In Luke 4:16-20, is the story of when, shortly after Jesus returned from His temptation wilderness, He first appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth to announce His ministry. It goes like this: ‘And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
In a number of places in the New Testament, Jesus says that those who believe (trust) in Him will receive the Holy Spirit (That’s Jesus’ Spirit), like John 7:39; John 20:22; and Acts 1:8; I take these verses to mean that because you and I trust Jesus, His Spirit lives in us too, and the passage in Luke quoted above applies to us, just as it applied (applies) to Jesus. We too are to proclaim deliverance to the prisoners. Continue reading →
In Matthew 8:5-13, is the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and Jesus said, “I’ll come.” The centurion responded, “You don’t need to come; just give the order, and he’ll be healed. I know this because I am a man under authority (I understand authority). When I tell one of my men to do something, he does it, no questions asked.”
Jesus was totally impressed. He said, “I tell you the truth, this man has more faith than anyone I’ve seen, even in Israel.” Continue reading →
In 1 Samuel 16:7, God says to Samuel, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When I was a little kid in the 50’s, television just came to our town, there were two stations, Channel 11 and Channel 13. Channel 11’s slogan was, “Hey Bud, Whatcha’ Lookin’ At? Channel 11, Good Lookin’!” In those days just having a program on at all was a fascinating prospect. At first the TV didn’t even come on til about 5:00 PM, and stayed on only til after the 10:00 news. How much things have changed. It was a much simpler time, not nearly so complicated. They had a show called “Father Knows Best” which was a family style sit-com; and in those days a lot of people thought father really did know best. We’ve all had to make a lot of adjustments since then, just to try to keep up. Continue reading →
Matthew 7:15-16 says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are vicious/ferocious wolves. You will know them by what they do.” This is Jesus talking, in the Sermon on the Mount. He goes on to say that good trees bear good fruit, bad trees bear bad fruit, and people are the same way. Beware means “be warned”. Watch Out! Continue reading →
Deuteronomy 4:29-31: If [even after worshipping idols] you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you . . . when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
What does it mean, ‘With All Your Heart”? Yes, I know, it means that you’re really serious; that you really want to have a relationship with God; that you want the benefits of having a close relationship with Him, because what you’ve been doing definitely isn’t working.
Sounds like, from the next sentence, that if you’re tired of going on without God, and you’ve done a whole lot of really stupid stuff, (like worshipping something besides God), and all these [bad] things come upon you . . . when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice. . . God won’t forsake you or destroy you or forget the covenant He made with your fathers, because He is a merciful God. Continue reading →
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good . . .” Genesis 50:20
You know the story of Joseph. He was the favorite son of Jacob, the eleventh of twelve, and when he was young he was a little arrogant. His father gave him the “technicolor dreamcoat”. He told his brothers he had a dream which showed all his brothers and even their father bowing down to Joseph. He probably shouldn’t have done that. Made ‘em mad. So mad they wanted to kill him. They even threw him in a well and left him there to die. But Reuben (one of the brothers) got him out and sold him to slave traders on the way to Egypt. Continue reading →
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
“We also glory [rejoice] in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 3:4-5 When I was a little kid, my Momma used to say, often, that tribulation builds character.
“ . . the prayer of faith will heal the sick and the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” James 5:15
Who is a “righteous” person? A righteous person is one who has Jesus’s righteousness in him because he has surrendered his whole self to Jesus. Not my righteousness but Jesus’ righteousness is the only thing that is going to save me, the only thing that is going to make me holy, as God is holy. Continue reading →
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. James 5:16 NIV
Praying is an act of service. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Who is righteous? Anyone who has surrendered to Jesus and let His Spirit come to dwell in their heart. No one else is righteous in God’s eyes. If you want to have a powerful and effective prayer life, surrender your whole self to Jesus. “Deny yourself, take up your cross (that means “die to yourself” let Jesus live His Eternal Life in you!) daily, and follow Him.” (Luke 9:23) That’s the ONLY way to have a powerful effective prayer life.
Philippians 4:6-7, says, “Don’t worry about anything; but being thankful for what you have, tell God what you need; and the peace that passes all understanding will keep your heart and your mind, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Just so you’ll know, if you ever had any doubt, this verse works every time—not the verse, but Our Lord. Prayer is an act of faith (trust) in God. Continue reading →