Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Addendum to my last post:  There are times we should "pray through" for situations in our lives, for our unsaved loved ones.  We should be like the widow who pestered the judge until he answered her petition (Luke 18:1-7).  Sometimes we are to "stand in the gap."  (Ezekiel 22:30 says:  "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it:  but I found none.")  Sometimes we are to pray fervently.  (James 5:16 says:  "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.")  Sometimes we are commanded to not be weary in well-doing.  (Galatians 6:9 says:  "And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.")

I felt clarity was in order.  Thanks for humoring me!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I read a devotional this week, and I want to share it with you.

Coming Back
by Luann Prater
" 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son.  Treat me as one of your hired servants.' "
 (Luke 15:18-19 ESV)
"Kay was a prodigal.  She had been stunningly beautiful, but now her beauty was hollow and worn.  Downcast with shoulders slumped, she walked throught the doors of her childhood church.
"Heads turned and whispers hollowed her as she made her way to the front of the church during an invitation to come forward for prayer.  She fell to her knees at the altar.  A group gathered around her and prayed for what seemed like an eternity.  She slowly rose to her feet and was asked, 'Did you pray through?' to which the weary wanderer replied, 'I think so.'
"I don't remember seeing Kay back in church again.
"In my church, the phrase 'pray through' was synonymous with striving, staining, and working to find grace and deliverance.  When I became a prodigal myself and wanted desperately to find answers and deliverance, I remembered Kay's forlorn look and decided to keep wandering.  It just seemed easier than trying to 'pray through.'
"Have you been wandering, looking for answers?  Do you long to return to the Father after being far away but hesitate, wondering how you will make it back to Him and what it will cost you?
"When coming 'back home' we often have the same mentality as the prodigal sone (Luke 15:18-19).  Feeling worn down and unworthy, we come to our Father thinking we have to work like hired servants to earn our place.
"After many years, I discovered that forgiveness and salvation aren't chores for us to labor over.  They are free gifts from an amazing God!  Jesus offeres these gifts to all who believe in His name. 
"Jesus says, 'Come to me.'  Period.  It really isn't any more complicated than that.  He loves you.  He has been waiting for you and He welcomes you with open arms.  We don't have to work for forgivenss or 'pray through' like those well-meaning people in my childhood church felt the need to do. 
"God's heart for us is the same as the father's heart for his prodigal son:  'But while (the prodigal son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him' (Luke 15:20)."
This is the bulk of it.  I hope it gives hope.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

There is no telling how many times I have read this verse, but today a part jumped out at me, and I felt I should share with you.

Many of our lost loved ones are deceived someway or another.  Either they do not see their need for a Savior, perhaps because they are such good people, or they do not believe in the infallibility of the Word of God, or they have bought into some part of the current ideas on the creation or homosexuality or God's judgment.  Or perhaps they do not feel they can ever be forgiven for the sins they have committed or that God would answer their prayers.  Deception comes in all shapes and sizes.  But Job 12:16 address that:  "With him is strength and prudence.  The deceived and the deceiver are His."

And that's that! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I know this is my second post of the day, and this is less a raindrop and more of a realization, a dawning, an Aha Moment.  I simply had to share.

Christians seem to throw the word saved around easily, so much so that it has lost its real meaning.  But lately, I have been aware of just how much that word means.

I have been spending time with someone who is very bound by satan, whose life is enveloped in darkness, who is so very lost.  It hit me:  this person needs to be SAVED:  saved from the darkness; saved from the deception; saved from the bondage; saved from being lost.  This person needs to be SAVED from satan and his plans.  This person needs to be rescued, delivered, SAVED!!!! 

I am praying this scripture over this person:  "Cause __________ to call on Your Name, LORD, and save him/her."  (Romans 10:9, 13)

Keep on praying. 
It has been a while, and I am sorry for that.  The raindrops are still coming, and I have one to share this morning.

Hebrews 10:23 says:  "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"  (I know that I should have put a period inside that quotation mark, but I had to leave the original punctuation, because it feels like God just winked at me!  He loves me and my prodigal!) 

So I am taking notice of this verse.  It tells me to not let my faith waver in my words.  I am to "hold fast the profession of" my "faith."  The New King James Version puts it this way:  "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Our words are powerful!  Have you ever told a story from your past so many times that you KNOW it is the truth, but when you tell it in the presence of someone else who was there, they remember it a totally different way?  My sister constantly reminds me that I caused her to brake her tailbone when we were children.  She says that when we were living in Grand Bay, Alabama, I was pushing her on our neighbor's flying jenny way too fast, and she flew off.  The way I remember it is that she was trying to sit on the corner of the bed and missed, falling off and landing on the hardwood floor.  I also remember that the neighbor who owned the flying jenny lived across the street from us in Gordo, Alabama.  We have both told that story so many times, that the details have gotten out of whack, most likely on both sides.

So, back to the scripture at hand.  Let's keep our words full of faith.  I would never want one of us to allow our words to talk us out of believing that God can and will save our lost loved one.  Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able, but only as much as we allow His power to work in us.  Let's read that verse:  "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us."  We always focus on the first part of that verse, and for very good reason:  it builds our faith.  But if we look at the last part, it seems to say that we can limit what God will do, not can do, by how much we allow His power to work in us. 

Let's confess our faith, profess our faith, and NEVER say that IF God saves our lost, it will be a miracle; or that their salvation seems impossible; or that we see no hope; and so many other negative things we say when we see negative circumstances.  Let's look for those raindrops that point to the promises of God coming true.  Let's use words that build up our faith, that state firmly what God's Word promises and what God has promised us personally.  I KNOW God's promises are true, and that He keeps EVERY ONE OF THEM!!! 

One more verse that is well-known, and I will try to quit.  (It is hard to stop when it feels like God is pouring this all over me and into me!)  Philippians 4:8 says:  "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  If we think on these suggested things, our words will be as God requires, because "out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)

Let our words speak faith only, and see what God will do!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The story of Lazarus gave me hope.  I hope it does the same for you.

In "reading the red" in John 11, I found this hope and a stirring in me.  In verse 4, Jesus says, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."  I remembered all the promises that my lost loved one, who is spiritually dead, is really just sleeping, and that God will work all of what is going on now for his good, and God will receive the glory. 

In verse 11, Jesus said, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."  I believe this is in response to the many prayers I have prayed for Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There, to be with my lost loved one, and the prayers asking Jehovah Sabaoth to send His holy angels, the ministering spirits, with swords drawn, to fight satan on behalf of him.  I believe God Himself is at work in the life of my prodigal to draw him back to Himself.

Verse 23 reveals a very pointed promise:  "Your brother will rise again."  My lost loved one will live in Christ again, and I believe this promise will soon be realized.  Jesus says it another way in verses 25-26:  "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"  The answer to His question is, "Yes, I do!!!"

Then Jesus said, "Where have you laid him?" (Verse 34).  My answer is, "I have lain him in the arms of the Savior, the Redeemer, the One Who keeps His promises," and I continue to lay him there daily, praying prayers as the Spirit leads and as I see needs arise.  In the everlasting arms of the Almighty is the best place for my prodigal to be.

When I read, "Take away the stone," in verse 39, I searched my heart to see if there was anything I needed to remove in our relationship, anything that would hinder my loved one's salvation, any offense, or any prayer I may not have prayed.  (Remember, James 4:2 says, "Yet you do not have because you do not ask.")

Then Jesus said, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" (Verse 40).  My heart cries, "I believe!  I believe!!  I know I will see the glory of God in this person's life!!" 

Then verses 41-42 records Jesus' prayer for Lazarus and those around Him.  "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."

Then He tells Lazarus to come forth! (Verse 43)  Lazarus obeys!  Hallelujah!!  I can hardly wait!

Then there is a directive to the witnesses, to those around the tomb.  Jesus tells them, "Loose him, and let him go" (Verse 44).  This pricked my heart.  I hope that when the time comes, I will not be a hindrance in any way my loved one's walk with the Lord.  I hope that I can accept the "all things new" in his life, that I will not say anything that will cause him pain or offense, that I will let God be God in his life and allow God to do the work that needs to be done without my interference or trying to hurry the process along.  I hope I can let him be free to worship God, serve God, and to fulfill God's purposes in his life. 

This passage, although it is talking about a physical death, gave me hope for the resurrection of my lost loved one's soul and spirit.  I believe God's promises!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This scripture touched me this morning.  I thought you might like to read it, too.

"and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  (2 Timothy 3:15-17)