Happy New Year!!
What better way to start the New Year than in prayer.
As you pray – how do you start? I often start like this,
“Lord, I want You… Lord, would You… Lord, I need…”
I am seeking to start in a new way – “Lord – You Are!”
Our prayer times are best when started with Him and not with us.
There are many names of God. I had this thought, “Could Jehovah of the Old
Testament be seen in Jesus in the New Testament?” It would make
sense because Jesus said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the
Father.” Consider this list and you can begin your prayers, “Lord You Are…”
Jehovah-Jireh – My provider
Genesis 22:14 – “The Lord will Provide.”
Jesus – Philippians 4:19 “My God will supply every need of yours according to
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Jehovah–Rapha – My healer
Exodus 15:26 “I AM the Lord, your healer.”
Jesus – Luke 4:40 “All those who had any who were sick with various diseases
brought them to Him, and He healed them.”
Jehovah-Rohi – My Shepherd
Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
Jesus – John 10:11 “I AM the Good Shepherd.”
Jehovah-Sabaoth – My Victor
1 Samuel 17:45 – “I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts.”
Jesus – 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jehovah-Shalom – My peace
Judges 6:24 – “The Lord is Peace.”
Jesus – John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.”
Jehovah-Shammah – My Presence –
Ezekiel 48:35 – “The Lord is There.”
Jesus – Matthew 28:20 “I am with you always.”
Jehovah-Tsidkenu – My righteousness
Jeremiah 23:6 – The Lord our Righteousness
Jesus – 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “In Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Consider changing your focus in prayer to Him and say – “Lord You Are!!”
> It’s Christmas time!
> Look at this Christmas passage;
> “A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife;
> and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great;
> but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. “Ephesians 5:31-32
> Is that really a Christmas passage?Jesus left His Father and the Holy
> Spirit to come to earth to get His bride.We are that bride!
> In some mysterious sense the Father had arranged this marriage
> as was the Jewish custom.
> Eph. 1:4 “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.”
> He came and paid the price for His bride on the cross.
> We can now be set free from the family of satan.
> We have trusted Christ to be our Savior.
> Therefore the devil can no longer accuse us and torment us
> with our sinful past.Christ has cleansed us with His blood.
> We are now His engaged Bride.
> He has given us the Holy Spirit like our engagement ring. Eph. 1:13-14
> He is now preparing a place for us to spend eternity with Him.
> Just as in Jesus day the groom would go to his parent’s home and add a
> room for his bride. This could take up to a year.
> When everything is ready He will come back.
> This time he will receive His bride and take us to heaven to have a
> wonderful wedding feast.
> Then we will live with our glorious groom forever.
> Praise God for His plan of salvation and choosing us to be His bride!
> It all started with His coming to earth!
>> Rejoice this Christmas that He came for you!
With all the turmoil regarding marriage today, I thought I’d post some thoughts regarding this God given institution. Here are some key bible verses found in the new and old testament:
Gen. 2:24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Eph. 5:31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two united into one.”
In Genesis this scripture comes right after the creation of woman from Adam’s side. In order to comply with God’s plan, a man and a woman are to form a family through marriage. Also note that the bible says a man leaves father and mother implying again that it takes a man and a woman to form a family through marriage.
Here are a couple of reasons for the marriage sacrament.
Gen.1:28 God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.”
Other translations say be fruitful and multiply. Clearly procreation is part of the reason for marriage. That purpose is impossible if a marriage is two people of the same sex. God’s plan is to populate the Earth with His special creation having babies after marriage.
Eph. 5:28-29 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.
Another reason for marriage is to show the world how much Jesus Christ loves them. This scripture comes right after a lengthy discourse on how a husband is to love his wife and a wife is to respect her husband and how God treats His beloved church.
Marriage is a picture of how much God loves mankind and desires an intimate relationship with us. It is a gift that helps us lead a joyful and fulfilled life. It’s no wonder there is so much opposition to biblical marriage. I’ll write more as to how God’s gift and plan got messed up in future blogs
How do you pray for people in need? We often pray that God will deliver them out of their needs.
Have we ever prayed like Paul does in Ephesians 1:17-20?
He prays for these things:
1. That God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Why?
2. So that we would know the HOPE we have of a glorious inheritance in the future.
3. So that we would know the POWER we have for the present situation.
I am praying differently. It sounds like this,
“Lord, I care about my friend who has this need.
I want them to be delivered from the financial, physical or relational pain.
I don’t want them to feel the pain.
However, I ask that You will give them the Spirit of wisdom and reveal Yourself to them.
Let them come to know You better because of this need.
Show them the HOPE they can have for the future.
They are experiencing pain now.
I ask that they begin to see that their ultimate hope is living with You in Your painless presence forever.
I also pray that they will experience your present POWER for their current need.
Remind them of Your power that raised Jesus from the dead.
They have the same power available to them for this need.”
Hope for the future and Power for the present.
What a great way to pray for people.
OK, so the 2012 Olympics are finished. Team USA did very well winning 104 medals.
China had 87 and Russia had 82.
Were you impressed by the dedication of the athletes?
They trained for years to be able to do what they did on the world’s largest stage.
I remember the two little 6 year old girls who were in a gymnastic class together.
They had been training for the past 10 years! Serious training pays off in GOLD.
Consider what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 in The Message Bible
“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line.
I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition.
I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”
Can we allow these athletes to encourage us in our Christian lives?
Do we have sloppy living?
Are we alert to Satan’s efforts to trip us up in our race?
Can we get caught napping?
We may not be able to run like Usain Bolt or stick the landing like McKayla Maroney or
slice through the water like Michael Phelps.
However, we can run to Jesus when we are in need,
we can stand firmly on God’s truth when tempted and
we can swim in the ocean of God’s deep love for us.
Let’s keep our eye on the goal where God is beckoning us onward to Jesus.
We are off and running and we are not turning back. Philippians 3:14 Message
July brings the glories of our nation declaring its independence. We celebrate with picnics, hot dogs, potato salad (my favorite), hamburgers, and of course fireworks!
As I think about our freedom, I remember the tremendous sacrifice of men and women who put their lives on the line to give us the United States of America. I know that anything worthwhile demands our passionate involvement. In order to have our independence, it took not only the “foot soldiers” but also a nation of people who passionately believed in the cause enough to give their fortunes to fund it.
I often feel like a “foot soldier” for the cause of maturing the Body of Christ through discipleship worldwide. It is a daunting task but since 1979 we have been moving forward with great passion to see this happen. I am thrilled to tell you that today we have reached hundreds of thousands around the world with the VCLi SALT messages.
The future is also exciting. With the addition of Mandarin, we will soon have SALT available in the top 4 spoken languages in the world along with several others. One thing is certain, without the support of people who believe in this cause- our foot soldiers-we could not be setting captives free all over the world. Thank you for standing with us as we push forward to set the captives free.
I recently attended a conference in Washington D.C. where I heard John Nagle, a professor of law at The University of Notre Dame Law School.
He spoke about the “Four Laws”, Eternal Law, Divine Law, Natural Law and Human Law.
We can count on Natural Law to bring us the four seasons. Winter, spring, summer and fall arrive like clock work. You can depend on it. The Bible has Divine Laws that are irrefutable as well. One law that comes to mind is found in Luke 6:37-39. It is the Law of Giving.
Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.
I know most of you would acknowledge how much God has blessed you. I am convinced it is because you operate in the Law of Giving.
WE DON’T GIVE TO GET BUT GOD WILL GIVE YOU HIS BLESSING BEYONG MEASURE! IT’S THE LAW!
Thanks to all who give to this ministry and partnering with us to help people everywhere live life better. May God continue to bless you.
In His service,
Victorious Christian Living International
PS: I would like to invite you to visit our web site, www.vcli.org and click our blog section. You will find over 50 challenging and impactful articles written by your staff at VCLi.
I remember living next door to a man who had this bumper sticker on the back of his truck,
“Never Satisfied!” I think it had something to do with sex.
It was a clear message of how many people feel today.
They have tried many things and are still not satisfied.
What does Jesus say? Right in the middle of His nine beatitudes In Matthew 5:6 He says,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
People hunger and thirst for love, security, happiness, money, and acceptance.
They all are supposed to satisfy.
Definition: “to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of a person.”
Are you seeking to be satisfied or do you love someone who is trying to be satisfied?
Where is it found? Some popular sources include: drugs, sex, money, possessions,
appearance, food and entertainment.
All of these are an illusion and often produce more frustration not satisfaction.
As a young boy I remember asking my mother if Pall Mall cigarettes satisfied.
She asked me why I asked.
I said that the big red and white sign said, “Pall Mall, They Satisfy!”
I said that if they did satisfy then why did she buy them by the carton!
It is time to get hungry – to be unsatisfied. We should not be satisfied in this world.
Quit looking to it to satisfy. Seek Him, talk to Him, tell Him you love Him.
“I have set the Lord continually before me.” Psalm 16:8
“You open your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16
Consider these spot on quotes:
“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” ― C.S. Lewis
“God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” John Piper
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
- C. S. Lewis in “The Weight of Glory”
Be satisfied – In Him.
Oswald Chambers says, “The fiery furnaces are there by God’s direct permission.
It is misleading to imagine that we are developed in spite of our circumstances;
we are developed because of them.
It is mastery in circumstances that is needed, not mastery over them.”
Are you in a fiery furnace today? It could be financial, physical, relational, or emotional.
How are you dealing with it? How do we get that mastery?
One way is by trusting in the very presence of God.
We don’t go through times of suffering alone.
God wants us to allow them to draw us closer to Him and experience His love.
What was the last promise Jesus gave to His men and to us?
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
The Lord was with Joseph…”his master (Potiphar) saw that the Lord was with him.”
“Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison…But the Lord was with Joseph.”
Genesis 39:2-3, 20-23
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”
No matter what you: face – fear – or fight – He is with you.
He is with you actively, not passively.
He will give strength, power, help, courage, comfort and victory.
What are you facing today? He is with you and will go through it with you.
You are not alone – ever!
Call upon Him, Come to Him, Cry out to Him, Collapse upon Him,Crash upon Him, and Count upon Him.
As a Good shepherd He is with His sheep all night long.
Worship In The Heat
I had the opportunity of serving the Lord as a pastor in Arizona. I believe the Lord gave me the spiritual gift of teaching. It was fun to prepare and preach sermons. I could preach Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night.
However, Discipleship was woefully neglected. Why? I had no idea how to do it or what materials to use. People came to meet with me with various needs. I was lost with no rudder to guide me.
Several years later I discovered the discipleship materials produced by VCLi. I wanted to yell – Eureka!! I saw that I could still use my gift of teaching only now it could be guided in an excellent format. I didn’t think I could disciple someone in a one-on-one context. Now I had a rudder, a guide. God has used the SALT books to guide me to disciple many people with a variety of needs.
They have also been a primary tool to challenge me in my walk with God. I have learned the source of my negative emotions as I try to play God. Walking after the flesh is happening less frequently now. I know how to forgive others and do it quickly. My wife and I now have a clear way to enhance our communication.
It has been delightful to see how God uses these 7 books to help people in all areas of life. One man said, "It is amazing. When I have a problem or struggle all I have to do is study the next lesson and I get the answer." He said this as he was banging his head with the book for emphasis!
Now when I meet with someone I have a treasure of truth based on God’s Word that I can share. I encourage you to check out the SALT books and see how God could use them in your ministry.