Watch “Battle in The Heavens [Daniel, an Overcomer]” on YouTube: Open and Listen

Investigative Report A Small Victory for the Unborn: By Delana Forsyth Abortion “Defending the Unborn.”

https://delanaforsyth.blogspot.com/2022/08/investigative-report-small-victory-for.html

5 Encouraging Prayers for Teachers Starting the New School Year

Picture of my BFF Avery and myself on our first day of Senior year I can’t believe it, but I’m about to start my 3rd year of college in a couple weeks, and most of my friends’ siblings are starting next week, so with a new school year quickly approaching, it’s time to get in […]

5 Encouraging Prayers for Teachers Starting the New School Year

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear God, give me wisdom to know when I am being led in a foolish direction. Help me to resist the temptation of alcohol today. I know it is not only leads to foolish decisions, it is also dangerous. Give me the courage to turn away from alcohol or anything offering false promises of happiness. You are the only thing that will bring me true fulfillment. Thank you for giving us refuge and courage to battle temptations such as these. Please use me to help others struggling with these temptations, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In this world, you will have enemies. There will be times when you are afraid. But, when you place your faith in God, you will find refuge. Like young birds are protected by their parents, God will offer you the same protection. Call on him when you need protection and he will cover you. You can rest safely with Him like a baby bird would do under the wings of its father. Believing in his truths will provide you with a shield and buckler – more protection against enemies and destruction.

Dear God, thank you for loving me enough to rescue me from my sin. You call me your child and you love me as a father. When I am afraid, let me feel you near. May I draw to you to find refuge and protection. I am placing my trust in you completely. While I know I will face struggles here on earth, help me to remember that you will never leave me or forsake me. O Lord, I cling to your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have you been treated unfairly? Have you ever been treated unjustly because of your faith? If so, take heart! The Bible reminds us that as Christians we will be persecuted. It also reminds us that Christ also suffered unjustly. He did not simply suffer – he died for our sins. He did this so that we might come to know God. Yet, in the death of his human flesh, he was still triumphant! When we suffer because of our faith, may we be reminded of Christ, who suffered infinitely more than we ever will in order to draw people to God.

Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to come to live on earth amongst us. We understand your son was sinless and blameless, yet He suffered because of our sins. This act of mercy and grace is more than we can comprehend. Help us to share the news of your son’s death and resurrection with others. And, when we are treated unfairly because of our faith in you, may we continue to press on because we know that you also suffered. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God appointed Samuel as His prophet during the period of selecting two kings: first Saul and then David. This verse follows the moment when the Lord called Samuel. From then on, Samuel continued to grow, the Lord was with him, and all of his prophecies came true. God did great things through Samuel, and it began when God spoke to Samuel and he listened calling himself the Lord’s servant. Are you willing to do whatever it is God has for you? God works mightily through His servants.

Lord, You did mighty things through Samuel. I praise You for Your mighty works. You do great things through Your people. You make small acts into mighty deeds. I will be Your servant. Whatever small things or large things you have for me, I will do. I bow before You, ready and willing to do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

When you are young, it is wise to remember God and live for Him. Do not wait until you are old to come to God. He can bring You more joy than any earthly thing. His rewards are greater than any prize on earth. Come to God and serve Him now. He deserves your praise when you are young and when you are old.

Heavenly Father, I will live for You now when I am young. I won’t wait until I am older. I want to serve You now and later. I want my every day to be spent serving You and being in Your will. I want to experience Your presence. I want to pray on my knees before and after I need a cushion to do so. You are great and I praise You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

So you love the Lord. What do you do about that? Isaiah was cleansed of His sin. The first thing he did was to say, “Send me. ” Are you willing to be sent by the Lord? Will you go for the Lord? Now, this may or may not mean traveling to another place. But essentially it means to do the will of the Lord and what He is calling You to do. The Lord has something for you. Follow His lead. If you don’t feel He is leading you, then prepare yourself to be sent, pray that He will send you, and wait for Him.

Lord, I want to do Your will. You have saved me and I am so grateful for that. You are too good to me. Send me. I want to do your work. I want to do whatever You have for me. If You ask me to be a janitor, I will. If You ask me to share the good news of Jesus with a friend or stranger, I will speak. If You ask me to give up my possessions, I will. If You send me somewhere I don’t want to go, I will obey. Whatever it is, send me. In Jesus’ holy name amen.

God is the source of peace. You could be the most stressed out person in the planet, but God can give you incomprehensible peace. Give your worries to the Lord. He raised Jesus from the dead; He can certainly give you great peace. Have faith in the Lord and seek Him, He will give you rest. God will do a great work within you, seek Him.

Lord, God of Heaven and Earth, You are the God of peace. Be my refuge from my troubles. Be my shelter in the storm. Be my rock surrounded by sinking sand. Your name is great. You are mighty. You do not cause turmoil within me though, You bring peace. Can I have peace that comes from You? I want to find refuge and rest in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Why would a foolish man try to buy wisdom from another man? If he is a fool and not wise, he will not know whether or not the advice is good anyways. If you are afraid you are not being wise or that you are a fool, there is a remedy: reading Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom. If you have children, read it to them before they go sleep. Teach others and yourself to value wisdom. It is one thing to not be wise but value wisdom and seek it, if that is the case you will eventually become wise. It is much worse to not care for wisdom or even to choose to stay unwise. The Bible also says that we can pray for wisdom, so go ahead and ask God for some wisdom whenever you need it!

Lord God, you are the God of wisdom and truth. You know all wisdom and created it. Lord, make me wise. You have set responsibilities before me, and I want to do them well, so give me wisdom on how to complete the task the best I can. You know me. You know the gifts You’ve given me. I know that You can never have too much wisdom, so make me wise. And always keep me humble because I do not want to be wise and proud. I come to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

It is good and profitable to use God’s wisdom to solve situations. When we try and solve situations using our emotions, mistakes will always be made. You will find joy and happiness when you rely on the wisdom of God, because it always ensures that situations turn out for the best.

Dear God, I pray that when I am faced with situations that need to be resolved, may I never turn to my emotions or external influences. May your voice be the first one I hear and may I listen to it too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Salvation gives us every reason to be joyful and glad. Jesus Christ has stripped us of all sin and darkness, and He has given us light. He has made us pure before the Father’s eyes. The way a bridegroom would adorn His bride, is the way Christ has adorned us, out of His love for us.

Dear God, I am truly grateful for this gift of salvation. Father, I thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who has saved me, cleansed me, and made me new before you. I am free from the weight of my old life and I can live happily in this new life, as a part of you, because of what Christ has done for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

In times of trials and tribulations, no matter how young, fit, or strong we may be, there is nothing of our own that will be able to keep us going. The enemy will always strive to wear us down. But if we wait on God, trust in Him completely, He will refresh us and give us the strength we need to carry one.

Dear God, there are many things we face in this world on a daily basis. When we try to handle things on our own, we end up discouraged and exhausted. Lord, I ask that you strengthen us when we are weak, and may you sustain us at all times. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

When we are in Christ, we live a life of winning – no matter what. When we are alive, it is for the benefit of those around us as we continue to minister to them. When we die, it is still gain because we are simply returning to our heavenly home.

Dear God, I thank you that in you, there is always gain. I do not fear the works of man – even if it may lead to my death – because I know all situations always work out to your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

When we are in Christ, we live a life of winning – no matter what. When we are alive, it is for the benefit of those around us as we continue to minister to them. When we die, it is still gain because we are simply returning to our heavenly home.

Dear God, I thank you that in you, there is always gain. I do not fear the works of man – even if it may lead to my death – because I know all situations always work out to your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Some tend to mistake God’s patience for slackness, and that is a mistake. If God wanted to, He could choose for Christ to return today. The reason why God hasn’t called such an order is because He wants as many people who are lost to become saved so that they do not perish in the Lake of fire.

Dear God, I pray for all of those who are lost and do not know you. I pray that their eyes will be opened to your goodness, Lord. May they realize that they need a Savior, and may the turn to you, Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

No matter what we do in our lives, as Christians we have to remember that all glory must go to God, the Father. He is the Creator of all things good and pure, and He is the only one who is deserving of all the glory and the praise.

Dear God, I would like to take this moment to reflect on your mightiness and on how glorious you are. There is no one like you. No one can ever love the way you have. No one could have created the universe the way you did. Father, I simply pray that in all I do, may all glory always be given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As Christians we move by faith and never by sight. Just because we cannot see God with our physical eyes, does not mean that He is not real – Because He is. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. We live contrary to the world that bases all their belief on what they can see, hear, and touch. If we forfeit our faith, and we do not believe in Christ, all our efforts will be in vain.

Dear God, I ask that you will help me remain faithful to this cause. Lord, whenever temptation or doubt comes my way, may you give me the strength to turn away from them and focus on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As Christians we move by faith and never by sight. Just because we cannot see God with our physical eyes, does not mean that He is not real – Because He is. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. We live contrary to the world that bases all their belief on what they can see, hear, and touch. If we forfeit our faith, and we do not believe in Christ, all our efforts will be in vain.

Dear God, I ask that you will help me remain faithful to this cause. Lord, whenever temptation or doubt comes my way, may you give me the strength to turn away from them and focus on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As you walk in your Christian life, you need to ensure that you remain rooted in Christ at all times. The enemy will try to railroad you and tamper with your faith. But as you can see, in this verse, God is able to keep you, through His Spirit, and remind you to focus on Christ at all times.

Dear God, I pray that no matter what may come my way. I will remain focused at all times, knowing that your Spirit is keeping me and strengthening me. I thank you, Lord, that I do not have to face this world on my own. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Song is something that may bring people from very disparate parts of life together, for songs can reach beyond borders and into peoples’ lives. Therefore it may get stuck in their heads, or stay with them for years on end, the words or tune affixed to a special time and memory. Would it be preposterous to suggest we treat Gods’ love like such a melody? Is it not after all, something immaterial but which moves us in some deep and knowing way? Literally, spread songs of joy amongst friends and nations, if you can, seek out other religious songs in other tongues. Figuratively sing His praise, let it be one of your favorite songs to carry with you wherever you go.

Lord Almighty, hear my songs of praise, hear my love for You rising up like a melody. Remind me that it is just as important to speak Your name as it is to sing it. Grant me this audience Lord, just as I wish to hear it from others. May it please You, may it harmonize with Your promise of everlasting life and eternal grace. Amen.

Listen to others speak, and one may slowly begin to deduce things from their character. Are their words filled with more positives than negatives? Are there curses or praises? Are they loud and gregarious, or silent and defensive? These come down to individual characters and history, but it is important to pay mind to the kind of language you use as a believer, for it may profoundly affect your outlook on life and God. The word in Scripture is not like that which comprises every day exchanges, so pay respect to it, give it reverence; these words were carefully chosen, passed down through generations for you by Him.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for Your word, passed down to us through Scripture and the mouths of our forbearers. Like those who have gone before us, please help guide us Lord in giving our respect to them and to You, by using Your word with reverence and veneration, disseminating Your truth. May my words shine a light unto You Lord, Amen.

One can never praise enough Gods’ glory, even if one tries! Everyday set aside something you are thankful for and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. Every day give blessings to the Lord for all he has provided for you. Extol his name whenever there is a moment, and let his angels hear!

Lord my Almighty Father, I exalt Your name in the highest of Heaven! At your feet, I give my thanks and blessing, and pray that in each and every day, You hear my gratitude. Help me maintain my daily prayers and duty to You Lord, so that I may never stray from Your truth. Amen.

Intercession: the action of Intervening on Behalf of Others: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

When we try to rush ahead of God’s timing and His guidance, we will end up making a lot of mistakes. We need to humble ourselves under God’s guidance, realizing that He truly knows best. When we do so, we will reach the right points in our life at the right time. It’s all about trusting Him.

Doubt is normal. It was there in Paul’s time and it exists today. Maybe it is more prevalent today than it was in Paul’s time because there are so many people trying to discourage people from belief in God. The pagans of Paul’s time believed in gods, they just didn’t all know God. Today many claim that there is no God. They believe that scientists will soon be able to explain everything about how the world was created and answer any other question we might have. See, no need for God! And if there is no God then no heaven and no resurrection. If this is true then why bother depriving ourselves of all the pleasures we can get just because Christianity says love of God and of others should come first. But, there were too many people who witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. Too many people who were willing to die for the sake of Jesus and his teaching. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t die for a lie. And I doubt that they would either. So, as Paul says, since Jesus rose from the dead, we need to pay attention to what he said and to the promise that one day we too would rise if only we remain faithful. Doubt? Okay, but in the end, trust and belief.

According to Lionel Swain, of St. Edmund’s College, Ware, St. Paul believed intercession to be one of the most important aspects of faith and praying life, as praying for others is a recurring theme in his works. Prayer acts as a way for St. Paul to acknowledge God’s power. Intercessory prayer also acts as a way for the Apostle to “share in … the Father’s redemptive love”. Paul believed that prayer transformed the person doing the praying, as much as the one being prayed for, which creates a stronger bond between him and God.

Prof. Dr Johannes van Oort, Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Church History and Church Polity of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, adds that, in addition to praying for wisdom, the early church was very much involved with different charismas, one of which being healing. Praying for other people’s illnesses was another way that intercessory prayer was important in the early church, as healing was a sign of “the power of God’s Kingdom”. This gift of healing is specifically mentioned, among the other charismata, as a sign of being a true Christian by Irenaeus of Lyons in his text, Against Heresies.

Saints[edit source]

Intercession of the saints is a doctrine held by the Eastern OrthodoxOriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches that saints may be asked to intercede (or pray) for others. The doctrine of requesting intercession from saints can be found in Christian writings from the 3rd century AD, such as from Origen and Clement of Alexandria.

Main article: Prayer for the dead

The dead

In addition to praying for each other in life, early Christians would pray for those who had died. There is no unequivocal evidence that Christians began to pray for the dead before the third century AD. G. F. Hamilton argues that the earliest example of Church prayer on behalf of dead Christians are found in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (350 AD). Rather than pray for the departed in regular church services on Sunday, these early Christians would hold special commemorative occasions during the week. There was a sharp distinction drawn between remembering and praying on behalf of the dead, and those who were the “‘faithfully’ departed”, where Christians would only pray for those who had died as believers. The First Epistle of Clement (95 AD) contains a prayer which, while mainly for protection for the living, also includes the dead. Even quite early, a distinction was drawn between those who had died as Christians, and those who had died as unbelievers. In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (155 AD), Polycarp is killed and his bones are taken by fellow Christians and a shrine is set up to him, where they may remember his martyrdom. In contrast, the “Apology of Aristides” shows how those who were not Christians were grieved for, while the dead faithful were rejoiced over.  

Theological perspective: In an article in Theological Studies, Catholic theologian Patricia A. Sullivan warns that saints should not be built up in a way that brings down God. Saint Augustine had famously said that we pray not to instruct God but to get our will in line with God’s. Sullivan warns away from the dictionary meanings of “intercession” as “intervention, mediation, arbitration, negotiation”, all of which sound like we are dealing with a hostile or unfriendly God, whom we need to manipulate to get what we need. Such is not the meaning of the hapax legomenon in the New Testament of the word for intercession. Sullivan goes on:

When we ask a saint to intercede for us, what is happening at a deeper level is that we are taking refuge in the all-enfolding community of the redeemed, approaching God thru saintly symbols of Christ’s victory and of our hope. Saints want always what God wants, what is best for us whether we pray for it or not. They are in a perpetual attitude of praise for God’s love and care, to which we join ourselves, praying, more precisely, with them rather than to them. The value of our petitions is that they turn us in confidence toward the God who loves us, allowing God’s work to be more effective in us, and thru us in others.

It would be anathema to ask God to try any harder to do good. By invocation of a saint “we take refuge in faith in the all-enfolding community of all the redeemed,” where “each is responsible for all”. They are “creative models of holiness”.

Islam

Main articles: Shafa’ah and Tawassul

Although the idea of intercession or mediation (Arabic: s̲h̲afāʿa) has historically played a very prominent role in Islamic thought, it is not universally accepted by all Muslims in the present day.

The Quran says that the pre-Islamic Arab pagan gods will not be able to intercede with God on behalf of humankind, and that “the guilty” (al-mujrimīn,) will not benefit from any intercession on the Day of Judgment. Other passages that deny the efficacy intercession include. Still others say that God is the only intercessor.

However, “intercession is mentioned in the Qurʾān with respect to angels praying for the believers and the Prophet praying for erring but repentant Muslims.” Furthermore, it became an orthodox Islamic doctrine or “cardinal belief” that “Muḥammad will intercede for all Muslims on the Day of Resurrection.” While this particular tenet practically remained unchallenged throughout Islamic history, the widespread Sunni and Shia practice of asking deceased prophets and saints for intercession by praying at their tombs have become contentious issues in the modern Islamic world, with all these different types of intercession often being labelled by Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims as a type of polytheism, in a manner akin to the attitude of many Protestants towards the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practice of saint-intercession. In prophetic sayings there is intercession of martyrs for “seventy relatives” in the Hereafter.

Some religions claim that praying for somebody who is sick can have positive effects on the health of the person being prayed for.

Meta-studies of the literature in the field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is “no discernible effect” while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes” but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.

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Does Jesus really want us to believe that our enemies are our parents, children, family or friends? Somehow, I don’t think so! It is really about priorities. Have you ever chosen to watch a sports program when your child wanted to talk to you? What about not sitting at the table for meals because a special game is on? We are called on to make choices all the time. We can choose God, or we can choose other. Is that late night party worth missing church? We can talk all we want about being too busy, but the truth is that we find the time for what we want to do. I love to read, knit, spend time with my friends and I hate doing the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, but it all needs to be done. I would rather pick up a good book than exercise. I can say that I am “too busy” to do the things I don’t enjoy doing, but the truth is, I choose to spend my time in other ways. The same is true about putting God first. A friend that is always put last doesn’t remain a friend for long. When it comes to God, we know he will never desert us, but what about our turning our backs on him? We know what we must do – put God first and then everything else falls into place. Even carrying the crosses each of us must bear in life is easier because we know we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes we may have to disappoint a child or friend because we choose to do the right thing, but that is the price of being a disciple of Jesus.

We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour His Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

Do Catholics worship Mary?

No, Catholics only worship the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It would, in fact, be sinful to worship Mary. Theologians call divine worship latria, or the adoration due only to God.

However, in English the word worship is equivocal. In Britain it is often used of high personages, with the meaning of revering or honoring them due to the dignity of their office. David gave such honor to Saul, for example, because God had placed him as king over Israel. Such “worship” is derivative, sourced in the Father, as St. Paul taught (Eph. 3:14-15), analogous to that which the Decalogue commanded for parents (Ex. 12:20; Dt. 5:16).

Unfortunately, the English word “worship” doesn’t convey the subtlety of the Latin used by the Church, and in the United States is reserved for God. The Church’s theological term is dulia, from the Latin word for service. It is the reverence and respect owed to all the faithful servants of God (Mt. 24:21-23), the angels and saints whom God Himself honors with crowns of glory (Prov. 16:31; 1 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet 5:4; Rev 4:4). We honor them and, in turn, join with them in honoring God, the source of all holiness (Rev. 4:9-11).

Yet, Mary is not just any other saint. She is the Theotokos, the God-bearer, or Mother of God (Luke 1:43; Council of Ephesus, “Against Nestorius”). She is the true Ark of the Covenant who carried the Word Himself, the Bread of Heaven, and the Good Shepherd (Heb. 9:3-5; Rev. 11:19-12:1). The Archangel told her that she was “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), and Elizabeth, moved by the Holy Spirit, called her “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42).

For all these reasons and more, the Church renders to Mary an honor that is greater than is given to all the saints and angels, termed hyperdulia, or the greatest honor. Yet, it is not still that adoration, latria, which we give to God alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Text of Magna Carta;

JOHN, by the greace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and court of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Bublin, William Marshal bishop of Bath and Glastonbury,

Will Freedom Survive?
by James Robison

Several recent decisions by the Supreme Court have helped restore the foundational freedoms that made the United States, though far from perfect, the greatest nation on earth. Yet we must realize that there is no real freedom apart from God and the acceptance of personal responsibility. There can be no effective government without responsible citizens living under moral order. If we do not live under control with the freedom Jesus offered to all captives, we can never hope for our society to support and maintain the principles that enable freedom. 

With an understanding of the importance of personal freedom, we may rightly ask the question, “What about national freedom?” It is my firm opinion we are in danger of losing it, along with the opportunity it offers. It is my prayer that all believers will learn that we must live to protect what others died to provide

We are in the process of forfeiting the freedom our founders established – a freedom built on moral absolutes and a strong, but limited, government. Enemies of faith and true freedom don’t even want to acknowledge the supernatural power that influenced America’s birth or the importance of God, faith, family, and the principles necessary for freedom. They stand hell-bent in opposition to undeniable, absolute, transforming truth.

It’s time for people who understand the value of faith and freedom and its foundation to stand together like a mighty army – an undeniable spiritual force. We must reclaim the land of promise birthed through faith, prayer, and personal sacrifice to bless the American people and the nations of the world. Our freedom can only be preserved with the same determination, diligence, and supernatural unity Jesus prayed for and freedom’s champions understand.

The framers of the Constitution knew that the true liberty they offered demanded responsible citizens. Benjamin Franklin was asked if the meeting in Philadelphia had created a monarchy or a republic. Franklin answered, “A republic – if you can keep it.” Franklin, along with the other founders, knew that in order for liberty to be maintained, it would have to be supported by principled statesmen who were actively engaged in the task of governing themselves, encouraging all citizens to hold fast to truths espoused in the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams, our second president, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We are on the verge of losing freedom’s blessings as morality is under assault. Sadly, the church has not fully understood the importance of living under the control of God with the powerful spirit of God providing the strength for us to not only enjoy the privileges and possibilities of freedom, but also to protect them.

Jesus commissioned His followers to share the truth that sets people free and keeps them free. He said, “When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.”

Ronald Reagan observed, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

I do not want to be found among those who will be asked what we were doing when freedom died. By the grace of God, with His help and the help of those who share common concerns and with Christians of conviction, I will not be indifferent and allow freedom to die on my watch. I will continue to pray, preach, and openly call for a return to God-given principles.

America’s founders believed they were on a journey similar to that of Israel’s exodus from Egypt to God’s Promised Land. Moses was their hero. His farewell address delivered on Mount Nebo references the choices God offers those desiring true freedom. Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked these words the night before he was assassinated in 1968, and Ronald Reagan repeated them while standing at the base of the Statue of Liberty celebrating our nation’s birthday in 1986:

“See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and adversity. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep his commandments. But if you turn away, you will certainly perish. You shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Jordan to enter. I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse, choose life that you and your offspring shall live.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

The life being offered was a life of freedom, fullness and fruitfulness. God has granted us both the privilege and responsibility of being overseers, good stewards of all that He had entrusted to our care. You can be the guardians, the gate keepers, the restorers of the foundation and the wall builders maintaining our precious liberty. Let not your hearts be troubled. Keep the faith. Fight the fight as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ with the whole armor of God and the sword of the Spirit, don’t bend and don’t bow before the godless influences of this world and you will not be crushed and enslaved by the powers in this present world!

When God rules in individual lives, sound principles will prevail in our land.  Leaders will no longer be chosen because of personality, party affiliation, or skillful communication. They will be chosen because of their commitment to God-given principles necessary for the survival of true freedom.

I am praying to God and appealing to caring people to help restore America and freedom. It will not be easy, but together, and with God’s help, it can be done. This is the greatest hour for people of faith to become a guiding light.

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Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

It is amazing how selfish we can be sometimes. A line of traffic on a busy street. We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever at a traffic light. Out of the corner of our eye, we see a car trying to pull out of a parking lot, the driver desperately looking for an opening. We avert our eyes and grip the steering wheel, determined not to give an inch. Someone else can make that sacrifice. Selfish, our selfish nature makes it very difficult to understand the great sacrifice Christ made for us. When we were useless sinners, when we were absolutely powerless, He chose to die for us. Sinners….who hated God, who delighted in the very things God hates. He died for us. It’s hard to get our selfish brains wrapped around that notion. We were on the verge of perishing and He gave Himself away to save us. Who does that? What a great friend Christ is to us! That He would lay down His life to save such selfish, sinful beings.That is what is most amazing about His sacrifice. If we had all been good, righteous people–then perhaps it is understandable that He would be willing to die for us. But we were ungodly. And He STILL died for us. The depth of His love was such that, even in our sin, He loved us and died for us. He took our sin upon Himself. He knew about everything we ever did or ever would do. It didn’t matter. He did it anyway. His unwavering love for us sent him to the cross.

In this scripture, Jesus explains to His disciples (including us), that He chose us. Traditionally, in Jewish culture, a person would choose his own Teacher. In this case, Jesus makes it clear that these disciples were chosen by the Teacher, instead. This applies to us today as well. Christ has chosen us; we didn’t choose Him first. Not only has He chosen us, He has ordained us to be fruitful, meaning that we are to be productive and successful in spreading the Gospel. We were set apart for this purpose by Christ. Christ expects this fruit to “remain” or be permanent. Whatever good work we do for the Kingdom should be lasting and eternal. When we bear good fruit in this way, the consequences are that our prayers will be answered by God. Christ tells us that whatever we ask in His name will be done. This is an encouraging promise, that both gives us validation and shows us our purpose in this life.

Lord, I thank You for choosing me and ordaining me. Help me to spread the Gospel far and wide in such a way that it makes an eternal impact on people’s lives. I thank You that You will hear and answer my prayers as I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

I am sharing ‘The God’s Testament with you: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

God’s miraculous deliverance of Daniel from the lions in the lions’ den where he had been cast for worshipping the true God opened Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes to whose God was God. And he even issued a decree that all men in his vast kingdom give homage to the God of Daniel. Daniel’s faith and refusal to cease his regular daily devotions had resulted in the knowledge of God being spread throughout the land.

This verse tells us that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” If we love God, then we live in obedience. The “all things” refers to the providence of God and all the things that relate to Him: His Holy Spirit, His love and mercy, His truths, etc. All of these things come together for our good if we love God and show that we do by our behavior. But it’s not only required that we love God, but that we are called according to His purpose. This refers to the purpose that God has set before us. He calls us to a specific purpose in this life. As long as we are obedient to this purpose, to His call, then all of His resources come together for our good. This is a very encouraging scripture to let us know that, if we follow the will of God, everything will be okay with us. More than okay, actually. They will be “good,” because God is on our side.

Jesus tells us that the golden rule sums up the law and the prophets. Jesus is also telling us that we shouldn’t try to take the easy way out. From the time a two or three year old figures out that disobeying mom or dad brings punishment, he also figures out ways of trying to get away with it. The child will lie or hide or blame a sibling or the family pet! Unless this behavior is caught and the children learn that they can’t get away with it, they will continue this pattern. It can be very tempting to take the easy way out. This is not what we are called to do. We are called to take the narrow path, doing the right thing. We all get upset when we hear about hit and run accidents, but it’s hard to own up to something if you think you won’t be caught, especially when it could be expensive We choose the easy or the narrow path just about every day. Some decisions are easy, some are not. Do you waste time on the phone or on a computer searching websites or playing games when you should be working? See, what I mean? Students today are told they need computers for research that will enhance their learning, but some take advantage and their research trying to find papers that they can claim as their own. Jesus knew us well, and has given us fair warning. We should listen.

We need to be on the lookout for those who would lead people away from God by pretending that they are leading them to God. We have seen this happen several times in very public and tragic ways, but it can happen in less public ways as well. The world was horrified when they learned of the mass murder/suicide of over 900 people, one third of them minors in Guyana in 1978, and again of the destruction of the compound in Waco, Texas where over 70 people died. Both of these tragedies occurred because the leaders of the cult claimed to either be a god or be God’s messenger or Messiah. There have been many other cults operating with less destructive results. Preying on loners or immigrants, the leaders promise security here and eternal life if only you follow them. They don’t say that you are following God, but you are following them because they are the only ones who know the way! By their fruits you will know them. These people ask blind obedience, work to separate people from their families and friends, and often demand a certain percentage of income. This doesn’t sound like Jesus to me. Paul never demanded obedience to himself, in fact, he said just the opposite to the Corinthians. John the Baptist said that he wasn’t the one and pointed to Jesus. We have been warned by Jesus to look at those who claim to be prophets carefully and judge by their fruits. If they are more interested in leading us to themselves instead of to Jesus, we must beware.

Again we have a prophet spreading God’s message of love, begging the people to admit their wrongdoing, and sincerely repent and turn back to him. When you read the Old Testament, you start to wonder if they will ever learn. I wonder what historians one hundred years from now will say about us and our behavior. Will they read the New Testament and find remnants of Christian groups and compare their behavior with the Bible, and find us worthy of the name? I’m not so sure. Not only is there a lot of what I consider very un-Christian behavior by individuals but also by Christian groups towards one another. Perhaps we should reread Joel and the messages given by some of the other prophets and take these messages to heart. God wants us to turn to him. He wants us to take responsibility for our actions, and ask forgiveness so that he can forgive and renew us. God isn’t looking for grandiose exhibitions of repentance, but a sincerity of heart. It’s how much we are willing to change our behavior. It’s how welcoming we will be to the stranger, how much we are willing to help others to grow in their faith as well as how willing we are to grow in our own.

Let us not, O Lord, underestimate what you can do in us and through us. We do not know all of your purposes for us, but we know that nothing is too hard for you to do. We pray for the steadfastness of soul to continue to pursue knowing you even in the face of resistance and the faith to believe that your Word planted deep in us can strengthen us for even the most difficult tasks. Amen.

Father, thank You for protecting me from the deep water and the burning flames. You fight my battles so that I am not overcome. With You by my side, I am never alone. Amen.

In this passage, God gives us several examples of how he protects us: both in fire and flood. These are two of the most destructive elements on earth, yet God promises to keep us safe from the harm of both the “sweeping waters” and the “flame.” He promises that we will not be overcome, even in the midst of danger. What a mighty God we serve! What a Savior is this!

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

This is one of my favorite Gospel Passages. It’s a question that I have often used for meditation both for myself and for classes I have taught to both teens and adults. It’s a question that I think we need to reflect upon often as we can lose sight of the importance of Jesus in our lives. And the answer can change. He might be friend, brother, Lord, Savior, shepherd, leader, companion – or just someone we have heard about. One teen answered the question by saying that Jesus was a nice man. Is that all he is? What about the Son of God – Divine? Does it make a difference in my life if I believe that Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who came to save me from eternal death by his dying on a cross? Does it make a difference in how I live if I believe that this is not the end? This is a time for getting to know him better so that I can also live eternally in heaven with the Father. I know this because of the resurrection. Yes, Jesus can be my friend and companion, but he is so much more than that. By his life, I know how to live. By his dying and rising, I can face my own death and the death of those I love because he has shown me that this is not the end. In this today’s gospel, Jesus tell us that we must pick up our cross and follow him. Are we willing to deny ourselves in order to follow Jesus? What am I being asked to change in my life, right now? I am so glad that we are reminded each we read this question that Jesus asks – not just the disciples – but us as well. Who do I say that Jesus is for me, today?

This is my favorite Proverb. It talks about two things that are so important to following God’s will. Honesty is so necessary in life. The person who lies has two things going against him. The first is kind of obvious. Once you know a person lies or is dishonest in business, how can you trust him or her? Even when the person is telling the truth, you don’t believe it. You wonder if you’re being cheated in business dealings. But there’s another problem for the person himself. The dishonest person can’t trust anyone else either because he or she figures everyone else lies or has an agenda that is out to get him or her. The second half of the proverb concerns balance. How much does any person need? I’m not asking how much a person might want, but need. It’s hard for the rich to realize their dependence on God. This is why Jesus said it was easier for a camel to walk through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. And the very poor can be tempted to steal in order to take care of their families, and thereby break the commandments and offend the God they love. When we think of the early Christian church, they seemed to understand this and they made sure that their goods were distributed so that all had enough, and no one had an excess.

Ecclesiastes is a fun book to read. About the only thing people recognize is in chapter three where we read about a season for everything – a time to live, a time to die, etc. – but we have much to learn from this book. I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This brief passage expresses the same idea. Just like the Israelites made the same mistakes over and over again, so do we. Yes, there are inventions today that we take for granted today that would never have entered into the imagination of peoples of earlier times, but they repeated the cycle of obeying God, enjoying prosperity, forgetting about God, doing their own thing, falling into the hands of the enemy, begging God for forgiveness, promising to do better, being forgiven by God and obeying – for a while, and so it went. How many times do we promise God that we will do better, we will treat people better, we will be more honest in our dealings with others, work better with our communities for justice – if God will just give us what we need now. How long did the promise last once our prayers were answered? We fall into the same cycle as the Israelites, we do the right thing or say the promised prayers, or whatever we promised for a while and then fall into bad habits and wonder what went wrong. Ecclesiastes is a short book, take some time and read it through. There’s a lot to learn here.

Many people do good things. The question here is, why? One summer I worked in the office of a major university where I recorded the donations that came in on cards with the name of the donor on them. I came across many names of prominent people who were quite familiar to me, but there was a notation on the top of many of those cards that said “anonymous.” Many of these people actually had two cards, one for the public and the other not. The public one was for far less money. They wanted to support the college, but didn’t want credit for their generosity. Obviously, people will be rewarded here for a generosity of spirit, they will be known for performing acts of heroism. We know the names of people who have worked to spread the gospel message and those who work tirelessly for justice. This does not take away from their sacrifice. But, there also are people who want to be known for their good acts and it is these that Jesus warns about. It is one thing for people to come to know the goodness of others; it is another for that person to call attention to what they are doing for their own glory. Do we act because as followers of Christ we are called to do what we do? Or, do we want attention?

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