GET TOGETHER – HE WILL SEE US ALL THE WAY HOME

GET TOGETHER – HE WILL SEE US ALL THE WAY HOME

Jos 3:7 ¶ And the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. (NKJV)

What a great promise for a child of God to hear that God is with us. This past Sunday after we had eaten lunch our grandson Judah found some of Pop-Pop’s ice cream that I had hidden and wanted to stay with us a little while after his Mom, Dad, and brother and sister had gone home. He actually ate two bowls of it. 

After he finished, he was going to walk up the hill to his house about two hundred yards away. That would have been about one hundred yards per bowl. J.J.  and I had told his Mom that I would keep at eye on him until he made it to his house. 

As he ran up the hill, I noticed that every twenty yards, or so that he would turn around to make sure that I was still watching him.  I had told his mother that I would I watch him all the way until he made it to his house. And as I said that I would I watched him all the way to his house. 

I love the Book of Joshua.  Here are just a few of my favorite verses from the Book of Joshua. Jos 1:3 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.     Jos 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.   Jos 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV)

Joshua was a great leader. He experienced many victories. But he also had some times that I am sure that he had to look up and asked the Lord, or question was the Lord still with him. After his victory at Jericho Israel experienced defeat at Ai because of one man’s disobedience (See Joshua 7:1-6).   We just like Joshua was may at times be in hostile territory and God is desiring to use us to reclaim that territory for the Kingdom. When those times come, we can look up and know that the same God is with us that was with Joshua.  Joshua was rewarded with long life on this earth and I also believe with  eternal life in Heaven. His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan. He was buried in his own city of Timnath-serah (Jos 24:1-33 ). 

 The Book of Hebrews records a promise that    Jesus to the believer and follower of Christ Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(NKJV)    The Apostle Paul assured the church at Philippi that God would complete the work that He has begun in us:  Php 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  

 Our grandson Judah could have been looking back because the trip up the hill was a little tiring. He could have been looking to me again just to be sure that I was still there. Some of us may be looking up right now because the journey has been a little uphill lately. Some of us could be looking up because the path has been a little rough. But I believe that the Lord would have me say to you today that just as my eyes were on Judah to make sure that he made it home safely that God the Father has His eyes upon you to make sure that you make it there as well. These words from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ come to mind today Lu 21:28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”(NKJV) Daddy has His eye upon you and He is going to make sure that you get Home safely.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You for the Blood of Jesus Christ that You shed on the cross for us. We know that by faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ that we have been brought into that eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father. We thank You for the angels that You have given charge over us.  We know that You are with us on this journey and we know that no weapon formed against us getting to our Eternal Home in Heaven with you can prosper.

In Jesus Name

Amen 

Please be praying for me as I will be preaching at New Life Fellowship in Winfield on Sunday morning  October 18th.  And at the Stand in Haleyville at the home of Butch and Lea Benton that night. I will be sharing more about that on our website realpartyministry.com in the coming days.

Love You all ! 

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER -He Is Always Working

GET TOGETHER -He Is Always Working
Eph 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, (NKJV)
Last week we took a trip to the Beach. Our daughter Jessye had a conference there. She and her husband Shaun had gone down a few days earlier and we brought the three children down later in the week.
One morning I had gone out on the balcony to spend some time with the Lord while everyone else was still sleeping. We had a good view of the Beach. The temperature was pleasant at that time in the morning and it was very quiet. Everything seemed perfect as I started my time in prayer. Normally I pray verbally when I get up like that. I am a loud person so I was doing my best to pray quietly. The two boys Judah and Micah were asleep just on the other side of the sliding glass door.
Everything seemed perfect to have that time with just me and the Lord, but then I smelled cigarette smoke. I became aware that there was someone on the deck which was just a few feet above where I was praying. Some of my prayers were scriptures that I have been praying through a resource called Pray the Word 90 Prayers That Touch The Heart of God by Tiece King. By the way I recommend that as a good resource to use to allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life.
Realizing that someone was that close by I tried to pray low. I wanted to be sure that I was not praying in some way that was manipulative, or showing off in some way. So, to be honest even with me smelling the cigarette smoke it was a good time in the Lord. I don’t say that judgmentally. Thirty years ago, I was smoking two and a half packs of Vantage cigarettes a day. It was only through the power of the Holy Spirit and standing on the word of God that I got set free. So, I know that this is not an easy habit for someone to break.
The next day Micah and Judah informed me that I woke them up when I slipped through the area that they were sleeping in. They told me that they wanted to have devotional time with me the next day. We had our devotional that morning. We used this verse Isa 41:10 ¶ “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ We talked about not being afraid. We talked about not giving up. We talked about how that God gives us the strength to do what He has called us to do in life. We talked about how that God helps us in anything that we need His help for to fulfill His purpose for us in our lives. We talked about how powerful that God is. The fact that He could not only speak the Gulf of Mexico into existence, but every other ocean and body of water as well.
I then gave them an opportunity to pray. As Micah was praying and he was praying loud enough to be heard up above us the smell of cigarette smoke came by me again. As I was walking on the beach a little later that day, I felt like the Holy Spirit was impressing on me that it was no coincidence that this person was out on their deck while we were having our devotional and while we were praying.
Perhaps this person needed to hear a child pray with child like faith. Perhaps they were someone’s son, daughter, husband, or wife that someone had been praying for. They may have been like I was at one time still up from a night that left me empty, broke, and with a hangover. Or perhaps the person was a Christian that was still struggling with a habit that was very harmful to their body and they needed to hear about the power of God. I could go on and on about what type person this was and what is going on in their life, but to be honest I don’t know.
What I do know is that in some way God was at work on those two mornings. And I believe that God was at work in that person’s life just as He was in ours. I love the words in the song Way maker. In the Bridge of that song these words are very special to me:
“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working”

So today you may be praying for someone, or about some situation. It may feel like God is not at work. It may seem like God is not at work. But remember our opening verse : Eph 1:11 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Who know, but in some way, God may have used that time this past week to help that person come to the place that they would receive their inheritance in Christ Jesus. Don’t give up praying for people that you are praying for. Don’t give up praying about situations that you are praying about. Even when it doesn’t feel like it is doing any good, or seem like it. Remember He is working!
Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You that there are no wasted prayers. We thank you that there are no situations that You cannot work in. We pray today help us to be faithful, even when it doesn’t feel like it, or seem like it.
In Jesus Name
Amen

We love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – THE HOLY SUPERNATURAL

GET TOGETHER – THE HOLY SUPERNATURAL

Zec 4:6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.  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.”

I believe that God has wired up all human beings for a desire for the supernatural.  Sadly, since the fall in the Garden of Eden when original sin entered the human race human beings have sought the supernatural by counterfeit and demonic means. Many of them being good people and sadly sometimes Christians who just don’t have a Biblical knowledge of the supernatural.    When people do this, they open doors for the demonic to come and get a foothold in their lives and often to have adverse effects on them and their family members.  We can look at one place in the Old Testament where Saul sought out a Medium the Witch of Endor and the consequences for him were disastrous. You can read in 1 Sam 28 and see what happened to him when he went looking for the supernatural in some way rather than seeking God. 

There is good news for us!  The same Holy Spirit that came upon Zerubbabel, and prophets, priests, and Kings at different times in the Old Testament indwells the believer in Christ today.   Jesus told the disciples that they would be endued with power from on high.  Jesus promised us that He would send the Holy Spirit to be in us Joh 14:17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (NKJV) He lives in us. He is the third person of the Godhead. He isn’t an it. He is God the Holy Spirit. God lives in us and God is with us. 

Even greater than that is we can have as much of God as we desire.  The Old Testament Prophet Joel prophesied  and Peter preached it on the Day of Pentecost : Ac 2:14 -18 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day” But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:’ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. We are in those daysWe have been in them since the Day of Pentecost. We will be in them until the return of the Lord!

We can as followers and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ  walk in the Holy supernatural power of God! We don’t have to try to access demonic familiar spirits through reading horoscopes, going to fortune tellers, or doing whatever New -Age practitioners do with crystals.   One reason that those things  sound  so appealing to many people  is that a person can still live in sin and practice that. 

But why would we want the counterfeit that at some point is either going to bring harm to us, or our family when we can walk with the Holy One of Israel?  We receive and are filled with the same Holy Spirit that they were filled with on the Day of Pentecost. And we can get filled and filled over and over again! Most likely these people in Acts 4:31 were there on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. And look they get filled again! There is always more of God! Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

So today don’t let the enemy tempt you into settling for the counterfeit. If you have repent of it, renounce it, and ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had this to say about asking in  Lu 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (NKJV)

And for those who have received and been filled with the Holy Spirit remember what Jesus 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.”  I am also reminded of what He had told the disciples earlier and I believe that we can stand on this today. Lu 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”   Now that is another good reason to walk in the Holy supernatural.  Why would any of us want to play with deadly snakes when He has given us the  the authority and the power of the Holy Spirit  to trample on them?

Let Us Pray

Sweet Holy Spirit Sweet Heavnely Dove! Stay right here with us and fill us with Your love! Thank You Jesus that You are still filling people with the Holy Spirit. May all who read this be filled afresh today. May we all walk in the authority and power that you have given to us as Your faithful servants. May any who read this that are walking in the unholy supernatural repent, renounce and receive that perfect gift from above.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER TRUE PEACE AND TRUE LOVE

GET TOGETHER TRUE PEACE AND TRUE LOVE

Joh 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJV) Ro 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Yesterday as I was on my way to the office the D.J. on the Christian radio station that I listen to was going over things that had taken place during this week in history. One of the events that he mentioned and he certainly was not endorsing this event was Woodstock. Most of you I am sure have heard of the rock concert, or festival that took place on a farm in Bethel New York. This event took place in August of 1969. Over four hundred thousand people attended that event. A couple of themes that came out of that event were peace and free love. One mindset that came out of that event was that we could turn on and tune out by using drugs. Many of my generation bought into that lie including myself.
Another thing that was associated with what was going on there was the sexual revolution. Free love meant that there were now no restraints on sexual activity. There was a song “If You Can’t Be with The One You Love Love The One That You Are With. That song kind of sums up of the mindset of the free love movement. Many of us bought into that lie as well.
As a Pastor that at one time has ministered to so many people from broken homes. I often think about the consequences to the culture that have taken place as the result of many of us including myself for buying into the lies of that movement. Time and space won’t permit me to go further about more thoughts that I have concerning what took place in the spirit realm over the East Coast and our nation as a result of what took place there and the mindset and world view that came forth from it. That would be something for a one on one discussion, or an in person message, or teaching. What I am going to do is to give you some good news concerning true peace, and true love!
There is one and only one who can offer true peace. His Name is Jesus Christ. His is the only name under Heaven by which men, or women may be saved and have true peace. Ac 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (NKJV) There is not a name associated with any religious system on the earth that a person can be saved by and experience true peace. You see the peace that one experiences when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ is not about a religious system, or a philosophy, but it is about having a personal relationship with Him.
The Apostle Paul warned us not to be deceived by vain philosophies. No matter how good those philosophies may make us feel, or how good that they may sound. Paul is very specific about this in Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (NKJV) According to Strongs Concordance the Greek term for philosophy is philosophia, fil-os-of-ee’-ah. “It refers to secular philosophy – elevating human wisdom over the wisdom of God. Such 5385 (philosophía) is loving one’s own thoughts (secular wisdom) at the expense of God’s Word (true wisdom).”
There is only one who offers true love. His Name is Jesus! The Bible tells us that in Joh 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. (NKJV)
There is such a thing as free love. Jesus paid the price for it on the cross. It is not a love that means that free love comes by sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman in holy matrimony. Free love is what Paul is talking about in the passage from Romans that gives us the grace to be forgiven from our old sinful lifestyles. Free love is the grace to be transformed from our old sinful lifestyles and to become more like Jesus Christ as we go from glory to glory. Jesus spoke about free love, Mt 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
When we have received true peace and not a false peace we are ready to love others freely. We are ready to offer them this peace and love that only Jesus Christ can offer. It is my hope that many who went there that day and many of my generation have found what true peace is. It is my hope and prayer that many have found what true free love is.
Every week I go to a residential discipleship ministry for people who have been in lifestyles of addictions and other destructive behaviors. I also minister at some others ministries like this from time to time. When I look at the faces and hear the stories from some of these residents who come from second and third generation drug use it breaks my heart. It also motivates me to offer them the only One who can give them true peace, and free love. There have been times that I have stood before them and shared with them that although there has always since the Fall in the Garden sin in the world that I can remember a time when drug use wasn’t rampant. I can remember a time when homes although they were not perfect were stable. They often look at me with disbelief.
There have been times that the Holy Spirit has had me to repent before them for what some of us in my generation bought into and to ask them for their forgiveness. That is why I go there. Not so that I might could get forgiven and get saved. But I go because I found true peace and real, true free love and the forgiveness of my sins through a born-again relationship with Jesus Christ.
Would you begin to sincerely pray for this nation to know true peace? Would you pray for the people in this nation to know true love? If you say yes don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit begins to wake you up some in the night. Jesus is offering peace and His love to all who will repent of their sin and turn to Him no matter what color, or no matter what ideology that you may have bought into He stands ready to bring you into His Kingdom. A Kingdom where there is rue eternal peace, and true eternal love.

Let Us Pray

Lord many of us have looked for love in all the wrong places. Many of us had a misunderstanding about what true love is. Some of us sought peace through drug use, alcohol, unholy relationships, and many other things that our sinful flesh craved. Today we pray for all in this nation and all other nations to come out of false religious systems. We pray today for all to come out of vain philosophies. We pray for people to be set free from addictions to drugs, and alcohol. We pray for all that don’t know true peace, and that have not experienced the free love, and free gift of salvation to come to the cross of Jesus Christ today and to be raised to new life through Your Holy Resurrection power!
In Jesus Name
Amen!

Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- HE DIED FOR ALL

GET TOGETHER- HE DIED FOR ALL
Ro 5:8-10 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Perhaps one of the most challenging things for us in a culture that is so hostile to the Gospel message is how to love people without compromising the truth. I believe that one of the greatest things that we can do is to commit to praying for the unsaved. Jesus loves the unsaved. He loved the unsaved enough to go to the cross and to die for the sins of all who are separated from God.
All of us at one time were not saved. The Bible tells us in Ro 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I am so thankful for the faithful Christians that prayed for my soul while I was lost and was living in sin.
J.J. and I have a Holy Ghost hit list. We are praying for people that God loves that have not been born again to repent and to come to the cross of Jesus Christ and to be saved. Some of them are people that we know very well. Some of them are people who we disagree with politically. Some are people that we agree with politically, but to our knowledge have not come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them are prominent people that have lots of money who oppose the Gospel. Some of them are poor people that addictions have taken control of their lives. All of these are people that Jesus went to the cross and died for. We are told how much that God loves all people in Joh 3:16,17 “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. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
It is God’s desire for all people to repent of their sin and to be saved : 2Pe 3:9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.(NKJV) How about you ? Do you have a Holy Ghost hit list? Most likely while you and I were dead in our trespasses and sin we were on somebody’s Holy Ghost hit list. Or perhaps you are reading this and you have never put your faith in the shed Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save you from your sins. Why not today? Then you can come off of someone else’s list and start your own.
Let Us Pray
Lord today we pray that You will lay on our hearts those that You desire for us to pray for to come into Your Kingdom. We pray that You will raise up a group of mighty intercessors that will contend in prayer for the souls of men and women. Lord we pray that any reading this that have not had their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will repent and believe today.
In Jesus Name
Amen
Love you all
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- IT’S YES AND AMEN

GET TOGETHER- IT’S YES AND AMEN
Ac 2:1 -4 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Heb 10:23,25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

I can only imagine what it was like on that glorious day in the Upper Room when the promise of the Holy Spirit came and filled all one hundred and twenty that were in the room. I will admit that there have been some times that I have been in some services with others when the presence of God was so glorious that I did not want to leave that place, or go anywhere else.
Also, I praise the Lord for the word that we have in Hebrews that is encouraging us to stay faithful in our journey. We are told to continue to meet together. We are told to encourage, and to exhort one another. We are told to love on one another.
This has been a time like many of us have not experienced. Here are some things that I hear a lot of faithful Christians saying during this time. The church is not the building. They are right. It is not the building. The church is made up of the Blood bought children of God. We are the Bride of Christ! His body here on the earth.
The church is not the four walls and we are not called to just comfortably sit inside the four walls. Jesus commanded the disciples in 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) This is referred to as the Great Commission. It isn’t the great suggestion. That commandment is for every believer in Jesus Christ today. I originally had plans to be in Guatemala last week serving with Daniel, and Brandi McIntyre with Eyes Wide Open Ministry. That trip was cancelled because they are not letting people in the United States into Guatemala right now.
Last week one morning when I was sitting on my porch praying and spending time in the word, I heard the Holy Spirit say that we were missionaries to Hamilton. That did not mean that we don’t go other places. But the Holy Spirit was stressing that as Christians we all are living in a Mission Filed. He was stressing that we should take our approach to being missionaries here as serious as our brothers and sisters in Christ who are on the mission field in other countries do. Again, that does not mean that we don’t go on mission trips to other places. The good news is we don’t have to do this in our own strength. If Jesus commands us to do something, He will empower us to do it. This is what He told the disciples and this is for us today the same as it was for them 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.”
I am sure that on that day when the Holy Spirit came into the Upper Room that it would have been tempting to just want to stay in that room. But praise God that they didn’t! They hit the street! Peter the one who had denied the Lord at the most critical time in the Lord’s time here on earth was now filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. He preaches that Jesus is the Christ. Three thousand would get saved on that day! Wow do we ever need a move of the Holy Spirit like that today!
God is looking for people with a missionary mentality to use in this time and season! He still wants to do what Peter preached about on that day : Ac 2:14- 18 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.” But just like in that day He isn’t just wanting to do this so that we can have a feel-good worship service every once in a while. He wants to do it to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Phillip did it and God wants us to do it as well :Ac 8:12 “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
Now when we do this it is very important that we do not forsake the assembling of the saints. Recently I have wondered what it would have been like for me if when I first got saved if we had not been meeting together. I was at the church every time that the doors were opened. I met with an accountability group every week. I was able to talk to them about areas that I was being tempted in and other challenges that were going on in my life. I don’t believe that I would be typing this if I had not been doing that at that time. Please don’t take this as a means to make anyone that may be in danger, or endangering someone else feel guilty because you are not able to come to worship, or other church activities at the present time. On the other hand, pray for a way for people to meet with others. Pray for those of us who are able to take the Gospel out into the world to be protected. Pray for all to be able to gather again in corporate worship.
With all of this said. Let me ask you a question. Do you see yourself as a missionary where you are at? Pray that all of our congregations will have a missionary zeal to reach the lost. I have read that missionaries from Africa, and other countries are now coming to the United States to do missionary work. Jesus had this to say 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.” (NKJV) Pray for laborers in the harvest. Be a laborer in the harvest!
In conclusion yes, the church is not a building. But the building is a place where the church can gather and worship God, love on one another, pray for one another, and experience the presence of God in a powerful way. All of this so that we are equipped, edified, loved on, and encouraged to take the Gospel to a lost, desperate, and hurting world. And to that we say yes and Amen!

Let us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that we have the honor of being the church. Forgive us when we have let other things have priority over the mission that You have given us as Your people. Today we pray that all who read this will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be your missionaries, and Your witnesses in a world that needs You so much. May we Your people be free to gather together, and encourage one another in order that we are able to fulfill the destiny and purpose that You have created us to fulfill.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Thanks to all of you who pray for us and encourage us. We love you and greatly appreciate it.
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- THE POWER OF THE CROSS

GET TOGETHER- THE POWER OF THE CROSS

Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

            The devil and his demonic entities often love to remind the believer and follower of Jesus Christ of our sinful pasts.  On the other hand, when He does the Holy Spirit will remind us of the power of the cross and how that the 

Lord has redeemed every part of our lives. Not only can we walk as forgiven people. But we can live as transformed people that God has forgiven and is redeeming the things that we have messed up in our lives. I like to say that what we have messed up God can dress up. He makes all things new. The Scriptures tell us in  2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)  I love this passage in Isaiah about how God dresses up what we have messed up: Isa 58:12 “Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations.” And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

            Let me give you a couple of examples.  First of all, I am not bragging about the sin that I once lived in. And I am also not bragging or seeking to exalt myself. The only One that I will exalt is the Lord Jesus Christ whom as I have stated not only forgives people of the sins that we have committed, but He  also brings transformation and restoration to our lives. There is a whole culture out there that is walking in sin as I once was  that needs the transforming power of God to work in their lives. So that is why I sometimes share and testify how the Lord forgives our sins and changes our lives. 

            Not to long ago J.J. and I were at a wonderful occasion at a very beautiful place. While we were there as I was looking at the scenery, I noticed that it was very familiar and perhaps was a place that I had once often frequented when I was living in sin and rebellion against God.  The Holy Spirit then began to speak to my heart. I am not the same person that frequented that place, and lived in rebellion against God.  This was not a bad place. It was a beautiful place. But now I could see God’s creation as a forgiven child of God rather than as a place where I often went to medicate my pain and to seek peace in ungodly ways that only led to more pain, and more hurt. 

            The Holy Spirit then reminded me of how that He had given us so many wonderful friends. That He has given us so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. And how that He has also redeemed the lives of many of our friends that had once tried to medicate their pain, hurt, disappointments, rejection and other heartbreaks in the same way. God is so good! He is a loving, holy, forgiving, redeeming, and transforming God. 

            All of us that have been born again can rejoice in the power of the cross. We have been forgiven of our sins! Every demon that is at the disposal of Satan has been defeated and they have no authority over us. When then enemy comes with his voice of lies  we can rejoice in these words from Col 2:13-15 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” And if you have not been born again God is ready to forgive you, transform you and restore the broken places in your life.

            I would like to share one more example of how God redeemed and restored in my life. I pray that it will encourage you in some way in your journey with Christ.  Yesterday I was at Wal- Mart here in Hamilton.  As I was at the checkout counter the cashier complimented me about my class ring.  It gave me an opportunity to share how the Lord has redeemed something in my life. 

            When I went to college in 1968 at Jacksonville State University, I lost my high school graduation ring one night. Me and some friends were riding around and when I threw a beer bottle at a sign my ring when flying out the window with it. It is somewhere just off the highway between Jacksonville and Piedmont, Alabama. Also, I flunked out of the college that May and I was a long way from thinking that I would ever get a college degree. 

            When the Lord called me to preach, He called me to go back to college as well. He doesn’t do that for all people that He calls to preach, but that was a part of the journey that He has had me on. In 1996 when I was getting ready to graduate from Birmingham Southern College, I ordered me a class ring.  The set is black and it has a gold cross on it. It symbolizes to me how that God redeems our past failures, sins, and mistakes. Also, in Luke Chapter 15 when the prodigal son came home his father placed a ring upon his finger: Lu 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.”

            So yesterday when the clerk complimented me on my class ring, I shared with here that the black set was symbolic of the darkness that I once walked in. I shared with her that the cross was symbolic of the Lord delivering me out of the darkness. Wow! The message of the cross is such a wonderful message!  When we come to the cross and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we are redeemed from Hell.  Now that is some good news! We are being transformed more into his likeness and experiencing Him redeeming and restoring every part of our lives. He turns past failures into victories for his glory and His honor. Oh, the power of the Man who died on the cross, who rose from the dead, and who sits at the right hand of the Father!  Glory to the Man who fills us with the Holy Spirit the Man who one day will return for His bride.  Experience His forgiveness, His love and His redeeming transforming power at the cross of Jesus Christ!

Let Us Pray 

Lord we thank You that at the cross we find forgiveness. We thank You for the mercy that you have shown to us. We thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and giving us the Word of God so that we can experience the power of transformation and go from glory to glory.  We thank You that You are a God that will dress up what we have messed up!

In Jesus Name

Amen

May all who read this experience the forgiveness and the redeeming, restoring transforming love of our Blessed Savior  the Lord Jesus Christ ! Love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- COME AS A LITTLE CHILD

GET TOGETHER- COME AS A LITTLE CHILD

Lu 18:16,17 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

This morning was my morning to keep three of our grandchildren Judah, Micah, and Eden. Most of the time we do a devotional before we get into playing hide and go seek, football, making sand castles, or some other fun activity.
Today our lesson came from 1Pe 5:8,9 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (NKJV) We talked about what an adversary is. We talked about how the devil is an adversary to the Christian. We talked about what temptation is and how that the devil tries to get us to do bad things like lying and some other things. We talked about what it means to have brothers and sisters in Christ as well as who are our natural brothers and sisters.
As we were getting ready to close out our prayer time the Holy Spirit had me to ask Micah who is six years old had he been saved. He replied that he had not. My next question to him was did he want to get saved. He answered yes. We then prayed together. As we were praying, I looked over at Eden who is four years old. She was praying and confessing Jesus as her Lord and Savior just as Micah was.
The Lord has really put it on my heart to pray for our grandchildren. I am sure that some of you may be thinking that they are to young to know what they are doing. I praise God that they were given a spirit at the point of conception. I praise God that they have been taught at home about Jesus all of their young lives.
My thoughts are that the world sure does know that they are old enough. Their brother Judah shared with them about the day that he got saved in our sun room when he was somewhere close to their age. They don’t have a problem believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They don’t have a problem believing that God raised Him from the dead. Yes, they will have much growth and maturing to do as Christians. They will have to be taught and nurtured in the faith. But praise God just as their brother was able to testify about the day that he got saved they will be able to testify about it as well. I wonder what the world would be like right now if more of our children made a commitment to Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you are reading this today and you have made a commitment to Jesus Christ. You may have made it when you were young and have somehow drifted out of His will for your life and are not currently serving Him. He is calling you today to come back. You are His child and He is ready to help you to once again be on the path that He desires for you to be on.
And I am sure that there are many of you that you made a commitment at a young age and the Lord has kept you on the path of a loving relationship with Him. It is a relationship where you have served God and you have also served others to bring glory to His Name. Halleluiah! We praise Him for that!
On the other hand, perhaps, you are up there in years and you think that you have committed too many sins, and, or that your sins are too bad to be forgiven of by God. He wants you to come to Him with child like faith just as our grandchildren did. He is ready to forgive you. He is ready to give you eternal life. Whoever you are and no matter what you have done let today be the day that you repent of your sins and place your faith as a little child and be born again. Put your faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and he will save you just as He did Eden and Micah this morning: Ro 5:8,9 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” And for those of us who have been forgiven may God use us to see that others come into His Kingdom during these very challenging times.

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that You came to seek and save that which is lost. Today we thank You for that enabling grace that allows us to come to You as little children. We pray that all that read this who have not come to You as a little child will come even today. May today be the Day of Salvation in each of their lives. For those of us who have help us to share this Good News to a lost and chaotic world that for the most part seems to be seeking peace in all of the wrong places, in all of the wrong ways.
In Jesus Name
Amen

We love you all. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and may the Lord grant you peace!
In Jesus Name
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- COME AS A LITTLE CHILD

Lu 18:16,17 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

This morning was my morning to keep three of our grandchildren Judah, Micah, and Eden. Most of the time we do a devotional before we get into playing hide and go seek, football, making sand castles, or some other fun activity.
Today our lesson came from 1Pe 5:8,9 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (NKJV) We talked about what an adversary is. We talked about how the devil is an adversary to the Christian. We talked about what temptation is and how that the devil tries to get us to do bad things like lying and some other things. We talked about what it means to have brothers and sisters in Christ as well as who are our natural brothers and sisters.
As we were getting ready to close out our prayer time the Holy Spirit had me to ask Micah who is six years old had he been saved. He replied that he had not. My next question to him was did he want to get saved. He answered yes. We then prayed together. As we were praying, I looked over at Eden who is four years old. She was praying and confessing Jesus as her Lord and Savior just as Micah was.
The Lord has really put it on my heart to pray for our grandchildren. I am sure that some of you may be thinking that they are to young to know what they are doing. I praise God that they were given a spirit at the point of conception. I praise God that they have been taught at home about Jesus all of their young lives.
My thoughts are that the world sure does know that they are old enough. Their brother Judah shared with them about the day that he got saved in our sun room when he was somewhere close to their age. They don’t have a problem believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They don’t have a problem believing that God raised Him from the dead. Yes, they will have much growth and maturing to do as Christians. They will have to be taught and nurtured in the faith. But praise God just as their brother was able to testify about the day that he got saved they will be able to testify about it as well. I wonder what the world would be like right now if more of our children made a commitment to Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you are reading this today and you have made a commitment to Jesus Christ. You may have made it when you were young and have somehow drifted out of His will for your life and are not currently serving Him. He is calling you today to come back. You are His child and He is ready to help you to once again be on the path that He desires for you to be on.
And I am sure that there are many of you that you made a commitment at a young age and the Lord has kept you on the path of a loving relationship with Him. It is a relationship where you have served God and you have also served others to bring glory to His Name. Halleluiah! We praise Him for that!
On the other hand, perhaps, you are up there in years and you think that you have committed too many sins, and, or that your sins are too bad to be forgiven of by God. He wants you to come to Him with child like faith just as our grandchildren did. He is ready to forgive you. He is ready to give you eternal life. Whoever you are and no matter what you have done let today be the day that you repent of your sins and place your faith as a little child and be born again. Put your faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and he will save you just as He did Eden and Micah this morning: Ro 5:8,9 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” And for those of us who have been forgiven may God use us to see that others come into His Kingdom during these very challenging times.

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that You came to seek and save that which is lost. Today we thank You for that enabling grace that allows us to come to You as little children. We pray that all that read this who have not come to You as a little child will come even today. May today be the Day of Salvation in each of their lives. For those of us who have help us to share this Good News to a lost and chaotic world that for the most part seems to be seeking peace in all of the wrong places, in all of the wrong ways.
In Jesus Name
Amen

We love you all. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and may the Lord grant you peace!
In Jesus Name
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- COME AS A LITTLE CHILD

Lu 18:16,17 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

This morning was my morning to keep three of our grandchildren Judah, Micah, and Eden. Most of the time we do a devotional before we get into playing hide and go seek, football, making sand castles, or some other fun activity.

Today our lesson came from 1Pe 5:8,9 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (NKJV) We talked about what an adversary is. We talked about how the devil is an adversary to the Christian. We talked about what temptation is and how that the devil tries to get us to do bad things like lying and some other things. We talked about what it means to have brothers and sisters in Christ as well as who are our natural brothers and sisters.

As we were getting ready to close out our prayer time the Holy Spirit had me to ask Micah who is six years old had he been saved. He replied that he had not. My next question to him was did he want to get saved. He answered yes. We then prayed together. As we were praying, I looked over at Eden who is four years old. She was praying and confessing Jesus as her Lord and Savior just as Micah was.
The Lord has really put it on my heart to pray for our grandchildren. I am sure that some of you may be thinking that they are to young to know what they are doing. I praise God that they were given a spirit at the point of conception. I praise God that they have been taught at home about Jesus all of their young lives.

My thoughts are that the world sure does know that they are old enough. Their brother Judah shared with them about the day that he got saved in our sun room when he was somewhere close to their age. They don’t have a problem believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They don’t have a problem believing that God raised Him from the dead. Yes, they will have much growth and maturing to do as Christians. They will have to be taught and nurtured in the faith. But praise God just as their brother was able to testify about the day that he got saved they will be able to testify about it as well.

I wonder what the world would be like right now if more of our children made a commitment to Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you are reading this today and you have made a commitment to Jesus Christ. You may have made it when you were young and have somehow drifted out of His will for your life and are not currently serving Him. He is calling you today to come back. You are His child and He is ready to help you to once again be on the path that He desires for you to be on.

And I am sure that there are many of you that you made a commitment at a young age and the Lord has kept you on the path of a loving relationship with Him. It is a relationship where you have served God and you have also served others to bring glory to His Name. Halleluiah! We praise Him for that!

On the other hand, perhaps, you are up there in years and you think that you have committed too many sins, and, or that your sins are too bad to be forgiven of by God. He wants you to come to Him with child like faith just as our grandchildren did. He is ready to forgive you. He is ready to give you eternal life. Whoever you are and no matter what you have done let today be the day that you repent of your sins and place your faith as a little child and be born again. Put your faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and he will save you just as He did Eden and Micah this morning: Ro 5:8,9 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” And for those of us who have been forgiven may God use us to see that others come into His Kingdom during these very challenging times.

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that You came to seek and save that which is lost. Today we thank You for that enabling grace that allows us to come to You as little children. We pray that all that read this who have not come to You as a little child will come even today. May today be the Day of Salvation in each of their lives. For those of us who have help us to share this Good News to a lost and chaotic world that for the most part seems to be seeking peace in all of the wrong places, in all of the wrong ways.
In Jesus Name
Amen

We love you all. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and may the Lord grant you peace!
In Jesus Name
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- FAITHFULNESS UNDER FIRE

GET TOGETHER- FAITHFULNESS UNDER FIRE 

Ac 26:1,2 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews,

            There is no doubt as I mentioned last week that Christians throughout the world are being persecuted. And there is no doubt that Christians in the United States that believe in the Deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are facing hostility from the culture in a way that we never have before in the United States.  For those of us who hold a Biblical worldview concerning marriage we sometimes are called names such as haters, or are referred to as being backwards.  Also, Christians that believe that life is precious and begins at conception are often ostracized.  

The Apostle Paul was facing a very serious threat to his ministry and his life when he is brought before King Agrippa. How does he respond when he is brought before King Agrippa? Does he call Agrippa insulting names? Does he mock him?  Agrippa was the king, and governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias. He also served as the Superintendent of the Temple.  This was a way that the Roman government could be sure that things didn’t get out of hand at the Temple. 

            Paul could have stood there and really came down on Agrippa about a lot of things.   He could have chosen to lash out at him concerning his family line which was very wicked. He could have joined in on some of the gossip about Agrippa and his sister Bernice. But he didn’t. 

            Let’s look in a little on what Paul does say. Space will not allow for every thing that Paul said, but let us look at some of his interaction with King Agrippa and with Festus the procurator of Judea.  Notice that Paul respectfully refers to him as King Agrippa.  How do we address people that may be hostile toward us? How do we address or refer to leaders that we may disagree with? Do we respond different that the way the world responds?  Notice that Paul will never compromise the truth. But on the other hand, as he gives his testimony there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is indwelling in him and empowering him. 

            He shares about his past life before he met Jesus Christ Ac 26:4,5 “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. “They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.” He shares his being puzzled about why he is on trial Ac 26:6-8 “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.”To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? 

            Paul is on a Kingdom assignment. If you have been saved God has Kingdom assignments set up for you. If you have not been saved today is the day of salvation. Turn to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.   Paul tells them that it is not contrary to the kingdom, or to the Hebrew Scriptures to believe in the resurrection of the dead: Ac 26:8-10 “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?”

            Once again Paul shares where he had been wrong in the past Ac 26:9-11 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. “This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. “And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even” Now he has an audience that he can share how Jesus changed his life with.  As Christians I believe that we are all called to share the Gospel with those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  You can read about Paul sharing his testimony of what happened on the Road to Damascus  in verses 12-18. 

            With that said at the present time rather than trash talking people that are hostile to the Gospel I am praying for them to have Damascus Road experiences. Would you join me in praying for government leaders who are not saved on all sides to have a Damascus Road experience? Would you do the same for corporate executives, professors on many of our college campuses and other people, that are hostile, or indifferent to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

            Paul did not deny that those who were persecuting him were in the wrong. He just made sure that he presented the truth in a manner that glorified Jesus Christ. He did not hesitate to say that those who were opposing him were walking in darkness. But he did not trash talk them. We can speak truth without trash talking those who oppose us. When we resort to trash talk, or gossip we are taking the bait that Satan is using to point out that we are no different from the lost.   Ac 26:19 -23″Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. “For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come– “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

            Here is another good example Paul has just given his testimony. He preached the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Messiah and now Festus tells him that he has lost his mind. Ac 26:24,25  “Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”  I know from experience that when you have just finished preaching, or testifying,or both that it is a very emotionally draining experience in some ways.  I certainly have not had the opportunity that Paul had on this level before a high government official that was a pagan.   But in some ways, I can imagine what it would be like to pour your heart out before someone in this setting and then to be basically told that you were out of your mind from studying the Scriptures and proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

            But notice how Paul addresses Festus. He calls him most noble Festus.  He does not take the bait of the enemy and refer to him in a disrespectful way. On the other hand, he does speak truth.  You can read the rest of Paul’s trial before Agrippa and Festus.  

We hear from time to time that Christians aren’t called to be successful, but faithful. I can agree with the thought and spirit behind that statement. On the other hand, I believe that when we are faithful that we are successful. Our success will not always be defined by the way that the world defines success. I believe in God’s eyes that Paul was both successful and faithful on this particular day. 

On that day Paul issued an invitation to King  Agrippa. Ac 26:27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”  Here was Agrippa’s response to Paul’s earnest plea after he  under the anointing of the Holy Spirit had given his testimony concerning the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Ac 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

Paul respectfully makes one more plea, not only to Agrippa, but to all who were in that room.  Ac 26:29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” It must have been disappointing for Paul that day when those who rejected Christ got up and walked away. I have often wondered how may times since that day over two thousand years ago those who rejected his plea have regretted it:  vv30,31 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”. 

One thing we know for sure is that when Paul spoke that he spoke the truth. He spoke the truth in love.   In this culture we face, hear and read about many people that are hostile to the Gospel. Many are hostile to the message concerning   the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are many that are opposed to a Biblical worldview in our culture today.  While we live in this culture may we speak the truth, and not compromise. But may we also  do it in a way that brings glory and honor to the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Let Us Pray

Lord today help us not to be trash talkers, but truth speakers. We ask You by the power of the Holy Spirit to help us as You did the Apostle Paul and the early saints to speak in a way that brings glory to your Name. We pray that You will help  us to win others to Christ in these last days. Help us to pray for those who oppose the Gospel. Just as You did with Paul, we believe that You can turn them into mighty men and women of God.   We pray that our words will be word that are Spirit and are life and not words that do not bring Glory to Your Holy Name!

In Jesus Name

Amen

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston 

Joh 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

GET TOGETHER-Praying For Your Enemies

GET TOGETHER –  Praying For Your Enemies 

Ac 8:1 -4 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.  Ac 9:1 6 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

            I must confess that when I see a person on the news that I believe holds and espouses a position that I believe is contrary to a Biblical worldview on a particular issue I at first get angry. To be honest I really have limited myself to how much news that I watch and I am trying not to read things on social media that stir a wrong spirit in me.  

            Once again being honest the Holy Spirit reminds me that Jesus died on the cross to save that person from their sins the same as He did for me. The Apostle Paul tell us in Ro 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV)  According to John 3:16-18   we are told that Jesus came to die for the sins of all humanity. However, it is only those who believe in Him that will be forgiven and saved Joh 3:16 -18 “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.  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  “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.

            The early church was facing persecution from the religious. They would later face it from the Romans We certainly in the United States have not faced persecution like our brothers and sisters in Africa, China, Iran, Iraq and in some other parts of the world.  On the other hand, it has become very acceptable for some corporations, some people in government,  others on many of our college campuses, and other groups to openly oppose and belittle people that have a Biblical worldview. 

            When I read the above passages, they really inspire me and give me great hope. Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of the church.  I am sure that when some of them saw some of their relatives being put to death for their faith some anger perhaps arose in them. In the Book of Ephesians, we are told not to have unrighteous anger  Eph 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” 

             I believe that God desires for us to allow that energy to be used in prayer.   Look what happened when the early church did that. I hope that you read our opening passages. If you didn’t make sure that you go back and read them.  Here was a man that was dedicated to stopping this new sect that believed that Jesus was the Messiah risen from the dead. He had been there when Stephen the first recorded martyr of the church was put to death. He had dragged some of their mothers and fathers out of their homes to have them imprisoned and some put to death. 

            But the early church was a praying church. I believe that they rather than walking around town since they didn’t have Facebook and ranting prayed for the salvation of this man that was persecuting the church.  Some of them had probably been there the day that Jesus had this to say about praying for your enemies: Mt 5:43,44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “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.”

            Look what happened! Saul of Tarsus gets saved!  He would also get filled with the Holy Spirit    Now as a result of a praying church a persecutor of the church is turned into a purveyor of the Gospel.  Might not God do it again in our day if we really get serious about praying like the early church did? Imagine people that are funding groups and organizations that are opposed to the Gospel beginning to be used to support the Gospel and to heed the call to take the Gospel to all nations!  Might not some of those who speak so boldly against a Biblical worldview become bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?   You   and I  if we had lived back then would have had a hard time loving  Saul of Tarsus who would become the Apostle Paul before he got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. 

             Can I be honest with you here? I really don’t want to put this down, but I believe that the Holy Spirit of God is impressing upon me to do it. In the countries that I have visited and the countries that I have read about where there is persecution those churches are growing. This the part I didn’t want to say. Their main concern on the weekends isn’t how their favorite football team is going to come out.  I am not trying to be legalistic here. But what I am saying is I believe that God is calling His people back to our first love. I believe that God is calling us to commit to prayer. 

            On the last night that Jesus was on the earth and He needed prayer more than He ever had before He found the disciples sleeping. How about us? Are we sleeping at a time that He is calling every Christian to sacrifice time in prayer? By the way it is a blessing a whole lot more than it is a sacrifice! This is what He told the disciples when He found them sleeping.: Mt 26:40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?   Would you be willing to commit to pray one hour a day at this critical juncture not only in our nation’s future, but concerning the Kingdom of God and His church worldwide?  Should the Lord tarry our children, and grandchildren’s future could depend on it.  And also, where millions worldwide spend eternity could depend upon it as well.  He is asking. What is your answer? 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank you that the Word of God says in Jer 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (NKJV) We are calling out today for a mighty move of God in our nation and throughout the world! Today we ask You to raise up mighty men and women of prayer. We come today and pray for those who so vehemently oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit would draw them to the cross of Christ.  Lord we believe that You  can make Pauls’ out of Sauls’  and  turn the Jezebels into Deborah’s . Forgive us for sleeping on our watch posts. Give us a greater passion for you than for athletic teams, hobbies, or anything else. Help us to enjoy those blessings in a way that they are not idolatrous in our lives. Forgive us for when they have been.  Raise up prayer groups!  We pray that your congregations be Houses of Prayer. We pray that this virus leave! We pray today that the freedom to worship You in public and in our congregations where we meet will not be prohibited in this nation. We pray that where that it is in other nations that You will change the hearts of those who oppose the Gospel in those countries.  We cry out to You today! We believe that what You have told us to do that You will answer and show us great and mighty things!

In Jesus Name

Amen

We love you all! By the way if you have a brother, or sister that has a different skin color than you give them a call, or pay them a visit and tell them that you love them. Celebrate the blessings that you have experienced with them in your lives.  If you don’t have one ask God to give you one. He will!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston