Friday’s Favorite

I intended to forego today’s Friday’s Favorite.  However, after much time in the Word and prayer, I believe this song is the perfect introduction to my five-part series ” Actions Do Speak Louder… “. 

Search your heart, allow the Holy Spirit to use the truths of this song to set the tone for your weekend.

Luke 5: 30-32 ” But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum ?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do.  I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough.”

(Taken from the New Living Translation)

Wish I Could Help, But All I can Do Is Pray…

I have heard this statement so many times, even among faith-filled forgiven followers of Jesus Christ, that I am now beginning to understand WHY our nation (and the world) is morally collapsing and God is no longer the foundation of this country.

People are seeking something or someone to heal their broken hearts and tragic lives.  We as God’s chosen are obligated, not just incidentally asked, to pray for everyone!

Throughout the history of the true church, the only time change or revival happened was when God’s people prayed.

Why do so many believers think of prayer as a last resort?  Why do so many think they have to read some self-help book on how to pray effectively?  Why do so few spend time alone on their knees before God Almighty in earnest prayer?

The God of Creation gave us His Holy Word to speak to us (if we read it) and made it possible for us to speak to Him through our Mediator and Savior Jesus Christ.

C.H. Spurgeon once said, “Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.”

2 Chronicles 7: 11-16:  Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.  Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him:  “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.  When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,  if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.  For now I have chosen and consecrated this house (**) that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”

Mark 11: 15-18:   And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.  And he was teaching them and saying to them, (**)”Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”   KJV   “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,”  ESV

James 5: 16 ” Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than being alive without breathing”

Martin Luther King Jr.

****For anyone who would like to watch one of the most Spirit filled messages I’ve ever heard, here’s a link.  The original message was delivered at a Praise Conference in October of 1994 by Jim Cymbala, a pastor from Brooklyn.  It’s almost an hour long, but I must say, it’s an hour well spent!  http://youtu.be/U79YOKje2zU

Pennies From Heaven

We’ve all heard the usual stories (old wives tales really) about pennies we find on the sidewalk or in a parking lot.  Some “tales” say those pennies could bring good luck or they may be gifts from angels.  Here’s a little story (with a twist on all the old wives tales) to  give you something to ponder…

Several years ago, my friend Kendra and her husband George were invited to spend the weekend at the home of George’s boss.  Kendra was anxious about the weekend because Mr. Ryhill was very wealthy.   He owned a spectacular home on the lake shore and had several vehicles that cost more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Kendra was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.  Mr. Ryhill was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants.  Kendra knew she would never have an opportunity like this again to indulge in such extravagance, so she enjoyed herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant for dinner on the last evening of the visit, Mr. Ryhill was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and George.  He stopped suddenly, looked down on the pavement and paused…

Kendra wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts.   Still silent, Mr. Ryhill reached down and picked up the penny.

He held it up, smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure.  “How absurd,” Kendra thought, “what need did this man have for a single penny?  Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?”

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he found was valuable.

A smile crept across his face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see.   She’d  seen many pennies before!  What was the point of him showing her the penny?

“Look at it and read what it says” Mr Ryhill said.

She read the words “United States of America “

“No, not that; read further..”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes–yes–yes…that’s it!”

“And…?” Kendra questioned

Mr Ryhill continued, “And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin.  Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription.  It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it!  God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him!  Who am I to pass it by?  When I see a coin, I stop and pray, and ask the Lord to give me the grace I need to trust in God at that moment.  You see, I pick the coin up as a response to God to remind me to trust in Him always.  For a short time, at least, I cherish that penny as if it were gold.  I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me.  I am so thankful God is patient with me and pennies are plentiful!”

Several days after Kendra arrived home she was out shopping and found a penny on the sidewalk.  She stopped,  picked it up, and realized that she had been worrying and fretting in her mind about things she couldn’t change, then she read the words, “In God We Trust,” and laughed.  “Yes God” she spoke aloud, ” I get the message.”

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“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”  Psalm 20:7

“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!”  Psalm 40:4

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”  Psalm 62:8

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 143:8

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”  Isaiah 12:2

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.”  Jeremiah 17:7

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” If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.  Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.  Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”  1 Timothy 4: 6-15

And I challenge each of us, as the forgiven children of God, to continue serving Him in faith, trust and prayer!