Brother George. How are you?

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These are words that I cherish.  As often as I see Gary, he utters these sweet words to me.  Love is stirred in my heart and I remember how many hours he spent with me along with his wife Diann when I became a believer.  Gary led a Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study every Sunday morning before our church service.  As a new believer I was like a sponge.  I wanted to hear everything.  My dear friend Mark from my workplace spoke to me one critical day about Jesus and you can say the rest is history.  I was now being discipled.  Gary has become a dear friend. Then things changed on July 4, 2019.  Gary was clinging on to his life.  Gary has a massive heart attack and his brain was not receiving any oxygen.  His son Jason said, (paraphrase) “He has suffered through two cardiac arrests, a lengthy lack of oxygen to his brain, seizures, broken ribs, a punctured lung, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, multiple medically induced comas, a tracheotomy, among other things”  Prayers began for Gary. A lot of prayers.

Over the next several days and weeks, many people joined the family in prayer for Gary’s health and healing, for strength for Diann and their sons Scott and Jason.  We prayed for their entire family for God to pour out His supernatural presence by His Holy Spirit.  Gary was hooked up to hospital devices that would lengthen his life, but the prayer for Gary was complete restoration.  Oh, I wanted to hear those words from Gary again, “Brother George. How are you?”  I couldn’t imagine not being able to see Gary and Diann in church each Sunday, encouraging others to simple believe God’s authority over all things including healing.  I’ve prayed along with them for many other people.  Believing God for the promises in His Word.  Faith rose up to a level I’ve not witnessed before.  God manifested His Holy presence and said, “It is finished”

Jason followed with this in one of his updates on his dad.  “BUT today he gets to go home. His prognosis was so grim and chances of recovery so small, BUT today he gets to go home. When he began to come out of sedation, he wanted two things: water, and to go home. The guy who’s known in medical circles as “miracle man” will get his wish today. He gets tired quickly but can do many things on his own and will continue to build strength from home. He will return to his beloved chair where this all began, only this time with quite the story to tell instead of read.”  A miracle testimony.  Gary is  the “Miracle Man”. But God…

 

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We must remember God’s promise, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV}  

Through it all, God’s been good.  Through the hundreds and hundreds of hours Gary’s family spent with him in the hospital, their strength was upheld by God’s strong right hand. The family began to speak the many promises of God.  And God delivered Gary.  God is faithful.  God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

I rejoice that Gary is alive and ready to tell the world of God’s miracle healing.  Gary’s the “Miracle Man”.  God is the giver of life and he gave Gary a second life.  I’m reminded of Lazarus.

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:38-44 ESV)

I’m looking forward to seeing Gary and Diann tonight with my wife, Nancy.  Oh what joy I will have when I hear those words again. “Brother George. How are you?”

Don’t believe me. Believe God.

 

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!