Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday


Today is Good Friday on the Christian Calendar. It is the day we remember the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus was taken before the Sanhedrin, the highest council of the ancient Jews, and condemned. They did not have the authority to pronounce a death sentence, so they had Jesus brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. After Pilate questioned Jesus, he determined Jesus was innocent. Then he learned Jesus was a Galilean, under Herod’s jurisdiction. Herod was in Jerusalem, so Pilate had him taken to Herod. Jesus refused to answer Herod's questions, so Herod sent him back to Pilate. Although Pilate found him innocent, he feared the crowds who wanted Jesus crucified, so he sentenced Jesus to death.

Jesus suffered a brutal beating. The soldiers mocked Him and made a crown of thorns and beat it on His head with a staff. They spit on Him, cursed Him and stripped Him naked. When they were finished, they made Him carry His cross up the hill to Calvary. Giant stakes were driven into His wrists and feet to attach Him on the cross. The cross was lifted up so the crowd could see, and onlookers shouted and jeered. Jesus hung in agony for probably about six hours before He cried, “It is finished.”

Good Friday was a sacred day for my late husband. Every year he would take the day off work, if possible, and I knew he would either stay in bed to pray or he would retreat to a quiet place to be alone and pray. I knew he would fast until God gave him a release, and it wouldn’t be before 3pm. Nearly every year, it seems like it turns dark and rains between noon and 3pm. That was about the hour Jesus declared, “It is finished.” The sky turned black. The curtain in the Jewish Temple ripped in two from top to bottom. An earthquake shook the ground and thunder crashed and lightening streaked across the sky.

This is a solemn day to reflect on the enormous price Jesus paid for each and every one of us. He was innocent. He NEVER sinned. He chose to give up His life our sakes. We are born cursed with sin.
When Adam sinned, the entire world was affected. Sin entered human experience, and death was the result. And so death followed this sin, casting its shadow over all humanity, because all have sinned.
Romans 5: 12
And His fullness fills you, even though you were once like corpses, dead in your sins and offenses. It wasn’t that long ago you lived in the religion, customs, and values of this world, obeying the dark ruler of the earthly realm who fills the atmosphere with his authority, and works diligently in the hearts of those who are disobedient to the truth of God. The corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and desires of our self-life. We lived by whatever natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God’s wrath like everyone else. Ephesians 2: 1-3
God made a way out of sin for us before He ever created the world. We can’t even fathom the deep abiding love God has for each and every one of us. He sacrificed His own Son to be the offering to pay the price for our sin. He offers us forgiveness and redemption of our sin as a free gift.
But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, He united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by His wonderful grace! Ephesians 2: 4-5
God’s marvelous grace manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches me how to live each day as I turn my back on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips me to live a self-controlled, upright, godly life in this present age. I continue to wait for the fulfillment of my hope in the dawning splendor of the glory of my great God and Savior, Jesus, the Anointed One. He sacrificed Himself for me that He might purchase my freedom from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people who are His very own, passionate to do what is beautiful in His eyes. Titus 2: 11-14
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of deep sorrows who was no stranger to suffering and grief. We hid our faces from Him in disgust and considered Him a nobody, not worthy of respect. Yet He was the one who carried our sicknesses and endured the torment of our sufferings. We viewed Him as one who was being punished for something He Himself had done, as one who was struck down by God and brought low. But it was because of our rebellious deeds He was pierced and because of our sins He was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us completely whole, and in His wounding we found our healing.

Like wayward sheep, we all wandered astray. Each of us turned from God’s paths and chose our own way; even so, Yahweh laid the guilt of our every sin upon Him. Isaiah 53: 3-6
I am blood bought and this blood of Jesus is my enforcer of my covenant relationship with Almighty God.

Father, thank You for Your love that reaches depths we cannot even fathom. Your beloved Son was the sacrifice You offered to forever free us from sin and its consequences. Love hung on the cross and gave up everything to rescue us.

All You ask of us in return is to acknowledge and confess our sin and ask You to forgive us. Then we simply receive Your gift of life made possible through Jesus who conquered death, overcoming sin and its evil hold on us. You are amazing, Lord. Thank You for all You did, all You are, and all You do for us. As we reflect on Your love and compassion, we praise You and submit ourselves to You to Your glory and honor. Amen.

If you haven’t already given your heart and life to Christ, I invite you to choose today to be washed by the blood, covered by the blood, saved by the blood, and healed by the blood. Make the most important decision of your life by praying this prayer right now.




Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Armor of God


Everyday life is full of activities, work, and family, mixed with the constant bombardment of influence, pressure and ideas from the people we encounter and the people we want relationship with. It’s a constantly changing bustle of routine blending with the unpredictable. We learn to expect the unexpected… but we don’t always like or welcome the disruptions that bring fear, trouble, pain, worry, or the unknown.

Life is too hard to handle on our own. An important promise we have from God as part of our covenant relationship with Him is protection in the spiritual realm when we put on the armor of God Paul teaches about in the sixth book of Ephesians. The Bible often warns against underestimating our enemy, the demonic forces determined to accuse and persecute God’s children. I will explain this in more detail in a later post.

The Bible teaches us to put on the armor of God every day to fight against the evil strategies of the accuser, the devil. This is the prayer I say each day. It is a combination of scripture passages adapted in first person and other prayers. I invite you to join me and armor up each day before you move on with your other activities. It will not only help protect you from some unwanted unknowns, but it will help you grow in your relationship with your Heavenly Father. You will be obedient to His instructions He provides in His Word and gain a deeper understanding of His love for you. He doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to know He is walking right beside us and taking on the enemies that are too big for us to handle.

Lord, as I prepare to engage the enemy, Your Word gives me instruction on the rules of spiritual warfare. Please help me heed Your instructions and not become an unnecessary casualty of war. In preparation, I declare my spirit man is clad with the armor of the Lord and the armor of Light.
To live like this is all the more urgent, for time is running out and you know it is a strategic hour in human history. It is time for us to wake up! For our full salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns. So we must once and for all strip away what is done in the shadows of darkness, removing it like filthy clothes. And once and for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light as our weapon. We must live honorably, surrounded by the light of this new day, not in the darkness of drunkenness and debauchery, not in promiscuity and sensuality, not being argumentative or jealous of others.

Instead fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, and don’t waste even a moment’s thought on your former identity to awaken its selfish desires. 
Romans 13: 11-14
Ephesians 6: 10-19 says, Now my beloved ones, I saved these most important truths for last: I am supernaturally infused with strength through my life-union with the Lord Jesus. I stand victorious with the force of His explosive power flowing in and through me.

I put on God’s complete set of armor provided for me, so I am protected as I fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! My hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. They are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.

Because of this, I must wear all the armor God provides so I’m protected as I confront the slanderer, for I’m destined for all things and will rise victorious.

I put on truth as a belt to strengthen me to stand in triumph. I put on holiness as the protective armor that covers my heart. I stand on my feet alert, always ready to share the blessings of peace.

In every battle, I take faith as my wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at me from the evil one! I embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect my thoughts from lies. I take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God.

I pray passionately in the Spirit, as I constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. I pray the blessings of God on all His believers.

I take power given to me by Jesus Christ over all the power of the enemy. Christ commanded the host even as a righteous man when He was being judged by the Sanhedrin. He said, if I wanted to, I could call the army of heaven to fight on My behalf. As an heir with Christ, I have the right to do the same.
Luke 10: 18-19 says, Jesus replied, “While you were ministering, I watched satan topple until he fell suddenly from heaven like lightning to the ground. Jesus imparted to me all His authority to trample over satans kingdom. I trample on every demon before me and overcome every power satan possesses. Absolutely nothing can harm me as I walk in this authority.
I put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect my heart, chest cavity and vital organs. I function and conduct my life affairs according to Your original plan and purpose for me. I surrender myself to God to be His sacred, living sacrifice, and live in holiness, experiencing all that delights His heart, making this my genuine expression of worship. It protects my reputation and my heart. I gird my loins with truth, it protects my integrity. I put on my feet the sandals of the Gospel of Peace to guide my every step. I put on the helmet of salvation to renew my mind daily. It protects me from negative thoughts that would derail Your purpose and plans for me. I raise the shield of faith before every fiery dart of the enemy. It secures my future and destiny. With the Word I take up the sword of the Lord to speak God’s Word out loud to grant me dominion and authority against the powers of hell. In the precious name of Jesus, I withstand in the evil day, triumphant because of my Lord and King, Jesus Christ! I walk in the authority of my risen and reigning savior, Jesus Christ. I am supernaturally infused with strength through my life-union with the Lord Jesus. I stand victorious with the force of His explosive power flowing in and through me. I am destined for all things and rise victorious. I pray passionately in the Spirit, constantly interceding with every form of prayer at all times. I pray the blessings of God on all His believers. I trample on every demon before me and overcome every power satan possesses.

I live with the confidence there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate me from God’s love. I’m convinced His love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in my present or future circumstances that can weaken His love. There is no power above me or beneath me—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance me from God’s passionate love, lavished on me through my Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!
Romans 8: 38-39.



Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Celebrating Communion


This is the prayer I pray when I take communion in my home. I take this very seriously as I view myself participating in the new covenant Jesus came to die for. I offer explanation and Biblical context for this in a separate blog post titled Do this in Remembrance of Me. I urge you to please read it first. Feel free to use the following prayer as a starting point for your own communion celebration.

Precious Father, King Jesus, Holy Spirit, You are welcome here. I make my requests to the Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the power of Holy Spirit. Father, if there is anything in me keeping me separate from You, please show me. Holy Spirit of God, I ask You to pray through me, anoint me with Holy Oil and the purity of Your Spirit. Let the words of my mouth be pleasing to You Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Prepare me to receive Your body and blood as I remember You. Beloved Father, Your Word says if I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 9

Lord please forgive me. Heavenly Father, I repent for every sin. I choose with my will to forgive any offenses. Please take them Lord, and cleanse me. May the blood of Jesus wash over me so the accuser can’t speak against me. Forgive me Lord. Release me from everything holding me away from You. I present anything keeping me in bondage or separate from You and place it before You Lord. (Tell the Lord anything on your heart that needs to be confessed.) The Lord promises in Isaiah 54: 5 For my Creator will be my husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name! He is my Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. You are my husband Lord. I give all my concerns to You. Before taking communion, I push away all my concerns and say: I have no further use for you in my life. As I take communion, I praise God for my healing, answers and deliverance.

Jesus taught me to pray, Beloved Father, who is in Heaven, Holy is Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give me this day my daily bread, and forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. I choose with my will to forgive every offense, whether I am aware of it or not. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen!
I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this in remembrance of Me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.
1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
Hold the bread, a symbol of Jesus’ body. Jesus asked me to eat this to remember He gave His body for me. I am doing this to remind myself and declare the truth I am in covenant with Jesus and as He lives in me in perfect unity no sickness can dwell in me, and I am the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 21

Christ celebrated His victory in advance when He gave the disciples the bread and wine at the Last Supper. The elements represent His body and blood. I remember the horrible price Jesus paid to redeem me. It represents the greatest victory in the history of creation. Satan was defeated, the curse was broken. I was restored into blessing. Jesus redeemed me back into the family of God. The peace and presence of God is in communion. Fill my body and my home as I take part of this bread and drink and praise You for Your love. Melt me, mold me, fill me and use me Lord to do Your work as You call me.

Father, thank you for this bread and drink You provide. I take the bread and remember the broken body of Jesus, sacrificed for my healing and restoration. Thank You, Jesus, for becoming one of us, the Son of Man, to bring me back into Your family. You are the Bread of Life and as I take this bread it reminds me, I am to partake continually of Your life. Father, thank You for sending Jesus to live and die for me. The Son of God gave Himself up so I could live! Thank You His body was raised back to life. Thank You because of the grace of Jesus I have real life, and I can live forever with You. Thank You for giving me complete healing and life because Jesus suffered in my place. Amen. (Go ahead and eat the bread.)

Hold the cup, a symbol of Jesus’ blood. Jesus asked me to drink to remember my sins are washed away by the powerful new covenant Jesus made possible between God and me. Christ’s blood on the mercy seat of heaven guarantees this new covenant. Please show me mercy because of His blood. I drink to honor and place my faith fully in the shed blood of Jesus for the remission of my sins. I remember His blood does more than cleanse me of sin. It makes me a new creation in Christ Jesus. I am born again. I celebrate this great victory over sin and the curse. I receive health, wholeness, and salvation today. I decree through the blood of Christ, satan is forever defeated. Father, thank You for Your love for me. You allowed Your only Son to literally be poured out so I could live in a fully restored relationship with You with the promise of eternal life in heaven. Jesus’ shed blood was poured out in sacrifice for my sins to restore life and make it possible to redeem my life.
My heart soars with joyful gratitude when I think of how God made me worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to me by living in the light. He rescued me completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and translated me into the kingdom realm of His beloved Son. For in the Son all my sins are canceled and I have the release of redemption through His very blood.
Colossians 1: 12-14
Thank You, Jesus, for giving your blood. I proclaim You are my Lord and Savior as I eat and drink in Your name.
Jesus was handed over to be crucified for the forgiveness of my sins and was raised back to life to prove He made me right with God!
Romans 4: 25
The blood of the cross is the means of my justification and the resurrection is the proof God now sees me as righteous in His eyes. The strength I receive from feeding on You spiritually empowers me to go forth and proclaim You to the world. The power of Christ’s redemption is greater than the power of sin and death. Amen. I bring my life and my family’s life under the covenant promise of communion. We are covered and hidden under the shadow of God’s wings. (Go ahead and drink the cup.)
Jesus Prophesies about Holy Spirit -
John 14: 15-21
“Loving Me empowers you to obey My commands. I will ask the Father and He will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like Me—and He will never leave you. The world won’t receive Him because they can’t see Him or know Him. But you know Him intimately because He remains with you and will live inside you.

“I promise I will never leave you helpless or abandon you as orphans—I will come back to you! Soon I will leave this world and they will see Me no longer, but you will see Me, because I will live again, and you will come alive too. So when that day comes, you will know I am living in the Father and you are one with Me, for I will be living in you. Those who truly love Me are those who obey My commands. Whoever passionately loves Me will be passionately loved by My Father. I will passionately love him in return and reveal myself to him.”
Praise You Father, for not only sending Your Son to die in my place for my sins, but choosing to go even further and sending Your Holy Spirit to live in me and lead me to all truth and to a deeper relationship with You. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me. Help me grow in my understanding of Your truth. Please fill me with Your love. Help me love You back with the same measure. Thank You for all Your abundant blessings.
This is why I continually thank God for my life, because I received God’s message wholeheartedly. I embrace it not as the fabrication of men but as the Word of God. The Word continues to be an energizing force in me who believes. 1 Thessalonians 2: 13

Do this in Remembrance of Me


He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

After supper He took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” Luke 22: 19-20
We celebrate communion to remember the sacrifice Jesus made when He died on the cross for the redemption of our sins so we can live in relationship with God and have eternal life. Jesus broke the bread and served the wine at the last supper before His death and told His disciples to do this in remembrance of Him.

While many churches teach the importance of communion, they tend to disagree on policies and procedures about how to celebrate and even argue on finer points. I choose to keep it simple and just believe what the Bible says. The Bible does not limit who can serve communion, what the elements should be, or how often to celebrate. I suggest you use a bite of bread or a cracker. The drink can be wine, juice, water, or whatever you have on hand.

The sharing of the bread and wine at the last supper was the beginning of the new covenant between God and us. It’s significant they were celebrating the Passover. At Passover the High Priest would slaughter a spotless lamb so the people’s sins would be forgiven for another year. Jesus is the spotless lamb of God who was slain to redeem us of all our sins forever. This new covenant between God and His people gives us redemption from sin and the opportunity to live forever in Heaven when we pass from this life to eternity. Jesus taught us to remember His love and the forgiveness of our sins every time we share communion.

I take communion every day. I just use a cracker and some juice. I make it part of my daily prayer time. I acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice and thank Him. The more I do this, the more God shows me how important it is to take part of this. He teaches me the significance of this new covenant. It helps me recognize the Lord as my Savior for dying to give me freedom from my sins so I can fellowship with God. Taking the body and blood of Jesus means I can be healed because Jesus took His beating for my healing.
He himself carried our sins in His body on the cross so we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness. Our instant healing flowed from His wounding. 1 Peter 2: 24
The Bible admonishes us to approach this covenant meal with holiness and humility.
So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment on yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. 1 Corinthians 11: 27-30
This simply means to pray before you begin and confess any sin and anything that may be separating you from God. Don’t let anger with someone, unforgiveness, offense, or anything else come between you and the Lord, or you and someone else. Acknowledge and admit it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness.
“And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.” Matthew 6: 14-15
If possible, if it’s something between you and another person, go and ask forgiveness from them and make it right. Unforgiveness is a big hinderance to answered prayer and will separate you from God.
For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment. 1 Corinthians 11: 31
As Paul explains, when we judge ourselves, we examine our hearts and tell the Lord and receive forgiveness. I like to recite the Lord’s Prayer before I take communion. When I pray, forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me… I follow it with, I choose with my will to forgive every offense, whether I am aware of it or not. This way, if there is something I’m not currently aware of in my heart I still present it and purposefully choose to forgive. I don’t want anything separating me from Jesus.

After I’ve taken the body and blood, I add a prayer to thank Jesus for sending Holy Spirit to live in me and help me get to know Him better. Holy Spirit lives in us and teaches us and reveals mysteries from the Word when we read it. Being saved means we become new. Our sin-stained nature is renewed.
Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. 2 Corinthians 5: 17

Now Christ lives His life in you! And even though your body may be dead because of the effects of sin, His life-giving Spirit imparts life to you because you are fully accepted by God. Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, He will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you! Romans 8: 10-11
Guard well this incomparable treasure by the Spirit of Holiness living within you.
2 Timothy 1: 14
In a separate post titled Celebrating Communion I share the prayers I say when I take communion. Feel free to use it as a starting point for your devotion time to share communion. 


 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Freedom Focused Faith



What is freedom focused faith about? It emphasizes the only real freedom we can enjoy. When we choose to put our faith in Jesus and trust the one and only God of the universe we are freed from the bondage of sin. Sin separates us from God. God invites us to be a part of His family by simply choosing to no longer sin and to accept Jesus sacrifice for us that cleanses us of all our sin and makes us whole and acceptable to stand before our Father as His child.

“I speak eternal truth,” Jesus said. “When you sin you are not free. You’ve become a slave in bondage to your sin. And slaves have no permanent standing in a family, like a son does, for a son is a part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free from sin, then become a true son and be unquestionably free! John 10: 34-36

I know the truth, and the truth sets me free. John 8: 32
What do I believe? We all sin and live in a fallen world corrupted and contaminated with sin and the consequences of sin. The consequence of sin is death. Paul teaches us this in Romans 6:

What are we to do, then? Should we sin to our hearts’ content since there’s no law to condemn us anymore? What a terrible thought! Don’t you realize grace frees you to choose your own master? But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, He will lead you into perfect righteousness.

And thanks be to God, for in the past you were servants of sin, but now your obedience is heart deep, and your life is being molded by truth through the teaching you are devoted to. And now you celebrate your freedom from your former master—sin. You’ve left its bondage, and now God’s perfect righteousness holds power over you as His loving servants.

I’ve used the familiar terms of a “servant” and a “master” to compensate for your weakness to understand. For just as you surrendered your bodies and souls to impurity and lawlessness, which only brought more lawlessness into your lives, so now surrender yourselves as servants of righteousness, which brings you deeper into true holiness. For when you were bound as servants to sin, you lived your lives free from any obligation to righteousness.

So tell me, what benefit ensued from doing those things you’re now ashamed of? It left you with nothing but a legacy of shame and death. But now, as God’s loving servants, you live in joyous freedom from the power of sin. So consider the benefits you now enjoy—you are brought deeper into the experience of true holiness that ends with eternal life! For sin’s meager wages is death, but God’s lavish gift is life eternal, found in your union with our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. Romans 6: 15-23
What glorious news! Not only are we free from the curse of sin but we can live in joyous freedom! Our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord places a supernatural peace inside us and we can experience joy no matter what is happening around us. On top of that, we are given the gift of eternal life. Death may take our physical body at some point, but we are confident our soul will live forever in Heaven.

Now we take the next step and choose to live a life dedicated to God and doing what He created us to do. We turn our back on sin. We choose to no longer sin. Yes, it is possible to not sin anymore.
God’s marvelous grace manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches me how to live each day as I turn my back on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips me to live a self-controlled, upright, godly life in this present age. I continue to wait for the fulfillment of my hope in the dawning splendor of the glory of my great God and Savior, Jesus, the Anointed One. He sacrificed Himself for me that He might purchase my freedom from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people who are His very own, passionate to do what is beautiful in His eyes. Titus 2: 11-14

He saved me, resurrecting me through the washing of rebirth. I am made completely new by the Holy Spirit, whom He splashed over me richly by Jesus, the Messiah, my Life Giver. Titus 3: 6
Did you catch that? We are equipped with the ability to live a self-controlled, upright, godly life here and now. When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior and make Him ruler over our life, we are made brand new by Holy Spirit who now lives in us. Holy Spirit is our secret superpower living in us to help us make the right choices to live a life pleasing and acceptable to God our Almighty Father. If we mess up and do something wrong, Holy Spirit will convict us and show us. All we need to do is say we are sorry and ask for forgiveness and God will forgive us. Then we move forward and don’t do it again.

Please pray with me today.

Lord Jesus, thank You I am washed by the blood, covered by the blood, saved by the blood, healed by the blood, and you devil can’t defeat the blood! I am blood bought and this blood of Jesus is my enforcer of my covenant. What I declare in faith God will do. I am above and not beneath. God fills me with His fire, authority, and divine intel to raise me up in and with an unshakable fortified faith that can’t be taken away from me. I feel His fire and it can’t be stolen. I walk in ferocious faith. I’m ready for new assignments. I walk in His grace, His anointing and His power.

This is why I continually thank God for my life, because I received God’s message wholeheartedly. I embrace it not as the fabrication of men but as the Word of God. The Word continues to be an energizing force in me who believes. 1 Thessalonians 2: 13

I fill my thoughts with God’s words
until they penetrate deep into my spirit.
Then, as I unwrap His words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of my being.
So above all, I guard the affections of my heart,
for they affect all I am.
I pay attention to the welfare of my innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4: 21-23


 

Friday, April 8, 2022

Daily Prayer

 


I’ve been a woman of prayer most of my life. My parents taught me the importance of prayer. I prayed at church, before meals, usually before bed, and whenever I thought I could use God’s help for something. I didn’t practice the discipline of prayer though.

Many challenges too big for me to handle on my own are part of my story. This is true of everyone. My husband and I suffered through thirteen years of infertility before God answered our prayers and blessed us with our daughter. We experienced car accidents, financial pressures, job losses and changes, health crisis, and so much more. Each new threat prompted me to turn to God for comfort, direction, and help.

I only understood the first level of the meaning of prayer. God showed me prayer is conversation with Him. My interpretation primarily involved me doing all the talking. I was treating it more as a step in a process to get what I wanted. When I didn’t like what was going on around me and couldn’t change it, I turned to God to do it for me. It was all about me without regard to my Heavenly Father. This is okay as a starting point for a young believer, but there comes a point when we should realize a conversation means it involves someone other than ourselves. We need to listen to someone else in a conversation, and respond to someone else’s thoughts, ideas, or questions too.

This realization changed my perception of prayer. God created us to be in relationship with Him. Relationships include involvement with and emotional connection with another person. Creating and establishing a relationship with someone requires an investment of our time, energy, and building trust. It’s forging a level of intimacy by building respect. The more important a relationship is to us, the more we open up our heart and share. When we are with a casual friendship, we keep things light and guard our personal feelings and thoughts.

Daily prayer is something I choose to do now. I want to grow and mature in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’m intentional about how I approach my prayer time and the way I interact with Him. When we have our time together, I don’t do all the talking. I take time to listen to what He wants to tell me. If I ask Him a question, I expect Him to answer me. Not expect Him as in being in demand of Him, but expect Him as in waiting in anticipation for His answer. I’m still growing in my understanding of this and making adjustments as I learn along the way.

My approach right now for my dedicated prayer time is to put on some instrumental praise music on low to saturate the atmosphere with peace. I spend about ten minutes or so thanking God for the things He does for me and my family and loved ones. Then I like to pray in tongues for at least ten minutes. Praying in tongues is the best way to ensure perfect prayers are offered when I yield myself to the Holy Spirit to pray through me.

I spend time in God’s Word by reading a chapter from Proverbs every day. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, so I can read the entire book through every month. On the months that have less than 31 days, I read an extra one on one of the days, so I am always ready to begin again on the first of the month at the beginning. I read through the entire Bible by reading at least a chapter a day. I follow a reading plan on Bible.com to help me stay on track where I am. I also ask God if there is something He wants me read other than what I’ve set and read it if He gives me something.

Finally, I read prayers I have written out on a document in my computer. I’m constantly adjusting and changing this as God leads me. It includes passages of Scripture that read as prayers as well as things God brings to my attention as I go through my day. I will share portions of this in future posts here.

There are two passages from Ephesians I read every day. The Bible is God’s Word written down for us to teach us and to share His love for us. He uses His Word as one way He speaks to us. When I read His Word, it is one of the ways I let God do some of the talking in this relationship I am building with Him. Since God showed me these to read, it has had quite an impact on my life. I see Him answering these prayers in remarkable ways. I encourage you to try it. I adapt His Word to make it personal. This is from the Passion Translation, a favorite of mine because it expresses God’s Word with beautiful declarations and sparks feelings and images that inspire my heart.

Ephesians 1: 17- 23

Father of glory, the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, impart to me the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know You through my deepening intimacy with You. Light of God, illuminate the eyes of my imagination, flooding me with light, until I experience the full revelation of the hope of Your calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritance He finds in me, His holy one!

I pray I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to me through faith. Then my life will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through me! This is the mighty power released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! Now He is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age, but in the age that is coming!

He alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ and gave Him the highest rank above all others. Now we, His church, are His body on the earth and that which fills Him who is being filled by it!

Ephesians 3: 14-21

I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of my Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. I pray He would unveil within me the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods my innermost being with His divine might and explosive power.

Then, by constantly using my faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside me, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of my life. I will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends my understanding—this extravagant love pours into me until I am filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

I will never doubt God’s mighty power to work in me and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than my greatest request, my most unbelievable dream, and exceed my wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes me.

I offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!

I still pray at other times during the day as well. I carry on conversations with God all the time. I still immediately seek Him when trials and troubles come up during all the normal life activities. This is perfectly fine. We don’t have to be so rigid we only pray during our set time. After all, we don’t make our other friends and family members wait for a set appointment to talk to them do we? Of course not. That’s what I like about describing prayer as conversation. Conversation can happen anytime we are together.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Most Important Decision of Your Life



If you ever longed for a new start, you can find your new beginning with God. God’s mercy and forgiveness extends beyond your darkest moments and deepest failures. He will forgive your sins and remember them no more. He is calling you and wants to heal the broken places and give you peace and hope.

The Bible is the Word of God. He gave it to us so we could get to know Him. Reading the Word and spending time getting to know our Creator is food for our soul. God created us to be His family. He wants to spend time with us. He wants us to get to know Him. He wants us to be in relationship with Him. Prayer is simply having a conversation with Father God. Relationships grow when we spend time together and share our feelings, thoughts, and dreams. Father God invites you to come and get to know Him.

God created us in His image, to be His sons and daughters. He created us perfect. He chose to create us because He loves us and wants to fellowship with us. He gave us free will. He gave us the choice to choose to love Him back and live for Him, or to go our own way and live only for ourselves and our selfish desires. When we choose to put ourselves before God, as more important than God, we are being rebellious, and it leads to sin.

Sin separates us from God. It is any action, feeling, or thought that goes against God’s standards and breaks His laws. Sin harms others, damages us, and, most importantly, dishonors God. We live in a sin infested world. The Bible teaches us
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3: 23
The Bible also teaches because God is holy and just, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. The punishment for sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6: 23
You are not alone in this. Every single person is given the opportunity to choose life or death. God’s plan for you is to choose life. God gave up His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for us to pay the price for our sins.
For here is the way God loved the world—He gave His only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life. John 3: 16
I invite you to believe the Bible is true and make Jesus your Lord and Savior. God makes it very simple for us to renounce our past and receive His free gift to us by faith. The Apostle Paul tells us clearly in the Book of Romans.
But the faith-righteousness we receive speaks to us in these words of Moses:

“God’s living message is very close to you, as close as your own heart beating in your chest and as near as the tongue in your mouth.”

And what is God’s “living message”? It is the revelation of faith for salvation, which is the message we preach. For if you publicly declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will experience salvation. The heart that believes in Him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scriptures encourage us with these words:
“Everyone who believes in Him will never be disappointed.” Romans 10: 8-11
Right now, if you need a Savior, I offer you my Jesus. Simply do as Paul tells us. You can pray by yourself, using your own words. Just pray from your heart to God, and He will hear you and save you. If you feel lost and don’t know what to pray, here’s a salvation prayer you can use:

Dear Lord,

I admit I’m a sinner. I’ve done many things that don’t please You. I only lived my life for myself. I’m sorry. Beloved Father, Your Word says if I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 9 Please forgive me of my sins against You and Your creation. May the blood of Jesus wash over me so the accuser can’t speak against me. I confess Jesus is Lord. I believe He died on the cross for me, to save me. I believe He rose from the dead. I accept Him as my Lord and Savior. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to You now and ask You to take control of my life. I submit it to you. From this day forward, please help me live every day for You and in a way that pleases You.

I love you, Lord. Thank You I will spend all eternity with You.

Amen.
So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One. For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus liberated me from the “law” of sin and death. God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature. Romans 8: 1-3
Congratulations and welcome to the family of God! Here are a few more passages from the Bible to put in your heart to help you embrace the wonderous gift you just received. These are from The Passion Translation. I love this translation for its beautiful descriptions and the way it paints word pictures to inspire praise to our loving God.
I’ve been buried with Him into His death. My “baptism into death” also means I was raised with Him when I believed in God’s resurrection power, the power that raised Him from death’s realm. This “realm of death” describes my former state, I was held in sin’s grasp. But now, I’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, I am forever alive and forgiven of all my sin! He canceled out every legal violation I had on my record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict me. He erased it all—my sins, my stained soul—He deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything I once was in Adam has been placed onto His cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation.
Colossians 2: 12-14
For it was always in Your perfect plan to adopt me as Your delightful child, through my union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so His tremendous love that cascades over me would glorify His grace —for the same love You have for the Beloved, Jesus, You have for me. This unfolding plan brings You great pleasure! Since I am now joined to Christ, I am given the treasures of redemption by His blood—the total cancellation of my sins—all because of the cascading riches of His grace. Ephesians 1: 5-7
Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he is an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. God made all things new, us to Himself, and gave us the ministry of reconciling others to God. In other words, it was through the Anointed One God was shepherding the world, not even keeping records of their transgressions, and He entrusted to us the ministry of opening the door of reconciliation to God. We are ambassadors of the Anointed One who carry the message of Christ to the world, as though God were tenderly pleading with them directly through our lips. So we tenderly plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Turn back to God and be reconciled to him.” For God made the only One who did not know sin become sin for us, so we might become the righteousness of God through our union with Him.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 – 21
Choose starting right now to spend time praying and reading the Bible every day. Find a Holy Spirit filled church to become a part of where you can be fed and taught about our wonderous God and beautiful Savior. Surround yourself with believers and go forth to love God, live in peace, grow in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and share the good news of the Gospel to everyone who will listen. God bless you.

 

 


 

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday on the Christian Calendar. It is the day we remember the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ....