GET TOGETHER- PUT THAT WATERPOT DOWN !

GET TOGETHER- PUT THAT WATERPOT DOWN !
Joh 4:28, The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Without going into all of the statistics in this devotional recently I have read several articles and news reports about the decline of Christianity in America. Fewer people believe that Jesus Christ was the Incarnate Son of God. And there are several other statistics that point to the fact that many in our nation have a secular, or humanistic worldview rather than a Biblical worldview
When I read about this, I am reminded of our Lord’s words in Mt 9:37,38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” If there ever has been a time for us to pray for and to be laborers in the harvest it is certainly now. The harvest certainly is plentiful and the laborers are quiet often few.
I have heard several different messages this week from people in different parts of the Body of Christ. One thing that I believe was stressed from them was that we are to occupy until the Lord returns. We are called to be advancing the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Jesus is not looking for a church that is hiding under the pew saying “it sure is bad Jesus is coming back.” I believe that He is coming back. But I also believe that He is looking for a church that is doing what He said to do in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NKJV). He is looking for a church that understands what He said in Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He is looking for a going church. He is looking for a witnessing disciple making church! He is looking for a Holy Spirit empowered church!
Last week J.J. and I were watching the series Chosen. One of the scenes that touched me the most was when Jesus met the woman at the well. It is recorded in John Chapter 4. In that passage Jesus reveals Himself to a Samaritan woman. A woman that has had five husbands and the man that she was currently living with was not her husband. She had an encounter with the Lord that day and she had to go and tell someone about it.
We live in a nation that is full of people who are in a worse spiritual condition than this woman was. Our Lord desires to meet these people. Our Lord died on the cross to save these people. Our Lord wants to use us as He did this woman to go and tell them that whatever that they are doing in their lives without Jesus Christ as their Savior and Messiah that it will never fulfill them. Drugs will not quench that thirst! Ungodly sexual relationships will not quench that thirst! Alcohol will not quench that thirst! There are some good things that will not quench that thirst. Success in business will not quench that thirst! Your favorite football, or sports team will not quench that thirst! Political power will not quench that thirst! Sitting in a church pew gossiping about how bad the world is will not quench that thirst! Only He can quench that thirst! And He has called us as the church to go into the world and point people to the thirst quencher. He wants us to use our words, our finances, and our actions to show His love to a lost and hurting world.
So, for all of us let’s leave our waterpot and go tell the world about a Savior that gives this kind of water. the kind that Jesus told the woman at the well that He gives in Joh 4:13,14 “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

LET US PRAY
Lord I believe that You are calling Your church to do what You have always called the church to do. I believe that You are calling us to get off the bench and to get in the game. Lord may we take the Gospel to the lost. May we do what You have told us to do in Matthew 25 and Matthew 28. Help us to be advancing the Kingdom of God upon the earth on that day that You return for Your Glorious Bride.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all!
Your Kinfolk/Friend
Preston

GET TOGETHER- THIS BLOOD IS FOR YOU!

GET TOGETHER- THIS BLOOD IS FOR YOU!

Mt 26:28 “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

          Yesterday as I was listening to James Dobson on the radio there was a Messianic Jewish Rabbi doing the best teaching that I have ever heard concerning Jesus as the Messiah and connecting the Old Testament with the New Testament. His name was Rabbi Jason Sobel. I have ordered his book Mysteries of the Messiah.  He did an outstanding job on the when Christ was on the cross and what the shedding of His blood represented in a redemptive way in our lives and how that it tied into the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Lord. I am really looking forward to studying more about this. But today I want to share some of my thoughts on   the Blood of Jesus and how what He suffered on the cross can be redemptive in some ways in our lives and I believe that the Scriptures would fully support that.

          Before I go any further, I want to say first of all that it is only through our faith in the Blood of Jesus that we can be justified and put in a right relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Paul tells us in Ro 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (NKJV) I am sure that I have shared this before, but I will share it again. I believe that the Bible tells us that salvation is being saved from hell, delivered from the power that hell has had over our lives, and healed from the damage that hell has wrought upon our lives. 

          So here are just a few of my thoughts. When I think about Jesus taking the nails in His feet, I think about the redemption that He paid the price for those of us who once walked in darkness.  The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that there would be One that would deliver us from walking in darkness:  Isa 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.” There things and places that we used our feet for and went to that were places and things where we were being controlled by our old sinful nature. He paid the price to give us a new set of spiritual feet. The kind of feet that Paul wrote about in Ro 10:15 “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”(NKJV) Not all Christians are called to Pastor, or some other office. But all of us are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

           When I think about the nails in His hands and the Blood that flowed from those hands, I think about how that our hands were once dirty. Our hands had been used to do things that were contrary to the will of God. When we used our hands to do wicked things we were headed for eternal punishment:  Isa 3:11 “Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him.” But when Jesus took the nails in His hands His blood cleansed us from the wicked deeds that we once committed with our hands and we can have fellowship and relationship with Him. Ps 24:3,4 “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy placeHe who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.” (NKJV) As His hands bleeding reached out to a lost and hurting world our hands are now clean to be used by Him to reach out to a lost and hurting world. 

          Another thought that I had that I would like to share with you. As His head was bleeding from the crown of thorns around His head. I thought about how the blood that He shed positions us to experience the transforming power of God as our minds are renewed as the Apostle Paul wrote about in Ro 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” He shed His blood that our minds could be renewed and we would no longer act and think as we did when we were in our lost estate.

          When He took the spear in His side from that Roman soldier serving a pagan empire  His blood flowed from there and He was died a real death on the cross it looked like all hope was gone. When I think about that I think about how many times that the devil may think that he has defeated us. However, we know that on the third day our Lord came out of the tomb and that we are never defeated by the evil powers of darkness. 

           There are many things that I could write about concerning what the Blood of Jesus does for us such as healing of disease and sickness and many other things. But I felt like the Lord wanted me to share these thoughts with you. As we head into Resurrection Sunday, I pray that all of these will lead you to an even greater appreciation of what the Lord suffered and did for us. 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that you took the nails in your hands. You took the nails in your feet, the crown of thorns around your head, and the spear in Your side for us. May we forever be thankful for the sacrifice that you made for us.  And may we always share this Good News with others as we walk in the victory that You have provided for us both  now and forever!

In Jesus Name

Amen 

Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- WHAT A GIFT

GET TOGETHER- WHAT A GIFT
1Co 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

Well today I hit seventy-two. One way I knew it was because I had an appointment with an ENT. He had to remove a piece of rubber that had come off of one of my hearing aids from my ear canal. Praise God that he did a pain free, quick, and efficient job. Talk about an answered prayer!
I want to thank all of you that have wished me a happy birthday today. And if you haven’t don’t feel like that you have to do that. Some days I may miss some people’s birthday on Facebook that I really love and care about.
God has blessed us with so many people in our lives that have been and are so special to us. From wonderful teachers, Pastors, mentors, friends, people that I played high school football with and against who are now my brothers in Christ. I am so thankful for the family that I grew up in. I am thankful for J.J. and the family that God has given us. I am thankful for the family that I married into. I am thankful for the churches that the Lord has allowed me to Pastor, and also for so many brothers and sisters that God has allowed me to work with across denominational lines here in the United States and in five foreign countries. I know that I am leaving many out, but to be honest I could write a good part of the day and I am sure that I would still leave some out.
In writing to the church at Corinth the Apostle used 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 and 14 to teach about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the way that they were to be exercised in the church. It is my belief that he used Chapter 13 what we often refer to as the love chapter to stress what the motivation and attitude should be for those that operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In verse 13 Paul lists the abiding gifts that abide in all true believers in Jesus Christ all of the time. they are faith, hope, and love. The Greek term for love here is agape. It is a benevolent love that expects nothing in return. What love is this that we can love others without expecting something in return from them? I just want you all to know that we love you, and that we don’t expect anything in return.
I want to thank the Lord for Christians who loved me when I was not saved. I want to thank you for loving me and for praying for me. I was in a very dark place. I thank God for that prevenient grace that kept me from dying and going to hell until I came to that point of repentance from my old sinful lifestyle and gave my life to Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. But more than that thank you for loving me enough to pray for me that I would not remain in that lost condition that I was in.
I may have friends, relatives and others who read this that may have not come to that place in your lives. I want you to know that I love you. I know that God loves you. And I pray for you that at some point that you will come to that place of surrender so that you can experience God’s forgiveness and transforming power here on the earth. And that we can all live together in eternity forever and ever.
Two years ago, the Lord had me to step aside as the Pastor at Christ Community Fellowship. However, I don’t believe that God calls Christians to ever retire from serving God. When I read what Jesus said in Lu 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”(NKJV) I take that to mean that we are to keep our hands on the plow until the Lord comes back for us, or until we go home to be with Him.
I told the Lord if He would keep me in good health, I would serve Him until He calls me home. Here is part of my bucket list:
• To see all of our friends and relatives know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior
• To see a Holy Spirit Awakening in this nation.
• To see people set free from addiction.
• To see families once again be put back together as God originally designed them to be
• And yes, there are some places and friends that I wouldn’t mind visiting should God make the time and for us to do it.
Thanks for listening to my heart today. Thanks for being our friends. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Thanks for all of your prayers and the way that you encourage us. We love you all !

Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- A GREAT WORD TO PRAY

GET TOGETHER- A GREAT WORD TO PRAY

Mt 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
Several years ago, I read a book by Richard Foster called Prayer Finding the Hearts True Home. I am not sure what part of the book that it was in, but in one part he stressed praying the above verse from Jesus teaching on prayer in the Sermon On The Mount.
What a great thing to be able to pray for ourselves that His Kingdom come and His will be done in our lives on earth as it is in Heaven. I believe that God desires to do good to us. Jesus said in Joh 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” That is good news! In my private time with the Lord, I have been reading the Book of Deuteronomy. In that book we see that God desired to bring Israel into a good land and to do good to them; De 8:7 “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills.” It is in God’s nature to do good to His people.
On the other hand, God is also holy. He desires His people to be holy meaning to be consecrated to Him and to no other gods. God warned them that if they rebelled against God and went after other gods that they would not enjoy the blessings of this land: De 11:27,28 “the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; “and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”
So, when we pray for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven in our own lives, we are praying that we will be totally consecrated to God. When we do this, we will be positioned for the blessings that God desires for us to experience.
Jesus told us to pray for our enemies: Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” Sometimes that is hard to do. There may be people who disagree with us on things that we believe that there can be no compromise, or we would be compromising our faith. And yet we are called to love all people and to pray for them. What better way to pray than for God’s will to be done in their lives on earth as it is in Heaven. Most likely someone prayed for us in that way when we were enemies of the Kingdom.
So, for all of us let us be in agreement and pray for God’s will to be done in our friends’ lives, our families lives, our enemies lives and in the life of our nation and our community. Think about it. There is no sickness in Heaven. There is no hatred in Heaven. There is no war in Heaven. Jesus said for us to pray that His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Pray, believe and expect.

Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You that You gave us a wonderful model and outline to pray. We thank You for the many other ways that You have given us to pray. But today Lord help us to pray for Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We pray that today for all who read this. We pray that today for friends and family that have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We pray that today for those who are bound up in drug and alcohol addiction. We pray that for those who hate us. We pray that for the leaders of our nation and for the leaders in Your church. We pray that for all of our family members.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all!
Your friend/kinfolk
Preston

Get Together – What Kind of Love Is This

Get Together – What Kind of Love Is This?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I can remember back in the late 1970’s when there was a guy named Rockin Roland that would just so happen to have a good seat at what seemed like every ball game that I was watching. He would hold up a sign that said John 3:16. If it was a World Series game on Friday night, he was behind the backstop. If it was the college football game of the week. This was before there were football games on practically every channel, he would have a prominent seat and be holding up that sign. To my recollection, I did not go and find a Bible to see what that meant. I was more concerned about was I going to win my bet on the football game than I was than what John 3:16 meant. However, praise God that I know what that means now!
Think about this for a moment. Would you go and let people drive nails into your hands and feet for people that would be more concerned about the outcome of the ball game than where they would spend eternity? Would you be willing to hang on a cross for people who would say that we do not need you or want your name mentioned in the public square in this country? Would you or I be willing to hang on a cross for someone who had done drugs all of their life? Would you or I be willing to hang on a cross and be mocked for several hours by pagan soldiers and the religious leaders of that time?
That is what kind of love this is. For any of us that are willing to repent of our sins and to put our faith in His shed blood He is willing to forgive us of our sins at any time in our lives that we do that. One man asked him on that day to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. Just a little while before this man had mocked and reviled the Lord: Matthew 27:44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. But when He asked for mercy he received it. Luke 23:42,43 “Then he said [a]to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
It is a love that offers a pardon to the hardened sinner. It is a love that gives the sinner the freedom to choose whether to accept this love, or not. The other thief on the cross shows how hardened the human heart can be. He continued to rail against our Lord to the very end.
We get a choice. We can either accept this offer of mercy and grace, or reject it. To accept it is to live eternally now and in Heaven forever and ever . To reject it is to be alienated from God now and moreover, to spend eternity in hell. We are told in John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Therefore, to answer the question that I asked earlier concerning what kind of love is this. It is a love that is sacrificial, freely offered, and offered to the vilest sinner at any time. Then we have to make the decision do we want to repent of our sins and accept this love, or do we want to reject this offer of eternal love and try to do it our own way. My prayer for all that read this is that if you have not received His mercy, love, and forgiveness that you will say Lord Jesus I am tired of trying to do it my way. I am ready to commit to Your way.
For those of us who have I pray that we will continue to grow in our love relationship with Him. I also pray that we will point others to the One who loves us no matter what condition that we are in, but loves us too much to leave us in that condition.
LET US PRAY
Lord Jesus we thank You that You love us so much that you were willing to take nails in Your hands, and in Your feet to bleed and die for us on a hard cruel cross. Thank You for the love that meets the sinner in our lost estate. Thank You for Your love that does not leave us in that estate. Thank You for Your love that brings salvation, and transformation in our lives. Thank You for a love that will enable us to live with You in Heaven forever. Thank You for a love that will help us to become the people You desire for us to become in our journey with You here on earth.
In Jesus Name
Amen
We love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – Our Mission Carry Out The Commission

GET TOGETHER – Our Mission Carry Out The Commission
Mt 28:19,20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.(NKJV)
Wednesday night as we began our time of sharing from our studies at Jesus Now a Christ centered ministry to help people with addictions overcome the power of addiction and sin in our lives there was a man there that it was his first time to come. We had played a worship song at the beginning of the meeting called Graves to Gardens. We call that our fight song! This man had been incarcerated for much of his life. After J.J. had shared briefly, less than two minutes from Psalm 46 one of the members of our group that had brought him said I need to interrupt you. He said this man wants to get saved! We prayed with the man. He then gave his life to Jesus Christ and he began to weep. He said that he had not cried in thirty years.
I spoke to him about being baptized at some point. He then said very emphatically said that he wanted to be baptized then. J.J. then went and ran enough water in the baptistry that we could immerse him in. we baptized this man who had been incarcerated for much of his life. we then assured him that now he was a new creation in Christ Jesus. It was a glorious night!
I thought about the young man that brought him to Jesus Now. Jesus Now as I mentioned earlier is a recovery ministry that we have here at Christ Community Fellowship. The young man that brought him has really gotten a hunger to see souls saved and for people to be free of addictions to drugs and alcohol. He was truly doing the work of a missionary right here in our hometown.
For several years the Lord has allowed me to go to Guatemala and serve with Eyes Wide Open Ministry. That is a ministry led by Daniel and Brandi McIntyre from Florence, Alabama. I have never been around a ministry that I thought was doing what our Lord has commanded us to do as much as what I have seen God do in that ministry in Guatemala. This past year I didn’t get to go because of the travel restrictions that are related to Covid 19.
When I didn’t get to go the Holy Spirit told me to be a missionary in Hamilton. He didn’t mean that we were not supposed to go to other places anymore. But what He meant was that just as the McIntyre’s were on mission in Guatemala, we needed to be on mission here.
I really believe that if we do what Jesus has told us to do that, we would see a turnaround in our nation. I believe that if we all as Christians saw ourselves as missionaries that our country would not be in the morally bankrupt condition that it is in. I don’t believe that we would have the break up of God’s design for the family that we have if we were about the business that Jesus has commanded us to be about. I don’t believe that we would have the celebration of taking the lives of those who are in the womb if we were being the hands and feet of Christ to a lost and hurting world.
Two times this week as I was in my truck the song, Why Don’t We Start Right Here by Casting Crowns got me attention. I felt like the Holy Spirit was using this song to confirm this message that you are reading. These words from the song really confirmed to me that God is calling the church to be on mission here in our nation:
What if the church on Sunday
Was still the church on Monday too?
What if we came down from our towers
And walked a mile in someone’s shoes?

Again, please don’t take this as my saying that we are not supposed to be in mission to other parts of the world. I plan to go back to Guatemala when the travel restrictions in and out of that country are lifted and anywhere else that the Lord tells me to go. Again, Jesus told us to go into all the world. also He gave us a good reason to be filled with the Holy Spirit : Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
However, we don’t need to skip our hometown. A few years ago, I read that missionaries from Africa were now being sent to this country. Wow! That really challenged me. Many of you reading this have already said yes Lord I will serve you. Most of you are in some way involved in Christian action of some type. But let me ask you are you willing to let God take that to a new level and to be a missionary in your hometown? Are you willing to say yes Lord here I am send me? It might mean missing some games that your favorite football team plays. it might mean some sacrifice in other areas of our lives.
The following passages from Matthew are passages that challenge me the most on how that I will give an account to the Lord when I see Him face to face one day. Here are a few verses:

Mt 25:34-40 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
There sure are a lot of opportunities there for a person to be a missionary.
Last week as I was preaching at my Mother- in -law Norine Johnson’s celebration of life the Holy Spirit brought to my attention that she would have some trophies to lay at the Master’s feet. She was a faithful servant of God and I believe that she had a missionary mindset. The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance as I was preaching the words from that old hymn All Hail the Power of Jesus Name. There is a line in there that says “go spread your trophies at his feet.” Missionaries will have some trophies to spread at the Master’s feet. Certainly, as a believer you and I would want to have some to lay at our Lord’s feet on that day when we meet Him face to face. Ask the Holy Spirit if He would help you to have a missionary mindset wherever God has you planted. I believe that is the only hope for this nation, or any other nation.

Let Us Pray
Lord forgive us for being so unconcerned about those that You are concerned about. We believe that You love us and that You love all people. We ask you to give us a missionary mindset. Forgive us for when we have wanted to stay in our comfort zones. Give us a heart for the lost and for the hurting. We know that You have a desire to redeem what is lost in this nation and every other nation.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all! See you on the Mission Field!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston Headrick

Get Together – Come Back to Your First Love

Get Together – Come Back to Your First Love

Rev 2:1-4 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your [b]patience, and that you cannot [c]bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

A few weeks ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about something. I was beginning to allow some bitterness to come into my spirit in relationship to some of the current events that are going on in our nation and throughout the world. He reminded me about something that I have always preached and taught. That what we put in our spirit will dictate how that we relate to God and to others.
One of the things that He had me to back off of was how much of the news that I was either listening to in my vehicle, watching on television, or reading off social media, or the internet. I am talking not only news that I disagreed with, but also news that for the most part I agreed with. Before I go any further, I believe that we are to be informed. We need to be like the tribe of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32 “they had an understanding of the times.”
To be honest I have had some great times in my quiet time each morning and at other times with the Lord. But again, I noticed that when I watched certain things in the media, listened to much to talk radio while I was driving and read everything on social media about what is going on in our current culture, I was going past righteous anger and getting into bitterness and a critical spirit.
The Holy Spirit then brought back to my remembrance that when I first got saved that I listened to nothing, but worship music, and prayed while I was in my vehicle. On the other hand, sometimes I would just be silent and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Again, I do believe that we need to be informed, but with social media the way it is today we can often end up putting things in our spirit that may cause us to become poison drinkers. We can leave our first love although we have not backslidden, or gone into a rebellious sinful lifestyle.
Let us look at some of what Jesus had to say to a church facing extreme persecution. They were facing persecution from the ungodly pagan Roman Emperors Nero and Domitian. They were of sound doctrine. If there ever was a time that we need to be of sound doctrine it is now. They were a patient people. They didn’t tolerate evil. They tested false apostles. They persevered, they didn’t grow weary, and they labored. Everyone of those things are good things and are certainly things that are things any Pastor would love to see taking place in the church.
Jesus is commending them for this. As the greatest leader of all time, He certainly wanted to commend them for these characteristics. And as the greatest leader of all time who loves the church, He certainly wanted to point out to them where they were lacking. They had left their first love.
I think what He is saying is that we can sometimes leave that first love a little bit by a little bit. It is not like we make a conscious decision to walk away. But it is more like something we may place in the water and it slowly drifts away.
Last week as I was taking some time to really seek the Lord in a special way, He spoke that gently to me. He told me to get that music back on in my truck. He told me to use that as a time to commune with Him in prayer and listening. He assured me that He was going to take care of me in this culture that is so hostile to the Gospel and a biblical worldview on marriage, life, and that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
Remember as we are told in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. When we leave our first love it is so easy to get drawn into fleshly battles. Then we are set up for the enemy to come and discredit our witness for Jesus Christ.
There is good news for us when we repent from things that may cause us to become bitter. There is good news for us when we hear the voice of God and let go of those things that may give us a critical spirit and cause us to view others in a way that will hinder us from winning them to Christ. Jesus had this to say about it in Re 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘ That is the tree that we eat from when we are fellowshipping with our first love 24/7 seven days a week. Whether in our vehicle, or quiet time at home, or anywhere else.

Let us Pray
Lord Jesus we know that we have to be aware of the things that are happening in our culture. On the other hand Lord, we know that we can get consumed by reading and listening to so many things that it sometimes crowds out the time that we need to hear from you. Lord help us in any area that the devil may use to get our focus off of you. Help us to enjoy those sweet sweet times when we worship you and when we read your word not out of duty, but out of having a Holy conversation with You. We do pray for our nation. Lord we pray that You would bring a Holy Spirit Awakening to this nation. Revive our hearts and help us to continually fellowship with You our first love.
In Jesus Name
Amen

The Holy Spirit was singing The Goodness of God to me when I woke up this morning. It sure is a blessing when Your first love wakes you up singing to you! Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOURISHMENT

GET TOGETHER – ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOURISHMENT

Ac 11:22-24 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

We live in a time where we hear a lot of things that are very troubling. To say that there are not many things going on in the culture here and throughout the world that trouble me I would not be honest. If I didn’t say that this past year has been very hard as we have seen people that in appearance to us looked very healthy leave this walk of life from the Covid virus I would not be truthful.
We see and hear about things in our culture here at home in our own country that are opposed to scripture being celebrated. Persecution is going on in the church throughout the world. In various places in Africa Christians are being murdered for their faith. In China, North Korea, Iran, and several other places Christians face imprisonment and separation from their families for being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we look at the early church it was not the cool thing to be a Christian. Those early believers faced persecution from their fellow Jews and lived under Roman oppression. When persecution came the early church was scattered. When persecution came the church began to grow.
No matter whether it is persecution, famine, pandemics, or even when things are going great, we all need encouragement. One of my favorite people in the Bible is Barnabas. His name means son of encouragement. Barnabas would be used in the early ministry of the Apostle Paul. He helped the early church to know that Paul a former persecutor of the church was the real deal and that he had truly become a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we need to encourage one another in the faith. As I remember a mentor of mine saying one night when he was ministering at our congregation “the devil will try to discourage you enough we need to encourage one another.”
In the above passage there are several things that the scripture says about Barnabas. The scripture says that he was glad. Can you imagine what an effect that had on those early believers to see a man of God that was glad in such a season as they were in. Perhaps we can let a lost world see that we are glad. That we have a peace and joy that as the old song goes “the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.”
He encouraged them to continue in the Lord. Many times, when some we face some hard times the enemy will tempt us to give up on God. Just remember that He doesn’t give up on us, so don’t give up on Him!
He was a good man. We know that being good doesn’t get us to Heaven. On the other hand, we know that we are called to be salt and light in a dark world. We are also called to do good to others. The Apostle Paul said it like this in Ga 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV) Jesus said it like this in Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV) Doing good to others is a very effective way to bring encouragement to those who are having a hard time and discouraged during this season that we are living in.
Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that there has ever been a greater time than now for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you have been filled once, twice, or numerous times ask Him to fill you again and again. We drink from that fountain that never runs dry.
He was full of faith. We are told in Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV) If you want your faith built up and to be able to encourage others get in the word of God. I am listening and watching a whole lot less of the news. The word of God HNN (Heavens News Network) will help us to be encouragers to others.
We then see as the church was encouraged that a lot of people were added to the Lord. So today be an instrument of encouragement and nourishment to those who are living in a dry and thirsty land. I believe that if we spent more time getting the lost saved that the Lord would save the nation. In order to do this it will take encouragement that brings nourishment so that we can continue in the Lord and be used to bring others into the Kingdom.
Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus it wasn’t easy for you here on the earth. It wasn’t easy for the early church. Today we pray that we will be encouragers to one another. we pray that we will encourage those who are faithfully serving You. We pray that we will encourage those that have suffered loss this year. Help us as to speak words that are spirit and are life. Help us to give encouragement that brings nourishment to all of those who are hurting, and discouraged.
In Jesus Name

Love you all !
Be Encouraged !!!!!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- DON’T QUIT NOW

GET TOGETHER- DON’T QUIT NOW

Ro 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Last weekend one of the most faithful servants that I have ever had the pleasure of being their Pastor went home to be with the Lord. His name was George Childree. Several of you reading this knew George, prayed for him during his battle with COVID-19 and like me were at first disappointed that his healing did not take place here on this earth. Others of you who are reading this perhaps have had someone that you loved very much and prayed hard for go home to be with the Lord after you had prayed for them everyway that you knew that the Holy Spirit was leading you to pray. And perhaps some of you heard that voice from the evil one telling you that it didn’t do any good to pray, or perhaps you didn’t have enough faith.
First of all, going home to be with the Lord is never second place. It isn’t a consolation prize. It is the ultimate prize. On the other hand, we are to contend in prayer for healing on this earth as long as the Holy Spirit leads us to pray. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful Biblical teachings that the Lord has had me to study about the healing power of Jesus and how He still heals the sick today. I am so thankful for the many times that we have experienced healing through prayer and have seen others healed through prayer.
When the enemy began to attack my mind about how it didn’t do any good to pray for our dear brother George, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how many times that God had worked supernaturally in George’s life. At one time he had a gun in his mouth and was going to commit suicide. He pulled the trigger and the gun didn’t go off. Somebody was praying! I remember visiting him at St Vincent’s hospital with a heart condition over fifteen years ago. Somebody was praying! At one time in his life, he was practically homeless. Then the Lord put him with his faithful wife Delores. Somebody was praying! He and Delores came to 3:00 am prayer meetings when they were a part of our congregation. Somebody was praying! They served in so many ways at our congregation that I won’t list them all here. Somebody was praying! After being practically homeless at one time in his life when he went to be with the Lord, he and Delores own a condominium in Foley. Somebody was praying! Delores told me today that after George got saved, he found his Mother’s Bible and there was a prayer request in there: Lord Jesus, please save my children. Somebody was praying!
In the passage above Paul is writing to a church that had either seen, or would see Christians have oiled poured on them and be used to light the Emperor Nero’s race track and party garden. Others would have to fight the wild beasts in the Roman Coliseum and yet Paul would write to them to be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation and continue to steadfast in prayer.
The Greek term for hope in this passage is elpis. It means to look forward with confidence. The Greek term for tribulation is thlipsis. It means pressure, anguish, persecution, tribulation, trouble. Many are experiencing anguish at this time from love ones suffering and leaving this walk of life. Many Christians throughout the world are facing persecution and hard times. And even here in the United States although not yet to the degree as in other parts of the world Christians are beginning to face persecution here. And yet we are to be steadfast in prayer. we are to never quit. What if those Christians in Rome had quit praying? I might not be typing this and you might not be reading this. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi some words that I believe would also encourage us not to give up in praying for the sick, the lost, and praying for our nation, and praying for the church throughout the world in Php 3:12,13 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
I believe that if I could talk to my brother George Childree today, I believe that he would tell me to keep praying for those patients that are on ventilators. He would tell me to tell people to keep pleading the Blood of Jesus and to stand on the promises of God in Psalm 91. I believe that he would tell me to pray for a Holy Spirit Awakening in this nation. Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Remember the greatest victories come after the greatest battles.
I don’t know the answer to why some get healed on this earth who may never have been to church as a result of someone’s prayers while some of the people that I have prayed for had as much faith as anyone and believed in healing as much as anyone that I know have gone on to Heaven. but I do know this just like I believe that George would tell us they would also say Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus today first of all we pray that you will be with all of those who have had a love one go home to be with you during this past year. We pray also for those that are battling Covid now. May you bring healing to their mortal bodies today. We pray that they will mount up with wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint. Lord we want to thank You for those that have experienced Your healing power and that You have chose to remain upon the earth. May each of these fulfill the destiny and purpose that You have created them for on this earth. We pray for ourselves. Help us to be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, and to continue steadfast in prayer.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Don’t quit Praying! Don’t quit believing
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- IT TAKES US ALL

GET TOGETHER- IT TAKES US ALL

1Co 12:13-18 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Most mornings rather than eating breakfast I make myself a smoothie. One morning last week as I was doing this the Holy Spirit used our blender to speak to me. He showed me that there was not a part in that blender that if I didn’t have it that I could not make that smoothie without causing some kind of a mess and the smoothie not coming out like it needed to.
There is the container. By the way that container has to be filled with the right content. There is a lid on top of the container and it keeps the content from being slung out in some direction that it is not supposed to go in. There is a cap that goes on the side of the blender that if it is not put on tight then the content is going to leak out. There is a gasket that also makes sure that the content does not leak out of the bottom and go on the motor. There is the base. If the base is not there then nothing could be done. That is why the devil is attacking God’s design for the family. There is the power cord. If there was no power then the blender would not work. If we don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives we cannot function in our role in the Body of Christ.
Some of those parts may seem less significant than the others. But again, if they are all working together then I will get my smoothie and I will not have to clean up a mess, or see a large part of it be wasted. It takes the little parts and the big parts.
In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul while teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit emphasizes how important and significant each member of the Body of Christ is. This devotional is not a teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is again on the importance of each believer fulfilling their role and calling in the Body of Christ (You can see more on that topic at the end of the devotional).
I don’t believe that there has ever been a time as critical as today for the members of the Body of Christ to function as we are called to function as there is today. If we don’t get out of our comfort zones and do what Jesus has called us to do our comfort zones are going to get a whole lot less comfortable. I am not talking about starting a fleshly revolution, but I am talking about walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and doing what Jesus our King has called us to do. He has called us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. He has called us to lay hands on the sick. He has called us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. That covers our homes and where we live.
He has called us to what He said to do in Matthew Mt 25:34 -40″Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Just like it takes every part of that blender to make sure that smoothie turns out right and doesn’t make a mess all over the kitchen. It takes every member of the Body of Christ functioning in our role to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Eph 4:15,16 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. If we do this the church will grow. Our enemies will become our brothers and sisters in Christ. And the culture will be turned back to a Godly culture rather than a pagan culture.
So today in this time when it may not be so popular to be a member of the Body of Christ are you ready to function in the role that God has given to you in His church? We must all ask ourselves that question. And hopefully all of us will like Isaiah the prophet did at a time when it wasn’t very popular to preach what he was preaching we will say yes Lord here I am send me.

Let us Pray
Lord we thank You that You have chosen us to be alive and Your servants in 2021. We understand Lord that many of our foundational beliefs are under attack today. We ask You Lord to help us to serve You in this critical time in the Kingdom. Help us not to resort to fleshly means against those who oppose us. But Lord we pray that You will so fill us with the Holy Spirit that our lights will shine before men and women. Help us to win the lost. Give us a greater love for You. Help us to love our neighbors. Help us to love those who oppose us as You have commanded us to do. Help us as you did to win the lost. Lord give us all a holy desire to function as your effective servants in the Body of Christ. May each one of us know that no matter how big, or small that we all have an important and significant role to play in Your Kingdom
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

If you are interested in learning more about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I would be glad to email you some of the teachings that I have on that topic.