What can I do?

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A few nights ago, I wasn’t able to sleep. So I thought that I would finish some work for my church. I sat down to my computer, logged in, and the screen went black. I dropped my head in sorrow knowing that my completing this work was important. I tried numerous times to reboot my computer but nothing worked. It was without life. Then I thought about what God’s Word says.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—” John 14:16 NKJV

So I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to help me. I asked Nancy to join with me in prayer of agreement. After a few minutes of prayer, I attempted again to turn on my computer and it came alive. Nothing was lost. Everything was restored. Thank you Holy Spirit.

Why do I tell you all this? Isn’t this like our lives? We are broke down sometimes. We try and try and try but feel dead in our efforts. We’re lost. But God loves us so much that He gave.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV.

We also have access to our “helper”. Who resides in us to help and intercede for us to bring us back to life. Jesus is Alive and His Holy Spirit is in us ready to guide us along the path to fulfill God’s purpose.

Yes. My computer works again. Seems small and it is but the Holy Spirit not only helped me but took me through a life lesson. I pray you too will rest in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is your helper, but there are so many people lost who are wandering around dead. We can show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And they too can receive from God eternal life and His Holy Spirit. They’re living with a black life but can be restored and come alive in Christ and be a bright beacon of love and hope to others.
Goodnight.

Don’t believe me. Believe God!

Psalm 86:5 NKJV – God is Good

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

God is ready to forgive those that go to Him in repentance. This demonstrates God’s steadfast love; a special love of God toward those He calls His own. All of God’s perfect qualities are made freely available to everyone. But God alone is good. “So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.” (Mark 10:18 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His actions. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His work in creation. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Timothy 4:4 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His love. “For You, Lord are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” (Psalm 86:5 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His promises. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His commands. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7 NKJV)

When we call upon God to act, we are demonstrating our dependence upon Him in our time of need. Calling upon God in prayer is an act of worship by those who depend and proclaim His name. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” (Psalm 105:1 NKJV) God promises to hear and respond to the prayer of His people. We need to pray in confidence that God hears and will answer according to His promises. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Friend, Bold prayers honor God and God honors Bold prayers. David prayed in confidence proclaiming what he believed and what God demonstrated to him. God is good and ready to forgive those who come to Him. It’s not because we deserve anything. It’s all because of God’s grace. Call upon God in confidence and He will demonstrate His goodness through His actions, His work, His love, and His promises.

Gracious God, thank You that we can come to you boldly in confidence that You will hear and answer our prayers. Thank You for Your grace that forgives our sins and makes available all of Your promises. We are not worthy to receive anything, but thanks be to God that by Your mercy and grace all things are made available in Christ Jesus. You alone God are good and we give You all the praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

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!

Psalm 42:8 NKJV – His song shall be with me

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me – A prayer to the God of my life.”

God’s shows His lovingkindness toward those who acknowledge Him and His rule over them; to these He gives His promises. I’ve written many different times about spending time with God in conversation and meditation. The conversation is prayer. The meditation is spending time in quietness, usually alone, and drawing close to God and listening to Him; pondering on His Word, His creation, and His mighty works.

What happens when we take time to spend with God in prayer and meditation? Our hearts are changed.   Heartfelt gratitude for who God is begins to grow in our hearts, expressed in response to His love and mercy. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5 NKJV)

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 36:7 NKJV) God’s lovingkindness is the deepest expression of God’s character. God’s nature is love. God’s love is eternal. God loves us in the day and in the night. God’s love is lavish. “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJV)

And God’s loves transforms human love. Human love must respond to God’s love. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NKJV) Our love for God is expressed in worship, praise, prayer, and obedience. This is why His song shall be with me; a song of worship, praise, prayer, and obedience.

Friend, God loves you with an everlasting love and He watches over you every moment of your life. God desires to have a personal relationship with you so that He can pour out His lovingkindness over you. Allow God to change your heart while you pray and meditate on His goodness and His never ending mercy and grace. God delights in you because you were wonderfully made. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14 NKJV)

Precious Lord, thank You that You watch over us and keep us. That Your lovingkindness is poured out upon Your children. Thank You that Your love is eternal and can never change. You are faithful Lord; in You we can place our trust. I lift up my worship and praise to You. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 18:10 NKJV – The little girl story I’ll never forget

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

Nancy and I were reminiscing the other day, back a number of years ago to a very special meeting we had with a little girl in the hospital. We were asked to visit her and to pray for her. She had terminal cancer. We were so blessed to go. We took her a teddy bear.

When we arrived her parents were with her along with some family friends. After some time for everyone to get comfortable, I was asked to pray. I sat down next to her and took her little hand in mine. I remember feeling that this little girl and I were connected someway. While I prayed, the little girl stroked my hand with her other hand. Time seemed to stand still. This little sweetheart of a girl went to be with Jesus a few days later.

I share this with you because prayer is a direct connection with the heart of God. I didn’t know if she would be healed. I just knew that I had to pray. What happened in her room that night changed all of us.

Nancy and I look forward to when we will see her again. She lived a very short life of 5 years, but I will carry her story until I see her again. She was very special, showed no fear, and her story will now touch a world.

Precious Lord, thank You for the opportunities that You give us to pray for others. I am so grateful that You gave me an opportunity to pray for this little girl. I rejoice that she is standing with You in heaven. Help us Lord to hear Your still small voice and respond in obedience. Lord, you capture our prayers and surround them with your mercy and grace and then take them heavenward for You to answer. Always for Your purpose and our good. We give You praise, Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Hebrews 7:26 The Message – No One Higher

“So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself.”

God is set apart from all other things. God is holy; His nature is holy; His name is holy and His dwelling place is holy. As I lay in bed last night, the thought of God being above all things resounded in my mind. God is far above, beyond and outside all of created order.

And in the midst of our imperfections, God calls us to be holy as He is holy. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 NKJV) God’s pattern of thought and attitude of His heart is holy, righteous and good. It is expressed in His Word and also in the outworking of His mercy and grace; ultimately beyond human understanding.

But there is hope. We as believers have the mind of Christ. “For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV) Through the Holy Spirit, we have understanding of the things of God. The mind of Christ reveals the essence of God’s nature; including God’s holy nature. Having the mind of Christ leads to holiness. Believers are enabled to grow in holiness on account of the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

What should our response be to God’s calling us to be holy? We are to have a repentant heart, obedient to God’s call, and driven by faith.

1 John 1:9 NKJV – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Peter 1:22 NKJV – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.

Galatians 5:5 NKJV – For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Friend, the holiness of Jesus Christ is seen in His divine nature and work, as He stands apart from and above the created world with divine power, authority and purity. Recognition of the holiness of Jesus leads both to a realization of sin and unworthiness, but also it leads us to worship and adoration of Him. Prayer is the highest form of worship. Why? Because it sets God in a place where He is higher than all things. Prayer says, “Holy God, we acknowledge that it is only You who can answer this prayer. Meet me God at my need.” Think about this friend. Our Holy God wants to gather up your prayer and take it Heavenward to be captured by His mercy and grace and to be answered for God’s glory and your good. Hallelujah!!!

Precious Lord, You are higher than all things and we praise Your Holy Name. Help us Lord to live a life of praise to You. Thank You Lord that You give us Your mind and by Your Holy Spirit we have understanding of the things of God. Teach us to grow in holiness through repentance, obedience, and faith. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 103:12 NKJV – How vast is God’s mercy and grace?

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

“But Lord, You can’t possibly forgive me for all that I have done. How could forgiveness be for me! You don’t know me. And if You did, You couldn’t love me.” Oh how the enemy wants us to believe all of this. The enemy wants us to think that there is no way that God could love us to forgive us. I remember the times I’ve let the devil speak to me this way. I remember the helplessness I felt when I found myself bound in sin and thinking there was no hope.

But that is not what this verse tells us. When God forgives sins, He completely removes them. The height and breadth of His mercy is vast; as far and as wide as the east is separated from the west. WOW! “For I’m persuaded that neither death nor live, nor angels nor principalities not powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NJKV) If nothing can separate us from the love of God, than God can forgive us no matter what we have done. His love is everlasting and He loved us so much that He died for us.

Then why do we think these things? First, we allow the enemy to speak to us this way. We don’t rebuke him or resist him. We allow his lies to penetrate our minds. Second, we fail to look at God for who He is. He is our everlasting Savior. The gospel reveals the purpose and the power of God to deal with sin and ALL of its effects. God forgives the sins of believers on the basis of the once for all sacrifice by Jesus on the cross. Believer’s sins are no longer held against them, on account of the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

Scripture reveals God’s assurance of forgiveness. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2 NKJV) Jesus is our Advocate. He is one who speaks on our behalf and because of His blood sacrifice, the price has been paid for our forgiveness. Restoration is demonstrated by God in His love and grace which restores a fallen humanity and by His lifting of His people to their former place within His service.

Believers are assured of the unfailing love of God and of their relationship with Him as Father, the salvation and eternal life which He offers and the absolute hope one day of sharing His glory. “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)

Don’t listen to the enemy’s lies. Turn away from them and believe in the power of God to forgive no matter what. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV) Let’s take time today to turn toward God in awe, and in praise and in joy as we realize how wonderful God truly is. Prayer is a natural part of worship; to know God is to want to pray to Him and worship Him. Let’s take time today to pray and ask God to forgive us from the sin that keeps us from a right relationship with Him.

Dear Lord, forgive me when I think that You cannot love me. Thank You Father that You loved me so much You gave Your only begotten Son, Jesus. Thank You Jesus that You died for me and all my sin. Forgive me when I believe the lies of the enemy and turn from You. You are my hope and I believe in You. So Lord, forgive me and cleanse me today. You are my salvation and nothing can keep me from Your love. Thank You Lord for the promises of Your Word. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!