I Should Not Have Looked, God Should Not Have Looked

This is dedicated to those who have ever messed up, and you feel that you have sinned so greatly that there is no hope for you. Thank God that He is merciful, and he will not turn away a truly repentant, broken and contrite heart!

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I should not have looked that fateful day.
I know that’s where it did start.
But I failed to turn my eyes away,
and lust conceived in my heart.

By her beauty I was taken.
My wicked heart, battle raged within.
Deceived by passion, I was mistaken.
With my neighbor’s wife I then did sin.

I thought perhaps none would find out
Of Bathsheba and I, defiled.
But my hopes one day gave way to doubt
when she told me that she was with child.

To my mind came a possibility to explore.
I thought it might improve my life.
Her husband I could bring home from the war
and let him spend some time with his wife.

Her husband, I did not realize
was a more honorable man than I.
My fool proof plot, it did capsize,
and here’s the reason why.

Uriah thought of those on the battlefield
who were paying the ultimate price.
To relations with his wife he would not yield
though no doubt he was enticed.

This left, I, David in a bind.
How could I cover my sin?
In the recesses of my mind
a sinister strategy formed within.

You could call it Murder I Wrote.
I had Uriah put in the battles heat.
To the army captain I sent a note
to draw back from Uriah, retreat.

And so faithful Uriah was slain
on that deplorable day,
and in my mind I did feign
with my sin I had gotten away.

But to make a long story short
God was kinder than He should have been.
He sent a prophet who brought me report
that indeed, I was guilty of sin.

Though God should not have looked with mercy on me,
I repented, and He gave me a new start.
It’s a miracle because later in Scripture we see
I’m called a man after God’s own heart!

5/31/17

The story of David, his sin with Bathsheba, murder of Uriah and the prophet coming to confront him with his sin are found in the Bible, 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12.

This verse in the New Testament calls David a man after God's own heart.

“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Acts 13:22 


 

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Wake Up Calls

Blood pressure measuring studio shot

The date was May 30, 2017. I was sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office before being called in for my appointment. I had what was most likely an infection in my body and would probably need an antibiotic. Going to the doctor always makes me a little nervous, so I had prayed that Jessica would be there. She is one of my doctor’s assistants and a genuinely caring person that has the type of positive, happy go lucky, friendly attitude that helps put people at ease. After a few minutes the door opened, and Jessica was there calling my name. She had me step onto the scale, and I inwardly cringed when I saw my weight. We happily chatted as we went into the examination room. It is a routine procedure to have your blood pressure checked at doctor’s visits, so I didn’t think anything of it when she put the cuff around my arm and began the procedure. I was watching Jessica performing her duty when I noticed the calm expression on her face turn to a look of concern. Then she mentioned that my blood pressure was kind of high. 178/108 to be exact.

I was not expecting this, and to be honest, it scared the liver out of me. I am unaware of anybody in my family with a history of high blood pressure, although my dad could have had it. He died of a massive heart attack at 56. My doctor did gave me an antibiotic, gave me some information on diet recommendations(lowering sodium intake mostly)and wanted to see me the next day for another blood pressure check.

I left the doctor’s office that day feeling like I had received a wake up call. How long had I had high blood pressure and was not even aware of it? I could have had a heart attack or stroke and died. I decided right then that I was going to change my diet and try to do what I could to get my blood pressure back to normal. My blood pressure was a little lower the following day but still well above normal. My doctor decided to treat the infection first, and then we would focus on the blood pressure. In the meantime, I was praying and doing what I could do diet wise to try to avoid going on blood pressure medication. After another week, I returned for a follow up visit with blood pressure that was still high. My doctor decided to put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. To make a long story short, my blood pressure is pretty much back in normal range. My doctor decreased my medication dose, and I am praying and believing when I go back for a physical next month that I will get off the medication entirely.

As I was thinking of this whole scenario I saw how this could apply to a person spiritually. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in the life of a sinner or someone who has fallen away from Him to get their attention, so that they will turn to Him. Years ago there was a young man named Clint that came and visited one of our services. I found out later that he had been raised in church but had fallen away from God as a teenager. A few days before coming to our church, he had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left him with a broken leg and a lot of bruises. Clint came several times to church, and I remember a time when after a service a group of us were standing around conversing, with Clint among us. He mentioned that he felt like his accident was a wake up call from God. He could have been killed, but God spared his life. He also stated that once his leg was healed up he would be shouting and running the aisles with the rest of us.

Unfortunately, we never saw that day come. I’m not sure what happened, but he did not continue coming to church. Is it possible that the fear he had when he first had his wreck wore off? As his physical condition improved did he let the cares of life, responsibilities or pleasures that this world offers hinder him from continuing to walk with God and serve Him?  I have seen many come to church that have had a near death experience or some kind of crisis in their life that caused them to realize that they need God. This is really the mercy of God reaching for a soul, and the Bible speaks about this in Psalm 107.

Psalm 107:8-15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 

It is truly a tragic thing though when the crisis is past, God has come through and helped the individual, to see the fear they had seemingly wear off and they walk out on God and return to the way they were living before. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has had a spiritual wake up call. God has allowed a crisis to happen in your life to help you realize your need of Him. I want to encourage you to seek God in true repentance. Let that fear that brought you to Him cause you to turn to Him with all your heart and not just to seek Him for a temporary fix. He wants to do so much more than that. Let Him work in your life and change you so that you will be ready to go to heaven. He wants to see you saved through all eternity!

 

 

 

 

Desperate Faith

She was an outsider, but she had an urgent need.

And coming to the Master, she thus began to plead.

first, for the Lord to have mercy, and then for a healing touch

for her demon tormented daughter that she loved so very much.

 

Though it may have seemed rude and almost absurd,

Jesus answered her not a word.

And even His disciples came and did say

They desired for Him to send her away.

 

“I am sent to the lost sheep of Israel” was what Jesus replied.

Perhaps the woman felt that her hope had died.

It seemed as though the conversation was looking rather grim

but the woman asked Jesus for help, as she came and worshipped Him.

 

The next words coming from Jesus that He spoke outloud

would truly offend someone who was arrogant and proud.

It’s not fitting for me to take the children’s bread

and cast it to dogs that they may be fed.

 

A dog is what the woman was called.

There are many that would have been appalled.

But the woman’s response made it plain to see

that in her heart was humility.

 

Truth Lord, but even dogs are able

to eat crumbs that fall from the master’s table.

Then Jesus marveled and thus did state

that truly this woman’s faith was great.

 

The moment at last had come to fruition.

The woman received her desired petition.

Her daughter was healed that self same hour;

made whole by Jesus’s mighty power.

 

How good it is, this story to know,

of determined faith that wouldn’t let go.

With happy outcome, her story ended.

In Jesus, she chose not to be offended.

 

So what about me, and what about you?

When the need is great, what will we do?

If answers aren’t instant, will our prayers still persist?

Will we have a faith that won’t cease and desist?

 

Should God respond in a way that we don’t understand

Will we still choose to lift up holy hands?

If He answers in a way that seems like a slight

will we still choose to walk in the light?

 

It’s up to me and it’s up to you.

When there’s dire need what we will do.

If things don’t make sense or we have to wait,

may Jesus find in us a faith that is great.

 

4/17/17

 

Mat 15:21-28  Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 

And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 

But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 

But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 

And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. 

 

Luke 7:23  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 

 

 

 

If You Don’t Read This, We’re Not Getting Married!

divorce tract

I don’t remember exactly where I was when he handed me the tract, but I still remember the shock I felt when I saw that capitalized word in bold orange print.

DIVORCE

Why would I want to read such a thing? I was engaged to be married to the man of my dreams, and I had been taught that divorce was practically a cuss word that should not be a part of my vocabulary. “No,” I replied, “I don’t want to read this.” My fiancée’s response stunned me for a moment. “If you don’t read this, we are not getting married!” he said with strong conviction. I knew he was serious, decided this must really be important, and so I read it.

I’m so glad that I did! We have been married for almost 34 years, and I have reread this tract several times over the years. I’m thankful for the godly principles that I learned through this pamphlet. The number one thing that has stuck with me is that love is a commitment. It is something that transcends feelings, which can be fickle things.

We made a commitment until death parts us in spite of

-moments when we may get angry at one another

-financial hardships

-the trials of life

-waking up in the morning with extreme dragon breath

-not being as drop dead gorgeous as we were in our youth(if we ever were really drop dead gorgeous-lol)

You get the picture.

The second most important thing that has remained with me is that my primary goal as a Christian wife is to help ensure that my husband is a success in the kingdom of God. If I am focusing  on doing what I can to help him be successful, and he is focusing on helping me to be a success in my relationship with the Lord, it leaves a lot less room for friction, fighting or fussing.

In reading the tract, there is a section where the author is counselling a woman on the phone who said she wanted a divorce. After the author explained these principles to her, they had a time of prayer while still on the call, and one of the things that the author prayed is that God would “burn these principles upon her heart and mind.” After reading the pamphlet for the first time, my husband to be and I talked, and we also prayed the same things: that the principles we read about would become a part of us and that we would never forget them. Since that time, God has reminded me on several occasions of that prayer and the tract that opened up my understanding to what love really is.

Through the means of copying and pasting, I am going to post that tract here. There are other things mentioned besides the two points I’ve written about here, such as things you should never say to your spouse and what to do if you think you’ve married the wrong person.  Whatever stage you are at in life, if you’d like to be married someday, if you’re currently married,   if  you’re engaged or if you’re divorced, I would encourage you to read this tract. Even if it doesn’t apply to you in your present situation, you might be able to share it with someone who could benefit from it.

My prayer is that it will be a blessing to you or someone that you care about and want to have a happy marriage.

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This article has been a long time coming. Just about every day we get letters asking us to tackle this subject. On several occasions we have planned to do a whole issue on it, but each time we began, we realized that the subjects and Scriptures involved were so heavily debated, and interpretations so varied, that we would just be stirring up a hornets’ nest to put “our” position in print. So we kept putting it off.

But as time has passed, we have become acutely aware of this tragic problem growing in the Church. First of all, my wife and I have many personal friends whose marriages have “fallen apart” during the past few years. These include many well-known Christian musicians and ministers. This has cut Melody and me to the heart as we have watched marriage after marriage disintegrate, hearing one excuse after the other why “we just couldn’t live together anymore…” Then we have watched while many of these people quickly got remarried, saying to us “Oh now I am really happy! God has really worked this out… Maybe it was His will all along!” Meanwhile somewhere, the former husband or wife is still aching, bleeding inside, and wondering, “What happened? Where do I stand now?” And then comes the guilt and torment.

We have also received letters from many wives and husbands begging us for help and advice on what to do. They paint the saddest pictures of fights and mistrust, broken promises, and worst of all – scared children who are innocently caught in the crossfire.

This article is not going to answer all your theological questions concerning divorce or remarriage: “Is it okay to do this?” “Am I allowed to do that?” “What if I’m already remarried?” These questions are among some of the hardest in scriptural study – and have been the cause of no end of debate among Bible scholars. The reason is because the Bible seems to be unclear in many of these areas. Of course “we” have an opinion on all of them (and so does every church on the block!), but we do not want to print merely opinion, we want to share rock-solid truth – ABSOLUTE truth! That is why this article is called “Everything You Should Know Before You Get A Divorce.”

We know that God clearly said, “I hate divorce!” (Mal. 2:16) And so we want to reach you before you make that fatal mistake. That is the best time to deal with sin – BEFORE it occurs. Sure God has made provision for repentance and healing, but the “who can’s” and “why s” involved in divorce and remarriage are so heavily debated in Church circles, we just want to stay out of the fray. (Please don’t write us and tell us what you think God will let you do; or “such and such a person can get a divorce and still be right with God.”) Frankly, the purpose of this article is not to deal with all the “what if’s.” We are interested in saving the marriages (and families) that are still able to be saved.

Just as Melody’s articles on abortion have been responsible for saving little human lives, we are praying that this article will save the family-lives of many homes, so that many little ones will be protected from the anguish of being brought up by separated parents – completely contrary to God’s expressed plan for the family in the Bible. It is never our purpose to “wrangle about words” (II Tim. 2:14), for “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (II Cor. 3:6) We want to spread the Spirit of Christ, who “came so you might have life, and have it more abundantly!” (John 10:10) It is this “life,” full of victorious battles and overcome trials, that we aim to share in this article. – Keith

Marriage Passion Or Patience?

Some time ago I received a phone call from a very sad brother who had been trying to get a hold of me by phone for many days. He shared that his wife was about to leave him, and she wouldn’t listen to him or their pastor, and just didn’t want to talk about it anymore. He said that the reason he was calling me was that she really liked our Newsletter and had a lot of respect for me and our ministry. He felt sure – that if I was willing, she would talk to me and maybe listen to reason. I told him that I would be glad to try to share with her. So he left the phone, and in a few moments she was there on the other end, sort of giggling nervously.

I said, “I hear you wanna go and get a divorce and end your marriage.”

“Yeah,” she said.

I said, “Why?”

She said, “Because I just don’t love him anymore… anyway, even if we get divorced, I can still serve the Lord, and so can he.”

“Well,” I said, “concerning ‘love,’ the Bible says wives should love their husbands. It doesn’t say you should ‘feel’ love, it says you should LOVE! Love isn’t a feeling, it isn’t ‘romance.’ It’s an action based on commitment. In fact, it is COMMITMENT!”

There was silence on the other end for a few seconds. Then she said, “No one ever told me that before. I thought that if I didn’t FEEL love toward my husband, then what’s the use of trying to “act” loving. What’s the use of pretending there’s hope for our marriage when I didn’t ‘love’ him anymore?”

“I understand,” I said. “The world has perverted the concept of love so badly that people go from one relationship to another, one marriage to another, simply because the ‘love’ feelings are gone. The simple truth is that those feelings were never ‘love’ in the first place! They were merely ‘romantic emotions’ that come and go with the wind. They’re based on moods and circumstances, but mostly on the excitement and mystique of a ‘new’ relationship. As soon as the “newness’ wears off, you find yourself sitting across the dinner table from just another human being – and that’s when the challenge begins. You’ve made a bunch of promises – and a commitment to love and live together ’till death do us part,’ – and now you’d better find out what this word ‘love’ really means, or there’s just no hope for your marriage!”

Just then another long-distance call came in on another line and I had to go, so I prayed with that woman, right there on the phone. In the prayer I asked God to “burn these principles into her mind,” so that wherever she turned, all she could see would be God’s commandment to “love your husband!”

Well God’s power truly fell on us during that prayer! This couple later visited with us and shared that God really healed their marriage. This woman reported that within one half hour after our phone call, she was weeping and praying with her husband. She said that I had asked God to “burn” my words into her mind, and that’s exactly what He did! She shared that she had never understood before that love was not a feeling or an option, but a commandment – an action and a choice to keep the commitment she had made to her husband and God that she would always love him. How free she seemed! She was no longer a slave to her “non-loving” feelings; she now understood that love was something that God had not only commanded her to do, but had enabled her to do. And the feelings came after the obedience! She said that whenever she did the loving thing, she really FELT love for her husband. How grateful Melody and I were as we saw their tears and praise to God. And as their two little girls played at our feet, we had more cause to rejoice that God had spared these little ones by keeping their daddy and mommy from destroying the family they had.

The Children

How many times have you heard this: “They’re just staying together for the children.” I remember the first time I heard that. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, and I thought, “What a drag! How can they keep a miserable relationship together just for those kids?” Well, my wife and I now have three little precious ones of our own to bring up in the love and fear of the Lord. I now can see the reasoning of these tormented parents. They might not be able to stand each other, but they both love their children so much that they wouldn’t dream of forcing them to relate to two different parents living in two different homes.

In our current “liberated” society, fewer and fewer people have unselfish standards. And unfortunately, this “me first” attitude is spilling over into the Church. Instead of couples having a primary concern for their children, they reason, “If I’m not happy, what’s the use in keeping my children happy?” “Why, it would be better for the children to live without all this arguing…” More times than not, many of those involved in divorce came from broken homes themselves, and they have promised themselves, “I’ll never do that to my kids!” And this only adds to the guilt and condemnation later if they get a divorce.

I am not suggesting that couples stay together merely because they have children. This, in itself is not enough of a reason to keep a shaky marriage together. Many people avoid dealing with the real problems in their marriages by using the “children” excuse as the “only” reason to stay together. Then they just continue despising each other in their hearts, and things grow worse. What I want to deal with now are some rules that will help you avoid ever having to deal with this question – “Should we get a divorce or stick it out?” – by replacing it with this question – “What can we do to overcome the problems we’re having in our marriage, so we can make a loving home for our family, and glorify God?”

Never Say “DIVORCE!”

Awhile back I was talking with my neighbor David Wilkerson, and he shared with me his burden for all the marriages that were breaking up in the Church. He told me of ministers and church leaders he knew who were throwing in the towel. Then he said something that really hit home. “You know, Keith, God has shown me a principle that would really save a lot of marriages from ending up in divorce. Words are powerful things, and I believe that Christians should be taught that there is one word they should avoid at all costs: Divorce!

I can remember when Melody and I first got married, even though we weren’t yet Christians, I always said that I never would consider divorce as an option. That way I would always be forced to work through any problem. When Mr. Wilkerson shared his principle with me, I knew it was the truth. “The tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8) I believe that married couples should consider “divorce” the dirtiest word in the English language. It should never be used. (Better yet, it should never be considered as even a remote possibility!) You wouldn’t consider murdering your own child if he was uncontrollable, would you? You would try to work it all out. Oh, things would be trying and difficult, and you might lose your temper, but you would never consider killing him! That’s exactly what divorce is – the murder of a marriage and a family. And talking divorce is talking murder! Thinking divorce is thinking murder. That’s the only way to consider it. You must never, NEVER use that word as a weapon in an argument. And if you’ve already been using it, STOP now! If you have your eye on the door, you’ll never be able to straighten things out. The sooner you stop thinking and talking divorce, the sooner an atmosphere of love and trust will begin to form between you and your mate.

Other Things You Shouldn’t Say

One of the most destructive things you can say to your husband or wife is, “Bill doesn’t do things like that…” or, “Connie keeps her house looking real nice!” Whatever you do, don’t compare your wife or husband to others to make a point. God didn’t give you to Bill, He gave you to your husband, so you’d better start being grateful and quit looking at and talking about the “greener grass” at Bill’s house. And God didn’t allow you to marry Connie, so quit using her as an example to make your wife look like a total slob. You must begin by accepting each other the way each of you are, and then work from there in love and patience. Pointing to other people’s supposed lack of problems will only hurt. Deal directly with the problem itself without bringing anyone or anything else into it.

But I Married The Wrong Person!

That might be very true! It’s extremely possible that you went ahead and married the first person you “fell in love with.” Or maybe you got married because you felt insecure and were thrilled that somebody actually wanted you! Whatever your story is, if you got married for any other reason than obedience to God, to glorify Him, it’s more than likely you married the wrong person (or at least the right person at the wrong time – for all the wrong reasons).

Now before you breathe a sigh of relief and call your lawyer, hold on a minute. Even though you might have made your marriage commitment to the wrong person, even for completely selfish reasons, it is STILL a commitment, and God wants you to honor it!

“When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not keep it. Do not let your speech cause you to sin, and do not say in the presence of God that ‘it was a mistake.’ Why should God be angry on account of your words and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecc. 5:4-6)

Even though it may be true that you got married completely out of God’s will, you must realize that it is now God’s will for you to admit your mistake, ask His forgiveness, and then by His grace, make your present marriage A GODLY ONE! Don’t think it’s okay to get a divorce by using that quasi-religious excuse: ‘”Well, NOW I’m going to obey God and just “un-marry” the one He didn’t want me to marry in the first place!” It might sound like a “spiritual” reason to you, but very few people are going to believe you’re getting a divorce to “please God” – especially you! (Not to mention God.)

There is a wonderful promise in Romans: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) How many things? ALL THINGS! That’s right, even our mistakes, our blunders, our downright stupid errors! God is in the business of taking garbage and making it into jewels – look at Peter (whom the Lord had to rebuke so harshly – Mark 8:32-33), look at David (and his adultery with Bathsheba – who later became the mother of Solomon – the next king of Israel!), and look at YOU! Why, if God couldn’t take someone’s miserable, mistake-filled life and turn it around for blessing and growth, hardly anyone would go to heaven!

The Purpose Of Marriage

When Melody and I first became Christians, we had been married about a year and a half. We began going to a church that had quite a lot of teaching on marriage and the family. We were grateful for this, because we had had quite a few fights during our first year together. One of the things our pastor shared has stuck with us through it all.

He began his marriage series by telling us what God’s purpose for a Christian husband was: To make his wife a success in the Kingdom of God. And the purpose of the wife? You guessed it: To make her husband a success in the Kingdom of God! But what does this mean? Does it mean making sure your husband makes a lot of money, or gets a promotion at work? Not at all. It means that our main function in marriage is to be praying for, encouraging, counseling, and correcting each other in love, so that our mate will fully please God in all they do. This is one of the most exciting teachings about marriage I have heard! After all, love means to serve others for their good. We should have as our goal to make our husband or wife the best Christian possible – in prayer, in ministry, in attitude, in service, in giving, and especially, in loving! If you truly make this your goal, you will have no time for the selfish attitudes that have caused all the arguments you’ve ever had.

The Scriptures are full of riches on this subject.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the Church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5:25-27)

This Scripture shows us that the husband should take the lead in all spiritual things as the head and priest of the household. There should be a daily time of prayer and reading of Scriptures together (as well as a time with the whole family if you have children). No couple can fight and stay bitter long, where there is a deep and sincere time of prayer together. (And beware – when you find you can’t or don’t want to pray, the enemy has got a strangle-hold on your relationship – true prayer is the surest way to loosen it!)

But for you wives who now are going to bring out the excuse that your husband is not the spiritual leader he should be, and that is why you feel there is no hope for your marriage, the Bible has some medicine for you as well . . .

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” (I Pet. 3:1-2)

Ah, the balance of the Word of God!

Finally… Love, Love And Love Again!

I cannot stress enough the principle that I shared with that woman on the phone who was convinced that divorce was the only answer because she didn’t “love her husband anymore.” Don’t fall for that trap! Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. I pray that God will burn this truth into your mind the same way He burned it into hers. (That’s what God means when He says, “I will write my laws upon their hearts,” Jer. 31:33. He wants our conscience always to be “bearing witness to the truth” – Rom. 2:15.)

Remember, God will not do your loving for you – YOU must love your husband or wife. That means choosing to do what’s best for them. It means not waiting for the right “feelings,” but doing the right and loving thing NOW – don’t worry, the right feelings will always follow the right action. Your marriage, your family, the body of Christ, and the cause of the Gospel depend upon you making the CHOICE to love – in all that you do.

“For love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… let all that you do be done in love.” (I Cor. 13:7; 16:14)

 by Keith Green

 

 

Make It A Lifestyle

Regret for my sins, a godly remorse

Effect is that I start to change my course

Penitent over my sinful infractions

Elicits modification of my actions

Needing God’s grace, my ways to amend

Trusting the Lord, His help He will send

Avowing to turn my back upon sin

Now a fresh start, I can begin

Confessing my wrongs and them forsaking

Ever the path I need to be taking.

 

10/14/16

 

2Corinthians 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

 

Luke 19:1-8  And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 

 

Proverbs 28:13  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

 

 

Prayer’s Unpopular Sidekick

Fasting!

 

The Bible has a lot to say about it. It certainly isn’t emphasized or taught on as it should be. Do I look forward to doing it? To be honest, no I don’t. It is denying this flesh, which is always uncomfortable, but there certainly are benefits and blessings attached to it. Our church recently went on a 3 day fast(all those that were physically able), and I can see how God is blessing the sacrifice. There is a greater liberty in our services, and it seems people are responding more to the preaching and coming to the altar and being touched by God. It is wonderful to see! I’m no expert on the subject of fasting, but I just want to share a few quotes I came across that have some good information about it.

 

Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.

Dallas Willard

Is fasting ever a bribe to get God to pay more attention to the petitions ? No, a thousand times no. It is simply a way to make clear that we sufficiently reverence the amazing opportunity to ask help from the everlasting God, the Creator of the universe, to choose to put everything else aside and concentrate on worshiping, asking forgiveness, and making our requests known-considering His help more important than anything we could do ourselves in our own strength and with our own ideas.

Edith Schaeffer

 

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

Andrew Murray

 

Fasting is important, more important perhaps, than many of us have supposed,… when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s provision, mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds. (God’s Chosen Fast)

Arthur Wallis

 

In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are – dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.

James Hudson Taylor

 

Our greatest victories are won on our knees and with empty stomachs.

Julio C. Ruibal

 

When the devil, the foe and the tyrant, sees a man bearing this weapon [fasting], he is straight-away frightened and he recollects and considers that defeat which he suffered in the wilderness at the hands of the Saviour; at once his strength is shattered and the very sight of this weapon, given us by our Commander-in-chief, burns him.

Isaac of Syria

 

Do you have a hunger for God? If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting.

John Piper

 

Trail Of Tears

Great things happen when Zion travails

with weeping and moaning and wails

when our spirits are humble

those walls start to crumble

the Spirit of God, it prevails!

 

I am so excited about how God is beginning to use our young people to intercede for lost souls! Sunday night was an awesome service in church, and I believe, the start of something really great. A heavy spirit of prayer and intercession came upon the church. There was weeping and groaning and travailing. Our evangelist, Bro. Trevino, spoke briefly about intercession, and then there was more praying. Bro. Trevino gave a challenge to the young people to take up the burden of intercessory prayer, and they took it to heart. Those young people were weeping, talking in tongues, groaning and some even had snot running down their face, but they didn’t care. They were getting a hold of God. After service the young people talked and decided that they wanted to fast and get together Monday evening and pray. I was there for the prayer meeting, and it was just as powerful as Sunday night. They prayed for an hour and a half, which is especially long when you haven’t eaten all day. I am believing that we are going to see

new souls receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues

physical healings

financial miracles

revival and renewal among the saints of God

 

Great things happen when we earnestly, fervently pray!

When was the last time you wept for a soul

As tears from your eyes did freely flow

With agony over one’s lost condition

Of eternity without God, perdition?

 

If to win one to God is your noble goal

When was the last time you wept for a soul?

Before this great gospel we can share

We must take some time to wrestle in prayer.

 

Have you witnessed, it seems, to no avail?

Perhaps you’re lacking this thing called travail.

When was the last time you wept for a soul

With heart wrenching sobs you could scarcely control?

 

Ever take time to wonder why

Your spirit just seems so lifeless and dry?

Over this question, you may want to mull.

“When was the last time you wept for a soul?”

written

 

 

4-9-09

 

 

Psalm 126:5  Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

126:6  He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

 

 

James 4:9  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

4:10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

 

2Chronicles 7:14  if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

 

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Bob Pierce