By John Foll
, Finished 6/9/2018, 6/10/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB.
No matter where you have been, or what you have done, or how much of a failure you have made of your life, don’t lose hope. God has a better plan for your life. He wants to give you a future and hope for a better life. Being able to be good and having eternal life are not beyond your reach, if you will grasp the Lord’s hands and allow Him to save you. If this is what you want, seek after God with all your heart, no holding back. Is that what you want? What do you have to gain by holding back yourself from this wonderful hope and peace that God wants to give you?
Do you feel like God doesn’t hear your prayers? Are you unsure of what your future holds, or whether you can be saved? Are you sure if you have what it takes to succeed and be the victor at last? Do you wonder if you are good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or wise enough, talented enough, and industrious enough to be able to provide for yourself and your family’s needs? Are you worried you will fail? Do you want to have the assurance of your own salvation? God declares here through His prophet Jeremiah that if you will search for Him with all your heart you will find Him. Much peace, hope, love and joy await you if you will just search for Him with all your heart. Then you will find Him. Are you tired of what your human nature and this world have to offer? Are you tired of its empty promises and lies? Are you tired of trying so hard and failing? Then it is time to try it God’s way, and search for Him with all your heart. When it is in your heart to do so, pray to Him and He will hear your prayer and answer it to the fullest! Oh so full! If you are not there yet, then come to Him as you are, sins, failures and all, and beg Him to help you. Don’t wait until you are ready all the way, or you never will be. But if you have been following Him and are ready to take your next step with Him, why not search for Him and seek to find Him with all your heart? What do you have to lose? If you are new to all of this, or a new Christian, or are not a Christian yet, why go through all the perplexity and trials of following God half-way and failing, when you can throw yourself on His side all the way and find Him and get all the power you need to succeed and to have a new life with Him? You will never regret it, we promise you. Cling to God, He is your only hope, Oh sinner! He is your path, your light and your life. Deuteronomy 10:20; 13:4 NASB. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NASB.
“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35 KJV. What is Solomon talking about here? He is talking about wisdom. To be wise one must be willing to receive instruction. Wisdom is receiving instruction - learning what you need to know to get life and have it more abundantly, and then do it. Seek after it daily from God’s Holy word, the Bible, and through much prayer with Him. This is where you will obtain instruction from Him. This is how you will find life and obtain favor from the Lord, by receiving His instruction for your life. Note the counsel that king David gave his son Solomon: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NASB. There is no hiding from God. There is no hiding your words, your actions or your thoughts from Him, He knows them all.
Now put it all together: If you wish to have life and not die, receive the instruction that you need to seek after God with your whole heart and a willing mind. If you will seek Him, He will let you find Him. Is that what you want, dear reader? Then seek after God with all your heart, and He will be found by you, and your whole life will change for the better.
As God told Abraham, ‘I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward’ Genesis 15:1 KJV, He also tells you, if you will seek after Him, He will be your shield and exceedingly great reward. Abraham was called the friend of God. James 2:23. Many people cannot understand those who want to live a life of love and devotion to God, to give up the sins and pleasures of this world, and it’s wealth and ‘baubles’, with a willingness to give themselves to God all-the-way and serve Him, living an unselfish life to serve Him and others – it seems like there is nothing in it for them. Why would they want to do it? But they have vastly underestimated the great reward in finding and knowing the Lord, a great reward indeed! God and His precious Son Jesus are both great rewards to those who love and serve Them. This great joy can only be known by those who seek after God with their whole heart. Those who only seek Him half way are shortchanging themselves, and will never know this sweetest, full joy. And those who do not seek after Him, and those who do not find Him will know an eternal loss.
God tells the saved that He is their great and exceeding reward. In contrast to this Paul tells us that the real loss of the lost - is to be forever shut out from the presence of the Lamb: “*** when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 NASB. Jesus and His Father are the source of life and of every blessing that you would ever need. They are your eternal security blanket, if you will just put your trust in Them. But those who will not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, who do not accept His salvation, will be cast out from His presence, paying the penalty with eternal destruction, away from His loving presence that alone can bring peace, everlasting life, blessings, love and joy.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:12 NASB. This is one of the chief reasons why God does not answer everyone’s prayers, and why He doesn’t hear them. There is no room for halfway measures, half-hearted love and devotion to God. Your sins have separated you from God until you confess, repent and humble yourself before Him. He will save you regardless of how bad you are or what you have done, if you will just throw yourself on His mercy, and seek after Him with all your heart. Half-hearted seeking is for all who would fail. If you have only sought after God half-way or have not been consistent in seeking Him every day with all your heart, you can still seek after Him with all your heart and find Him, there is still time! But wait not another day or for a convenient season. Do not be like Felix who said to Paul, ‘when it is a convenient season I will call for you – a season which never came for him. Acts 24:25 KJV. Now is the day of salvation, while you hear God’s voice, His call to your heart. “For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB. Harden not your heart against Him, He loves you! Listen to His counsel to you here: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:7-12 KJV. Do not harden your heart against God, or have a heart of unbelief, not believing that He will save you or not wanting His salvation. Do not have a heart of unbelief, which is departing from the living God.
Consider Jesus’ message here:
“Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13 NASB.
Consider the message that Jesus is trying to teach here: If you will be persistent with God, making your petitions known to Him for a new, better life with Him – wanting a change from the failure and the wreck that your life has been, He will hear your prayer. If you cling to God and persist in making your petitions known to Him for your desire to be saved and to be a better person, He will hear your prayer. God is not like your earthly parents, who sometimes made mistakes or sometimes forgot your needs or sometimes only thought of themselves, but God really cares. If your parents gave you good things in this life, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit when you ask Him? But you must ask Him, you must seek after Him, you must knock, and the door will be opened to you – the door to eternal life! You must be persistent and cling to God, not giving up, praying to Him and making all of your requests known to Him, of your desire to have a new life with Him, and for the spiritual blessings that He wants to give you, until you get these desired blessings. After God’s gift of His dear son Jesus for the world, His other most precious gift to those who belong to Him, is the gift of His precious Holy Spirit. He will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask, to all who seek after Him with all their heart. This is one of the gifts that all are required to have to enter Heaven and have eternal life. John 3:3, 5. All who wish to enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven will have to be born again of both the water (have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, symbolized by baptism in the water) and by the Holy Spirit. These gifts from God allow you to become born again, Oh sinner, that Ye might be saved and be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, like Jesus said in John 3:3, 5. The Holy Spirit is a most precious gift and reward for those who seek after God with all their heart, no holding back. (Why would anyone want to hold anything back, not getting this sweetest of rewards? This is a great mystery.) Dear reader, why would you want to hold anything back and not get this sweetest reward for yourself?
The Conclusion of the Matter:
Everyone who seeks after God with all their heart will receive the joy of their salvation, and have great peace, love and joy! Everyone who seeks after God, and knocks, the door will be opened to them, the door to eternal life! Especially when they persist in clinging to God, and keep humbling their heart before Him every day, every hour, and learning to commune with Him in prayer. Everyone who asks, and really wants it, can receive the best gift from God after forgiveness, the Holy Spirit. They will receive the Holy Spirit, the pledge of their redemption (Ephesians 4:30 NASB), and have the assurance of their salvation, because God will tell them He loves them, and His precious Spirit will dwell in their heart and help them on their way to Heaven. They will have the continued assurance of their salvation, if they continue to seek after Him with all their heart, every day. But the presence of the Holy Spirit gives them the strongest inducement to want to keep all this peace, love, joy and hope that He brings them. When they have all this peace, love and joy and really value it, why would they want to give it up? We do not know why anyone would give up God’s offer of mercy, forgiveness, peace, love, hope – much less the wonder and joy of having the Holy Spirit in their heart, and know that their life is pleasing to God, because they are letting Him save them, and He is giving them the power to live a righteous life. What more could you want? This is everything your heart has been searching for! Just give yourself to God now, and forevermore and enjoy your new life with Him!
The secret to having a better life, with peace and hope for tomorrow, is to seek after God with all your heart, and then you will find Him! You will be so glad you did! We promise you, that if this is what you are searching for, you will be so glad you did, and God’s love for you will be a well of water inside of you springing up into eternal life! John 4:13-143. God will be delighted to give this to you!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Songs For Today’s Message:
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Truth Songs)
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Hawaii Baptist Academy choirs)
#Lord #God #Plans #Hope #Seek #Me #Find #Search #All #Heart #Prayer #Love #Peace #Joy #Holy #Spirit #Half-way #Wisdom #Eternal #Life
By John Foll
, written between 1/26/2018 to 01/27/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“But He [God] gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’” James 4:6 NASB.
What does it mean when James says God ‘gives grace to the humble? Let us look at what it means.
The book of Psalms declares: “The humble have seen it and are glad; you who seek God, let your heart revive. For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.” Psalm 69:32-33 NASB. Evidently it must be important, because it says here that God hears the prayers of the needy, and of the prisoners who are His who cry for His help. Those who are saved cry to God for help, this is their secret! “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” Psalm 18:6 NASB. Do you want God to hear your prayers dear reader? This is so important! Then cry to Him for help. Many come to God in prayer with a list of things they want from God, but have they asked Him for help or confessed all of their sins to Him? Those who want God’s grace and mercy must first cry to Him for help; those who don’t cry to Him for help will probably not get helped, whether they prayed or not. What would you cry to Him about for help? If your problems are overwhelming you, if you have an addiction or something you do over and over that you know that you should stop doing. Or if you don’t feel like you are saved or good enough to be saved, or your sins keep coming up in your mind over and over again and you are weary of it all? Do you want that sweet peace, wonderful peace, and want the assurance of your salvation? Do you know that you are bad and have done wrong; where can you get relief? Then call upon the name of the Lord, cry out to Him for help and He will always hear you! Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV. If you will just come to Jesus and tell Him all of your troubles, He will give you rest. Is that what you want, rest? Then cry out to the Father in Jesus’ name, and He will hear your prayer! Just confess your sins to Him. If you find that you are in need, tarry there awhile with Jesus in the quite of your own ‘prayer closet’, which is any quiet private place free from the noise and clamor of this world, perhaps in nature or in a quiet room by yourself, wherever you can find some quiet time with Jesus, He loves you! Matthew 6:6. And He will give you rest. For His burden is light, and His yoke is easy, it is much easier than that yoke of guilt and sins and addictions that keep dragging you down! His yoke is easy, because it is a yoke based on love. It is something you shouldn’t mind, because it will give you peace and bring you much love and joy, if you will continue to tarry with Jesus awhile in prayer and Bible study, meditating on God’s rich promises to save and bless you.
Listen now to Moses’ account of God leading the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years, after leading them out of Egypt where they were slaves: "You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5 NASB. In the same way as God disciplined the children of Israel as they made their way to the Promised Land, Canaan, God will also discipline you on your way to the Heavenly Canaan, the Promised Land, if you will just let Him do it for you, and not chafe under His kind hand. God will help you to be humble if you will just let Him. You may be proud now, and not know how you can get His grace for yourself for all of your past sins and failures, but if you will just let Him help you, and allow the discipline He gives you to work His will in your life through the trials you go through, He will help you to humble yourself before Him, so that you may receive His grace. Because God gives grace to the humble, which is for those who allow Him to humble them.
When does God give grace to the humble? When they cry out to Him for help, and only then. If you are satisfied with your life the way it is, or want to handle your burdens and problems by yourself, or in your own way, or just want to do your own thing, you will not find any rest or peace. It is not within any man’s or woman’s ability to be able to direct their own paths, or solve their own problems without the aid of God and have it turn out good. Whenever anyone attempts this, it is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness always leads to death, but crying out to God for help and confessing your sins to Him leads to life – eternal life. When the Lord sends the needed help, the humble will see it and be glad. The humble cry to Him for help. If you will humble yourself before God and cry out to Him in prayer, your heart will see His salvation and be glad! Is that what you want? Then read on!
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26 KJV. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:7-8 KJV.
So what are you waiting for? Cry out to Him for help now, so you can start to get your salvation! When you see your need of Him and what He wants to do for you, and decide to yield your pride to Him and confess your sins and cry out to Him for help, He will surely save you and give you His grace!
Being humble is the same thing or similar to being meek or gentle. Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 NASB. The King James has this as: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 KJV. This reminds us of a psalm David wrote: “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:8-11 NASB. What is David talking about here? Those who humble their pride and allow God to take care of them, will inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Has this fully happened yet here on this Earth? No. For the most part the world looks up to those who are the strong, the wealthy, the powerful, the famous, the infamous, the most beautiful, the smartest, the greediest, the wickedest, etc. While some of these are not necessarily wrong in themselves the others are, but they are often accompanied with great pride and wrongdoing, while the needs of the poor in this world’s goods or the poor in spirit are looked down on or trampled on. The ruler of this world, the prince of the air, has given the things the world values to those whom he controls. John 12:30-31; 14:30; 16:11. Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-8; Ephesians 2:2. So if the meek haven’t inherited the earth yet, when will it happen that the gentle, the meek, and the humble will inherit the land? Jesus is quite clear here that the meek will eventually inherit the earth as He promised!
Jesus declared: ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3-4 KJV. This is just as true today as when Jesus spoke this 2000+ years ago. Jesus said that you must be converted and become as a little child, if you would enter the kingdom of Heaven, which means to love and obey your Father in Heaven, as little children are to love and obey their earthly fathers. But you cannot do this, unless you first humble yourself before God in prayer.
So when will the meek and humble inherit the earth? The prophet Isaiah gives us a clue when he writes: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6 KJV. You can equate this child leading the wolf, the lamb, the leopard and the kid (goat or sheep lamb) with what Jesus said, when He said that unless you become as little children you shall never enter the kingdom of Heaven, as He stated in our text above in Matthew 18. It is only someone who has humbled themselves as a little child who will make it there and lead the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid in Heaven. Read this whole prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-9, especially verse 9: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9 KJV. Isaiah declares here that this will take place when their will be no more death and no more hurt on God’s holy mountain, when the knowledge of God will cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Has the knowledge of God yet covered the earth as the waters cover the sea, with no disagreement among all mankind, and has all hurt, killing and death stopped? No. Clearly this will take place only in Heaven. It says in Psalms, talking about this day in Heaven, after all the wicked are destroyed, “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land. O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.” Psalm 10:16-18 NASB. This is when the humble shall inherit the Earth, after all of the wicked have been destroyed by Him. This is all done by the grace of God, no one will deserve to be there. Therefore let us praise His wonderful name and pray that we all will be there, with as many of our loved ones as possible, inviting as many as we can to also go there with us.
Note the message that John gives us from God in Revelation talking about that great day in the future in Heaven, when the meek shall inherit the earth: “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:13-17 KJV. Talk about the perfect security blanket! How can anyone go wrong, if they will just follow the Lamb where ever He goes? Revelation 14:4. He will dwell with them forever, and feed them and quench their thirst from the river of life that flows endlessly from the throne of God! And nothing shall hurt or destroy them on God’s holy mountain, for the former things of this world are passed away, when all wickedness is gone forever.
Let us now sing God’s praises as we contemplate that great day in Heaven, when the meek will inherit the earth: “He [God] has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed.” Luke 1:51-53 NASB. Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then you shall be filled! Matthew 5:6. It says here in our passage in Luke 1 that God will fill the hungry with good things, but will send those who are rich away empty handed. Those who think that they are rich, who don’t see their need of God, will be sent away into the outer darkness where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:36-43, 49-50.
Have you been on a journey too with God like the children of Israel were in their wanderings on their way towards the Promised Land? Have you had ups and downs in your struggles? Have you ever found it hard to say you were wrong to someone, or to give up something you wanted to get or to do that you know that God was asking you to stop doing or to give up? Did you have bad feelings towards someone, or feel bad for something you said or did and struggle with it? Did you get peace? Don’t give up, there is still hope! Has God been shaping your life, putting you through trials? Take courage! If you will allow God to mold and shape you, if you will cry out to Him for help, and will allow Him to humble you, all of these blessings He has promised will be yours! You can yet gain the blessings of eternal life, when the meek shall inherit the earth, because God will give you a greater grace, if you will allow Him to help you! Amen. Just allow Him to mold you and shape you.
So don’t be proud, humble yourself before God now in prayer:
Prayer is a song we all can sing,
A light that the blind can see,
Prayer is a gift the poor can bring,
However poor they'd be.
Prayer is a star that lights the way
For those who are in despair,
And when your heart kneels down to pray,
God will hear your prayer.
* From the song Prayer, by Alfred Bryan and Edward Lisbona.
Do you want God to hear your prayer? Then kneel your heart before Him in prayer, then He will hear your prayer. This means give your heart to Him in prayer as my wife said, when I read the lyrics of this song to her and pointed out those last two lines of it to her. I didn’t catch the meaning of those last two lines when I first heard this song, or when I first read these lyrics, but I eventually saw that it was not saying that we should bow our knees in prayer, but our hearts. But it is true when you give your heart to God, that you can be sure He has heard your prayer! For God gives a greater grace to the humble, i.e. those who will humble themselves before Him. He will show them His rich mercy! But those who will not give their heart to Him at all will not be helped.
Yes God gives a greater grace and mercy to the humble and they shall inherit the Heavenly Canaan, the Land which is fairer than day, the kingdom of Heaven!
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’” Revelation 21:2-7 NASB.
May the grace of God be with you, may you follow the Lamb of God wherever He goes, as He leads you to Heaven’s peaceful shore! So cry out to Him now for help that this may be your story. Amen.
Final Meditation, from a Psalm of David:
“Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD,
Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name's sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity, and
his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.”
Psalms 25:4-15 NASB.
See also Psalms 34:1-8.
The song Prayer that we quoted part of above lyrics can be found at:
http://hebronum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/May-June-2017.pdf . This pdf file contains both verses, search for ‘Prayer is a song we all can sing’. If you can ever get hear this wonderful song as sung by George Beverly Shae, listen to it over and over until the songs sticks in your head and you get what the song is saying.
https://www.discogs.com/George-Beverly-Shea-An-Evening-Prayer-Favorite-Hymns-For-The-Days-End/release/1853967 . This link has the album with this song on it track B1.
https://www.bear-family.com/shea-george-beverly-i-d-rather-have-jesus-2-cd.html . This cd has it I think.
An Evening of prayer: (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
Did you think to pray? (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
The Prayer Perfect (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
#God #Gives #Grace #Humble #Trials #Needy #Cry #Help #Burden #Easy #Light #Rest #Confess #Sins #Prayer #Love #Peace #Salvation #Heaven #Meek
By John Foll, finished writing on 5/27/2017 and 5/28/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB.
This text is so true! This is very important! Walk in the light as God is the Light. Jesus is also the Light, the way, and the truth and the life and He came to reveal the love of His Father to the World. John 3:16-17; 9:5, 24:6; 12:46, 35-36; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3. There can be no sweeter fellowship than the fellowship with Jesus and the Father, with the Holy Spirit, and with others who also have true fellowship with God!
The disciples of Jesus were learning of Him, but were bickering among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. See Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 22:24. But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, they were changed more into His likeness and imbued with His Spirit, and had fellowship with one another. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on them in Acts 2.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1 KJV. Jesus’ disciples were following His command in Acts 1:4-5 to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High. So they waited, expectantly for the promise of Jesus. They were in one place, and they were in one accord. They were of like mind, in ‘one accord.’ This made their fellowship sweet, a place where the Holy Spirit would be happy to dwell in, since God is love. 1 John 4:8. This is the way all will be, who have given themselves to God, towards others of like mind; they will be in one accord. This is the only real unity that can be had that is of any value, unity ‘in the Lord.’ Only God can bring about this unity! He brings about this unity among those who are obedient to Him and have yielded fully to Him, because the Holy Spirit is given to all who obey Him. Acts 5:32. And to those who would speak His words, He gives the Spirit without measure! John 3:34 NASB. All those who are God’s are heeding Jesus’ counsel that they should love one another, and are Jesus’ disciples. John 3:34-35; 15:8, 10.
What is the basis for true fellowship? “We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.” Psalms 55:14 NASB. This psalm is talking about the fellowship between fellow believers walking together in harmony, sharing the same beliefs, i.e. in ‘one accord’ like Jesus disciples in Acts 2:1 at Pentecost. ‘What fellowship has light with darkness?’ 2 Corinthians 6:14 NASB. That’s a good question! How can those who are ‘walking in the Light as God is light’ have fellowship with those who do not love God and do not devote themselves to Him? So true fellowship is between those who believe and devote themselves to God. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NASB. Who are “they” in Acts 2:42? It says those who ‘gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.’ Acts 2:41 KJV. What did “these” do? They ‘continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching’, they studied and thought about what the apostles taught them and put them into practice. They had fellowship with each other, and ate meals together and prayed together. Their fellowship was based on the joy and gladness they had in Christ, i.e. they were “gladly” “baptized”, and steadfastly adhered to the truths taught to them by the apostles, which led to them walking in one-accord with each other. They had received God’s Spirit, the Holy Ghost. How do we know that they received the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit? Because in verse 38 of Acts 2 Peter says, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:39 NASB. So all those who were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, who had fellowship with one another with the breaking of bread and much prayer, were baptized by Peter or the other apostles and had received the Holy Spirit! They had had a wonderful change wrought in their heart and lives that was impossible for anyone to get by themselves apart from God. They received the infilling of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of their inheritance in Heaven, because they repented and were baptized! There is no good reason why this shouldn’t continue to happen this way now in our day! Paul here states this same wonderful truth that these early believers at Pentecost had: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB. This statement by Paul shows that the Holy Spirit is given for your redemption and to seal you; your personal pledge from God of your inheritance in Heaven, reserved for you if you want it! See also 1 Peter 1:4.
Fellowship with one another:
John the Beloved is saying in 1 John 1:7 that if you want the blood of Jesus to keep cleansing you from sin, you must keep walking in the Light of God, allowing God to change you and remake you into His image. What image? Simply put love and obedience. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. If we have the love of God in our heart, we will have fellowship with one another. How do you get the love of God in your heart? First you must confess your sins to God and ask Him to help you. Then He will give you a wonderful change if you do not resist Him. Then you must continue to walk in this light, and go where He leads you, not struggling against His will or the truth He has revealed to you from the Bible or for your life. You must walk in the light, if you want the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from all sin! If any are not willing to do everything He wants, stop doing it, drag their feet, or stop asking for His help, they will no longer be walking in the Light, and will lose their ability of having sweet fellowship with the other true believers. If this continues the blood of Jesus will no longer cleanse them from sin. This is the progression. Unfortunately there are many who go to church who are no longer walking in the Light, as He Himself is the Light, or they are not fully walking in the Light of His love and truth. This is the cause of the lukewarmness that is almost universal in the Church which manifests itself. Those in this state are missing the divine spark of God’s love and willingness to obey Him in their life.
But if any want to have life, they will walk in the Light of God’s love, allowing Him to mold and shape them, making them a new creature! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV. This is something no one can do by themselves, but if they want this, they will cooperate with God, and willingly give themselves to Him and desire to please Him. The only way anyone can have sweet fellowship with other believers, is to have God’s love in their heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the blood of Jesus will cleanse them from all sin, and they won’t be guilty of His blood, because they will be forgiven and be led by His Spirit, walking in the Light. 1 Corinthians 11:27. This is God’s wonderful gift that He gave through the gift of His Son, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit that He gives to His people. “Gathering them together, He [Jesus] commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5 NASB. The Father promised to give all of Jesus’ disciples this gift, this promise is for you too if you want it! If you repent, wait and pray for this promise, you will get endued with this power! When you get this power, you will be able to go forth and preach God’s love to the world with the same power that Jesus’ disciples did in the book of Acts! This is walking in the Light, as He is the Light! This is the true fellowship with God and this is how you have true fellowship with His true believers! Amen.
#Walk #Light #Fellowship #Forgiveness #HolySpirit #One #Accord #Lukewarm #Promise #Seal #Redemption #New #Creature #Baptism #Repent #Teaching #Prayer #Gift #Truth #Gospel
By John Foll, Written between 04/03/2017 and 04/07/2017, and from 04/15/2017 to 04/18/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
If you have not already read our blog articles by W. W. Prescott, on the Divine Human Family on our Faith Blog, we recommend that you read them now. Here is the first article of three: The Divine Human Family 1 of 3.
Yes, we want to feed on the word of God!
We want to show you some of the wonderful things God has done and wants to do for you. We will feed on God’s word: that is what we are doing here in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog – feeding on the word of God, and learning what He wants us to learn, so that we can clear the way for our heart to know such joy as the angels know and desire to look into (1 Peter 1:12), such joy as the Holy Men and Women of Old knew in the Bible. The purpose of our Ministry, our Blog articles, our books, and our messages that we preach is to break the Bread of Life, the Word of God, that you may feed on it, and become like God. If you continue like this you will learn to love Him all-the-way.
We believe that our books that you would be the most blessed by are: “The Love of God: God’s Plan To Save You!” Part 1: How To Have Righteousness By Faith and Part 2: How To Become the Bride of Christ! In these books we will break the bread of life to you: to show you the love of God, and how to get the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit for yourself! You will be so happy if you get this for yourself and blessed! It is our desire that as many people as possible would accept God’s invitation to be completely His, and be filled with His precious Holy Spirit. And it is our prayer, dear reader that this would happened to you, if it hasn’t already happened. And if you already know these joys, that you would greatly increase in love, joy, strength, and power to serve Him with; to be full and overflowing with His love! In these books we will also share with you some of our testimony from time-to-time, where needed, to help accentuate the points we are making. The main point of these books is to break the bread of life to you, so that you can experience the wonder, joy and peace of being a true son or daughter of God: That is what we were all meant to be – that God has promised to all who would believe and have it. Is that what you want? May the Grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! Amen!
I want to share a few thoughts on the wonderful things God has done for me!
When I had the most wonderful experience of my life, where God showed me how much He loved me, and I gave my heart to Him with no reservations. In the days that followed I had great joy, but I also had a great struggle at the same time. But God sustained me and helped me through the struggle that my lower nature and the enemy of our souls was trying to overcome me with. I can only claim God’s love for me and help - that helped me make it through this struggle to yield fully to Him, and put down the doubts and opposition. But what a sweet release from the sore trials, what a sweet refrain from the struggle of self. I found that for the first time I had power, not my power but God’s Power to overcome. Why should I not love and trust Him? He filled my heart with His wonderful love, and then I felt that I could do anything He asked me to do! He helped me to trust in Him; that He would hear my prayers and grant my wish to be more like Him! In my life before this I hadn’t been satisfied with the way life had been going for me. But after I learned that He really loved me, because His Spirit told me so, I felt that I could trust Him for all of my needs and true desires; that He would listen to my petitions and requests. In my previous life, I had never been totally sure that my life pleased God; I would worry that I was good enough and did not have the assurance of my salvation with Him. I tried my best, but no matter what I did, I seemed to always fall short of the mark. But after I learned how much He loved me, He made it easy for me to believe that my salvation was secure with Him. And I had confessed all of my sins, repented, and threw myself on His mercy to save me. – He made me to know that my salvation was secure with Him, as long as I stayed humble and penitent before Him, and kept trusting in Him to carry me through.
When I was having this struggle, after I was starting to learn how much God loved me, my lower nature and our ancient foe wanted me back. The struggle between good and evil had always been going on in my life, but now I was most keenly aware of it. It seemed that every day there was some new attack on me, usually many. My scientific and rationalistic mind couldn’t believe what was happening to me, it was unsettled by all of this Spirit and power; that I could just talk to God and receive all this peace, love, strength and power for myself; something outside of the realm of human ability, reason, skill and will, and outside of the mundane and natural experiences that we as humans can know. It had a hard time dealing with this night and day difference between me, before and after my experience with God. I suppose that many of these things are still happening to me now, but I have just accepted them as part of our struggle against the powers and principalities of this world, but Jesus was the conqueror through every trial and perplexity, and that His strength is yours and mine, if we will just trust in Him and yield fully to His love and watch-care. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 KJV. Wonderful news! Jesus has overcome the world! If we will just make Him our Lord, He will help us to overcome too!
After I learned how much God loved me, and yielded myself fully to Him, I became very bold in my prayers and requests to Him. I believe that He heard my prayers and was delighted to give me the ones He wanted to give me, that were for my best and were His plan for my life. I was satisfied with the rich blessings He so wonderfully gave me, that I had never had before or never had with this strength and power, ‘my cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!’ Psalms 23:6 KJV. Even though I didn’t get the answers to all of my bold requests – yet, it was enough! He has made me so happy and been so wonderful to me; more than I could ever deserve! I had no clue that such wonderful peace, love and joy existed! I never thought it would be so wonderful to yield completely to God and volunteer to serve Him. Boy was I wrong! I am still praying for more of these gifts and power from Him to do more. I cannot take the credit for any of these wonderful things that happened to me, that He did for me or gave me; it wasn’t because of ANY of my goodness or natural ability or strength of character: it was solely of His doing, not mine. I see now that Jesus searched for me and found me, like in the parable of the good shepherd, and brought me to Himself. John 10:7-17; Matthew 18:11-14.
In my earlier life, many times I thought that I was OK, because I had been a Christian all of my life, although there were some times when I had drifted as a young adult and could have left the faith. But I still had a problem with sin in my life, and did not have the sweet assurance that you can only get when you yield yourself fully to Him. In my heart I knew that something was lacking; I did not have the peace, joy and the assurance of salvation that God has promised to all who really know and love Him.
I was born the son of a minister, who later became a college theology professor, and I had an interest in this line myself, though I never entered a theological seminary or majored in it in college. But I have learned since that none of the religious things that you can do matter, unless you have a living and vital connection with God.
In my previous life, after God had made a change in my life, but I wasn’t completely awake or transformed by His love yet, I wanted a little ministry to try to help others with their health, or some other “little” ministry, etc. I had thought about other things like learning to preach or other ministries that I could do. I say little, but I probably didn’t use the words “little ministry”. But since I hadn’t yielded to God all the way yet, I wasn’t totally devoted to Him yet and therefore not ready for a “bigger” ministry. But I did not know what God had planned for me. I wanted to have my own business and not make any waves, and try to make it through the end of time and be saved. You know keep “a low profile”; don’t attract too much attention. I had no clue that God’s love would get so strong a hold of my heart and that my greatest desire would be to become a fisher of men, and that my whole life would change, including my dreams and goals and what motivated me, and not care about the results that might happen if I were to follow Him all the way: that I would not be in fear of what people might say or think about me or be in fear of persecution. It was wholly the work of God. When I was a kid we used to sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men. I will make you fishers of men, if you follow me.” But could this be me too? To be honest, there were other times in my life before when I wanted to be a fisher of men, but I wasn’t ready then or didn’t really fully believe that it could happen to me like this now; I didn’t fully know or fully believe what God could do for me. In my previous life, I felt that something wonderful like this could happen to someone else, but not me, because I wasn’t good enough or talented enough. But this time it was different, because God helped me to believe that it was really possible and made it happen. But He had to first take away the shame of my sins, and help me to believe that He loved me, and believe in Him and His power to save. And He had to free me from the chains that bound me, before I could become a fisher of men and have the power to do it.
In my previous life I didn’t fully believe in the love and power of God, but I wanted a better life, and to be clean and pure before Him. How could I fully believe? This has to be experienced to be fully known, and I had not yet experienced it fully. I had not the power to be a fisher of men, even though there were several times that I tried to. My self got in the way, and my lower nature was resisting this dream and what God wanted to do for me, and there was some backsliding from what I had learned. But God was working steadily behind the scenes to remake me and give me the true desires of my heart that I had had as a boy and a young man.
Does it take special power from God to be His witness and win souls for Him? Yes it does. Are we able to be an effective witness for Him if we don’t have a vital connection with Him or haven’t yielded our heart fully to Him? No we can’t. You can be a witness for God before you have yielded fully to Him or have His wonderful power fully in your life, if you are temporarily yielding to Him, but not there yet. But until you get these missing ingredients in your life from Him all the way, there is no way for you to be a truly effective witness until you get this power from Him. Jesus said that ‘without me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5. God will take you as you are. If your desire to serve Him is genuine, and if you cooperate with Him and allow Him to mold and shape you, He will make you into a useful tool for Him. 2 Timothy 2:21. But it is better to have your ‘upper room’ experience and ‘tarry at Jerusalem’ until you get power from on high, like Jesus commanded His disciples to do in Acts 1, which took place in Acts 2 where they received the full power of the Holy Spirit. No one has this power within themselves. Some people may think that what they have already is sufficient, to be a witness for Him, but it is not. Witnessing for God is not something that you can just try to do or to be, it’s something you are or are not. Everyone is a witness for or against God whether they realize it or not. Witnessing for God, like our salvation, is wholly the work of God; we cannot effect this ourselves. All that we can do is study God’s word and learn to love Him, confess our sins, yield fully to Him and decide to obey Him, but He supplies the change we need and the power to do all that He asks, including being His witness and preaching the gospel of His love to the ends of the earth! We must have the power of the Holy Spirit or the Comforter, whom Jesus said would reprove the world of sin, if we want to witness of Jesus and the gospel to the world. John 16:8. And we must love God and want to obey Him all the way, no holding back, if we want this special power. Acts 5:32; Matthew 22:36-37, 40.
I believe now that the young “ideal” man still inside of me “secretly” wanted to serve God. So God provided a way for me to serve Him. I am in no way deserving of this wonderful joy and privilege, but He has given it to me just the same, because He loves me. No one has ever deserved to be saved, live or be blessed by God, but He will do this and more to all who receive Him into their heart, because He is love! 1 John 4:8. I had asked God to make me an evangelist of His love, and to help me write a book on His love, and later for other books, and later to teach it to others, and later to write articles on it. When this wonderful change had taken place in my heart, I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’. A few weeks after I had started to write, when I re-started my book in its new form that would later become the books: “The Love of God: God’s Plan to Save You!” Part 1 and 2 and some other little books, often a most wonderful feeling would flow through my entire being. This is hard to explain to other people for them to understand, or to make them believe that it happened and can happen, except to those who have experienced it themselves. Some may think that I am trying to make something out of myself. I had a hard time believing it was happening to me too, and was worried that I was making something special out of myself that I was not, you know bragging or pride. My lower nature would try to say, ‘You don’t have the Holy Spirit! Don’t try to make other people believe this!’ Or ‘yes you have the Holy Spirit, but just keep it quiet, keep it to yourself.’ i.e. False humility. My lower nature wanted me to be ashamed of what God was doing for me and tried to make me deny that power and glory that God can bless someone with. Ah! the abuse I had to put up with from my lower nature! But this struggle was worth it, because my old ways have absolutely nothing to offer that I want anymore.
This is ever the way the rationalistic thought goes for those trained by the world in the science of unbelief, that will ultimately cause someone to be lost, if they do not repent from this unbelief, since they deny God’s miracles and His power. I still have to pray to God on this one, because my lower nature and Satan do not let up on trying to put down my relationship with God, and say that it is false, and is the working of the wrong spirit, anything but accept what God has done and is doing for me. Satan does not want us to give God the credit or the glory, or to praise Him for His marvelous love or works, but wants us to attribute everything bad to God and everything good to our self (self-righteousness), or natural or mundane processes; anything to deny the power of God, and to keep other sinners from believing in Him and His mighty love and power to save! Satan doesn’t mind if you are a Christian, as long as you keep your Christianity and what God has done for you to yourself, as long as you don’t live a Christ-like life, do not have faith in Jesus or His Father’s mighty power to save, do not overcome sin, and as long as you express words of doubt about God to others as much as possible, leading them as much as possible into sin and self-destruction, and allow him to motivate you by his despicable, hateful character. But it is a sin to deny the power of God and the wonderful works that He has done, especially if you have a personal knowledge of His wonderful love and power. Dear reader, do not deny God’s miracles or power to save you! Do not deny God’s love by the way you live or by the testimony of Him that you give to others. You are giving a testimony of Him to others whether you are aware of it or not. If you practice the science of unbelief like I did, you will not be giving a true testimony of God or His Son to others of His wonderful mercy, awesome love and mighty power to save. Think about this. I had faith in God before this, but it was much watered down and indecisive. But God changed all of that when He drew me to Himself.
This wonderful feeling filling my being that was beyond words went on like this for days and weeks, as I was writing my books, but not necessarily this strong all the time. And it has continued on after this, as I was doing different aspects of the ministry that God has given me. I remember telling someone, ‘When does this joy stop? I should pinch myself to see if I am awake.’ And then a voice inside of me seemed to say, ‘Never’, then I told the person that I was talking to ‘Never’. (They may have said this too as soon as I posed this question.) This was the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced in my life, but it hasn’t stopped happening yet, although it is not always this strong, and there is an ebb and flow to it. Conventional wisdom may say that ‘no one can be this happy for this long, there must be something wrong. No one has the right to be this happy or can be.’ I am sure that there is nothing on this earth that can produce this sweet overflowing experience of joy and love that does not end, but the Holy Spirit! This set my lower “logical” nature into a tailspin, because it could not accept what was happening to me, which contributed to my struggle. But for all who want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, there is a cross that they must bear, and battles to be won. But we do not have to fight these battles on our own, Jesus has fought and won these battles for us, if we will just tap into His strength, He will deliver us. I had no one who I could confide with on this that I knew, who had also gone through this wonderful experience and terrible struggle with doubts, to give me advice as to the source of this experience and what to do about it. So I had to trust alone in God; that He was looking after my soul and would not let me be lost without trying to help me, if I went astray in any way or got too proud. Later I started to run into other people who had an experience with God too, but there experience was not exactly the same as mine.
God rewards those with love, peace, joy and kindness who yield fully to His love and make Him the Lord of their life. This is what fuels their ministry to serve Him with, and enables them to undergo great hardship, heartache, etc. and press on through trials, sore they be, to help seek and save the lost. This is likely how the apostles were able to do what they did. They were powered by the Holy Spirit and their love for Jesus to preach the gospel to the world. And they didn’t mind suffering or dying for Jesus, whom they greatly loved and adored! The motivation that allowed the disciples of Jesus to do what they did, and suffer what they did, cannot be fully understood by those who have never surrendered fully to Jesus’ love and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who have surrendered fully to Jesus’ love will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will not be able to contain their love and joy; they will not be able to help themselves, but will want to share this good news with everyone they can! It is as natural as a baby duck takes to water, or a bird to flight!
Yes, there is great reward in yielding fully to the love of God and becoming His; when you become His you can’t help but want to be His servant, because the Holy Spirit will fill you with God’s love! “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25 NASB. Whatever sacrifice you make for Jesus and His Father, they will greatly appreciate it and you will have your reward. If you truly love Jesus you will not mind losing your life for Him; your strongest desire will be to do whatever is His will for your life! In fact, you may find yourself praying that He would give you the honor of dying for Him. What? Is this strange? To the unconverted heart this is complete foolishness! Why would someone want to die for Jesus or for their faith? In my former life, I was trying to figure out how to preserve my life as long as possible and avoid the persecution in the time of trouble at the end of the world; in those days I could not understand self-sacrifice. That is the world’s thinking. If you lose your life, which is to die to self, and are raised with Jesus in the baptism of His death, and renewed in newness of life, you will have life abundantly and find your life with God. “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” Romans 6:4-5 KJV. If you are serving God because you love Him, you will probably not mind it if you have to suffer great hardship, or are persecuted, or even lose your life. You want to bring honor and glory to His wonderful name, and to please Him. Those who are willing to lose their life and willing to give up all of their possessions for Jesus will find it. If you are willing to give your life to God all-the-way, which is losing your life from the world’s point-of-view, you will find it! And you will wonder why you didn’t lose your life to Him a long time ago!
Dear reader, why does it have to take so long to gain the blessings that God has wanted you to have your whole life? There is no reason to wait anymore, when you can have it now. You don’t have to wait 30 or 40 years, or wait until you are good or “better”, you can have it now! You don’t have to be a better person or be “perfect” before God will bless you like this. You don’t have to wait until you are able to be good before you can be what God wants you to be! Dear soul, why do you not have it now? It has been promised to you, and you may have it, if you will fall on your knees now and give yourself completely to God’s wonderful love!
The ability of serving God, like your salvation, is a gift from God and you do not deserve this wonderful joy and privilege, and will never deserve it. You can never serve God fully or perfectly in your own strength. It is solely the work of God, which He will be happy to do for you, if you want it and would claim your destiny. Just humble your heart before God, surrender to His love, and desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded, and love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and He will help you to love your neighbor as yourself. As long as you continue like this, He will hear your prayers, and bless you with great peace, love and joy! It will fuel your ministry to serve Him and others with. He will remove the guilt of your sins and unfulfilled duties, and He will remove from you the idea that you are not good enough to be saved or to be His witness. He will give you the assurance of your salvation, and will take away your selfishness and sin if you will let Him, and will give you all the gifts you need to serve Him with. No need to be afraid or have guilt, when God wants to give you everything that you need. No reason to feel guilty or think that you are not good enough, or have not done enough for Him or others. No reason to have fear on whether you can serve Him, or how you can serve Him. Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18. Just trust in your God who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1 KJV & NASB), and He will help you to do all that He is commanding you to do! Just believe! He loves you and wants to show you His mercy and love, and raise you up so that you can ride on eagle’s wings. Exodus 19:4. He wants to give you the reward of the righteous and make you happy! And give you the wonderful privilege of leading others to Heaven, where you will know joy throughout eternity, because your life pleased God, and because those whom you have helped will be so happy and will thank you for caring enough to share God’s love with them, so that they could be as happy as you are! Oh reader, do not miss out on this wonderful joy, this wonderful reward of the righteous! Oh reader, do not miss out on what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! In a word, love. Love makes life worth living, living for all eternity: the love of God! God will truly provide for all of your needs and help you to meet all of your duties; to serve Him and your fellow man! He will take away the shame and guilt of your life, and give you life and love throughout eternity if you will let Him. Amen!
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© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Some may not be aware that in order to get answers to prayer, that there are conditions for many prayers that must be met. We want to give some texts and ideas that everyone might not know or may have forgotten. This is not intended to list everything that could be a problem as to why you are not getting an answer to your prayers, but to give the most common problems that may prevent you from getting answers to your prayers, and to give you the prayers that God will always answer. We are giving the general conditions whereby you can know the will of God, when you can expect to get your answer or not from Him. We want everyone to be able to get what they need from God: life, peace, joy, love and happiness, now and forever! So we are sharing with you the principles that will lead to your salvation and happiness! We want to share with you how you can get the blessings from God that your heart craves. You want this, don’t you?
Let us start with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ that Jesus told the people in the beatitudes:
“Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.']” Matthew 6:9-13 NASB.
Notice that this is not a prayer of selfishness or a prayer of want, but a prayer for your greatest needs and for God’s kingdom to come. This prayer starts out with praise for our Heavenly Father which is in Heaven. He deserves our praise doesn’t He? Let’s thank Him for everything that He’s done for us and for Jesus His Son, and for the blessed Holy Spirit! You can never praise them enough for what they have done for you and have given to you. You should be grateful for all that they have done and are doing for you now. Pray for God’s kingdom to come, which is to pray that as many people as possible on this earth would know His peace, and would give their heart to Him. Pray that God’s will on earth and in your life will be done, as it is in Heaven. If you want your prayers to be heard, you should always want God’s will to be done on this earth and in your life. This prayer is giving God permission to work in your life to help you! And it is also a prayer where you agree to cooperate with Him to help others and love Him with all your heart. And then Jesus said that you should pray for your food and needs.
Note that in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, Jesus lays out a very important condition: if you want to be forgiven you must forgive others their sins against you, even if they don’t ask for it or want it. And you are to pray to God to forgive you your sins.And you should pray that God would keep you from temptation, i.e. help you to overcome sin. And then you close the prayer by acknowledging that God is the ruler of the Kingdom (the Universe), and has all the power and the glory forever; everything you need for your temporal needs, and eternal life. You can depend on Him forever, if you make Him your trust! When you pray like this and mean it, you know that you are praying according to His will and He will hear you. We are not saying that you must use these exact words every time you pray to God, but that you should have this attitude and you should pray for these kinds of things. You can also give specific needs for yourself or others to be prayed for.
Jesus also said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5 NASB. If you have any pride in your heart, full of yourself, and are saying that you love God, and are not living according to your beliefs in what God has revealed to you, the Lord will not hear your prayers, until you first humble yourself before Him, and want Him to remove the hypocrisy from your life, and then you can make your other requests known to Him.
You should be persistent if you believe your prayer to be God’s will, and keep praying for it:
“Now He [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8 NASB.
Now for a very serious problem: David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 KJV. Many times when prayers are not answered, it’s because of sin that is regarded in the heart of the individual, or of sins that have been known and have not been confessed or have not been repented of. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must confess all of our known sins, and ask Him for help to overcome them. Or maybe we have agreed to do what God has asked us to do, but have been putting off doing it? God’s grace cannot cover rebellion against His desire for our life or rebellion against His Law of Love or any of His words in the Bible. And we should not keep putting off what God has asked us to do! If we want God to hear our prayers, we cannot regard sin or iniquity in our life! This is so important!
Now Solomon says, “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 NASB. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must want to study His Law of Love, and listen to and follow all of His counsel for us in the Bible. We know that there are some who love to put down God’s Law of Love, the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, and other of His requirements in the Bible, but God will have the final say in this. If we don’t want to study God’s word to find out what He wants from us, or if we don’t want to love Him with all of our heart, and mind and soul or do not want to love any of our neighbors as our self, and refuse to hear His word in the Bible, God will not hear our prayers! Read Matthew 22:25-40.
What prayer will God always hear? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB. He will always hear our prayer when we confess our sins, or pray for help to be saved! Note what Jesus said here: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other [the proud Pharisee]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. So if you will humble your heart before God, and ask for mercy and help, He will always here this prayer!
What is another reason why some prayers are not heard? “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 NASB. You need to have good motives, and not pray to spend God’s blessings on sinful pleasure. God wants you to have a good life, and there are some simple pleasures that God approves of, if they are good for you at the time that He may allow. But there are many pleasures which God doesn’t approve of: you should not pray for anything that is wrong.There may be some things that you want that you do not need that God may want you to wait for, and other things that He may let you have right away.
Be careful, sometimes God will give you what you ask for, so that you may learn that it is not for your best. An example of this was when the children of Israel wanted to eat meat again, instead of the manna from Heaven that God had provided for them, and were complaining to Moses about it (Numbers 11:13), then God said, “Say to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, "Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt." Therefore the LORD will give you meat and you shall eat. 'You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"'"” Numbers 11:18-20 NASB. In Numbers 11:31-35 it outlines what happened to these people: “The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORDstruck the people with a very severe plague.” Numbers 11:32-33 NASB. So they had cried out to Moses because they were tired of the manna that God had rained down from Heaven for them, thinking that they were better off when they were in Egypt and slaves and could eat what they wanted. And so God gave them their wish, and some of them were struck with a plague from God. Don’t be persistent in asking for something that is not for your best or right. So be careful of what you ask for!
Now David concludes our passage from Psalms 66:18 with:
“But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
” Psalm 66:19-20 KJV. So there you have it, David’s prayer was heard by God, because he didn’t regard iniquity in his heart, because God’s mercy found him and forgave him.
Is there no room for grace you may ask? Yes, if you are a sinner take courage, if you don’t say everything exactly right or do not pray for the right things but mean well, the Holy Spirit will translate it to God for you, He knows what you really need!“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to Hispurpose.” Romans 8:26-28 NASB. If you have accepted God in your life, and are cooperating with Him, and are called according to His purpose, He will cause all things to work for your good, even if you make a mistake and pray for something that may not be the best for you, as long as you are not regarding iniquity in your heart! The Holy Spirit will translate your prayer into the language of love, “clean it up”, and make it presentable before the Father. This is God’s grace for you! Oh wonderful love of God! He has provided for all of your needs! He is mindful that you are but dust and are prone to wander from Him! If you will just throw yourself on His great mercy, He will forgive your sins, mistakes and will answer your true prayer, even if you don’t know what that is: your greatest need, not just what you asked for! When you pray to God, even if you didn’t ask for it, the Holy Spirit will intercede for you with something like this to the Father: ‘Father, even though they didn’t pray for all of your help that they need, please give them more time, please grant them more mercy! Please give them their true needs.’ Amen! Yes, God provides us poor sinners with His rich grace! We are not rewarded according to what we deserve, but according to His mercy and grace! But do not take His grace for granted, confess your sins and allow Him to work in your life, while His mercy may still be found!
To conclude: Before you make any of your other requests known to God, always confess your sins to Him first, and allow Him to change you, to help you repent. If you pray like this and do not regard iniquity and do not turn away your ear from hearing God’s Law, and are not praying for things out of selfish motives or for sinful pleasure, then you will have confidence before God that He has heard your prayers! Let God bring your life in harmony with Him, and let Him guide and protect you all the way, and then you will not have to worry if your prayers are heard! Amen.
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“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NASB. The child born of Him represents primarily Jesus, the Son of God, but could also mean any child of God who is truly born again. If we are born of God, we will also love all others who are born of God too.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. I.e. whoever believes that Jesus is the Savior of the world is born of God. He who is not truly born again or born of God does not truly believe that Jesus is the Christ. This is the test to whether we are born again or not or please God or not: whether we truly believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world! Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the World? Then you are born of God. Are you born of God? Then you are born again and are overcoming the world, have faith, and are keeping the commandments of God, and have life from God and this wonderful change in your heart. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:2-4 NASB. Are you overcoming the world? Are you keeping His commandments? Do you have Faith? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world? Do you find God’s commandments to be burdensome? Or do you find that keeping them is a delight?If you are not fully born again and not fully born of God, you will be unable to do these positive things and consider the commandments to be a burden, because humanly none of us can fully keep God’s commandments without His help. Are you breaking God’s commandments?(By habit or by desire.) Then you are not yet fully born of God. Or do you confess your sins when you break His commandments? If you do not have that born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have before they can enter the kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3, 5), then you don’t fully believe yet that Jesus is the Savior of the world, it’s that simple. But don’t give up, there is still hope. The door of mercy is still open for you, open it, receive God’s forgiveness and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. So confess your sins, contemplate the love of God, and of Jesus His Son, and then you will believe and know that Jesus is the Savior of the world and you will become born again!
Again John the beloved breaks it down for us in such profound and easy to understand terms:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:10-12 NASB. With John there is no middle ground, either we are for God or against Him. Either we believe in the Son of God and give this testimony of Him of His love for the world, and are born again, or we are not and find God’s commandments to be a burden, because we cannot keep them or consider them to be a delight, until we have a change of heart by letting the Holy Spirit change us. Either we have the Son and have life or we have no life in us and do not have eternal life. Either we are born again and believe in Jesus or we make God out to be a liar and believe not the Son. There is no middle ground.
It is the Spirit that testifies, because this Spirit is the truth, or ‘the Spirit of Truth’. John 16:13. When someone wants to tell others ‘the truth’ they should testify of Jesus, and give a message in harmony with the Spirit of Truth. If anyone doesn’t testify the truth of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world, or are not telling the truth in love to others, they are not really giving a true testimony of Jesus, but a false one. It matters not how many of ‘the truths’ in the Bible that they believe or are correct on, if they don’t get this one truth, then they are not giving a true testimony of Jesus or the Father and are not born again and have not the Son and have not life. No one can give a true testimony of Jesus all the time, if they have not yielded their heart completely to God. If you are yielding your heart to God at the time you give a testimony of Jesus, then you can give a true testimony of Him, but it is much better to be consistent and yield yourself to God at all times, so that your life can be fully in harmony with Him. Unbelievers often look at the ‘so called’ children of God and mock them and think that there is nothing to this Christian faith. This is because often the “children of God” have not yielded themselves fully to God yet. Let’s pray for the power to consistently be a son or daughter of God, so that He will always be honored by our lives and the way we live, not just when we are trying to ‘tell’ others about God or ‘the truth’. And it is our faith that helps us to gain the victory over the world, and to appropriate God’s many and precious promises to help us in our time of need. To the true believer, what John says here is really true: “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 NASB. If we are fully born of God, as long as we stay connected to the vine, Jesus, the evil one cannot make us go against God; God’s power is too great to allow the soul who trusts in Him to be snatched out of His hand.Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I giveeternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch themout of the Father's hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB.
“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” 1 John 5:5-6 NASB.
So let us believe the words of John and believe in Jesus, that we may be born again, born of God, and be an overcomer, and then we can have life from God and from above, and give a true testimony of Jesus! God’s promises are true, not some speaker or writer’s rambling or quailing over what the word of God says. Let God’s word tell you the truth, and do not let anyone confuse you. Study it much, and with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit will explain it to you. If you obey everything the Holy Spirit has revealed to you and made plain from the Bible, more of this truth will be revealed to you. God’s word, the Bible, says what it means and means what it says. It’s easy to understand, if you will just take it as it reads and in context (don’t just pick out part of a text, but read it in a larger section first), although there may be some parables and prophecies that you need to study more in depth to know what they mean. But the essentials of salvation are easy for all to understand who want to believe, and want the promised blessing of a new life with God and eternal happiness, peace, love and joy!
May the grace of God be with you!
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