“Before the World Was”

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself,
with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

John 17:5

This verse from Jesus’ prayer to His Father in John 17 gives only a glimpse of God our Father and His Son together before the creation. We have to study the whole chapter for more details of their union as one. Even so, words, even Jesus’ Words, limit the glory to which He refers.

“Before the world was,” there was only their glory ~ their oneness and their love for each other. They planned to share that glory with those who would be created in their image

It would come through the fulfillment of their covenant of redemption.

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)

Jesus speaks of His and the Father’s glory several times during His prayer to the Father in John 17. By the time we get to the end of His prayer, we are caught up in a limited vision of this glory so as to long for the same oneness they had together ~ the oneness He prays for His people. The degrees and the oneness of their glory are to be shared with us in His timing. (We will speak of this later in our study, An Excavation of John 17..) Rejection of God’s Word by our first parents and disobedience to His will removed any possibility of our seeing His glory on this earth.. The truth by which He is bringing us together and sanctifying us in Him now is preparing us for His glory.  

We do not have the tools, nor could we by a lifetime of digging into the Scriptures, know the relationship God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ had before they created the world. The glory they had together is unsearchable. In God’s Word, we get only an inkling of what their world was like before they made the lower heavens and the earth. This universe is only a means for us to desire to know who they are and what they can do. We have to continue reading and searching the Book He has given us and pray for spiritual enlightenment of the things He wants us to know.

Moses asked to see His glory in Exodus 33:18.

“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, Exodus 34:6

“But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.  So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:20-23

His glory is revealed to us through Christ in His mercy, graciousness, longsuffering, abounding goodness and truth

The love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father is the essence of their glory which we cannot see with human eyes but will see and know when He comes again to deliver us from the darkness and suffering of this world.

As we continue our study of Jesus’ prayer, He will unearth more of His glory, joy, and love, that we may begin to understand what it means to be “perfect in one” through Christ’s atonement.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
 who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Hebrews 12:2

What was the joy that enabled Him to endure the cross for us. Was it not the anticipation of returning to the oneness of love, joy, and glory with His Father and bringing us to them?

 “But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
Romans 8:25

Gracious Father, knowing that you have planned all things for your glory, I pray for your Holy Spirit to continue to reveal all you want us to know of you, your glory, and your kingdom. We praise you that you chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before you, in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Yourself, according to the good pleasure of your will, to the praise of the glory of Your grace, by which you made us accepted in the Beloved. We praise you for the glimpses of the glory you are revealing through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Fran

The Power of God in His People

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
 may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation
 in the knowledge of him,
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,
 that you may know what is the hope 
to which he has called you,
what are the riches 
of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” 
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power
toward us who believe,
according to the working of his great might.
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead 
and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, ”
 Ephesians 1:17-18

As with most of Paul’s phrasing in his letters, his prayers are long, also. He desires for the church the same revelation of Christ that has been given to him, and so he speaks of his prayers for them in the first and third chapters of Ephesians.

            He always gives thanks for the believers in the early churches and prays that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory would give them: 

“The spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;”
Ephesians 1:17

Under this one heading, he explains how the Spirit by which the believers have been sealed (1:13) works wisdom and revelation in them. First, he prays that the eyes of understanding be enlightened so that they may know three things about God, the Father. 
            He builds on each one to bring the believer to see Christ in his glory and the church as the fullness of him here on earth. (1:23)

“The eyes of your hearts enlightened that ye may know (these things)”

1.  the hope to which He has called you.
2.  the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
3.  the immeasurable greatness of his power toward those who believe

1. The hope to which He has called you.       
Paul has written earlier in this chapter of the dispensation of the fullness of time (1:10) when God shall gather together in one all things in Christ, “having chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (1:4). As new Christians, they were still learning what it meant to be adopted into God’s family (1:5). They did not yet know the wonder and glory of this supernatural birth through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They needed to know and grow in their new birth.

2. The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.   
This adoption (1:5) that Paul speaks of, brings with it an eternal inheritance. As a recipient, he knows the riches of the glory that God the Father gives to His children. He has experienced this inheritance already. He has spoken of this inheritance in verses eleven and fourteen and is praying that they experience more and more the riches of this spiritual inheritance that they received when they heard the word of truth, and trusted in Christ. They needed to understand this inheritance that begins here in their own life.

3.  The immeasurable greatness of his power toward those who believe.
Now comes the crescendo of Paul’s prayer as he is explaining how revelation, faith and believing, the calling, and the inheritance, are by the greatness of God’s mighty power. This power he explains, ~ “that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.” Verse 20.

  
It is a lengthy explanation that spreads over two chapters.  Paul’s prayer begins in verse fifteen to the end of the chapter, without a period.  
            The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him at His right hand is the mighty power that quickens the sinner who is dead in trespasses and sin (2:1, 5). This is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward those who believe, our eyes enlightened by this power for salvation. 

Paul could have inserted a parenthesis in verses twenty to twenty-three in which the roles and purpose of Christ and the church are revealed, but it all fits together. It is a matter of wisdom and revelation, and requires study and meditation, for believers to understand how we are related to Christ and the church; and how we get there. 
            Christ having been raised and seated at the Father’s right hand, is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Verses 21-23         
            The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, is the only one who can reveal Himself to us. He does this when he opens our eyes to see his Son, head over all things, and given to the church. His body of believers that He brings to life by the power of His Holy Spirit continues to experience His filling, the inheritance in the saints.

Dear Father, thank you for this prayer that you inspired Paul to write, not just to the early churches, but also for us. We pray this prayer for your people everywhere, that we will experience this filling, and together, this fullness of Christ. Pour out your Spirit upon us for new revelation, for we shall never have all the wisdom and knowledge here on this earth. Prepare us for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

(Excerpt from PRAYERS That Bring the House Down)

“Absorbed in Prayer and Praise”

Everyone is absorbed in something. It may only be “self.”

It is no secret that our minds and hearts soak in what we see, read, hear, and think. Without a desire for what is good and the means to attain it, we are continually saturated with the things of the world. These are our gods ~ second to self ~ and rule our lives. This lifestyle is one of oppression that suppresses all that is good and true and leads to depression and destruction.

But, life does not have to be this way.

God, our Creator, planned a beautiful life for fellowship with Him. Though our first parents rejected Him choosing a life of sin and rebellion, we have a new life provided for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

He gives us His Spirit and His Word whereby we can know Him and receive all He planned for us. He promises to share his bountiful kingdom with us (Luke 12:32).

Through our study of His Word, we are led by His Holy Spirit to communicate with him in prayer and supplication. He continues to pour out His blessings upon us as we acknowledge Him as our Father and Redeemer.

We Do Not Know How to Pray
Romans 8:26-27  teaches us that though we do not know how to pray, His Holy Spirit intercedes through us. Prayer is a matter of commitment and discipline of time with our heavenly Father, seeking His Spirit, His presence, and His will. He calls us to fellowship with Him in His Word so as to know what we should ask.

We ask, believing what He has promised, thanking Him as we wait for Him to fulfill His promise. When we come to Him, in humility and gratitude for who He is, speaking His Word, and interceding for others, we know He hears us. In the process, our faithful and fervent prayers turn to praise.

“But you are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Psalm 22:3

 We cannot but praise Him when we live in fellowship with Him. The more we pray in the Spirit and with understanding of His Word, the more we will praise Him.

Our praise is a witness of Him to others. We can share the joy we have in Him even and especially, through adversity.

The phrase, “absorbed in prayer and praise” is found within the lyrics of the hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns by Matthew Bridges 1851.

Crown him the Lord of peace!
Whose power a scepter sways,
From pole to pole,–that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round his pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

At times, His presence may be overwhelming ~ it may seem as if heaven is opened to reveal a glimpse of His glory. This is a taste of heaven ~ a precious and joyful communion with Him.

More time in prayer and praise leads to a habitual lifestyle of obedience, continual trust, and dependence on Him. It may take years before we experience the depth and height of this life in Christ, but it is worth the practice and the wait.

Gracious Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Make us know your presence and power as we daily seek your kingdom and your righteousness. Let us not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

No One Prayed as Jesus Prayed

Our pastor’s Monday morning email. This was after the Lord’s Day worship.

“Watch and pray, that you do not enter into temptation.” May the Lord strengthen us by his Spirit to be faithful as our Lord’s kingdom of priests, for we are raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5-6). And the rule of God’s kingdom is to ask, seek, and knock. The Lord was present in Zion, his church, yesterday to bless and receive our worship, for he takes pleasure in those who fear him. Our Savior was present by his Spirit to proclaim the name of his Father and sing praises in the midst of his congregation!

Believe God’s promise. Appreciate and fear God for what he does when his people gather together as the church and believe his promise. Praise God for the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, an open and friendly throne of grace through our Savior’s resurrection, enthronement, and meditation at the right hand of the Father. Rejoice in God’s grace and seek the Lord’s strength — no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. Let us follow the Lamb this week, especially on our knees.”

The following is his sermon from Luke 22:29-36. Hear why Jesus prayed as He did. And let us pray in His name for His deliverance and strength secured for us in His submission to the Father’s will.

 

 

A New Year’s Prayer

The First Petition

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

“Let us give unto you the glory due unto your name.”
“Let us worship you in the beauty of holiness; fear before you with all the earth.”
“I will extol thee, my God, O King, and I will bless thy name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee and I will praise thy name forever, and ever”
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, your name is to be praised.”
“With my tongue, I will speak of your righteousness and praise all the day long.”
“Through Christ, I will offer up the sacrifice of praise to you continually, that is the fruit of my lips giving thanks unto your name.”
“For thine is the greatness, and the power, and the glory; for all that is in heaven and earth is thine. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee and praise thy glorious name.”

The Second and Third Petitions

Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
~ through your “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.”

“This is all my salvation and all my desire as you are “ruling over all things.”
You have given us “divine power to destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of you, bringing every thought captive to Christ.”

Let our thoughts be “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and worthy of praise” as your Holy Spirit brings through us the fruit and life of Christ ~ love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, compassion ~ your fullness ~ the fullness of your Spirit and of Christ ~ who in us is “the hope of glory” ~ our reason for rejoicing in you always, and with grateful hearts, “letting our moderation be made known to all men.”

You are at hand because we “dwell in you and you in us by your Spirit which you have given us.”
You never leave us nor forsake us, so let us “not be anxious for anything, but in everything, make our requests known to you, and your peace that passes all understanding keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Let us focus on you, our minds and hearts centered in Christ as you do your will in us, fulfilling your everlasting covenant in each of us.

Let me delight myself in you, desire what you desire, and worship you in spirit and truth.

I want to know you, fear you, hear your voice, see that just One, “love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and my neighbor as myself.” I want to obey you, worship and serve you, praise you and pray to you, and proclaim the name of Christ in power.

I want to live for you, so I “present my body” with all its faculties and senses ~ spirit, soul, and body ~ to you “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in Christ, which is my only reasonable worship in response to your great mercy, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind as you are conforming me to the image of your dear Son.”

The Fourth Petition 

Give us this day our daily bread ~ but first, I “seek your kingdom and your righteousness” ~ “for we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from your mouth.”

I ask this for your people everywhere. Pour out your Spirit upon us. Water the seed you planted in our hearts and bring forth the fruit of your word. (Name those for whom you intercede.) Plant more seed and nurture all that belongs to you ~ to your glory and our joy.

The Fifth Petition

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

“Search us and know our hearts. Try us and know our thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in us” ~ any bitterness or lack of forgiveness for others. (Confess and repent of any sin our Father and His Spirit reveals.)

The Sixth and Seventh Petitions

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Make us salt, light, a sweet fragrance of Christ, and a fruitful vineyard for your name and glory.

I praise you for your wisdom, for “sanctifying us wholly and preserving us spirit, soul, and body, until the coming of Christ. You are faithful, and you will do it.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.” Eph. 1:3

“And let the beauty of the Lord be upon and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of hands, establish thou it.” Ps. 90:17

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray and thank you. Amen.
Fran

Clear the Clutter for a New Year

What is your vision for 2021?

Will the next year be any different than this year of chaos and upheaval?

Can you see clearly what lies ahead?

We must look more than ever with eyes of faith toward the unknown.

We must prepare to face a new year with a renewed and a clearly defined purpose.

We must remove the clutter of our being, clear our vision of the waste we have around us, leaving room for the newness God has prepared for us as His people.

Our rooms are cluttered with things we don’t need; our minds are filled with thoughts that drag us down or keep us in a tailspin; our lives are wasting away with the sights and sounds of the world.

2020 has either opened our eyes to see the condition of our world and our part in it, or it has served to bury us in its avalanche of fear and degradation. We must each survey our own personal environment, pray for wisdom to know where we are in the scheme of things, and respond obediently and passionately to God’s leading.

In response to my own needs,  I have begun~~~~~

I have cleared my desktop, physically and digitally, filing so that if what I am saving is significant, I can come back to it ~ if not, it is out of sight and mind until the time I can go through all my files.

Paper to be recycled is deposited in a bin in the garage ready for weekly pick-up.

Paying bills online has become the norm.

Removing clothes I don’t wear frees space in the closet, plus someone at Goodwill is blessed by my discards.

There are many other ways and areas to de-clutter physically ~ these our hands have to deal with ~ but the most important is to declutter the mind and heart. Our eyes and ears are manipulated by what we see and hear. With the continual onslaught of the world’s condition in our face, we cannot see clearly with the eyes of faith.

We clear our thinking by daily closing our eyes and ears to man’s words and our own thoughts, taking hold of God’s Word, and praying fervently for a steadfast faith in Christ. We must pray for others and ourselves to know our heavenly Father and from Him, the eternal life Jesus came to give. Then we can see clearly the kingdom that rules over all creation and mankind, and live in the hope that is in Him.

And even as the majority of the world lives in oblivion, we have the promise, the presence, and the power of almighty God, our Father, opening heaven so that our focus is on Him and His plans for us as part of His kingdom rule on earth.

This is not a new year’s resolution but the Way of eternal life our heavenly Father has prepared for His children. Are you God’s child? How do you know and what difference does this make? Is your life any different than the life of an unbeliever? What do you want in this new year?

We are not left to ourselves but have the words and power of eternal life through the Word of God, and by His Spirit, we can live victoriously through whatever a new year brings.

Father, we praise you that your grace is sufficient for us to face an uncertain year. We thank you that your kingdom and your Word endures forever through every obstacle and every trial, as light in the darkness of this world. You never leave us or forsake us but supply every need ~ to your glory, and for our joy, In Jesus’ name, I thank you and praise you. Amen.

 

 

 

The Tension Between Life and Death

As Christians, we live between two extremes ~ between two worlds. We have been “delivered from the power of darkness.” Our heavenly Father has “translated us—conveyed us (NKJV) into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Col.1:13 

A follower of Christ knows the reality of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). 

While we live in this world, the Christ in us will be stalked like a lion.  

 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Pet.1:14

Even as Jesus was betrayed by those who lived in darkness, we experience this opposition by those who cannot rest unless the light is put out. While we want to bring others out of darkness, it is to live against the god of this world. 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9 

The oppressor is a constant foe against God’s people. This has been true since the beginning. The enemy – God’s enemy, and ours – will not leave us alone as long as we live in his territory.

It may seem, at times, that we are safe and let our weapons fall by our side. It is then, the foe within may raise its ugly head. Pride can remain dormant until our thoughts are taken captive to the world’s thinking. Whatever has our attention, politics, social media, or any earthly thoughts, we are at war. The tension will rise as death desires to subdue us.

When the enemy gained his stronghold and set up his kingdom, he set God’s creatures against each other. Death ensued to put down anything good. Cain murdered Abel and the pattern of this world was set. 

The Spirit and the Flesh
As God’s people, we still live in the flesh. It has been appointed that men shall die (Heb. 9:26-28). We cannot live forever in this body. Those who are born of the Spirit have eternal life – a life that transcends this one. As long as we are in this body, we will continually be at war with the flesh and its proneness to satisfy its desires.

This tendency flairs whenever we are faced with an opposition of some form, whether a lust of the flesh or in a relationship. “The old man” is stirred up when others will not see our point of view, agree to our leading, or bend to our will. This happens between husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings, friends, etc.Blessings and Curses
Recently, I have looked at this subject in light of God’s relationship with the Israelites. He promised blessings and life to his people as a result of their obedience – curses and death to those who rebelled (Deut.11:26-28). Does this not sound like His promise to Adam and Eve?

The nation of Israel was not able to acquire the blessings and life. They could not keep His commandments. Death continued to rule in the lives of men.

That curse was broken when, as He had promised to send a Messiah from among their people, Jesus came. And those who believe are given eternal life through His sinless life and death on the cross for us.

Eternal life does not mean we are free from temptation, but we have what Adam and Eve, and the Israelites did not have. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit is within the believer, setting up the kingdom of God within us, revealing the life of Christ.

He is the constant power and presence in us to keep us in God’s Word, training us to war against the flesh and pride that still lurks within – and to work obedience, and blessings in and through us to others.

I am tempted to make this a series and touch on the subject of curses handed down through generations, but I will stop here, else we have started another book. Our books already published proclaim the presence and the power of our heavenly Father, the legacy of His kingdom in His people, and His victory in Christ and His Spirit over our flesh, sin, and death.

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Pet. 5:10-11

Gracious Father, thank you for delivering us from the power of darkness and death. Though we suffer for the name of Christ, let us live by the indwelling of your Spirit and so, overcome the enemy’s tactics. Keep us always sober, fervent in prayer and your Word, knowing you and Jesus whom you sent to be our life here and forever. Let us with the humility of Christ face any opposition. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Books

Image: Google

 

Exercising the Mind of Christ

Who controls you? It is either Christ or His enemy. The god of this world rules the majority of the minds of men. “But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor. 2:16   

How can we have the mind of Christ?

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Eph. 2:1-3

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Cor. 2:10

Both Christ and His enemy (Matt. 4:8-10) claim power in this world.

“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” Jn. 17:1-2

Jesus told His disciples, “All authority (power KJV) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matt: 28:18 (See also Hebrews 1:3)

Scripture clearly describes those who are controlled by the spirit of this world and those who are led by God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ, His Son. 

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Col. 1:21-22

The Bible teaches that believers in Christ are born of His Spirit, and willingly submit to Him for the transforming of their minds.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Roms. 12:2

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Ps. 110:3

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:17-18.

In the transforming of our minds through His Spirit and His Word, we have wisdom and knowledge as weapons against the strongholds of our minds ~ to exercise the mind of Christ daily and ready to use this power against the enemy of our souls.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13

Our strength and power are from the Lord to withstand the assaults of the enemy.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

The power by which He was raised from the dead is the same power that raises us to new life, filling us with His grace while the world lives in fear and confusion. 

Gracious Father, we need your almighty power to overcome the deception and lies of the enemy. Keep us in communion with you and teach us your Word. Let us memorize, meditate on, and know how to speak your truths in this world of evil and darkness. We praise you for transforming us by renewing our minds. Let us exercise daily the mind of Christ, always ready to use the Sword of the Spirit to defend your truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Where Were You Yesterday?

Yesterday was the Lord’s Day.

Where were you?

Were you worshipping in His house?
Did you hear the Word of God preached?
Were you in prayer and fellowship with His other followers?

Many of God’s people have been scattered this year.
Many are living in confusion.
While some Christians are meeting secretly in other countries because of persecution, many in America who could be, are not worshipping at all.

The following video is a much-needed sermon for all people and nations.
Preaching from the Gospel of Luke yesterday, our pastor and we who heard his anointed message were blessed to have a special glimpse of the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as the “chief cornerstone.” He is still as active today as He was in His resurrection. Please watch and share it with others, especially those who are not sitting regularly under the preaching of God’s Word.

The prayer following the sermon was equally as dynamic, a prayer we were all praying. Listen and be blessed.

 

“On the First Day of the Week”

“Now on the first day of the week ….. they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1

Where we go the first day of the week will determine how our whole week will go.

Mary came prepared to anoint a dead body. She found instead, a living Savior. Did she expect to leave the spices on the outside of the tomb? Had she even imagined she would not have access to her Lord. She came with all she had to worship Him and found exceedingly abundantly more than she could have asked. He found her seeking Him. She left an empty tomb to tell her brethren He was alive.

If we meet with the Lord of lords on His day, we will want to bring Him home with us for the whole day and be back in His house at the end of the day. We will want to bring others to encounter the living Lord and Savior on His day.

He will be with us the remainder of the week.

And we prepare our spices during the week for the next Lord’s Day. What we take to our worship is harvested from His Word and prayer from one week to the next.

We do not bring our praises and adoration to a tomb. The stone from our heart has been rolled away by the power of the gospel and He lives forever in the new heart and spirit He has given us (Ezekiel 36:26). We gather with other blood-bought souls who desire to spend the day with Him.

If you had not already planned today to be with the Lord and His family, find a church that preaches and lives the truths of the atoning work of Christ. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness, in spirit and truth. If you do not yet know Him, ask the Father for His Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to you in His Word. Worship Him today with His people and look for Him to be with you this week. (If you do not have such a church, send me a message on my CONTACT page and I will help you find one close to you. This may be difficult but I am willing to give you pointers on where to look.)

How we spend the Lord’s Day is a precursor to how we will spend eternity. How precious is the Lord Jesus to you on this day?

Glorious Father, where can we go, but to Christ, for the abundant life you and He prepared for your children before the foundation of the world. By the power of your Spirit, draw your people to your houses of worship today. Speak to us through your Word. Fill us, send us, and spend us for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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