Thursday, April 18, 2019

Heavenly Blessings

Ephesians 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 

When Paul addresses these "Faithful Saints," he reminds them of the special blessings they have due to their testimony of being a saint who is faithful. Our faithfulness to the Lord brings about many blessings in our lives. Notice Proverbs 28:20 which says,  "A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent."  God rewards our faithfulness with spiritual blessings that can only come from Him above, in heavenly places. As a saint we have the blessings of being saved, sealed and secure. God looks at us and see's the righteousness of Christ and He has given us the Holy Spirit as our seal and has promised to keep us saved. Psalm 97:10 says, "he preserveth the souls of his saints;" thank God for eternal security. True spiritual blessings come from just being saved. We are seated in the heavens as a result of being in Christ and get to enjoy all the spiritual blessings that accompany salvation. The joy, the peace, the power, the victory and on and on we could go with the benefits of such great a salvation! However, in addition to the blessings that come with salvation, we find in Psalm 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah."  Every day our great God dumps out a truck load of benefits from heaven upon His saints.  These blessings from Heaven and the eternal blessings of the Spirit make for a truly blessed life. We use to have a couple who attended our church that wore t-shirts that said, "To blessed to be stressed!"  I like that. As we deal with the stressful events in life, the blessings of God overshadow them all. As faithful saints who tithe we have a promise that we can count on, for Malachi 3:10 says,  "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The Christian who is faithful to church gets a blessing! The Christian who is faithful to tithe gets a blessing! The Christian who reads the Word of God gets a blessing!  Revelation 1:3 says, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."  What a great, generous and magnificent God we serve!  It's time that we count our blessings one by one and we will surely see that our God has sent some Heavenly Blessings our way! Amen. God is good!

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Faithful Saints

Ephesians 1:1,2  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul when writing to the church of Ephesus called the born again believers in that church "the saints." There has been confusion over the term "saint" over the years, primarily because of the false teachings of the Catholic church. If you ask someone to name a saint, they tend to think in terms of a select few devout figures in the history of Christianity. However, when the Apostle Paul addresses the members of the church of Ephesus, he calls ALL believers "saints."  The moment a person is born again his title is changed from Mr. Sinner to Mr. Saint. When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he said in verse 2 of chapter 1, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours::"  The simple truth regarding who a saint is found in the operation of initial sanctification. When you were saved God sanctified or set you apart from being a sinner to being a saint. Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."  When you were saved, you were washed, sanctified and now are no longer view in God's eyes as a sinner condemned, but rather a saint sanctified. When God's children assemble together at church it truly is when the saints come marching in.  In addition to addressing the Ephesian congregation as saints, Paul complements them for their faithfulness: "and to the faithful in Christ Jesus."  The church of Ephesus was made up of "faithful saints!"  This is what we need today.  We need church members (saints) who are faithful to ALL the services of the church. We need church members who are faithful to read their Bible. We need church members who are faithful to praying, witnessing and tithing, The greatest ability is dependability, but most church members you can no longer depend upon. If God's saints that have been saved by the blood of Christ would just be faithful to the mission of the local church then we would see a great move of God in our churches. Faithfulness is not dependent upon whether it's convenient! True faithfulness is when something else interferes with your obligations to the Lord and yet you still choose the Lord. That's being faithful.  Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." It's getting late! The return of Christ is near so get to church! Let's be faithful! Our churches need "The Faithful Saints" to stand up and come marching in!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 5

Christians ought to be happy, joyful people. Christians should not live defeated, unhappy lives!  God promises that Christians can have fullness of joy all the time by praying. John 16:24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. God desires to give us the things that will truly make us full of joy. When we pray we can be at peace and full of joy knowing God will only give us that which is good for us. Let's be thankful during this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour.  Joy to the World the Lord has come and because He has come we have access through Him to the throne. Prayer is the secret of constant joy, the secret really of having the fullness of joy. A rich, satisfied life for the Christian depends on how much and how we pray. If you pray and get things from God and have the desires that He has given you fulfilled, this is the way to be full of joy. Proverbs 10:22  The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.  Day by day you can live the victorious Christian life, full of happiness and joy when you bow the knee in prayer to God. Prayer is the secret of the fullness of joy and yet another reason why we should pray. Psalm 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Are you spending time at the throne of God in prayer? When you come into His presence through prayer, the great benefit that you leave with is fullness of joy! He has made us glad! We should be the happiest, joyful people in all the world! Amen! Get praying!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 4

If a child of God has a need, he or she is to pray. Prayer is asking. James 4:2  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Why Pray? We pray to get things from God. Let's say your in need of a car. The way for a Christian to get a car is not to rely upon a friend, a co worker or his own efforts. Although none of those avenues are wrong the Christian has other resources. He can pray and get a car from God! The Saviour taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:11). The way to get daily bread is to ask God for it. This is certainly teaching us that we should not depend upon our work but upon God to give us the results in answer to prayer. We must remember that God can use any means He chooses. He may answer our prayers by using human services or He may not. Thank God, a Christian can confidently pray and say, "My Father, You know I need a car. Everything in the world is in Your hands. So I ask You to give me, Your child, a car so I can have daily bread, so I can work and provide for my family, so I can be a blessing to others, and so others may know that God takes care of His children." God may choose to answer that prayer without human means, but the bottom line is praying is God's appointed way for Christians to get things.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 3

Prayer is a without a doubt commanded for every Christian, all the time, and for everyone and everything. In addition to general commands for Christians to pray all the time, for all people and for everything, there are also commands to pray about specific things. We are to pray to avoid temptation. Jesus commanded the apostles to pray lest they fall into temptation. Matthew 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Not only will prayer keep us from temptation, but not praying is a sin. Not to pray is the sin of disobedience to the plain and often repeated command of God! Lack of prayer is a sin. 1 Samuel 12:23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:  Samuel said it would be a sin against the LORD, for him not to pray for his people, the nation of Israel. As Christians we should pray because it is so strictly commanded in the scriptures. Could it actually be that all of our sins, mistakes and failures are a result of not praying. I believe that to be the case. Throughout the Bible the scriptures give an imperative command: Pray! Are we living a life of obedience in this matter of prayer? It's never to late to begin obeying the Lord. Pray and ask the Lord to forgive for your lack of prayer. We have a prayer hearing God and He wants to hear from you! Amen! Pray today!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 2

When King Solomon was put on the throne in Israel and was given the opportunity to pray and ask for anything. What did he ask for? What Solomon asked for should be what we all ask for because all of us need the same thing Solomon needed. Wisdom. Understanding. In our lives we need wisdom to live our lives just as Solomon needed wisdom in his life. Why pray? We should pray because there are certain things all of us need and the only way to get those things is throught prayer. It is my practice to daily pray for four things: wisdom, the ability to love the way God loves, God's protection on my life, and I pray for the power of God. Why pray? Pray because that is the only way to get wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. Now the only way to get wisdom is to pray. James 1:5 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Here is a great promise! God is willing to give wisdom, His wisdom, wisdom that is from above to any one who asks! That's why we pray. We all must have wisdom and the only way to get it, is to pray. Are you a mother, or father? Pray for wisdom. Are you a leader? Pray for wisdom. Are you a child? Pray for wisdom. Are you a witness for Christ? Pray for wisdom. Are you a Christian trying to live right in this evil world? Pray for wisdom. Why pray today? The answer is simply we can't do without pray.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 1

There are some compelling reasons why as Christians we should pray. The first reason that of obedience. God has commanded us to pray! Consider the following verses: Luke 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing. Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Jesus taught that praying was a clear duty of man. Not only should we pray, we ought to pray all the time. Prayer is a constant directing of our hearts to God about everything we need and want so that our mind is constantly  in touch with the Lord. A Christian should literally pray about everything. Our hearts should be so in touch with God that during our busy day we have a desire to still kneel before His throne. Not only are we commanded to pray at all times, but for all men. 1 Timothy 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; And the Christians in Ephesus were commanded to pray for all saints and for Paul himself.  Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. So it is implied that we also should pray for all ministers particularly, as well as all the saints. Are you praying for your Pastor? Are you praying for your fellow church members?  Are you praying for those in authority? The scriptures are clear it is our duty as a Christian to pray! Why Pray?  The first reason is because it's a command and we must live a life of obedience to receive the blessing. There is no greater blessing then prayer itself!