Matthew 19:26 NKJV – All things are possible with God

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Do we pray believing all things are possible with God? When I look at this verse that’s the question that I have to ask myself. Do I believe in the sovereignty of God? God reigns over all creation and He is free and able to do all that He wills. So why would there ever be any doubt in God’s ability to make the impossible, possible?

God’s sovereignty extends over all created things. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV) God is sovereign over human life. “Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” (1 Chronicles 29:12 NKJV) God is sovereign over the minutest details of life. “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:29-30 NKJV) God is sovereign over the sufferings of believers. “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:17 NKJV)

So where does the doubt set in? We go through periods of doubt and indecision, especially on account of our difficulty in trusting God or accepting certain aspects of His will for us. “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NKJV) It happens to all of us. Scripture emphasizes the importance of putting our trust in God. This trust, which is nurtured by an understanding of God’s Word, finds us living out our life according to His purpose. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until the Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV)

Doubt and a lack of faith feeds unbelief and it blinds us to the truth found in God. The nature of faith is a confidence in and a commitment to God and to Jesus. True faith is seen in obedient action, love, and continuing service to God.   A life of faith is the way believer’s journey through this world and into the life to come. It is the confidence expressed in the life of a believer, worked by the Holy Spirit. It derives from reliance upon God and His promises alone and results in boldness, strength, and steadfastness no matter what we face or what we need.

So I ask again, do we pray believing all things are possible with God? Or should I ask, should we pray believing all things are possible with God? Yes, I say. Again I say, Yes. God’s power is released through faith. “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 NKJV) Even a tiny grain of true faith and belief, rooted in submissiveness to God is effective.

Friend, when you pray, expect the impossible to be answered. “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible for you, they are insulting to God. Why? Because they don’t require divine intervention. There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfilling dreams.” (an excerpt from “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson)

Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing is impossible with You. You are God and You are all powerful and Sovereign. You commanded all things into existence and You can answer my boldest prayers. Help my unbelief Lord. Bring me into a complete understanding of the truth and promises of Your Word. Guard my heart against doubt and unbelief and turn me towards complete trust in You for You are my Lord and King. Thank You, God for being my All in All. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 58:8 NKJV – When your circumstance becomes God’s answer

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

Christians face troubles and problems just like anybody else. We are human as well. We suffer pain and have sickness just like others. Our difference lies in that we have the righteousness of God. We carry the Holy Spirit in us and God’s majestic glory and light is shown to the world through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

No sickness or disease is too small for God to take care of. No matter what the world says about your illness, if it’s a big deal to you, it’s a bid deal to God. Several months ago, I had to seek medical care for a sickness and go to the Emergency Room for care. My wife and I had been praying for God’s intervention the entire week. People from our Prayer Ministry began to pray for God’s healing touch. Our faith in the power of God never wavered. And God intervened.

What I was facing would seem very small in comparison to someone facing a life threatening illness. The world’s standard would say that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. But I had been suffering for a few weeks, and it just got worse. The medication I had been taking was not helping. So my wife and I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to give us wisdom to understand what He wanted us to do. We went to the Emergency Room. God placed the doctor and nurses in the Emergency Room that day to care for me. And God answered our prayer for wisdom and provided healing through these medical professionals.

Now I sit here testifying that God heard and answered the prayers offered to Him by my wife and I and the others who were praying. There is no level, no measurement that can adequately define the Power of God to heal. God is true and faithful to demonstrate His power through faithful prayers. Faithful prayers depend on the willingness and submission to trust in God’s faithfulness to His promises. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)

It is God’s desire that all people should seek after Him. Those who seek God with all of their heart are rewarded. We sought God and others prayed in agreement with us. And God revealed His glory to us. My healing sprang forth speedily and the Lord was my guard. God’s promises and rewards are found by those who seek Him. “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Proverbs 8:17 NKJV)  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” (Matthew 21:21 KJV)

Friend, we all face circumstances when we need God’s intervention. Seeking God begins in the heart. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV) That’s when our circumstance becomes God’s answer. Let’s submit to God’s authority, God’s faithfulness, God’s promises and God’s power.

Precious Lord, when I called upon Your Name, you heard me. When we gathered in one accord to pray and believed, You responded. You knew in advance what I would be facing and You placed others in my path to help. Thank You Lord for my healing. You are my redeemer. I give You praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

James 5:16 NKJV – It’s not in the power of the words, it’s in the Power of the Lord (Part 2)

Part 1 written on October 12, 2013

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

The last time this verse was discussed, it dealt with the subject that “Prayer changes things, starting with the one who prays.” We wrote that God hears and answers prayers and the power of prayer does not come from the words we use, but rather the power of prayer works because of the Power of the Lord! Power to heal, Power to deliver, Power to restore, Power to repair, Power to provide, Power to guide and direct, Power to protect, Power to give hope.

Part 2 asks, “But, can I be forgiven?” The Apostle James states in our verse that prayer of a righteous man avails much or is powerful and effective. But what about prayer of one who seeks God’s forgiveness.

An admission of sin on the part of an individual is what is called confession. Confession or in other words humbly calling upon God leads to divine forgiveness. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10 NJKV) God’s forgiveness is given as soon as we admit our need of it, not on the basis of some kind of act or service on our part to earn it, but rather solely because of God’s grace. The free gift of forgiveness carries with it complete purification of unrighteousness. God the Father accepts us as righteous in His sight and He imputes to us the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. And this is because Jesus died and rose again to defeat sin and eternal death. Jesus’ blood sacrifice on our behalf.

God’s character shows Himself as compassionate, accepting and generous to sinful man; shielding us from His wrath, forgiving us so that we can live and grow in faith and obedience. His grace and mercy are particularly expressed through God’s covenant with His children through the atoning death on the cross by Jesus. All of this is our assurance that when we seek God in prayer and ask for His forgiveness and repent from sin, He hears and forgives. Period!

Repentance from sin opens the way for God’s blessings. God desires that all people should repent. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) I say, “Praise the Lord for His longsuffering or patience.” God is patient and He is slow to anger. (Jonah 4:2 NKJV)

Forgiveness begins with Jesus and is all about Jesus. Not ourselves, but what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. The fulfillment of God’s purpose of salvation is sealed by the blood of Jesus. It is a covenant grace, the benefits of which include forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God, through the Holy Spirit; an inward transformation that enables obedience.

Yes, again I say Yes! Humble, repentant prayer for forgiveness will lead God to hear and answer your prayer. God’s desire is to spend eternity with you in heaven and His plan involved sending His Son, Jesus, to earth for you to ensure this happens. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided what was needed and He defeated sin and eternal death. What’s next is a choice. Eternal fellowship with God or eternal separation from God. Fellowship with God begins with a prayer. Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I cannot continue living the way that I do. I need a Savior. Jesus, I believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat my sin and eternal death. You did this for me. Forgive me now, Lord. I repent of my sin, and submit my life to You. Come into my heart and life and be my guide. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV – What is prayer?

“Pray without ceasing”

Thank You, Lord. “Short and sweet.” But the more accurate description is “Short but so powerful.” This verse really packs a punch. What is the definition of prayer? Well it’s fellowship and relationship with God through Jesus Christ, expressed in love, thanksgiving, and intercession through which believers can draw near or nearer to God and learn more of His will for their lives.

That’s a lot of words. Too many to memorize if you’re inclined to do. Simply put it’s two way conversation with God through Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit with the sole purpose of developing a relationship.   Prayer is based on God’s love for His children. Through His grace, God gives to us things which we do not deserve, while through His mercy He shields us from those things which we do deserve.

Praying without ceasing is having an attitude by which a constant relationship between God and us is developed. Always wanting to be in His presence. It’s focusing every thought and action toward honoring God. As prayerful believers we are to continue praying earnestly and this requires patience and determination. Jesus taught His disciples to persist in prayer. Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8 NKJV)

Our foundational Scripture today doesn’t need more to say. It’s easy to read and memorize, but probably one of the most powerful commands in God’s Word. It’s that important. Scripture commends a life of prayer, characterized by simplicity of expression, sincerity of heart and trust and belief in the promises of God.

Precious Lord, thank You that You do not need fancy words or catchy phrases in prayer. What You are looking for is simplicity, sincerity, humbleness, and trust that You hear our prayers and will answer them. Help us to always have the attitude of prayer and focus every thought and action toward giving You honor and praise. Teach us to pray, Lord, this day. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Philippians 2:13 NKJV – By the grace of God

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”

The power of God is working within us. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). It is the grace of God which enables us to perform the will of God and to act according to His principles. We cannot act without the grace of God. We cannot claim it. We cannot pretend we deserve it. God’s good will toward us is the cause of His good work in us.

When I ponder on the goodness of God and how each day His will is worked out in me, I stand amazed. I wonder what God sees in me and what He could possibly desire from me. But that is where my thoughts are flawed. God is looking through the eyes of salvation and mercy and grace. I am wondering through my own eyes. When God looks at me He sees His son, His child. Grace has taken over and what God views is an open vessel ready to be filled.

When we pray each day, we need to remind ourselves that God is hearing and seeing and moving through His good will and His purpose. When doing so, it takes all doubt away that we might have in the corners of our heart where unbelief resides. It’s for His will and His own purpose. It is His desire that we are saved. It is His will that we are restored. It is His will that we are healed. It is His will that we return to Him. It is His will that we be blessed. It is His will that we are comforted. Is there any doubt within the will and the purpose of Almighty God? No.

So when we’ve had a bad day and have felt we have turned our back on the Lord, we can run to Him. When we’ve made a bad choice, we can run to Him. When we’ve been stubborn and refused to listen or been disobedient, we can run to Him. When our hearts have been broken, we can run to Him. When we think that He cannot possibly hear or answer our prayers, we can call upon the Name of the Lord in confidence. You see, it’s always about God’s will at work in us.

Friend, it’s God who spoke life into all creation. It’s God who knew us before the foundation of the world. It’s God who loves us all with an everlasting love. So much that He sent Jesus to the world to seek and save the lost. It’s God who works in and through all of us to accomplish His will and for His good pleasure. What do we have to do? Just believe, submit, and rejoice. The Christian life, from the beginning to its end, is totally dependent upon the grace of God.

Father, thank You for working in us to do Your will and for Your good pleasure. Thank You that we can have confidence that by Your grace, all things are made complete. When we sin we have the promise that we can come to You and seek Your forgiveness and we will receive it. When our hearts are broken and we’ve been kicked around by this world, we have the promise that when we call upon the Name of the Lord, You will save us. Help us Lord to never forget that through You and only You we have strength to complete Your will. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Exodus 33:13-14 NKJV – Standing in the gap

Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.  And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Sometimes I pray with specific thoughts and requests in mind. They come from what I am facing in life and often times from those who ask me to pray for them. I love when I can offer prayers for others in as an intercessor for them. I learned early on that there was a term that people used. They said they, “Stood in the gap” for someone else. I remember the first time I stood in the gap for someone. He was very sick. It was during a Saturday evening prayer service. There was a call to the altar for those needing healing and it was asked that if there be anyone who would stand in the gap for someone who was not in attendance, to come forward. I responded and when the people surrounded me and laid hands on me there was an incredible presence. I remember after the prayer feeling overwhelmed by God’s touch.

I think about that night how God moved. I also think about those times when God places someone on my heart to pray for. It may come at any time. I’ve had the feeling to pray while driving, while at home, at work, outside while working on my lawn. I’ve even felt it in the middle of the night after something woke me up. It’s God call to intercede.

God moved so graciously for Moses and the children of Israel because of Moses’ prayer. He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” I believe that when we pray or “Stand in the gap” for others, God’s Holy Presence goes with us. God’s Presence is in the midst of our prayers for others. And God is ready to answer on behalf of the individual we are praying for.

Many times I don’t even know what the person is facing or what the person’s prayer need is. I just know God has called me to pray. And I will remain obedient to that call. I don’t say that to puff myself up as some Mega Prayer Warrior. I remain obedient to the call of prayer because someone remained obedient to the same calling when I was lost.

I love when I can take someone by the hand and we can seek the Lord in prayer. But I also love when God awakens my spirit to His call to prayer. I believe an essential aspect of the life of a believer is that it is more than a matter of prayer, but a total and heartfelt commitment to God when we pray. Moses knew what the children of Israel did to deserve the wrath of God. Sometimes I don’t know the reason to pray, but I know whom I have believed. I, too, am able to say, Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Friend, I don’t know what you may be facing or what others around you face. But I know that God is a hearer of prayer. “O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.” (Psalm 65:2 NKJV) And God will see you through it all. If you are facing something or thinking of someone that you believe needs a touch from the Lord, join with me in the prayer below. I will stand in the gap with you and believe with you that God will hear and answer your prayer. If you know of someone who might be in need and not able to see this devotion, please share this with them. I will stand in the gap for them as well.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are feeling they have no hope. I pray for those who are looking for an answer to their heartache, their worry, their pain. I pray, dear Lord, for those who have been separated from You. Lord, I ask in Your precious Name, Jesus, that this day You would touch their situation and bring hope, bring peace, bring healing, bring restoration, bring renewal, and pour out Your love upon them. Dear Lord, I know not all that they face, but I know that You will answer this prayer. Lord may this day be a day of celebration of the Glory, and the Power, and the Love that You have poured out. Thank You Lord Jesus, in Your Precious Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 12:22-26 NKJV – What, me worry?

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?”

Did you know that chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger a long list of health problems? The problem occurs when the “fight or flight” stress response kicks in from daily excessive worrying and anxiety. Health problems like:

  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Digestive disorders
  • Muscle tension
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Premature coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack

But Jesus provides arguments against worry. First, concern for worldly goods is foolish because life itself is more important. Second, God always takes care of His own, just as He cares for the birds of the air. Third, worry accomplishes nothing. Finally, as children of God and heirs of His Kingdom, we should not worry about earthly details when we have access to God’s inexhaustible riches.

I love how this scripture passage concludes. “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” Can any of us add a single minutes to our lives? Really? How foolish for any of us to think we can when God controls every single breath we take. Glory to God!!! If we think we control anything, just look back at what we did with those decisions and how thankful we are now that God was there to rescue us. Hallelujah!!! Don’t get me started!!!

God supplies all of our needs and gives us His special care. Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. So what do we do when worry creeps in and it captures our thoughts? Well God’s Word says this, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV) How do we do that? By prayer. Calling on the Name of the Lord and praying. Let me share what happens when we go to God in prayer, especially when we are in a state of worry. When we turn our thoughts toward God, we begin to think differently. Another transformation takes place. Conversation or dialogue with God in prayer sets our minds on what is truly important. I’ll let you in on a secret. When I worry, I tend to talk to myself out loud a lot. Now channel that energy and begin to talk to God out loud instead. Try this and see what happens.

Thank You Lord that we have a place to go in the midst of our worry. That place is Your Holy presence as we call upon Your name. Help us Lord to see that worry gets us nowhere and that trust in Your care gets us everything we will ever need. Forgive us Lord when we let worry take over our lives even to the point of illness. Come Holy Spirit and fill us with Your presence so that there is no room for worry any longer. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!