 
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

 

 

Braggadocio has no place in the Christian's heart.

 

Those secret, holy things between you and Christ (found, given, delivered during your conversations with Christ) - do not share them with your enemy who comes to do you harm.

 

(Of course, charity is a good and right action.  If your enemy is hungry feed him; thirsty give him drink; cold, give him your coat; curses you, bless him; seeks to do you harm, pray for him.)

 

The example of Hezekiah, called out as a good King, shows that the Christian must be ever vigilent of his heart becoming stone because of the goodness of Christ in his life. 

 

The antidote is raised hands in praise to Christ, bended knee in prayer and supplication, prudence, discretion wisdom, holiness when under attack by evil/sin/hell.

 

In the Name of Christ!

 

 

2 Kings 20:

12 At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”

So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.”

15 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”

So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”

19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”

 

Pretty much Christ Alone and no other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 27
1
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2
When the wicked came against me
To eat[a] up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

4
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the [b]beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
5
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

6
And now my head shall be [c]lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of [d]joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

7
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
9
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14
Wait[e] on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

 

 

We cry HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!

 

 

Revelation 11:17  saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

 

Remember Jesus - Talk to Him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Men Have Forgotten God” – The Templeton Address
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

 

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

 

The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them.

 

Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.

 

The same kind of defect, the flaw of a consciousness lacking all divine dimension, was manifested after World War II when the West yielded to the satanic temptation of the “nuclear umbrella.” It was equivalent to saying: Let’s cast off worries, let’s free the younger generation from their duties and obligations, let’s make no effort to defend ourselves, to say nothing of defending others-let’s stop our ears to the groans emanating from the East, and let us live instead in the pursuit of happiness. If danger should threaten us, we shall be protected by the nuclear bomb; if not, then let the world burn in Hell for all we care. The pitifully helpless state to which the contemporary West has sunk is in large measure due to this fatal error: the belief that the defense of peace depends not on stout hearts and steadfast men, but solely on the nuclear bomb…

 

Today’ s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry: “This is the Apocalypse!”

 

Yet we have grown used to this kind of world; we even feel at home in it.

 

Dostoevsky warned that “great events could come upon us and catch us intellectually unprepared.” This is precisely what has happened. And he predicted that “the world will be saved only after it has been possessed by the demon of evil.” Whether it really will be saved we shall have to wait and see: this will depend on our conscience, on our spiritual lucidity, on our individual and combined efforts in the face of catastrophic circumstances. But it has already come to pass that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all five continents of the earth…

 

By the time of the Revolution, faith had virtually disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.

 

In its past, Russia did know a time when the social ideal was not fame, or riches, or material success, but a pious way of life. Russia was then steeped in an Orthodox Christianity which remained true to the Church of the first centuries. The Orthodoxy of that time knew how to safeguard its people under the yoke of a foreign occupation that lasted more than two centuries, while at the same time fending off iniquitous blows from the swords of Western crusaders. During those centuries the Orthodox faith in our country became part of the very pattern of thought and the personality of our people, the forms of daily life, the work calendar, the priorities in every undertaking, the organization of the week and of the year. Faith was the shaping and unifying force of the nation.

 

But in the 17th century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an internal schism. In the 18th, the country was shaken by Peter’s forcibly imposed transformations, which favored the economy, the state, and the military at the expense of the religious spirit and national life. And along with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the first whiff of secularism; its subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the Revolution, faith had virtually disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.

 

It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.

 

The 1920’s in the USSR witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans were shot, one of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the popular vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself passed through the hands of the Cheka-GPU and then died under suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the Word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the Faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown into prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies…

 

For a short period of time, when he needed to gather strength for the struggle against Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a friendly posture toward the Church. This deceptive game, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the help of showcase publications and other window dressing, has unfortunately tended to be taken at its face value in the West. Yet the tenacity with which hatred of religion is rooted in Communism may be judged by the example of their most liberal leader, Krushchev: for though he undertook a number of significant steps to extend freedom, Krushchev simultaneously rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying religion.

 

But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches have been leveled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds of a century, where the clergy is utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence, where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labor camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells–they could not suppose that beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia. It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the case in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.

 

It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.

 

The West has yet to experience a Communist invasion; religion here remains free. But the West’s own historical evolution has been such that today it too is experiencing a drying up of religious consciousness. It too has witnessed racking schisms, bloody religious wars, and rancor, to say nothing of the tide of secularism that, from the late Middle Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.

 

Imperceptibly, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West has ceased to be seen as anything more lofty than the “pursuit of happiness, “a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. If a blasphemous film about Jesus is shown throughout the United States, reputedly one of the most religious countries in the world, or a major newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary, what further evidence of godlessness does one need? When external rights are completely unrestricted, why should one make an inner effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts?

 

Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis–race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain “equality”–the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today’s free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance–the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.

 

This deliberately nurtured hatred then spreads to all that is alive, to life itself, to the world with its colors, sounds, and shapes, to the human body. The embittered art of the twentieth century is perishing as a result of this ugly hate, for art is fruitless without love. In the East art has collapsed because it has been knocked down and trampled upon, but in the West the fall has been voluntary, a decline into a contrived and pretentious quest where the artist, instead of attempting to reveal the divine plan, tries to put himself in the place of God.

 

Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God.

 

With such global events looming over us like mountains, nay, like entire mountain ranges, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart’s preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset · by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain. The resources we have set aside for ourselves are too impoverished for the task. We must first recognize the horror perpetrated not by some outside force, not by class or national enemies, but within each of us individually, and within every society. This is especially true of a free and highly developed society, for here in particular we have surely brought everything upon ourselves, of our own free will. We ourselves, in our daily unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight that noose…

 

Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die.

 

And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.

 

To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing.

 

Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”. Templeton Prize Lecture, 10 May 1983 (London).

The reader  should be motivated to have continuous conversations with Jesus Christ. 

 

Essentially, God came down in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, lived approximately 32 years, was scourged and whipped, forced to carry His instrument of death, was crucified, dead three days and then resurrected by God.  All for the sole purpose of reconciling His creation mired in depravity and poverty of its own doing with the One Who says, “I Am”, the Creator, the God of the living and not the dead, the Good God.

 

The reader should be asking, “Why wouldn’t I want to spend time talking with this God, the creator, the One Who suffered, so I don’t have to, hearing what He has to say?”

People are constantly pursuing riches, fame, fantasy, perfection and other pursuits, at severe expense to their well-being.  Men who have conversations with Jesus have something far superior to those pursuits.  They have a relationship with the Creator of all that exists. 

 

It is like being a lowly employee who can walk into the boardroom of a major company at any time to talk with Chairman of the Board, the founder of the company.  These men do not sit opposite the Chairman, they sit next to the Chairman, having a cup of coffee discussing thoughts important to them, laughing about some shared ideas, and feeling pain about others.

 

Man was created by God from the very beginning to have friendship with God.  That means talking and listening.  Too many times theologies are teaching men cannot hear from the Living Word.  They are taught only to acknowledge hearing from God through a reading/studying of the Bible or ancient historical dogma, the practical recall of the written word or through the preaching of the pastors and teachers.  Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.  That approach sets little men up as little gods in the lives of those earnestly pursuing the Living Word.  At the same time, it replaces a living relationship with a living God for a knowledge of God, but not a knowing God.  It borders on witchcraft – “I shall let my Bible fall open and whatever verse appears, that shall be my answer; What does my pastor say?  What does the preacher say?  What prayers were prayed over me down front after the service?”  This approach and attendant activities are a manipulation of, a forcing of, a transactional perspective toward the Creator.  It is a theology of money, Ba’al.  “How can I trade with God?  What must I do to do what I want to do?  If I know how to do it, then I will be able to add to my collection.”

 

That philosophy is in strict opposition to what Jesus lived.

 

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” 

 

The Lord of Life says those who know Him give Him an audience.  NOTHING else.  They are not out to transact for gain, nor to trade with God.  They are out to be with Him.

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

 

The contrast between what is in the world, including many churches, and theologies, and what Jesus said could not be more stark.  Prostitution versus presence in Jesus’s sight.

 

Men who pray are men who pursue Jesus Christ for the sake of Jesus Christ, not for their own gain and not for the gain of Christ.  There is no transactional gain in the audience of Christ.  Many benefits include eternal life with the giver of life.  LIfe with Christ means much pain in this world including taking up one’s cross.

 

Men who pray are constantly having a conversation with Jesus Christ.  Conversations are two way activities.  Conversation means talking and listening.

 

One cannot give an audience to Christ while driving to work (nor texting, nor in Bible Study, nor in Church programs, nor in serving in the Church, nor meditating upon scripture, nor at prayer breakfasts, nor at men’s retreats… the list goes on) even if listening to “Christian Radio Programs.”  Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters…” 

 

Praying men talk with Jesus and they listen to Him in time set aside.  Jesus’ behavior is the model for men who pray.  Often times Jesus would pull away for time alone with His Father to discuss what the will of His Father was.

 

If Christian men approached their wives the way they approach Jesus, no children would ever be born, for what woman wants to be an object rather than in a relationship with her husband?

 

Men who pray seek Jesus.  They give Him an audience.  They listen to Him.  They talk to Him.  For the sake of Him and nothing else.  That perspective is that of a man who prays.

 

Enough reading of this page.  The time is now for the reader to go have a conversation with Jesus about anything and everything.  Who knows after listening to Christ for a while, the reader’s topics for conversation may become less important than what the reader receives from Him while they are in the midst of a conversation.

Genesis 3:8  8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,

 

Daniel 9:3-5   3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.  4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,  5 "we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.

 

Daniel 6:10  10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

 

Luke 22:40-44  40 When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."  41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed,  42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."  43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now is the time to recognize that the Christian is no longer in need of a Moses model of Christian Leadership, nor a prophet, a minister, a preacher, a pastor, a prayer team, a prayer chain, a televangelist. 

 

The Christian has direct access to God almighty through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The phrases, "my pastor", "Pastor X", "Preacher Y", "The Pastor says...", "The Church doctrine is..." boarder on idolotry, positioning Almighty Christ as a talisman.  Substituting Pastor, Preacher, Bishop, Priest or Church for Christ is wrong faith.  One might as well talk to God through a pig.

 

The point of Christ's whipping and scourging, His Crucifixion, His three days in Hell, and His Resurrection is the redemption of relationship between God and Man, as it was in the Garden of Eden when they both talked with each other.  Since Man's fall, He spoke to man in various ways and at various times through the prophets.  Now He speaks to Man through Jesus.

 

There is no other that has redeemed the relationship between man and God than Jesus.  A man may hold a title of religious significance demanding through subterfuge that others speak to God through him or that he is God's representative speaking God's words to man, but that is pure idolatry.
 

Talking to Jesus and hearing Him speak to you is conversation with God.  For only Jesus restored the relationship between God and man.

Hebrews 1:1-2  1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,  2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obtain Wisdom, Prudence, Knowledge, Discretion and you will live.

 

Those who hate wisdom, love death.

 

Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.

 

Prudence is caution with regard to practical matters; regards for one's own interest.

 

Knowledge is acquaintance with facts, truths and principles.

 

Discretion is care in one's conduct and speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 8:1 - 8:36  NKJ Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? 

2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. 

3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: 

4 "To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. 

5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, And you fools, be of an understanding heart. 

6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things; 

7 For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 

8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. 

9 They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. 

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; 

11 For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. 

12 " I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. 

13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. 

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 

15 By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. 

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth. 

17 I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me. 

18 Riches and honor are with me, Enduring riches and righteousness. 

19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, And my revenue than choice silver. 

20 I traverse the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, 

21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, That I may fill their treasuries. 

22 " The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. 

23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 

25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; 

26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world. 

27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 

28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 

29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, 

30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, 

31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men. 

32 " Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. 

33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. 

34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 

35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD; 

36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death."

The Pimping of God

 

Many times we replace Almighty God with an image of god.  That can be in a certain culture, the primacy of the state.  In another culture, it can be the image of a goddess printed out on a baseball size card to help remind of one's loyalties.

 

In certain cultures we replace Jesus with a mighty work of man: the church edifice, the liturgy, the vestments, the rules and regulations (do not eat, do not touch, do not associate, the tithe, when you must attend services, and how many you must attend, how many verses you have memorized), the "servant/leader" concept, the bumper sticker religion.

 

Using godly sounding language to elevate one's status or minimize one's pain is similar to spraying graffiti across the face of the living God.

 

Saying we have no other gods but God, yet yielding to the state's dictates on when and how and with who we may meet means we are pimps of God.  We whore Him out to our own pleasures and sense of right without consulting Him, which means we have made ourselves as an Image of God.  We have replaced God with ourselves.  When we elevate ourselves we make Him lower than us.  We make Him a lady of the evening.

 

When we grab with both hands the neck of God and subjugate Him to sell him, and plaster our name on top of His, then we have made Him, our tart.  We earn profit by selling God to others.  We sell versions of our notes attached to the Bible and profit mightly.  We  demand a portion of adherants' income and call it a Godly act while we fly all over the world in our private jet for our own pleasure.  We sell a perfect life on earth - slap the name of Jesus on it, and profit greatly. We charge others to attend seminars, and teaching conferences in the Name of God.  We turn God into a soul-less image worthy only for our own pleasure to be discarded once He has been used up. 

 

We can sell musical instruments, play them loudly, sing even louder, all in the name of God while taking money from others.  In doing so we have made God, our working girl. 

 

We traffic in people, abusing them for our sexual & power gratification and drug & alcohol highs all the while trading them behind the edifice of the church.  In pimping God's creation, we pimp Him.  We've become Madame's of Christ making Him, a cocotte.

 

Many of us through our actions, words, thoughts and deeds make Jesus a doll we take out and play with for our own pleasure.

 

Consider and repent. 

 

Christ, who died on a cross for all of our sins, rose three days later, sits at the right hand of God, makes a footstool out of his enemies, has overcome all evil.  Him whom we abuse forgives us.

 

Repent.  Accept His Mercy.

Exodus 20:7   7 " You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

 

James 1:13-15  13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blessings of Jesus -

If you aren't talking to God this way, because of what Jesus did for you on the cross, then you are mis-stepping.  You are ignoring the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path.

 

Start asking Jesus for these sacraments.  He is always listening and willing to bless you in so many ways you can't even yet understand.  Yet there they are: His blessings He wants to give you.

 

You should be talking to him continually, asking Him for these very special and wonderful blessings.

 

We do not abide a mean god.  We are adopted into a good God's life.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10   9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain."  10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kindnesses of Christ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 6:24  24 " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

1 Timothy 6:6-11   6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.  9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

 

Luke 12:13-21  13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."  14 But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?"  15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."  16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  17 "And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'  18 "So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '  20 "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'  21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

 

Matthew 22:17-22  17 "Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"  18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?  19 "Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius.  20 And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?"  21 They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." 

 

Proverbs 22:4   4 By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life.

 

Proverbs 13:22  22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

 

Proverbs 10:22-23   22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.

The Wrath of Jesus

Matthew 21:12-13  12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' "

 

Matthew 21:18-19  18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.  19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.

 

Matthew 11:21-24  21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  22 "But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.  23 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  24 "But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."

 

Matthew 25:31-46  31 " When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'  37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'  41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:  42 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  43 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'  44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'  45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'  46 "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

 

2 Corinthians 5:10-11  10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

 

2 Corinthians 5:9  9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

 

He is risen indeed.

 

NKJ Mark 14:1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.  2 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people."  3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted?  5 "For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply.  6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.  7 "For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  8 "She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.  9 "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her." 

 

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.  11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him. 

 

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?"  13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.  14 "Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?" '  15 "Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us."  16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.  17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 

 

18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me."  19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, "Is it I?" And another said, "Is it I?"  20 He answered and said to them, "It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.  21 "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born." 

 

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.  25 "Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."  26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

 

27 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.'  28 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."  29 Peter said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be."  30 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times."  31 But he spoke more vehemently, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all said likewise. 

 

32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray."  33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.  34 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch."  35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.  36 And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."  37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?  38 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."  39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.  40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.  41 Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.  42 "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand." 

 

43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.  44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely."  45 As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.  46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.  47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.  48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?  49 "I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled." 

 

50 Then they all forsook Him and fled. 

 

51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,  52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.  53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.  54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.  55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.  56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.  57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,  58 "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.' "  59 But not even then did their testimony agree.  60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" 

 

61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"  62 Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."  63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "What further need do we have of witnesses?  64 "You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.  65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, "Prophesy!" And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands. 

 

66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came.  67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with Jesus of Nazareth."  68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are saying." And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.  69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, "This is one of them."  70 But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, "Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it."  71 Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know this Man of whom you speak!"  72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And when he thought about it, he wept. 

 

NKJ Mark 15:1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.  2 Then Pilate asked Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" He answered and said to him, "It is as you say."  3 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing.  4 Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, "Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!"  5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.  6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested.  7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion.  8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them.  9 But Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 

 

10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.  11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 

 

12 Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"  13 So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!"  14 Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!" 

 

15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. 

 

16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison.  17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head,  18 and began to salute Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"  19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.  20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.  21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.  22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.  23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 

 

24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.  25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 

 

26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

 

27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.  28 So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with the transgressors."  29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days,  30 "save Yourself, and come down from the cross!"  31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  32 "Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. 

 

33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 

 

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" 

 

35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, "Look, He is calling for Elijah!"  36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, "Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down." 

 

37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.  38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 

 

39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!" 

 

40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome,  41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.  42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,  43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time.  45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.  46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.  47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

 

NKJ Mark 16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.  2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"  4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away -- for it was very large.  5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 

 

6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.

 

He is risen!

 

He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 

 

7 "But go, tell His disciples -- and Peter -- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you." 

 

8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 

 

9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 

 

10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 

 

11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.  12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 

 

13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 

 

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 

 

15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 

 

16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 

 

17 "And these signs will follow those who believe:

In My name they will cast out demons;

they will speak with new tongues; 

18 "they will take up serpents;

and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them;

they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 

19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 

20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming

 

 

Trust God.

 

 

Enough Said!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 3:5-6  5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

 

Psalm 46:10-11  10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

 

Psalm 28:7-8   7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.  8 The LORD is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.

 

Matthew 6:25-34  25 " Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  27 "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  29 "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30 "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  32 "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

Psalm 9:9-10  9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.  10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

 

Hebrews 13:8   8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Romans 15:13  13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Romans 8:28-31  28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

 

Psalm 112:7  7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

 

Joshua 1:9  9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

 

Mark 5:36   36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

 

Isaiah 26:3  3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

 

Psalm 37:3-7   3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.  7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

 

Romans 12:19-21  19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.  20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Psalm 37:5   Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

 

Isaiah 41:10  10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

 

John 10:10   10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

You would give all this up for some pleasure?

NKJ Proverbs 5:1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, 

 

2 That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge. 

 

3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 

 

4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 

 

5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell. 

 

6 Lest you ponder her path of life -- Her ways are unstable; You do not know them. 

 

7 Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. 

 

8 Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, 

 

9 Lest you give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one; 

 

10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; 

 

11 And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, 

 

12 And say: "How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! 

 

13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 

 

14 I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation." 

 

15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. 

 

16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 

 

17 Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. 

 

18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 

 

19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. 

 

20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress? 

 

21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths. 

 

22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin. 

 

23 He shall die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. 

Amen!

Psalm 101:2-4  2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.  3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.  4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.

 

Galatians 5:18-25  18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

1 John 1:6-10  6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

 

Psalm 51:17   17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart -- These, O God, You will not despise.

Simply said: Love Jesus with all your heart, soul and strength.  Singing worship songs, going to church, listening to sermons, reading devotionals, attending bible study, and other church activities are fun and feel good.

 

Talking of Jesus; knowing the right theological positions, and or doctrines, and or catechisms, belonging to the right Christian Group are ways Christians draw near to God with their mouths and honor him with their lips.  They fulfill the rules by men.

 

Talking with Jesus negates rules by men!

 

Listening to Jesus and following Him because you love Him and not because of some obligation or servanthood or service or slavery are ways of drawing near to him with your heart and honoring Him with your whole being.

 

 

Isaiah 29:13

Therefore the Lord said: "These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is but rules taught by men.
 
Matthew 15:7-9   7 "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:  8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.  9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "

Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Matthew 20:20-28  20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.  21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom."  22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able."  23 So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father."  24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers.  25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave --  28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

 

Psalm 50:14-15    15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

 

 

 

Jeremiah 2:13   13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns -- broken cisterns that can hold no water.

 

 

 

 

 

Malachi 1:6-14  

 

6 " A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, 'In what way have we despised Your name?' 

 

7 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, 'In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, 'The table of the LORD is contemptible.' 

 

8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts. 

 

9 "But now entreat God's favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts. 

 

10 "Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the LORD of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 

 

11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts. 

 

12 "But you profane it, In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.' 

 

13 You also say, 'Oh, what a weariness!' And you sneer at it," Says the LORD of hosts. "And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?" Says the LORD. 

 

14 "But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished -- For I am a great King," Says the LORD of hosts, "And My name is to be feared among the nations.

Are you the bride of the pastor or the bride of Christ?

Praying to Jesus Christ is a matter of talking to Him.  Pray means talk to God.  Prayer means conversation with Jesus Christ.

Spending time with Jesus freely acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior and believing in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. Why wouldn't I want to spend time talking to Him and hearing what He
has to say?