Archive for August, 2017

Prayer for Healing

August 27, 2017

“Dear Lord, we ask you to heal _________. I do not know what kind of healing he needs, Lord, but you know all things, and we trust you to heal him perfectly. You know every cell of our bodies, Lord. Heal them. You know every desire of our hearts and every thought of our minds. Heal them. Mend every broken place, Lord, and fill every empty space. Forgive every wrong, even ones he has forgotten or is unaware of. Cleanse him from everything that displeases you, and fill him with thoughts and desires that please you greatly. Fill his heart with love and his mind with peace. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, the most powerful name in all the universe. Amen.”

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I Want to Go to Heaven When I Die

August 24, 2017

If you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior, you are now a friend of Jesus. Because of your relationship with Jesus, you can be assured of Heaven. It isn’t what we do that gets us into Heaven, its Who we know! You see, when you asked Jesus to come into your life as your Savior, He came in forever. He took up residence. His Spirit is in you, and He has always been working in your life to make you more and more like Himself. As the apostle Paul says: “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6) When the time is perfect, Jesus will take you to be with Him in Heaven. Maybe you haven’t read the Gospel of John in awhile. It is good to read it over and over because it is full of Jesus’ own promises to us who love and follow Him.  We are His own.

 

I Can’t Stop Worrying; I Don’t Have That Much Faith

August 24, 2017

You are right, in our human strength we don’t have much faith. But Jesus said if we had as much faith as a mustard seed (have you ever seen one? They are tiny!) you could move mountains with it. You see, you don’t have faith in your faith. You have faith in Jesus, and He is the most powerful person on Earth. He said “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18) He can do everything. He is God, after all. And over and over in the bible it says “Nothing is too hard for God.”

So give the worries to Jesus and let him handle them. You can pray and ask Jesus whether there is anything He wants you to do or change. But other than that, let Him do the worrying for you. There is nothing to be gained by your worry. Jesus said “Who by your worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25) Worry is checking up on Jesus to see if He is working on your problem, and He doesn’t like it when we do that. It shows we don’t trust him. So when we are tempted to worry, we can just say “Thank you Jesus for taking care of my problems, is there anything you are telling me to do that I’m not hearing. If not, then I trust you.”

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

August 23, 2017

The bible says “The wages of sin is death”. We all have sinned badly, first by rejecting God’s love and going our own way. Then we continue to sin in many other ways, by living outside of God’s ways and doing whatever we please. We are separated from God by our sins. God can’t look at sin. We can no more go to Heaven in our sinful condition than we can let the dog into the house after it has been sprayed by a skunk!

The only remedy that would be just in this situation is that a perfect human die in the place of sinful humans. But there are no perfect humans. Only God is perfect. So, God the Son took on human flesh and came to earth to pay the price for our sins by his death on the cross. We don’t know why a cross was chosen, for it was one of the cruelest forms of execution. But that is one of God’s mysteries. Jesus died, and when God raised Him from the dead, it showed that the payment was sufficient and accepted. Now we have only to come into relationship with Jesus to be not only forgiven, but cleansed from the unrighteousness that keeps us out of Heaven.

Does the Eclipse of the Sun Mean the End is Near?

August 20, 2017

Does the eclipse of the sun mean its near the end of the world?

Jesus himself said many things about the time of the end. You can read what he said in Matthew 24; Luke 17:20-37; and Luke 21. He doesn’t specifically mention an eclipse, but does mention signs in the heavens.

Does tomorrow’s eclipse have any special meaning? I am not aware of anything in the bible that specifically says that. As far as the End Times, we should always stay alert, ready for Jesus to come as a “Thief in the Night”. If we always stay ready for Him, confessing our sins, staying in prayer, staying busy doing the work Jesus gave us, we will not only be ready for his final coming, but ready in case he suddenly comes for each of us at the end of our life. We all know that any day could be our last–and that is the end of our life on earth for us as individuals.

Jesus has made us several promises for uncertain times: Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and Matthew 28:20 says “I am with you always”
We won’t go through anything alone–Jesus is with us, as near as our breath.

The State of the World

August 17, 2017

I share your sorrow over the state of the world. However, it is no surprise to Jesus. He always knew we would go through this time, and He is still working. Jesus apparently taught about it 2000 years ago, because the apostle Paul taught about it in 2 Timothy chapter 3. It could have been written today. We know how the story ends—God wins! The fact it isn’t over, means God is not finished yet… Don’t be depressed  When people read Matthew 28:18-20 they remember the “Great Commission” to go and make disciples–but there are two very important truths in there as well…”All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” and “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” So the reason we needn’t be depressed is that Jesus is still working, and He will be victorious. Read Revelation chapter 22 for how it all ends. It makes me feel better when I read it. We are in a war, but the outcome has already been determined.

In Times of Trouble

August 17, 2017

 

“Dear Lord, ________ is going through a tough time. It is so difficult, she has trouble focusing on You because the difficulties clamor for her attention. I do not know what the troubles are, but you know them intimately, Lord. Guard and protect _______, and protect her mind. Help her know you have a hold on her and you will never let her go. You won’t let her problems overwhelm her, just as you didn’t let the boat sink in the storm when you walked the earth. Let her know you are with her and because she has asked you to be her Savior, you will save her from anything that would destroy her. Remind her that your spirit is within her. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, the most powerful name in all the universe. Amen.”

It helps to read God’s promises to you in your bible. Dr. Billy Graham recommends you start with the Gospel of John. Then read the rest of the New Testament. It might also help to get a copy of a little devotional book of bible promises, such as “Precious Bible Promises” or “Keep Calm and Carry On”. You can also underline bible verses that comfort you and go back and read them over and over. Here are some I love:
Romans 8:37
Matt 28:20
John 14:13,14
Rom 12:12
Ps 42:11
Ps 34:19
Heb 13:5
Deut 33:27
Jer 29:11
Heb 11:1
Rom 8:28
Isaiah 41:13

Hope these help restore your confidence. God is on your side. He has your back.

How to Get Stronger in the Lord

August 16, 2017

For hundreds of years, the way to get stronger in the Lord has been based on three practices. The first, is to get to know Him by studying, praying over and becoming familiar with the bible. Dr. Billy Graham recommends starting with the gospel of John in the New Testament. I recommend continuing in your reading with the rest of the New Testament, and then the Old Testament in the order it is written. There are many places where you will have questions about what you read. You may ask them here, but if you have a study bible, the footnotes will likely be a big help to you.
The second practice is frequent prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be formal or religious. If you have asked Jesus into your life, He has come in forever. His spirit is in you. You can just talk to him about whatever is on your mind. You can talk to him silently because he hears your thoughts. You can ask his help, ask his forgiveness, ask help for others, and just tell him whatever is on your mind and heart. Don’t forget to thank him for his answers when they come.
The third practice is to fellowship with other believers. A lot of churches are doing small groups, and this is a great way to ask your questions and get help and encouragement from people who have walked with Jesus longer. You can also join a church or bible study. In any of those settings, you will find help for yourself and opportunities to serve God by helping others as well.

Hearing Jesus Voice

August 13, 2017

Most people don’t hear Jesus speak with a voice you actually hear with your ears, although occasionally some do. Most often, Jesus puts ideas into our mind as a result of our talking with him. It is a wonderful thing to talk to Jesus in your mind as though you were talking to a best friend. It is a beautiful, honest way to pray. Often, as you do this, thoughts will come into your mind about something you should do, or something you should say to someone, or just an encouraging thought for yourself. The trouble is: we often have a lot of thoughts running through our minds that come from ourselves, or even occasionally, temptations. How do we know when an idea or thought is from Jesus, or when is it just something we thought up ourselves?

One very good way to grow as a follower of Jesus is just get to know him better. You can do it by reading the gospels first, which contain his teachings, his thoughts and his promises. You can then read the epistles where his first followers wrote what they learned from and about Jesus. These help you know Jesus. Then, just as you would be able to say “That sounds like something my mom would say” because you know her so well, you can tell whether something sounds like Jesus. And if you aren’t sure Jesus is telling you something, ask Him. Sometimes you will see a bible verse that answers the question for you, or you may see a favorable circumstance in your life that seems to point to your doing that which you’re questioning. For instance, if you’re asking Jesus about which of two colleges you should attend and one offers a scholarship, that might be an example of a favorable circumstance. Don’t forget to ask trusted believers for their opinion too. And Jesus won’t let you go wrong if your desire is to please Him. If you honestly start off the wrong way, He will intervene and change things.

 

Why Can’t I feel Jesus in my Life?

August 10, 2017

If you have asked Jesus to come into your life as your Savior from sin, He comes in forever. Some people think that must mean they will feel something wondrous, but it doesn’t always or even usually happen that way. Our life with Jesus is a life of faith, and while we don’t always feel something at first, or all the time, it doesn’t mean there aren’t profound and wonderful things taking place.

Perhaps it helps when you think that many other wonderful things happen without our feeling anything. When a mother becomes pregnant, weeks go by before she even knows she has a new life inside. When you are given medicine that will cure an infection, you may not feel anything different for days, but you are getting better. Many great things happen to us without our feeling anything.

Jesus is now in your life because you asked him in. He is as close as your breath. He sees what you see, hears what you hear and experiences everything you do. He will work in your life to help you. He will use everything that happens to work out good for you (Romans 8:28). He will work in you to make you more and more like him. As you pray and talk to him about everything, he will begin to make you aware of things you never thought of before. As you get to know Jesus better, you will gradually become more aware of his presence and work in you.

You can help get to know Jesus better by reading about him in the gospels. You will learn what he does, what he teaches and what he promises you. You can also begin to talk to him often during the day. Just tell him about whatever is on your mind. You can start writing down some of your prayers, and watching for Jesus’ answers when they come so you can thank him. These practices in your life will help you recognize his work in you and in your life.  They will build your faith, so that you know Jesus and love him, even if you don’t always feel a sense of someone there, or great emotion.