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KEITH's Spiritual Steps

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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Sat 29 Oct 2011, 7:50 pm

By John MacArthur

Those who are familiar with my ministry know that I am committed to expository preaching. It is my unshakable conviction that the proclamation of God’s Word should always be the heart and the focus of the church’s ministry (2 Tim. 4:2). And proper biblical preaching should be systematic, expositional, theological, and God-centered.

Such preaching is in short supply these days. There are plenty of gifted communicators in the modern evangelical movement, but today’s sermons tend to be short, shallow, topical homilies that massage people’s egos and focus on fairly insipid subjects like human relationships, "successful" living, emotional issues, and other practical but worldly—and not definitively biblical—themes. These messages are lightweight and without substance, cheap and synthetic, leaving little more than an ephemeral impression on the minds of the hearers.

Some time ago I hosted a discussion at the Expositors’ Institute, an annual small-group colloquium on preaching held at our church. In preparation for that seminar, I took a yellow legal pad and a pen and began listing the negative effects of the superficial brand of preaching that is so rife in modern evangelicalism.

I initially thought I might be able to identify about ten, but in the end I had jotted down a list of sixty-one devastating consequences. I’ve distilled them to fifteen by combining and eliminating all but the most crucial ones. I offer them as a warning against superficial, marginally biblical preaching—both to those who stand behind the pulpit and to those who sit in the pew.

1. It usurps the authority of God over the soul. Whether a preacher boldly proclaims the Word of God or not is ultimately a question of authority. Who has the right to speak to the church? The preacher or God? Whenever anything is substituted for the preaching of the Word, God’s authority is usurped. What a prideful thing to do! In fact, it is hard to conceive of anything more insolent that could be done by a man who is called by God to preach.

2. It removes the lordship of Christ from His church. Who is the Head of the church? Is Christ really the dominant teaching authority in the church? If so, then why are there so many churches where His Word is not being faithfully proclaimed? When we look at contemporary ministry, we see programs and methods that are the fruit of human invention, the offspring of opinion polls and neighborhood surveys, and other pragmatic artifices. Church-growth experts have in essence wrested control of the church’s agenda from her true Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Puritan forefathers resisted the imposition of government-imposed liturgies for precisely this reason: They saw it as a direct attack on the headship of Christ over His own church. Modern preachers who neglect the Word of God have yielded the ground those men fought and sometimes died for. When Jesus Christ is exalted among His people, His power is manifest in the church. When the church is commandeered by compromisers who want to appease the culture, the gospel is minimized, true power is lost, artificial energy must be manufactured, and superficiality takes the place of truth.

3. It hinders the work of the Holy Spirit. What is the instrument the Spirit uses to do His work? The Word of God. He uses the Word as the instrument of regeneration (1 Pet. 1:23; Jas. 1:18). He also uses it as the means of sanctification (John 17:17). In fact, it is the only tool He uses (Eph. 6:17). So when preachers neglect God’s Word, they undermine the work of the Holy Spirit, producing shallow conversions and spiritually lame Christians—if not utterly spurious ones.

4. It demonstrates appalling pride and a lack of submission. In the modern approach to "ministry," the Word of God is deliberately downplayed, the reproach of Christ is quietly repudiated, the offense of the gospel is carefully eliminated, and "worship" is purposely tailored to fit the preferences of unbelievers. That is nothing but a refusal to submit to the biblical mandate for the church. The effrontery of ministers who pursue such a course is, to me, frightening.

5. It severs the preacher personally from the regular sanctifying grace of Scripture. The greatest personal benefit that I get from preaching is the work that the Spirit of God does on my own soul as I study and prepare for two expository messages each Lord’s Day. Week by week the duty of careful exposition keeps my own heart focused and fixed on the Scriptures, and the Word of God nourishes me while I prepare to feed my flock. So I am personally blessed and spiritually strengthened through the enterprise. If for no other reason, I would never abandon biblical preaching. The enemy of our souls is after preachers in particular, and the sanctifying grace of the Word of God is critical to our protection.

6. It clouds the true depth and transcendence of our message and therefore cripples both corporate and personal worship. What passes for preaching in some churches today is literally no more profound than what preachers in our fathers’ generation were teaching in the five-minute children’s sermon they gave before dismissing the kids. That’s no exaggeration. It is often that simplistic, if not utterly inane. There is nothing deep about it. Such an approach makes it impossible for true worship to take place, because worship is a transcendent experience. Worship should take us above the mundane and simplistic. So the only way true worship can occur is if we first come to grips with the depth of spiritual truth. Our people can only rise high in worship in the same proportion to which we have taken them deep into the profound truths of the Word. There is no way they can have lofty thoughts of God unless we have plunged them into the depths of God’s self-revelation. But preaching today is neither profound nor transcendent. It doesn’t go down, and it doesn’t go up. It merely aims to entertain.

By the way, true worship is not something that can be stimulated artificially. A bigger, louder band and more sentimental music might do more to stir people’s emotions. But that is not genuine worship. True worship is a response from the heart to God’s truth (John 4:23). You can actually worship without music if you have seen the glories and the depth of what the Bible teaches.

7. It prevents the preacher from fully developing the mind of Christ. Pastors are supposed to be under-shepherds of Christ. Too many modern preachers are so bent on understanding the culture that they develop the mind of the culture and not the mind of Christ. They start to think like the world, and not like the Savior. Frankly, the nuances of worldly culture are virtually irrelevant to me. I want to know the mind of Christ and bring that to bear on the culture, no matter what culture I may be ministering to. If I’m going to stand up in a pulpit and be a representative of Jesus Christ, I want to know how He thinks—and that must be my message to His people too. The only way to know and proclaim the mind of Christ is by being faithful to study and preach His Word. What happens to preachers who obsess about cultural "relevancy" is that they become worldly, not godly.

8. It depreciates by example the spiritual duty and priority of personal Bible study. Is personal Bible study important? Of course. But what example does the preacher set when he neglects the Bible in his own preaching? Why would people think they need to study the Bible if the preacher doesn’t do serious study himself in the preparation of his sermons? There is now a movement among some in ministry to trim, as much as possible, all explicit references to the Bible from the sermon—and above all, don’t ever ask your people to turn to a specific Bible passage because that kind of thing makes "seekers" uncomfortable. Some churches actively discourage their people from bringing Bibles to church lest the sight of so many Bibles intimidate the "seekers." As if it were dangerous to give your people the impression that the Bible might be important!

9. It prevents the preacher from being the voice of God on every issue of his time. Jeremiah 8:9 says, "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?" When I speak, I want to be God’s messenger. I’m not interested in exegeting what some psychologist or business guru or college professor has to say about an issue. My people don’t need my opinion; they need to hear what God has to say. If we preach as Scripture commands us, there should be no ambiguity about whose message is coming from the pulpit.

10. It breeds a congregation that is as weak and indifferent to the glory of God as their pastor is. Such preaching fosters people who are consumed with their own well-being. When you tell people that the church’s primary ministry is to fix for them whatever is wrong in this life—to meet their needs, to help them cope with their worldly disappointments, and so on—the message you are sending is that their mundane problems are more important than the glory of God and the majesty of Christ. Again, that sabotages true worship.

11. It robs people of their only true source of help. People who sit under superficial preaching become dependent on the cleverness and the creativity of the speaker. When preachers punctuate their sermons with laser lights and smoke, video clips and live drama, the message they send is that there isn’t a prayer the people in the pew could ever extract such profound material on their own. Such gimmicks create a kind of dispensing mechanism that people can’t use to serve themselves. So they become spiritual couch potatoes who just come in to be entertained, and whatever superficial spiritual content they get from the preacher’s weekly performance is all they will get. They have no particular interest in the Bible because the sermons they hear don’t cultivate that. They are wowed by the preacher’s creativity and manipulated by the music, and that becomes their whole perspective on spirituality.

12. It encourages people to become indifferent to the Word of God and divine authority. Predictably, in a church where the preaching of Scripture is neglected, it becomes impossible to get people to submit to the authority of Scripture. The preacher who always aims at meeting felt needs and strokes the conceit of worldly people has no platform from which to confront the man who wants to divorce his wife without cause. The man will say, "You don’t understand what I feel. I came here because you promised to meet my felt needs. And I’m telling you, I don’t feel like I want to live with this woman anymore." You can’t inject biblical authority into that. You certainly wouldn’t have an easy time pursuing church discipline. That is the monster that superficial preaching creates. But if you are going to try to deal with sin and apply any kind of authoritative principle to keep the church pure, you must be preaching the Word.

13. It lies to people about what they really need. In Jeremiah 8:11, God condemns the prophets who treated people’s wounds superficially. That verse applies powerfully to the preachers who populate so many prominent evangelical pulpits today. They omit the hard truths about sin and judgment. They tone down the offensive parts of Christ’s message. They lie to people about what they really need, promising them "fulfillment" and earthly well-being when what people really need is an exalted vision of Christ and a true understanding of the splendor of God’s holiness.

14. It strips the pulpit of power. "The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12). Everything else is impotent, giving merely an illusion of power. Human strategy is not more important than Scripture. The showman’s ability to lure people in should not impress us more than the Bible’s ability to transform lives.

15. It puts the responsibility on the preacher to change people with his cleverness. Preachers who pursue the modern approach to ministry must think they have the power to change people. That, too, is a frightening expression of pride. We preachers can’t save people, and we can’t sanctify them. We can’t change people with our insights, our cleverness, by entertaining them or by appealing to their human whims and wishes and ambitions. There’s only One who can change sinners. That’s God, and He does it by His Spirit through the Word.

So pastors must preach the Word, even though it is currently out of fashion to do so (2 Tim. 4:2). That is the only way their ministry can ever truly be fruitful. Moreover, it assures that they will be fruitful in ministry, because God’s Word never returns to Him void; it always accomplishes that for which He sends it and prospers in what He sends it to do (Isa. 55:11).
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:34 pm

My Beloved Friends

BEWARE WHO YOU LET IN TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD




We are taking time out from the devotions to focus on this very important subject for us as believers. This is a very dangerous time of the year, but also an opportunity.



Let us not play games church, and become involved with the sales pitch that the world gives that Halloween is OK. IT IS NOT.



IT IS DEEPLY SATANIC AND MUST BE OPPOSED. I MAKE NO APOLOGY FOR MY STANCE ON THIS ISSUE.



I have placed an article below along with a website that exposes the lie that is taught. Please take this seriously Church.



What you can do



DO NOT USE PRODUCTS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH HALLOWEEN.. EVEN HALLOWEEN BISCUITS OR SWEETS.



PASS ON THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.



ORGANISE PRAYER MEETINGS IN YOUR CHURCH TO STAND AGAINST POWERS OF DARKNESS ON THE 31ST.



WHEN KIDS COME OFFER THEM A GOSPEL TRACT.. SHARE THE TRUTH OF CHRIST.



WE ARE TO TOLD TO BREAK THESE STRONGHOLDS MY FRIENDS.



My friends , we fight against spiritual wickedness in High Places. Ephesians 6, we need to tear down this stronghold, the devil has blinded the eyes of the world to this evil, we need to take it into captivity and destroy it 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.



MOST OF ALL WE NEED TO PROCLAIM THAT JESUS LIVES AND HE ALONE REIGNS.



PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY AND POST TO YOUR FRIENDS AND PRAYER GROUPS.



I have written in capitals to stress the importance of this and more importantly how it grieves the Father.



Love in Christ



Keith





Unknown Author



There are many versions of Halloween. This is one of them.
Do some major Deliverance on yourself for ever celebrating Halloween. Burn any left over Halloween stuff in your home. Don't even open your doors to pass out "tracts". If you do, then you are celebrating this unholy day.


No matter what you think of Halloween, know that it is the very highest satanic holy day. As a Believer, you should not be observing it in any way, especially IN your church. The catholic church is responsible for this day to be placed in the church.

Halloween has never been a Righteous holiday, and it has no place in the life of a born again Believer 0f Jesus Christ the Messiah. In fact, it is an abomination to Elohim, and we should take our stand firmly against it. As we look at its history, we find that its roots go deep into heathenism, paganism, satanism and the occult; and its modern expression is no better.

HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
Celtic New Year
October 31 is the most important day in the satanic year. [It is known as the devil's birthday.] It marks the Celtic new year. It was the end of the growing season. It became a festival of death. On this day, the god of the Celtics was to have called up the spirits of the wicked dead who had died during the past year. At the same time, other evil spirits arose and went about the countryside harassing the people. On October 31, the Celtics expected to be harassed by ghosts, evil spirits and demons; and it was no fun and games to them. They would light bonfires to guide the spirits to their own town and to ward off evil spirits.


DRUIDS
The Celtics had priests called druids. On October 31, the druids went from house to house demanding certain foods, and all those who refused were cursed. The people were tormented by means of magic. As they went, the druids carried large turnips which they had hollowed out and on which they had carved demon faces as charms. Each one was believed to contain the demon spirit that personally led or guided that priest: his little god.


DIVINATION
Those who practiced fortune telling and divination found that this was the night that they had the most success. They called upon satan to bless their efforts. One form of divination was to put apples in a tub and bob for them. The one who first successfully came up with one without putting them in his teeth was to have good luck throughout the year. They would then peel the apples and throw the peeling over their shoulders and then quickly look around. They expected to see a vision or an apparition of the one they were to marry.


SACRIFICES
These things happened several centuries before The Messiah. Sacrifices were made to the gods, especially the god of death - Samhain (pronounced Sah win). Sacrifices all the way from vegetable to human were offered. This went on and on, and, in some parts of the world, still goes on today.


8th CENTURY
In the 8th century, the Pope, in an effort to get the people to quit the festival of Sam hain, invented All Saints Day (Nov. 1). This was an attempt to get the people to turn away from the horrible observance of Sam hain. All Saints Day was intended to honor the martyrs of the Roman persecutions. It did not work! It never works to Christianize a pagan holiday. The holy and the profane do not mix.


THE MIDDLE AGES
In the Middle Ages, there was a great revival of satanic practices and witchcraft and magic - like there is today. During this time the belief developed that witches traveled on broomsticks to the black Sabbaths to worship satan on October 31. They were guided by spirits in the form of black cats. The Druids worshiped cats believing them to be reincarnated evil people.


CHURCH INVOLVEMENT
This festival of death has survived all the efforts of the church to stamp it out. The church is joining the opposition by celebrating this festival.
All Saints Day became All Hallows Day. Hallow means holy or sacred.


October 31 is the evening before All Hallows Day and came to be called in the western world all hallows evening and then all hallows een. Een is an abbreviation for evening. Finally, the word was reduced to the way we have it today, Halloween. That's where the name came from, and even if it is called all hallows evening, it has nothing to do with Christian faith, and it never did.

MODERN HALLOWEEN
Now let's look at the present day celebration of Halloween. Isn't the whole theme one of darkness, death, fear, threats, destruction and evil? There are witches, broomsticks, bats, owls, ghosts, skeletons, death, and monsters.


You dress up your children as demons and witches and ghouls and monsters and werewolves and send them out into the street in the darkness to reenact the Druids' practice of demanding food from people under threat of tricks (or curses) if they don't comply.
You take, not a turnip, but a pumpkin and carve demon faces in it and decorate with it.


At Halloween there will be apple bobbing, divination, fortune telling, haunted houses, candles lit and spirits called up. There will be seances and ouija boards in the name of fun and excitement. There will be sacrifices of dogs, cats, rats, chickens, goats and even humans!

You say, "Well, we don't take it seriously." But the devil does and so does Elohim. Particularly this is true when the Believers which He purchased with His own precious blood builds houses of horror in its fellowship halls so that the little lambs who have been entrusted to its care can be terrified and opened up to invading spirits of fear and torment and confusion.
How this must Grieve Elohim!


Scriptural References:
Hosea 4:6; Ezekiel 44:23; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 7:25-26; James 1:27; II Corinthians 6:14; I Corinthians 10:19-23; I Thessalonians 5:21-23; Philippians 4:8.






Websites



http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html



http://espministries.com/Topic-Halloween.html



http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/halloween.html
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2011, 3:47 pm

TO BLESS YOU TO STAND STRONG
I’m Standing on the Promises of God!

The past few days have been very challenging for me physically. In the words of the ER doctor, I have had a “rip roaring” infection! It was borderline last Sunday evening whether or not I would be hospitalized. I had a lot of family and friends praying for me and through Facebook messages, posts and emails, I received an overwhelming outpouring of prayers.

I’m so thankful for all of the prayers I received. Every one of them brought a source of strength and healing. As my friend, Marsha, says, “I needed the prayer and they needed the practice!” But there was one prayer that really ministered to me and began to stir something within my spirit. This prayer states the Word of God, the promises of God, and the things which are promised to us through the benefits of the Cross of Calvary. I have been reading this and proclaiming it over myself every day since I received it. Thank you so very much, C!

I read it just before I went to bed the night I received it. Every time I would roll over or awaken during the night, this prayer would resound within my spirit. I asked permission from the lady who sent it to me to share it with you today. I am so thankful that she consented. I pray that it is a blessing and encouragement to you also. In fact, why not consider making it part of your daily devotions?

Dear Heavenly Father,

v I DECREE AND DECLARE because I have chosen life and blessing by my faith in Jesus Christ, that the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is operating in every area of my life, and
v I DECREE AND DECLARE this for me and my seed.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that we are redeemed and delivered from the dominion and power of darkness, and through Salvation in Jesus Christ, we are protected, preserved, and safe under the shadow of the Almighty.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that You are our refuge and our fortress, and
v I DECREE AND DECLARE we are hidden under the covering of Your wings.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that You are our shield and buckler, and
v I DECREE AND DECLARE we are covered in the armor of God.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that no evil shall befall me or my household, nor any plague or calamity shall come near our dwelling.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that the power of the Blood of Jesus is upon me and my household, and between us and
v I DECREE AND DECLARE the evil one and all of his schemes shall not overtake me because we overcome satan and his plans for us, by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
v I thank You, Father, and I DECREE AND DECLARE that because I have chosen life in Christ Jesus, my body, soul, spirit, mind, will, and emotions are under His Lordship.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that Jesus is my Savior, Deliverer, Healer, Righteousness, Peace, Joy, and the Provider of every good gift to me and my seed.
v I thank You, Father, and I DECREE AND DECLARE that through your provision, all of my needs are met, and grace and peace are multiplied to me and to my seed.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that we are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my body is strong and resists every work of the enemy to put disease, pain, sickness, weakness, or sorrow on me.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE I am born of an incorruptible seed, and every organ in my body is a good and perfect gift from the Father above. Thank you, Father,
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that Holy Spirit, Who raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in me to release the resurrection life of Christ into every part of my body that needs it, right now.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that I am in a covenant relationship with You,
v I thank You that I can DECREE AND DECLARE redemption for me and my seed.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my seed are redeemed from all of the sickness, diseases, and weaknesses that have been passed down through my bloodline.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE this freedom is made effectual in me, by the delivering power of Holy Spirit, Who operates in me and my seed, by faith in the redeeming Blood of Christ, my Lord.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE AND thank You, that every organ in my body functions uprightly in the way that You created it to perform.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my mind is alert and protected, and
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my memory is good, because Holy Spirit brings all things that I need to know to my remembrance.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my eyes, ears, and all of my senses are preserved and strong in the Lord.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that I am redeemed from: heart disease and heart attacks, strokes, cancer, migraines, IBS, allergies, osteoporosis, arthritis, scoliosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lung problems, kidney problems, glandular problems, and eye, ear, nose, throat problems, and diabetes.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that all of my bones, joints, and muscles are full of strength and health.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that my nervous system and immune system are preserved and protected and strong in the Lord.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that when I lay down, I sleep in peace.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that I am free from insomnia, anxiety, worry, fear, anger, strife, confusion, and depression.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that by my faith I am crucified to the works of the flesh and the power of the devil.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE that because I am crucified with Christ, I am not in bondage to besetting sins or the iniquities, addictions, and strongholds from my past or from the sins of my ancestors.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE I am redeemed from the curse, and I say so.
v I DECREE AND DECLARE this in the Almighty Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, Savior, Healer, and Blessed Redeemer. Amen.
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 8:17 pm

for your blessing from gerrie
Now is time to write again. You choose to write at your own convenience and not mine but My time is always convenient with all people. I AM never in a hurry unless I should hurry things up for My Name Sake. Be quick and do not let My Words slip through your mind and your heart. Do not occupy your thoughts with anything but what I AM speaking. You must always listen with a keen ear of the soul and you must need be seeking Me at all times. This does not mean that you are to not be doing anything but seeking Me, and neither are you to always sit idle but you should all be seeking Me at all times and in all places. I AM with you at all times even more than you are with yourself. I look out for you even more so than one should look after a new born baby for all of you are as helpless before Me as a new born baby that has just entered the world in all its wickedness. No one truly knows how helpless he is without Me and no one truly knows his own strength in Me who possesses the Spirit of the Divine One. I would have My people walk in the awareness of My presence at all times. I would have those that know Me not, and are not born of My Holy Spirit to be aware that they are without Me even though I AM very near unto all.
I have spoken, take heed of My Word for they are Words of life. for I AM a living God and I die not.
The sweetest and most sacred spot on earth!

(Charles Orr, "Christianity in Home Life")

Nowhere is Christianity more beautifully displayed, than in the home. It changes the home of wickedness, strife, and contention--into a peaceful and delightful Eden. It converts the home of the wicked--into a palace. It drives away discontentment, uneasiness, fear, and darkness--and showers contentment, peace, and sunlight into every heart.

Christianity in home life--makes all . . .
love and kindness--between brothers and sisters;
love and dutifulness--between parents and children;
love, peace, harmony, honesty, and faithfulness--between husband and wife.

Christianity makes a home--a Heaven! A Christian home where all is love and tenderness and devotion--is the sweetest and most sacred spot on earth! A home where Christianity is crowned a queen in every heart--is an Eden. The heart of God is filled with delight as He looks down upon such a home! His presence dwells there, and causes this home to be a beautiful oasis in this wilderness world of sin.

Alas, that such homes are so few! Sin destroys the happiness of man, and makes many a home--a hotbed of contention, strife, and confusion!

When the husband and wife are kind, loving, and gentle toward each other; when she in her weakness feels her dependence upon him, and lovingly, trustingly looks unto him as her defense; and he in his strength and delight enfolds her in his strong arms of protection with a feeling of responsibility to nourish and cherish her--then they can testify, that they have a Heaven in their home!

Unless we have attained unto such a life--we have not attained to Bible Christianity, nor to domestic joy and happiness.
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Oct 2011, 3:09 pm

All Worship To God Only


"We must give unto the Lord; not as if God needed any thing, or could receive any thing, from us or any creature, which was not his own before, much less be benefited by it; but we must in our best affections, adorations, and services, return to Him what we have received from Him, and do it freely, as what we give..." - Matthew Henry

Psalm 29:1-2 opens up with these words - "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."

In Psalm 96:7-8, we find the same command, only this time it is addressed to families - "Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."


Three times, Psalm 29 calls on the great ones of heaven and earth - angels and kings - to "Give unto the LORD." Three times, Psalm 96 calls on all families to do the same - "Give unto the LORD."

It is interesting to note that in Psalm 29, David is giving the exhortation to the hosts of heaven as well as to the "lords" among men, while in Psalm 96, Moses is giving it to the tribes of Israel or to all families in general.


"Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due His name." Is it possible for angels or men to confer anything upon Jehovah?

Actually, what is meant here is that all would ascribe to God the honor that is properly His due - acknowledging Him as the God of glory Who is endowed with power - telling Him how majestic, stately, and mighty He is.

Whatever glory or strength is given to mankind by providence, they are to offer it to Jesus - to be used for His honor and in His service. Crowns, scepters, swords, or keys are to be laid at His feet.

Although the heavenly hosts would not have this problem, men - especially great men - are oftentimes backward in glorifying God because they are too much swollen with their own glory.

Hence, the call is repeated three times -


"Give unto the LORD"
"Give unto the LORD"
"Give unto the LORD"

Not only did David and Moses put forth the call to give God what was rightfully His, but the Prophet Jeremiah did so as well.

In Jeremiah 13:16, he recorded these words - "Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness."

Here we find the Prophet issuing the same call as David and Moses to - "Give glory to the LORD your God..." He was calling the people to exalt and worship the Lord and revere Him in His holiness.

However, there is a marked difference in the words of Jeremiah. His call included acknowledging God's glory by confessing one's sins unto Him...owning up to one's guilt... believing what He says...hearkening to His Word...and living to His honor and glory. In reference to Israel, it included acknowledging God's glory by the confession of their apostasy from Him and their return to Him in sincere repentance.


"Give unto the LORD...Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."

In Romans 1:21, the Apostle Paul, like Jeremiah, alluded to the fact that neglecting to "glorify God" was actually the first step to apostasy from Him - "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."


"Give unto the LORD...Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."

What about the people of God today? Are they "giving God His due glory"?

We can answer that question with a series of other questions -

Are they selling all that they have in order to obtain the only thing that matters - the Kingdom of Heaven? Are they considering it to be more valuable than anything that they have so they are going for it with everything within them?

Do they want God and a bunch of other stuff? Are they choking out the Word in their lives (having hearts filled with "thorns") by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?

Do they worship God halfheartedly - "come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me" (Isaiah 29:13)?

Do they give to the work of the Lord as long as it is easy and safe to give and doesn't impinge on their standard of living (unlike David who refused to offer to the Lord that which did not cost Him something - 1 Chronicles 21:24)?

Do they tend to choose what is popular over what is right - caring more about what people think than what God thinks - loving the "praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:43)?

Are they a people who really don't want to be saved from their sins - only the penalty of sin (Hell); hence, they don't hate sin, nor are they truly sorry for it?

Do they rarely share their faith with family, neighbors, coworkers, and friends because they don't want to be rejected nor make people feel uncomfortable?

Do they love others conditionally, selectively, or with strings attached? Do they serve God with limits - how far they will go or how much time, energy, and money they are willing to give?

Are they obsessed with this life rather than with eternity - focused on today's to-do list, this week's schedule, and next month's vacation?

Are they a people who really don't need to depend on God - feeling secure in their savings account and retirement plan - having the future figured and mapped out?

"Give unto the LORD...Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."

In his call, the Prophet Jeremiah also called for sincere repentance and reformation.

The consequences for not making the Lord's honor our chief end and seeking it accordingly are grave - darkness, exile, and the shadow of death in our land.

Do we not already see some of these consequences?

All worship to God only!

Let's all strive to make this the motto of our families!

Let's start today!



May God Bless His Word,


Connie
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Tue 18 Oct 2011, 4:53 pm

A LORDSHIP PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge my need of you and accept you now as my Lord, my Saviour, my Redeemer and my Deliverer.
I invite you now to be the Lord and authority of the whole of my life.
Be Lord of my human spirit, my worship, conscience and spiritual understanding.
Be Lord of my mind, my thoughts, my attitudes, my beliefs and my imagination.
Be Lord of my will and all my intentions and decisions.
Be Lord of my emotions and the expression of my feelings.
Be Lord of my body, my physical health and strength, my senses and appearance, my actions, exercise, rest and diet.
Be Lord of my ears and all that I listen to;
My eyes – all that I look at and every look I give;
My mouth – all that goes in, every word that comes out;
My hands – everything they touch and do;
My feet – every path I tread, every stand I take.
Be Lord of my sexuality and all its expressions.
Be Lord of my relationships, my family, my marriage (or marital status), my friendships and Christian fellowship.
Be Lord of my time, my work, my Christian service, my relaxation, sleep and dreams.
Be Lord of my finances, my material goods and perceived needs.
Be Lord of my plans, ambitions and future.
Be Lord of the timing and nature of my death.
Thank you that you shed your blood for me so that I might be free from the consequences of sin and that my name can be written in your book of life.
Come and exercise your kingdom rule in and through my life in a new way from today. Amen
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Oct 2011, 7:22 pm

Acorns

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last."
John 15:16, NIV

As the season changes from summer to autumn in England, the trees and hedgerows are groaning with fruit – apples, blackberries, chestnuts, and hazel nuts in abundance. I read an article in The Times newspaper recently which reported that there were so many acorns falling from the trees in the New Forest this year that 600 pigs needed to be released into the area to clear them up! Apparently each mature oak tree is capable of producing 50,000 acorns!

Isaiah tells us that people who have been saved by Jesus, who have been healed and set free by Him, will be called “oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3), “a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour”. One of the ways we can display His splendour is by bearing fruit in our lives. In today’s verse Jesus says that this is what we were chosen and appointed to do. What a challenge for us to replicate the 50,000 acorns that an oak tree can bear!

However, an oak tree does not have to work hard at producing fruit; it merely has to remain with its roots firmly in good ground and the fruit will grow. Similarly, Jesus says: “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5).

Nor does the oak have responsibility for what happens to the fruit – it merely has to produce the acorns. In the same way we may never know what happens to the seeds that we sow for the Kingdom. Some of them may fall on stony ground, or among the thistles and thorns that Jesus describes in the parable of ‘the Sower’ (Matthew 13). Our responsibility is to keep on being fruitful and sowing the seed.

An oak tree is one of the toughest and most durable of trees. It can often survive in a forest fire when other trees are burned up. In a severe storm in England some years ago oaks remained standing when other trees were blown down by the gales. The only sure way to destroy an oak is to cut it off from its roots! As Christians we should similarly be able to withstand fiery trials and storms of opposition as long as we continue to be rooted deeply in Jesus. We will then produce lasting fruit for the Kingdom and display God’s splendour by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit that Paul writes of in Galatians 5:22-23.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing me. Please help me to remain in You and to bear abundant and lasting fruit in my life to bring glory to You. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor Jilly Lyon Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Oct 2011, 5:32 pm

written by lashonda.. I hope this stirs you spirit

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME...?

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (NIV)

When was the last time you proclaimed the good news to the poor?
When was the last time you encouraged someone with a broken heart?
When was the last time you proclaimed freedom for the captives?
When was the last time you shed light on the darkness for those who are in prison?

In case no one told you...you are anointed, too! The Spirit of the Lord is upon you, also. Don't keep your salvation to yourself. Testify of God's goodness, encourage others, declare and decree that the chains of bondage can be broken, and let your light shine.

Our time is short...and there is too much work to be done! Let's get busy!
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Oct 2011, 12:37 pm

As I start the devotions again, I wish to thank God for what He has done in my life over the last months.

Firstly, He has touched my life so deeply, it is like I have Fallen In Love again, with the Father in such a powerful way. He has drawn me into the secret place, the place where HE wants to commune with His people. People who have known me thirty years have never seen me like this.

It is a place I love to go, just to commune with MY FATHER, just to tell HIM, that I love HIM..amen. Take time to go into that secret place and tell God you love and adore HIM.. just for no other reason.. that you truly Love HIM amen for himself.. if we draw to God.. he will draw near to us.. it is not about meetings and other things.. it is our relationship with God, in the secret place, if that is right then everything else is, marriages, churches, relationships etc etc... AMEN

I LOVE YOU FATHER
I LOVE YOU JESUS
I LOVE YOU PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT

This is so wonderful

He has led me to the Most beautiful AND wonderful woman in the world, who is called Helen. Thank you Father and Thank you Helen. God has brought us together, we had to do so little, it was and is all of HIM.

God has given me a gift, the most amazing, beautiful and kind lady in the world. Helen
She is the most amazing, Holy spirit filled and gentle woman in the whole wide world. She is a virtuous woman , one who is described in Proverbs 31. I am in a developing relationship with HELEN and she is the Lady that God has brought to me.

There is so much pureness and holiness and power in our relationship. My dearest Helen is the leader of a church in China.. yes China.
She is a wonderful preacher/teacher and evangelist and is full of boldness and Power. Pray for us as we develop and grow our relationship as both of us believe and have had it confirmed that we have been led together by the Lord. Please pray for us as God guides our future in His time and His way for the Glory of God and that alone. We both love and adore Our wonderful Father and thank HIM for touching both of our lives with HIS majesty and grace.

It is all about God, not about us, we are both instruments of the King of Kings and give ourselves gladly to HIS SERVICE. I am a blessed happy and contented Man.. in Love with MY JESUS and My Wonderful Helen.

I Know several of you were with me in 2004, when I made my terrible error of judgement, please look at this with Spiritual eyes, take it to Father, Ask Him.. what does you Spirit say..I would be interested, to hear your comments. If you wish to e-mail me then please do it at this e-mail below

faithhopeandlovefellowship@gmail.com.

Most of all stand with us both in prayer, if you wish to call me then UK callers 01524 425241.. overseas callers check UK code.. but no is 1524 425241.

AI NI HELEN

Finally please pray for


I ask that you stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters all over the world, this page on the site changes every week, so please come back as often as you can. Thanks for standing by these dear brothers and sisters in Christ

http://www.ourchurch.com/member/f/faithhopelove/index.php?p=1_14_Persecuted-Church

For those who don't know I have changed churches and now go to Home church, which is a church plant under the leadership of Richard Scholes.



Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for myself and Helen as we both draw closer to Jesus and Especially for both our families to be saved


God bless you

Keith
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Oct 2011, 9:22 am

TO BLESS YU FROM DR KENNY MCLINTON

Psalm 5: Spiritually Sanctified Fellowship! - Psalm 5:4-6

10/5/2011



Text: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Psalm 66:18.


“These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”


Proverbs 6:16-19.

Good morning Spiritually-sanctified Christian! Knowing full well that you are seeking to worship, praise and come before in prayer a Holy Lord God Almighty Who is indeed ‘…a consuming fire…’ against all sin and sinful practice - you have learned to take a humble stance before Him, and not before seeking to be freshly sanctified from your sin. You do well, beloved Christian, you are a wise servant of God indeed.


“Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)


"For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (Verse 4) "When I pray against my tempters," says David, "I pray against the very things which Thou Thyself abhorrest." Thou hatest evil: Lord, I beseech thee, deliver me from it! Let us learn here the solemn truth of the hatred which a righteous God must bear toward sin. He has no pleasure in wickedness, however wittily, grandly, and proudly it may array itself. Its glitter has no charm for him. Men may bow before successful villainy, and forget the wickedness of the battle in the gaudiness of the triumph, but the Lord of Holiness is not such-an-one as we are. "Neither shall evil dwell with thee." (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury Of David, page 27)


“For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” (Hebrews 10:30-31)


“He (the Lord God) will not afford it (wicked sin) the meanest shelter. Neither on earth nor in heaven shall evil share the mansion of God. Oh, how foolish are we if we attempt to entertain two guests so hostile to one another as Christ Jesus and the devil!


Rest assured, Christ will not live in the parlour of our hearts if we entertain the devil in the cellar of our thoughts.
” (C.H.Spurgeon, T.O.D., page 27)


From the quotations above, can we not see how vital it is for the 21st Century Church - those professing the Name of the Living Lord Jesus Christ - to revisit the writings and teachings of such Spiritual giants as Spurgeon and the Puritan believers? How far have we latter-day Christians departed from the concept of personal holiness!


Verse 5."The foolish shall not stand in thy sight."Sinners are fools written large. A little sin is a great folly, and the greatest of all folly is great sin. Such sinful fools as these must be banished from the court of heaven. Earthly kings were wont to have fools in their trains, but the only wise God will have no fools in his palace above.


"Thou hatest all workers of iniquity."
It is not a little dislike, but a thorough hatred which God bears to workers of iniquity. To be hated of God is an awful thing. O let us be very faithful in warning the wicked around us, for it will be a terrible thing for them to fall into the hands of an angry God!” (C.H. Spurgeon, T.O.D., page 28)

“What an astonishing thing is sin, which maketh the God of love and Father of mercies an enemy to His creatures, and which could only be purged by the Blood of the Son of God. (Thomas Adams’ Private Thoughts 1614)


“But as He that hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (entire lifestyle); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)


By the sacred context of what we have read above: from the Scriptures; from God’s mighty men of old; and from the day to day experience each of us, as Christians, share in life - we now realise more fully the absolute necessity for daily sanctification. We serve a Divine and Holy Lord God - let us seek sincerely to be like Him in holiness.


“If a man hate a poisonous creature, he hates poison much more. The strength of God’s hatred is against sin, and so should we hate sin, and hate it with strength; it is an abomination unto God, let it be so unto us.” (William Greenhill 1591-1677)


“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (by our Holy Lord God). But when we are judged (convicted of our daily sins), we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)


It is such a healthy practice for the regenerate Christian to seek to be progressively sanctified from sin; that being so, we might ask the Lord for a new filling of His Spirit to enable us to serve Christ in true and genuine holiness.


Thought: We cannot be made fit for Heaven, yet live like Hell on earth daily!
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 10:39 am

Keith
from sister donna
READ Matthew 5:13-16
What statement is your life making? Every person testifies to personal beliefs & priorities by the way he or she lives. Jesus said that to the watching world, believers should be like salt & light, which simply cannot be ignored: if we add salt to soup, the improved taste is obvious, & when we bring light into a room, darkness flees. Our character, conduct, & conversation should make a "loud & clear" statement about the importance of God, the necessity of Jesus Christ, & the power of the Holy Spirit.
To live a life of significance that brings glory to the Lord, believers must begin by reading & studying the Scriptures. As we meditate on His Word, God reveals Himself, & we gradually absorb His principles into our daily living. This enables us to make a greater impact on the world.
One good way to learn Scripture's lessons is by researching the lives of great saints from the Old & New Testaments. A person could spend a year apiece on Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, & Paul. Each man has a clear life message that we can see played out in the pages of the Bible. We learn each one's coping methods, what he discovers from mistakes, & how he interacts w/God.
EARLY LIGHT From biblical accounts of the saints - as well as other passages - we learn that our heavenly Father has a goal for our lives. He desires to conform us to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Recognizing this, we can set an example of successful godly living for others to follow: "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The Message of a Lifetime
READ Job 23:10-14
Imagine going to a nice restaurant for dinner. The table is set w/linens, fine china, & crystal glasses. The waiter delivers your plate w/a flourish. In the middle of that exquisite china plate is a single marshmallow. What a letdown! Instead of receiving a nutritious, meaty meal, you are left w/a puff of sugar & no satisfaction.
If we become lax, our lives can resemble that disappointing meal. Instead of being believers w/a weighty message full of hope, we can find ourselves w/nothing to offer but a bit of fluffy sweetness. God's message is meant to nourish & sustain; our family, our freinds, & even we ourselves cannot be satisfied by meager provisions. Our Father wants us to have such impact that people will never be the same after we arrive.
If the Lord is building a valuable message into our life, we must receive everything that comes our way as from Him. When a bad event passes through God's permissive will to affect us, he will bring good from it. (Romans 8:28) Truthfully, no person can share a message of hope unless he or she has 1st suffered. When we are hurting, we seek comfort from people who have faced similar hurt. Likewise, others will trust our comfort if we have known pain.
EARLY LIGHT Whatever the circumstances, we should be evaluating what God is doing in us. Like a gem polisher, He wil work off our rough edges by running us up against tough experiences & people. When we look for His purposes & lessons, we hasten the time when our life message reflects the hope that is available in Christ Jesus.
God comforts us - not to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.
--
Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Sat 01 Oct 2011, 11:49 am

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH



Scripture: II Timothy 2:15 "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth."



We have access to the heart of God through the scriptures, but we can only understand what He is saying by rightly dividing or properly interpreting His words. God sent the Holy Spirit to be our primary teacher. He is the One who opens our understanding and without His help, we would miss the true meaning of God's Word.



I had an experience with my grandson who misinterpreted my written words. Although he can read block printing very well, he has not yet learned to read cursive handwriting. We were to meet his mother at a fast food restaurant. While we were waiting, he was playing in the child's area and I was drinking tea and writing some notes on a paper napkin. His mother arrived and I left the table momentarily to join her at the service counter to place our food order. When my grandson came back to the table where I had been sitting he saw the writing on the paper napkin, but because he could not read the words he imagined that I had left him a note telling him that I left the restaurant without him. Fear gripped his innocent heart and he panicked. He cleaned the table as he had been taught to do, threw my glass of tea and my notes into the trash and then ran out of the room. As he rushed into the adjoining room, he discovered that we were only a few feet away from him.



My grandson is a precious treasure to me. He should have known from experience that I would never leave him or forsake him and that I would always be there to protect him. I would give my life for his sake if necessary. Yet, because his knowledge was limited and he could not rightly divide the words that I had written, he allowed fear to take over and dictate his actions. If he had simply stopped to think about my past love and care for him, he would have never reacted in that manner. Like my grandson, sometimes we read the Word of God and draw the wrong conclusions because our knowledge of God's Word is limited and we do not have a full understanding about God's nature.



We see God's strict laws but fail to put them in perspective to His bountiful grace. His Words says that where sin abounds, His grace does much more abound. God's grace is sufficient for every lack and yet God's bountiful grace does not give us a license to sin or allow us to neglect the laws of God. There must be balance. We know that God is a God of judgment, but He is also a God of love and His love covers a multitude of sin. Yet even though our sins are covered by His love, our choices demand consequences. God's mercy and forgiveness does not exclude or prevent our suffering for the deeds that we have committed, for His Word declares that what we sow, we shall also reap. God wants us to prosper but in truth it is the blessings of the Lord that make us rich and do not cause sorrow. God wants us in health, but our actions negate His desires when we disregard the laws of life and nutrition. We know that salvation is free and that we cannot gain eternal life through our works, but the fact remains that good works follow salvation. If you have been saved by His love and grace, you are going to follow His example and do good.



All scripture has been given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit so we need Him to open our understanding. It is imperative for us to study God's Word and allow the truth to be revealed to us by His Spirit, for flesh and blood can not give us Heaven's revelation. When we include the Holy Spirit in our study, He breathes upon the words of God and brings them to life. He also gives us light and makes known the true meaning of God's words. We then are able to rightly divide the Word of Truth and this creates a spiritual balance in our lives that promotes the approval of God. +++
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Fri 30 Sep 2011, 5:57 pm

SPIRIT OF TRUTH

Scripture: Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man that He should lie."

God speaks only truth into our lives because He is the Spirit of Truth. He doesn't repent or turn back on the words that He has spoken, for He cannot lie. He fulfills every promise and stands by His covenant. James 1:17 says "There is no variation or shadow of turning with God." He is a constant God, setting the days, seasons, and years into motion, and then keeping it all on tract and in order. He has a lot to take care of, yet He is never too busy to be concerned with our personal affairs. His word tells us that "All things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). If He can keep the whole world and universe in line, we can trust Him to cause our lives to also come together.

When His Holy Spirit inspired the words, "All things work together for good," those words were meant to lead us into God's truth. God meant just what He said, even though during times of rough and endless battles, we may have our doubts. God knew that there would be seasons that our faith would be challenged so He gave us many scriptures to dispel those doubts and to let us know that regardless of how things look on the outside, God is working a greater work on the inside of the whole situation. All things are going to work out for good because He is going to take the lemons of our life and make them into lemonade. The situation may be bitter in the process, but God will cause sweetness to come out of it, just like the incident at the wedding in Cana of Galilee when He turned the water into wine.

People make many promises that they don't or can't keep. But God doesn't make any empty promises, for He is well able to perform all the words that He has spoken. He has good plans for you and whatever He told you will come to pass. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, "I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope." When the way seems narrow and the road seems long, remember His words and let Him guide you through your situation. Don't lean upon your own understanding. Trust the Lord. As you allow Him to direct your path, all things will work out for good. Listen to the still small voice of the Spirit of Truth, keep your faith in Him, and trust His words because good results are on the way

Considered Monomaniacs Because You Zealously Follow Christ

"There never was anyone who spoke out the truth yet on earth, who was not called a 'howling idiot' for his pains at first." - Charles Kingsley
"Can any man who pretends to be a scholar or disciple of Jesus Christ, expect to be treated well by the world?" - Adam Clarke
"And at all times there have been many, both in church and out of it, who have regarded the friends of revivals, and of missions, and all those who have evinced any extraordinary zeal in religion (Christianity), as deranged." - Barnes' Notes
"Whether Christianity is insanity or truth and soberness can be tested by its effects. Does it drive men mad, or does it make them truthful and sober? Let Christian lives, institutions, and literature furnish the reply." - Biblical Illustrator - New Testament

"The madman, for instance, is very frequently a man of one idea. Some one oppressive thought has burnt itself into his brain, absorbs his attention by day, and colors his dreams by night, and he seems to know and care for nothing beside. And it is not therefore much to be wondered at that men of the world, to whom money, power, pleasure, luxury, are the sole ends of existence, should transfer this aspect of a disordered mind to those who have lived and laboured under the impulsion of strong religious (Christian) enthusiasm and brand them as monomaniacs." - Biblical Illustrator - New Testament

"The charge of 'derangement' on account of attention to religion (Christianity) has not been confined to the Savior. Let a man be made deeply sensible of his sins, and spend much of his time in prayer, and have no relish for ordinary amusements or business of life; or let a Christian be much impressed with his obligation to devote himself to God, and 'act" as if he believed there was an 'eternity' and warn his neighbors of their danger; or let a minister show uncommon zeal and spend his strength in the service of His Master, and the world is not slow to call it derangement...At the same time, men may endanger themselves on the bosom of the deep or in the bowels of the earth for wealth; or may plunge into the vortex of fashion, folly, and vice, and break in upon the hours of repose, and neglect their duties to their family and the demands of business, and in the view of the world it is wisdom and proof of a sane mind." - Barnes' Notes

Matthew 10:25 tells us - "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord..." What this Scripture is saying is simply this - as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you cannot expect to be treated by this world any different than the way He was treated.

How was the Master treated?

For one, He was accused by not only the townspeople but his own relatives and friends as being "beside Himself" (Mark 3:21). The scribes treated him as though He were under the power of Beelzebub, and His family and friends feared that He had a disordered mind as a result of the overstrain of ministry. They "went out to lay hold on Him"...take Him away from the multitude...take Him home...where He might be restored to a right mind. They came to believe the report of the crowds that His "knowledge was snatched away"...His mind was disturbed...and He was carried away by unwise enthusiasm.

"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord..."

Interestingly enough, as we venture over into the book of Acts, we discover that the Apostle Paul was also classified as being "beside himself" - just like Jesus. In Acts 26:24-25, we read the account - "And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." Here we find Festus - a just, sincere, outspoken, and vigorous ruler - classifying Paul as an insane and deranged madman. He considered Paul to be a brainless fanatic because he gave up a high and honorable position to become an outcast - one hated by the Jews and scorned by the Greeks. For what reason did Paul give up a good standing in society? To become a "fool for Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:10) - one who would be scorned by all men as the "filth of the world" and "offscouring of all things" (1 Corinthians 4:13)..

Festus could not understand Paul's enthusiasm, earnestness, fervor, and zeal. As a cold-hearted sceptic, he certainly did not understand such talk about a "heavenly vision" (Acts 26:19) or the resurrection from the dead. He considered this to be none other than the effect of an inflamed and excited imagination.

Using plain speech, he accused Paul in this manner - "...much learning doth make thee mad..." In other words, much learning has turned your brain...has driven you to madness...made you a distracted man - one not worthy to be heeded.

Believe it or not - this was not the only time that Paul was charged with being deranged for following after Jesus with such zeal and passion. Some in the Corinthian Church accused him of the same.

2 Corinthians 5:13 confirms this fact - "For whether we be beside our selves, it is to God..." His enemies at Corinth insinuated that he was deranged or out of his mind simply because he spoke in tongues and had heavenly visions. He was actuated by a zeal for the glory of God and a love for the church and souls. The cold, formal hypocrites regarded his warm-hearted passion...absorbed interest in Christ's cause...zeal and self-denial...and holy enthusiasm - to be boasting madness. To them, this was sure proof of him being deranged.

Notice that both Jesus and Paul evinced an extraordinary zeal in their ministry. Both were of "one idea." This "one idea" - to finish the work that the Father assigned - absorbed their attention both day and night. They knew and cared for nothing beside. Even though they were classified as being "distracted," nothing could be further from the truth. They were not in the least "distracted." On the contrary, they were "focused." Nothing could pull them away from the "mark for the prize of the high calling of God" (Philippians 3:14; Hebrews 12:2) set before them.

What about you, O Christian? Because of your zeal and passion for the Lord and for souls, has the world around you at times considered you to be deranged? Have the lukewarm or compromising rolled their eyes at your enthusiastic adherence to the truth of God's Word? Have even your family members or relatives talked about you behind your back - thinking that you have truly "lost your mind" with this Christianity that you so earnestly embrace?

If so, be encouraged! It is a sure sign that you are following in the footsteps of your Savior and Lord.

If the world rejected Him - and it has - can you expect anything different in your case?

Just face it - the more you draw closer to Jesus...follow after Him with all of your heart...take His Word into your heart and life...and seek after Him with every fiber of your being - the more you will be misunderstood by the world and worldly people - yes, even those in the church!

Determine today that - like the Apostle Paul - you are not going to allow some silly comments or names to deter you from the "mark for the prize of the high calling of God" set before you.

Let your accusers call you "mad" or "beside yourself" because you obey God, walk in the Spirit, or exemplify an uncanny zeal and passion for the things of God.

Whatever it takes - go after God! Don't allow anyone's accusations to stop you.

Remember - "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

We leave you with two final comments from Barnes' Notes -

"The tenants of a madhouse often think all others deranged but themselves; but there is no madness so great, no delirium so awful, as to neglect the eternal interest of the soul for the sake of the pleasures and honors which this life can give."

"There are a few people that become deranged by religion (Christianity); there are millions who have no religion (Christianity) who act as madmen. And the highest instances of madness are those who walk over an eternal hell without apprehension or alarm."


May God Bless His Word.
Connie
COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Mon 26 Sep 2011, 11:07 am

My Manna


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.

In 1818, a boy named Louis was sitting in his father's workshop in France.
His father was a harness maker and Louis loved to sit and watch his father work.

One day, he said, “Father, I want to be a harness maker like you one day.”

To which the father replied, “Why not start now?”

He took a piece of leather, drew a design on it, and instructed his son to use the hole puncher and hammer to follow the pattern.
The man set him off to work with a warning to be careful.

Young Louis was excited to begin his new job, but when he hit the hole puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye.
He immediately lost his sight in it as a result.
Later, sight in his other eye failed, and Louis became totally blind.

Several years later, Louis was sitting in a garden when a friend handed him a pine cone.
Louis ran his fingers over the cone, and suddenly an idea came to him.

This idea eventually led to the creation of an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that others who were blind could feel and interpret what was written.
As a result of his accident, Louis Braille opened up a new world for the blind!

To some, this type of tragedy would have been the thing that would have sent them into depression and isolation.
But as believers, we know that all things happen for a reason:
God's divine purpose and plan.Jeremiah 29:11.

God has mapped out every day and detail of our existence.
When tragedy strikes, don't be alarmed.

Know that God is in control!
And that all things work together for His glory and your good.Romans 8:28;Psalm 47:8.

Thank God for His promises of hope and a future, even when tragedy strikes.
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Sep 2011, 5:03 pm

His hand holds!


Do you know that there are forces in nature that science can’t explain?

Forces such as gravity, centrifugal force, and others.
Scientists can study them; they can analyze them; they can even measure them, but they don’t know why they are there.

One of the physicists who developed the Big Bang Theory puzzled over how we could live in a world in which practically every object was a potential nuclear explosion, and yet not be blown to bits.
Carl Darrow, a physicist at Bell Laboratories, wrote that these particles have no right to be alive at all—they never should have been created and, if created, they should have blown up instantly.
Yet there is something that relentlessly holds them together.

What is this force that keeps the universe intact?
Where does the power come from to keep us from instantly dissolving into one massive nuclear explosion?

The answer is found in Colossians 1:17-
Jesus "is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Not only did He create all things (verse 16), but by His hand we are held together.

Jesus Christ is the power behind every mysterious force in the universe.

Someday at the time of His Father’s choosing and as 2 Peter 3:10-12 teaches-
Jesus will withdraw His sustaining influence and there will be a blowout such as none of us has ever imagined.

Then, after our old universe has passed away-
He will create a new heaven and a new earth, where we will live with Him forever.2 Peter 3:13.

By just a word of His power-
Jesus holds all things together. Hebrews 1:3

He is the relentless force in the universe!
Although unbelieving men and women turn away from Him-
- we worship Him as the central figure in all time and space.

He is supreme.
He is eternal.
He is the Sustainer of all things.

There is no burden He could not carry for you.
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Fri 23 Sep 2011, 5:54 pm

"God Is Watching"

Very early on a Sunday morning I drove to the local grocery store to pick up a few things. It was my day to cook. While ordering scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits at the deli counter I heard a woman's voice, singing loudly while she worked, "God is watching..." My first tendency was to look at how I was dressed, in shorts and a tee shirt. If He really was watching, I wanted to look OK.

In a few seconds, she sang out again: "God is watching..." This time I didn't duck, but turned to see who was singing this off key one-liner. She wasn't strange looking at all. She was just busily working, baking pies and cakes and sharing a private moment with the world. "God is watching...," she blurted out in an ominous tone again. I drove away with a smile on my lips, the smell of breakfast on the seat next to me, and a new song in my heart: "God is watching...," I sang to no one and to everyone.

I wonder what she meant by that song? Did she mean that God is watching and I better think twice and not be naughty but nice? Is God really like that? Sometimes He is. The presence of God SHOULD act as a deterrent to misbehavior as well as an influence toward doing the right thing. Or, did she mean, "Hallelujah, God is watching over us." Yes! Surely, there is a feeling of security knowing that God is watching over us with a protective hand upon our lives.

You are a child of God. He watches you, not for His entertainment, but for His delight. As a parent watches his beloved children play, grow to adulthood, go away to college and become happy in their chosen professions, our Father watches over us as we grow toward spiritual maturity. Let us live in a way that brings a smile to the face of our Lord, and a song to our hearts: "God is watching..."

"The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch your coming and going
both now and forevermore"
Psalm 121:5-8

Tommy Harrison
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Sep 2011, 1:59 pm

Dear friends

The legal details have come through for the static caravan and so it will be mine soon. I do have to give one months notice on my present flat, so please pray everything goes through smoothly. I will send pictures and my new address when I get them. The Ministry devotions will start again shortly. But am sending you some ministry, that will bless you in the meantime.

Thanks and God bless you

Keith


written by jr miller

When surrounded by an ungodly society!
(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)
"In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah . . . and his wife Elizabeth . . . Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." Luke 1:5-6
It makes a great deal of difference in what times and amid what circumstances and influences, a man lives. In days when godliness pervades society--it is not remarkable that one should live righteously. But when the times are ungodly, and the prevailing spirit is wickedness--the life which is holy and devout shines with rare splendor, like a lamp in the darkness!
Such were the times and the spirit of "the days of King Herod," and such were the lives of the blameless elderly people, who are here mentioned. Amid the almost universal corruption of the society and religious leaders--they lived in piety and godly simplicity!
The lesson is--that it is not necessary for us to be and live like other people--if other people are not holy. The prevailing standard of living ought not to satisfy us--if the prevailing standard is below Scripture. No matter how corrupt the times--we should strive to live righteous and godly lives!
Nor is this impossible. God is able and willing to give us all the grace we need, to enable us to live a true and holy life--in the most unfavorable circumstances! God makes no mistakes in planting His people in this world. He does not put any of us in a spiritual climate in which we cannot grow into spiritual beauty and strength; and wherever He plants us--He sends the streams of grace to refresh and nourish us.
So, whatever our circumstances may be--it is possible for us to live a godly life! The darker the night of sin around us--the clearer and steadier should the light which streams from our life and conduct be.
Any Christian should be able to live godly--in the midst of friendly influences and favoring circumstances; but it is doubly important that we be loyal and true to Christ--when surrounded by an ungodly society
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Wed 21 Sep 2011, 3:21 pm

Dear friends

The legal details have come through for the static caravan and so it will be mine soon. I do have to give one months notice on my present flat, so please pray everything goes through smoothly. I will send pictures and my new address when I get them. The Ministry devotions will start again shortly. But am sending you some ministry, that will bless you in the meantime.

Thanks and God bless you

Keith


written by connie


Who Do You Run To?


"He who has God for his portion has all safety in Him." - Adam Clarke
"God at all times deserves our confidence. We at all times need to place our confidence in Him." - Charles Spurgeon

Throughout the Scriptures, we find that God is a "refuge" for His people.

What is a "refuge" and why is it so important that we have one in God?

A "refuge" - Scripturally speaking - is a place of security...a high place...a strong place...a secure height...or something inaccessibly high. It is a high tower that is so impregnable that the hosts of hell cannot carry it away by storm. It is a place where the Christian can flee to for safety in the time of danger. It is an impenetrable and sure defense - likened to a lofty wall or a fortress. A metaphor oftentimes used to describe it is young birds seeking protection under the wings of the parent bird. The brood of a hen takes shelter under her wings when they see a bird of prey or are caught in a storm or tempest of rain.

This lesson may not have as great an impact on you - except that right now you find yourself in one of the greatest spiritual battles of your life. It seems as though everything has been turned upside down or inside out - as far as your life is concerned.

Who do you run to? Where do you go to find shelter from the "storm"?

O Christian, run to your God! He will be a refuge for you.

David knew what it was like to encounter enemies and dangers - both physical and spiritual. He learned by experience to place all of his trust in God Who would always be the surest "refuge" for him. Hence, we find throughout the Psalms different references to the Lord being the greatest and most reliable "refuge" for His people.

Psalm 9:9 says - "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Are you feeling crushed by your circumstances... broken...dejected...afflicted...downtrodden...and unhappy? Have you been wronged by someone? Are you a victim of tyranny or injustice? Here is a promise that God will be your defense - your place of security where your enemies can neither reach you nor see you.

In Psalm 46, we find many references to God being a "refuge" for His people. Psalm 46:1 opens up with - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:7 and 11 then repeatedly add - "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." David wanted to get across to us that we do have a place to flee in times of danger. That place is found in our God. He is the "Lord of hosts." That means that He is the God Who commands, orders, or marshals all the hosts of heaven. He is the Almighty - the One Who is the Commander of heaven's armies. However, as much as He is high and mighty as the "Lord of hosts," He is also the "God of Jacob" - the One Whom Jacob found to be his friend. This God is "our refuge." He is our High Place Who is far above the reach of our enemies.

Psalm 57 was written at the time when David was hiding from Saul in the cave. We realize the intensity of the battle he was facing when we read his opening prayer - "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast" (Psalm 57:1). David realized that he was no match for Saul and his armies. Hence, he placed himself under the protection and covering of God's wings. Just as a brood of a hen takes shelter under her wings until the storm is past or the bird of prey is gone, so did David hide in His God from Saul.

Afterwards, he was able to boldly proclaim - " But I will sing of Thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning: for Thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalm 59:16)... "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God" (Psalm 62:7) and "I cried unto Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living" (Psalm 142:5). In all attacks - open or covered - He found God to be a sure refuge. He fled to Him whenever he was pursued and consistently found safety and protection.

When he declared - "Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living" - David was saying that God was his only refuge among the living. He found other "refuges" to be "refuges of lies" (Isaiah 28:17).

Because of his life-threatening experiences fleeing from Saul, David is able to instruct the Christian with words of great wisdom and understanding concerning the battles that he personally faces. In Psalm 62:8, he strongly urges him to - "Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us." In all his times of trouble...upon all occasions...upon every emergency...or when in danger or in want, the believer can confide in his God. He can live a life of total dependence upon Him. All he has to do is give full expression to his feelings and allow all emotions, wishes, sorrows, and troubles to flow out of his heart as water. He need not hide anything from the Almighty. What will God's response be? He will be a "refuge" for His child.

Did you know that the world will ridicule you for making God your "refuge"? That is how much the devil hates for the people of God to place all their confidence in Him rather than in another man or the world's system. Psalm 14:6 says - "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge." Here we have the poor - those who - in their poverty, affliction, or trouble - have come to the Lord and placed their total trust in Him. Because they did so, they are now the butt of the jest or scorn of the heathen - under their constant ridicule.

Having an understanding concerning God as your refuge in your Christian walk is extremely important.

Do you realize that Moses also spoke of God being a "refuge" for the people of God? In Psalm 91:2, he wrote - "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust" and then added in Psalm 91:9 - "Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation." Repeatedly, he said that the Lord was his "refuge." This was something that his soul desired and felt that he needed.

It's time - like never before - to daily confess and claim God as your "refuge" !

It's crucial that you get this revelation deep into your heart and soul. God is a "refuge" for you. He is your only "refuge." Whenever troubles arise, you can prove this by running to Him and Him alone and not to man or the world system for help.

If you do not claim Him as your "refuge," then you will join the multitudes who are claiming a "refuge of lies"
(Isaiah 28:17) for their protection and safety.



May God Bless His Word,


Connie
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Sep 2011, 5:49 pm

I hope this blesses you

Lord Jesus. Form Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart. Cause my nature to become more like Your nature each day. ...

"Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build, and they bribed officials to frustrate their plan throughout the reign of King Cyrus of Persia and King Darius of Persia" (Ezra 4:4-5).



You have called us and commissioned us to build Your house according to Your plan. You are building Your church and establishing Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 16:18). Your church is gathering of Your people, filled with Your Spirit, displaying Your glory through our surrendered lives. Your kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21). And in the sovereignty of Your authority, You have empowered us to participate with You in this building plan, with both deep humility and bold faith. You have given us "the keys of the kingdom" and expect us to use them (Matthew 16:19).



But the people of the land, resisting the surrender of their hearts to You alone, will try to discourage us, intimidate us, and frustrate us. They try to confuse us and condemn us for trying to follow You and obey the plan You've written in Your Word and sealed into our hearts. In the days of Ezra, they claimed that the gods of their culture were the same as the God of our faith (Ezra 4:1-2). They were offended that Your people would not compromise their faith and abandon their beliefs that You alone were the one true God, in order to settle for the lowest common denominator of faith and worship. So they railed and retaliated against them, slandered and accused them, and tried to demonize and ostracize them to the powers that be of the world (Ezra 4:6-24).



And so it is today. But You have given us grace throughout the ages to stand firm in the faith, not bowing our knees to the false gods and their prophets. No matter how unrelenting their attacks or how subtle their tactics, by Your grace our faith will not be broken or moved. You call us and empower us to "continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel" (Colossians 1:23). With the courage and determination You give me by Your grace each day, "I keep the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psalm 16:8). In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Sep 2011, 5:45 pm

written by my friend susan hughes.. this is my heart about my wonderful Lord

I KNOW MY JESUS
HE IS EVERYTHING TO ME
HE KNOWS ME INTIMATELY.

HE IS THERE WHEN I SLEEP
HE IS THERE WHEN I'M AWAKE
WHEN I PRAY HE IS THERE BESIDE ME
HE KNOWS MY EVERY NEED.
AND CALMLY ASSURES ME HE HAS HEARD.

WHY WOULD I NOT WANT TO KNOW HIM MORE?

HE LOVES ME WITH ALL HIS HEART
I LOVE HIM WITH ALL OF MINE
WE MEET THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT
THAT DWELLS WITHIN ME.

HE SEES MY FAITHFUL HEART
HE POURS FAVOR ON ALL I DO
THROUGH EACH MINUTE OF THE DAY
HE ABIDES IN ME.

HE REVEALS HIS INNERMOST SECRETS
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT
AND WIDE AWAKE I MARVEL
AT HIS GLORIOUS LIGHT

THE SECRETS OF HIS KINGDOM
HE REVEALS ONE BY ONE
THROUGH VISIONS OF COLOUR
TOO WONDROUS TO COMPREHEND

WHY ME I ASK HIM?
WHY NOT HE SAYS?
I SEE WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART
IT PLEASES ME A LOT
I KNOW THAT YOU I CAN TRUST
TO USE THEM TO HONOR AND GLORIFY ME
YOUR LORD AND KING JESUS CHRIST.

MANY GIFTS HAVE I CHOSEN TO GIVE YOU
PRAYER TO INCREASE FAITH IN OTHERS
HEALING - TO HEAL MY LAND
KNOWLEDGE - TO GLORIFY MY NAME
FAITH - TO TRUST IN THE UNSEEN
TONGUES - TO SPEAK WITH ME IN HEAVEN

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE.

I ASSURE YOU MY DAUGHTER
MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU
IT SUSTAINS YOU IN THE STORM
IT CALMS YOU, MAKES YOU STRONG
IT KEEPS YOU HUMBLE
KNOWING YOU ARE WEAK
AND I AM STRONG

MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU
IT COVERS YOU LIKE A BLANKET
IT PROTECTS AND KEEPS YOU WARM
KEEPING THE DEVIL AT BAY.

KNOWING, JUST KNOWING
I AM BY YOUR SIDE
GIVES YOU BOLDNESS TO STEP OUT IN FAITH
STEP BY STEP TO CLAIM MY LOST AND MY
DYING HERE ON EARTH.
TO PROCLAIM MY LIVING WORD
TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT HEARD

IT'S EACH CHRISTIAN'S CALLING
THEIR PURPOSE ABOVE ALL
TO SPEAK YOUR GOSPEL
TO HEARTS ALREADY PREPARED.

WHAT SIGNS WE CAN SEE
WHAT WONDERS TO BEHOLD
WHAT MIRACLES ARE WAITING TO UNFOLD
FOR THOSE WHO EMBRACE HIS LOVE

HE GRASPS US IN HIS OUTSTRETCHED HAND
AND NEVER LETS US GO
HE CALMS OUR FEARS AND HEALS OUR WOUNDS
HE IS OUR SHELTER IN THE STORM

THEN VISION OF THE FUTURE IS INCREASED
BEYOND THAT WHICH OUR WILDEST DREAMS CANNOT MEASURE
WITH JOY WE GRASP EACH TREASURE
THAT THE LORD BESTOWS ON US
BLESSINGS IN ABUNDANCE
TOO NUMEROUS TO RECORD
ARE SHOWERED ON THE RIGHTEOUS

AS THEY CHOOSE TO FOLLOW YOU.

I CAN SEE YOU ALL AROUND LORD
YOU ARE IN THE SUNFILLED CLOUDS
YOU ARE IN THE BEAUTY OF NATURE
YOU ARE IN THE SHINING STARS ABOVE
THE MOON DISPLAYS A QUIET RADIANCE
THAT SHOWS YOUR GENTLENESS
THE SUN SHINES MAJESTICALLY
TO SHOW YOU ARE LORD AND KING
OVER ALL

I KNOW MY JESUS AND HE KNOWS ME
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 3:28 pm

And to what is this astonishing change to be ascribed?
(James Smith,
"The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears--we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is!" 1 John 3:2-3

Let us endeavor to realize our present sonship; it will produce . . .
boldness at His throne of grace;
contrition at His cross;
confidence in His Word;
love to His person;
contentment with out lot;
victory over the world,
zeal for His glory; and
encouragement under all our trials and troubles!

We are either children of God--or enemies of God! Every child of God . . .
mourns over sin,
flies to the Savior, and
departs from iniquity!
God is now his Father.
All the promises are his.
The eternal inheritance is his.

Let us look back to the rock from whence we were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence we were dug:
How base our origin--the dust!
How degraded our condition--slaves of sin and Satan!
How fearful our character--enemies to God!
How dreadful our eternal doom--the lake which burns with brimstone and fire!

Contrast this with . . .
our present relation--children of God;
our high standing--in heavenly places in Christ;
our glorious privilege--justified from all things;
our fixed destiny--to be forever with the Lord!

And to what is this astonishing change to be ascribed? To love--the love of God in Christ Jesus! "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us--that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

What a mystery of mercy is this!


But if we are unbelievers--then we are . . .
God's enemies,
children of wrath,
under the curse,
in imminent danger!
Satan is our father!
Sin is our element!
Hell is our eternal portion!

Reader, are you a child of God?

If not, then you are the child of Satan!

From: Mary Padgett Ministries, Inc.
A Word In Due Season
PERFECT PEACE
Scripture: Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You."
Fear presents itself to us suddenly and from many directions. The enemy of our soul seeks to use this tool to draw our focus away from God and His promises and causes us to dwell on our impossible situation. Our enemy is like a wolf that cuts the small lamb away from the flock so that he can devour it. If he can cause you to stray from God's word and promises, he can cause doubt and confusion to come into your spirit in any given situation. He will move in and begin to torment you during illnesses, telling you that you will never be healed. He will wage a major attack on your mind when financial situations can't be met. He will tell you that your problems with relationships cannot be solved. He will try to confuse you as you seek to make life-changing decisions. And he will discourage the hope that you have in your heart for a better future. He is a thief that comes to take your peace and joy. John 10:10 describes this thief as one that "comes to steal, kill, and destroy."
God, however, has a promise for those who resist the devil and who refuse to focus on his deception. God says, "If you will just keep your mind on Me and what I can do, then you will have perfect peace regardless of the situation." God sees your heart and emotions. When you express fear, you are telling God that you don't think that He is able. So when fear strikes, you must make a decision, whom you will trust; your heavenly Father or the father of lies? It is a simple choice, but it is your choice. If you choose to focus on God and make Him your source of provision, you will have perfect peace. If you focus on the problem, you will be in turmoil.
Fear opens the door for the thief. God spoke many times throughout the scriptures and said, "Fear not." God has an answer to every question and a solution to every dilemma. He doesn't want you to fear anything at anytime. God wants you to have total confidence in Him. Proverbs 3:5 &8 says, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not upon your own understanding ... It shall be health to your nerves." If you put your trust in God and keep your mind constantly upon Him, you will close the door to fear, and God will give you perfect peace that passes all understanding. +++


Copyright 2008 Mary Padgett Ministries. All Rights Reserved
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Sep 2011, 2:08 pm

Not Have You Rule


"Those that will not have Christ to reign over them shall be reputed and dealt with as His enemies. We are ready to think that none are Christ's enemies but persecutors of Christianity, or scoffers at least; but you see that those will be accounted so that dislike the terms of salvation, will not submit to Christ's yoke, but will be their own masters." - Matthew Henry

Jesus Christ is King! In fact, He is King of hearts...King of the world ...King of the elements...King of saints ...King of Zion...King of glory... and He is King of kings and Lord of lords! By reason of Him being the Creator, Preserver, Protector, and Defender over all, He is the supreme and sovereign ruler Who ordains and orders all things. His Word stands for ever.

David the Psalmist called Him - "my King." Can you do the same?

What was it that this "King" could do for David?

Psalm 44:4 explains - "Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob."
Psalm 74:12 adds - "For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth."

Having all authority in Heaven and in earth, this King "commands" and "works" salvation for His people. By His command, He dispenses salvation...deliverance...and protection from afflictions and temptations. He scatters all foes and fights every battle - doing it easily, instantly, and effectually. And it is all done by His command.

Hence, we read in Psalm 42:8 - "Yet the LORD will command His loving-kindness in the daytime..."
Psalm 111:9 says - "He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever..."
Psalm 133:3 says - "...for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."
Leviticus 25:21 says - "Then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years."
Deuteronomy 28:8 says - "The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and He shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."
Matthew 8:8 says - "...speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."
Psalm 107:20 says - "He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."

In the "daytime," He commands His mercy, favor, and prosperity. He sends it forth with power...in an appointed time...openly, publicly, and continually. His Blood Covenant to the obedient has incontestable authority and is filled with His blessings and promises for ever.

Wherever brotherly love abounds, He pours out His blessings. In other words, where love reigns, He reigns. He appoints this place as the seat of His residence...the source of all His holy influences... and the place where He records His name.



Without any need for sowing and reaping on their part, He bestows His blessing upon the provision of His people - making their little go a great way and their fields exceeding fruitful. He also gives success in all employments and gives health, long life, and the abundance of all good things.

What He commands - stands fast. What He decrees - comes to pass. All He has to do is speak, and it is done.

King Solomon understood the power behind a king's command and sought to depict it in Ecclesiastes 8:4 with these words - "Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest Thou?" The word of a king is powerful. Authority goes along with his word of command.

However, in order to truly understand the meaning of this verse in light of this message, we have to stop and interject this one thought - we are not talking about any ole ruler or potentate here. We are talking about the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords - the Lord Jesus Himself. In His Word, there is all dominion and power - all authority in heaven and in earth. Hence, there is no one who can call Him into account for His actions or complain of any of His works of creation, providence, grace, or judgment. His Word is indeed Power!

In Psalm 24:8, we read of David's inquiry concerning this King - "Who is this King of glory?" The answer is one that he found to be so true in his own life - "The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle."

Now we are beginning to see the Lord Jesus as a Mighty Conqueror over His enemies. His power is displayed in the battles that He fights.

In Psalm 47:1-7, the sons of Korah caught a similar glance of this Awesome King, and this is what they had to say - "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet...God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding."

Just in case you got all caught up with the fact that this King of kings loves to command blessings on His people and has all authority to do so, it is imperative that we stop and examine Scriptures which inform us that this King also requires our obedience and worship. Because of His Mighty Triumph at Calvary, His resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven, He has been made Lord and Christ and is deserving of all glory and honor. Our homage to Him should be made in joyful songs and not in wearisome groans.

Not everyone is thrilled with giving homage to this Mighty King. In 1 Samuel 8:7, we read about how the children of Israel rejected the sole government of God for the rule of an earthly king. This is what God said to the Prophet Samuel who was grieving over this decision - "And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them."

In Psalm 2:1-3, David depicted the unwillingness of mankind to submit to the authority of God which restrains their corrupt affections and lusts - "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." We can see from this the prevalent state of the human mind as being impatient of the restraints and authority of God. Oh! How they desire to be free to commit all manner of abominations...to be their own god...to rid themselves of all restraints...and to be loosed from any and all obligations to their Creator.

In the Gospel of Luke, we find a people who were outright in their declaration of freedom from this Great King - "...We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). They refused to submit to the Lord Jesus' government. In no way were they willing to submit their neck to His yoke as depicted in Matthew 11:29 - "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me..."

"Christ has bands and cords for us: those that will be saved by Him must be ruled by Him..." (Matthew Henry)
"Corrupt affections are the most inveterate enemies of Christ, and their language is, We will not have this man to reign over us." (Adam Clarke)
"Many who in profession are Christ's own, yet do not receive Him, because they will not part with their sins, nor have Him to reign over them." (Matthew Henry)

Some questions you must ask yourself as a Christian are - Am I resisting Jesus' total rule over my life? Are there areas in my life where I am screaming out to Him - "I will not have You rule over me"? Am I still coddling "corrupt affections" which are causing me to be on the outs with Him?

Yes, He is a King Who has all authority to command blessings to come your way. But you must be willing to submit to His authority in all areas of your life if you want to enjoy His "daily benefits."

You cannot and must not be a person who is in relationship with Him only for the "loaves and fishes." The reason why He provided the "loaves and fishes" in the first place was so that you would recognize Him as Sovereign Lord and, resultantly, serve Him all the days of your life.

"I will not have this man to rule over me."

Is there a part of you that is saying this to Him?

Why not take this time to pray and ask Jesus to examine your heart and life to see if there is an area that is not yet submitted to Him?

"Where the word of a king is, there is power..."

The Word of King Jesus is able to save, deliver, and heal you right now! Let Him have His way!

Instead of saying - "I will not have this man to rule over me," why not say - "I surrender all"?

Blessings will come your way when you do!



May God Bless His Word,


Connie


No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. (Isaiah 54:17)


© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved




I hope you like this song
From: "keith hobkirk" faithhopeandlovefellowship@gmail.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeaalJJpMwM&feature=related
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Sep 2011, 10:58 pm

To bless you from Lorraine
Coffee Break

"Nursing The Enemy"

"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword." Joshua 6:21

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt on their way to the land that the Lord had promised them, we read that they had to fight many battles against the inhabitants in the wilderness and in the promise land. The command that the Lord gave them was to utterly destroy them all- the kings, every man, woman, boy and girl. They were not to take any captives. When you first read this it sounds very cruel and unloving, especially the part about killing even the children and babies. I am not going to address whether it was cruel or not, I want us to look at it from a spiritual point of view this morning. There is a spiritual parallel to this command to "utterly destroy all" that we need to heed.

I was thinking about this the other day and wondering about not taking the babies captive. After all, they were little tiny babies- what threat could they possibly be. They were helpless, defenseless, weak and unable to do any harm. But the more I thought about it I realized that someone would have to "nurse" those babies. Those nursing babies were not just babies- they were enemies, and they wouldn't stay little long. They wouldn't always be those "cute" little babies that they could "carry" around in their arms. They would grow up and get stronger and stronger. Therefore, they had to be destroyed.

The spiritual parallel that I see here is that if we allow even the "smallest" sin to remain in our lives, even though it may seem "innocent", little and unthreatening at the time, and don't "drive it out" and "utterly destroy" it, eventually we will begin to "nurse" it and it won't stay little long. Once you start "nursing" it, that "small" sin will begin to grow and become a greater enemy in your life.

We need to learn a lesson from what was commanded to them in the natural and apply it to our lives when dealing with the enemy of sin and not be sympatric with sin- no matter how small and unthreatening it may look because one day it will be a bigger enemy.

Have a great day. Sin is our enemy and once we start nursing even a small sin, it will turn it into a bigger, stronger enemy.

For further reading:
1 Corinthians 5:6
Galatians 5:9
Song of Solomon 2:15
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 3:47 pm

What's In a Look?

FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE

The instant I saw her I knew she was special.

She was only about 5 years old, and her smile simply captivated my heart. Something about her moved me and compelled my attention.

It was the closing night of our crusade in Roanoke, Virginia, and after the service Dr. Van Impe and I were sitting on the edge of the platform, shaking hands and visiting with people.
A young couple came over to me and smiled up at me so sweetly. There was such a wonderful expression of the Lord on their faces. I leaned over and shook their hands and greeted them, but they didn't say a word.

That's when I saw her -- their beautiful little daughter with a cherub face and an angelic smile that wrapped itself around my heart. I motioned to her with my finger and she came up on the platform and stood in front of me.

As I looked into her eyes, suddenly I realized that she couldn't talk -- both she and her parents were without speech. So with the little bit of sign language I know, I asked, "Do you love Jesus?"

And she signed back -- not only with her hands, but with her eyes and her heart -- "YES... OH, YES!"

I was so moved... so overcome with emotion that I also was mute for a long moment. There was something in her look that spoke volumes. Somehow I realized that this child knew the Lord in a way that few people ever will. She had an inner relationship with Christ so real and powerful that His radiance glowed in her face and His joy flowed out of her tender young life to touch everyone around her.

I looked down into the faces of the child's mother and father and saw their love and pride. And I also saw that they had that special look. One glance... and people could tell they had been with Jesus.

Because I couldn't understand the meaning of all their signs, I was unable to converse very much with them. But I had no doubt that they were able to speak to Christ, perhaps in a much deeper and more meaningful way than most of us do.

And they had taught their daughter well, and had led her to know Jesus. Somehow I was absolutely convinced that she had been on Christ's lap often, even as little ones were centuries ago.

Do you have "the look"?

What do people see when they look at us? Can they tell at a glance that we've been in the presence of the Lord?

I love the beautiful Old Testament account of how Moses went up to the mountain to meet with God and to receive the Ten Commandments. When he came back down into the camp of the Israelites, his countenance shone -- the light that emanated from his being told all the people at a glance that he had been with Jehovah God.

Some time ago, a local television program featured a man who was talking about how to have the look that was right for you. He was stressing the importance of choosing just the right makeup, hairstyle, clothing colors, etc.

I believe that this is important. But as I watched that program, I was struck with the thought that even if we make the outer person look his or her best, without the abiding presence of the Lord within, we can never achieve the look that sets us apart from the world.

What does it matter if people can look at me and say, "My, doesn't she have an up-to-date look -- her make-up, her hair, her clothes, her grooming are just impeccable!" If they do not see beyond the outer shell, how real is my Christian testimony?

For all believers, one of our greatest joys should be having people see Jesus in us -- sensing that there is something different about us without our saying a word.

The look of love

Not long ago, I had a beautiful, blessed experience. I was trying on a dress in a shop when the girl who was assisting me began to talk, and in minutes she was pouring out her heart to me. She told me her problems and asked for advice and help. After I counseled with her concerning her personal need, I proceeded to explain God's plan of salvation and her greatest need of all -- to accept Christ. So we were praying, and she opened her heart to the Lord. Later, when I asked why she came to me for help, she said, "There was just something about you -- a certain look that touched me."

What's in a look?
God help us to be so filled with His presence and so overflowing with His love that we have our Lord's look -- the look of love.


"a merry heart doeth good like a medicine" Prov 17:22
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Re: KEITH's Spiritual Steps

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Sep 2011, 12:15 pm

WRITTEN BY CONNIE CICIONNE FOR YOUR BLESSING
Go To The Rock, Christ Jesus


Scripture: Psalms 61:2 "When my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Have you ever been overwhelmed by circumstances
and could not seem to find your way out?
You feel utterly overcome and upset by either the physical
or emotional forces that are coming against you.
You have no control over what is happening,
and there's seems to be no one to help you.
You feel like a vessel that is being engulfed and submerged
by the waves of the sea.
It's very frightening because you don't know what to do
at that present moment and certainly can't predict the future outcome.

King David was experiencing these same emotions when he wrote this psalm.
He was overcome but knew the answer for his dilemma.
He cried out to God in his overwhelming situation
and asked the Lord to lead him to the Rock that was higher than himself.
David knew that his physical strength was insufficient and
that he couldn't depend upon his own understanding.
He wanted help from the One whose ways were higher
than his own ways and whose thoughts were higher than his own thoughts.
He looked to the past and remembered that God
had always been there as his shelter and strong tower in times of distress.
In every situation, God had protected him from the fierce enemy.

In Psalm 142, David again spoke of his spirit being overwhelmed.
He poured out his complaints to the Lord and showed Him all of his trouble.
David said,
"No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me ...
Lord, you are my only place of refuge."

Life presents us with many challenges and often overwhelming circumstances.
Like David, there will be times in our life
when there will be no one in the natural that we can turn to.
No one will want to listen to our problems or share our grief.
Yet, we can always go to the Rock of our salvation
and find our answers and comfort.
So, when you find yourself overwhelmed with life and its many battles,
remember that someone really does care your.
Then make every effort to find your way to the Rock, Christ Jesus,
and place your confidence in Him. Jesus is your only faithful refuge.

Go To The Rock, Christ Jesus


COFFEE BREAK
written by Lorraine



Coffee Break

"Red Alert"

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8



The dictionary defines a red alert as: the highest level of alert when an attack by the enemy seems imminent; or more generally a state of alert resulting from imminent danger. When a nation is under red alert, it does not let its guard down for one minute. It keeps a watchful eye in every direction and takes special note of anything out of the ordinary or that looks suspicious. One moment of carelessness or being lax and letting their guard down could cause serious problems or even worse a fatal situation.

Keeping a high level of alertness is something that the Christian should do daily. We are always in danger of an attack by our enemy- the devil. He has one purpose and goal in mind- steal, kill and destroy. He goes throughout the whole earth looking for those who are ignorant and unaware of his tactics. He looks for those who are not being watchful. He seeks out those who are being distracted by other things- the cares of this world, material possessions, pursing their own agenda, following their own dreams- so he can sneak up on them and them not notice him.

Since we have an enemy we must maintain a high level of awareness and not allow ourselves to be distracted or stop watching altogether. We must keep our "spiritual radar" on at all times- we must be discerning. We must stay on guard and not let down our guard. We must not underestimate our enemy but remember how cunning and deceptive he is. I am not talking about living in fear or having overly preoccupied thoughts about the devil. I am talking about remembering that we are in a spiritual war and have a very real enemy, who although he has been defeated, will still try to destroy you.

It isn't time to let down our guard. It is time to be more vigilant than ever before and more watchful than ever before. "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." (Matthew 24:43)

Have a great day. You should be and stay on "red alert" spiritually because your enemy is looking for opportunities to attack and destroy you.


For further reading:
2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14
John 10:10
2 Timothy 2:4
Ephesians 6:11
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