Feb 16, 2010

Precious gift of the Holy Spirit

Neh 9:20  Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.


Common, too common is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit. This is folly and ingratitude. He deserves well at our hands, for he is good, supremely good. As God, he is good essentially. He shares in the threefold ascription of Holy, holy, holy, which ascends to the Triune Jehovah. Unmixed purity and truth, and grace is he. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness, striving with our rebellious wills; quickening us from our death in sin, and then training us for the skies as a loving nurse fosters her child. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God. He is good operatively. All his works are good in the most eminent degree: he suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assists in good attainments, and leads to good results. There is no spiritual good in all the world of which he is not the author and sustainer, and heaven itself will owe the perfect character of its redeemed inhabitants to his work. He is good officially; whether as Comforter, Instructor, Guide, Sanctifier, Quickener, or Intercessor, he fulfils his office well, and each work is fraught with the highest good to the church of God. They who yield to his influences become good, they who obey his impulses do good, they who live under his power receive good. Let us then act towards so good a person according to the dictates of gratitude. Let us revere his person, and adore him as God over all, blessed for ever; let us own his power, and our need of him by waiting upon him in all our holy enterprises; let us hourly seek his aid, and never grieve him; and let us speak to his praise whenever occasion occurs. The church will never prosper until more reverently it believes in the Holy Ghost. He is so good and kind, that it is sad indeed that he should be grieved by slights and negligences.



Feb 15, 2010

Importance of Prayer

Praise the lord! Prayer can revive our spiritual journey. The benefits that a believer enjoys when he turns back to prayer is amazing (what better benefit than the prolonged presence of the Lord and the joy that you get in your life when you spent that extra hour in prayer and meditating on the word of God.). When I post this, I pray a humble prayer that the holy spirit may move graciously and abundantly amidst us all, that we may enjoy the presence of the lord and be treated to divine revelations on the perfect plan that our Lord has in our lives.


Some references that I got when I searched the importance of prayer.

Isa 55:6 (ESV)

"Seek the Lord while he may be found;  call upon him while he is near;  

Phil 4:6 (ESV)

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Isa 58:9 (ESV)

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;  you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'  If you take away the yoke from your midst,  the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,  


Below is a beautiful excerpt from the site : www.kernal.org on the importance of prayer. May the holy spirit move amongst us as we request Lord to draw us to him in prayer. Amen.

    Consider, if you talked with your wife six minutes a day, what kind of relationship would you have with her? If you pray six minutes a day or less, what kind of relationship do you have with God?

    Are you not commanded to pray? Jesus said MEN OUGHT ALWAYS TO PRAY-Lk 18:1. The way to receive things from God, is to ask Him in prayer. God's Word reminds us that, YE HAVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT-Ja 4:2. There is joy in prayer: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL-Jn 16:24. Prayer will deliver you from your troubles: THIS POOR MAN CRIED, AND THE LORD HEARD HIM, AND SAVED HIM OUT OF ALL HIS TROUBLES-Ps 34:6. Prayer can open to us the treasure chest of God's wisdom: IF ANY OF YOU LACK WISDOM, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, THAT GIVETH TO ALL MEN LIBERALLY, AND UPBRAIDETH NOT; AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN HIM-Ja 1:5. Prayer is a channel of power: CALL UNTO ME, AND I WILL ANSWER THEE, AND SHEW THEE GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS, WHICH THOU KNOWEST NOT-Jere 33:3.


    Sinners can be saved if they pray in faith and follow in obedience to the Gospel: FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED-Ro 10:13. Jesus while here in the flesh, prayed often to the Father. We are to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING-1 Thes 5:17. God heard Solomon's prayer, and promised He would watch over the temple, and cause Solomon's descendants to be kings of Israel forever. This promise was based on the people of Israel following God. If they did not, God promised that He would remove the people of Israel from the temple, from the land, and He would disperse them. Israel would become an astonishment to the nations, and a proverb of sudden disaster. The temple would become a heap of ruins. Those that pass by would see the ruin, and wonder why God punished Israel. This happened because the people worshipped other gods. Do you worship other gods, such as astrology, money, success, or getting ahead in this world?
DOES GOD ANSWER PRAYER? Yes, beyond our expectation-ref Jere 33:3; sometimes after delay-ref Lk 18:7; sometimes differently than our desire-ref 2 Cor 12:8,9; sometimes immediately-ref Isa 65:24. Our prayer is not answered if we ask amiss-ref Ja 4:3. We read in Gal 6:7-BE NOT DECEIVED; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP. Jeremiah's prayers for the sparing of Israel from captivity were not answered, even though they were given in earnestness and faith. He understood God's will, and was willing to take no for an answer. Jerusalem had gone too far. They had sinned. God said of her, it was too late. JERUSALEM HATH GRIEVOUSLY SINNED; THEREFORE SHE IS REMOVED-Lam 1:8. Do you mock God time after time as He calls you to repent, yet you will not? When the day comes that you need God, what will you do? It was too late for Jerusalem. God turned away. Yet the Scripture tells us, LET US SEARCH AND TRY OUR WAYS, AND TURN AGAIN TO THE LORD. LET US LIFT UP OUR HEART WITH OUR HANDS UNTO GOD IN THE HEAVENS. WE HAVE TRANSGRESSED AND HAVE REBELLED: THOU HAST NOT PARDONED-Lam 3:40-42.

    Many Christians think prayer is a time to ask God for what they want. Perhaps this is why so many prayers go unanswered. It was suggested that the following is a good guideline for prayer. First, praise and worship God in truth. Second, confess all your sins to Him, and be willing to turn from all willful sin, and obey the Gospel. Truly have a repentant heart. Third, give thanks for all your blessings. Give thanks even in difficult times. Finally, let your requests be known to God. Pray in faith, and in accordance with the Scriptures. This means you need to study God's Word. Do not compromise in reading and studying the Bible. Some people pray much, but study God's Word little. A person that reads only one or two chapters a day, is usually misled and not serious about God.

    Now we are reminded that, FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN-Heb 11:1. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God, and the Bible tells us FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD, BEING ALONE-Ja 2:20,17. If you are not reading your Bible and serving Jesus, when the time comes that you need faith, it will not be there. Since without faith it is impossible to please God, how will you get an answer from God? Praying something like, "Well, if it be God's will," is praying with no faith at all. You need to know what God's will is (from the Bible), then pray the prayer of faith. You need to have unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.

    The Bible tells us that David prayed about the erection of a temple, but his prayers were answered during Solomon's day. The Bible shows us our prayers cannot be answered when: it seeks to change God's decrees-ref Deut 3:23-27; when it seeks to avoid deserved chastisement-ref 2 Sam 12:16-18; when it is prompted by selfish, personal motives-ref Mt 6:5 and Ja 4:2,3; when a prayer is meaningless and repetitious-ref Mt 6:7; when it is offered without first confession of conscious known sin-ref 1 Jn 1:8-10; when it disregards the known will of God-ref 1 Sam 8:9,10; and when we do not honor our wives-ref 1 Pe 3:7. We should pray for our needs not selfish things. For we read in Ps 107:13-THEN THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD IN THEIR TROUBLE, AND HE SAVED THEM OUT OF THEIR DISTRESSES. Here, the remnant of Israel is no longer proud. Now, they look to the Messiah for help, and to Him alone. They have learned that the key to prayer is obedience to God. God was always there, but they did not call upon Him. The telephone is there, but it only works when you pick it up and dial a number. You may forget the telephone, but when you need help, suddenly you remember it. God's telephone number is listed in Jere 33:3. To receive answers you must be born-again. You must forgive others who have offended you-ref Mk 11:26. You must repent of known sin, forsake it-ref Isa 55:7. You must pray in His will-ref I Jn 5:14,15. You are to DELIGHT THYSELF ALSO IN THE LORD; AND HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART. COMMIT THY WAY UNTO THE LORD; TRUST ALSO IN HIM; AND HE SHALL BRING IT TO PASS-Ps 37:4,5. Delight means that God, and the things of God, must be your daily constant joy. If you only remember God when you want something, or in a quick grace at meals, this is not delight. When you begin to delight in the Lord, God may begin answering your prayers. Our grateful acknowledgment to the Salem Kirban Bible and Royal Publisher's The Open Bible for part of the previous commentaries. God has at times answered prayers contrary to some of these to fulfill his purpose.


Feb 3, 2010

Access to the abundant grace

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all . . . And God is able to make all grace abound toward you.  (2Co_8:9, 2Co_9:8, and Rev_22:21)

We have seen that abundant grace is available from the Lord, not only for justification, but also for sanctification. Yet, how does a person access the sanctifying grace of God? How does one actually live day by day by grace? Soon, we will consider the two relational realities that God wants to develop in our lives that we might live daily by His grace. First, a reminder of where that grace is, and the ability upon which it all depends.

The grace we need is always found in a person, not a procedure. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ ." Consequently, in order to access this grace, we must be seeking after the person in whom the grace resides. No wonder that many of the letters of the New Testament end with "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all" (Rev_22:21).

Our God is not one who wastes words. He does not speak vainly. Nor does He stand on human formalities. These repetitious conclusions are an emphasis from the heart of God. When all is stated on any subject to any people, the ongoing need will ever be that they learn to live by the grace that is found in Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, upon whose ability does the grace of God depend?  We so easily become preoccupied with our own ability. "Will I be able to please and serve God?" "Will I be able to be an effective witness?" The focus of the word of God is on His ability, not ours. "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace" (Dan_3:17).  "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him" (Heb_7:25). "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling" (Jud_1:24). "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph_3:20).

Concerning grace we may even be thinking, "Will I be able to live by God's grace?"Again, God's ability is the issue, not ours. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you."  If we are willing to rely upon the one who is able, God, we will experience His sanctifying grace abundantly in our lives.

Dear Lord, Teach me these great matters of access to Your grace. Remind me often that grace is found in Jesus. I confess my tendency to explain the Christian life by a formula, instead of by a person. Help me to remember that living by grace depends upon Your matchless ability. I admit my inclination to hope in my inept ability. So, Lord, I now look to You to abundantly pour out Your grace upon my life, through Christ Jesus, my Lord, Amen.



Feb 2, 2010

Grace Perfecting Strength in Weakness

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness . . . He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  (2Co_12:9 and Isa_40:29-31)

When the subject of spiritual strength is raised, our thinking often turns in one of two directions. Either we consider how we can muster up our own strength, or we dwell on our own weakness, doubting that adequate strength can ever be found. Well, it is clear from the scriptures that God is not expecting that mere human strength will be sufficient for our spiritual callings. "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall." Natural strength is never more abundant than in youthful lives. Yet, even that supply is not what people need for spiritual endurance.

God's word is also clear that an awareness of our weakness need never lead to despair over finding strength. Actually, the opposite is true. When we realize our drastic insufficiency, that is a reminder of our qualification to receive God's supply of strength. "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength." Those who admit that they are weak are the very ones to whom  God offers His strength. Those who confess that they have no might at all are the people in whom God increases His strength.

It is an amazing truth that God's strength is perfected (displayed the most fully) in the arena of our own weaknesses. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Whenever we agree with God concerning our complete frailty in any given area of life, His grace is available to meet the need. Whenever we personally look to Him to pour out that strength, we will find that it is sufficient. "Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength."

Waiting upon the Lord involves hoping in Him, placing our expectations upon Him and not upon ourselves. For all who depend upon Him in view of their own weakness, "they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Thereby, our confession can be: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phi_4:13).

Lord, You are my only hope and my sufficient strength. On my own I am hopeless and powerless. Thank You for Your gracious patience, when I think my human strength is enough. Lord, I am weak; give me Your power. I have no might; increase Your strength in me. I wait upon You. I put my expectations in You. Unleash Your glorious grace in me, perfecting Your all-sufficient strength in my life, in Jesus name, Amen.


Praise the lord !!!