Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Adjusted---by Hope's notes

               Today--- Not once again, your holy word has adjusted me. 
               Today--As I awaited your sense of directions, It adjusted me.
               Now, I have peace for your words are fire round about me.
               Whom shall I fear?
               No one--for you, My God--are always with me and near
               A cause only you know has been sent
               I am adjusted to turn the way
               I do not see as yet...It awaits me. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Identifying the strong man---Part IV

Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

      Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (Matt 12:29)

        Greetings! By now, you are tired of seeing Matt 12:29 in my past devotionals, but friends, there is a lot of truth in here. This truth is filled with insights on deliverance. First, we know that the strong man is Satan or a leader of a group of demon powers. Satan is a thief and he has robbed us of our finances, health and even our nation. When we learn how to bind him, we will take back what he has stolen!
         In my last devotional, I talked about mixture. Martin Luther was a great man of God and wanted to reach the Jews, but they rejected Christ. Instead of praying for them, he took it personal and became bitter. That bitterness had him write some negative things about the Jews.(1)
              When Hitler rose to power, the church in Germany was asleep. Winning the elections by just one vote (2), he started to take this nation on a downhill slope. He justified his persecution of the Jews by quoting the sayings of Martin Luther. We, all, know what happened--Germany was devastated and winded up being divided.
             We, as a church, have to guard ourselves from mixture. Mixture will set us down a slippery slope and cause us to miss God's best for our nation and family. The Apostle Paul had the same problem. Ephesus had a mixture of idols and it was coming into his chruch. As he prayed the prayer of the Ephesians, the church started to grow.
                 Friends, the prayer of the Ephesians is powerful. Not only can you pray it for yourself, but you can pray it for others! So, I encourage you to pray that prayer. Don't have it available? Go to the contact us section and I will gladly send it by email. As we pray for one another, we will see results and save our nation from ruin. God bless. 

(1) Links on Martin Luther and his

Bible verses by www.biblegateway.com

Identifying the strong man--Part 3

Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.


      In our last studies, we saw how to identify the strong man in the lives of your loved ones and your city. Today's study is on how to pray for your government. Jesus has given the church power and authority over serpents and scorpions, as well as all the power of the enemy. But God's promises has a catch. The key word to remember is repentance. If we, as a church, fail to repent from our evil ways, we won't be effective. Satan is a legalist and if he sees sin in our lives, we won't have any type of power over him. Friends, it is not enough to say--Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned. That is just a first step.
         What the Lord expects from us and the church is to turn away from sin. Yes, the word says that a just man falls seven times (In a day), but it does not end there. The word says that he riseth up again. (Prov 24:16) You cannot stay complacent. You need to get up and fight the good fight of faith.
            Yes, I realize some habits are strongholds and change does not happen overnight, but we need to be consistent. We have to do our part. How can we fight the big demons (Serpents), if we fail to address the little ones (Scorpions) in our lives? Friends, God wants to raise us up to do a work for him. I encourage you to get a prayer partner to help you. That is the function of the church--To lend a helping hand. We need each other! 
           History teaches us the importance of repentance. Germany was once a Christian nation, but the church itself got into mixture. Martin Luther was a great man of faith, but not without its flaws. It has been said that he tried to reach out to the Jews but they rejected the good news. He, then, proceeded to write some negative things about the Jews. 
       Friends, mixture can hurt the church and others. These type of writings fell into the hands of Adolph Hitler and the persecution of the Jews began. Do we have mixture in our churches? Does your church has any mixture? Pray for your church and the body of Christ. Our nation's future depends on it. More thoughts about this to come tomorrow. God bless.

Verses provided by www.biblegateway.com

Links on Martin Luther and his writings....http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Identifying the strong man---Part 2

                                                                It's time to put the enemy
                                                                under your feet!

                      Image courtesy of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Stomp.j

Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.(Matt 12:29) 

              In our last study, we saw how Jesus used this principle in dealing with the madman of Gadara ( Luke 8:30) He identified the strong man and cast him out. The result was deliverance and the Lord was magnified! The same applies for your city. In Revelation 2:12-16, the Lord spoke to the church of Pergamos. Pergamos was a city with problems. Crime was high, but so was idolatry. We see here how the Lord identified the 3 strong men---

  • Satan--Pergamos was so corrupt that Satan himself was controlling that area.(verse 13) 
  • Balam spirit---Perversion had penetrated that church in the form  of mixture and spiritual fornication. The church had departed from sound doctrine.
  • Nicolatianes spirit--It was a form of control. A church should not force its people to serve God or their man-made doctrines.      
 God had warned the church on these 3 main strongmen. The key to victory was repentance. You can bind all day long the principalities, as well as the power of the enemy and get nowhere without repentance. If the church is not walking in repentance, then its all in vain. Years ago, in my city, we had a high crime rate. The churches got together and addressed the problem in their community. One night in prayer, a brother identified the murder spirit as Python. After that, the crime rate dropped and the church impacted the city for a season.  So, don't give up on your city. Pray for your church. Pray that God will examine hearts and then you will see God move in your community. God bless.
Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com

Identifying the Strong Man!

  Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he             first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.  (Matt 12:29)


             Greetings. In this devotional, I want to share some thoughts on identifying the strong man. In our Christian walk, we battle through strongholds in our life, family, community and nations. For a stronghold to function, it has to be run by a strongman. Previously, in our last studies, we saw how we can bind the spirit of the world and get our loved ones saved in the name of Jesus. We, also, saw how Daniel's prayers was hindered by the prince of Persia. Another strongman that was identified in prayer!
               Jesus used this principal when he cast out the spirit of the demon-possessed madman. He had, previously, commanded that spirit to come out and believe it or not, it refused to do so. (Luke 8:28-29) When you are casting out demons, they will fight you to the end. It wasn't until Jesus identified the strong man and commanded it to come out! (Luke 8:30) 
             Why was Jesus so successful in casting out spirits and doing miracles? He paid the price. He sacrificed some of his time in prayer, seeking God's face and fasted 40 days! Now, I am not telling you to fast 40 days, especially if you have some health problems, but in order to prepare yourself for the work God has called you, you need to set some time for him. There is a time of preparation in order to be effective in what God has called you to do.
                I have seen new believers in the Lord who mean well, but run ahead of God. They get a little revelation and think they know it all. To top it off, they start to see some shortcomings in their church and Pastor. Folks, remember there is no perfect church nor Pastor. We need each other. Other than preaching apostasy, if the church falls short---Stay there until you hear from God to go elsewhere.
           Soon, the new believer starts church hopping and is never stable. Then, he comes across a brillant idea---I am starting my own ministry. Doing that is a recipe for disaster. Friends, there has to been a season of preparation. A season in where other than seeking God, you submit to the authorities in the church and grow. 
          Remember, God does speak to man but he uses the church as the mother to nuture the soul. When you are planted in the church you need to be in, you are safe. God's grace will be upon you and it will restrain you from going back to the world. (Prov 1:8-9) Church is necessary for the body to grow and be prepared. Seek a church that believes in a God who is,still,alive. A place that believes that God, still, does miracles. As you do that, you will start being prepared in your calling and be effective. Tomorrow, I will share more on the strongman and pulling down strongholds. God bless.

Bibleverses by www.biblegateway.com


Praying for your loved ones.

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (I Cor 4:4) 

     How many times have you've been frustrated praying for a loved one? I got good news----God remembers you! He loves that person more than you do and wants salvation to come. The question is--Why is it taking so long? 
      First, we are in a spiritual battle. The word says that we wrestle not with flesh and blood. (Eph 6:12) Second, we need to know God's purpose for man. He is, not, willing that people perish but that all come to repentance. It is God's will that man be saved, so that is good news. 
             The catch to this is us! Many times, God's will gets to be fulfilled in what we do. If you read the above verse, it says that the god (Satan) of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not! So, the root cause is spiritual blindness. Yes, man has a will and God respects free will, but in this case, man does not have a choice---he is blinded! 
           So, that means that we have to get to the root cause. We have to bind the strong man, which is Satan. (Matt 18:18) We have to bind the god of this world and release (loose) a spirit of repentance. When the blindfold is removed, then man can make a choice!
           But, that is not where it ends--there is still good new! God made a promise to Jesus. He said to ask and I will give you the heathen for an inheritance. We are joint heirs with Christ, so that means that souls are our inheritance. 
            We have a mixed-up concept of inheritance. When we think of inheritance, we think of money. Yes, our salvation included financial prosperity and that is something to be happy about, but the thing that should make us shout and dance is the saving of a soul. That is the main focus of our inheritance.
              You see, Brethren, when you loose a spirit of repentance and ask God to open your loved ones eyes, you are asking for a soul. You are asking for your inheritance, so in spite of man's free will, God is able to break it and bring your loved ones to the altar. It is a promise! 
             He knows how to get the attention of your loved ones. George Muller was a tremendous man of prayer. A story was told of his burden to reach a young man for Christ. That man hardened his heart, but Muller kept on praying for the man's soul. When Muller died and was being buried, the young man, finally, came to Christ. By the way, George Muller had a great track record of answered prayer! 
          We, in the body, need to get away from tradition and unbelief. Many churches explain thier lack of members by saying many are called but few are chosen, then why is God wasting his time building mansions? Another case in point is the Bible records that there was a mulitude of souls that could not be numbered. (Rev 7:9) Friends, God does, not only, wants to fill churches and empty hell but he wants to reach nations. So, be encouraged and pray. Don't give up because God remembers you and your loved ones. God bless.

Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com

Being effective in Prayer

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12)

                  Prayers! Everyone wants their prayers to be heard, especially those that involves our loved ones. The question to ask---How do we start being effective. First, in my past series of devotionals entitled "Don't miss out", we covered the area of praying in tongues. If you've missed any of these teachings, you can scroll down this website and study this interesting subject. 
            Praying in tongues is so important when interceding because the enemy is, also, trying something "new" to hinder us. It takes the Holy Spirit to help us stay ahead in the game. He helps us to pray. He helps us to solve the mysteries of prayer. 
             In Eph 6:12, we see the different classes of demon powers listed. They are the following--
       1- Principalities
       2- Powers
       3- Rulers of the darkness
       4- Spiritual wickedness in high places.
      We can have an extense Bible study on these four items listed above, but let's concentrate for now on the word Principalities. Principalities are the foremost person or leader of a group. Principalities denotes Satan's generals. When we pray for a nation, city or community, we need to identify the strong man.(Matt 12:29) 
       Daniel saw this principal in prayer. In fact, when Daniel set himself to seek God, it called attention in the demon world. Why?  Satan is not stupid. He knows the power of prayer. 
       Daniel was doing a parcial fast and praying. A fast is effective and can do serious damage to Satan and his kingdom. (Isa 58:6) In fact, Satan was so scared of what Daniel was doing that he sent one of his chief generals to stop his prayers.The word tells us that the prince of Persia went out to hinder Daniel's prayer. That means that the demon general that was influencing the king of Persia took a break from his function in government to hinder Daniel's prayers! It called attention to the world of darkness.
          What does that tell us? When we pray and fast, we will call attention to the powers of Satan! In fact, when you pray for your community,city or nation, you become a threat to Satan. If you notice what happened to Daniel, he found out, through an angel, the name of that principality. It was the prince of Persia. (Dan 10)
        Friend, we need discernment in order to, effectively, pray for those that have authority over us. It is necessary to identify the strong man so that we can be effective in praying for others. There are tools that God has given us in order to be victorious in battle. In this day, ask God to give you discernment in prayer, especially when interceding for those in authority. God bless. 

Bible verses provided by www.biblegateway.com

Don't miss out---Part 3

 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

       In our last study, we saw how praying in tongues will cause you to be sensitve and heed God's warning for you and your family. I shared how my praying in tongues prevented me from being killed and dying before my time. It can, also, protect your loved ones.
       One time, while I was just getting entertained by my computer listening to some music, My youngest boy, James, came to mind. Being sensitive to the Spirit, I started to pray in tongues. About 5 minutes into my praying in tongues, I got a call from a State trooper. My son James was involved in a terrible car accident, but was not hurt.
        Friends, the devil is after your children and your seed. We need to keep them in prayer constantly. My son, James, took my car without my consent and went joy riding with a friend. I did not know what was happening but the Holy Spirit did! He alerted me to pray for my boy. 
            When I got to the scene, my car was, almost, totaled. I have to admit I was angered, but when I calmed down, I was relieved to see my boy and his friend alive. Praise God! It saddens me when the body of Christ debates about praying in tongues. Friend, the proof is in the pudding. Try it because it may save your life or the lives of your loved ones. 
               Praying in tongues can work in the financial area, too. Many times, when my back has been against the wall, I prayed in tongues. One time, I was in a tight spot. My bills were accumulatiing, so I spent some time praying in tongues. The Holy Spirit showed me that I had a savings account that I had, all, but forgotten. 
              It was the amount that I needed and provision was made for the bills and I was, even, able to give a good offering for a missions work in Peru. In this day, spend some time praying in tongues...You'll be glad you did. Who knows? You may have a testimony to share!  God bless. 

Verses provided by www.biblegateway.com

Don't miss out-----Part 2

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.(I Cor 14:2)

          In our last study, we found out how praying in tongues is a strong tool to have. It provides guidance, instruction and wisdom. It will even help you find misplaced items--Praise God! In today's study, we will see how praying in tongues can mean the difference between life and death. 
              The devil takes advantage of our ignorance and can kill us before our time. (Ecc 7:17) This Que Sera, Sera attitude has got to leave the body of Christ. You can change your destiny and be victorious over the circumstances of life. In fact, God gives you insight on how you will come out in life---More than a conqueror. This Que Sera attitude is dangerous and can cost us in the end.
               When you pray in tongues, it will cause you to be sensitive to God. Years ago, I was a cab driver in the city of Norfolk. One night when I came to work, the Holy Spirit for some unexplained reason caused me to pray in tongues for hours. It was intense and I felt a big battle raging.
             That same night at the end of my shift, the Holy Spirit was telling me to go home. I was hardheaded and did not go. To make a long story short, I was shot in a botched up robbery attempt. I was hit in the arm once.
            I prayed in tongues during this ordeal and felt a hand lowing my head by the driver's side. Another shot went by the driver's side and shattered the glass. I felt the bullet whizzing by my head. Brethren, did you know that in spite of the glass being shattered, I, only, had a few scratches on my face? The police came and I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctors took an x-ray of my arm and found that the shot, narrowly, missed a main artery on my arm. 
               I credit praying in tongues for my deliverance. The Holy Spirit knew, beforehand, what was going to happen and prevented a tragedy. In my next devotional, I will share how praying in tongues saved my son's life. So, friend, pray in tongues...It may just save your life in the end. I have enclosed an extra link about my cab driving experiences for your extra reading pleasure. I love you, all, in the Lord and God bless.

Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com

My life as a cab driver...

Don't miss out!

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (I Cor 14:2)

           Yes, that is the word for today--Don't miss out. Have your prayers been hindered? Are you frustrated and think that God has forgotten you? You are not alone, but there is an answer. Friend, life is full of mysteries and challenges, but God has all the answers.
             When your back is against the wall and you've run of answers, pray in tongues. When you pray in tongues, you are praying the mysteries of God in action. In other words, the mysteries of life's toughest challenges and its answers are at your disposal. The question is...how do I get the answers I need?
              When you read I Cor 14:2-13, you will see how the Apostle Paul puts emphasis on interpreting what you are speaking in tongues, especially on verse 13. Why is this? So, you can get the answers you need in prayer and live a victorious life. I can tell you multitudes of testimonies on answers to prayers just by praying in tongues. 
                One case to bear in mind was when I lost my checkbook. Thank God, it was empty and had no blank checks, but it had my little checkbook ledger and my transaction records. Me and my wife looked everywhere---In the house, in our cars and in the church. I,even, contacted my Pastor to look for it in church and nothing,nada, zil. Have you ever had an frustrating moment like this where you lose something and cannot find it?
              I quoted the word and prayed that just like the axehead floated so shall my checkbook be. (II Kings 6:1-7) Many times, I had prayed that prayer and found what I was looking for, but this time, no results. Friends, this was a time of testing, but God was going to be glorified. I prayed in tongues for a revelation of that mystery and the Lord said to rest. So, I cast the care of it on him.
              On a Sunday morning during a church service, I am not kidding you, the checkbook was right in front of us. It was in front of our seat laying on the floor---Praise God! My wife could not believe it. That, my friend, is trusting God. God does answer prayers and tongues is a powerful tool to use in prayer. More on this tomorrow. God bless!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Undo your future---Part 2

    Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.


      Greetings. In our last devotional, we saw the importance of words. Words are important and they determine our future. Many of you reading this are where you are become of words. Words are powerful and how you use it can determine your future.
          Jesus said my words are spirit and life. The word, also, says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. So, it stands to reason that if Jesus words are spirit and life, then are your words the same? Remember, words are spirits and what you say can release it for good or harm. 
             Such was the case for the Jews. In their haste to kill Jesus, they were led by their emotions and would speak words. Those words would affect them and their seed. They
took upon them the responsibility of being accountable for the death of Jesus. (Matt 27:25) 
        The blood that saves would become a curse to them. Those words would release the spirits of death and destruction. The good news is that God was not finished with his people. Centuries later, He would give Ezekiel, the prophet, a vision. A vision that would take him to the future and see a valley of dry bones. I, personally, believe that this was in Germany during World War II. The Jews would see persecutiion arise in Germany. Adolph Hitler and the Nazis would gather the Jews in a concentration camp.
            There he would take them to the gas chambers, put their carcasses in the oven. Once burned, they would scrap off their remains and leave them in a remote valley. God told Ezekiel to prophesy and he did. God released words. God released spirits and undid a curse. The Jews were going to be blessed and be a mighty nation. Words have power, my friend.
               So, determine to do a check up on what have you been speaking about. Also, take it a step futher. What have others been speaking about you, especially behind your back? We have to be careful who we associate ourselves with. Not everybody has our best interest.
           The good news is that you can undo those words, even those spoken behind your back. Isa 54:17 says that every tongue that rises against you in judgement, you shall condemn. That includes  those spirits released by words through your so-called "friends." Words that have been spoken behind your back can be judged and put to naught. In other words, you can bind those spirits and put them under your foot.
           So, exercise your authority in Christ. If you need to change relationships or even your church, do so. You, your future and loved ones can be at stake. More to come about this on Monday. Have a good weekend and God bless.

Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com
Join us at www.wordandgrace56.com

Undo your future!



                                Above image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

                 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy                     mouth. (Proverbs 6:2)

           Greetings. I want to call your attention to words. When it comes to words, people do not pay much attention to it. Some would joke around when they have a problem saying things like ---I feel a tumor growing or that tickles me to death. Friends, words have power and we need to take heed to how we talk.
          The famous Buddy Holly was joking around with a well-known country singer saying--"I hope your ol' bus freezes up." In response, the singer answered Holly--"Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes." We, all, know what happened---Buddy Holly's plane crashed and those words would torment that singer for years to come. 
         Why are words so important. Jesus said it in a nutshell---My words are spirit and they are life.(John 6:63) When you release words, good or bad, you are releasing spirits that will influence your course of life and even alter history. One case in point was the Jews. They had seen the miracles of Jesus. 
       Some may have even, felt, the presence of the Holy Spirit,yet their hearts were hardened. They were filled with hate and envy because of Jesus. When Pilate disputed about them concerning innocent blood, they said a statement that would impact their lives and change the course of history. Let's look at the verse below---- 
 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. (Matt 27:25)

          Those words opened the door to a curse. Not only were those people affected, but it paved the way for a curse upon them. All through the centuries, the Jews have been persecuted and killed by the multitudes. The blood that was meant to save them became a curse for them. 
          But not all is lost, the Jews as well as the Gentiles can come to Christ. They can have their future, as well as their destiny changed. Thank God, that he gives us a second chance. So, friend, stop foolish jesting. Start saying what God's word says about you.
              When you do this, you will be better off in the long run. Your words can affect your family and even change the course of history. Let us keep a watch over what we say. Tomorrow, I will continue this study in more detail. Be blessed and thank you for reading this devotional.  

Bible verses provided by www.biblegateway.com



Is there hope for the United States-----Part 2

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.(II Chron 7:14)'

                              Is there hope for the United States? Part 2.

            In our last study, we saw how Jonah obeyed God and answered the call to preach to the Ninevites. His message was a strong one, but nevertheless, it got through and the Ninevites repented. This should have made Jonah happy, but he got angered. Why? Because he hated them. 
             He hated them because of what they did to his people in the past. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria and that nation had oppressed Israel in the past. While one could understand his anger, there is, still, no reason to habour past grudges; especially if Jonah was following God. He failed to understand the long-suffering mercies of God. 
             I want to shift from this example to focus on America. There are issues that are dividing this country and many are concerned about its future. Some would say--Que sera, sera. There is nothing to be done about it.
             Allow me to differ with that view. God's word gives us the answer. It says to turn from our wicked ways. We, as a body, need to examine ourselves. Doing so will cause God to hear our prayers and heal our land.
           It is interesting to see that the word heals means in the Hebrew the following---Restored favor, national hurts, national defects or personal distress. Unemployment, certainly, has caused us personal distress. We have, also, national hurts such as the ugly history of slavery and tax abuse to mention a few. You can go down the line and find a list of hurts. 
        Healing, involves not only healing from sickness, but from injuries. Sin causes injuries and wounds us. King David knew this and got to hate his sin. (Ps 38) If we want God to heal this land, we need to examine ourselves. We need to hate sin and forsake it.
           In this day, do a heart check and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal hidden sins in your heart. Repent and ask for God's grace to help you in times of temptation. As we do this, we will, surely, see God heal our nation. God bless. 
Verses provided by www.biblegateway.com

Is There hope for the United States?



"And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not." (Jonah 3:10) 

                      Yesterday, we read about how a nation turned to God. We saw how Jonah went through a series of circumstances in his life that impacted him. God, in his wisdom, manipulated those circumstances in his favor to "break" Jonah's will. In spite of this, he, still, had free will to choose. I believe that when he was in the belly of the whale, that was Jonah's last chance to say yes to God. Yes, God is merciful and full of grace, but there comes a time when grace ends and judgement comes. Jonah's decision in the belly of the whale was a death or life choice. 
                       Perhaps many reading this are saying "NO" to a calling of God in your life. It may be something as simple as telling your neighbor about Jesus. Whatever it is, don't harden your heart. It may not cause you to die, but a hardened heart will, eventually, stop hearing from God. When this happens, wrong choices will be made and you can be in the wrong place at the wrong tiime! In this day, take some time to examine your heart. Keep the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life and harden not your heart.
                       It is interesting that in the midst of testings and trials, God will dredge up what is in our hearts. When Jonah was persuaded to obey God, he preached God's message. It was a hard message, but God looked out for his prophet. It is my personal belief that when he got out of the belly's whale, he had lost his hair and was bald. As he obeyed and preached, God used this unfortunate incident to calll the people's attention. Can you imagine their reaction---"We are getting invaded by aliens!"
                       Yes, this was an invasion, a holy invasion and God was the mastermind. I believe that while Jonah preached, God was healing him on the spot which caused them to fear and experience the power of God. Friends, we may be called to preach a hard message, but let's not forget God's power in demostration! It is interesting that when the people repented, Jonah's true motive for not obeying is revealed. Look at the following verse----
  " But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew  that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.  Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live." (Jonah 4:1-3)

                Notice that Jonah did forsake his calling for the following--He knew that God was a gracious God, merciful and slow to anger. In effect, he was expecting judgement. Why did he hate the Ninevites? Perhaps since they were a violent people, he remembered what they did to his nation and even to his family. (II Kings 19:36) Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. Assyria was the nation that oppressed Israel as a result of God's judgement. (II Kings 17:22-24) 
                So. you can see why Jonah acted this way. The question I want to ask is this---If there was hope for Nineveh, can there be hope for the United States? In my next devotional, I will address this subject. God bless. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sentados en los lugares Celestiales.

Bienaventurado el varón que no anduvo en consejo de malos, Ni estuvo en camino de pecadores, Ni en silla de escarnecedores se ha sentado;
           (Salmos 1:1) 

Al leer esto,me pongo a pensar. ¿Hacia dónde nos sentamos ? Sé que la palabra dice que estoy sentado en lugares celestiales en Cristo Jesús , pero si no tenemos cuidado , podemos estar sentado en el asiento equivocado. Cuando era niño , al crecer en Nueva York, solíamos jugar a un juego llamado sillas musicales . Escuchamos  un disco y tieniamos 5 personas caminando por 4 sillas. Cuando la música se paraba , uno de ellos se quedaron fuera .
                       En el reino del Senor, no es asi. El Senor tiene una silla para mi y para ti. Hay sillas a monton. En el mundo, la gente son egoista. Le preocupa el "YO" y lo demas se queda afuera. Por eso, tenemos que aprender a renovar nuestro entendimiento. Cuando uno se pasa con gente del mundo y que no estan sirviendo a Dios, uno puede ser influido a cambiar su manera de pensar.  Muchas veces, tenemos que hacer cambios radicales en nuestras relaciones personales.
                        Jesús enseñó este principio con la hija de Jairo. Muchas gente atacan el declarar las cosas que no son como si fueran. Pues, vamos al ejemplo maximo.Veamos el ejemplo de Jesus. El  hizo una declaración de fe ( 1 ). Vino a una niña  que estaba muerta, pero no llamó asi. ¿Por qué? Porque vio en su mente la niña sana. Sí, era un hecho que se murio , pero Jesús estaba hablando de esas cosas que no son como si fuesen ( 2 ) . Una fuerte evidencia de que la palabra de Dios puede cambiar las circunstancias .
                             Sin embargo, algunas personas se reían de él . Ellos estaban sentados en el asiento de los escarnecedores,con su sarcasmo y su burla.¿Qué hizo Jesús ?  Él hizo algo radical. Los echó afuera a todos.  Muy lejos de la imagen de lo que el mundo tiene de Jesús. Esa accion, logicamente, ofendio a esa gente, pero a Jesus no le importaba. Mas lo importaba que la niña resucitara de los muertos y fuera sana.
                         La incredulidad es como una enfermedad . Si usted va a una iglesia donde el pastor abraza la incredulidad y la religión , eso puede debilitar su fe y si usted no tiene cuidado , estaras sentado en el asiento equivocado. Jesús sabía donde estaba sentado . Tenía confianza en la palabra y no le preocupaba lo que lo que pensaran los demas.
                             Era evidente en esto porque su fe empezó a trabajar y dar los resultados finales. Él sabía cual era su lugar con el Padre , y por eso es importante estar sentados con él . En este dia, deje de jugar sillas musicales con el mundo. Mantengase sentado(a) en la silla celestial.

Referencias: (1)  Marcos 5:22-23, 35-42 (2) Heb 11:3
Retrato courtesy de  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Seat_Tirumalai_Nayak.jpg                          

Monday, August 12, 2013

A nation turns to God!

                               Image provided courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

"And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." (Jonah 3:1-2)

                     In our last study, we saw how Jonah ran from the call of God. His hardness of heart was reflected when he took a ship to Tarshish (Modern day Spain) and fell asleep along the way, not caring nor being convicted of fleeing from the call of God. God, in his love, did not give up on Jonah. He allowed a storm to come his way to call his attention, but still, Jonah was asleep. 
        It was not until one of the men woke him up and called upon him to pray. This would have been a wonderful opportunity for Jonah to preach the word and win souls. The sad thing was that he kept silent and did not care to share his faith. It wasn't until by the hand of God that he was found out. 
         The incredible thing was that, even, when he was found out, he preferred suicide than be obedient to God. It was not until a fish, most likely a whale, swallowed him that he was faced with reality. Instead of a fast death, Jonah was facing a slow and painful death inside of the whale's belly.
         God knows how to get our attention and praise be to his name that he never gives up on us. Jonah was facing a last call...a last chance and then all bets would be off. He would face eternal damnation because of his disobedience.When faced with this, he cried out to God in his"hell". He repented, trusted and praised him in the midst of his "hell". Friend, God can deliver you from your "hell", if you trust and praise him. We, all, know what happened---The whale had heartburn and vomited him out. 
               Tradition has us thinking that Jonah came out nice and fresh and went out to preach, but nothing could be further than the truth. I have read reports of people that had been swallowed by a whale. Their skin turned pure white and, in some cases, they lose their hair. Can you imagine how Jonah looked when he came out?
                    Notice in the above verse. God give him a command for the second time. Thank God for second chances. God is willing to give us all the time of the world if it would make a difference. Jonah was smart and walked out to Nineveh. Can you imagine the spectacle that Jonah caused? His condition called the people to attention. 
                      What does that tell us? When we go to preach, we need to trust God because he has a plan. We hear of street preachers preaching gloom and doom but without no demonstration of God's power. Brethren, I am not against preaching gloom and doom and if that what God has called you---more power to you! The thing that concerns me is that God's word is preached with signs and wonders. 
                   Jonah was a wonder in his condition, but God did not leave him  that way. I believe that during his preaching, his skin started to change colors and that amazed the people. They saw a demonstration of his power! No wonder they took heed and repented. They saw signs and wonders. 
               Recently, our church went out to evangelize near a store. God gave our Senior Pastor favor and we were allowed to put tables and chairs near the entrance. As the people entered the store, all we asked them was if they needed prayer. The reaction was mixed, but we had some good results. Friends, the word says he that winneth souls is wise. 
              The world is looking for answers and if they can get a taste of God with signs and wonders, your church will be full. Jesus demonstrated this principle when he preached to the multitudes through signs and wonders. So, friend, as you share your faith, be open to the gifts of the spirit.
            You will be surprised at the results you can get. In Russia, they were cases of churches being formed overnight, just like in the book of Acts. Who knows if the Lord might raise you up to form a church? So, the word in this day is to preach the word with signs and wonders following...A world is waiting for good news! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Las palabras tienen poder!

           "Hijo mío, está atento a mis palabras; Inclina tu oído a mis razones. No se aparten de tus ojos; Guárdalas en medio de tu corazón; Porque son vida a los que las hallan,Y medicina a todo su cuerpo. (Prov 4:20-22)

    En este devocional, quiero compartir algunos pensamientos con ustedes. Las palabras tienen poder. Tenemos que tener cuidado como hablamos porque nuestras palabras pueden dar vida o muerte. Palabras habladas en un momento de enojo o contiendas pueden hacer daños, especialmente en nuestros hijos. Si te paseas por las carceles, encontraran que muchos son hijos(a) de predicadores de la palabra. Lo mas probable es que han sido heridos por las palabras de sus Padres o un ser querido.
            Hnos y Hnas, las palabras pueden construir o destruir. Es un hecho cientifico que las palabras pueden mejorar o destruir su salud dependiendo de cómo se habla. Los científicos han encontrado que la vida y sus formas fueron creadas por el sonido. ¿De dónde el sonido viene? Palabras? ¿Quién dijo estas palabras? Dios! (Gen 1)
                La palabra de Dios es poderosa. Observe lo que dice --- atento a mis palabras! Cuando se lee la palabra de Dios, no lo lea como si estuvieras leyendo un periódico. Medite y estudie la palabra. Dale tu atención porque es Dios que te esta hablando. Dios te esta hablando 24/7 en su palabra.
                  El siguiente paso es inclinar tu oído. En otras palabras, deten y tome un tiempo para escucharlo. Cuando leas la palabra, lealo a voz alta y medite en ella. La Pabra dice que la fe viene por el oír y el oír por la palabra de Dios. Nosotros no nos gusta la repetición, pero la palabra de Dios es repetitivo. ¿Por qué? Dios quiere que su palabra heche raices en nuestro corazones para poder cambiar nuestra mente, carne e incluso las circunstancias. La palabra es poderosa!
                                Cuando salga de su corazón, tendra vida propia. Esa vida se manifesta como poder para sanar y  cambiar sus circunstancias, así que decide en este día, que la palabra tendrá el primer lugar en su vida. Pase tiempo en la palabra. Al fin y al cabo, le beneficiara y le brindara bendiciones de lo alto. 

Versos courtesia de www.biblegateway.com

To Hell and back!

                         "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt 12:40)

                            In our last devotional, we saw how sin had hardened Jonah's heart. How he was so comfortable in his disobedience that he fell asleep and did not notice a storm coming his way. In spite of the circumstances of life, Jonah was hard headed and would not repent. To make a long story short, he was thrown overboard from the ship where he was traveling and swallowed by a fish (Most likely a whale).
                            It is interesting that our Lord Jesus compared himself to Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of the whale 3 days and 3 nights. Can you imagine the "hell" that he was going through? A world of darkness and his skin decaying with the digestive juices inside the whale's belly? No doubt, Jonah was in constant pain and agony. 
                     In the midst of his agony, he cried out to God. He made his peace with him and God gave the whale heartburn and he winded up spitting  Jonah out to shore. Our Lord Jesus went through a similar experience but on a most intense level. He was in hell 3 days and 3 nights. The fact of the matter is that Jesus was not buried underground as some would conclude in Matt 12:40 because he was buried in a cave, but this speaks of hell.(1) Jesus went into hell. Why? To pay for our sins and rescue the Old testament saints 
                   My favorite boxer is Muhammad Ali. He used the power of confession to his advantage. He would talk and intimidate his opponents on a consistent basis. After a while, he would wind up beating them. When he fought George Foreman, he used the technique called rope-a-dope. George Foreman, who was the most feared fighter of his time, was punching at Ali's body constantly until he got tired. Ali had taken all of his punches and now it was his turn. Brilliantly attacking a worn out Foreman, Ali made his move and decked him to win the Heavyweight championship of the world! 
                       Rope-a-dope is nothing new. Our Lord Jesus did a "rope-a-dope" with the devil. He took his best punches in hell. When the time was up, Jesus attacked and defeated Satan and his legions of hell,but that was not all. The saints had a front row seat on the fight of the millennium and winded up leaving with the champion, but not before Jesus paraded them on display showing their defeat. It was better than the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade! (2)
                          In looking at the life of Jonah and Jesus, what was their secret? What brought them out of their hell and agony? Praise and thanksgiving! In both cases, they used the power of praise to blast the hell out of their lives!  Glory to God! So, friends, rejoice. I don't know what private "hell" you are going through, but Jesus can get you out of it. Just ask the Father to deliver you and start thanking him for the victory! Your test will be your testimony and God will be glorified in your life. God bless! 

Bible verses provided by www.biblegateway.com
Bible references: Jonah 2 and Ps 16: 9-11

(1) Eph 4:9 and Eph 4:8
(2) Col 2:15 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Are you asleep?

                                          Awake thou that sleepest--Eph 5:14

Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep." (Jonah 1:5)

                           We, all, like to hear the story of how Jesus slept when he was in the midst of a storm. How he was awaken by his fearful disciples. I like to think of Jesus as the King of "Cool"----He was not fearful but spoke that word and calmed that storm. Jonah on the other hand was not "cool" with God. 
        Jonah was a prophet, but he was backslidden. Why? He was given a command to go to Nineveh and speak out against their sins. Nineveh was a dangerous place to be. These people would kill you and think nothing of it. I used to remember some years ago, not far from my neighborhood, we had some Christians standing on a corner and speaking out against sin. They did it for years and all of a sudden, it stopped. 
             Perhaps many people were glad to see them go. Maybe the city pressured them to stop. Whatever the reason, they stopped but thank God they did not get roughed up or killed. Now in this day and time, people do not like to hear about sin. If you are not careful, you could get killed. Maybe Jonah had his reasons. Maybe he thought about his life. Maybe he hated the Ninevites, but whatever the reason, he ran away and went to the other side.
               The word says that he went the other way and departed from the presence of God. (1) Bad mistake. Never run from the presence of God. It is your life source. Second, he paid a fare on a ship to get away from the presence of God. Never sell out the anointing of God in your life. I remember in years past, Motown records had some great talents. A lot of these groups and singers started in the church and some of them ended in drugs and tragedy. The world offered them fame, as well as fortune and what they got was death and disaster. 
                  When you depart from your calling and duties, you wind up affecting people. Jonah got on a ship and because of his disobedience, the word said that God sent out a storm. People who were in the ship feared for their lives. Jonah's disobedience affected a group of people, but notice what was his reaction. HE WENT TO SLEEP! Bad choice. 
                    God was calling his attention. Why? Because he loved Jonah. God loves you and me and sometimes, when we walk in disobedience, he calls our attention allowing the storms of life to shake us. Unfortunately, Jonah's heart was so hardened to sin that he fell into complacency and was asleep, but not for long. He was awakened by his shipmates.
                      Jonah tried to hide the fact that he was a believer. He was not interested in repentance nor reaching out to the people in the ship. His heart was hardened, but God says your sins will find you out(2). There is a saying---You can run but you can't hide. When it was found out that Jonah was a believer and his disobedience caused the storm, the Jig was up! 
                      Notice to what extent his heart was hardened. He missed the opportunity to repent, he missed the chance for God to calm the storm and he missed the chance to get new converts for the Lord God Almighty. What did he do? He said---Throw me overboard and the storm will calm down. A spirit of suicide came upon him, but the sad case is that Jonah did not care.
                    Brethren, God will forgive sin and disobedience. He is merciful, but a constant pattern of sinning without repentance will cause indifference and harden your heart. If God has called you to do something, harden not your hearts. Your life and the lives of your loved ones can be at stake. Tomorrow, we will look more at the life of Jonah--God bless. 

Bible references: (1) Jonah 1:3, (2) Numbers 32:23 and Jonah 1
Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com