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Posts tagged ‘believers’

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 69 THE DEVIL PLAY BOOK

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 69 THE DEVIL PLAY BOOK

LET US PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND SHOUT FOR JOY JESUS IS RISEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

LET US PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND SHOUT FOR JOY JESUS IS RISEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

LET US PRAY:  Most Holy and all wise God our Heavenly Father, it is in the name of Jesus that we humbly enter into your presence this morning and seek your blessings over this service and the lives of all your children who have come in to worship you this day.  Father, open the eyes of those that are blind from spiritual insight and the ears of those who have not heard the truth of your word that they may receive a divine blessing this day. May the truth of what is said and done here in this service today reach out into all corners of the world and the lost souls in Jesus Christ will be prompted to change their ways and except the divine blessing of eternal life being offered up to them this day.  Let your will be done this day in the name of Jesus, who said if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

OUR PRAISE SERVICE:

Because of the many different time zones that are taking in the service from all over the world, which includes over 175 different countries, we are now presenting our praise service a day earlier to meet the needs of those that are in time zones that are more than eight hours ahead of us here.  This portion of our service will now be listed as: “SATURDAY/SUNDAY DEVOTIONAL PRAISE SERVICE!”  You can get it simply by clicking on this link:

OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP MESSAGE IS TITLE:

Know the Rules of the Devil’s play book (Ephesians 6:11)

 

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

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SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 54 STOP LIVING IN FEAR AND LIVE IN THE PRESENT

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 54 STOP LIVING IN FEAR AND LIVE IN THE PRESENT

REFLECTIONS OF GOD'S GRACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

REFLECTIONS OF GOD’S GRACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Good morning children of God, if it’s Sunday it is time for each one of you to rise and shine. For the light of the world has entered into your presence, open your sleepy eyes, stand up on your feet, look around you, see the glory of the Lord, it is everywhere. The Lord has blessed you with life health and strength, and put his glory within your reach. This is truly the day that the Lord has made, and it is a perfect time for us to rejoice in and be glad in it. Now I say to you my brothers and sisters, lift up your holy hands, open your mouth wide and just begin to praise God, for He is worthy, I say he’s worthy, to be praised. Clap your hands with joy; stump your feet with a new dance, for it is time to get your praise on. Let us all say Amen, Amen and Gloria Hallelujah, for he is so good to us. Now give the Lord a big hand clap of applause, and say Hallelujah. Amen!

SONG OF PRAYER AND PRAISE: THE PRAYER OF JABEZ

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: 2TIMOTHY 1:7 AMP
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

OUR MESSAGE TODAY FROM GOD’S MESSENGER PASTOR DAVIS
My dear brothers and sisters, you have been called to come into God’s class room of higher learning, and sit for a spell so that you may be filled with knowledge, power and understand of who God is, who you are, and who you are in God. Now in order to receive your blessing, you must click on the tape, and listen to the entire lesson, for it has been presented for the edification of your soul.

QUESTION: How important is Alter Call?
It is the most important thing that any Servant of the Lord can do. We are called to bring the lost sheep in from the cold. How can we do this if we never call them to come forth and accept the Lord as their Lord and Savior? When we make the call the Holy Spirit will convict them to answer the call. Therefore, if you are truly a disciple of Christ, it is your obligation to make the call.

TODAY’S ALTER CALL:
If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me: “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives. I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins. If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers. You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us. We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions. May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW AND VISIT OUR NEW YOU TUBE TEACHING CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/davistheteacher/

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 17 STOP LIVING IN FEAR LACK AND LIMITATION

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 17 STOP LIVING IN FEAR LACK AND LIMITATION

PASTOR DAVIS SPEAKS BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE

PASTOR DAVIS SPEAKS BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE

Good Morning Children of God, if it’s Sunday, it is time to enter into our Virtual Church for our Prayer, Praise and Worship Service.  Are you ready to give God your heart, worship Him and Praise Him this Morning?

LET US PRAY!  Eternal God, our most precious and Holy Father, the Father of all life in the Universe, we enter into your present this morning, seeking your blessings over our Nation and all its inhabitants. Father, there is much trouble in the land, your children are suffering from fears of their safety been invaded, and lack of the basic substances of not enough food to feed their families, clean fresh water in short supply and being able to find jobs that will help them provide  shelter for their families.  Our government leaders seem to be paralyzed when it comes to making the correct decisions that will help the least among us to lift them out of poverty and bring this nation together as one people.  Father I pray for divine intervention into the lives of all your Children this day.  I speak healing into their physical bodies, I speak revelation over all that they desire to have changed in their lives.  I speak restoration for our Nations and its leaders to be lifted up into the light that they may see the suffering and harm that they are bring into the lives of your children and this great nation of ours.  And in seeing, they will be transformed by the renewing of their minds and they will become Spirit filled in ways that would be unimaginable in other times.  Let the power of your divine Spirit invade our Nations as it provides all your children with peace and joy for another day.  It is in the name of Jesus that we seek these blessings this day, as we lift you up Heavenly Father, in Prayer, Praise and Worship.  Amen, Amen, Amen!

Now it is time to lift up our Holy Hands and Praise God.  Join me with my favorite Praise Team leader, Brother Ron Kenoly as he lifts us up higher on the SOLID ROCK.

Now it is time for our Message for today, delivered by God’s Messenger, Pastor Davis speaking to you on the subject, “STOP LIVING IN FEAR-LACK AND LIMITATION!” 

LET US PRAY:

Most Holy God, our heavenly Father, open our hearts and minds that the lesson you have for us today will penetrate deep into our souls and heal the wounds that have been inflicted upon us. Bind up our broken hearts in order that our Spiritual Eyes and Ears may be open to the truth of your teaching this day, in Jesus name I pray, Amen!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE:

In today’s lesson, this is what the Scriptures teach us, it says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 KGV)  Do you believe this truth of God’s Holy Word?  If you believe,  I encourage you to hold onto that thought and listen to the message God wants you to partake of as you study his word today and the rest of this week.  Click on this video clip and be blessed.

LET US PRAY:  Heavenly Father, we thank you for opening the windows of Heaven and pouring out a blessing upon your Children that took the time to be a part of this Sunday Prayer Praise and Worship Service.  Now may the Holy Spirit watch over them, guide them and teach them your ways as they walk out their purpose in this life, in Jesus name, AMEN!

Let me remind you that beginning Monday Morning, we will begin a week long celebration service honoring our dear Mothers from around the globe.  Please join with us each day and share your thoughts and prayers with one of our most precious resources and that is our Mothers.  For the Bible teaches us to honor our Mothers that our days will be long upon this earth.  Each one of you can be a part of this celebration by returning here daily and sharing a word with out tens of thousand readers from all over the world.

Thank each one of you for been a part of another Sunday Prayer and Praise Service. If this service has blessed you, why not share it with others as your blessing over their lives this day.  For this is truly the first day of the rest of your life.  Be Blessed My Friends!

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

macedonia

macedonia (Photo credit: gabork)

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

Stay calm; “mind your own business;” do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends. (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)

The time has come that we must learn to do as Paul had commanded the people of Macedonia when they were just sitting around and melding in other people’ business.  Paul first exhorted them to focus their ambition on learning how to live and lead a quiet life, then he told shut up and “mine their own business!” 

THE VINE AND THE BRANCH GARDNER

THE VINE AND THE BRANCH GARDNER

GOD MUST DISCIPLINE US TO STRENGTHEN OUR CHARACTER AND FAITH

Successful gardeners know that pruning, cutting back the branches, increases fruit bearing.  Each spring

The Successful Gardner (Photo by Pastor Davis)

vinedressers cut back each vine to its rootstock to enhance its fruitfulness.  Sincere believers, the fruitful branches, will be “pruned,” meaning that God must sometimes discipline us to strengthen our character and faith.  However, branches that do not bear fruit are “cut off” at the trunk and are completely discarded because they are worthless and often infect the rest of the plant.  People who will not bear fruit for God or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers will be cut off from his life-giving power.

The grapevine is a prolific plant; a single vine bears many grapes.  In the Old Testament, grapes symbolized Israel’s fruitfulness in doing God’s work on earth.  The prophets had written of Israel as God’s vine, carefully planted and cared for.  However, the vine was a disappointment because it yielded only rotten fruit; that is, they refused to give him love and obedience.

Jesus, with all believers “abiding” in him, is the true vine, the true fulfillment of God’s plan for his people.  The new society of God’s people, Christians – originates from Christ and is united to him as branches to a vineGod is the gardener, the cultivator of the vine and the branches.  Believers, both sincere and false, are pictured here as the branches.

The fruitful branches are true believers who, by their living union with Christ, produce much fruit.  Nevertheless, this union can be broken.  The Father cuts off every branch that does not produce fruit.  Those who become unproductive – those who turn back from following Christ after making a superficial commitment – will be separated from the vine.  Unproductive followers are as good as dead and will be cut off and tossed aside.  Jesus said, “I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES!” Now click on this video clip and watch for a moment.

Believers are to remain in Jesus, the vine, and he will remain in us.  A vine branch can survive and produce foliage for a while after it has been severed, but it cannot produce fruit unless it is connected to a rootstock.  As Jesus had a living dependence on the Father, so believers in Jesus need to have a living dependence on him; “Remaining,” for the disciples and for all believers today, means to make a constant, and moment-by-moment decision to follow Christ.

In addition, we must not be passive-believers; we must not just sit and “remain” until we die.  Instead, we must be active-we have a lot to do. “THE VINE AND THE BRANCH GARDNER KNOWS THAT GOD MUST DISCIPLINE US TO STRENGTHEN OUR CHARACTER AND FAITH!”  “To be continued!”

 

I AM THE TRUE VINE

I AM THE TRUE VINE

Pastor Davis Before the Throne of Grace

These are the words of Jesus, as he spoke to his disciples a most valuable lesson as he sent them out into the world to bring salvation to the lost sheep. He begins instructing them in this manner as he said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.   Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I AM THE TRUE VINE; you are the BRANCHES. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:1-8 ESV)

The question that is before you today my brothers and sisters, is this, “Will you except Jesus invitation to ABIDE IN HIM, and become a fruit bearing soul winner?  He spoke clearly and said to each of you, “I AM,” Jesus is, the “I AM” that lives within each of you. Remember when Moses asked God who do he tell Pharaoh that it was who sent him. God simply said, tell him, “I AM,” sent you.  Here again, Jesus speaks truth to power when he says, “I AM THE TRUE VINE, you are the BRANCHES. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit.

Just as a branch derives life from the VINE, so the believer derives life from Jesus.  The Lord not only calls his followers to carry out a great mission and live a godly life, but he also gives them the power to do both.  All they must do is remain close to him, and Jesus will infuse them with his life.  In a very real sense, Jesus branched out through his followers.

However, in order to teach his followers how to abide in the VINE, he often used nature as a tool to illustrate Spiritual Truth, and the organic metaphor in this passage speaks of reproductive life.  The VINE, BRANCHES and FRUIT constitute an integrated biological system in which the Fruit is the abundant product of life that is derived from the nutrients in the soil.

Just as the branch must receive its life from the VINE, so BELIEVERS must depend upon and look to the life of Christ within them to find their Spiritual Vitality.  And just as the fruit nourishes others and contains within itself the seeds of its own reproduction, so the outward manifestation of the life of Christ in us nourishes and reproduces his life in others.  If any part of the system malfunctions, the byproduct of fruit will fail to appear.  This is the real reason that you must understand, comprehend, pray on, and finally meditate on what Jesus meant when he said, “I AM THE TRUE VINE; you are the BRANCHES. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  “AMEN!”  THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE TRUTH OF YOUR WORD!

OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL

OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL

God‘s Marvelous Light Show us the way to SELF-CONTROL (Photo by Pastor Davis) Studying God’s word allows us to obtain knowledge of who God is, who we are and who we are in God.  

The Bible commands us to study to show ourselves approved; when we do this we reflect a wiliness to be obedient to God, thereby placing ourselves in a position in knowing that, “OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL!”

Studying God’s word allows us to obtain knowledge of who God is, who we are and who we are in God.  When we are able to gain such critical knowledge, and then begin to act on that knowledge, it leads us steady to having SELF-CONTROL over every aspect of our daily lives.

SELF CONTROL is one of the fruits of the Spirit; SELF-CONTROL refers to mastery over sinful human desires in every aspect of our life.  The Greeks considered this a highly prized virtue. Their focus, of course, was entirely on self-effort, but the problem was that self-effort always fails in the long run because it may control the body but does not affect inward desires.

Therefore, the WORD OF GOD speaks to us and says, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV)

The quality of SELF-CONTROL must then lead to patient endurance, the ability to steadfastly endure suffering or evil without giving up one’s faith.  Endurance is not a stoic indifference to whatever fate allows; rather, it springs from faith in God’s goodness and control over all that happens in believer’s lives.

Such endurance leads to godliness,  this is another word that is unusual to the New Testament, but common to Greek ethics lists of that day, we see that Paul emphasized godliness in the Pastoral Epistles as being the virtue that should characterize the life and conduct of the believers.  Godliness was the primary word for “religion” and referred to a person’s correct attitudes toward God and people, usually referring to performing obligatory duties.  Here we discover in 1st Peter the word describes an awareness of God in all of life – a lifestyle that exemplifies Christ and is empowered by him (the same word is used in (1st Peter 1:3).

We as Christians and believers must have a right relationship with God and right relationships with fellow believers.  The false teachers claimed such “godliness,” but were sadly lacking in reverence toward God and in good attitudes toward others.  For all believers, it is a requirement that if we want to obtain SELF-CONTROL over all aspects of our lives, we must work hard to prove that we really are among those God has called and chosen to reflect His teachings and training to overcome SELF.  Pause your thoughts and reading for a few minutes and watch this short video clip teaching on SELF-CONTROL.

Now listen to how Paul describes to us how he trained to gain SELF-CONTROL over his physical body.  He says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  (1 Corinthians (9:24-27 ESV).

In closing, I tell you that every believer should be putting out the kind of effort for the reward of God’s Kingdom that an athlete puts out to merely win a wreath.  In order to do so, it requires you to develop SELF-CONTROL and practice SELF-CONTROL daily.

Now let us learn the lesson of SELF-CONTROL that Paul teaches us in this Scripture, because he practiced what he preached.  He had to live by the gospel and therefore he practiced self-denial like the athletes just described in this Scripture.  Paul did not run the race aimlessly, nor was he like a boxer who misses his punches.  Instead, he kept his eyes focused on the goal, running straight for it, with purpose in every step.  He did not allow himself to be sidetracked and he did not waste time becoming lazy.  He kept on, disciplining and training his body.

Paul pictured life as a battle.  We as Believers must not become lazy for Satan seeks to cause us to stumble, sin continues to buffet, and sorrow and pain are a daily reality.  Instead of being bound by our bodies, we as believers must diligently discipline ourselves in our Christians lives in order to stay “in shape.”  When we truly learn to do this, we will be in the process of learning the truth and that is, “OBTAINING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LEADS TO SELF CONTROL!”

 

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HOW THE HANDS OF A CARPENTER USED THE POWER OF FAITH AND TOUCH TO PERFORM MIRACLES

A page from an 11th century Gospel of Matthew ...

A page from an 11th century Gospel of Matthew (1:18-21), with Matthew 1:21, Matthew 1:21 providing the origin of the name Jesus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HOW THE HANDS OF A CARPENTER USED THE POWER OF FAITH AND TOUCH TO PERFORM MIRACLES

HE CARRIED OUR DISEASES     

Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.”

Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” (Matthew 8:1-4 MSG)

By this time they were in front of Peter‘s house. On entering, Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed, burning up with fever. He touched her hand and the fever was gone. No sooner was she up on her feet than she was fixing dinner for him.

That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. He fulfilled Isaiah‘s well-known sermon:  He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases. (Matthew 8:14-17 MSG)

JUST A TOUCH

As he finished saying this, a local official appeared, bowed politely, and said, “My daughter has just now died. If you come and touch her, she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, his disciples following along.

Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on.  (Matthew 9:18-22 MSG)

By now they had arrived at the house of the town official, and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and the neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Clear out! This girl isn’t dead. She’s sleeping.” They told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. But when Jesus had gotten rid of the crowd, he went in, took the girl’s hand, and pulled her to her feet—alive. The news was soon out, and traveled throughout the region.  (Matthew 9:23-26 MSG)

He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. Then Jesus became very stern. “Don’t let a soul know how this happened.” But they were hardly out the door before they started blabbing it to everyone they met. (Matthew 9:29-31 MSG)

DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?

Icon of the Pentecost

Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.” As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  (John 20:19-22 ESV)

For a healthy Christian life, it is indispensable that we should be fully conscious that we have received the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  The disciples spent three years walking with Jesus and they were recognized as believers.  However, this position was not enough for them.  He commanded them not to rest satisfied until they had received the Holy Spirit from Himself in heaven.

Therefore, when Jesus met with the disciples after the resurrection, he greeted them by saying, PEACE BE WITH YOU!”  Not just one time but twice, Jesus truly loved his disciples and they loved him.  But he now had to prepare them for their commission, to be his personal representatives in spreading the gospel around the world.  However, in order to do this they needed the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.  And Jesus gave them this power by breathing into them the HOLY SPIRIT.  This act reminds us of what God did to make the first man come alive, he breathed into him and he became a living soul.  There is life in the breath of God.  Man was created but did not come alive until God had breathed into him the breath of life.  God’s first breath made man different from all other forms of creation.  Here, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life.  With this breathing came the power to do God’s will on earth.

Jesus gave the disciples their Spirit-powered and Spirit-guided mission—to preach the Good News about him so that people’s sins might be forgiven.  Now we must earnestly examine ourselves and ask the question, “DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?”  We know that there are still many Christians who know nothing of this gift of the Holy Spirit.  Amid much that is good and amiable, even with much earnestness and zeal, the life of such Christians is still hampered by weakness, stumbling, and disappointment simply because it has never been brought into vitalizing contact with power from on high.  Such souls have not received the HOLY SPIRIT as the Pentecostal gift to be possessed, kept, and filled by Him.

Now to be certain of this one fact, the supreme need of the Christian life is to receive the HOLY SPIRIT and, when we have it, to be conscious of the fact and live in harmony with it.  We as Evangelical Minister must not merely preach about the HOLY SPIRIT from time to time, but also direct our efforts toward teaching our congregations that there can be no true worship except through the indwelling and unceasing operation of the HOLY SPIRIT.  Only those who are thirsty will drink water with eagerness, and only those who are sick will desire a physician.  In the same way, it is only when believers are prepared to acknowledge the defective and sinful character of their spiritual condition that the preaching of the full blessing of Pentecost will find an entrance into their hearts.

Many Christians imagine that the only thing lacking in their life is more earnestness or more strength and, if they only obtain these benefits, they will become all they ought to be.  This makes the preaching of a full salvation of little avail.  It is only when the discovery is made that they are not standing in a right attitude toward the HOLY SPIRIT that they have only His preparatory operations but do not yet know Him in His indwelling, that the way to something higher will ever be open or even be desired.

For this discovery, it is indispensable that the question should be put to each individual as pointedly and as personally as may be: “DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?”  When the answer takes the shape of a deeply felt and utterly sincere concern, then the time of revival is not far off.  I have ministered this message to you this day from a position of peace and power given by Jesus Christ that you may come into the full knowledge of the HOLY SPIRIT.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

YOUR EYE IS A LAMP THAT LIGHTS UP YOUR WHOLE BODY

YOUR EYE IS A LAMP THAT LIGHTS UP YOUR WHOLE BODY

The lamp of the Whole Body (Photo by Pastor Davis)

What a bold statement to make, however, this is not one that I made, but one that Jesus made.  Jesus wanted you to understand the pure simple operating powers of one of the tools that the father gave to you to help you function in this universeJesus often used bold language to describe the powers God had already invested in us.  Jesus wanted us to understand that if we learned how to use this one great tool, we could achieve the supernatural in our lives that otherwise would be lost to us.

Now listen to how Jesus describes the use of this tool for us.  He says, “No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”  (Luke 11:33-36 MSG).

In our previous lessons we described to you how Jesus used parables to help you understand the truth of His teachings.  This simple message of the lamp and eye is a powerful truth for those who take the time to understand what it means in their own lives.

Let me explain, when Jesus used the word “lamp” he was referring to the person who hears His message, responds to it, and spreads it to others.  In this teaching situation, it seems that Jesus was describing his own ministry and message as lighting a lamp that was not hidden or put under a basket, but was done in public with a message available for all to accept.

The lamp is Christ’s message, and “light” is the truth of his revelation and guidance; the eye represents spiritual understanding and insight that is filtered through the “good” or the “bad” in a person.  When a person’s eyes are pure, that is, when they are operating properly, the illumination makes it easy for the body to function.  Those with “pure eyes” are those true disciples who listen and respond to Jesus guidance.  By contrast, when eyes are evil, that is, when they are not operating properly, the result is impaired functioning for the rest of the body.  Those with “evil eyes” are those who reject Jesus words; all they have is the darkness and futility of their own evil ways.

To have the light within actually be darkness would be a dismal condition.  That would mean that no goodness would be left, for even what might have been light would actually be dark-what good should have been there would actually be evil.  But with Jesus, and with the filling of the Holy Spirit, a person can be filled with light, with no dark corners.  This cannot happen from within–for the light does not originate there.  It has an outside source, as though a floodlight is shining on you.  That outside source is Jesus himself.  Jesus is truly the light of the world and your eye should always remain focus on that light, because in Jesus there is truly no darkness.  Now watch this short video clip which summaries what it means to keep your eyes on Jesus.

MY MAXIMIZED PRAYER FOR PURE EYES

Father in the name of Jesus, as your servant, I seek pure eyes that I may listen, be obedient, and respond to your son Jesus’ guidance.  I seek to do your will as you would have it done.  My eyes have been open to the truth of your teaching, and I will go forth into the world and carry out your mission, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN!

Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k

Greeting to all of you this morning.  We here at Vine and Branch World Ministries are participating in the Worldwide WP 5k on April 29, 2012 and we are inviting all of our members, readers, family and friends from every part of the world to join with all of us and get physically fit.  For complete details, just click on the link below and get started.  May you have a blessed, healthy and prosper day.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ,  Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k.

BELIEVERS MUST PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE CALL OF GOD

BELIEVERS MUST PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE CALL OF GOD

THE CROSS IS THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL (Photo by Pastor Davis)

When it comes to serving in the ministry as one of God’s Disciples you are never to young, are too old because God prepares us all in his own way, but all of us will not accept the call to serve.    The one true important fact we all need to know is this, we are a chosen people, chosen by God to worship and serve him.  When God thinks we are ready he will call us to come unto him.  The first thing you will say when the call comes upon you is, “but God,” I am not ready.  I am just a little child or I am too old. I have a lot of living to do, and God will say to you, my son, I have heard those same words many times before, and when I heard them I told each person the same thing.  Listen to what happen when God called Jeremiah to be a prophet.  He was only thirteen at the time, but God knew he was ready when he sent out the call.  This is what God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in your Mother’s womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  “Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, I am only a child.”  You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.    See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  (Jeremiah 1:5-10).

You see God never makes a mistake.  When God called Jeremiah, he commissioned him to be a prophet to a nation.  God knew Jeremiah would face many obstacles and would have to confront some powerful people along the way.  But God assured Jeremiah that he would be up to the task.  Don’t worry about small things, because I am here to fight your battles for you.  All I want you to do is to be ready to stand up and be a strong moral leader with an unshakable conviction to lead my people in the manner I have given you.

When you are young or old and you hear the voice of God calling you, don’t be afraid to follow God, because God will have your back.  When in the time of trouble, your best friend may desert you.  But you can rest assured that God will always be there for you.  Learn to depend on God, because he is someone you can trust in the heat of battle.  God wants you to walk with him and become a good role model and set examples for your peers to learn to live by, although you will face some tough going and be ridiculed by your peers.  God says not to worry because he will be with you even until the end of times.

God is saying to you right now, to understand his word and write them on your heart, because when trouble comes and you know it is going to come, the words of the Lord is like having a sword in your hand and it is guaranteed to cut both ways, to the right and to the left.  It is your shield of armor that will always protect you.

Therefore, I encourage each one of you, the young and the old to think on the things of God and not on the things of this world.  God is calling you now to be a soldier in his army.  Turn away from the evil of Satan, and prepare yourself to except the challenge of serving in the ministry of God.  Remember, it is never too late, and you must never, “say never,” or I can’t do this.  Just know that when God calls you, he knows you are ready, he knows you better than you know yourself.

Today, I encourage you to open your mind and think boldly on what God can do, and be ready to go onto the battlefield.  I have ministered to you this day from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

 

 

THERE IS POWER IN FASTING AND PRAYER (PART 1 OF 2)

THERE IS POWER IN FASTING AND PRAYER (PART 1 OF 2)

Let us begin this lesson by first listening to the prayer of five year old Isiah Jackson.

In this lesson we will learn how Jesus instructs us in one of the most important Bible Doctrine.  Now pause for a moment, and ask God to give you understanding for what he is about to teach you in this awesome lesson.  Here is what he had to say, “A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy, Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.

After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:17-29 MSG)

Prayer and Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through Prayer and Fasting, the Holy Spirit can transform your life providing you are willing to take the first step.  Today I want to discuss with you some very important things you can do in order to make this become a reality in your life, when you understand that there is truly “awesome power in Prayer and Fasting.”

According to Scripture, personal experience and observation, I am convinced that when God’s people fast with a proper Biblical motive-seeking God’s face not His hand-with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, we will hear from heaven and God will heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world. Fasting and prayer will bring about that great revival and a change in the direction of our nation, the nations of earth and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.  This awesome power can be released through you as you learn what it means to fast and pray through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

Now here are some very important facts you need to know in order to help you release this awesome power that God has already given to each one of us:

  • Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, “when you fast,” not if you fast.
  • Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
  • Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.”
  • Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
  • The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
  • Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
  • Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.

Now please understand this one very important fact, and that is, “Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of II Chronicles 7:14:” “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” If you fast, you will find yourself being humbled as I did. You will discover more time to pray and seek God’s face. And as He leads you to recognize and repent of your un-confessed sin, you will experience special blessings from God.

This concludes Part One of this lesson.  In Part Two we will provide you with a tried and true formula on how to fast.  I encourage you to study God’s word, pray and prepare yourself for the task of prayer and fasting.  We have presented this lesson to you today from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

THE TIME TO ACT ON THE VISION IS NOW

THE TIME TO ACT ON THE VISION IS NOW

MINDS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Achieving the victory requires you to take action.  The first step was when God gave you the vision; He told you to, “WRITE THE VISION.”  God made it crystal clear that you must take action before the vision will appear as a reality to you.  In other words you must activate what God has given to you in order for you to begin the process where you find yourself going through.  The process is never going to be easy, but it is a necessary step that must take place.

One of the reasons so many of us never achieve any desired results from what has been set before us, is because we dislike going through the process.  We fail to write it down; we fail to ask God for wisdom, guidance and understanding.  We fail to seek knowledge and clarification of where we are in the process.  Then we come up against what seems like a brick wall when door after door is been slam shut in our face.  We stand in front of the door and look at it with disgust and ask ourselves “WHY?”  But we refuse to take the next step and KNOCK, because fear has so gripped our minds and we find ourselves questioning our own ability to achieve what God has already given us.

However, I want you to know that the Bible is crystal clear on what God wants you to do in this process.  God’s intention is to teach you how to be successful at achieving the VISION which he has given to you.  Now listen to the words of Jesus, “So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.

For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 Amplified)

Do not hesitate to move on your ideas and respond to situations that call for action in order to keep the momentum going. If you are sitting waiting for something to happen, doing other “important” tasks rather than those that you know will produce the results you desire, you are wasting time and you are no closer to achieving your VISION and desired goals, [the vision which God gave you]. You may realize that you have waited for so many things in your life that never showed up!

Act on your desire in order to get to where you want to be. Waiting will not do it. The best men are not those who have waited for chances, but who have taken them, and made chance the servitor. It is better to act first and apologize later than to seek permission first. We often wait for the feeling to be right first; before we take the action we know will bring us satisfaction. The feeling of satisfaction only comes from accomplishment, not from pondering and procrastinating. Take immediate action, not out of fear, or to force things to happen, but because the next action you take brings you, one-step closer to your desire and you will see tremendous results come into your life.

Now I realize that this might sound like a contradiction in terms of what God said when he told us to wait on the VISION.  But understand this, God was challenging us to have patience, and believe in the promise he had given to us when he said, “though the vision may tarry, the VISION will surely come.”

Sometimes opportunity knocks but sometimes you must knock. If you truly desire what is behind the door, you will knock until it opens. Sometimes you may even have to break down the door to get through to what you want. The difference between using the force out of power and using the force out of fear, doubt or worry, is that when you are powerful, you know what it is you are doing and are doing it powerfully. It does not feel forced but liberating to you.

As soon as you know your desire, have asked for it, and are experiencing it in your mental world, you must then take steps towards it and allow the universe to manifest your desire into your physical reality. Although the universe will bring into your physical reality, anything you ask for, it will accelerate the process greatly if you are also take physical action towards your desires. This does not of course mean that you physically have to go out there and do everything yourself. You simply have to take positive steps in the direction of the VISION that was given and your desire to achieve the promise that came with the VISION, which reinforces your claim that it already exists in your present reality.

The vibrations of your physical actions also firmly impress upon your subconscious mind your total commitment to realizing your VISION and desires. If you have your subconscious mind as well as your conscious mind influencing all the energy of reality in the direction of bringing the object of your desire into your physical reality, it will be much more powerful and your desires will manifest sooner as a result. Reality creation happens through metaphysical and physical means. Both intention and action are necessary for creating what you want.

For example, you wish to manifest a new house, you should take positive actions to physically go out and look for one. You do not have to worry about whether you can afford it or not, that would be a negative emotion resulting in the negative influence of energy. Anyway, the realization of your house is not your concern; it is for God and the universe to take care of the manifestation of your VISION and desires into your reality. Manifestation is a balance of taking action and letting it happen. Perfect manifestation is a combination of intention and detachment.

In the case of your new house, the very act of physically going out and looking for the house of your desires will not only project the positive energy of intent, but will also produce other emotions such as excitement and expectation all of which will add to the net effect of positive energy in realizing your desires. The more you physically take steps in the direction of your desire, the more positive emotion you will generate and the more you can integrate the object of your desire as part of your being. The more powerful also will be the effect, and the sooner you will be able to realize it within your physical reality. That is the reason to act as if your desire is reality.

Massive action results in massive manifestation. The more you want something the more focused you must be in your actions towards getting it. The bigger and the more frequent the action you take, the better it is but takes some sort of action you must. Never wait until tomorrow, because the next day you will defer until tomorrow again, and you will never take that important first action in the direction of your VISION and your desires.

Today we have ministered to you from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  We encourage you always stay focus on the big picture and think globally as you work locally to accomplish the VISION and your desired goals.  I remain your brother in CHRIST JESUS, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

 

CHURCH LEADERS MUST PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN HELPING TO CURTAILING VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

CHURCH LEADERS MUST PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN HELPING TO CURTAILING VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

Our churches, pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and church leaders can and must play a pivotal role in helping to curtail the violence that our youth are perpetuating upon our society as a whole.  As I write this I know I am going to upset a lot of our church leaders who has sit on the side line while the violence run rapt within our schools, and communities. Now I ask you, before you make a quick judgment about this article and condemn it out of hand, use the power of your own thought process, that God has blessed you with, and become a deep thinker.  Allow your mind to think deep on what is happening within your own church and surrounding communities, and what you can do to bring about a change that will help our youth to become productive citizen of the world community.

To a great degree, our churches are contributing to the violence the youth are perpetuating upon society, and here is the reason why I can make such a statement. The churches have closed their doors, locked them and placed iron bars on the doors and windows to keep the youth out.  They have an invisible sign outside that reads, no young people are welcome.  No gang bangers, no drug are alcoholic addicts, no prostitutes, no homeless person.  If you are truly not one of us, please do not enter these doors.

They say the youth are breaking into the churches, disrupting the flow of activities, stealing and destroying the inside of the church building.  I know this to be true in some areas of the country, because I have seen it first hand for myself.  However, what I am talking about here is the turning away of our children from having a safe place to go.  The local churches should be a sanctuary for our youth.  I know that I am placing a lot of responsibility on our churches and church leadership, but we must remember, this is the price we pay for being a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus never ran from his leadership role and responsibilities and neither should we.  Our churches should be a place that our youth can go any time of the day or evening to play games, study and what a wonderful opportunity you now have to teach them the word of God and the right way of handling their problems and keeping them out of the jaws of Satan.

The church doors should be open all the time not just on Sunday for a Sunday morning worship service and then locked up until the next Sunday. When there is nothing for a lot of you as church leaders to do all day long, but sit at home and watch the trash on television, gossip on the phone about who is sleeping with who; then you should be more than willing to take turns, keeping the church doors open.  Now is a perfect time to train the young people in conducting Bible study, learning to pray and preparing activities for the kids.  If you would do this, you would not have to put iron bars on the doors to keep the youth out.  The doors would be open and the youth could just walk in.  That would have a powerful positive effect on the youth as well as the community as a whole, and what a great opportunity to begin a true leadership training course for your entire leadership team.

We Christians have to stop being afraid of our youth.  We have to take a stand exerting leadership within our church and community.  I can assure you where there is a weak leadership within the church and community; there is a concentration of drugs, gangs and violence.  The people in the community live every day in fear of their own life.  I submit to you, if you are living locked away in your home and church, afraid some kids are going to rob you or kill you, what is your purpose for living?  Take a stand, be strong, exert leadership, open the doors of your church, invite the young gang bangers to come in, teach them how to rap for the Lord, how to be gang bangers for the lost soul.  I guarantee you will begin to experience a difference in your own life as well as the life of the community.

I know what I am stating here is difficult for most churches and the church leadership as a whole.  Now let me tell you why.  I have had the good fortune to have traveled to many different parts of the world as well as travel all overAmerica.  I attended many different churches across America as well as speak to many different church organizations and other groups.  One thing that I have come to realize is that more than 70% of all churches inAmericaare small churches with membership of less than a 100 people and on any given Sunday morning, there will be less than 60 people in each church.

Moreover, out of those that attend, less than 5% will be young children.  Now you ask where all the children from the community are.  Come Monday morning, the bus stops will be filled with children to attend school.  If this is the case, why are they not lined up to attend church on Sunday morning?  The reason for this is it is easier to join a large church congregation than a small church.  Where there is a church congregation of 500 or more in attendance, you will find about 35% of those is young people and the larger the congregation, the larger the youth are in attendance and active within the church.

Small churches in America have become private social clubs for the elite of the community where they are located.  If you are a member of that social elite club, you are welcome within that church.  Oh sure, they will tell you that their doors are open and all are welcome, but to become a member without first embracing yourself to the social elite and then submitting yourselves to their beliefs and you will see how fast you will get the cold shoulder.  Now I remind you that these people proclaim themselves Christian, and who am I to judge them for the bible teaches me to judge not.  In addition, most of them are lead by a preacher of their own choosing.  For the Bible tells us that some of these people and not all small churches are this way, it says, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they are ignorant of God’s righteousness of God.” (Roman 10:2-3).

These churches that are proclaiming the word of God without submitting themselves unto the righteousness of God are the very ones I am talking about that are contributing to the  violence within our schools and communities.  They are turning away the children as well as the parents of these children.  The way they turn them away, is by the actions they take in the church and carry out within the community.

The people in the community are watching and waiting.  They are hungry for the gospel, but no one within the church is taken the gospel to them.  The preacher is afraid of losing his job that he only dares to tell the people what they want to hear instead of thus said the Lord.  The temptation is so great within a lot of these small churches to do wrong, that the preachers are leading the congregation astray by not proclaiming God’s word.  Listen to what God commands his preachers to do, he says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; Reprove, rebuke, exhort with long suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fiction (II Timothy 4:2-4).” In Jesus name we pray that a change will come. Amen

 

TODAY’S MAXAMIZED PRAYER FOR OUR FAMILIES

Francis of Assisi

Image by gwilmore /St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is doubt, I may bring faith; that where there is despair, I may bring hope; that where there is shadows, I may bring light; that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

St. Francis of Assisi

JESUS TEACHES US THAT THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH

JESUS TEACHES US THAT THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH

HE LIVES

Jesus permitted Himself to be crucified

Man, in his lack of knowledge, his vague understanding of the justice of a loving Father, has made the grave a darkened sepulcher, a thing to be dreaded, and an end to all his aspirations and his ambitions. For ages he has feared this ending of physical existence and has made of it a time of intense mourning, a period filled with tears. BUT, this Great Spirit who had power over life and death permitted Himself to be crucified; He came to this Earth for that great purpose. But the question may be raised: If we claim that Jesus the Christ had power over His life, then why did he permit the great indignities and cruelties which were perpetrated upon Him and why did He not save Himself from this undignified and cruel death? In the parable of the sheepfold in John 10, Jesus tells His hearers, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” We find another statement given by the Christ after the crucifixion, after He had suffered death on the cross–when He had come back from the spiritual world to commune with His disciples. In the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew, the eighteenth verse, He again claims the same power. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in Earth.”

Jesus’ Victory over Death

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

“Christianity,” said one writer “is a religion of the open tomb.” Keep that thought in mind as you study this journal on the resurrection. The founder of Christianity could not be kept in the prison house of death. An angel rolled the great stone from the door of Joseph’s new tomb, and the Son of God came forth triumphant over death. “I am the resurrection and the life,” He said (John 11:25).

The apostle Paul argues that the Christian faith stands or falls upon the fact of the resurrection of Christ.

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:13, 14).

Our hope of deliverance from sin in this world (see Romans 6:4, 11, 12) and the reality of life in the next (see 1 Corinthians 15:17-23) are dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus. The incarnation of God’s Son, His sinless life and vicarious death, would have availed nothing if He had been kept a prisoner of death. The saints of all ages would remain in their graves, sealed forever, if Christ had not broken the power of death and come forth to immortal life. And Christians would have been “false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised” (1 Corinthians 15:15)

There is Life after Death

Jesus came to this Earth to teach mankind a particular lesson; and if He was destined to become the Savior of mankind, then the greatest lesson which He could have taught man was that of faith; faith in his God and faith in a life after death. By His very death Christ Jesus must bring to man faith, and the belief in a LIFE AFTER DEATH. He preached immortality, and to further impress this fact upon humanity, He must go through the throes of death in order to return to life and bring to man proof of an after death life. To accomplish this He appeared to His beloved disciples in His spiritual body. In I Corinthians, 15:6, Paul says, “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once: of whom the greater part remains unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” He walked and talked to them so that they might believe that what He had preached, the immortality of the soul, was a fact and that after man has laid aside his physical body, he still lives in a finer and more ethereal body.

Our New Spiritual Body

Paul also brings man much hope in a life after death in the fifth chapter of II Corinthians, verses 1, 2: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” In the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians, Paul again preaches to those who have no faith in the life after death. This wonderful chapter is used by the majority of ministers to bring comfort and faith to those who have been bereaved by the loss of their loved ones. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

During the old dispensation and all through the Old Testament, man had very little hope in a life after death; to him the grave ended all. We find such discouragement when we read the ninth chapter of Ecclesiastes, the fifth verse, where the statement is made, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”

We are made in God’s Image

Man is an immortal Spirit, made in the image of God, for are we not told in the 26th verse of the first chapter of Genesis that God said, “Let us make man in our image?” Now if God is Spirit and man is made in His image, can we no longer deny that man cannot die, or that if he did that a part of God would die? Can one imagine a Great Spirit which would create a being like man in His own image and then permit him to die? Could such a being himself become a creator as God had destined him to do if one Earth life were all, and if, when man had lived his three score and ten years, he should pass out of existence with no further chance to become as his Father in heaven, perfect? If he but stops to reason this thing out he cannot but be convinced that man, too, must go on evolving, learning, in order to become all wise as his Father in heaven is wise, and that this cannot be accomplished in the few years of one short life. To learn these lessons on the Earth over which God gave man dominion, he must return again and again, and in each embodiment he must take up his cross of matter (his physical body).

It is through the physical vehicle that man must learn to become a creator like unto his Father in heaven; it is the toll which he uses in his efforts to master the numerous lessons of life so that he can be recognized by his Father in heaven as a son. This tool (the physical body) becomes tired, wears out; and it is necessary that the Spirit be given a time to assimilate and digest all the experience gained on Earth. Therefore, God has arranged that the Spirit step out of this worn-out old robe and function in its spiritual body.

When this occurs, man with his limited vision, grieves over this change; to him it appears as a final parting from a loved one when this worn-out garment disintegrates and the loved one is permitted to function in a finer and a more ethereal robe, or body, one in which the individual is not limited by distance, nor can physical matter obstruct him in his progress. This is the spiritual body of which Paul tells us in II Corinthians, a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. In this vehicle our loved ones can visit us, and while we in our blindness may not have the spiritual eyes with which we can see them, yet they are none the less very near to us. They are still interested in our welfare, and when we need them they do not fail us; they encourage and help us more often than we realize, though by our very grief we may hinder their progress in this new life to which they have been called.

When a man enters into a sound sleep and his physical body is inert on the bed then he is awake and active in the realm of the spirit. He is no longer hampered by a physical body. However, he is tied to this vehicle by the silver cord which leads him back again to his body upon awakening. During the unconsciousness of sleep he is in the land of the living dead and if he will he can communicate with his loved ones who are ever near him.

The Spiritual Minded student has this assurance of his nearness to those who have passed over in what is commonly termed death and does not grieve as do others who have no hope.

HOW TO GET GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS (PART 4 of 4)

Elijah Resuscitating the Son of the Widow of Z...

Elijah Resuscitating the Son of the Widow of Zarephath

HOW TO GET GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS (PART 4 of 4)

IT PAYS TO OBEY GOD (1 King 17:1-24 Message)

In the following text, Elijah teaches us what it means to get your prayers answered by God.  Elijah was one of God’s Prophets.  He was an upright and righteous man and as such, he was God’s mouthpiece.  He was fearlessly and cried out against idolatry, immorality, and all other forms of iniquity.  He urged the people to repent and return to the Lord, and then warned of dire consequences if they failed to do so.

Elijah was God’s chosen instrument to bring adulterous and haughty Israel to her knees.  His prayers could bring down blessing (rain) or wrath (drought and fire).  God chose to use a severe drought to get the people’s attention.  They did not care that idolatry had brought a spiritual drought upon the land, but they could not ignore the physical drought that typified it.

In obedience to the Lord, Elijah went from Samaria to the Brook Cherith, east of the Jordan.  There he was sustained by water from the brook and by food, which was miraculously brought to him morning and evening by ravens.  After a while, however, due to the drought the book dried up.

1 And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: “As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.”

2-4 God then told Elijah, “Get out of here, and fast. Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River. You can drink fresh water from the brook; I’ve ordered the ravens to feed you.”

5-6 Elijah obeyed God’s orders. He went and camped in the Kerith canyon on the other side of the Jordan. And sure enough, ravens brought him his meals, both breakfast and supper, and he drank from the brook.

7-9 Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought. Then God spoke to him: “Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you.”

10-11 So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, “Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out, “And while you’re at it, would you bring me something to eat?”

12 She said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.”

13-14 Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’”

15-16 And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty:God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!

17 Later on the woman’s son became sick. The sickness took a turn for the worse—and then he stopped breathing.

18 The woman said to Elijah, “Why did you ever show up here in the first place—a holy man barging in, exposing my sins, and killing my son?”

19-20 Elijah said, “Hand me your son.”

He then took him from her bosom, carried him up to the loft where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he prayed, “O God, my God, why have you brought this terrible thing on this widow who has opened her home to me? Why have you killed her son?”

21-23 Three times he stretched himself out full-length on the boy, praying with all his might, “God, my God, put breath back into this boy’s body!” God listened to Elijah’s prayer and put breath back into his body—he was alive! Elijah picked the boy up, carried him downstairs from the loft, and gave him to his mother. “Here’s your son,” said Elijah, “alive!”

24 The woman said to Elijah, “I see it all now—you are a holy man. When you speak, God speaks—a true word!”

HOW TO GET GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS (PART 1)

HOW TO GET GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS (PART 1)

You must know that God is in the prayer answering business, and if He answered prayers in the past He certainly will answer yours today. The most important thing is learning how to approach God in a way that is going to get God’s attention, so that your prayer petition will be received and answered by God.

The one thing that you must clearly understand is this, “there are conditions.” First you must learn to approach God HIS way, not your own. You need to know how to pray—when—how often—where—and what to pray for. The answers are in God’s Word.

Let us look at some of the conditions to answered prayer. The following is not an exhaustive list; this is just an introduction to get you to the point of learning the importance of prayer in your life.

Ask in faith; You must believe—have faith. The apostle Paul wrote, “But without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb. 11:6).

Why, Because “he who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is”—that God exists—“and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (same verse). If you want God to answer your prayers, you must first believe that He exists and that He will hear you. That takes faith.

Christ said, “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matt. 21:22).

James added, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man thinks that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James. 1:6-7).

But what is faith? Here is the Bible’s definition: “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith is your PROOF that God will deliver His promises—it is your GUARANTEE that He will come through for you.

God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). He always fulfills His promises. Moreover, He promises that if you faithfully turn to Him, He will turn to you (Zech. 1:3)—God will answer your prayers.

However, you must also meet other conditions.

Be diligent: When do most people pray when they are sick and suffering and want to be healed, when they are in need of financial help and need to find a job, etc.), they ask God once, maybe twice, and then give up.

Nevertheless, Christ said, “ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. On the other hand, what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Alternatively, if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matt. 7:7-11; Luke 11:8-9).

Let God know that you are serious about your request.

Keep in mind that He seldom answers prayers in the way or period most people expect. God does things His way, according to His timetable.

If a matter is important to you, do not pray about it just once. Come to God repeatedly, not in a nagging way, but with sincere, heartfelt petitions. Be diligent.

Again, let God know how serious you are.

Pray for God’s will, not your own: In the world, most pray for selfish reasons. Some ask God to bless them in winning the lottery. Others pray that their enemies will get their “just desserts.”  Are they truly seeking God’s will?

Notice James 4: “You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts” (vs. 2-3). If your mind is set on foolish, carnal lusts, God will not hear you.

Your requests must be centered on what God desires. The Apostle John wrote, “And this is the confidence that we have in [God], that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (I John 5:14-15).

Just before He was arrested tortured and crucified, Jesus cried out to God in anguish. He prayed, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).

Humanly, Jesus did not want to suffer the brutal torture and death that awaited Him. Yet He still prayed that God’s will be done, not His own. Christ always put God first. He always approached Him with a yielded, humble attitude.

This will be continued in Part 2.  In order to view some of our PRAYERS, click on the categories button on the left side of the page, then stroll down to PRAYERS and click there and you will find many prayers to benefit you.  May God bless you as you study His Holy Word.

SPOILED YOUR CHILD ARE DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILD

Our children are the most important asset that we have in this world. Raising them properly is a lifetime labor of love. For many parents the proper way to discipline our children seems to be the most difficult thing to do. The Bible teaches corporal punishment, whether the modern experts agree or not. To withhold punishment from a child when it is deserved is to encourage the child in sin and thus to contribute to his eventual ruin. The parent who spares his rod might think he is manifesting love, but God says it is hatred. Here is how the Bible describes it, “He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.” (Proverbs 13:24 Amplified)

The parent who genuinely loves his child does not condone naughtiness, but discipline the child promptly. We all know children who have been properly discipline will always bring delight and rest to their parents instead of anxiety and heartache. Once again listen to how the Bible describes corporal punishment, “Correct your son and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.” (Proverbs 29:17 Amplified)

Are Your Children Spoiled?

By Katherine Kam WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

If you are spoiling your children, you’ll know it. They’re rude to you and other adults. They won’t share with other children. They will act bossy and demand to be first in line. They don’t answer your questions and ignore your instructions. If you deny them a new toy or treat, you’ll face a tempest of crying, howling, and little fists pounding the floor.

Feeling defeated? Nowadays, many parents do. But it’s not too late to curb spoiled behavior, child psychologists tell WebMD. In fact, they say, your child’s ultimate happiness depends on it.

“I think most parents know when their kids are spoiled, but they feel kind of helpless to do anything about it,” says Richard Bromfield, PhD, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of How to Unspoil Your Child Fast.

During more than 25 years in a private counseling practice in the Boston area, Bromfield has seen the gamut. A young boy who ordered his mother around and scolded her sharply for giving him yogurt when he wanted pretzels. An 8-year-old girl who cried and screamed when her mom and dad went to dinner or a movie without her, prompting frantic calls from the babysitter that sent her parents scurrying home. Or children who sass their parents for refusing them anything: “You stink.” “You’re a terrible mother.” “I hate you.”

When spoiled youngsters become teenagers, they’re more prone to excessive self-absorption, lack of self-control, anxiety, and depression, says Dan Kindlon, PhD, author of Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age.

“If you give kids so much early on, they get to a point where they can’t be satisfied with anything,” says Kindlon, who is also a clinical and research psychologist at Harvard University.

When mothers and fathers stop spoiling their children, Bromfield says, not only will they feel less frustrated as parents, they’ll also prepare their children to handle life’s curve balls — a tough task for kids who have always gotten their way.

So where do you start? Here are steps you can take to regain control.

1. Commit yourself wholeheartedly to stop spoiling your children.

“You have to commit. If you do it halfway, it’s better than not at all, but it’s not going to work until you really do it,” Bromfield says. For example, a parent who wants a child to start cleaning his room has to make sure that the job gets done right. “If they pick up one crayon and a piece of clothing and that’s it, it isn’t going to work,” he says.

In Bromfield’s experience, parents who take their new mission seriously see fairly quick improvements in their child’s behavior, he says. “A 10-year-old spoiled child does not need 10 years of reversal. Kids are smart and resilient and they want to grow right, so it’s generally not too late.”

2. Replace empty threats with clear, calm, concise instructions.

“Kids hear their parents say, ‘stop, no, it’s the last time.’ All the screaming and the counting to three and the threats — we have trained them to ignore us for 11 hours because they know that in the 12th hour, they’re going to get their way,” Bromfield says. “I tell parents to say what you mean. If you just say the words and say what’s going to happen and stick to it, that’s what has the power — the consequence. You don’t even have to yell.”

Also, avoid the trap of over-explaining or haggling endlessly over routine matters, such as tooth-brushing, turning off the video game, or bedtime. Your child will only argue with you like a pint-sized lawyer, Bromfield says. Think about it, he says: Does your 11-year-old son really need hundreds of nightly reminders about the benefits of dental hygiene if he’s smart enough to memorize 493 species of Pokemon?

3. Provide consistent discipline and consequences.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Bromfield says. Cut the chatter and provide concrete consequences, he suggests. “Is tooth-brushing a problem for your child? Try no treats for the entire next day. No warnings, no threats, just a total prohibition of sugar and sweets for the next 24 hours. Does he refuse to [pick] up his toys? Put them all away for a few days, period.” At first, your child may whine and cry, but don’t give in to tantrums. “Children need to grow used to handling reasonable limits without feeling devastated, rejected, and unloved.”

4. Avoid rescuing or overprotecting your child.

Is your daughter always late for school? Stop nagging and let her suffer the consequences of constant tardiness, Bromfield says. It sounds simple, but most parents are quick to rush in and rescue. His advice: “Unless the children are in danger, let them stew in the messes they make.”

Parents who repeatedly shield their children from consequences thwart their growth in character, experts say.

5. Ask yourself if you’re overindulging your child materially. 

Many parents shower their children with gifts and never require them to earn something on their own, experts say. But spoiling your children with all the toys, clothes, and electronic gadgets they want deprives them of important life lessons, such as saving up for a treasured possession, Bromfield says. “If you get everything, you don’t learn gratitude. If you never have to wait, you don’t learn patience.”

The psychologist says that he sees mothers who buy themselves $12 dresses at discount stores, but think nothing of spending $200 on their child’s shoes. Instead, try to cut back on excessive spending and shift some responsibility to your child to do chores or save allowance money for purchases.

In these hard economic times, more parents may simply be being forced to say no, Bromfield says. “The fact that people are struggling is not a good thing, but there might be a mixed blessing. Because of financial limits, people are probably giving their kids less. I see a lot of parents who are struggling with this because they’re feeling really badly. But I see this as an opportunity. In the way that the stock market and real estate prices are correcting, I think over-indulgent parenting is correcting, too.”

6. Stay on Track  

Despite a parent’s best intentions to stop spoiling a child, lots of things can derail the effort, experts say, including fatigue or being overwhelmed by work responsibilities or marital troubles. “Parents will backslide and undermine their progress,” Bromfield says.

What’s the secret to getting back on track?

“Parents can remind themselves that the reason they’re going to give in is a selfish reason — because it’s easier,” Kindlon says. “Remind yourself that you didn’t hesitate when the child, as a 2-year-old, wanted to drink the Chlorox. You had to take it away from them, right? Even if they said they hated you and they screamed, you didn’t feel bad about that. You have to develop the same mind-set and realize that this is best for them.”

Kindlon recently worked with a man who remembers how he chafed in his youth at his father’s steady discipline and refusal to spoil him. As the man recalls gratefully now, “My father told me, ‘I don’t care if you like me now. I want you to like me when you’re 40.’”

Why Do We Spoil Our Children?

Children don’t become spoiled because they’re innately bad, Bromfield says. Instead, a “spoiling” parent who doesn’t provide limits and structure can foster self-centered behavior in kids.

In more than two decades of counseling families, Bromfield has seen spoiled children become more prevalent, he says. Today, parents spoil their children for myriad reasons. They’re unsure about how to discipline children, they’re too tired and overworked to make an effort, they’re afraid of damaging their youngster’s self-esteem, or they fear that their children will become angry and dislike them. And, here’s a biggie: some parents spoil their children intentionally because it feels good, Bromfield says. “They find it gives them true pleasure to see their child happy, and they just always want that to happen.”

No one is advocating a return to a strict and distant child-rearing style from the past. But today’s parent-child relationships, marked by more emotional closeness, spontaneity, and friendship, pose both advantages and pitfalls.

“Today’s parents tend to be less comfortable with their authority,” Bromfield says. “Instead of telling their child what to do, they ask. Demands become questions. Questions become special elections.”

For example, “Look at what ‘Please hand me that stick’ can morph into at the playground,” he says: “‘Can you pretty please give Mommy the stick, and then we’ll go to the candy store?’”

But a child who controls parents is actually out of control, Bromfield says.

He recalls one couple who “walked on eggshells” around their preschooler to avoid triggering the boy’s rages. Why was he so angry? In part, Bromfield says, “he felt frightened of his own aggression because even his parents, rather than stand up to him, would give in to him.”

“Kids want their parents to be parents,” Bromfield adds. As he writes in his book, “A child needs boundaries and structure to grow and will seek them when they are absent. A child who perpetually pesters her parent may be searching for the limits she needs to grow straight. Her demanding and destructive behavior is meant, to a great degree, to test you, her parent, to find out what outrageous reaction will finally get you to react — constructively.”

Unchecked, a child’s sense of entitlement and spoiled behavior can spill over into the classroom, sports team, and play dates, causing rejection from other children. “Even brats hate being brats,” Bromfield says. “They will be the first ones to know that their selfishness is getting in the way. They will show you, even as they’re defending themselves, that they’re envious of kids who aren’t selfish.”

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