For those who have not made a commitment to Christ or those who have strayed, the following is a prayer to follow, written by Rev. Jean Halvorson:
Dear Heavenly Father:
I am a sinner. There is nothing I can do to work for or earn eternal life. My sins (name them if you want to) are in the way of a relationship with You, Lord. I acknowledge my sinful behavior and repent and turn away from it. I ask forgiveness from You, Lord, and ask You to cleanse me in the blood of Jesus. You went to the Cross of Calvary for me; now, help me to live for You every day and to become a disciple of Yours. Thank you for saving me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Message to New Believers:
I rejoice with you in your decision for Jesus Christ. This is one decision which you will be glad you have made through all eternity. You may be mocked and made fun of, but
there will be a real admiration for your determination to live for Christ.
You have just met the most wonderful person in all of your life, Jesus Christ. He has transformed your life, making you a new creature (II Cor. 5:17) with new desires and interests.
Jesus Christ is the only source through Whom we can overcome temptation. It is essential that we talk to the Lord in prayer and we let Him talk to us each day by reading His Word, the Bible.
One way to establish this habit is to begin reading one chapter each day in the Gospel of John. Another way to grow is to tell all your loved ones and friends about the saving love of Jesus.
When we view the documentaries of mass murder, such as in the World War II concentration camps, do we see ourselves at all?
How about abortion – the mass murder of innocent babies, which has been legally supported by our U.S. tax dollars? Can we see ourselves in that reflection, since we’ve been silent in agreement?
Who will turn away from this evil or murdering God’s creation, unless we see ourselves in that mirror?
We choose as a nation to not let the Lord Jesus Christ fix our own hearts, but we continue in the slaughter of the innocent – both young and old, and in doing so, continue in sin that separates us from God’s love.
Be in prayer to tell Jesus we are sorry for being involved in mass murder; murder which destroyed the lives of contributing members of society.
If we can’t respect life at conception, we won’t respect life while we are living. Each one of us can fix this by turning to our Creator – the Lord Jesus Christ, who is “the way, the truth and the life”. Do it now.
We cannot put a “God Bless you” at the end of a statement that reflects murder. Let’s reflect the face of the Creator who created us in His image, for His pleasure, and for our blessing. Then we will be truly blessed.
Certainly, I can help you with that. I’m glad you asked. This verse means this: it is someone’s determination to defer or delay his/her anger and it is a glory unto him/her to pass over an offense. In other words, we have the choice to not let anger be our guide and we can choose to not allow an offense or sin to land on us. We have choices in life, just like Jesus did, when He didn’t allow the words of His accusers to change who He was (and is).
As you know, my first audience adaptation is always to my primary audience – God Himself, because I seek what He wants first and foremost, for only He really knows what the people need. I expect that is not the normal response to such a question, but then I am not normal – ha!
On a human level, I seek to form the message with bullets (thoughts) that are easily identified and remembered. I pray for illustrations and information that will make the congregation see themselves in the message, and view it as valuable for themselves.
In delivery, I probably use both the conversational tone, as well as a more prophetic tone, though I usually tend to be more conversational – again, to invite the listeners to the message.
In content, I seek to form the outline to go from somewhere: to start with history/foundations, go to how it is formed biblically, then how they can apply it.
This speaks between the physical death and before funeral services:
Focusing on physical loss
Focusing on body – the person you knew
Focusing on details of death process
Romans 7:24 “….Deliver me from the body of death….”
(soul of life);
I Corinthians 15:26 – “…last enemy to be destroyed.”
Hebrews 2:14 – … ”Him who holds the power of death”;
Revelations 1:18 – …”I hold keys of death and Hades”.
In the Old Testament, Jews couldn’t come near to the dead. This is why they are buried on the same day.
Revelations 14:13 – …”blessed are the dead who die in Christ”.
These verses are in John chapter 10, verse 7: “I am the Door”, verse 11: “I am the Good Shepherd”; verse 30: “I and My Father are One”; John 11:25: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life”.
These proclamations are in the gospel narrative of John because John’s narrative was written to show the deity of Jesus.
I was preaching on Luke 5:37-39 about not putting new wine into old wineskins. People do not understand that one cannot take the eternals and funnel them through carnality. It’s so wonderful that our Lord became the “skin” that was durable and flexible to hold the new wine and through His mouth/the Word, we can have it poured into us.
Our God is a God of no limits and He doesn’t touch us by the numbers. For example, you’re first in line and you’re also next in line. He is Omnipresent and Omnipotent and can do everything at the same time.
First of all, when a letter, email or any communication comes, your first response is fear. Why? Because you feel they are trying to make you do something you don’t want to do, and you’re correct. So, reject the fear itself (II Timothy 1:7) and put it in the first person. In other words, say this: God has not given me the spirit of fear. It is not the Holy Spirit. I will live by faith in Christ instead, and let Him rule my life. I’m not handing my life over to any human person. God loves you and created you in His image, not in someone else’s image. Look at what God is doing in you, not what you’ve done.
I was thinking of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus. The Scripture says that they were friends with Jesus and I wonder how they may have questioned that friendship when Jesus didn’t come to heal their brother. He actually stayed away until there was no medical or physical healing possible. Would they have wondered: “Why would He stay away when His beloved friend was in dire straits”?
I don’t know their feelings, of course, but I started thinking about that story through our own past months. I know that godly friendships may “sleep” a while, but they are not dead, and that Jesus has a far greater miracle ahead for us and He will restore all things to an even better place.
When you asked about Scripture verses my mind went to Psalm 121. It starts with the Psalmist looking up the hills, meaning the writer is at a low point in his life, and focused on the One who is the helper. Verses 3-4 are verses I use often when I have trouble sleeping, because I remind God that He’s up anyway and He can deal with whatever concerns me. It’s then that I usually fall off in sleep. The verses later speak about God being a shade; one that the sun will not hurt in its strength. It also speaks about God keeping us. That’s because we are a treasure to Him.
God has not abandoned you. You just can’t see Him in the night. Be reminded of the verse “light and dark are alike to Thee” (Psalm 139:12), meaning God doesn’t change because of our circumstances, nor is He vacant in our distress, and most importantly: He can see you and He knows your pain.
When I’m praying for guidance from the Lord regarding decisions, there are a few guidelines I seek to follow:
Am I being pushed or led into something? Do I feel drawn by the Lord or guilted /pressured to accommodate people?
I ask the Lord for confirmation through outside means, so I see the path.
Would the answer to prayer lead you forward or into the past? Remember, the will of the Lord is the chief thing.
How does spouse/parent feel about the choices?
Where is your peace?
Below are the differences in Biblical and Eastern meditation:
“Chew the cud”; slowly digest and re-digest the Word of God
Purpose: to grow daily in the Word by reading, thinking and study
Meet God at the altar
Continual uttering of sounds, phrases, words – chanting.
To achieve “nirvana”, “bliss” – any numerous phases meaning “peace, rest, oneness”.
The mind is altered.
The Scripture verse the Lord led me to was Psalms 30-:11-12: “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. Oh Lord (Yahweh), I will give thanks unto Thee forever.”
You cannot remove the cloak of mourning and sackcloth from you because you don’t have the strength to do so, but your personal Savior can. He will remove the sadness of your soul and give you hope, and give you gladness as a girdle (the center piece of any clothing, which holds the full piece together). Don’t wait for happiness; look unto God’s gladness for your soul.
Summary of II Chronicles 25:18 – What is the Thistle?
This is an interesting portion in the record of the Kings. It relays a problem between Jehoash, the king of Israel, and Amaziah, the king of Judah.
Basically, the story here is that King Amaziah wanted to face King Johoash in battle. Verse 16 states that he didn’t listen to counsel and the text implies that he was proud and arrogant and wanted to be somebody important. King Amaziah had won victory over Edom, but ended up worshipping their idols and, consequently, turned from the Lord (verse 14).
King Jehoash says that King Amaziah is a thistle to his cedar. A thistle is the Hebrew word “choach” meaning “briar, bramble, hook, ring, better” and it comes from a used root word meaning “to pierce, a thorn”. The thistle was from some type of a bush.
The cedars of Lebanon were majestic trees that were like the king of the forest, and King Jehoash was drawing a comparison between he and King Amaziah, saying that he himself is the strong cedar wood, while King Amaziah is ultimately a thistle, a thorn in his side, and King Amaziah’s pride would be pierced like a thorn.
This defeat of King Amaziah was told in verses 20-24, and the plunder he took was returned to Samaria and, though he outlived King Jehoash, he was slain in Lachish (verses 27-28). The wild beast would be the warriors God allowed to track him down.
Pride always goes before a fall.
First of all, Sabbath is still Saturday. When Jesus resurrected it didn’t change the day, it just changed how it was portrayed.
Jesus died on a Friday and was in hell on Saturday – the Sabbath. One would think that God’s day of rest in enjoying His creation was an interesting correlation to the Saturday when He would be paying our eternal penalty. Jesus certainly didn’t rest on that day.
The basic different is this: Those who adhere solely to the law of the Old Testament would continue to rest on the Saturday because that is as far as they get in Scripture (generally the Jewish faith does not accept the New Testament).
The early believers chose Sunday as the day to worship because it was the day of the Resurrection.
Romans chapter 14: 5-6 is a portion from the apostle Paul, stating that under the New Testament of grace one can choose whatever special day is preferred for them – as long as people are resting on one of those days (Saturday or Sunday).
I choose Sunday, because of the Resurrection and because in God’s order of creation, day one was Sunday – the day of perpetual light, when God showed up in this creation. It is not the day of the sun or moon – that was day four. It was God Himself lighting the space, and so, Resurrection on Sunday – Day 1 – shows us that Jesus is the light of the world for creation, as well as salvation.
I wanted to send you the Scripture I was thinking of. It is I Corinthians 7:15 and while the context is talking about staying with a spouse that is willing for you to stay, that was not your specific situation and you were under no rule to feel guilty. Your spouse left you.
I did double check in the portion of Exodus regarding the Ten Commandments that the phrase “Thou shalt not kill” (King James Version) is in the original: “Thou shalt not murder”.
The original Hebrew word for murder, “ratzeh me ans” = to Murder or Slay with premeditation, and looks forward to the New Testament words of Jesus, when He said: “If you have lusted, you have committed adultery, etc.”, meaning: The internal intention is what God looks to, not even as much the outward appearance or behavior.
My, how that should keep us all in the prayer chamber…..I hope this helps.
I always operate out of the perspective that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”, so even if the portion seems out of place in how it was assembled, God must have a voice within, and the Holy Spirit can lead us to discern it.
Regarding your question about “being right in our own eyes”, it is detrimental because our eyes or viewpoint then becomes the standard, instead of God’s righteousness. Since we’re only as good as we perceive, we can rise no further in God’s eyes.
The four-fold progression of sin to salvation for the Hebrews seems to me to be thus: They rejected God Himself, not just His law, and that brought sorrow, which ultimately lead to supplication because of God’s judgement on them, and then God in His mercy rescued them once again.
How many have seen or participated in a Skype conversation? You can visually see the other person and while all responses, bad gestures may also be seen by the other, you can see a face.
When we tune into God through the Cross of Jesus Christ, we do see God’s face, and we know He sees ours – all of our insolence, pride, waywardness, and the effort to try to make ourselves look better in His eyes.
John 14:9 says, “He that hath seen Me hath seen The Father.” These are the words of Jesus Himself.
II Corinthians 4:16 (Living Bible paraphrased):
“That is why we never give up. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessings upon us forever and ever.
So, we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven, which we have not yet seen.
The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”
Jesus was very careful in the way He spoke. When He said, “The Father and I are One”, the Jews knew that meant He was equating Himself with God. Also, when He said the I Am’s (Good Shepherd, Door, etc.), He was stating that He is the I Am-Yahweh. When they specifically asked Him He said “as you have said”. He didn’t deny it.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me – Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Shepherd’s Psalm; going after the one. Remember that goodness and mercy follow; they don’t lead the way.