"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
(Luke 22:31-32 KJV)
Testing of a person by Our Awesome God is usually done through their faith. We feel the testing of our faith as more acute when it involves us feeling alone with the problem. The feeling of being deserted by everyone will make you feel as a soldier would if all his weapons were removed and he was asked to wipe out a tank. Alone!
Paul wrote, "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7) but they cut off his head not long after. His faith was still there. There were three things he rejoiced in having done: 1) "having fought the good fight", 2) "having finished the race" and he had, 3) "kept the faith". Paul's faith had been tested multiple times, making his faith stronger, and he passed as he joined Jesus in heaven. May our faith be as strong when our testing occurs. May we remember that we are never alone even when we are wrong we can always ask Our Awesome God to come be with us, and He will, testing us and strengthening us to teach us to lean on our Lord as we spread God's message to all.
Like Paul, we need to keep trying so we can finish "the race" and keep "the faith" so that we can wear that crown like Paul will wear. So that we can test and strengthen our faith and know that we can do it because, having the faith, we believe. Our Awesome God may be testing us so we will know how much faith we have. We need to remember that the most important thing we can do is have faith in Our Awesome God and keep that faith strong. So if testing will strengthen that faith then let us be glad He is testing us, for the time will come when we will need a strong faith like Paul.
Faith is "an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence". Our Awesome God is a reality to me. He is in my heart and helps me daily, testing me as I go through , increasing my faith and knowledge of my Father God. You develop by testing and pushing yourself to your limit in anything to get better at it. God helps you to do the same.
Come join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His story of love and salvation. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. We have a Prayer Meeting and Bible Study that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday.
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
(Hebrews 11:10 KJV)
"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 10:9 KJV)
Most ancient cities were more like fortresses than cities. Their perimeters consisted of massive stone walls (sometimes more than one) with gates to allow or to stop the entry of people, things and animals. When war came, enemy forces would focus their attacks on these gates, which were usually the weakest part of the cities' walls. To strengthen them, gates were built as part of the watch-towers for the guards.
Jerusalem had twelve gates in the time of Israel's occupation, each with a spiritual as well as a physical significance, each with an important part to play in the life and the historical experience of Jerusalem. Every gate has a spiritual part because they are a "shadow" of the reality that is or will come when God creates a new heaven, a new earth and a new Jerusalem at the end of the age (Hebrews 8:5; 10:1; Revelations 21:10-13). The gates in the New Jerusalem will each be made of a single pearl as found in Revelations 21:21. Our Christ is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46) and Christ is the only way to get into that majestic city (John 10:9; 14:6). So each gate shows parts of the completed work of the Cross, just as Our Awesome God foretold in His Holy Bible.
Jerusalem has had many different gates with many different names over the thousands of years of Biblical history. Many of the different names have been found in Our Awesome God's Bible, in manuscripts and in archeological finds. There are hints, but the Bible does not specify the location of any of the gates at any point in time. Today, you can still walk through some gates while others have been sealed or renamed, but the physical and spiritual significance of the named gates remains for the people of God.
It is awe inspiring to see the detail Our Awesome God has gone to so as to remind us that without His son, Jesus Christ, we would not one day be in the New Jerusalem. Since people forget, He has given us a structure to help us remember what we owe to Jesus Christ and His love for us that saves us.
Join us tomorrow at this website, 10/11/15, for #2 Significance, a continuation of the #1 Twelve Gates.
Learn more about Our Awesome God by reading His Holy Bible, praying to Him and worshipping in a church that preaches and teaches the Holy Bible. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. First, it is time that you should know and love Our Awesome God as your creator and Savior. We can show you how from the Word of God and we love visitors.
"Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beer–sheba. And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest."
(2 Chronicles 24:1-2 KJV)
The above Scripture from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible needs to be read carefully about "all the days of Jehoiada the priest." King Joash, like many of us, was strong when there was someone strong to back him up but lost his way or stumbled without that person.
Joash was the son and lawful successor of King Ahaziah Of Judah. While only an infant, he was saved by his aunt, Jehosheba, who was married to the high priest, Jehoiada. The slaughter of the king's son's was carried out by Queen Athaliah, who seized the throne of Judah for herself after her husband, the king, had died. (Read 2 Chronicles 22:10-24: 27).
The high priest Jehoiada led the army that restored the rightful king Joash to the throne. Then Jehoiada stood behind Joash as he restored Judah to the worship of Our Awesome God and restored the House of the Lord. He led the people to worship God in the restored Temple.
When the high priest Jehoiada died, Joash quickly showed where his strength had been. When Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, the high priest (who would have been like a brother to Joash because they grew up in the Temple together) rebuked the king for his idolatry, "Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son..." (2 Chronicles 24:22).
Joash sealed his own doom, first by his leading the nation into idolatry, but moreover by murdering the son of the high priest (2 Chronicles 24:25). The Lord then permitted Judah's enemies to become strong and destroy the kingdom. Our Awesome God had allowed Joash to have an opportunity to change and again do "that which was right in the sight of the Lord" but he never did. God wants you to turn back to Him if you have strayed as Joash did. Pray to our Lord and seek Him!
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Join us this Sunday as we learn more about Our Awesome God and how to teach others from His Holy Bible. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children, which goes until 7:30 PM. Wednesday at 7:00PM we have Prayer Requests and Bible Study. There is more during the week. We love visitors!
"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"
(Matthew 6:27 KJV)
Think of the above scripture carefully for a few minutes for Our Awesome God had Jesus say it for a purpose. We are not a relaxed society. We are always rushing and trying too hard to be better than we have been. Jesus, when He said the Scripture above, might have been thinking about some little boys, wanting to be bigger than they were, with bursting cheeks and bulging eyes as they tried to grow bigger. But He was speaking to the adults about the folly of it all. The bigger would come if it was to be but we can't make it happen because we want it. Live relaxed. You might even live longer if you relax.
A very gifted musician said that her teacher insisted that every muscle must be relaxed, so that her very soul could come into her fingertips to play her best. This is mastery. Some people live spiritually that way. They let the very power of Jesus Christ into every cell of their body. Oh, it is so relaxing. But so hard for some to do and so effective if they accomplish it.
Jesus Christ was so relaxed that the power of Our Awesome God had an unhindered channel within Him. Spiritual relaxation means spiritual release. The machinery of life can be oiled by the peace of Our Awesome God so that it runs without friction. But we need to lean on God and Jesus Christ to take care of the problems and cares of life. The best way to relax is to allow Jesus to take your problems from you. You will not do a better job at work all tense and tight trying to do a better job than someone else. Relax! Pray! Study the situation to make things run smoother and do your best to do it in the best way, God's way. But when problems arise, stop and pray quietly for Our Awesome God's help with the problem. He has the best answers. He wants the best for you!
Try "Being Relaxed" for three weeks and see if you can make it a habit. See me in church this week and tell me how your "Being Relaxed" is progressing. Join us at LWBC as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. Our programs include Bible Study groups along with AWANA for children on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. Let's see what we can do and learn!
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief".
(Mark 9:23-24 KJV)
In the Scripture above, Jesus said that everything is possible, not that everything would be granted just because you prayed to God for it. Our Awesome God may be trying to teach you the way of faith. The training for a life of faith that is powerful may encompass many different areas of learning including a trial of faith, the patience of faith and the courage of faith.
When you have made your request to God, and the answer still does not come, what are you to do? How about, keep on believing His Word and praying? Don't be swayed from praying by what you think you see or feel. Then as you stand firm, your faith is being developed, strengthened and deepened into the power of faith. Read your Bible and pray. God will tell you if He wants you to quit praying to Him about something.
Our Awesome God often keeps you waiting longer for an answer so you can experience the patience of faith. Keep expecting Him to answer because He will answer. You may have to endure ridicule, hardship and even incarceration to increase your courage in faith. But many of the heroes of the faith, such as Abraham, Moses and Joseph to name a few, had their faith tested and strengthened by God until their faith held strong.
Our Awesome God knows when to strengthen us and how to teach us what we need to do to have complete faith in Him. Faith is strengthened and deepened when you experience it in life. God will increase your faith and make you realize He is always with you and you can lean on Him. Faith is the one thing He wants from you that proves you believe in Him. The power of faith is awesome when your faith is in Our Awesome God. So bring on the trials so we can be stronger in our faith in God. We can be sure He will help us increase our faith in Him.
If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and at 10:30 AM for the Praise and Worship Service. At 6:00 PM Sunday evening, we have a Bible Study with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We welcome all people and love them!
"How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? "
(Matthew 18:12 KJV)
We have heard this parable many times, especially in sermons as Christians, but have you heard this version? When the one sheep (person) strayed away (from Our Awesome God), God knew he would stray so He decided to use this straying as a training ground on earth for His Christian shepherd. So our Christian shepherd starts out to find this straying person who has found some rocky ground (such as the local bar and the women found there) where he has sampled, "the good life." Our stray is now very sick from his "night on the town" and he listens with a queasy stomach and aching head as the Christian shepherd tells him what he needs to do to have Our Awesome God forgive him. He repents and returns to the fold (God) but we need to encourage him to stay in the fold. God is merciful and forgiving, so he is forgiven.
Our Awesome God has taught one person (the stray) that sinning reaps some sorrows and consequences while He has shown another (the shepherd) the wonders of helping someone to return to God. The rest of the sheep (Christians) have watched this happen while they pray. WOW, at least, two stronger Christians!
When the next person strays from Our Awesome God and His safety (the fold), they are ready to go together (the stray and the shepherd) as they walk into the lion's den (drugs) and circumvent Satan. This battle is harder to overcome so they lean heavily on Our Awesome God and His mercy again learning. God permits this battle to allow them experience in telling about Jesus Christ and give them a purpose in life and a way to strengthen their faith in God. They are also shown how degrading and addicting sin can make a person. When they bring their brother or sister back to God and His fold, they are "glowing" with contentment and love for God, whom they now serve.
The Christians or congregation see what has been done for them. Our Awesome God now has a possible hundred Christian people to tell others about Jesus Christ or help others who need to repent. This hypothetical example demonstrates how God uses life to train you for heaven and eternity! Are you in training or just watching?
Come join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM (September through May). We have a Prayer Meeting that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday. Learn with us how to use and invest your time with wisdom for Our Awesome God
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me".
(2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)
The power of Christ in us is perfected in our weakness. Here we see another great paradox of the kingdom of Our Awesome God. In this passage, most Bible scholars believe the "weakness" Paul spoke of was a physical affliction of some kind—"a thorn in the flesh."
Few humans can overcome the pressures of life. All around us people want more from us at work, at play and at home. Is there a financial need? Is there a relationship in crisis? Are you on your knees yet to Our Awesome God? Because He says, "for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Lean on our all powerful God!
Regardless of your situation, whatever brings you to your knees in weakness has the greatest potential for your personal success and spiritual victory. So often we pray for strength, when in actuality what the Lord wants is for us to remain in our weakness, utterly dependent upon Him. We think our physical "thorns" will hinder us from serving the Lord, when in reality, the very opposite is true. They are perfecting us so that Christ's divine power can be revealed through the window of our human weakness.
Paul could have listed all his victories and/or accomplishments but instead he told of his weakness and credited the power to Our Awesome God, as we should do because God is our power and our strength. We then can lean on Him when we realize how weak we really are and give Him the glory!
Oft times Our Awesome God makes you aware of your weakness and lack of strength without Him so that you can be a witness for His strength. That fear, that lack of self confidence or that illness may make you realize you do things in His strength and wisdom not your own. Although your physical abilities may be severely limited, there is no limit to what you may accomplish using God’s strength which has no limit.
Attend our church or another near you that believes Jesus died, taking all your sins upon Himself, and arose the third day to sit at the right hand of God in Heaven. Our Awesome God wants you to be weak to remind you that God wants you to depend upon His awesome power and strength. He is waiting for you to ask. We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and evening (6:00 PM), and Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) with AWANA on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. When you come, ask about the home Bible studies during the week and the Intercessory Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
Flo & Bill