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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Day 4 Praying for Revival

Day 4 Praying for Revival

Pray

Prayer is an act of worship as well as an act of humility. The Bible reminds us in I Peter 5:6, “therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” Prayer is also an act of faith. As we recognize that we are insufficient on our own, we also come to the realization that through faith there is One who is more than sufficient. Before God spoke the words to Solomon that “I have heard your prayer”, he bowed his knees to the God of Israel claiming the promises of God in full faith and assurance that God was hearing his prayer. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Hebrew 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God. Romans 12:3 also tells us, God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” In other words God has granted everyone some faith. But we must walk in that faith. II Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” We must simply believe God. If God says He is going to do something, then we believe it. Romans 3:4 says, “Let God be found true though every man be found a liar.” With humility in mind we understand that we are in full dependence upon God and insufficient on our own. We then will pray in faith that God will supply our every need.

Jesus said in John 15:5, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” He also said nine times within that same text of scripture that we need to abide in Him. True life comes only from abiding in Jesus. Abiding in Jesus is the point in life that we have completely died to ourselves and come totally alive to Christ. One of many ways we abide in Christ is through prayer. We find life, hope, healing, restoration, reconciliation, provision, direction, wisdom, and every form of blessing God has in store for us through the power of prayer. Jesus said if we seek, we will find; if we knock, the door will be open; and if we ask it will be given to us. How do we do this? We do this through the great gift of prayer that God has given to us!

After God told Solomon that “I have heard your prayer” and after He gave him the formula for revival, God then said to Solomon in II Chronicles 7:15, “My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.” In other words, God is saying I’m waiting, and I’m watching, and I’m listening; now the rest is up to you. God heard Solomon’s previous prayer, and God answered Solomon’s previous prayer. But God wanted him to keep praying. Prayer strengthens our relationship with God. It strengthens our dependence upon God. God doesn’t just want us to pray when we are in need or we are in trouble. I Thessalonians 5:17, says to “pray without ceasing.” Abiding in Christ is not a switch we turn on and off. Christ is our life source. If you’re happy, tell the Lord. If you’re sad, tell the Lord. If you’re in need, tell the Lord. If you have abundance, praise the Lord.

In the Gospels we see Jesus going into the temple many times. One of those times Jesus drove people out for making His house something God had not intended for it to be. Many times we have become guilty of making God’s house into something other than what He intended. Jesus said in Matthew 21:13, “It is written My house shall be a house of prayer, but you are making it a robbers den.” We emphasize missions and so we should; but that’s not what Jesus said. He said His house would be a house of prayer. We focus on preaching and teaching, and so we should; but that’s not what Jesus said. He said His house would be a house of prayer. Music gets much of the attention in ministry as well, and again it should. But that’s not what Jesus said; He said His house would be the house of prayer. Jesus said, “My house shall be a house of PRAYER.” Missions, evangelism, teaching, preaching, music, and many other things are very important; however, they are empowered by prayer. Have we made God’s house a house of prayer? Or are we making it into something God never intended?

Day 4 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray for the people of God that they would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray that the people of God would have a desire and stand in anticipation for God to pour out the fires of revival upon churches and a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that God’s people will seek the heart of God and desire His will and not their own.
  • Ask God to align His people and prepare them for a mighty revival and a great awakening.
  • Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors.
  • Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
  • Pray that our churches will be a house of prayer.
  • Pray that the people of God will be living representations of Jesus.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 3 Praying for Revival

Day 3 Praying for Revival

Day 3

Humble Themselves

            Upon this day of dedication, King Solomon stood in the midst of his subjects, the very people over whom he had full authority and a people that had great respect and reverence for their mighty king. No other nation could rival the power and influence of Israel under Solomon’s leadership. Through Solomon, the wealth of Israel increased beyond anything it would ever see again. The kingdoms of the world came from near and far bearing gifts simply to wonder at his wisdom. A king of Solomon’s wealth, power, and influence had to bow his knee to no one; they bowed the knee to him.

However, upon this day the mighty king humbled himself in the presence of his people and bowed his knee to the King of Kings. To bow one’s knee to another is an act of humility-a sign of submission to one who is sovereign. Solomon recognized that all the power and prestige he had accumulated upon this earth was nothing compared to the power and prestige of God. He also recognized that he had no power or authority other than what God had granted him. To bow ones knee to another was a sign of recognition that the other was greater than oneself. In the presence of his people Solomon recognized the greatness of God.

Worship is simply the recognition of who God is, followed by a response of the worshiper toward the character of God. This response can be acted upon in many ways. In the Old Testament the raising of one’s hands in worship was a common form of responding to God. The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 28:2, “Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.” Just before beginning his prayer, Solomon Spread out his hands toward heaven as an act of worship to his mighty God saying “O Lord the God of Israel, there is no god like You in heaven or on earth.” (II Chronicles 6:12-14)

Lifting ones hand to another is a sign of surrender. It is recognition that I am not sufficient on my own, I can no longer fight the battle, I recognize your superiority, and I have surrendered myself to your authority.  It is like raising the white flag. Solomon was in total recognition that he did not have the skills, the power, or the wisdom to lead the people of Israel. Many times we think we are capable of standing on our own, but God’s Word reminds us in I Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Jesus reminds us in John 15:5, Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Humility is the recognition of the fact that I am not nor will I ever be sufficient on my own; therefore, I must surrender to the sovereignty of God.

God is not impressed with our outward actions. Outward actions must be motivated by our inward attitude. If our inward attitude is one of worship that spontaneously motivates outward actions this is acceptable worship. However, if our outward actions are a form of appeasement to God or even worse a demonstration before man to show we are holy or righteous God will have no part of that. That is a form of pride. But when our hearts are filled with the fullness and splendor of the nature and character of God and we spontaneously surrender to Him in an outward form of worship which disregards the presence or even the thought of man surrounding us, this is pleasing to God. It is not only an act of worship but an act of humility.

Day 3 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Ask God to reveal any hidden pride in our hearts so we can repent of it.
  • Pray for the people of God that they would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray that the people of God would have a desire and stand in anticipation for God to pour out the fires of revival upon churches and a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that God’s people will seek the heart of God and desire His will and not their own.
  • Ask God to align His people and prepare them for a mighty revival and a great awakening.
  • Pray that the people of God will recognize and respond to the power and prestige of God.
  • Pray that the people of God will live in humility before God.
  • Pray that the fruit of our humility will be full dependency on God and obedience.
  • Pray that our worship won’t simply be outward manifestation but led of a heart in love and fully surrendered to an all powerful God.
  • Pray that the people of God will be living representations of Jesus.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 2 Praying for Revival

Day 2 Praying for Revival

Day 2

My People Who are Called by My Name

King Solomon stood on a bronze stage in the midst of his people to dedicate the newly constructed Temple to God. The Temple was a demonstration to the nation of Israel and to the world that the one true God of glory had chosen them as a people and that his hand of anointing and blessing and provisions would be upon them. God was showing the world that they were His people and that He was their God.

In II Samuel 7 God made a covenant with King David that one of his descendants would build for Him a permanent dwelling. Solomon was the one called to be the king of God’s people, those called by God’s very own name. God told Solomon, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice,” (II Chronicles 7:12). God also said, in verse 16 of the same chapter, “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

Solomon knew who he was a man-called by God. He knew the calling God had placed upon his life-to build the temple. He also knew and fully understood that this was not his plan in the making it was God’s plan. A plan that had been at work even before the light was commanded to illuminate the darkness of the earth that still laid formless and void. In Solomon’s prayer of dedication in II Chronicles 6:3-11, he repeated back to God the promises that he knew in faith would come to fulfillment long before the first stone of the temple had ever been laid.

Far too often we fall short of God’s glory because we fail to realize who God is, who we are and who God has called us to be. God said in His word in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD.” Apart from the scriptures how do we know the plans and promises God has declared and set aside for us? Apart from the scriptures, we become guilty of conforming God into our image and turning His calling into our personal desires.

Solomon knew the God of the Bible and the calling the God of the Bible placed upon him because he knew God’s word. Jesus said in John 14:14, “If you ask me anything in My name I will do it.” Wow! That is an awesome promise. However, this is a greatly misunderstood promise. Asking something in someone’s name means, that you represent the very nature and character of that individual. Asking something in Jesus name is to ask what honors, glorifies and reflects the very character of Jesus.

God said, “If My people who are called by My name.” That is the starting point. To be one called after one’s name is to be a living representation of the other. Jesus said in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Eternal life is to know God. God has given to us His word and the Power of His Holy Spirit to understand His word in order to know Him. We must search the scripture to discover who He is, who we are, and who He has called us to be. Apart from the knowledge of God’s word, we can never truly know God. If we don’t know Him, how then can we represent Him?

Solomon knew the day of the dedication of the temple was not about him. It was all about God. As he stood to offer the prayer to God, he represented God as the man called of God giving glory to the name of God. The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:20, “we are ambassadors for Christ.” If we truly want God’s hand of blessing upon our lives we must be willing to lose our life and come to the realization that it is not about us; it’s all about Him. It’s not about who we are; it’s about who He is. It’s not about what we want; it’s about discovering what He has already set in motion and getting on board with God’s plan. It’s about being God’s people called by His name. The prayer that God heard was a prayer with full intentions of honoring the very name and character of God.

Day 2 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray for the people of God that they would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray that the people of God would have a desire and stand in anticipation for God to pour out the fires of revival upon churches and a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that God’s people will seek the heart of God and desire His will and not their own.
  • Pray that God’s people will align themselves with Him that He will hear their prayers.
  • Ask God to align His people and prepare them for a mighty revival and a great awakening.
  • Ask God to reveal to you how He would have you serve Him. Seek Him for strength to live it out in obedience.
  • Ask God to raise up His people to live in obedience to Him by serving Him in the capacity that He has called them to. Pray that they would know their calling.
  • Pray that we would not conform God to our image and if we have that He would lead us into repentance.
  • Pray that the people of God would know God’s word and stand on the principles of His word.
  • Pray that the people of God will be living representations of Jesus.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation
 
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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 1 Praying for Revival

Day 1 Praying for Revival

The Prayer that God Heard

            A generation had passed since the promise of God came to King David that his son Solomon would build God’s Temple. With years of anticipation the people of God’s choosing, Israel, were gathered at the city of God’s choosing, Jerusalem, with the king of God’s choosing, Solomon, to celebrate the completion of the place of God’s choosing, the Temple. A place God said in II Chronicles 7:16, “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

Great sacrifices were given during this dedication that lasted twenty-four days with 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep offered up to God. God showed up and consumed the first of the offerings in one of the most spectacular demonstrations of God’s glory seen in the entirety of God’s Word. Although God accepted this phenomenal offering, the offering is not what captured God’s heart. God honored the prayer that was offered up as a sacrifice on that day. At the conclusion of the prayer, God’s Shekinah Glory, the manifest presence of God, filled the Temple.

God told Solomon after the completion of the dedication, “I have heard your prayer.” (II Chronicles 7:12). In this chapter we will examine this prayer and ask ourselves: “What’s so special about this prayer?” Many people have told me through the years, “I don’t know how to pray”. Even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, in Luke 11:1.  For this reason we search the scriptures to discover prayers that were offered up to God, particularly the prayers that God honors. That being said, these prayers offered up to God are not magic formulas or things we simply quote to conjure up the presence of God. They are tools to teach us what touches the heart of God so we too can pray with confidence that God hears our prayer.

God honors the attitude of prayer more than the words or actions themselves. God began to explain to Solomon that if Israel wanted to see the continual anointing of His hand upon them, they must do things His way. God told them to pay attention to the signs of His presence; and when they saw the evidence of His blessings and provisions being removed, He gave not only the greatest formula for revival but also the only formula for revival. God told Solomon in II Chronicles 7:14, that if “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Solomon’s prayer that day resulted in one of the most magnificent manifestations of God found in all the Word of God and set in motion the hand of God’s blessing falling on the nation of Israel for years to come as they sought the face of God. As we examine Solomon’s prayer, the prayer that God heard, we realize that everything God said He required for His hand of blessing to be upon His people in II Chronicles 7:14 is found within Solomon’s prayer. I believe that not only was God giving a formula for revival, but He was also giving His approval of Solomon’s prayer. As we look at the prayer that God heard, we will see II Chronicles 7:14 demonstrated in Solomon not only through his words but also through his actions and attitude.

Day 1 Prayer Guide

  • Ask God to reveal any sins or mindsets that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
  • Repent of any such hindrances and ask for God’s forgiveness.
  • Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
  • Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
  • Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
  • Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
  • Pray for the people of God that they would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
  • Pray that the people of God would have a desire and stand in anticipation for God to pour out the fires of revival upon churches and send a great awakening in our land.
  • Pray that God’s people will seek the heart of God and desire His will and not their own.
  • Pray that God’s people will align themselves with Him that He will hear their prayers.
  • Ask God to align His people and prepare them for a mighty revival and a great awakening.
  • Ask God to rise up leaders like Solomon that will lead the people for God’s glory.
  • Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
  • Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
  • Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
  • Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
  • Thank God for hearing you and thank Him in advance for answering these petitions.
 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Reclaiming the Land Through 40 Days of Prayer

Reclaiming the Land Through 40 Days of Prayer

I am leading my church through a 40 day time of prayer and fasting which starts tomorrow, 2/18/15. It’s purpose is to seek the face of God for revival in the church and a great awakening in our land. Throughout the 40 days they will receive a daily bible study along with a prayer guide. I will begin posting the bible studies and prayer guide tomorrow and would love for others to join us. This is the introduction.

Introduction

For the past several years, God has given me a burden to write this study. He has given me a burden for seeing revival in our land and in our time, which is the purpose of this study. Not a week of meetings that soon is forgotten or isolated movements that soon fade, but a mighty moving of God’s powerful hand that spreads throughout the land capturing the glory of His splendor. As I read through the Word of God and church history, I can come to no other conclusion than the fact that He is able, He is more than able. We will also see the clear biblical truths unfold that He is also willing.
Through my studies, I am fully convinced that God desires to move mightily upon the land. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” God wants His glory to be seen. So what is the problem you might ask? We are. We have become so obsessed with “us” that we have not allowed God to be seen through us. We glory in the works and wisdom of man rather than standing in awe of the greatness of God. God’s heart is that His glory is seen by the world through us. However, we must get “us” out of the way.
In this study we will take a close look at II Chronicles 7:14 along with its biblical context. God set apart King Solomon to be the man who would build His temple. God had provided Solomon with the wisdom and the wealth to build a phenomenal house in which the very presence of God would rest. In II Chronicles 6 the nation of Israel gathered together in the outer court of the temple for a dedication service. Solomon prayed asking for God’s hand of blessing and guidance to come upon them. In chapter seven we see the Shekinah Glory of God fall down on the temple and consume the offering.
When the glory of God fell, the priests were not even able to enter the temple. They could not fulfill their priestly duties-duties that God had called them to, equipped them for, and anointed them for. They could not do the very thing that God had called them to do because God showed up and said, “I will take it from here”.
That is true revival. That is what I am longing for and what I pray you are longing for as well: God’s showing up in such a way that man has to simply get out of the way; God’s moving in such a way that everyone, beyond a shadow of doubt, knows this is a movement of a mighty God; and God’s moving so mightily that no man can share in His glory because it is all directed to Him. I am seeking true revival where God moves in such a way that the fires of revival fall from heaven consuming us in His glory and purifying us in His presence. An undeniable Spirit-led awakening that transforms the spiritual landscape for His glory is what I am longing for.
Volumes of books could be written about the problems our churches are facing. Even the most spiritually blind can see them. However, that is not the purpose of this study. This study is about seeking the solution. God is our solution. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The facts are overwhelmingly clear that the church of today is in desperate need of revival. God came to Solomon by night after the temple was dedicated and gave to Solomon not just the greatest formula for revival but the only formula for revival. He said to Solomon in II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Jesus said to the church in Matthew 16:19, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Jesus has given the power and authority to the church to unleash the endless riches of heaven upon this earth. However, we must do it God’s way. He has also given us the power to bind heaven upon this earth. We do that by operating in our own power and authority. We must understand that God doesn’t need us; He simply chooses to work through us. However, we desperately need Him. Jesus said in John 15:5, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Therefore, if nothing is being done, it is due to the fact that it is being done apart from Jesus.
The question for today is not what should be done if we see spiritual drought. We are seeing it! However, God has given us the answer. We must recognize who we are and whose we are. We must humble ourselves before a mighty God, call upon Him, seek His face, and turn from the things that bring dishonor to His Holy presence. Then, and only then, will we align ourselves to receive the abundant blessings that will flow through us and into this world where God then would receive all glory, honor, and praise. A few years back the contemporary Christian rock group Casting Crowns asked in song with this text of scripture in mind, “What if His people prayed?” WOW! Think of the results. What if His people prayed? What if His people who are called by His holy name humbled themselves before His majesty? What if His people who are called by His name turned from their wicked ways that dishonor Him and trusted in Him in holiness for His honor? What if His people who are called by His name were satisfied with nothing but His glorious presence and began to seek His face? What if?
We must also keep in mind that we did not get in this spiritual drought overnight. God can, if He so chooses send down revival fire upon this land at this very moment that would spread like wildfire near and far consuming all wickedness and purifying it for His purpose. However, we must understand that this is not just some seven-step plan that we do A, B, and C and 1, 2, and 3 then abracadabra alakazam; revival has come. God could put us through a testing period to examine whether we are just seeking the benefits of Him or if we are truly seeking Him. We must ask ourselves as well if we would faithfully serve Him even if we never saw a single result. Many have. God does not ask us for results. His simple request of us is obedience. The results are up to Him.
Jesus also warns us in Matthew 16:4, “an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” This study is not about being a sign seeker it is about being a God seeker. I have no doubt signs will follow but only if our hearts are seeking God and not simply seeking the manifestation of God. Remember that the righteous walk by faith and not by sight. We see in the book of Acts that God started with a small group of one hundred and twenty ordinary men that were in an upper room prayerfully waiting on His power. When the power of God fell, revival broke out and the gospel spread like wildfire. Within one hundred years, the gospel had spread across the whole world. God is able; however, we must wait on Him, believe on Him, seek Him, and pray. What if His people prayed?
Although the need for revival in our land is abundantly clear I also know that there are many Christians who are on fire for the Lord with a heart to see God sweep a mighty revival across the land. I am also fully aware that there are many churches that God is using in extraordinary ways to reach their communities and the world for Christ.
Again this study is not about finger pointing or fussing about our spiritual state. It is about seeing the church of the Lord Jesus Christ as a whole live up to its full potential in the power and authority that God has granted, so we will join forces and storm the gates of hell raising up the banner of victory that will give glory and honor to The Lord Jesus Christ. This cannot be accomplished through my agenda; nor can it be accomplished by your agenda or anyone else’s. This can only be accomplished through us coming into agreement, and getting on board with God’s agenda. We must surrender to His will, submit to His way, and trust in His power. Let’s answer the question: What if!

Definitions:
Revival: Revival is a restoration to life. Only people who are saved and churches can experience revival. Revival is a restoration to a right relationship with God that releases the power and authority of God upon the church or saved individual. The lost cannot be revived since they are dead in their sins.
Great Awakening: An awakening is the moving of God upon the lost awakening them, or making them aware, of their sin and hostility towards God causing them to enter into repentance and salvation. A great awakening is God moving in such a way on the masses.
The People of God: In the prayer guides you will be asked to pray for the people of God. The people of God are Christians. While praying for the people of God keep in mind that you are in that number therefore, you will be praying for yourself as well.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know That we Have Passed Out of Death Into Life

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” I John 3:14 NASB

As we have already seen love is one of the “by this we know” evidences of genuine salvation. Love is not the means of passing out of life into death but an evidence of going from life to death. The one who does not love abides in death. We clearly see in our world today those who claim to act on behalf of God but act out of hate rather than love. Their domain is death, which is seen clearly in their lack of love and heart of hate. The one who is truly living for God has passed out of death into life and as a result has love.

The bible speaks of three types of death, spiritual death, physical death, and the second death which is eternal death. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and again in Colossians 2:13, “you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh.” Paul wasn’t talking to people who were physically dead, they were spiritually dead.

Sin separates us from God. God’s heart is to have a relationship with us. However, sin prevents us from having a relationship with Him. Separation from God is spiritual death. For this reason Jesus died for us so our sins can be forgiven and we would no longer be spiritual dead but alive in Christ and through Christ. Romans 6:23 not only tells us that the wages of sin is death but also says that the free gift of God is eternal life. Accepting the sacrificial atonement of Christ cleanses us from our sins and reconciles us into a right relationship with God.

The bible is clear-all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;” Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;” I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us;” I John 1:10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar and His word is not in us.”

Since all have sinned, all stand in need of salvation through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. Apart from salvation they abide in death. Because of the sacrifice Jesus paid the bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As we see clearly that all have sinned we see just as clearly that the offer of salvation is for all. Romans 10:13 says, “For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

The sacrifice Jesus paid through the shedding of His blood made it possible for Christ to be our atoning sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption of sins.” I peter 3:18 says, “Christ also died for sins once for all,” and Romans 6:10 says, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.” The moment we confess our sins and by faith accept Jesus work on the cross God saves us. As a sign and seal of our salvation God gives to us His Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 “the Spirit gives life.” When we are forgiven of our sin through the sacrifice of Christ we stand in right relationship with God. He then gives us His Spirit which gives us life. We then “have passed out of death into life.”

Romans 8:9-11 says of those who have passed out of death into life, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The assurance of scripture to those who are truly saved is that they have, past tense, and at the moment of salvation, passed out of death into life.

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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know we will be Like Christ

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” I John 3:2 NASB

Through the first coming of Christ many of the mysteries of God were revealed. They have been revealed to those who are now in the light. When the true light came, Jesus, His light drove away the shadows of the Old Testament unveiling Himself for all those who choose to walk in Him. Although He has revealed Himself, allowing us to become Children of God, there are still things we do not know. As Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight allowing the Word of God to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. By faith, we walk in the light knowing God will make straight our paths and lead us down the paths of righteousness.

Referring to the second coming of Christ, “when He appears,” John states, “It has not appeared as yet what we will be.” In the midst of Paul correcting the Church of Corinth over misuses of spiritual gifts he said in I Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” In verse 9-10 he said, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”

What is the “perfect” that is to come that will make us know just as we are fully known? Some would suggest that the “perfect” is the completion of the New Testament. I agree that through the Word of God we now know everything God wants us to know. But, I have one question. When is Jesus coming back? We don’t know do we. Obviously, we do not yet know just as we are full known. I believe the “perfect” can only be the person of Jesus Christ. When we stand face to face with Christ, we will know just as we are fully known.

John said, “when He appears, we will be like Him.” Wow, what an amazing promise. How is Jesus? He is perfect. He is perfect in every way and so shall we. He isn’t just perfect in spirit and character, He is also perfect in body. When He rose from the grave He rose with a resurrected and glorified body that would never know death, pain, sickness, nor decay. He is the first fruits of the resurrection and just as He is, so shall we be. Remember though, Jesus is Lord and is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then, will be submissive to His Lordship just as we are today. Nevertheless, we will be like Him. He is perfect, and because of Him, we will be spotless, unblemished, and perfect in every way with a resurrected and glorified body.

John has shared this promise to those who know that they know Jesus to remind them that eternal life is not something to be feared. In fact, we should long for it. Even so Lord come! Please share.

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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