Fasting and Praying

The definition of fasting is to go without food for a designated period of time.  Jesus fasted 40 days and nights and we assume that it was from food and not from water as the Bible specifically states that “He hungered”.  It doesn’t say that He thirsted.  Reminds me of the woman at the well ~ He told her He was the LIVING WATER…

When we fast, we abstain from something we take pleasure in…usually food, but it can be other things too. It’s a time to take our attention off of ourselves and give it to God. A time to draw nearer to God. The examples I’m talking about in this blog are Daniel, Esther and Jesus who all fasted. Daniel for the purpose of understanding a vision and Esther to save her people. I believe that Jesus fasted to strengthen and solidify His Power.

Daniel 10:3 KJV I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. At the end of 21 days (3 weeks) Daniel was visited by a Messenger of God. When the Jewish people who were in Persia were condemned to Death the Queen Esther fasted and prayed. Esther 4:16 KJV Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

WE are all born for a purpose…what a wonderful realization!

Jesus was baptized by John and He went into the Judean desert and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  At His baptism Heavenly Father sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus in the form of a dove. And the Holy Spirit led him out into the wilderness.  The first time I read this, I remember wondering why?  Since He had the Holy Spirit…why go out into the Wilderness?  Why did the Holy Spirit direct him to do this?  After all, HE was the Son of God…what else did HE need?  I read this many times, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually realized the WHY.  During the 40 days and 40 nights, Satan tempted Jesus to use his power in ways that God didn’t intend for it to be used…instead, Jesus used prayer, fasting and the Word to defeat Satan. (Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11)  After 40 days and nights we see His Power Perfected…totally enabling the Holy Spirit and teaching us that when we ask him to be our Savior and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, we can have this power too.  WOW!!!  PRAYER (Pray in the Spirit), FASTING (Shield of Faith) and JESUS the WORD (Sword of the Spirit)!  Ahhh…the Armor of God!

When the Apostles were unable to cast out a demon, Jesus cast out the demon from the possessed young man (Matthew 17:14-21).  When the Apostles asked why they couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus told them that they needed to pray and fast to defeat this kind of demon.  From this reply, I understood that Jesus not only fasted in the desert, he must have fasted during his ministry on this earth.  I also grasped that when going up against a demon, we must be wearing the full Armor of God!

You may be asking by now, how can I fast? It sounds impossible!  First of all, I believe that no matter the results, acceptance that it’s His will, not ours and that we need to have a genuine, heartfelt reason for our prayer and fasting.  Desiring a bigger house or new car, boat, etc. are probably not good reasons for fasting.  Perhaps a loved one or even your self needs be rescued from drugs or alcohol, pornography, etc.  Perhaps, someone you know and care about is ill.  I can’t tell you why or what to fast for as that’s between you and Heavenly Father.

If you’ve never fasted before, I suggest you decide on a strategy.

1. The faith that you can fast.

2. Why are you fasting?

3. How long do you intend to fast? (1 meal? 1 day? 3 days? I don’t suggest you consider 40 days!) 

4. Unrealistic expectations, like world peace, may thwart future opportunities to fast.

5. Find a quiet place to pray and focus and thank Heavenly Father for answering your prayers. Matthew 6:6 Jesus tells us we should go into a closet and pray in secret. 

6. Jesus tells us that if we pray and fast, keep it between ourselves and the Father. If you’re married, maybe you should let your spouse know what you’re plans are and ask please don’t bring things like ice cream, Twinkies, etc. into the house until I’ve finished my fast.  In other words, this is really important to me, so PLEASE don’t make it difficult.

7. Be ready for Satan to try to thwart your fast: unexpected trip to the emergency with one of the kids or cake at a birthday party or the in-laws drop in unexpected.  You name it!  When you decide to pray and fast, Satan realizes your power.

8. Stay determined and don’t let circumstances lead you away from fasting!  Times like this is when your loyalty as a Soldier of God is tested!

My heart tells me that fasting from food is what Heavenly Father has in mind, but since to some extent, it’s a learning process, maybe some may need to start more simply.  Here are some things to pray and fast from: coffee, dessert, chocolate, social media, the news, fast food, TV and movies, video games, etc.

This is Amazing Grace!

Saved by Grace! Jesus is GRACE, our Gift from God!

Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

ALL Scriptures come from the King James Version Bible

Jesus said Pray like this:

In Scriptures Matthew 16-20 a young rich man asked Jesus, what can I do to be saved? Jesus asked him if he’d kept the commandments of God and when he said yes, Jesus told him to sell his goods, give the money to the poor and follow Him; at this, the young man turned away sorrowfully.

Now you might be asking…why did Jesus ask the young man about God’s commandments? Was he going to judge the young man by the 10 Commandments? NO…I don’t believe so…He was showing the young man that keeping the commandments of God was just the beginning…although he might be obedient to the law, he must give up the world to follow Jesus. It was indeed, truly a matter of the heart! Did the young man love his neighbor enough to give up his riches to help them? It emphasizes that he had many possessions, so Jesus is making it apparent to us that his love of riches was his stumbling block.

Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19: 25-26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Are we guilty of putting the Law ahead of the Gospel? Or are we guilty of putting the Gospel before the Law? Do we sometimes stir them together into a religious soup of Salvation? If this is the case, we’ve sadly distorted the purpose of the Gift of Grace! When Jesus came to earth, he showed us that the law is “designed” to prick our conscience in such a way that we recognize that we need HIM! That we need the gift that God has given us via His SON Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew). JESUS is GRACE!!! JESUS is the GIFT!!!

Now back to the Bible Scripture that I started this blog with:

Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

The Law wasn’t given until the time of Moses in the book of Exodus, but sin had been flourishing on this earth since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to NOT eat of the tree in the middle of the garden or they would surely die…they didn’t believe Him when He said that they would die. When Noah built the Ark, it was because by this time (only 1,056 years after Adam) the earth was so corrupted by sin, that the only way God could cleanse it of sin was to start over…therefore he destroyed all of the earth with a flood and saved only Noah and his family. Then came the tower of Babel, built by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. Nimrod built it in rebellion against God. So sin was and is alive and well since the Garden of Eden and in this world we live in, sin flourishes today more than it ever has in the past!

God gave the Law (10 commandments) to Israel after Moses led them out of Egypt; they’d been in Egypt long enough that although they knew about God, they didn’t know God. The 10 Commandments were given by God out of Love so that they would have a moral compass to obey and also have a better understanding of who God is and the role that He was going to play in their lives. They’d seen the miracles of God: the 10 plagues on Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, water from the rock and manna, but they still didn’t really know God. The 10 commandments were designed to teach them right from wrong in their relationship with Him and with their fellowman…this is why Jesus summed them up in Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Once we know Jesus, our Gift of Grace…should we now trample His law? The law is not dead…however, if Jesus is your Savior, the penalty for sin is no longer death, but the law still remains as the compass by which we understand right from wrong because we Love Him! How can we possibly say that we know Him if we don’t follow His commandments! JESUS is GOD, GOD is JESUS, JESUS is GRACE, JESUS is the GIFT of GOD. JESUS and GOD are ONE in and with GOD the HOLY SPIRIT! JESUS is the SAME Yesterday, Today and Forever! GOD never CHANGES.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Now there’s probably many men and women who believe that they can buy their way into the GRACE of GOD, but what they don’t see is that the GRACE of GOD can’t be purchased! It was already bought and paid for by the blood of JESUS on the cross. You can’t ever do enough good works, or keep enough of the commandments to undermine the magnitude of what JESUS did for us sinners!

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Galatians 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. “NO ONE”, but Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew) the perfect man, can or ever will be able to keep the 10 Commandments, but by giving our hearts and minds to belief in Jesus, we will be “born again” and when God the Holy Spirit comes to live in us…we will be changed. We become the Temple of God. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/27/dont-you-know-youre-the-temple-of-god/

The great 20th Century Evangelist Billy Graham (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) said: The Holy Spirit has all knowledge. The Bible says, “The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and takes us deeper and deeper into God’s truth as we go along in our Christian life. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, but we can grow only by the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called holy. The Bible says, “Be holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). And one of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to help make us holy. We ought to be more holy today than we were yesterday. We should always be conforming more to the image of Jesus Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us in this growing process.

Do you know the story of the thieves who were crucified on crosses next to Jesus? One thief mocked Jesus and the other thief recognized Jesus as his Savior and he believed and he confessed Jesus!

Luke 23: 39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/24/at-the-cross-journey-to-heaven-or-hell/

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Romans 10:9-12 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (Gentile), since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

NOW is the TIME to call on JESUS! INVITE JESUS into your heart, mind and life and you will live with Him forever! Not because of how good you are…but simply because you are forgiven! Ask JESUS ~ YESHUA to rescue you before it’s too late!

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

Acts 16:30-31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

2 Thessalonian 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The “LAW” is the “KEY” to the “Knowledge of Sin”

I’m using the King James Version for my quoted Bible verses in this blog.

Have you ever lost your keys? That without the key, you couldn’t open the door to your home or start the engine on your car? You can’t open that chest or box where you keep special things. In other words, in most cases a key is a very important thing to have and definitely something that you want to keep track of and NEVER lose! Key has many definitions according to how you use it, but in this definition of key…it’s a small metal intricately shaped object that’s used to open or close a lock.

What about the key to salvation? What does that key look like? In the past 100 or so years have we lost the key to opening the door to salvation? I say YES if you’re not sharing with people their need to repent as well as their need to be “born again”. What does it take to enter in and be saved? The Key to Heaven isn’t a physical object that opens the door, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that we receive when we are “born again” and we proclaim Jesus as our Savior and then follow his command to to share the Good News of His Kingdom with the world…John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

It’s a fact that in John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. In John 10:9 Jesus says “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Now begs the question…can we get into the Kingdom of Heaven without repenting of our sins? I don’t think that’s the way it works. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

When we share the Gospel of the Kingdom, we have to explain to people that although they have sinned, that Jesus paid the price for their sin. That doesn’t mean that they have a free pass…that all they have to do is simply believe… as it says in James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Do you have the Key to the Kingdom of God? If not, do you know where and how to find it? https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

If we don’t tell people what a sin is are we doing them a favor? How will they be able to repent from it? Do the words REPENT and SIN actually cause people to run away instead of turn away? This is where the law comes into play and you must tell them: NO ONE who has lived or ever will live, except Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation) has kept the law; He was sinlessthe unblemished Lamb of God who gave His life in order to pay your fine. When we repent from our sins and believe that Jesus is the beloved Son of God and that he died and rose again from the dead and therefore covers us with his righteousness, then the law can no longer kill us. John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Jesus will save us from our sins! That’s why He came to earth and that’s why He died for us…He loves us that much! Jesus and Father in Heaven made this plan from the foundation of the earth that HE would have to save us…WOW…what an AWESOME gift from an AWESOME GOD!

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

REPENTING which means to “turn away from” is the KEY to opening that door. The Law helps us to recognize “exactly” what it is that God expects of us. Romans 3:20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law. This isn’t legalism that I’m talking to you about, I’m telling you that your faith in Jesus will make you want to turn away from your sin and when you do, with the help of the Holy Spirit you will sin less and less. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; The Holy Spirit will come to live in you. James 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Jesus spoke in many parables to His disciples…here are 3 parables that he spoke about repentence and how He and His Father have provided the way, the truth and the life:

-The parable of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep illustrates how God seeks to bring those who are spiritually lost into His Kingdom.

-The parable of the woman looking for a lost coin illustrates the diligence with which you should seek for those lost in sin to guide them to the Kingdom.

-The parable of the lost son illustrates the principle of repentance through which you can gain your rightful place as an heir of the Kingdom of God.

James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

A lot of the churches today say that the law is dead that it was nailed on the Cross and yet they also quote the scriptures that say that God never Changes and Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever and that Jesus is God. I don’t think we can have it both ways! So why wouldn’t the law mean just as much today as it ever meant, afterall, the Law encompasses Love and Morality. The death of Jesus on the Cross didn’t give us a free license to sin – God Forbid!

The following Scriptures tell us about the gift we will receive as we humble ourselves before our fellowman and our Father in Heaven…as Jesus was our Humble servant on this earth; he’s teaching us the way and the truth so that we may find eternal life through Him. I highly suggest you read ALL of Matthew 5, and without saying please read ALL of the Bible, both New and Old Testament. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 5:1-18 ~ Sermon on the Mount

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Prayers out of Pain: Listen to Our Hearts

This Song “Listen to Our Hearts” really struck a chord within me. How many of us have felt something so deeply that we cannot put it into words? When there are or have been times when the feelings are so strong inside that they actually cause us a crushing pain in the vicinity of the heart and the pain moves from the heart and encompasses our entire being. Jeremiah 15:18 Why has my pain become unending, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? When we take it to the Lord in prayer, as our body trembles with the weeping, no words can come to our mouths and a torrent of tears fall uncontrollably…

Throughout my life as the pain of hurt or loss encompassed me, I have prayed for hours on end, day in and day out. Have you experienced such pain that you’ve asked God: how can I live through it? Why don’t you don’t just take me now, so I no longer have to endure this agony and sorrow? Why was I born? Job asked this question: Job 3:11 “Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” Have you ever exclaimed: If this is what life is…I don’t know if I want it anymore! Or have you ever tried to bargain with God telling Him: If the only way you can take away the pain means taking my life from me…please God…the sooner the better! But you wake up the next day…

As I grow older and walk closer with Him, I have no doubt in my mind that God is listening to me and that ultimately He knows our struggle and our pain. He also knows that this too will pass as He holds our future in His Hands and uses everything that happens in our lives as glory for Him and a message for us to learn by. I heard somewhere that if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger…it’s just getting through it…

All throughout the Bible, God’s people have cried out to Him for help and guidance during times of their pain…He answers in the most unexpected ways. Many of the Psalms are David crying out to God.

Psalm 88 Lord, you are the God who saves me.
    I cry out to you day and night.
Receive my prayer,
    and listen to my cry.

Psalm 28:2 Listen to the sound of my pleading
when I cry to You for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward Your holy sanctuary.

The book of Lamentations in the Old Testament portion of the Bible, written in poetical form, expresses pain and loss. To Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow and this is how we cry out to our Heavenly Father when we feel pain and loss. I believe it’s okay to lament…even if these lamentations express feelings of anger, grief, confusion and pain. WE are One with God when we receive His Son, so he feels what we feel and understands our pain.

I’ve heard it said that the pain described to God by Jeremiah actually broke God’s heart.

Jeremiah 4:18-19 Your way of life and your actions have brought this on you.
This is your punishment. It is very bitter, because it has reached your heart! 19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in agony! Oh, the pain in my heart! My heart pounds; I cannot be silent. For you, my soul, have heard the sound of the ram’s horn—the shout of battle.

Jeremiah 8:21 I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.

Jeremiah 9:1 If my head were a spring of water, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain of my dear people.

To realize that God feels our pain as well as His own pain…it makes you wonder and question how He can let it continue much longer? I believe that He’s waiting as long as He can so we can share the Gospel of His Kingdom. Not only for the lost to be saved, but for us as Christians to complete the commission that was given to us by His Son Jesus. We are ALL His disciples…we ALL are responsible for our fellowman. The 2nd greatest commandment to Love your neighbor as yourself should cause us to strive to complete His commission…we don’t want to burn in Hell, so why would we not go out into this world and do everything that’s possible to do to bring others to the Kingdom and Glorify our Heavenly Father?

Ezekiel 3:17-18 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. 18 If I say to the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him—you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life—that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because an obligation is placed on me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

He truly is an AWESOME GOD and He does listen to our hearts…we need to learn to listen to Him…

Cry to God

Psalm 44:24-26 Awake! Why are you asleep, O Lord?
    Arise! Cast us not off forever! 

Why do you hide your face,
    forgetting our woe and our oppression? 
For our souls are bowed down to the dust,
    our bodies are pressed to the earth.

Psalm 13:2-3 How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me?
    How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul,

    grief in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Prayer in Anger

Psalm 79:6,10,12 Pour out your wrath upon the nations
    that acknowledge you not,
upon the kingdoms that call not upon your name.
Why should the nations say, 
     “Where is their God?” 
Let it be known among the nations in our sight 
    that you avenge the shedding of your servants’ blood. 
And repay our neighbors sevenfold into their bosoms 

    the disgrace they have inflicted on you, O Lord.

Psalm 94:2-4 Rise up, judge of the earth; render their deserts to the proud. How long, O Lord, shall the wicked,
    how long shall the wicked glory, 
Mouthing insolent speeches, boasting, all the evildoers? 

Personal Affliction

Psalm 25:16-20 Look toward me, and have pity on me,
    for I am alone and afflicted. 
Relieve the troubles of my heart, 
    and bring me out of my distress. 

Put an end to my affliction and my suffering, 
    and take away all my sins. 
Behold, my enemies are many, 
    and they hate me violently. 
Preserve my life, and rescue me; 
    let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 

Trust in God

Psalm 85:8-10 Show us, O Lord, your kindness,
    and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
    the Lord—for he proclaims peace.
To his people, and to his faithful ones, 
    and to those who put in him their hope.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, 
    glory dwelling in our land. 

Psalm 4:7-9 Many say, “Oh, that we might see better times!” 
    O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! 
You put gladness into my heart, 
    more than when grain and wine abound. 
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
    for you alone, O Lord, 
    bring security to my dwelling. 

Listen to My Heart Lyrics

How do you explain
How do you describe
A love that goes from East to West
And runs as deep as it is wide
You know all our hopes
Lord, You know all our fears
And words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for You to hear

So listen to our hearts
Hear our spirits sing
A song of praise that flows
For those You have redeemed
And we use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are
But when words are not enough
To tell You of our love
Just listen to our hearts

If words could fall like rain
From these lips of mine
And if I had a thousand years
I would still run out of time
So if You listen to my heart
Every beat will say
Thank you for the Life
Thank you for the Truth
Thank you for the Way

And listen to hearts (oh, Lord, please listen)
Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (a song of praise)
From those of You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed)
And we will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are
But when words are not enough
To tell You of our love
Just listen to our hearts

So if You listen to my heart
Every beat will say
Thank You for the Life
Thank You for the Truth
Thank You for the Way

And listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please listen)
Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (a song that flows)
From those of You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed)
And we will use the words we know
To tell You what an awesome God You are
But when words are not enough
To tell You of our love
Just listen to our hearts

When words are not enough
To tell You of our love
Just listen to our hearts
Listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please listen)
Listen to our hearts

He Maketh Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures

Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer and the 23rd Psalm were the first prayers that I learned when I was a child. The child’s prayer of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”, taught to me by my mom, I learned before I can remember…probably when I was around 2 or 3 years old and Psalm 23 I learned when I was around 11-13 years old. I’ll be honest…I didn’t really have a clue what either of these prayers meant when I was that age, but I do remember that they both evoked a feeling of peace. I also remember that I knew Jesus was my Good Shepherd as I’d learned that at Sunday School.

My focus today in my blog is verse 2 of Psalm 23: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

When I was a girl, I could hardly wait until the snow melted and summer came to the farm. I liked to climb to the top of the mountain above our farm and lay in the tall grass and gaze at the blue sky…the tops of the trees swayed back and forth in the wind, but where I was lying in the grass, there wasn’t even a breeze. As the clouds drifted overhead, I felt a feeling of calmness sweep over me…sometimes, I would doze off and wake up feeling safe and warm. I never really associated that time with “lying down in a green pasture” but when I look back on it, I recognize the peace it created in what was an otherwise tumultuous existence.

This trek to the top of the mountain was my escape from a dad who was an alcoholic, and a mom who enabled him. I lived in a house full of constant battles between them, between my brothers and myself (have you ever seen the movie War of the Roses?). Now I didn’t share this with you to make you feel sorry for me! Although it was a dysfunctional family, I loved my parents, who are now both deceased, and I love both of my brothers. The purpose of my sharing this with you is to share with you an example of how God will find a way to bring you the peace of a green pasture if you want and allow Him to do this for you. He already gave us His Son who is the Shepherd that cares for us beyond anything we can imagine; afterall, He died for us! What greater love is there than that? Anything we ask in Jesus’s name Heavenly Father will grant according to His Will for us…

To a certain extent, I believe that’s what this covid-19 quarantine has done for me and I hope for you too. It’s allowed me to slow down, think about my relationship with Jesus and my desire to know and grow closer to my Father in Heaven. To allow the Holy Spirit to lead me beside the still waters. Once again, I’m going to say…don’t get me wrong…I realize that for many this quarantine has been a drain on them emotionally, financially and spiritually; what I am saying is that HE’s there, just waiting for you and me to give Him our burdens.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

When we turn to Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation), he lifts the burden in our hearts and replaces it with Love, Peace and Joy. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 the Bible talks to us about how we are supposed to Love with patience, kindness, never self-seeking (don’t put ourselves first) and not be easily angered and always Rejoicing in Love by protecting and trusting and persevering.

Maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father has given us this time of hiddenness from the world so we can re-calibrate, rethink and reassess our life. Most of us have to admit that no matter how often we talked about it or said we were ready to do it, we weren’t willing to step away from the world on our own; so maybe he has taken this bad situation and turned it to good. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing right now? Instead of feeling stressed, worried, afraid, we should be Rejoicing in Love and it says in 1 Peter 4:8, that Love covers a multitude of sins. Colossians 3:15 says that we should let the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. If you don’t have Jesus in your heart and would like to feel this Love, Peace and Joy please read my blog: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

When we were children, we sang songs like JOY, JOY, JOY down in our hearts! I don’t know about you, but I felt that song with ever fiber of my body and actually, I still feel it today! Jesus LOVES Me is still at the top of my list of favorite songs. I remember singing those songs while playing and doing chores; when I found Jesus at a very young age (6 years old) he became my rock, I leaned on Him…it became natural to turn to Him because I could feel Him holding me when times were bad. Do you ever find yourselves singing songs about your Love for Jesus today? If you ever had any, did your JOY dissolve with your childhood? Instead of spending all of your time reading the internet and facebook articles on how bad it is…start counting your blessings today and each and everyday make the list longer than the day before. Even if your blessing is having a spoon to eat your soup with…or a towel to dry with after the nice hot shower…to be able to read and study your Bible anytime you wish to…about having a Pastor that is willing to give a Sermon via the internet, so you can be fed with the Word of God. So we need to quit looking at our quarantine as “HOW BAD IT IS” and start looking at it as “Lying down in green pastures and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us”.

In the USA, it may be bad for some, but wake-up people – that’s the case for many even when there isn’t covid-19 to deal with (homelessness, loneliness, child abuse, alcoholism, social security check that doesn’t even start to cover necessities of life) on and on I could write.

The majority of us, however, we are doing okay. We may have to think about things and do things a little differently, but we’re a long way from facing major sacrifices. Thankfully, most of us don’t yet know anyone who’s died of this hideous virus, much less know anyone in the hospital fighting for their lives and let’s all pray that because of our quarantine and social distancing we will never see the results touch our lives. And yes, my head isn’t in the sand…I recognize that there are some areas of the country hit mighty hard by this and God only know why…we can’t begin to guess or second guess the reasons behind the virus. Right now, a lot of us are focused on conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric and missing out on an opportunity that may never come again in our lifetime. A time to “Lay down in a green pastures” and commune with God.

***I’ve been receiving a magazine “The Voice of the Martyrs” from this website for many years and reading it will open your eyes to how good we have it in our country. https://www.persecution.com/

Our King and His Kingdom

Jesus is God! Jesus is KING!

Another Counselor Promised

John 14:15-21 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

19 “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”

There’s no doubt that Jesus is God and that God is in Him…because of our belief in Him, he is also in us. Thus we’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit!

Psalm 47:7-8 Sing a song of wisdom, for God is King of all the earth. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. 12 Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.

Luke 17: 20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

If you’re a Christian, you’re waiting with great anticipation for the Kingdom of God. You’re waiting for Jesus to come back to earth wearing His crown and taking up His place as King of His Kingdom. The Old Testament (66 books) and the New Testament (27 books) both proclaim the Kingdom of God! Every book, every chapter, every verse points us to Jesus as the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew translation). When Jesus walked on this earth, he preached and taught the Kingdom of God. The Gospel is the Good News that the Kingdom of God is coming soon and that He will be sitting on the throne. We are told by Jesus to preach to every nation about the Kingdom of God…with the technology that we have had for the last 20+ years, my best guess is that this has already been accomplished. When speaking about His Kingdom: John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

So now we’re in a holding pattern? So, if that’s the case, does it mean that we’re supposed to just sit back and wait? NO…we’re supposed to tell everyone we know and meet about the saving grace of Jesus and that His Kingdom is coming to earth with Him when he returns! Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus instructs us to tell them that they must repent of their sins (turn away from) and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and then obey God’s commandments. Luke 4:43 “But He said to them, I must proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.” Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus.and Revelation 14:12 This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.”

Matthew 3:1-3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said:

A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make His paths straight!

Jesus was Baptized by John and the Holy Spirit was sent to Him from God and when He learned of John’s arrest:

Ministry in Galilee

Matthew 4:12-17 When He heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth behind and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
along the sea road, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles!
16 The people who live in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those living in the shadowland of death,
light has dawned.

17 From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”

The Pharisees had all the books in the Tanakh that foretold His coming by the prophets such as Isaiah and yet they were blind; it’s thought that they were too engrained in the traditions of their position and authority among the people and that they saw Jesus as a threat to their authority.

What is it that Jesus is talking about in Luke 17:21? He’s telling the Pharisees that the Kingdom of God is already on Earth…it’s obvious that they don’t understand that HE is the Kingdom of God and He’s right there in their midst and either they don’t fathom it or they just refuse to recognize Him.

Jesus had performed so many miracles from the feeding of the multitudes, healing the lame and the blind, to driving out demons; the Pharisees were foolish enough to think that he was possessed by demons instead of seeing that these miracles came from His Father in Heaven. They had been privy to the miracles of God through their reading of the Tanakh and still they weren’t willing to give Him the credit.

Luke 11:20 If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

To help you out with your studies, here are scriptures found in the Old and New Testament that you can refer to and read about the miracles.

Miracles Are There In The Old Testament:

  1. Creation – Genesis 1:1–27
  2. Enoch’s translation – Genesis 5:24
  3. The Flood – Genesis 7:17–24
  4. Confusion of tongues at Babel -Genesis 11:3–9
  5. Sodomites blinded – Genesis 19:11
  6. Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed -Genesis 19:24–25
  7. Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt – Genesis 19:26
  8. Ass speaking in human voice- Numbers 22:21–35
  9. Burning bush – Exodus 3:3
  10. Moses’ rod changed into a serpent – Exodus 4:3–4, 30
  11. Moses’ hand made leprous – Exodus 4:6–7, 30
  12. Aaron’s rod changed into a serpent – Exodus 7:8–10
  13. River turned to blood – Exodus 7:20–25
  14. Frogs – Exodus 8:1–15
  15. Lies – Exodus 8:16–19
  16. Flies – Exodus 8:20–24
  17. Murrain – Exodus 9:1–7
  18. Boils – Exodus 9:8–12
  19. Hail – Exodus 9:18–24
  20. Locusts – Exodus 10:1–20
  21. Darkness – Exodus 10:21–23
  22. First-born destroyed in Egypt – Exodus 12:29–30
  23. Pillar of cloud and fire – Exodus 13:21–22; 14:19–20
  24. Crossing the Red Sea – Exodus 14:21–23
  25. Bitter waters sweetened – Exodus 15:25
  26. Manna sent – Exodus 16:13–36
  27. Water from the rock in Rephidim – Exodus 17:5–8
  28. Amalek defeated – Exodus 17:9–13
  29. Strange fire on Aaron’s sacrifice – Leviticus 9:24
  30. Nadab and Abihu destroyed – Leviticus 10:1–2
  31. Israel’s judgment by fire – Numbers 11:1–3
  32. Miriam’s leprosy – Numbers 12:10–15
  33. Korah and his gang destroyed by unnatural means – Numbers 16:31–35
  34. Murmurers destroyed by a ravaging plague – Numbers 16:41–50
  35. Aaron’s rod blossoms – Numbers 17:8
  36. Water from the rock in Kadesh – Numbers 20:8–11
  37. Brazen serpent healed many bitten by fiery serpents – Numbers 21:9
  38. Jordan supernaturally divided – Joshua 3:14–17
  39. Fall of Jericho – Joshua 6:6–20
  40. Dew on Gideon’s fleece – Judges 6:37–40
  41. Sun and Moon stood still – Joshua 10:12–14
  42. Angel in flame – Judges 13:20
  43. Lion slain by Samson – Judges 14:5–6
  44. Thirty Philistines killed by Samson – Judges 14:19
  45. Water from the hollow place Lehi – Judges 15:19
  46. City gates carried away by Samson – Judges 16:3
  47. Dagon’s house pulled down by Samson – Judges 16:29–30
  48. Dagon’s fall before the Ark – 1 Samuel 5:1–12
  49. Men of Beth-shemesh destroyed – 1 Samuel 6:19–20
  50. Thunder and rain in harves-ttime – 1 Samuel 12:18
  51. Uzzah’s mysterious death – 2 Samuel 6:6–7
  52. Jeroboam’s hand withered and restored – 1 Kings 13:4–6
  53. Rending of the altar in Bethel – 1 Kings 13:5
  54. Drought ordered by Elijah – 1 Kings 17:1; James 5:17
  55. Elijah fed by ravens – 1 Kings 17:4–6
  56. Widow’s oil and meal supernaturally increased – 1 Kings 17:12–17
  57. Widow’s son raised from dead – 1 Kings 17:17–23
  58. Sacrifice consumed by fire – 1 Kings 18:38
  59. Rain in answer to prayer – 1 Kings 18:41
  60. Captains destroyed by Elijah’s command of fire – 2 Kings 1:9–12
  61. Jordan divided by Elijah’s mantle – 2 Kings 2:8
  62. Elijah translated to heavens in a chariot of fire – 2 Kings 2:11
  63. Jordan divided by Elisha with Elijah’s mantle – 2 Kings 2:14
  64. Waters of Jericho healed – 2 Kings 2:20–22
  65. Young mockers of Elisha torn by bears – 2 Kings 2:24
  66. Waters supernaturally supplied for Jehoshaphat – 2 Kings 3:16–20
  67. Widow’s supernaturally multiplied – 2 Kings 4:1–7
  68. Shunammite’s raised from dead – 2 Kings 4:19–37
  69. Piosioned pottage made harmless – 2 Kings 4:38–41
  70. Hundred fed with 20 loaves – 2 Kings 4:42–44
  71. Naaman cured of leprosy – 2 Kings 5:10–14
  72. Gehazi struck with leprosy – 2 Kings 5:27
  73. Axehead caused to float – 2 Kings 6:5–7
  74. Ben-Hadad’s plans revealed – 2 Kings 6:8–13
  75. Syrian army defeated – 2 Kings 6:18–20
  76. Resurrection by touch with Elisha’s bones – 2 Kings 13:21
  77. Sennecherib’s army destroyed by an angel – 2 Kings 19:35
  78. Hezekiah healed – 2 Kings 20:7
  79. Shadow returned to sundial – 2 Kings 20:11
  80. Uzziah afflicted with leprosy – 2 Chronicles 26:16–21
  81. Three men delivered from fiery furnace – Daniel 3:19–27
  82. Daniel delivered from y lion’s den – Daniel 6:16–23
  83. Preservation of Jonah in the belly of fish for 3 days – Jonah 2:1–10

This list is the miracles performed by Jesus and written down in the 4 Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as the books of Acts and Corinthians.

Jesus’s Miracles in the New Testament:

  1. Water made wine in Cana – John 2:1–11
  2. Son of nobleman healed in Cana – John 4:46–54
  3. Christ passed unseen through crowd in Nazareth – Luke 4:28–30
  4. Demoniac in synagogue healed in Capernaum – Mark 1:23–26
  5. Peter’s mother- inlaw healed in Capernaum – Matthew 8:14–17
  6. Draught of fishes in lake of Galileo – Luke 5:1–11
  7. Leper cleansed in Capernaum – Matthew 8:1–4
  8. Paralytic healed in Capernaum – Matthew 9:1–8
  9. Impotent man healed in Jerusalem – John 5:1–9
  10. Withered hand restored in Galilee – Matthew 12:10–13
  11. Centurion’s servant cured of palsy in Capernaum – Matthew 8:5–13
  12. Widow’s son raised in Nain – Luke 7:11–17
  13. Demoniac healed in Galilee – Matthew 12:22–23
  14. Tempest stilled in lake Galilee – Matthew 8:23–27
  15. Two demoniac cured in Gadara – Matthew 8:28–34
  16. Jairus’ daughter raised from dead – Matthew 9:23
  17. Woman with isse of blood healed – Matthew 9:20–22
  18. Blind men cured – Matthew 9:27–31
  19. Dumb spirit cast out in Capernaum – Matthew 9:32–33
  20. Five thousand supernaturally fed – Matthew 14:15–21
  21. Walking on the sea – Matthew 14:25–33
  22. Syro-phonecian daughter healed – Matthew 15:21–28
  23. Four thousand supernaturally fed – Matthew 15:32–39
  24. Transfiguration of Christ – Matthew 17:1–6
  25. Tribute money supernaturally provided -Matthew 17:24–27
  26. Deaf and dumb man healed – Mark 7:31–37
  27. Blind man healed – Mark 8:22–26
  28. Devil cast out of boy -Mark 9:14–29
  29. Miracles by the seventy – Luke 10:17
  30. Ten lepers cleansed – Luke 17:11–19
  31. Jesus passed unseen through crowd in the temple – John 8:59
  32. Man born blind healed – John 9:1–7
  33. Lazarus raised from dead – John 11:38–44
  34. Woman with infirmity cured – Luke 13:11–17
  35. Man with dropsy cured – Luke 14:1–6
  36. Two blind men cured in Jericho – Luke 18:35–43
  37. Fig tree cursed and withered -Mark 11:12–14
  38. Malchus’ ears healed – Luke 22:50–51
  39. Second draught of fishes – John 21:1–14
  40. Resurrection of Christ – Luke 24:6
  41. Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene – Mark 16:9
  42. Christ’s appearance to other women -Matthew 28:9
  43. Christ’s appearance to two disciples – Luke 24:15–31
  44. Christ’s appearance to Peter -1 Corinthians 15:5
  45. Christ’s appearance to ten apostles (Thomas absent) – John 20:19–24
  46. Christ’s appearance to eleven apostles (Thomas present) – John 20:126–28
  47. Christ’s appearance to seven disciples fishing – John 21:1–24
  48. Christ’s appearance to eleven apostles in Galilee – Matthew 28:16–17
  49. Christ’s appearance to five hundred brethren – 1 Corinthians 15:6
  50. Christ’s appearance to James – 1 Corinthians 15:7
  51. Christ’s appearance to eleven apostles on day of Ascension – Acts 1:2–9
  52. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:1–14
  53. Christ’s appearance to Paul at his conversion – Acts 9:1–5; 1 Corinthians 15:18
  54. Lame man cured by Peter – Acts 3:6
  55. Death of Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:5, 10
  56. Many sick people healed by Peter – Acts 5:15
  57. Apostles freed from prison by angelic intervention – Acts 5:19; 12:7–11
  58. Stephen’s great miracles – Acts 6:8
  59. Dying Stephen’s vision of Christ – Acts 7:55–56
  60. Philip cast out unclean spirit – Acts 8:6–13
  61. Ananias’ vision – Acts 9:10
  62. Paul’s sight restored – Acts 9:17–18
  63. Aeneas healed of palsy – Acts 9:34
  64. Dorcas restored to life – Acts 9:40
  65. Cornelius’ vision – Acts 10:3–4, 30–32
  66. Peter’s vision – Acts 10:9–20
  67. Agabus’ prophecies – Acts 11:28; 21:11
  68. Peter released from prison by angelic intervention – Acts 12:7–11
  69. Elymas blinded – Acts 13:11
  70. Lame man cured by Paul – Acts 14:10
  71. Damsel delivered from evil spirit – Acts 14:10
  72. Paul’s vision on the way to Damascus – Acts 16:9
  73. Earthquake released Paul and Silas – Acts 16:25–26
  74. Gift of tongues – Acts 19:6
  75. Special miracles by Paul – Acts 19:11–12
  76. Evil spirit overpowered Sceva’s seven sons – Acts 19:13–16
  77. Eutychus restored to life – Acts 20:10
  78. Paul unharmed by viper’s bite – Acts 28:5
  79. Publius’ father healed – Acts 28:8
  80. John’s vision on Patmos – Revelation 1:9; 22:21
  81. Innumerable miracles of Christ not recorded but witnessed by the apostles – John 20:30; cf. Acts 10:38–39

***Thank you to this website for their extensive list of miracles…they saved me untold time in research:

https://www.spiritoflifeag.com/how-many-miracles-are-there-in-the-bible/

Invisible God? God’s Image?

The following Scripture is in the New Testament; the “WHO” and the “WORD” are in reference to Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation). I’ll be inserting Yeshua frequently instead of Jesus…just to give you a feel for His Hebrew name.

Colossians 1:14-17 (KJV) In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist(all things are held together). John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

In the beginning, when God created the Earth and all that’s in it including “man”, the world and man were perfect because there was no sin yet. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1 gives us the overview of the creation process and as well as His plan to give man dominion over the His creation. Genesis 2 gives us a closer look at the creation process as well as man’s purpose to tend the Garden in Eden and for God to have someone to walk and talk with. In Genesis 3 we learn of Adam and Eve and that after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they hid from God’s presence so that He would not see their nakedness. Presence is the existence of a person or thing in a certain place; opposed to absence. This, I believe to mean that until they had recognized sin and disobeyed God’s commandment, that they could actually see and hear Him during their walks and talks in the Garden in Eden. Genesis 3:8 says “They heard the sound” of the Lord God. Whatever form God took, it certainly allowed for the physical production of sound. I take this to mean that His walk (footsteps) were audible and that His steps made noise as He walked in the Garden. Once man had sinned, he could no longer stand in the presence of a perfect and holy God. So Adam and Eve had to leave the garden, or they would die…from study of further Scriptures, I believe that God and man could no longer occupy the same piece of ground as man’s sin made them vulnerable to death in his omnipotent omnipresence (all powerful presence).

***It seems to me that God had created an absolutely beautiful and unimaginable domain for mankind…it may have been the Garden of God’s Temple or home on Earth and He shared it with man (this comment is my thoughts – NO Scripture to back it up).

Therefore until God returned to Earth in the form of Jesus, (part man through the line of Adam, King David and then Mary) and part God, His “perfect holiness” is so “glorious” that man could not look upon Him without being destroyed.

Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

If you have read your Bible, you recognize that “LET US” make man in our image refers to more than one; the Father and the Son (Jesus/Yeshua) and the Holy Spirit that moved over the deep and currently resides in “born again” Christians. Right at the beginning of scripture this is where the Trinity or Triune-God comes into being. Generally speaking, when you read in the Bible about the visions of the throne of God, the Son of Man also known as the Lamb of God is standing at the right hand of God. Once again, because of his holiness the description of God on the Throne is so glorious that the person seeing the vision cannot actually see His face, so instead describes Him using what the human minds recognizes as beautiful and precious (rare and colorful stones). Therefore, the description of God and the Temple in Heaven is completely beyond our limited imagination. Just like what is said in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. This Scripture is in reference to the New Earth that God has prepared for us. God and Jesus will be with us again on the New Earth once sin has been completely destroyed.

As human beings, we can only identify with what man and Earth have become since sin manifested in the Garden; everything is now contaminated by sin and made filthy. As long as man chose sin, we would never be able to look on God the Father or He on us. Yeshua’s death on the cross has changed that scenario for those who believe in Him and who follow and obey Him as we are covered in His blood of Righteousness. We have been given free will by God so that we can make a choice, to either choose to follow the moral law of God or the immoral law of a world that’s been blinded by Satan. This is why there’ll be judgement in Heaven with God on the Throne and Yeshua (Jesus) as our mediator. Because Yeshua became flesh (Immanuel – God with us), he understands the poison darts that Satan throws at us on every turn. This is why in Ephesians 6:10-18 that we’re told to put on the full armor of God…without it, we cannot withstand the assault of the enemy of God, who wants to take as many with him into Hell as possible. Satan knows that he’s only been allotted a specific period of time to work his will against man.

In the following Scripture, we’re given the description of Yeshua when he returns to earth to destroy evil for good. See the reference to His name “Word of God”.

Revelation 19:12-14 (KJV) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture (robe, garment) dipped in blood (represents His death on the Cross and the blood He shed for us): and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Have you ever seen anyone who’s really angry…have you noticed that their eyes seem to throw out sparks…Yeshua’s eyes, when He comes to fight the final battle, are flames of fire because of the fury that has built up over 6000+ years because of the destruction that Satan has done to His perfect creation of Man and the Earth.

Satan, also known as Lucifer was one of His (Yeshua’s) most excellent and perfect creations: as a covering Cherub of the Throne, he had beauty beyond what we can imagine, he had the most gorgeous singing voices, he had honor among and above all the other angels and fully one third of the angels were under his authority and this is why they followed him to earth when he was cast out of Heaven. I believe there was a point in time, when even Lucifer could have repented and asked God’s forgiveness, but it’s gone way beyond that now. This is why we’re given the description of the last days in Daniel and Revelation. By the way, Daniel and John were the only men in Scripture referenced as “Beloved” by God, so these were both men that God knew He could trust to write down exactly what he wanted us to know about what’s coming in our future.

Yeshua by nature is loving, forgiving, kind, patient, compassionate, humble & gentle (Matthew 11:29), self-controlled, just and merciful. But he also felt disappointment(Matthew 14:31), sadness (He WEPT!)(John 11:35)(Luke 19:41-44), anger (John 2:13-22)(Matthew 21:12)(Matthew 23:13,16 & 33). All of these attributes and more make up Yeshua including omniscient(all-knowing, omnipresent(everywhere), omnipotent(all-powerful), immutability(never changing) and so many more. He and His Father are alike in every way, they are of one mind and one spirit.

Yeshua’s diciples were both concerned and confused that He was going to go to Jerusalem to die, so he tried to explain it to them…

John 14:1-12 (KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

My thoughts from reading Scripture is that God is only invisible to mankind because of our sin. Looking upon him would cause us to die immediately!

Romans 3:23-26 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Clean Hands:

James 4:8 (KJV) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!

What does it mean to be double-minded?  The definition of double minded according to the Miriam Webster Dictionary: 1 wavering in mind : undecided, vacillating a doubleminded man unstable in all his ways 2 : marked by hypocrisy : insincere.   

As you can see from the language of James in this scripture, he wasn’t talking to true believers and followers of Jesus, he was obviously talking to people who were content in their sin or people who were trying to walk on both sides of the fence; claiming to be followers of Jesus, but still hanging on to their sin and not wanting to change. Not believing that they need to change.

I’m deeply concerned in today’s world that’s where most of the churches are …they deny the value of repenting and turning away from sin and instead they “preach or tickle” the ears of their congregations with what they want to hear, therefore they’re leading them to believe that as long as they say they’re Christians, that’s all that they have to do…that they don’t need to repent and that God is going to grant them every wish or desire including wealth.

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

In the New Testament scriptures, Timothy was an early Christian evangelist, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, referred to by Paul as “my true son in the faith”. He was trying to follow the instructions given to him by Paul in regards to the church. Paul instructs in 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. We know from the scriptures and 2 books in the New Testament that Paul wrote 2 letters to Timothy in order to hold him up in the Gospel and to give him strength with instruction and advice so he could lead the church and continue evangelizing (sharing the Gospel and planting the seeds of faith). He also warned Timothy about false teachers.

There’s only one way to clean our hands and purify our hearts and that is through our faith in Jesus! His righteousness covers all of our sins: this is the only way we can stand before our Father in Heaven. There’s nothing we can do on our own to fix us! WE are sinners and even when we repent from our sins, it becomes a daily battle that we fight against the enemy and can only be won with the help of the Holy Spirit, who keeps us from repeating our sins. REPENT is turning away from sin and truly regretting with every fiber of you heart and mind that you ever partook sin. This cannot be achieved without giving your heart, mind and hands…“YOUR ALL” to our Lord and Savior who gave us “HIS ALL” Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach.

Keep in mind, that we should always be in a state of repentence and always asking forgiveness…as humans we can sin without intending to sin…we can sin by omission when we neglect to do what’s right and what Jesus told us to do in:

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

3This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We need to be recognize that when we allow the world to keep us from these two commandments, which as you see by verse 40, incorporate ALL THE LAW…we don’t have clean hands or a clean heart. WE are walking in darkness and there’s only one way out:

John 8:12 (KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Psalm 24 (KJV)

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Pure Heart:

Proverbs 20:9 (KJV)  Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Matthew 5:8 (KJV) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I’m now going to refer you again to Scripture found in the Book of James:

James 4:8 (KJV) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!

Sadly… double-minded is the state that we’re in because we’re human! There’s only one cure: give your mind over to the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit can lead you away from indecision and onto the path of righteousness. You can’t have a relationship with Jesus and also have a relationship with sin, so you must fully surrender yourself to Him by walking away from whatever it is that is keeping you in sin. Keep in mind that even Jesus was tempted by Satan, although he never gave in, we must remember that we cannot get through a day without Satan trying to pull us into darkness! This is why we need to be “born again”, so the Holy Spirit can guide us away from the darkness and keep us in the “LIGHT”. Paul tells us in Galations 5:16-18 (KJV) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

I can hear some of you right now say: SEE!!! We’re not under the LAW!!! YES, we are! This is why we need to ask for forgiveness when we do inadvertently sin! We cannot continue in SIN and if we allow the Holy Spirit to Guide us we won’t continue in SIN, therefore when we’re not sinning and we’re giving our minds to Jesus, then the LAW has no power over us and it becomes a mirror for us to examine ourselves!! Everytime we sin willingly, we are the same as slapping Jesus in the face and saying that his death on the cross means nothing to us! As said many times in the New Testament: GOD FORBID!

When we decide to follow Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we becoming pleasing to God because we’re covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Savior…therefore, our hands become clean and our hearts become pure. We will find peace unlike anything that we’ve ever known. There will be an end to double-mindedness because we’ll be sharing in the LOVE and PEACE of Christ.

The Plan of Salvation

ALL have sinned!

Scriptures taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

1 John 1:8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

There is a penalty for sin!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God”.

You cannot save yourself!

Titus 3:5 He saved us— not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.

Salvation has been provided!

Ephesians 2: 8-9 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The conditions are simple!

REPENT:

Luke 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!

CONFESS:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

BELIEVE:

Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

“For the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection.” -Billy Graham

NOW’S the time for a decision!

Joshua 24:15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: I heard you in an acceptable time,
and I helped you in the day of salvation. Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.

If you don’t believe you can be saved Jesus said:

Luke 18:27 He replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.

Revelation 3:20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/18/my-sheep-hear-my-voice/

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father, in your great mercy lead those who have gone astray back to the fold and into the arms of Your Son and our Lord, Shepherd and Savior.

In the name of Yeshua Hamaschiach ~ Jesus the Messiah

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN