“Prayer Grasps Eternity”… from “Why Revival Tarries”

Read this zealous (filled with knowledge) take on the need for desperate prayer from Leonard Ravenhill.

PRAYER GRASPS ETERNITY (from “Why Revival Tarries” from Leonard Ravenhill)

Image result for why revival tarriesNo man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shop-window to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.

Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.

The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer—the highest ministry of all human offices—is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, ‘‘I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.’’ It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of ‘‘binding and loosing,’’ though the onus is on us—‘‘Whatsoever ye shall bind. . . .’’ Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.

This world hits the trail for hell with a speed that makes our fastest plane look like a tortoise; yet alas, few of us can remember the last time we missed our bed for a night of waiting upon God for a world-shaking revival. Our compassions are not moved. We mistake the scaffolding for the building. Present-day preaching, with its pale interpretation of divine truths, causes us to mistake action for unction, commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals.

The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning. We are beggared and bankrupt, but not broken, nor even bent.

Prayer is profoundly simple and simply profound. ‘‘Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,’’ and yet so sublime that it outranges all speech and exhausts man’s vocabulary. A Niagara of burning words does not mean that God is either impressed or moved. One of the most profound of Old Testament intercessors had no language—‘‘Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.’’ No linguist here! There are ‘‘groanings which cannot be uttered.’’

Are we so substandard to New Testament Christianity that we know not the historical faith of our fathers (with its implications and operations), but only the hysterical faith of our fellows? Prayer is to the believer what capital is to the business man.

Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying, theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken!

In the matter of New Testament, Spirit-inspired, hell-shaking, world-breaking prayer, never has so much been left by so many to so few.

For this kind of prayer there is no substitute. We do it—or die!

Ravenhill, Leonard. Why Revival Tarries (pp. 25-27). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Hebrews 1:1-4 (#1): The Greatest Message and the Greatest Messenger

In our part I of our teaching covering Hebrews 1:1-4, we look into the Character of the Son of God as revealed in Christ being the Inheritor of all things, the Creator, the One who Sustains and the Brightness of the glory of God.

Hebrews 1:1-4 #1 (a)

watch the last 12 minutes Hebrews 1:1-4 #1 (b)

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An Insatiable Desire for God’s Word

Below is a video blog concerning a portion of the testimony of Brother Yun; a Chinese Christian leader of legendary status to the faithful inside of China. In this blog I read (and comment) from Brother Yun’s autobiography. In chapter 2 he shares his family’s testimony coming to faith in Christ. Please prayerfully listen and ask the Lord Jesus to reveal if your passion and commitment to Christ is similar to Yun’s.

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Introduction to Hebrews Part 1 and 2 (Video Blog)

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Hit play to begin the introduction to the Book of Hebrews teaching, Part’s 1 and 2 are below.

PART #1

PART # 2

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As He Walked

Related image(1 John 2:1-6) ​ My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.  By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

In reading this passage of holy scripture we find some truths that fly in the faces of our contemporary Christianity.

John declares (vs. 1) that his purpose in writing is “so you may not sin“. This flies in the face of our Christian culture, where we are in a hurry to convince ourselves and other other that we’re not legalistic. Often times without thought Christians admit in error that that they sin all the time. Even a cursory reading of I John reveals the error of such thinking. John’s statement in verse one (as well as the remainder to the book), calls us to live and practice righteousness as He is righteous; to be holy as He Himself is holy.

Secondly it reveals the grace of God we have in Christ, should miss the mark and sin: Our Advocate Jesus Christ. In chapter 1:9 we find that Jesus Christ secured forgiveness for all our sin, as well as the cleansing and power we need not to repeat the sin.

In addition, we find that the Christians who follows Christ, obeying His commands, truly knows Jesus Christ. The other side of that equation is that no matter how much a person declares they believe in Jesus or claims to follow Him, without obeying, they are nothing more than a liar, not having the truth in them. We also understand that person who knows Christ, as they keep His commands, is a living representation of God’s love being perfected, because Jesus (God in human flesh? is love.

As we dig, we discover that more than what we speak with our mouths, concerning our state of relationship to Christ, much more our actions in obeying His commands reveal the genuineness of our faith.

Perhaps this is no more clearly stated than in

(1 John 2:5-6) By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Most Christians, reading these verses, would agree. Some would even have a heart seeking to live this truth. Doing so takes an understanding of how Jesus walked; which takes more than a consideration of His actions. To understand how to walk as he walked, takes grasping His foundational disposition. To do this we must understand His incarnation.

(Philippians 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross

Christ Jesus, as the Eternal Word of God, has existed always as God. Without beginning or end, without limit of knowledge, power or presence; He is God. Although equal to God the Father and Holy Spirit, the Living Word did not hold on to His right to express His glory (for the purpose of redeeming men, who are made in His image) . The word reveals that in being begotten as the Son of God (Psalm 2:7), “made Himself of no reputation”.

This important phrase (kenoō in the Greek) means He deprived Himself of what His equality with God afforded Him. To say it another way, the Living Word made flesh, emptied himself of His prerogative or right to express His Divine nature, unless commanded to by the Holy Spirit. This of course was for a time, until after He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven; where ceased upon His prerogative again. This does not mean that as the Christ He was not God, for only God could have accomplished redemption, as the perfect man.

Here is the point: Jesus walk was to make “Himself of no reputation” in every aspect of His life. This we see from Philippians 2:7:9

“but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”

To summarize Jesus disposition: He walked in perfect selflessness, humility and obedience to God’s will. His life was not His own. His actions never for Himself. He embodied Love for God the Father and perfect commitment to the will of God.

If we say we abide in Him, we ought to walk in the same manner as He walked. We are to walk with a heart absolutely surrendered to Him, where our actions more and more are selfless, humble, obedient and a growing manifestation of Christ’s love for our Father.

Herein is a very great difficulty. In order for Christians in America to accomplish this we need a radical disengagement from our cultural idea of independence as a God given right (at least as Americans define independence)—we need a radical departure from seeking material good and provision as blessing—we need to disengage from seeking comfort and ease.

We also need to stop using religious philosophy to water down the meaning of salvation, holiness and Holy Spirit power. We must take up Jesus call with out diluting it that “If any man come after me, let him deny himself, take us his cross and come follow me (Luke 9:23).

W.W.J.D. does not work, because it has been commercialized to the point of trivialization.  Sinning sports hero’s, Hollywood stars and politicians, where W.W.J.D. proudly, while redefining the His walk to fit their agenda. Followers of Jesus should not need to even ask the question. If we will be like Christ, as He walked, it is time to let Him into the seat of leadership in your heart (Ephesians 3:17). This is not for the purpose of Him being the silent guest, but our Sovereign King, ruling and living His life through us. Not only is this possible, it is His command.

It is also the only way for us to live, as He lives His life through us by the power of His Spirit leading us. In closing consider Galatians 2:20, from the King James translation, which is the most accurate rendering of the passage.

Galatians 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

ARE YOU SEEKING TO WALK, EVEN AS HE HIMSELF WALKED?

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Our Fixation: HOPE

CTh2SOIXIAAtVFcThanks to God our Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for blessing me this morning, while reading in I John; where I was led to consider once again the HOPE we have in looking forward to the Day of Christ’s return. What a DAY that will be? Let us consider 1 John 3:1-3 (NASB)

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

Though I normally study and quote from the NKJV, this passage was inserted using the NASB translation. The reason is for a particular word used to describe the focus we are to have, in receiving the gift of HOPE (in Christ’s return), that keeps on giving. That word, in verse three, is “fixed”.

In the first-place, regard with me the often overlooked blessing of Abba’s love for us, in our disconnectedness, when times are tough… “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called the children of God”.

Remember that this verse was written to those under intensifying persecution. The purpose of the Holy Spirit was to remind them to love one another and to remember the benefits of being in Christ. These benefits do not guarantee an alteration of the temporary and intense trials of our walk; but are to fill us with grace and power to endure until the Day of Christ’s return for us.

Gladly we find that being a child of God in Jesus Christ, comes with a bestowment of God’s love that can be described as a continual and overflowing tangible manifestation of God’s love and His presence. It is a love feast we can continue to dine from, so long as we do not lose our perspective and focus.

Herein is the problem: When our life and circumstances are well and to our liking, we can say praise God and sing songs proclaiming “I am a child of God”, without ever really partaking of His bestowment of love. Why is this the case? Because in good times of material prosperity or happier circumstances, we often have a diminished desire for eternity with Christ. We often lose our focus because we have a little heaven here on earth (though that is not really the case).

When do we learn to live in the blessing of His love bestowed on us, as His children? When times are not good, where the temporary stings us enough and consistently to remind us of the promise of Christ’s return; as well as raising our desire to see Him face to face.

The true tell on tangible faith in Christ, is can we sing with confidence “I am a Child of God, when in times of persecution, trial or tribulation? If we are not careful, in disconnectedness and times of despair, we will focus solely on praying to improve our circumstances; rather than beholding the manner of love our Father pours out on us continually.

Taking that path only leads to more despair and moves us away from what is our only true HOPE. This HOPE will never disappoint, strengthen us in times of trial, and fill us with joy to overcome our pain. Living in times of perpetual and rising difficulty for the saint of God, takes a “fixed” and undeterred gaze on our HOPE.

The HOPE I am writing of is revealed in I John 3:2-3

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

This passage reveals the hope that will never disappoint and as Jesus Himself endured the cross and its shame, by joy set before Him; we endure trouble, pain, and persecution by the joy that comes from our focus on meeting Christ face to face. But this focus must be a fixation, which means to place your eyes on something as a guiding point of reference, not just consistently, but always.

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In this understanding, Let’s cosider a ship tossed about in a hurricane-like storm. The captain and crew have one point of reference on the horizon as they approach the shoreline, a lighthouse. Seeing the lighthouse in the distance for the first time, gives the captain and crew a lifting in spirit, during despairing and dire circumstances. Therefore, they line their approach up with the lighthouse. Keeping their eyes fixated on its light, they refuse to let go of their course, whether battered with waves or wind, they hold onto their hope. There is no crew member who lacks sobriety, but all are alert and enabling the others to keep their gaze on the light, which is their only HOPE.

This is like the fixation we need to execute, in order to gain the blessing of our hope, as children of God.

Let us first recognize God did not save us, that we would float to heaven on flowery beds of ease.

Let us once and for all declare that the prosperity gospel non-sense pervading Christianity in America, is scripture twisting non-sense; a clever misdirection from the enemy of our souls.

Let us embrace being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, which means we are born again into the Valley of the Shadow of Death (where our lives are not our own, where our comfort is Christ Himself, by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Let us fully embrace that the storms we face, if living godly in Christ Jesus, are allowed by our Father that we may learn to fix our HOPE on seeing Jesus face to face (this is the only hope that will never disappoint).

Let us also understand that being fixated on that great Day where we see Jesus as He is, is our motivation and fuel for being sanctified (being pure even as Christ Himself is pure).

Our God and Father has lavished His love on us, through the cross and resurrection of the Jesus Christ the Son of God. He pours this love out through being present with us, by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-16). In union with the Holy Sprint we groan for that great Day, when we see Jesus face to face. This hope is to be our fixation, fountain of joy, river of cleansing and desire we delight in.

Until He comes… Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

 

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Christians Let’s Get A Hold Of Ourselves (Plea for Christian Character)

Picture1Over the last few days, I’ve seen posts to my FACEBOOK time line concerning the impeachment of president Donald Trump. One group of posts support him, while tearing down the (often in mockery) leaders seeking to impeach him, as well as those in favor of impeachment. On the other side I’ve seen posts tearing down and mocking the president and those supporting him. The bulk of these posts come from those who would proclaim to be followers of Jesus Christ. It is not my intention to question the integrity of their confession, but ask us all to consider our rhetoric and misplaced passion. We have forgotten our own history. During the Civil War, where over 600,000 Americans were killed, both sides used God as a pretext for their cause; sadly, we are seeing this again.

As Christians we are called to respect authority, not rail against it, whether it’s congressmen, senators, or a president we disagree with.

Jude 1:8-11 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

You may also want to look at Romans 13:1-7.

I was raised to engage our political system appropriately and I have strong opinions about the current governmental situation, but my responsibility is to keep my eyes on Christ, consumed by His will and command, as a soldier of the cross.

2 Timothy 2:1-4 ​1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

This is a very important concept: How can a soldier of Christ focus on carrying out the orders given by the word of God, through the Holy Spirit, moment by moment, if they be consumed with the affairs of this life? They cannot, no more than a soldier in the U.S. marines, should they be wasting time dropping their opinions and proving their political points. It is silly to me, but it seems we would rather be politically moral pundits arguing our points ad nauseum, then soldiers of Jesus Christ, making a difference.

Consider that an encouragement for a brother in Christ in this hour, may be undone with a cynical political post or tweet in the next hour. We Christians are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus, not our anxieties about being railroaded or run over politically.

I was reminded of this less than an hour ago in Psalm 146…

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The Lord shall reign forever— Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

All the things that Psalm 146 says concerning God, He Himself does. These are the very things we are expecting human political savior’s to do. Once more, we do not regard the world’s political history. There is no utopia, or Christian nation, or paradise to come, until Christ Himself arrives bodily to bring in His kingdom.

Revelation 19:11-16 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Seems to me that many of the posts coming from Christians, are written because of fear or anxiety about living in a world that does not resemble what we want. Reading Psalm 146:3 it becomes clear. There is no human that will save this country or preserve your idea of what it ought to be. As all nations, it is a drop in the bucket to the LORD (Isaiah 40:15). It will suffer the fate of all nations, when Jesus returns (read Revelation 19). So to all my FACEBOOK friends whether you are supportive of the president or believe he needs to be impeached…

 Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help”.

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