Archive for March, 2011

Moving Mountains


            “Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11: 20-24.)


            Mountains are large, immovable obstacles; they are symbols of durability and permanence.  A million bulldozers and ten thousand sticks of dynamite would barely put a dent in even the smallest mountain range.  No human effort (no number of people, no quantity of resources) can make a mountain move.  Although no human can accomplish this task, Jesus said that through faith in God, a mountain can be reduced to a pebble that can be tossed into the sea.  A faith in God’s power is expressed in prayer.  The faithful, when faced with something they cannot accomplish, will turn and request that God do for them what they cannot do for themselves.

            Recently I was speaking with an elderly friend of mine.  For many years he and his wife had been pestering their kids to begin having children; they were anxious to be grandparents.  As the years went by and their faith in God grew, they gave up on their efforts and began praying and asking God for grandchildren; which he soon provided in abundance.  Their many years of dissatisfaction were products of their misplaced faith.  When they took the faith they had in themselves and placed it in God, the mountain that separated them from the desires of their heart had finally been removed.

            Today, there are many things in our lives that seem to be permanent fixtures; there are many obstacles that we, through our own efforts, have been powerless to overcome.  Too often we place faith in ourselves instead of God.  We need only turn to Him through prayer and seek His power.  Bring your struggles to the Lord; let Him accomplish what you cannot, and you will experience a very real miracle in your life.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today and we ask that You give us the faith to move mountains.  We desire to see You work and to accomplish the impossible.  We admit that apart from You, we are weak and have no hope; but with You Lord, nothing is impossible.  Fill our hearts with true faith; we thank You in advance for what You are going to do in our hearts and in our lives.  We love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The real Jesus


            And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to him, “Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?”

            Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who is not offended because of me” (Mathew 11: 2-6.)


            After baptizing Jesus, John came to believe that Jesus was the messiah they had been waiting for.  He, like so many in Israel believed the Messiah would set them free from their oppressors.  Everyone was waiting for Jesus to usher in an earthly kingdom of God and put an end to Roman Rule.  John (who had been imprisoned by Herod) was growing impatient with Jesus and sent messengers to him to ask if he truly was the messiah.  Jesus simply responded by quoting an Old Testament prophecy that stated the messiah would cleanse lepers; heal the blind and the lame and the deaf; and would also raise the dead and preach to the poor.  Jesus wanted John to know he was accomplishing all of these tasks.  The Lord finally addressed John’s impatient heart, saying, “blessed are those who are not offended because of me.”  Jesus had not met John’s expectations; John had expected a conquering messiah, not a messiah that would conquer sin through crucifixion (the lord was encouraging John to accept him as he was.) Many today, like John, have an inaccurate view of Jesus Christ.  Knowing the real Jesus is essential for happiness (blessedness.)  Simple bible reading is the best way to avoid making this mistake.

             Early on in my relationship with God I made the decision that I could no longer call myself a Christian unless I actually knew who Jesus Christ was.  I knew I had to read the bible; I also knew it was going to change and challenge my beliefs.  In my heart, I had an unclear picture of God.  I chose to let go of what I thought I knew in order to learn the truth.  As I read, I began to know the one true God; instead of being disappointed, my heart has been filled with wonder and amazement.  The real God is far greater than any God I could have ever imagined.

            Do you know Jesus Christ?  Do you know his words, or are you holding on to your own expectations.  Have you invented a Jesus for yourself, or have you come to know the real Jesus?  Read his words, get familiar with his works, his message, his truth, and I promise you, you will not be disappointed; instead, you too will find something more amazing than anything you have ever known, and your life will never be the same again.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know the real Jesus.  We want to know Your Son and his message.  Implant his words within our hearts and help us to be his disciples, that we might be pleasing to You Father.  Help us to let go of our fear of the truth, and give us a hunger and thirst to know our messiah; your gift to us all.  Give us a yearning to read your word and to know the truth.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.   

Replacing the unfruitful


            He also spoke this parable:  “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  Then he said to the keeper of the vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none.  Cut it down, why does it use up the ground?  But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.  And if it bears fruit, well.  But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Luke 13: 6-9.)


                A parable is story used to illustrate some important truth.  The Lord’s parables contained characters and settings that corresponded to actual settings and characters during the time that he spoke them.  In this parable the vineyard owner represents God.  The ‘vineyard’ represents the whole earth which God created, and the tree represents the nation of Israel which God divinely planted in the midst of all of the other nations.  Jesus Christ represents the ‘keeper of the vineyard.’  He was God’s final attempt to produce goodness in the hearts of the Jewish people (so that they would not need to be removed and replaced.)  For four years he interceded for the Jews, hoping that they would turn and be fruitful; but they repaid his love with hatred; for kindness he was given crucifixion.  With their rejection of Christ came God’s rejection of them.  The nation of Israel was replaced as God’s representatives to the world on the day of Pentecost when Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to everyone who believed.  On that day the words Christ had previously spoken to a gentile woman came true; ‘She said to him, “You Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father […]The hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”’   Today, the new temple is the body of believers; a building composed of living stones.  The new people are all those who have received God’s Spirit and have become fruitful (Note:  Despite God’s replacement, it is clear that God has not totally cast them away.  In the coming kingdom there will be a remnant of Jews who have placed their faith in Christ; these Jews will rule and reign over the ‘Body of Christ.’)

                The human body is a wonderfully designed machine composed of many different organs, each with a different function; yet by far the most important is the heart.  It’s so essential to life that heart dysfunction is the number one cause of death in the United States.  Since 1967 it has become possible to take out a dead heart and replace it with a fully functioning one.  Many people have been saved because they were willing to part with something that no longer produced what it was intended to produce; life.

                The products of a correctly functioning believer are kindness, love, compassion, peace, respect, generosity, friendship, outreach, selfless action, patience and truth (to name a few.)  If these things are not visible in your life, then your heart may need to be replaced.  The only person who can take your dying heart and replace it with a living heart is Jesus Christ.  Ask him to make the change in your life, and he will do a miracle.  Let go of your old life and grasp on to your new life (eternal life); let his Spirit flow in to you, and you will produce an abundance of fruit.

                “Lord we desperately want to be productive for You.  We want to see others come to You and be healed.  We ask that You not forsake us, but that you give us new hearts filled with Your Spirit; and nourish us so we can produce much fruit for You.  We can’t do it on our own Lord, we need You; we need a miracle; we need a work of Your hands to be the men and women You have called us to be.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask we ask all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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