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“What is happening..?”
“Why is everyone running to the rooftops?”
The entire city is in an uproar!
Dead bodies are lying everywhere!
Leaders cannot be found… they have abandoned the people!
The protective walls are collapsing and cries of death are ringing out from all around!
Panic is in the streets and within the walls and despair is pouring from the rooftops…
The enemy is at the gate; victory is in his hand!
Imagine yourself, please, in the midst of this city… but you are invisible. You are simply an onlooker – a spy. Imagine that your people are dying in your presence. Imagine that your family members are being taken captive. Abused. Raped. Tortured. Murdered. Now imagine, that as of yet, none of these things have happened. But they will. They are in process. In-route.
“O God! can’t you prevent these horrors from taking place?” you might ask yourself and yet the only response is… “yes… but I won’t.”
And so there you are in despair with those you love… but you are weeping for them.
Because none of them are seeking after God.
No one calls out to Him!
No one prays to their Maker!
There is not a single humble soul in the city who will fall to their face and acknowledge that: “God!!! WE NEED YOU NOW!” “HELP US WE PRAY!”
This scene is straight out of the life of the prophet Isaiah. This is what he sees from God. And when he sees it, panic sets in, and his heart becomes broken and then like wax. No composure is found for the prophet. His people are dead while they live and he is dying in heart for them. “Leave me alone to weep; don’t try to comfort me. Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.” (Isaiah 22)
Disaster is upon the world that rejects their maker. Those who reject Jesus are in the city, and the enemy is coming for them to destroy their lives. With justice and righteousness God must destroy both them and the enemy. They have made their decision and they will never be forgiven. They have willingly rejected their Maker – their God, and He will strive with them no longer. Blasphemy! Blasphemy of the Spirit is committed in the streets! And we are witnesses to such things all around our city block!
Cry you christian! Weep! Be not consoled… Your families are dead in the streets! Blood is on our hands lest we do something! Your friends and neighbors are dying! And their friends and neighbors are taking their last breath!
What will you do?
What must I do!?
Christian, does it break your heart that your city is full with many who have not yet found their joy in Jesus? Does it bring you to tears that you are sitting next to dead men at the bus stops and in your office? And God forbid, even in our churches!
“God! there are people in this city that do not worship You, will not worship You! Do something O God! SAVE THEM! PLEASE, WE CRY!”
We can do something. We must do something. Let God soften your heart as you seek Him. Let His heart be in you. Pray O christian, PRAY! “God, please use me… I am a vessel for You. For Your glory.” Are you praying yet? “God save my family, save my neighbors, save my friends, save my city! Open my mouth that I might proclaim Your beauty! Your Gospel!” “Make me bold with power that comes from You alone. Grace, come be treasured within me. Give me what I long for but have no strength to complete. Spirit be alive and free and expressed in and through me!” “Make Yourself known to this lost people!”
My prayer today is that my heart might surely break for those within my influence and in my city, and on my facebook that don’t know Jesus… and that I might do something to reach them, starting today by getting on my knees in prayer, making intercession for their eternal lives, that they might be saved. Will you please reach this world with me? We are in this together. We are in Christ, with Christ, for Christ.
Believer, I assure you that God will do these things within you and through you. But we must pray. Prayer is not the secret to transforming God’s heart but our own heart’s. God will change us as we humble ourselves and ask for the truly miraculous. The miracle will be our obedience in walking where He has already prepared the way. The miracle in our prayer will be our obedience to His boldness already supplied to us in preaching and proclaiming the Good News about Jesus Christ. This is what we want, but we must pray that it’s fruit would be continually produced from our lives to the next.
We are the prophets and priests of our day with the message that saves and sets free. The leaders in Isaiah’s vision fled from the people and they themselves, perished. We cannot be like them. We love God too much. We love people too much. We were ourselves, once lost. We care too much for those lost people around us. We cannot run! We must instead run into the thick of the battle in the Power of God, with His Sword ready in hand and defeat the enemy as we take our stand in the midst of a hurting and dying people; we will preach destruction upon the enemy as we preach salvation and life and the Gospel to those who are eager to be made alive! We are vessels of Honor proclaiming to Gods elect: “Be Saved!”
This is our calling and God’s good purpose: to use us fools for His glory. To use the once lost in redeeming the now lost. To find many as the many found obey His Great Commission. His purposes will be accomplished. Christian, join in the battle and find your great joy as you walk with your God in the saving mission of the Gospel of Grace. We are priests to our people, proclaiming: “Repent, and Be Saved!” In doing this, we are like Jesus.
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Here is a very simple tool to help you study the Bible. All of these elements are used in teaching and studying the Bible effectively. Below the image is a link to download the PDF of this document so that you can reference, share or print this document. Enjoy and I hope and pray that this helps you to more accurately, “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and share what you are learning with others.
This was taken from a message preached in the fall of 2009...
Check out the new Audio-Book/Sermon-Jam of this post by clicking Here >
True prayer is the act of humility. It declares to your God that you are in need of His counsel.
Prayer is an act of Love; it makes time for God, and places Him in your priority. Intimacy cannot be built without time, effort, and communication. Loving God is making time to become intimate with Him. Prayer is where you go out of your way to show God your heart, to praise or weep before Him. Prayer is where your intimacy is developed. We need to be drawn often to prayer.
Pray about everything.
Pray because your Savior has asked and told you to do so. Prayer is an act of obedience.
Strength is drawn from prayer. Praying is an act of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.
Please your God in prayer. He loves to hear you talk to Him. He loves to hear you ask of Him.
He is a fulfiller of promises, so pray His Word and you will never fall short of His will in prayer.
Remember, in any relationship, you must communicate to keep things fresh. So keep the lines of communication open with Jesus. Speak to Him and listen to Him.
Pray for strength, He always gives it.
Pray for direction, He knows the way.
Pray for Salvation, that’s why He came, died and rose again.
Pray for the impossible, He is God almighty. He is the God of miracles and impossibilities. Believe Him always.
You must pray in faith. And sometimes you must pray desperately for faith. Men have seen revival and what others thought impossible because they sought their God and asked Him for things others only dared to dream of. Stop dreaming and pray to your God who is reality and power and so near to you.
Prayer is where you gain the heart of God for your life and ministry. It is where you come face to face with love and where you are broken, humbled, changed and filled with His Spirit that is power in you.
You don’t have because you don’t ask. Ask! Ask for everything that you need and don’t have. Don’t be timid or shy. Don’t be faithless. Be willing to be wrong for some things that you ask for. We are praying for His will to be done.
Pray like Jesus.
And remember, you only need a mustard seed of faith in order to petition the face of God. If you feel like you don’t even have a mustard seed of faith, than ignore your feelings and ask anyways.
Pray always about everything.
Don’t be paranoid about everything and every decision you make. If you have an active prayer-life, than don’t be scared to walk by faith. Remember that faith is an action word and He is directing your steps. Pray then walk and most of the time, pray while your walking.
Pray for others; right there on the spot. Show others by praying with them that you believe in a God who hears. It will impart faith to them.
And Pray for you.
Prayer will keep you alive. It is impossible to have an active, fruitful private prayer-life and die spiritually. If you want to live more, than pray more. Prayer is the I.V. from heaven; It will keep your heart beating, your blood pulsing, and your Spirit above the clouds. It is an exercise in the spirit and so you must fight against your flesh. Be constant in prayer. Never give up. Pray
Remember ROMANS 12:1
1 John 1:1-4
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-…”
This is not boasting, nor arrogance. It is simply a statement of fact. It is simple testimony. True to life experience cannot be denied. It is a witness testimony. John is just telling the truth. “This is what I have seen! This is my experience!” “I have seen God come down to earth!” The Word of Life has been seen by these eyes! That everlasting Word. “In the beginning God Said…” That God, those words, they have been seen. This is the very power of God revealed, spoken, breathed, and He has been known and is being known by man.
“…the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the father and was made manifest to us-”
God is so good to us! He pours out His love, His mercy, His grace. We are drowning in a flood of Gods goodness toward us. Gods eternal life has touched down to a temporal earth. Dying man is coming into contact with the living God. When all is rotting away, God, who is life extends life eternal. And He revealed it in person, that we might touch and taste and see it all for His glory.
Jesus, the breath of God; His voice; His expression was given and manifest to you and I that we might experience for ourselves that God cares for us. God has expressed Himself to you and I in Jesus. He removes our sins. He heals us and feeds us, and sits at our table, and walks these dirty streets. He is not some distant God, but a personal, full of grace God. He is known and we are known by Him! Let that goodness wash over your heart today. Let His personal love and care for you lift your spirit to the heavenlies for just a moment. Taste afresh of His goodness and grace as you ponder this God who sees and knows and cares for you. Let Him touch you once more as you draw near to Him. His desire is that you would come so near to Him that you are truly one with Him. intercoursed by and with Him.
That is fellowship with God. That is koinōnia. Fellowship. it is closeness, commonality, blood bathed in the grace, mercy and forgiveness of the all cleansing blood of Christ! it is oneness that cannot even closely be compared with the physical type. The only dramatic earthly way of painting a picture of how close God wants you to himself that really still does not do justice with Gods heart for you is the closeness between a married man and woman in the act of intercourse. Special, personal, intimate, exclusive oneness. He wants you to be closer than earthly possible. One in the Spirit. He wants you to be closer than earthly possible. One in the Spirit. And His is oneness beyond marriage! Fellowship beyond earth! No wonder you are called His bride. You are special beyond earthly expression; so dear to Gods heart that human words cannot express. That’s why He has placed His Spirit inside of you. That He would bear witness with our spirit that we belong to Him. Take to heart His desire to have fellowship with you my friends. We cannot find a love like this anywhere else. Search no further. Waste no more time. Run into His always outstretched arms and just simply belong there.
“… And indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
May your joy become more and more complete in Him.
The last we spoke, our ordinary man, Isaiah stood in awe and fear before the throne of God. The posts were shaken, the room filled with smoke, and the seraphim cried, “holy holy holy!”. Wow! Can you remember the mood: quite serious, fearful, and humble. If you did some homework and read the entirety of the chapter you would have heard the rest of the prophets cry: ” I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…”
I am a man; defiled, is Isaiah’s cry; I am a nasty sinner; in our own plain language. Forget any temptation to believe that you have been reading a fairy tale or bedtime story. It is the trickery of time and the craftiness of our enemy to dull our faith by convincing us to read through the Bible as if it were only some book, when the Lord would have us experience Him through its true and living words and events. Do not be fooled, Isaiah was a real man: flesh and blood, body and spirit; full of emotion and feeling… just like you and me. A real man, before the presence of the Almighty! Now, maybe you can relate in some small way, at least in your humanity: desperate for redemption; longing for peace; needy for salvation; but lost in sin and among a people gross with the like. I know I can relate. But relation does not stop there…
Though lost in the deepest pits of despair; tainted by every sin imaginable, a man humbled himself and like Job, repented in dust and ashes (job 42:6). Though relatable to our hero, I am not talking about Isaiah anymore, I am talking about me. Can you relate? Have you been there? I have learned something great from the Lord; that He, in His awesomeness can create beauty from ashes. The best place on earth I have ever been, has been on my knees, being resuscitated, filled and most importantly, forgiven. Though men fall down as dead before the presence of The King, They shall be revived, called, and empowered to go! That’s why I said above that relation does not stop at fear and trembling, but like Isaiah, our souls have been touched by hot coals and our spirits brought to life by His life giving spirit. In our humility, we have been forgiven all our sins and by the power and glory of HIS life giving grace we may now enter into the most holy place with great boldness (Heb 4:16), knowing that our great forgiver desires to be our able and willing empowerer.
Dear friend, maybe you feel powerless? maybe you feel sinful, wicked, and completely unworthy? Maybe you have fallen before the Lord and feel unable to get back up? condemned? Maybe you have been drowning in legalism and pharisitical-religious-idioticy (i have been there)? Are you face to the ground and overwhelmed? Allow me to encourage you to stop listening to the voice of condemnation. Stop striving in your own flesh. I implore you, stay where you are, strive no more. Remain face to the ground. Be quiet. Be still and hear the voice of the Almighty calling you by name… He hears your cry and He sees your state. He comes to you out of the dust and ashes, hot coal in hand. Allow Him to purify your soul. He will cleanse you of all sin and wash you from all uncleanness. The rumors are true: our God is a consuming fire. Rest in that fire and be cleansed for eternity.
Amazing… The same God to be feared is the God who forgives… The God who humbles is the God who exalts… When we are weak He is strong… When we are faithless, He remains faithful… Though we be a weak, sinful people, He in His love and Grace offers strength and purity. Though we be ordinary, He is a God of the extraordinary. Its seems to me, that our God is in the business of taking ordinary men and women and empowering them to do the seemingly impossible. May i challenge you? His business has not gone bankrupt! He is the same yesterday today and forever. Its time to get over ourselves and to forget about our insufficiencies. He has given us grace upon grace! Where are the redeemed who will trust in faith that our God will be faithful and strong on their behalf just as He has been since Genesis 1:1? Do you not have the strength? the time? the words? the status? the list goes on… He has more than enough of all the above and more. In His grace He offers the Strength that you do not deserve. He gives the power by HIS Spirit that you do not have nor deserve and so on and so forth. This is His grace toward you daily. Though you be a single man prostrate on the floor of the temple of God, He will raise you up, forgive you your sin and call you out….
“who will go for Me? Who shall I send?”
The Lord, He calls. Who will answer His call?
“Lord, Help us to remember Your strength and favor toward us and to remember that we are only men. It is not by our strength but by Your Spirit. Thank You Lord. Amen.”