This sweet 10 year old girl received the Holy Ghost this past Friday night. If the angels rejoice over one sinner that repents, (Lk. 15:7,10) I wonder what they do when that repentant sinner receives the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. I’m thankful and still rejoicing today.👏🏻🙌🏻
Run the race
Run with purpose
Purpose of mind
Purpose of heart
Determined to endure
Determined to see
See that city
See the Savior
Guide my footsteps
Guide my path
Path of righteousness
Path of holiness
Holiness in living
Holiness of mind
Mind of the Spirit
Mind of Christ
Christ the Light
Christ the Way
Way to salvation
Way to eternity
Beckons and pleads
Beckons and summons
Summons to serve
Summons to sacrifice
Time to consecrate
Time to dedicate
Given to glorify
Given to fulfill
Fulfill God’s desire
Fulfill God’s plan
Plan to participate
Plan to be runners
1Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
I think it was one of the verses our students were memorizing this week that got me thinking along these lines. The verse was 2 Timothy 4:7.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
This is a short and easy verse to memorize, especially with the repetition of “I have” in the verse. As I was thinking about these words written by the apostle Paul, another verse of Scripture came to my mind.
” For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13,14
There is such a great contrast in these verses. The words we read in Isaiah were spoken by Lucifer(aka satan)and show the rebellion that lead to his fall.
I noticed that:
- He spoke in the future tense.
- His plans left God completely out of the picture.
- He started out in right standing with God, but because of his willfulness became the enemy of God.
- Nothing that he said he was going to do came to pass. God saw to that, and we can read on in this chapter and in other verses in the Bible of his fall.
Paul on the other hand :
- He speaks in the present perfect tense.(The present perfect expresses an action that is still going on or that stopped recently, but has an influence on the present. It puts emphasis on the result.)
- Paul’s past, after his Damascus road experience and conversion, clearly had an influence on his present and would also influence his future and eternal destination.
- Paul started out in wrong standing with God(as all of us do)but through his faith and obedience became a friend of God.
- Because of Paul’s “I haves” he would have a glorious future.
In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul goes on to say:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
And we will have a glorious future too when our time of departure comes, if we’re living right!
In reading of two speakers
Their words, I ponder still
One of them said “I have”
The other said, “I will”
The one who proclaimed “I will”
Spoke purely out of pride
That in him, did reside.
Of all he said he would do
None of it came to pass
Then judgment came upon him
He fell from heaven at last.
The second, of which I read
The great apostle Paul
Who considered himself to be
The chiefest sinner of all.
On the road to Damascus
His conversion did take place
And this once so proud Pharisee
Became a trophy of God’s grace.
He went on to do a work for God
Served faithfully , and then
Near the end of his life
These “I haves” he did pen
The first I have we read
I have fought a good fight
Through battles in body and spirit
He clung to God with all of his might.
And then the following phrase
I have finished my course
He ran the Christian race
Pressed on with no remorse
I have kept the faith
The next phrase that he penned
Aided by God’s strength
On which he did depend.
Lucifer spoke in the future tense
Grandiose words he did proclaim
Paul spoke in the present perfect
Gave glory to Jesus’ name.
Realizing in past and present
God was with him all the way
And would give him the crown of righteousness
On the judgment day.
In reading these scenarios
We see two points of view
An influence for good or bad
In what we say and do.
We can boast of our future like satan
And leave God completely out
Scheme through our own ingenuity
To bring all our goals about.
But when that judgment day comes
And our lofty dreams come to naught
We will realize too late
The lie that we have bought.
Or like the apostle Paul
We can give ourselves to God
Allow Him to direct our steps
That path that we do trod.
And as we live and labor for Him
Walking in His glory and strength
When we reach the end of our journey
We will stand in heaven at length.
My husband and I were having a discussion yesterday about middle age. It’s certainly been a period in our lives where we have seen a lot of changes, sometimes on a daily basis. I’m writing this post for a little comic relief and to give hope to our friends out there who are in the same boat as we are. I’m certainly glad for my physical body that some of these changes are only temporary. For reasons listed here and others, I sure am looking forward to seeing Jesus!
A strange thing has happened in our lives
They call it middle age
Which I think is overrated
Definitely not all the rage.
We don’t know what changes there will be
Upon awaking each morning
But there are signs our years are advancing
Our bodies are giving us warning.
One day, I found quite surprising
And much to my chagrin,
While gazing in the mirror
A granny hair under my chin!
And as my spouse was starting his day
His body moving about
I heard him utter a groan
As one of his knees gave out.
When we were kids, we played outdoor games
I remember when “tag” was in
But now it’s turned into this ugly little thing
We find hanging from our skin.
There are other changes I could mention.
The list goes on and on.
But it’s really not the type of change
That I wish to dwell upon.
The change that I am longing for,
For which my spirit does sigh;
Will take place in a moment,
In the twinkling of an eye.
When the Lord returns to earth
And splits the Eastern sky
Caught up to meet him in the air
To heaven, I will fly.
This body, now slowly fading
Puts on immortality
Gone, the limitations of this flesh,
In his likeness, I will be.
Truly this is the change
That I’m longing to see take place
And forever I will be satisifed
When at last, I behold His face!
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT
There is an unseen battle that takes place everyday in the lives of those who are truly striving to live their lives in accordance with the Bible, God’s Word. We will either succumb to the pressures that this world hurls against us and conform to ungodliness or we will be transformed in our minds, that our behavior might be pleasing to God. This battle can be especially intense for young people who are in their formative years and are making choices and decisions that will determine who they are and ultimately, where they will spend eternity.
I am so thankful for Pacific Coast Camp, which I was privileged to be able to attend last week with my family and other members andoung people from our church. I can’t remember the exact number of campers (ages 7-25) that were there, but I know it was over 300. Most of the young people that attended have already received their initial salvation experience of repenting of sin, being baptized in the name of Jesus and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. However, there is a whole lot more to living for God than obeying Acts 2:38. We still have a sinful nature to contend with and a devil that does all he can to hinder our salvation experience from becoming a growing and wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. At Pacific Coast Camp, young people were given an opportunity to disconnect from the hindrances of technology(cell phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, etc.) and connect with God through the preaching of the Word, prayer, praise and good fellowship.
The teaching of Bro. Lackey each morning and the preaching of the good elders in the evening services was outstanding. It was so uplifting to see the response to each message as young people would flood to the altars to rededicate themselves to God. How helpful it is for young people as well, to see other youth from different churches who are endeavoring to live for God too. It is encouraging to know that you are not alone in choosing to walk in a way that is contray to the practices of this world.
I am grateful to the men that had the burden and vision to bring this camp into existence. This was the camp’s 10 year anniversary, and I believe it was our 6th year of being in camp with a group of young people from our church. There is much time, work and sacrifice involved in putting together such a powerful meeting, and I know God does reward and will reward those who played a part in it.
I believe the greatest reward will be seeing those that make it to heaven, because something they received at camp got embedded deep in their spirits, and they remained faithful. Thank God for Pacific Coast Camp!
Have you ever prayed for something for a long time and have just grown weary of praying? Have you ever prayed and asked the question, “God, when are you going to bring it to pass?” I wonder if Cornelius ever felt this way. The Bible describes the character of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and verse 2.
A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
I looked up the word “prayed” in this verse in Strong’s Concordance and the meaning was to beg, beseech or petition. It appears there was something that Cornelius was desperately seeking God for, and he did it on a continual basis. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Cornelius was praying for, but it does tell us there came a day when an angel of God appeared to him and told him that God remembered all the times that he had prayed.
Acts 10:3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. Acts 10:4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
Although we may not know exactly what Cornelius prayed for, we do have the record of how God chose to answer his prayers.
Act 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: Act 10:6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
Cornelius was told to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what he needed to do. Cornelius was about to have his Memorial Day! In the meantime, God was preparing Peter to be the answer to Cornelius’ prayer as he showed him a vision and then sent 3 men to Peter who would escort Peter to the house of Cornelius. (See Acts 10:7-24)
After a brief discourse between Peter and Cornelius, Cornelius begins to preach Jesus unto him. While Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household, the Bible records something wonderful that happened. Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. God’s spirit was poured out on Cornelius and those in his household that had heard the word of God preached. They of the circumcision(in other words, the Jews)which were there with Peter were astonished because this was the first time that a non-Jew(Gentile)received the gift of the Holy Ghost. How did these other Jewish men that were with Peter know that Cornelius and the others who were with them had received the Holy Ghost? Verse 46 gives us the answer.
Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Notice though, that this is not the end, for this verse concludes with “Then answered Peter,”. God still had more for Cornelius. Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
What a glorious Memorial Day for Cornelius and his family! If it was anything like the day that I was baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, I know it was an awesome, unforgettable day. I believe Cornelius’ prayers were answered in a far greater way than he ever expected. God certainly honored the faithfulness of this man.
Is there something that you have been praying about for a long time? Perhaps there is a loved one that you long to see come to God. Maybe you are in need of a physical or emotional healing. You may already have a relationship with God, but you are just desirous and so hungry for more of Him. May you be encouraged to keep asking, seeking and knocking. God still answers prayer and He would love for there to be a Memorial Day for you too!
It’s coming – Memorial Day
Cornelius, do not cease to pray
Prayers sent up to God have been heard
Every cry of your heart, each word.
Though answers may seem far away
It’s coming – Memorial Day
In faith keep on lifting your voice
And soon you’ll have cause to rejoice.
In our flesh we may groan, grow tired
Let this grand thought keep you inspired
It’s coming – Memorial Day
In spite of the seeming delay.
Now brought to life, to fruition
You have received your petition
No longer do you have to say
It’s coming – Memorial Day!
As little kids it
was just a game we played
on hot summer days.
Everybody go as
fast as you can
in a circle
around and around
We ran if we could,
as fast as we could,
Walk against the
Grab onto the sides
and hold on
If you have to,
but resist the pull
and go forward
inch by inch
step by step.
See who can stay
Up the longest.
If we got tired,
No big deal to
Let the strong force
carry you along.
Everything is fine.
But we never
realized that the game
would become reality
when we made the
decision to live
Often we are pommeled
by a vicious vortex
worldliness and a
host of other
can seem slow at times.
We do become weary
LETTING GO IS NOT AN OPTION!
one step at a
walking in the
Spirit as we