The Glorious Work of Christ

 BY FRANCESROGERS

“I have glorified you on the earth;
I have finished the work you have given me to do.”

John 17:4

In our study of John 17, we are continuing to uncover the truths of the atoning work of Christ. God planned His covenant of grace before creation. The Father and the Son made this covenant of redemption together to ensure His people would know their  love and share in their glory.

The stipulations of the covenant were fulfilled when Jesus lived in full obedience to the law. Then, in offering Himself as our sacrifice, He became the mediator of the covenant. God, the Father accepted His offering. “And the Holy Spirit undertook to reveal the great salvation and apply it with power to the hearts of those whom the Father had given to Him” (Jn. 17:2). Our Lord Prays for His Own ~ Marcus Rainsford

An Everlasting Covenant
The covenant of grace was promised in the Old Testament. David records in Psalm 89, not speaking of himself, but of the Messiah, chosen from the people and anointed.

Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one,
And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found My servant David;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,

Also My arm shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 I will beat down his foes before his face,
And plague those who hate him.

“But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him,
And in My name his horn shall be exalted.
25 Also I will set his hand over the sea,
And his right hand over the rivers.
26 He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27 Also I will make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall stand firm with him.
29 His seed also I will make to endure forever,
And his throne as the days of heaven.

 He speaks in 2 Samuel 23:5 of the everlasting covenant God made with him.

“Although my house is not so with God,
Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?

God promised to give His Son as a covenant to His people,.

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
Isaiah 42: 5-8

And of this Jesus spoke of  Himself.

As a light to the Gentiles
,To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another, Luke 2:32

John, the Baptist’s father spoke of Him in Luke 1:68-75

God’s part being to give His only begotten Son: His Son’s part being to glorify him upon the earth; and the Spirit”s part to reveal and apply this salvation and God  revealing Himself by His Spirit in a new covenant character as the God of peacein Hebrews 13:20-21

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in [b]you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” Amen.

It is Finished

“I have finished the work you gave me to do.”

Altogether finished is the great work the Father gave His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “transgression” is finished.

The making an “end of sin” is finished.

The “making reconciliation for iniquity” is finished.

The bringing in the righteousness of God” is finished.

The “everlasting righteousness” is finished.

The “sealing up the vision and prophecy: is finished.

The Scripture is fulfilled, the foundation of the Most High is laid, and the topstone shall be Christ – and you and I, sinners, who believe, are the living stones of the building.

Redemption – finished,

The types and shadows – finished.

Forgiveness sealed and finished.

The separation which sin had made between us and God, and between the members of Christ – finished.

Justification – finished.

The distance annihilated, and those “who were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.’ Our Lord Prays for His Own ~ Marcus Rainsford

From start to finish, it was a work only God, the Son – the God/man – could do.

To reject Christ is to reject His finished work and the love of the Father and the Son for our propitiation.  

‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)

He is glorified when we live in obedience to Him and do the His kingdom work here on earth – and our purpose is fulfilled – To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The Shorter Catechism.

Gracious Father, who has proven your love to us, we praise you for your covenant of grace, fulfilled in Christ, your Son.


Lord Jesus, we thank you for glorifying our Father – your Father and ours – in your finished work for our redemption.


Holy Spirit, we thank you for revealing this great work and fulfilling this promise of redemption in us that we may look forward to sharing in your glory forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Fram

Image: Google

The Glorious Work of Christ – Finished

Murder for the Rest of Us

How We Break the Sixth Commandment

Article by Afshin Ziafat Pastor, Frisco, Texas

You don’t need to grow up in church to know that murder is a wicked offense. Murder is treated nearly universally as a heinous crime. And it ought to be. God makes plain his hatred of murder the moment it appears in Cain’s slaying of his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). God legislates death as the appropriate punishment for those who unlawfully put others to death (Genesis 9:6).

Yet for all of our hatred of the murder out there, we can fail to hate the murder in here. But Scripture, and the words of Jesus in particular, will not allow us to hate murder at a safe distance. The sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” exposes a universal problem and a universal need for forgiveness.

Different Kinds of Killing

The word used for “murder” in Exodus 20:13, Hebrew rasah, denotes the unlawful, premeditated, or immoral killing of another human, while also covering the unintentional causing of human death through carelessness or negligence. Of its forty-seven uses in the Old Testament, this verb is never used to describe killing in war, nor is it thought to apply to slaughtering animals or defending one’s home from invasion.

God’s law differentiated between willful and involuntary killing. Exodus 21:12–14 clearly states that the premeditated murder of another person was deemed worthy of capital punishment (see also Numbers 35:17–21).

“Seek to reconcile quickly with others. Replace hate and anger with words that give life and bless others.”

The accidental or involuntary causing of another person’s death, however, carried a slightly lighter penalty. Though it was not grounds for the sentence of death, the guilty party was banished to an appointed place (which later God would reveal as cities of refuge, Deuteronomy 19:1–13). This place offered sanctuary from the vengeful relatives of the deceased, but it was also away from home. The banishment often lasted for life because the guilty party would not be released until the death of the high priest (Numbers 35:2528).

So while discerning between consequences for different killings can be difficult, we all know it is a great evil to unlawfully take another’s life.

Why God Hates Murder

God shows his hatred for murder the moment it appears in Cain (Genesis 4:8). But why does God hate the act of murder so much? Two reasons stand out in Scripture.

1. The act of murder is an assault on God himself.

After God made a covenant with Noah never to destroy mankind by a flood, he set up a system to protect human life. Any man who unlawfully took the life of another would have his own life taken, “for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6). Here we see how precious and valuable human life is to God. To murder another human being is to murder what is most like God in creation. It is tantamount to an attack on the Creator of all life. This is why abortion is so grievous to God and Christians.

The Bible is clear that human life begins in the womb and not at birth. David declares that we were fearfully and wonderfully made in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). All human life is precious in the sight of God, and it is evil to think of any human life as disposable — whether the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, or the sick.

2. Murder assumes the authority and right reserved for God alone.

Only God has the right to give life and to take away life (Deuteronomy 32:391 Samuel 2:6). Job declared that life belongs to the Lord to give and to take away (Job 1:21). Consequently, the one who murders another human being is guilty of assuming the right and privilege that is God’s alone. He is guilty of rebellion against God and attempting to put himself in the place of God. In this way, murder is the offspring of the very first sin and breaks the first commandment by having a god (self) before the Lord.

A Sin Not So Easily Escaped

Now, one may say, “Well, I have never — nor will I ever — commit murder!” But two considerations give strong reason to take heed to this command and see it as relevant to all of us.

Carelessness or Neglect

As stated earlier, the Hebrew word employed in the sixth commandment would include causing someone’s death from carelessness or neglect. This command would have instigated a holy fear in the community to strive for caution and prudence in the affairs of life so that no one would be guilty of unintentionally taking someone’s life through recklessness.

There is a reason harsh penalties are given to people who drive under the influence of alcohol. Or consider a carelessness closer to home: texting while driving. We may put others’ lives in danger more often than we assume.

And then there is the issue of negligence. The principle of the watchman of Ezekiel 33 comes to mind. The Lord painted a picture through the prophet Ezekiel of a watchman who was put in position to warn the city of the coming sword against it. If the watchman failed to blow the trumpet and was negligent in his duty, then the blood of the people would be on his hands (Ezekiel 33:7–9).

We can be negligent in failing to warn others of danger or to speak up on behalf of those who are vulnerable and powerless. It is easy to condemn the silence of so many in Germany who did not speak out against the murderous atrocities of the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. But are we equally vocal against the murdering of so many unborn here in our own country? Are we willing to speak up for the marginalized and the oppressed in our own culture?

Anger as Murder

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenges his disciples to live according to the standards of the kingdom of God and not the standards of the world or even of the religious establishment around them. He tells them that their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20), who sought merely outward conformity to the law instead of inward transformation of the heart.

Jesus displays this exceeding righteousness by using the refrain, “You have heard that it was said, but I say to you . . .” He is not saying that what was written in the Old Testament is not true. Rather, he is correcting what they heard the Old Testament saying and giving them the correct interpretation of the Scriptures, especially in the light of his coming.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21–22)

The world understands that murder is a crime. The religious establishment focused on this outward nature of not murdering anyone. But the standard of the kingdom of God is not merely to avoid the shedding of blood. To be focused on the mere act of murder is to miss the heart of the command.

“It is not enough to not murder; you must eradicate hatred from your heart.”

Jesus insists that it is not enough to not murder someone; we must eradicate hatred from our hearts. Murder is not merely an action without any reference to the character of the murderer. Something more fundamental is at stake here. The sinful anger and wrath that lurked behind the deed itself is blameworthy and will be subject to judgment. John writes, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). The stakes could not be higher.

Repenting of Heart Murder

Do you feel the weight of this? Jesus is saying you are not safe from punishment just because you have not shed blood. If you have harbored anger, contempt, or malice toward someone else, you are guilty. Have you ever wished someone harm or, even worse, wished they were dead? Have you ever rejoiced over someone’s misfortune? Have you ever put someone down in your heart? Then your heart has known murder.

Again, the radical righteousness that Jesus demands is not merely a refraining from outward sin but a transformation of the heart by his love and grace. Our only hope is Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness and offers it to us as a free gift to be received by faith. So what must we do?

1. Confess.

Turn to God and confess the sin of anger. Make no excuses for it. The story of Jonah is instructive.

In Jonah 4, Jonah is angry with God because God didn’t destroy Nineveh. The Lord asks him, “Do you do well to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4). In other words, God is calling Jonah to look at his own life and his own heart. Is his anger justified? Does he not depend on the same mercy from God that God has given to the Ninevites? Does he have the right to decide who receives mercy and who doesn’t?

We too rarely look at our own hearts to see the root of the problem. But it starts here with a confession: I am sinfully angry.

2. Receive the gift of God’s grace in Jesus.

Abel’s blood cried out to God for justice. But Hebrews 12:24 tells us that Jesus’s blood speaks a better word. The blood of Abel speaks a word of condemnation: the murderer deserves death. And we are guilty as charged. We break the sixth commandment with the anger in our heart.

This is why Jesus came. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose so that we could have life in him, now and after death. For those who believe in him, the blood of Christ speaks a word of forgiveness and acceptance. By faith, receive this gift of grace!

3. Reconcile specifically.

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23–24)

Jesus calls for a specific action here toward a specific brother. And notice that it isn’t someone that you are angry with. No, this is someone who is offended by you. You have done something to offend him, and God brings it to your mind. The first act of worship is for you to make it right with him.

God calls us to sensitivity in our relationships with others — not a vague sensitivity to imagined offenses, but rather dealing with real offenses that the Holy Spirit brings to mind against specific people. Seek to reconcile quickly with others. Replace hate and anger with words that give life and bless others.

And when we reconcile, we can go forth and resolve, God helping us, to “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31–32).

Afshin Ziafat (@afshinziafat) is lead pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas. His passion is to teach the word of God as the authority and guide for life, to preach Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Redeemer of mankind, and to proclaim the love of Christ as the greatest treasure and hope in life. He and his wife, Meredith, currently reside in Frisco with their three children.

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/murder-for-the-rest-of-us

At Least 10 Things Great Churches Are For

By Sermoncentral on Apr 20, 2021

The church has often, intentionally or not, been branded as a community of people who are angry and therefore are against everything not church-y. This is especially true when we so vocally voice our protests and gang up to boycott every business that doesn’t look conservative-Christian-friendly enough. I’ve listened to too much lately. From all sides. Some opinions I agree with and others I don’t, but what I’ve concluded is ultimately this: If I’m going to be known or listened to, I want it to be because of what I’m FOR, not what I’m against.

Is it just me, or has the Internet and social media seemingly been flooded lately by a whole lot of vocal people expressing just how many things they’re against?

There’s a culture war going on, and it isn’t just the right versus the left. Society seems divided into all kinds of tribes and micro-communities, but issue after issue keeps dividing those micro-communities further. It’s very easy to join the fray – to get drafted into a war we don’t really feel is ours, but in which our emotions have become entangled, as if every major trending topic will most certainly determine our fate if we don’t speak up.

The church has often, intentionally or not, been branded as a community of people who are angry and therefore are against everything not church-y. This is especially true when we so vocally voice our protests and gang up to boycott every business that doesn’t look conservative-Christian-friendly enough.

I’ve listened to too much lately. From all sides. Some opinions I agree with and others I don’t, but what I’ve concluded is ultimately this: If I’m going to be known or listened to, I want it to be because of what I’m FOR, not what I’m against.

Please don’t misunderstand. There are lots of things that Christ-followers should be ardently against. We should be passionately against slavery and human trafficking, genocide, persecution, and oppression. We should be against doctrinal error within the church when it confuses or obscures the true message of the gospel. And we should even be against sin, especially in our own lives. After all, where sin thrives, humanity doesn’t.

My fear, though, is that the church is often branded, fairly or not, as the people who are against people. The church is against gay people, liberals, addicts, and sinners of all kinds. We’re against Target or Starbucks or Hollywood. We’re against pregnant teenagers, rock bands, and anyone who is inked or pierced. I realize I’m feeding into some of the stereotypes about the church that certainly don’t apply to even a majority of Christians. But some of this brand has been earned.

When it comes to my own ministry, and the way I lead the church I love, I want to major on the things that we’re for. I want to put down the weapons of the sarcastic juke and judgmental stab and instead take up the tools that are constructive. I would rather have a ministry of building people up with truth than tearing them down with it. For example…

1. We’re for truth – absolute, eternal truth in a world of uncertainty.

2.  We’re for love – showing love in practical, tangible ways in a self-serving world.

3.  We’re for life – imparting life in a world dominated by death and tragedy.

4.  We’re for human dignity – every person is a precious soul, and every soul matters deeply to God.

5.  We’re for healing – offering physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for the broken in a broken world.

6.  We’re for grace – the radical, Jesus-like kind that offends the religious and saves sinners.

7.  We’re for community – life-giving relationships between people who bear each other’s burdens.

8.  We’re for prayer – prayer that calls on an active and living God to move heaven and earth.

9.  We’re for faith – the kind that moves mountains, that expects God’s best.

10.  We’re for hope – that the King will return, rule, and reign in peace forever!

We’re for YOU! We’re for you because God created you, loves you, lived for you, died for you, rose for you, and draws you to himself in love no matter your background, no matter your sin, and no matter what your story looks like.

https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/sermoncentral-at-least-10-things-great-churches-are-for-2536

Mind Control

  BY FRANCESROGERS

Humankind seems to be the only creature with the ability to think for himself – but are we in control of our thinking? 

The serpent in the Garden of Eden did not tempt the other animals. Then again, he was not a serpent, per se, but possessed by the spirit of the enemy of God – a fallen angel who wanted to be God.

The animals had an inherited mindset from God. Made in God’s image, the man was to receive by His Spirit at all times direction from God for all we needed and respond in a loving relationship to Him.

The enemy wanted to be in control and have this attention and glory for himself. 


His disguise and deception obtained the control he wanted over our first parents. 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Gen. 3:6

When they took the bait, the spirit of oppression and deception became the spirit of every human being who would be born on earth. They saw their nakedness, their vulnerability to their world, and the need for covering.

Their minds had been ravished and overcome by a foreign spirit.

Unless we know the anecdote and receive the Spirit of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we have no control over our thoughts, words, or actions.

What we feed our thoughts controls us. And we encourage the spirit of oppression by what we see and hear.

2020 and now 2021 is proof that whatever we hear and read governs our lives. The enemy works through every source of sight and sound and continues to destroy people’s lives.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19

Without understanding how we think, we are unable to realize our condition. The world lives in fear and oblivion to how the enemy has a stronghold on our minds and lives.

This spirit lies dormant even in the best of God’s people and can easily be aroused and raise its ugly head whenever it is threatened. We must recognize the difference and use God’s Word to counteract our thoughts against others.

We will remain immobilized until we take God’s Word in hand, open it, read it, pray for His Holy Spirit to inoculate us with its truths, meditate on it, memorize and make it our food and drink.

We must take it to bed with us, wake up with it, love it, and make it the focus of our lives and teach our children how to think and use God’s Word as a defence against the world’s thinking.

Brainwashing is nothing new. We are brainwashed from the moment we take our first breath on this earth. Our minds are programmed to cry out for everything we want and taught how to acquire it, even if by deception or force.

If we do not submit our minds to God’s control, we remain under the control of the enemy.

Our only hope for a reversal for this nation and the world is through God’s Word and Spirit.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12

Dear Father in heaven, in a season when your people used to gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are seeing a culture dead and buried under the hand of the enemy. Give life and raise your people by your Holy Spirit. Put your Word into the hands, minds, and hearts of your children that we may again proclaim the power of a resurrected Savior and Lord. Enable us to go forward in the battle against the enemy of our souls. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

https://godsgracegodsglory.com/2021/04/02/mind-control/


VIDEO Why I Need the Church

 BY FRANCESROGERS

Praying this morning on the eve of another Lord’s Day, praising God, my Father, desiring His name to be hallowed, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and His will to be done here on earth, it was with worship in mind.

Tomorrow He will meet with us who are gathered in the name of our Lord on the day of our Lord, January 10, 2021. This Eve has become a day of preparation for me, remembering that every day is the day of our Lord for over two thousand years. But, specifically, the first day of the week belongs to Him. According to His atoning work, we, who are His by grace, plan for this day to honor Him. He is the beginning of eternal life for us through His death and resurrection.

So, what difference does it make if I honor Him on His day? And what happens in this celebration of His atoning work of grace? New thoughts came to mind as I prayed for Chris, our pastor. He has specifically asked for prayer that He may preach more faithfully, more pointedly, and more Christ-centeredly. Daily praying for the Holy Spirit to work in Him in His preparation to preach the word in power, we pray more fervently the day before for the sword of God’s Word that will pierce our hearts. We pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive the truth of His Word and that it will find its resting place to root and grow and produce its fruit in and through us as His children.

 This means more than just saying “Amen” to what we hear. A prepared heart comes to listen to what our Father has given His servant for us. If we “have an ear to hear,” we will take in what He intends to reveal of Himself. The truth in the power of His Word will change our minds and hearts and conform them to His.

So, why do I need to be in church? The church is the place for gathering God’s people to honor His Son and receive the eternal life He came to give. It is the place of His worship and His Word. I need to know and hear from heaven the Father/Creator and Redeemer of my soul. The church was His plan, not man’s. We need under-shepherds who know Christ and the life He came to give His people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who feed His sheep with the manna from heaven.

I need the cutting edge of the sword of His Word, not to desire what makes me feel good about myself, nor to be entertained, but to have all sense of pride and deception stripped from my being. I need to be cleansed of thoughts of, and plans for, myself.

Individual reading and study are good, but these are not all we need. We need the “body of Christ” listening collectively to how He plans to shape us into His image.

Christ died and rose again to give us His life, that we may live through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). The more we know of Him as revealed through the preaching of His Word, the more we become like Him, understanding the reality of His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him (1 Jn. 4:13; Jn. 14:17, 23), Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.)

The supernatural, spiritual work in His incarnation, His resurrection, and His ascension is the same divine power working in us through the sword of His Spirit ~ the Holy Spirit working His Word in our hearts and lives.

His sanctifies us individually and collectively.

We must submit ourselves to the weekly preaching of God’s Word to know His transforming power in the days ahead, lest we lose ourselves in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of the world. His Word defines who we are in Christ. We must plan, prepare, and anticipate a newness of life in Christ we have hardly known.

Dear Father, we ask for the unction of your Holy Spirit for the preaching of your Word tomorrow. Prepare our hearts to receive what you have given your ministers. Enable us to receive the truth of your Word for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Let us willingly accept what your Word reveals of the intentions of our hearts, deliver us from our sins, and conform us to the image of Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

AUDIO Justified Freely By The Blood Of The Lamb

By Rev Bill Woods

Imagine you were arrested and had to go to court to face charges.

    – The day came for your trial and you were a nervous wreck.

    – The Bailiff called for one case after another, but your case never came up.

Finally, you ask the Bailiff why you haven’t been called.

  – He checks the record and says, “Someone else has paid your fine.  You’re free to go just as if you were never guilty!”

JUSTIFICATION! — GOD’S ACT OF REMOVING THE GUILT AND PENALTY OF SIN WHILE AT THE SAME TIME DECLARING A SINNER RIGHTEOUS THROUGH CHRIST’S ATONING SACRIFICE.

    – RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS VIEWED AS BEING CREDITED TO THE

      SINNER’S ACCOUNT THROUGH FAITH ALONE, WITHOUT WORKS.

Ephesians 2:8-9–For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 5:1-11
1  Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
4  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
5  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6  When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
7  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
8  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
9  And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
10  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
11  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

A New York Divorce Lawyer died and arrived at the Pearly Gates.  

 – Peter asked him “What have you done to deserve entrance into Heaven?”

The Lawyer thought a moment, then said, “A week ago, I gave a quarter to a homeless person on the street.”

    – Peter asked Gabriel to check the record — after a moment Gabriel affirmed this was true. 

Peter said, “Well, that’s fine, but it’s not really quite enough to get you into Heaven.”

The Lawyer said, “Wait, Wait! There’s more! 3 years ago I gave a homeless person a quarter.”

    – Peter nodded to Gabriel, who after a moment nodded back, affirming this was verified. 

Peter whispered to Gabriel, “Well, what do you suggest we do with this fellow?” Gabriel said to Peter, “Let’s give him back his 50 cents and tell him to go to Hell.” 


Many people think they can argue their way into Heaven.

    – An old lady I used to work with in Seattle, Lee, said she was going to set God straight when she saw Him.  She didn’t like how He ran the world.  I doubt she got the opportunity to air her complaints.

Once a person dies and passes into the next life, there won’t be any pride, arrogance or arguing.

    – It’ll be done a deal. A person’s eternal destiny will be sealed.

Hebrews 9:27And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,

We want to justify ourselves — we know what we’re talking about, we’re right!

    – It doesn’t make any difference who you are or what you’ve done for a living. 

It doesn’t make any difference what it is, or who it is, we all want to justify ourselves as being right or justify ourselves in what we’re doing.

    – When it comes to being justified before God, there’s only one Person who’s right and knows the way to justification.

Our text is clear about justification before God. He knows best.

    – We play by His rules only.

Paul defines how we are justified.
1- Justified through faith
2- Justified at the right time 

3- Justified by His Blood

1. JUSTIFIED THROUGH FAITH

Romans 5:1-2
1  Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.


Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day, and accidentally got too close to the edge and fell.   

    – He grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall.

He looked down and to his horror saw the canyon fell straight down for more than 1000 feet. 

He couldn’t hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff.

    – Jack began yelling for help, hoping someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or  something. “HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there? HELP!”

He yelled for a long time, but no one heard him.

    – He was about to give up when he heard a voice.

    – “Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?”

    – “Yes, yes! I can hear you. I’m down here!”

    – “I see you, Jack. Are you all right?” 

“Yes, but who are you, and where are you?

    – “I’m the Lord, Jack. I’m everywhere.”

    – “The Lord? You mean, GOD?”

    – “That’s Me.” 

“God, please help me! I promise if, You’ll get me down from here, I’ll stop sinning. I’ll be a really good person. I’ll serve You for the rest of my life.” 

“Easy on the promises, Jack. Let’s get you off from there; then we can talk.”

    – “Now, here’s what I want you to do. Listen carefully.” 

“I’ll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do.”

    – “Okay. Let go of the branch.”

    – “What?”

    –  “I said, let go of the branch. Just trust Me. Let go.”

There was a long silence. Finally Jack yelled, “HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?” 

Our salvation or justification is still a matter of faith.

  • Some people say, “I’m just too sinful!  I don’t think God can forgive me.”
  • Let go of that argument and cast yourself on God’s mercy God said He will forgive you if you call upon Him.
  • Satan can’t put anything in your life so deep that the Blood of Jesus Christ can’t go deeper and cleanse!
  • Have faith in God’s promises.

Hebrews 11:6
6  And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.


Faith is how we’re justified before God. Salvation or justification starts and ends with faith.

It’s faith that led you to believe God existed if you’re a Christian.

The starry universe, the panoramic beauty of Creation, plants and animals, newborn babies, and so many other things led to believe in our Creator God.

Faith in God led you to believe the Bible.

    – Faith that the Bible is God’s Word led you to believe in Jesus.

Your faith in Jesus, led you to trust Him for your Salvation. 

Faith in God’s Word led you to confess your faith in Christ.

Faith in what God said about sin led to repent of your sin (along with the conviction of the Holy Spirit).

Faith in God and His Word leads you to daily prayer, Bible reading, wanting to live a clean life, to witness, to give, and leads you to church on Sunday.

    – It’s faith in the Lord that leads to live for Him as best you can.

As you age, it’s faith in God that keeps you going when you don’t feel like it.

And as you near death it’ll be faith that’ll cause you to trust Christ for your Salvation and say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

It’ll be faith that may cause you to pray, “Lord, you can take me home any time you want me.”

IT’S ALL A MATTER OF FAITH. A faith that will cause you to trust and obey Him.

2. JUSTIFIED AT THE RIGHT TIME

Romans 5:6-9 – When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
7  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
8  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
9  And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.


God is “just at the right time”. There are times when it doesn’t seem like it, but He is! 

Our daughter, Tammy, was born, March 5, on an undisclosed year quite a while back.

    – We brought her home from the hospital and she started vomiting after every feeding.

    – In fact, she started projectile vomiting every time Marty fed her.

It was like clockwork. You could almost count the seconds after feeding her that it’d all forcefully come gushing out and you’d better be ready.

That went on for several days every time Marty fed her — Tammy was losing weight (she soon was below her birth weight).

Because we knew this wasn’t normal we called for an appointment with a well-respected pediatrician in Spokane 100 miles away.

On April 12 we saw the doctor — he said, “Take your baby to the Holy Family Hospital in Spokane to have tests run.”

    – It was Easter weekend!  

We loaded Tammy back into our old 1958 Ford with bald tires, not much gas, and a huge variety of mechanical issues and started for the Hospital.

    – Marty didn’t even have a change of clothes with her.

At the hospital, our tiny Tammy was put in a room with a very sick baby boy in an incubator.  He had tubes fastened all over his head, and his chest.

    – His breathing was very shallow

    – He looked like pictures of Holocaust victims from Nazi prison camps.

We asked what was wrong with him — the nurse said, “He has what your daughter has.”

    – Talk about throwing fuel on the panic that 2 very young frightened parents already felt!

I had to leave Marty with no change of clothes, no toothbrush and no money.

It was Easter weekend — I had to get back to my church at Grand Coulee for Sunday’s services.

    – I left my young, frightened wife, and my precious baby at the hospital not knowing what was  happening or how we’d even pay for it!

    – A Spokane Nazarene pastor and his wife let Marty clean-up and stay at their home.

On my way home to Grand Coulee, I had a blow-out, one of my bald tires gave out!

    – I put the even worse looking spare on the car and crippled back to Grand Coulee.

I got to the parsonage late Saturday afternoon.

    – I had to work on my Easter sermons and make a bulletin even as exhausted as I felt.

    –  I climbed through the front basement window down into my office and tried to go to work. 

    – The basement stairs had collapsed and the only way to my office was through that window.

The mimeograph decided to add stress to my life and kept jamming the paper.

    – I finally picked it up and slammed it to the floor.  (It worked after that!)

Next morning, I dragged myself to the Sunrise Service and later struggled through the Morning Worship Service.

    – After service the Church Treasure told me there wasn’t money to pay me my $40 salary.

    – I said, “Find the money or you won’t have a pastor next week…………………!)

Monday, I begged a well-worn tire from the neighborhood service station and started back to Spokane apprehensive about my family.

By this time the doctors had done a regiment of X-rays and tests and found Tammy had a mal-functioning esophagus that wasn’t closing to hold her food down like it was supposed to.

    – She’d eat and she’d immediately vomit it right back up.

    – They called it projectile vomiting.

Oh my goodness! What to do? What next? The doctor said, “She might need surgery, but we’d try something else first.”

He recommended a heavy formula that might force the food to stay down long enough to nourish her.

    – Marty was to add Cream of Rice cereal to her formula and see what happens.

After feeding Tammy, Marty was to hold her for half an hour before burping her.

    – Tammy would still expel much of her formula, but enough stayed down to nourish her.

    – When Marty would lift her to her shoulder out would come a gusher of her formula.

Actually, Marty got pretty good at aiming that projectile vomiting towards people who annoyed her………….

Was that doctor correct in what he said and what he did? Apparently so because, PRAISE GOD, our daughter has another birthday in just a couple weeks, on March 5.

    – Marty advised me not to tell Tammy’s age, but I will say all this happened years ago and Tammy hasn’t had any abdominal problems since other than the normal stuff.

I’d say our Pediatrician and the medical staff stepped in at just the right time to save Tammy!

    – AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME!

Isn’t it wonderful when someone/anyone steps in at just the right time to save us, to help us, to guide us, to protect us, to provide for us?

    – God stepped in at just the right time in history sending Jesus into this world to save us.

Galatians 4:4-5 
4  But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
5  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

I like to read this text this way: AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME, GOD SENT JESUS INTO THE WORLD TO REDEEM US.

    – He did! God’s timing is perfect. 

We might not always think God’s timing’s perfect, but when we look back, we see He was working and He stepped into our lives at just the right time.

    – Aren’t you glad that God knows what time it is?

3. JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD
Romans 5:9-11And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
10  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
11  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.


I read about Joe Kerkofsky, America’s champion blood-donor.

    – The American Association of Blood Banks honored the 62-year-old retired security guard at  .      a special presentation in Chicago in 2013. 

Mr. Kerkofsky lost an arm in an accident when he was six.

    – Because of that he was rejected for military service in World War 2.

Since then he’s donated nearly 31 gallons of blood.

    – The human body contains 10 or 12 pints of blood.

  – Joe’s donated more than 20 times that amount. “Giving blood makes you feel like your contributing life itself,” he said. “There’s no more precious a gift than life.  Money can’t but the joy of giving blood to help someone who needs it.”

Kerkofsky may have given more blood than most, but Jesus gave the best!

Hebrews 9:12-14
12  With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13  Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity.
14  Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 9:22
22  In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.


Why did God make the shedding of blood a law for the forgiveness of sin?

    – I don’t know but He did.

   – I think it was an object lesson for us to understand how serious sin is.

I’m just thankful that it was Christ’s blood and not my own. And there isn’t enough animals in the world for their blood to take away the sin of mankind.

    – It’s only through the blood of Christ than man can be saved!

1 Peter 1:18-21
18  For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.
19  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
20  God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
21  Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

A Calcutta paper reported a young Hindu came to the house of a missionary for an interview.       

  – During the conversation, he said: “Many things which Christianity contains are found in Hinduism, but there’s one thing which Christianity has and Hinduism has not.”

    – “What’s that?” the missionary asked.

    – His reply was striking: “A Savior.”

Thank God He sent Jesus into the world to save us by His Blood, by His perfect sacrifice on the cross! There’s no one better and no sacrifice better than Jesus.

A man in England put his Rolls-Royce on a boat and went across to the continent to go on a vacation trip.

    – While he was driving around Europe, something happened to the motor of his car.

He called the Rolls-Royce people back in England and asked, “I’m having trouble with my car; what do you suggest I do?”

The Rolls-Royce people flew a mechanic over!

    – The mechanic repaired the car and flew back to England — the man continued his vacation.                


The fellow wondered, “How much is this going to cost me?”

    – When he got back to England, he wrote a letter asking how much he owed them.

He received a letter from the office that read: “Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever went wrong with a Rolls-Royce.” 

This is what we have in Christ.

  • In Christ it’s as if there was never anything wrong with us.

It’s called Justification.

It’s called Salvation.

YOU CAN BE JUSTIFIED AND IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF HIM!


PODCAST JUSTIFIED FREELY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB

https://www.buzzsprout.com/8243/7837183


The Tension Between Life and Death

 BY FRANCESROGERS

As Christians, we live between two extremes ~ between two worlds. We have been “delivered from the power of darkness.” Our heavenly Father has “translated us—conveyed us (NKJV) into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Col.1:13 

A follower of Christ knows the reality of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). 

While we live in this world, the Christ in us will be stalked like a lion.  

 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Pet.1:14

Even as Jesus was betrayed by those who lived in darkness, we experience this opposition by those who cannot rest unless the light is put out. While we want to bring others out of darkness, it is to live against the god of this world. 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9 

The oppressor is a constant foe against God’s people. This has been true since the beginning. The enemy – God’s enemy, and ours – will not leave us alone as long as we live in his territory.

It may seem, at times, that we are safe and let our weapons fall by our side. It is then, the foe within may raise its ugly head. Pride can remain dormant until our thoughts are taken captive to the world’s thinking. Whatever has our attention, politics, social media, or any earthly thoughts, we are at war. The tension will rise as death desires to subdue us.

When the enemy gained his stronghold and set up his kingdom, he set God’s creatures against each other. Death ensued to put down anything good. Cain murdered Abel and the pattern of this world was set. 

The Spirit and the Flesh
As God’s people, we still live in the flesh. It has been appointed that men shall die (Heb. 9:26-28). We cannot live forever in this body. Those who are born of the Spirit have eternal life – a life that transcends this one. As long as we are in this body, we will continually be at war with the flesh and its proneness to satisfy its desires.

This tendency flairs whenever we are faced with an opposition of some form, whether a lust of the flesh or in a relationship. “The old man” is stirred up when others will not see our point of view, agree to our leading, or bend to our will. This happens between husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings, friends, etc.Blessings and Curses
Recently, I have looked at this subject in light of God’s relationship with the Israelites. He promised blessings and life to his people as a result of their obedience – curses and death to those who rebelled (Deut.11:26-28). Does this not sound like His promise to Adam and Eve?

The nation of Israel was not able to acquire the blessings and life. They could not keep His commandments. Death continued to rule in the lives of men.

That curse was broken when, as He had promised to send a Messiah from among their people, Jesus came. And those who believe are given eternal life through His sinless life and death on the cross for us.

Eternal life does not mean we are free from temptation, but we have what Adam and Eve, and the Israelites did not have. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit is within the believer, setting up the kingdom of God within us, revealing the life of Christ.

He is the constant power and presence in us to keep us in God’s Word, training us to war against the flesh and pride that still lurks within – and to work obedience, and blessings in and through us to others.

I am tempted to make this a series and touch on the subject of curses handed down through generations, but I will stop here, else we have started another book. Our books already published proclaim the presence and the power of our heavenly Father, the legacy of His kingdom in His people, and His victory in Christ and His Spirit over our flesh, sin, and death.

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Pet. 5:10-11

Gracious Father, thank you for delivering us from the power of darkness and death. Though we suffer for the name of Christ, let us live by the indwelling of your Spirit and so, overcome the enemy’s tactics. Keep us always sober, fervent in prayer and your Word, knowing you and Jesus whom you sent to be our life here and forever. Let us with the humility of Christ face any opposition. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Books

When Plans Get Interrupted, What Should You Do?

By Charles Stone -November 13, 2020

plans get Interrupted

What do you do when your plans get interrupted? Fume…fuss…cuss? I tend to fume. I recall two experiences that interrupted my well laid-out plans. In the process, I also learned a few important life lessons.

Interruption #1

I was taking a voice-over class in Chicago a few years ago and I had parked in the same building where the class was held. The valet kept the keys and after the class (later that night), I was to retrieve my keys from the security guard and drive home.

Except this week.

The guard couldn’t find my keys. She called the boss and while he drove back to the building, I had some time to kill. For the next while, I was able to have a meaningful conversation with Faith (the guard) about having a relationship with Jesus. She didn’t trust Christ, but I believe her heart opened a bit. Eventually, the boss found my key and I made it home. One redeemed interruption.

Interruption #2.

Two days later I prepared for my quarterly overnight planning retreat at a retreat center a few miles west of my home. Just before I left, I opened my Mac to send an email. When I opened the lid … a black screen stared back. This had happened two weeks prior and I thought is was a one-time glitch. Apparently not.

Fortunately, the first time it happened one of our staff was able to perform a convoluted fix because my re-booting, removing the battery, and screaming at my Mac didn’t work. But, he was now out-of-town. I checked with another staffer and he said he thought he could fix it. He did. By the time he fixed it, though, I had lost a half-day of my retreat. Plus, I had lost the file of my current sermon.

On my drive to the retreat center, I faced a choice, I could fume or pray. I choose the latter. Amazingly, that focused prayer time centered me and prepared my heart for the retreat, even though a train stopped me on the way there and when I arrived the place was locked.

Another interruption redeemed.

Here are the 3 lessons I learned from those interruptions.

  1. Life can seem like a series of interruptions punctuated by a few plans that get accomplished. 
  2. When interrupted, we all choose how we will respond.
  3. When we respond with God’s grace, He will redeem even the most frustrating interruptions for His glory and our benefit.

How did you respond the last time you were interrupted?

This article originally appeared here.

“I Am Not Alone, My Father is Always With Me”

 BY FRANCESROGERS

As I woke up on a Lord’s Day morning a week ago, these words of Jesus from John 16:32 were my words. From my heart and soul, I would say in the reality of His presence and power, “I am not alone. My Father is with me.”

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples as He ended His teachings of three years, before His High-Priestly prayer to the Father, then to the Garden of Gethsemane ~ on His way to the crucifixion.

But, we may say, His Father turned His back on Him while He was suffering for our sins, in obedience to His will. Yes, but it was for one time, and so that we may know His everlasting presence with us. He will never leave us, nor forsake us because He looks upon us as His own, now joined to Christ, His Son. We dwell in Him and He, in us, by His Spirit which He has given us (1 John 3:24).

We never fear that He may turn His back on us. He has given His Son as a propitiation for our sins, appeasing His anger, that we never know His wrath. We turn to Him in repentance and faith for the abundant life He gives in Christ (John 10:10).

How blessed to know even when we are alone physically, He is always with us. I have been a sister, a wife, and a mother, but always, I am a daughter to my heavenly Father.

Gracious Father, thank you for your promises that make us your own, not by anything we can do, but because you have desired us and sired us by your will here, and forever. We praise you for revealing your plans for our relationship with you through Jesus Christ, your Son, and for keeping us always in your care, leading us by your Holy Spirit, for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I thank you and praise you. Amen.

Urgently Knocking

OCTOBER 19, 2019 BY FRANCES ROGERS

 

A most unusual discovery in our study of the words “Ask, Seek, and Knock” is that Jesus expresses only one thing for each of these.

In Luke 11:13, He says to “ASK for the Holy Spirit.” In Matthew 6:33 He commands us to “SEEK the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  In Luke 13:25 He mentions those who wait too late to “KNOCK at the door.”

We must be born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8) in order to see, to seek His Kingdom, to knock and to enter His kingdom.

We find in the following verses the diligent seeking and the urgent knocking.

In Luke 11:6-10 is the widow’s persistent asking, seeking, and knocking until the master of the house opens the door to her request.

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:” Luke 13:25-26

The strait gate leads to the master’s house. But when He has shut the door, man’s knocking and crying, Lord, Lord, will be to no avail.

We who are born of His Spirit will continue to ask Him to lead us. We walk and live by His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25and continue to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Unless we knock at the door of His heart in His timing, He will not know us, and the doors of heaven will be shut.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came;
and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:
and the door was shut.”
Matthew 25:10

When Jesus Knocks

The Book of Revelation records Jesus’ words in the letter to the church at Laodicea.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Knocking indicates a separation (a door that must be opened from the other side) between the person knocking and the person  on the other side. There is a need and the only fulfillment of that need rests in the promise of someone who can provide that need.

Does the door swing both ways? Had Jesus knocked at the door of the heart of those who were left out?

“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Hebrews 3:7-12

By His Holy Spirit and His Word, Jesus knocks at the door of our sin and unbelief. He calls us to put away our sin ~ to repent and believe ~ to allow Him to lead us out of the bondage of self and sin.

We cannot seek or knock of our own volition. It must be the work of His Spirit within us drawing us to Christ even as He draws near to us. John 6:44John 6:63-65

 The Doors of Wisdom

“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” Proverbs 8:34

The Doors of Heaven

They are “the doors of heaven” Psalm 78:23,

 In Revelation 4:1, “a door was opened in heaven to John where he saw and recorded what would come to pass.

 Jesus is the Door to the Kingdom of Heaven

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
I am the door of the sheep.”  
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
John 10:7,9

 A Door of Hope

“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:15

The Door of Faith

 “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27

In this brief study of Jesus’ words, we learn that asking, seeking, and knocking are descriptive of the work of prayer by His people, for His kingdom. His Holy Spirit brings us to repentance and faith in Him so that as we continue to ask for His Spirit, we are led to seek His kingdom and His righteousness and to knock at the door of His heart for all He has promised.

We understand that this practice is not just for us individually, for our own needs, but in unity with His people ~ the body of Christ ~ for the needs of others. Intercession involves a greater degree of fervency, diligence, and urgency as we pray continually at His throne of grace.

The prayer life of a Christian is a daily dwelling in His presence. He dines and sups with us continually as He opens His Word and His promises to us and proves His presence and His power in our lives.

In Christ, we dwell in the throne room, in unity with His Spirit ~ knowing His power to accomplish all He desires for our good and His glory.

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together
in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

Ephesians 2:6

We ask what we will because we ask in faith according to His will, seeking His glory in all things, continually knocking at the door of His heart as He intercedes and presents our petitions to our Father.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1 Corinthians 2;9

We are continually filled with his grace, nestled in His goodness, and wrapped in His glory. In Christ and Christ in us, we are kept by His power now and forever.

Dear Father, we cannot thank you enough for all you have prepared for us and given by your grace. We are unworthy stewards of your blessings but you have entrusted us with the knowledge of your Word and your will so that we know what to ask, what to seek and where to knock. Continue to draw us to Christ by the power of your Spirit, to dwell in Him and receive your heavenly blessings as well as all our earthly needs. We praise and bless you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Fran

Suggested Reading: GOD is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People
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Urgently Knocking