Refined Through the Fire

refining

In the dictionary, “refine” means several things: to reduce to a pure state, as with sugar, metal, or oil; to free from moral imperfection; to improve by pruning or polishing; or to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth, as with a refined person.

What does the Bible say about refining?

  1. Metal is refined and purified in a furnace; the Lord purifies and tests the heart. “The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3).
  2. We must be refined before our offerings are acceptable to the Lord. “But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the
    Lord an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:2-4).

  3. The Lord’s people will be tested in the furnace of affliction (or great suffering). (Read Isaiah 1:25, 4:4, 48:10 and Jeremiah 9:7)

  4. The Lord examines your heart and mind. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).

  5. Those who survive will be refined and tested by the Lord. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9).

It is in God’s plan to take us through the fire. The fire is not a pleasant thing nor is it always easy, perhaps even most dreaded; but, it is necessary to go through the fire so that you can be refined.

If we never face adversity, we’ll not be prepared to overcome conflict in our lives. I am thankful that the Lord takes the time to help us to be prepared for spiritual warfare. He hasn’t abandoned us even though we may feel that we are very much alone. I know that the Lord is with us at all times, even when we don’t understand the circumstances that brought us to a place in the wilderness.

He knows the plans that he has for us; to prosper us, and to keep us in good health. If you obey the scriptures, you’ll know that you have authority in God’s word to overcome the adversary. Stand on the word of God, and expect God’s best.

Click on the link below for this week’s Lattereign, which shows how the Israelites stayed focused on God’s purpose, even when people tried to “frustrate their purpose.”

Stay Focused on Your Purpose

 

 

 

 

image credit: through the fire

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In His Presence: The Lord’s Desire

irisatdawn

IN HIS PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY, AND AT HIS RIGHT HAND ARE PLEASURES FOREVERMORE! HOLD ON TO YOUR PROMISE! 

“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31).

It is the Lord’s desire that we be established in the faith and that we move beyond the infant stage (milk) and begin to desire (meat) of his Word. When we begin to get an appetite for the Word, and for Truth, we are ready to dig deep into our spiritual closets and allow the Lord to cleanse and change the things that would hinder us from serving him with our whole heart. When we search out the things that aren’t pleasing to God and get them under the blood, we’ll have revival in Jesus’ Name.

Preparing for His Presence

The more you plan; the less you stress

So stay prepared to pass the test

Pray, and when you’ve reached the end

Pray. YOU will, the victory win.

It’s up to you to take control

Of your life, your walk with God, your goals.

If they’re in line with God’s will

He’ll carry you every step up the hill.

Enter into this present joy, today,

And give the sacrifice of praise.

He’ll fill you ‘till you overflow

With blessings and the Holy Ghost.

Hold your head high and rejoice evermore

For your Savior is waiting, he is nigh the door.

Enter into his presence and you’ll be forever changed

As you reach toward heavenly places

As you learn to call on his Name.

It’s not too late to seek his face,

For he desires our worship in this place.

His mercy endureth forever, and

His grace does much more abound.

When we offer up praises; he loves the sound.

It is he who will establish and strengthen us

As we follow on to know him and learn to trust.

Never let others say that you can’t pass the trials and tests

For he has given us his very best.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily he shalt give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:3-4). It’s not about us; but it’s all about him and his purpose for our lives is for us to worship him in spirit and in truth.

Click on the link for this week’s Lattereign.  Are You Committed to God’s Purpose

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Do You Believe? All Things are Possible.

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“Jesus said unto them, If thou canst believe all things are possible to them that believe” (Mark 9:23).

How big is God?

Why do we have our minds set on expecting little, when the banquet table is spread before us, and it is an abundant supply. Too often we are fearful; when we should be faithful. Has God ever failed you? Sure, sometimes He may delay your answer to the prayer that you’ve been praying about for years. We must remember that Jesus works in a different time frame than we do; when we learn how to trust; He will teach us how to persevere.

The Lord is preparing me to be a vessel that can be used and when I get caught up in the daily routines I may forget to spend quality time with him. God is a jealous God, and He is to be your priority. Everything else is secondary, because he is God. We learn to die daily to self, and quite honestly, it isn’t always easy to wait on God, but He requires it. Every situation we’re faced with has a solution, and we’ll know when all is said and done, that God is in charge of our lives.

When we have success; it is only because God allowed it.

When we have failure; it is only because God allowed it for our good. The longer we live, the more we’ll understand that He reigns; so, we have no need to fear. What if my shield of faith is scarred with disappointments; and my vision has been battered by doubts and delays?

Should I quit trying? NEVER.

I’m not about to give up on God, or on myself. I know in whom I have believed, and he is able to deliver me, and rebuke the devourer on my behalf. When the Lord led me into the writing ministry, I followed cautiously. When He gave me the vision for a ministry, He immediately required for me to give it all back to Him. I was instructed to lay the writing ministry down at the altar, and be willing to walk away from it. My affections must be set on things above. That was twenty-one years ago, and I have been richly blessed to continue to write what the Lord gives me to share.

For me, writing is an act of worship, not just a hobby that I like to do.

If we’ll wait for the Lord’s plan for our lives to unfold, the promise will come to pass, because God can’t lie. We can waste time in worry about the future, or we can start planning to receive the future that the Lord has already worked out for us. it is our choice: Do we dream about what might have been? or, do we step out in faith and claim the promises of God?

There is a path in your walk with God that requires a greater sacrifice.

As we take steps of faith in the physical realm; a battle rages for our souls in the spiritual realm. In the intensity of this battle, we may get overwhelmed with the pressures of life. Our prayers develop into deep intercession, and the weight of our burden almost consumes us. Don’t allow it to overtake you: persevere until you have found peace.

The Lord is calling us to get out of the boat, and walk on the water.

It’s time for a deeper anointing, stronger commitment, and a steadfast unshakable faith to take us through to victory. I made a choice to serve the Lord with gladness, and I am thankful that every day that I live, I can know that I made the right decision.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18).

 

Click on the link for this week’s Lattereign. Light Overcomes the Darkness

 

 

 

 

Credit: image used: https://adedoyinjaiyesimi.wordpress.com/tag/step-out-of-the-boat/

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About My Father’s Business

Psalm10729

“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding”   (Proverbs 23:23).

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews:15-16).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

The Lord wants to bless us abundantly, but he is waiting on us. We’ve been given the authority to take back everything that Satan has tried to steal from us: our joy, our victory, our faith, our finances, our salvation. When we entertain Satan’s accusations and begin to believe that what he says is true, we need to realize that it is a lie, because he can’t tell the truth. So, if he says that you are sick, you know that it’s just more of his lies because the Word says: “by his stripes we are healed.”

When he tells you that you can’t make it; look him square in the eye and tell him the truth: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). When you feel like you can’t go another mile in your walk with God because you’re so weary from battling Satan day after day, remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. He goes before us, and he has already won the victory. Do not doubt the promises that he has told you, because God can not lie, and he does not fail. He said that he would meet your needs and you can depend on it. “Have faith in God.”

How many times has the Lord commanded us to put him first in our lives? Instead, we busy ourselves living our lives, working, worrying about how to pay for everything that we have acquired: somewhere along the way if we don’t watch ourselves, we’ll begin to lose some of our momentum in our walk with God.

Maybe we become apathetic and struggle to pray with the same fervency as we used to. The same could be said about our faithfulness to the house of God, or our zeal in serving him. We get so tangled up in the cares of this life that we forget that we are missing the primary keys to unlock our spiritual, physical, and financial blessings for all eternity; obedience, faith, and trust.

“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:29-32).

“I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Let’s seek him with our whole heart, today. In this week’s Lattereign we find that we have been blessed with peace in the midst of a storm.

We have been blessed with Peace

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Whose Report Will You Believe?

 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).

 When it comes right down to it, we choose to believe the things that we want to believe whether they are correct or our own wishful thinking. You would think that the Israelites would have had a better attitude when they were delivered from Egyptian bondage and led to the Promised Land; after all, they had God on their side.

 Shouldn’t going in to possess the land be a piece of cake? Didn’t God lead them out of Egypt? Didn’t the Lord part the Red Sea? And certainly, we couldn’t forget how God caused manna to rain down from heaven to feed them on a daily basis. It wasn’t a week’s supply—it was fresh every day except the Sabbath. On the day before the Sabbath, they gathered enough for two days.

They were never hungry; but still, they chose to complain. They’d lament that back in Egypt they could have all of the onions and garlic that they wanted. Or, they might say things like, if they hadn’t left from Egypt they wouldn’t be wandering around in the wilderness. Do you get the impression that maybe, the Israelites made a choice to chronically complain rather than to believe God?

Out of twelve spies sent out to search the land, only two had a positive report. The other ten spies saw the same promised land, criticized their abilities, and doubted God would give them the land. Joshua and Caleb had a different view because they looked at the situation through God’s eyes. They believed that God was able to deliver the giants into their hands and that they could go in and possess the land.

Can we possess God’s promises for this year? Whose report you believe depends on whose eyes you are looking through. I, for one, believe in the report of the Lord. There is nothing that I need that he won’t supply if I believe. If there are mountains in your life, you can speak to the mountain and tell it to move. The mountain will stay if you don’t believe, but if you believe, then you can watch the mountain crumble by the power that is within you. The spies went to search out the land that flowed with milk and honey, but their lack of confidence in God’s ability and willingness to help them cost them the promised Land!

Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord. His report says, I am healed; his report says, I am filled; his report says, I am free; his report says, victory. Joshua and Caleb gave a good report and they were the only two of the original Israelites who left out of Egypt to cross over into the Promised Land.

It’s perfect time to renew our commitments. I’m more convinced than ever that we’re living in a time where being faithful is crucial. We don’t know the day nor the hour that the Lord will return, and we aren’t guaranteed that we’ll even have enough time to do the work that he’s called us to do if he delays his coming. What we can know is that until he comes, we must work!

Whose report will you believe? It’s not too late to start building a legacy with fresh commitments and a new vision; aren’t you ready to invest in something that will reward you for eternity? Here are some scriptures that have encouraged me when I felt that I was losing the battle:

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,  that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:8-18, King James Version (KJV)

The things in our lives that used to weigh us down with the cares of this world, no longer have a hold on us, when we learn to trust God. In this week’s Lattereign we discuss the awesome power of God that can destroy the yoke through the anointing.

Yoke is Destroyed Because of the Anointing

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First Fruits-To be Half-committed is no Commitment at All.

o taste and see

Could God trust me to still be faithful to him after he gives me the desires of my heart? Building trust takes time. The Lord is getting ready to move some mountains in our lives, because the time is short before his return. My desire is to do God’s will. There is no backing down or turning back, I am committed to step out in faith and trust God.

To be half-committed is no commitment at all.

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction….Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isaiah 48:10, 17).

The Lord has brought us through trial after trial and we are still here, learning to trust him, seek him, and believe him. It doesn’t matter that we have had some challenges to face this year; sometimes we may have felt like quitting the race. We have continued to give sacrificially. Looking back on this past year, I have come to understand that anything that we have sacrificed pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ did at Calvary. The only thing that does matter, in the end, is the realization that we made it by keeping the faith, leaning on the Lord, and trusting in his holy word, because he’s never failed us yet! He is faithful. Keep holding on to his promise and you will see your prayers answered in the very near future.

Backing out of the race isn’t an option, nor is focusing on all of the things that didn’t go well this past year. What can we do? We can look at our situation through God’s eyes to gain a totally different perspective. We can learn how to be thankful for the many times the Lord has spared our lives from tragedy: not everyone can say that. We can be thankful for every day that the Lord gives us strength, wisdom, and the willpower to complete any task that he sets before us. We can’t measure our successes using the same yardstick that the world uses, but we can thank the Lord for leading us through the “furnace of affliction.” Did I read this right? Affliction?

It’s true; the Lord selects us from the “furnace of affliction” so that we can declare his glory. He wants us to fully commit our lives to his service, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but because we love Him, and we want to serve Him to the uttermost. The question we should be asking ourselves is: can we be trusted? The Lord would share so much more with us if we could be trusted to handle both the good and the bad without panicking every step of the way.

The Israelites would have had “peace as a river” if they had “hearkened to the commandments” of the Lord, but they chose to worry and disobey instead. They wanted the peace but not the commitment that comes with serving God completely. Instead of “righteousness as the waves of the sea,” they sold out for half-hearted worship. Instead of trusting God so that their seed also had been as the sand, they were destined to walk the sands in the wilderness and eventually to have their name cut off and destroyed from the Lord (Isaiah 48:18-19).

There is a price to pay for commitment, but if you want the Lord to “teach you how to profit” you’ll be willing to pay that price, after all, hasn’t he paid a greater price for your salvation?  

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

“Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). 

Finding Strength “In Quietness and Confidence”

Isn’t it nice to have a God who knows when we have had quite enough of the front lines of battle, and he offers a respite away from the mangled crowds who are angry with demands from you. The Lord carries us to a secret place filled with his glory so that we might worship. When Moses was on the mountain to meet with God, nothing really changed about his situation in the valley. The Israelites were still murmuring and complaining. Those ungrateful people had the nerve to want to go back to Egypt to eat onions and garlic.

No, Moses’ situation didn’t change, but after a time of communion with the Lord, Moses changed, and that made all the difference in his life of leadership.

Did he still have to deal with people and situations? Yes, and did he still make mistakes, yes, but he knew that he had met with God and so he approached the monumental task, in quietness and confidence,  that he was commissioned to do. We have a monumental task, today, serving Jesus Christ in a sin-cursed world that doesn’t always receive us or God’s message of truth and life. Do we run? No. We keep moving forward in quietness and confidence” that no matter how our situation may turn out, we can trust God to intervene on our behalf and for our good.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:” (Isaiah 30:15).

When I read this verse the phrase “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” jumped out at me. Lord, do you mean to tell me that if I stay quiet when situations arise, and remain confident that you are in control of my circumstance, that my act of obedience to your word, will give me strength to endure? It got my attention! But, then I read the rest of the verse—“and ye would not” I wasn’t prepared for the reality check, here.

If we are honest with ourselves, I think we could say that sometimes we all yell when we don’t get our way (maybe not audibly but certainly in the way that we approach God). In my deepest thoughts, I rehash some old hurt or battle, or I lash out in anger and think that it isn’t fair: YOU said you’d bring it to pass, God; but, HOW LONG DO I have to WAIT, Lord?

Whether it’s out of frustration, fear of the unknown, or pure anxiety, we all have felt inadequate at times, but if I’ll learn how to remain quiet and confident that the Lord is blessing me, I can trust that the Lord is working everything out for my good. He said that I was supposed to thank him at ALL times: not only when I feel like it, or if it’s convenient; or only if I feel good; or if another saint obeys God first, and worships; but at all times.

I have to remember that when people reject me; he was rejected first; when I become sick; he has already taken stripes on his back for my healing; when I am in despair, he’s already taken the chastisement of our peace upon himself. When I fail; he is ready to forgive me and help me to repent. I must purpose in my heart to do his will because Jesus loves me, and I don’t pretend to understand why, but he does. When I think about his sacrifices for me, I can’t help but keep a song of praise on my lips at all times.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:3-5). Lift Him up.

Click on this week’s Lattereign, below to find out how to give God your best.

It’s Time to Give God our Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Call to Pray for our Nation…

American flag flying in the wind

American flag flying in the wind

Stand

If I a tiny wind-tossed seed, never left the safe strong reed

Could I, stand alone?

It was in the plan for my chaff to be blown:

When I’m discouraged, and my hope begins to wane,

So, all the world’s mocking becomes too much to bear;

When I doubt God’s promises are really true for me,

and my shield of faith becomes broken and weak.

When the day to day routine, robs me of my joy:

I’ll lift my hands to the Lord, and just Stand.

I will stand still and know that he is my God.

His grace is sufficient and his promises are true

And if I don’t faint, he’ll take me through.

Our nation needs our prayers, not our complaints when things aren’t moving in the direction that we think it should move. Lord help us to see the world as you see it. With that being said, I don’t have time to waste good energy on complaining. I would rather use my energy on doing the will of God. If there is a lesson to learn from all of my journey, it is this–I still have more to learn–so the best thing I can do is to keep working at it until I learn what it is that the Lord has for me to learn, before he opens the opportunities up for my future. Maybe he doesn’t want me to waste time worrying about the future. Perhaps he is more interested in me, living for today.  The bible says that “Today is the day of salvation.”

Isn’t it time to set our houses in order in every area of our lives? We don’t need to feel lost, or distracted, when we put our trust in him. He takes my hand and leads me beside still waters. It is there that I grow deeper in him, as I learn to wait for him to light my path. The roads you travel, today, may be dark, and make you feel a sense of danger, but you can know that the Lord has the way for you to get through your circumstance mapped out, and he is waiting for you to just trust him to lead you through it. Will you take a chance on Him? He is the way.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-13).

We have no other options but to trust God if we want to succeed in this life. Trust may be a tall order for us when the world continually batters us and whittles away our confidence, rejection by rejection. It’s easy to trust God when the blessings are an abundant flood; it’s not so easy when your world seems to crumble beneath your feet and you struggle to stand. We make our commitments and say our prayers and praise a God who is faithful. He spoke the world into existence, and we were planned long before we were conceived in our mother’s womb.

It is his good pleasure to bless us, but is he pleased with us? Is our worship genuine or do we sometimes go through the motions with a distant heart that aches for something that we don’t understand?

As a Christian, I should be setting an example for others. When I walk into a room people should know that there is something unique in me. This perception isn’t a result of the clothes I wear or the way that I walk. It is something deeper than that. It is commitment and a peace that passes all understanding. It is knowing that I know that Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever and that he changes not. This world may be unsure but we can have confidence in a Savior who understands what we have need of, and when we don’t understand, he provides the Holy Ghost to pray for us in a heavenly language that is unselfish. I used to pray for things: now, I have learned to pray for God’s will. Help me, Lord, to trust in you, honor you and serve you even when I don’t understand. Peace be still.

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. (Psalm 77:11-14 NIV)

 “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is Settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

In life, we can be unsure of ourselves and our future, at times, but there is one thing that we can count on, and that is that Jesus Christ is faithful, even when in our human frailty, we become faithless. You can depend on his word. There is no distress in the word, or doubt that he will do what he said that he’d do. Our greatest task is to take the Lord at his word and believe that he will be with us through the times of testing that will come upon us.

The bible warns us that “Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken.” Why would a loving God allow us to go through the shaking? Isn’t there some unwritten law somewhere that says that children of God are exempt from heartache? Nevertheless, his word is still forever settled in heaven, and he said that these things would come to pass, but he also promises us in

Isaiah 43:1,2, “I have called you by name–you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.”

To be called by name is important to me. To know that the Lord says that I belong to him, amazes me to this day; to be assured that when I pass through deep waters and I become apprehensive and unsure of my own fate, that all I need to do is be reminded that my troubles will not overwhelm me; gives me the strength to continue to walk by faith and not by sight.

I can carefully find my way through a dark world, and know that even if I stumble, that the Lord will be there to pick me up, and help me to complete the task that he has called me to do. My life belongs to Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t keep me from living in a world that may not know that the Lord loves them; nevertheless, his word is settled in heaven. You can know that God is still in control, no matter what you are going through.

Time and again, I reflect on where the Lord has brought me from, and keep moving closer to where the Lord wants to bring me to. It’s the journey that keeps me trusting in his word. If you are feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, today, look up for your redemption draweth nigh.

 “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:10-11).

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

“Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

 No weapon that is formed against me will prosper. If I can keep this in my spirit, I will overcome every situation that is before me. I must not back down to challenges that will make me stronger in my walk with God. I can have confidence in the Word. I’m not walking through the fire alone, No, Jesus is leading me through the fire, and I am not forsaken. Oh, it may seem like there is no way out, but if I’ll just cling to his hand, and keep moving forward in faith, I will eventually see that the battle that I was so fearful of has become part of my past experience.

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong… In spite of my failures and shortcomings the Lord is leading me. It doesn’t matter that I’m not as popular, skilled, or talented as someone else: the fact remains that he has chosen me to fulfill his purpose for my life. When I am weak he is strong. He always causes me to triumph because he loves me and he sends his ministering angels to keep me protected from the enemy.

He desires that I prosper and be in good health. The Lord doesn’t cause sickness or heartache: SIN causes sickness and heartache. If we could cure the sin problem, there’d be no other problems. The Lord doesn’t cause death: SIN causes death. There will be no more dying when we have a glorified body.

I must learn to be sensitive to God’s Spirit when he moves in me. He will prepare me for the challenges I will face, because he knows that I need to be strengthened to sustain my spiritual walk. It may be a word from the Lord that urges me to, seek His face. The Word of God may seem to jump off of the page at me, at times: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Or, it may simply be that He reminds me of His promise: “He that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain” (Isaiah 57:13).

He’s speaking to us, today; are we paying attention? We can have confidence that God has everything under control. Praise Him!

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

Click on the link below to read this week’s Lattereign.

I have also included a pdf file of the handout, Praying for our Nation, that we will use in our local church, that is based on “The Lord’s Prayer.” We are committing to pray for our Nation at 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. every day.

Would you like to join us? Feel free to use the handout below in your church. Together, we can make a difference.

Will you let us know if you share the handout with others?

I would like to know how many people are committing themselves to Praying for our Nation.

You can comment, below. Give your church name and location, and the number of copies you made to distribute.

The Human Mind

pray for nations.

 

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Empty Vessels

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And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 2 Kings 4:2-4

In these scriptures, the prophet told the handmaid to search out vessels from all the neighbors, even if those vessels were empty. It didn’t matter in this instance if the vessels were empty, because through faith, she had a pot of oil. It was important for her to follow the steps completely. When she returned she was to come in and shut the door, as a sign of separation. Sometimes we must spend quality time focused on those things that matter the most. With her pot of oil she was to start pouring into all of the vessels, and when they became full, she was to set them aside. This continual process of filling and setting aside, continued until there was no more vessels to fill.

I can imagine that as she began to pour the oil she was excited and maybe a bit concerned about what it all meant for her and her family, but her obedience gave her a miracle of provision. She had enough to pay her debt and then, had enough to feed her family, continually.

When a vessel was full, it was set aside. In the spiritual realm, we are vessels. If a vessel is full, there are only two options available for us: Empty the vessel into someone else (invest time to disciple), or set it aside and do nothing. The consequences of doing nothing could make the difference in someone following Christ or being lost forever.

There is a difference in “doing nothing” and “being still.” Doing nothing requires no effort, no commitment, no consistency, no zeal. By not investing in prayer and supplication, or worship, you are doing nothing and the results of doing nothing costs tremendously. God forbid that we stop uniting in prayer because it doesn’t fit in with our over packed schedule. Our God is a jealous God, and he knows what we will face in the months ahead; let’s not get so busy with excuses to realize that the most important thing is to follow Christ. We are not promised tomorrow.

A prayerless church will not have strength to stand in the face of adversity. We must take up our shield of faith, and sword of the spirit, and be ready to fight for what we have in Christ.

You may say that times are changing and the things that once were not allowed in the church, could be more accepted in this 21st century church. It is a trap. As I read in my bible, God hasn’t changed. “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” It also tells us in 2 Thessalonians:

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 

Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 13-15).

“Stand fast and hold the tradition which ye have been taught” What this scripture doesn’t say is when you get tired of the way things have always been, that it’s time to start dismantling the foundation. Remember that the foundation of a building is the very glue that holds it together. When we become lackadaisical in our worship or our relationship with God, the foundation that we stand on, begins to erode. Without a strong foundation, the church will fall. It may not be immediately noticeable, because it happens gradually over time as our attitudes and lifestyle moves further away from what we were first taught.

People who are new to this salvation are looking for strong leadership. On the day of the Lord’s return, they want to know without one doubt that they are ready to  meet the Lord. It’s not a time to let go of biblical standards for the sake of not offending someone.

20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

It’s better to offend and snatch someone out of “the fire,” than it is to do nothing and have them to ask, “why did you not tell me, I could have been saved?”

Our sole purpose is to fulfill the great commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…” once people are reached, they must be taught how to fight the powers of darkness. The bible says to “Resist the devil and he will flee.” Do you have the strength to pull away from the jaws of death and make your way back to the place where you first met him?

Have you lost your first love? It’s time to, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). He is still on the throne. He is still in control. Let’s don’t hand over our relationship with God to the world. Let’s hold fast as in Revelation 3: 7-13:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Click on the link below to read this week’s Lattereign.

Will You Leave With Empty Vessels

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Never Take for Granted the Cost of Freedom

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I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalm 118:5-6)

I am free from failure for “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’   (Philippians 4:13).
I am free from want for “my God shall supply all my need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
I am free from fear for “God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).
I am free from doubt for “God hath given to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
I am free from weakness for “ the Lord is the strength of my life”: (Psalm 27:1). and “the people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).
I am free from defeat “for God always causeth me to triumph in Christ Jesus” (II Corinthians 2:14).
I am free from Ignorance, “for Christ Jesus is made unto me wisdom from God” (I Corinthians 1:30).
I am free from bondage “for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17).
I am free from condemnation, “for there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1).  Author Unknown

If we don’t know Jesus Christ, we will never know true freedom and peace. There is a price to pay for freedom, but Jesus Christ paid that price at Calvary and He offers us eternal life.

There is a price to pay for freedom. All wars are senseless, but is there not a cause to fight? Who is willing to stand up for Truth? This is not a time to take a back seat and live in fear. Jesus is on the throne and I can be confident that we win.

We are a nation that desperately needs to return to the Lord. As we come closer to the Lord’s return, let’s do the right thing and live for God. “Trust in the Lord and lean not to your own understanding.” If you are waiting for the best time to stand for this truth, that time is now, while we are still free to worship.

Click below to read this week’s Lattereign.

When It’s Hopeless, Hold on to Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hold on to the Promise!

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“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14).
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2).

We know where we can turn to for help, yet how many times do we use the Bible as a last resort to figure out what to do in a situation? I am guilty of trying everything else under the sun, before I look in the word and find out the will of God.

The struggle is real when we don’t trust in the Lord. Being a Sunday morning christian may have its rewards, but if you are to live in victory, it will require a full commitment to him.

Having the opportunity to worship the Lord is so taken for granted in our modern age. While we are given free will to make good decisions for our life, we do ourselves a disservice when we forsake worship. Not only is it disobedience, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” but it is also, depriving us from obtaining refreshing strength to get back in and fight the spiritual battles we must fight.

So, what does that fight look like? Our fight is a fight of faith. The good news is that even though the battle is raging all around us, we fight by exercising our faith. The Lord fights the battles, we send up our worship and praise, and let the Lord fight on our behalf.

Just to let you know a secret…. God has already won the wars we will be facing. The hardest part we play is to wait and hold our peace. That folks is not an easy task for someone who has always been independent. We always want to get in the middle of the fights, like we can do something. I learned a long time ago that I’m my most effective when I get out of the way of what the Lord has planned for my life, and just follow the plan as it unfolds before me.

His promise is to take care of us as we walk through the waters, and through the fire. He didn’t ever say that we wouldn’t have seasons in our life when trouble would come, but he promises to lead us through it.

Sometimes I may walk through total darkness, but if I will keep trusting God, he promises that he will be a “lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

In sorrow, he is our comforter. He does all things well. He loves us with an everlasting love, and his desire is that we would prosper and be in good health as our soul prospers, so the closer that we walk with God, the greater our soul will prosper, and everything else will be added to us because he is a God of blessings.

How tired of waiting are you? Isn’t it time to just trust God and give him thanks for the journey? If you are struggling, today, the Lord is your answer. Click the link below for this week’s Lattereign

In quietness and in confidence

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