God Provides — I Need To Acknowledge

Psalms 78:32In spite of all this, they still sinned;

despite his wonders, they did not believe.
God did so much for the Israelites, yet they still sinned and turned from Him. He provided water, food (manna–bread of angels), then when they complained about wanting meat, God provided quail to eat.

I certainly cannot criticize them, how often in life when all was well, and I had what I thought was needed, did I start to go my way, taking everything for granted. 

Forgive me Father, guide me by Your Spirit to see and acknowledge all you do, and that I have nothing, am nothing, without You.

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God’s Plan – God’s Time

Jeremiah 29:-11-14
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 

13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 

14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Have you ever come across a Bible verse, or a short passage, and say to yourself, “Hey, I like that, I am going to claim that verse, remind God of what His Word says, and get on with the good life.” Most of us have probably done that at some time, I admit to being guilty. 
How about the above passage? I have heard parts of it quoted often, and declared over lives. 
Truthfully, God does know the plans He has for us, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
God will hear our prayers.

When we seek God with “all our heart” we will find Him.

God will restore fortunes, and gather His people together again.

All verses are good and true.
But: how about reading the preceding verse, Jer. 29:10
Jeremiah 29:10
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

And, was verse 14 noticed?
14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
It was God who sent His people into exile for the 70 years.
God definitely has His plans for our lives, but He also has a timetable, and again, we probably all have recognized at times that God’s timing is not the same as ours. God even told the people that He would fulfill His promise in seventy years. Normally we don’t know how long we have to wait, but the wait is worth it, if we do as God tells us.
Jeremiah 29:4-6
4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 

5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 

6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
God told His people to continue on with their lives, get married, have families, work and live.

Jeremiah 29:7
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Then what may be the most important part of God’s instructions came in verse 7 above.
The people are to seek the welfare of the city where God placed them, praying for the welfare and good of Babylon. As Babylon improved because of God’s people living there and praying, the welfare of God’s people would also improve.
What is our Babylon? What is your Babylon? Are you stuck in a hard place right now?
However it appears, God has His plan for you, and for me.

We are to do the best we can, to make the area better that we are in, regardless of the circumstances, and we are to pray in and for the situation. If there is a difficult time in the workplace, with management or co-workers, do the best job possible, praying for the situation and the people involved. 
The same in school or family situations. If troubles arise, pray for the situation, and for the relationships to improve.

In all these situations, trust in God to see you through, He will, just rely on His timetable, not ours, and doing as He instructs.

God’s Blessings.

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My Proclamation Of Faith

A repost from July 1, 2014, affirming my belief and calling are unchanged, and God is the same, never changing.

My Proclamation Of Faith
Psalm 73:28 ESV

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”

This is a proclamation that it is good for me to be near Almighty God, even better than that, it is an undeserved blessing to be a member of the family of God. With nothing within me of any merit or goodness, Jesus Christ, the Son of God willingly gave His life on a cross to pay my debt for sin. Then God the Holy Spirit called me, and when I ran away He called me again until I responded favourably and confessed my sins, repented, accepted Jesus Christ into my life and allowed the Spirit of God to direct and guide me.
I too have made the Lord God my refuge. He shelters me in storms of life. When I go through other storms, He is with me and carries me through. When hurts come, and other things I did not understand, God gives me His Peace and Comfort to get through them.
These Blessings, Gifts, Strengths, Comforts, Shelters, Callings are not for me alone, each is available for every person who lives.
These Blessings have been given so I can tell others of the Love and free Gift of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has provided and is offering to all.
If you have not done this yet, please consider it now, it is the most important decision we ever make. Jesus Christ is waiting to forgive all sins, and never mention them again, all you have to do is ask, and He will forgive you and His Spirit will enter your life to guide you.


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An Open Letter to Preachers

Thank you very much for this. Shared with Facebook friends, and reblogged.
God’s Blessings!!

The Recovering Legalist

In honor of my late father, Terry L. Baker, the most influential preacher in my life, I dedicate this post on the 26th anniversary of his home-going.

My dad always told me, “Never go to the pulpit unless you’re mad, sad, or glad.” So, in that spirit, I would encourage you men to consider the Story you’re telling and the Message you’re sharing…if anything, it should stir you with some sort of emotion. Then, as your heart is stirred, may the cup of your emotion overflow, spilling onto your congregation as you preach with a passion and persuasion only the Holy Spirit can give.

Dear Fellow Preachers,

I’ve said most of this before, but it needs to be repeated again, and again, and again. Now’s the time – it’s actually past time – for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

Stand in the gap! Don’t be…

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Seeking Jesus Requires Waiting At Times

This is another of those passages that has been read many times, but this morning while reading through this part of John’s Gospel, I noticed something that had not connected with me previously.
When Simon Peter and the other disciple (John) arrived at the tomb and entered it, they checked it out, seeing that Jesus body was no longer there, and went home.

John 20:5-10
5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

When Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, after the disciples were there, since she ran to tell them about the empty tomb, she stayed and wept. While weeping, she looked inside the tomb and saw the two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been. Following a talk with the Angels, Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not yet know it was Him. She didn’t recognize Jesus until He called her by name. Then she responded to Him, followed by again running to the disciples to tell them she had seen Jesus.
John 20:11-18
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Peter (and John) ran to the tomb to see for themselves what Mary Magdalene had told them. When they discovered the tomb was empty they went home. When Mary returned to the tomb, she waited, weeped, then looked again, first seeing the angels inside the tomb, then seeing Jesus outside the tomb.
These instances cause me to wonder. How often have I run, or gone someplace with expectations to find something out, or meet with Jesus, and when nothing happens immediately, I leave. Or even in personal prayer time, gathering myself together, expecting Jesus to meet me under my conditions, and nothing happens quickly, so I pack it in and leave,
Mary spent time at the empty tomb. She was sorrowful, and waiting. Finally Jesus came to her, and then He called her by name, after she didn’t readily recognize Him. When Mary heard the Saviour say her name, she knew immediately who it was.

I believe the “secret” is to spend time waiting for Jesus, not to be in a hurry, and He will come to us, He will call out our name, and we will recognize Him.
When Jesus Christ calls our name, we will surely recognize Him. What we do at that time is a decision we need to make individually.

God’s Blessings.

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Don’t Look Now, But…



When 22 people died outside a concert hall in Manchester, England, the media coverage was wall to wall.  The cry went up that something must be done! Journalists followed the investigation.  Press briefings were scheduled regularly. With broken hearts, we pored over color photographs of the victims, many of them only children, and we listened to bystanders describe their horror.  The world grieved as the story unfolded for a week.

Five days later, 29 Christians in Egypt died when terrorists attacked their bus. Forty-two others were seriously injured and the assassins got away.  That story vanished in less than 48 hours.  No color photos.  No interviews with authorities. No tragic details.

Here’s what you probably never heard.  The Christian group of parents, grandparents, and children were traveling in two buses to pray at a monastery. Their vehicles were stopped by terrorists outside the town of Minya.  After the buses were…

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Keeping Our Temple Clean

Keeping Our Temple Clean
John 2:13-17

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 

14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 

15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 

16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 

17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem, and when He saw money changers in the temple, along with many selling oxen, sheep and goats, Jesus got downright upset. In fact, Jesus was so upset He drove the people out of the temple, with a whip He made out of cords.
Now, that was the courtyard of a physical building Temple Jesus was clearing out. No one was to be using that area for personal gain, planning how to prosper themselves. The Temple and the property of the Temple were set aside for God, to worship and serve Him, so Jesus was justly and righteously angry.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 

20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Moving forward a couple of thousand plus years, when, according to the inspired Word of God, our bodies, the bodies of Born Again, Christ Following, Believers of Jesus Christ, are Temples of the Holy Spirit, how does Jesus Christ look at and feel toward the way we use our bodies?
When we are sitting in a church service, are we there totally, or is our mind on some activity later in the day, some project at home that needs doing, or a major or minor decision that needs to be made at work during the next week.

If Jesus came and sat next to us, clearing out each thought that was taking up space in our mind, when our focus should be on Him, what would we think, what would we do? I wonder if there would be a mass exodus due to embarrassment, and how full the places of worship would be at the end of the service.

The cleanliness of our body and mind outside and away from the Worship Services may be for another time and blog. But it is important to keep our minds and bodies clean of all inner pollution that the enemy of our soul attempts to slide in.
Back to 1Corinthians 6:19-20 again, Jesus Christ paid our debt, so we do not have to pay the price for our sins. With the price paid, Jesus then gave us the Gift of His Spirit to live in us permanently. Our responsibility is then to Glorify God in our body. This means our mind, as well as the seen body. God always knows where our mind is, even when no one else does.
Let’s keep our temples clean, worshipping God, as we are intended to do.
God’s Blessings.

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