Archive for the 'Jesus Speaks' Category

Pray With Expectancy

JESUS SPEAKING

    “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 you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11: 22 – 24.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    ‘Faith’ is defined as a strong belief or trust in God’s abilities.  Only He can move mountains, heal the sick, and raise the dead.  Jesus therefore urged every follower to pray with a measure of expectancy.  We must truly believe that God is able to provide for each of our individual needs.  When we ask in faith, according to God’s will, and do not doubt, we can rightly expect to receive the desires of our heart.

    Hudson Taylor was a prominent missionary who lived in the 1800’s.  He established the China Inland Mission, an organization that still exists to this day (also known as the OMF.)  During his first journey to China, his ship hit a patch of windless ocean and began drifting uncontrollably toward an island known to be inhabited by vicious cannibals.  The frantic captain approached Mr. Taylor and asked him to pray for God’s help.  “I will” said Taylor, “Provided you set your sails to catch the breeze.”  The captain refused; not wanting to appear silly for unfurling in a dead calm.  Taylor responded by saying, “I will not undertake to pray for this vessel unless you will prepare the sails.”  The captain reluctantly obliged.  Soon there was a knock at Hudson’s door; “Who’s there?”  “Are you still praying for wind,” inquired the captain?  “Yes” responded Taylor.  “Well” added the skipper, “you’d better stop praying, we have more wind than we can manage.”

   As a genuine believer, Hudson Taylor understood the principle of praying with expectancy.  He prayed with confidence; knowing full well that God would answer his prayers.  If we pray with that same measure of faith, we too will receive the blessings of the Lord.  May our hearts be devoid of doubt; may our requests be brave and bold; and may we fully expect our prayers to be answered according to God’s will, and to the measure of our faith.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, You are an amazing and mighty God.  Create in us faithful hearts; hearts that are devoid of doubt; hearts that fully trust in Your ability to provide for our needs.  May we always pray with confidence, unwavering faith, and genuine expectancy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Things Old and New

JESUS SPEAKING

   Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”  (Matthew 13: 52.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   The bible consists of two parts; the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The Old Testament contains prophecies, inspired writings, and recorded historical events dating from approximately 4004 B.C. to around 440 B.C.  God then chose to remain silent for 450 years, until around 15-30 A.D., when John the Baptist began preaching in the wilderness; announcing the near arrival of the messiah; Jesus Christ.  Jesus soon appeared on the scene, completing God’s message and laying the foundation for the New Testament (the gospels, the book of acts, the apostles’ letters, and the book of revelation.)  Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament, but He also added to it.  In turn, any scribe that understood the message would combine the Old Testament and Christ’s words into one complete revelation from God.

   Many years ago while I was browsing at a local swap meet, I made an interesting observation.  Some merchants were selling antiques; which were highly valued because they were old.  Still others were selling items that were completely new; it was their newness that gave them their value.  Things that are neither old nor new are often extremely cheap; like VHS videos for example; which aren’t new but are not yet old enough to be valuable.  These wise retailers, like the householder Jesus was speaking about in this parable, got the most money for what they were selling because they sold items that were both old and new.  Similarly, God’s truth is not complete unless both the New and the Old Testament are combined as one.  The Holy Bible cannot be divided, altered, or added too in any way; it is a complete work.

   The Bible is filled with valuable treasures; gems of truth and nuggets of pure wisdom.  Jesus did not come to discard the Old Testament, but to combine the old and the new into a single masterpiece; a priceless correspondence between God and man.  The world is filled with books, written by individuals who are inspired by their own desires; and yet there is only one book that God Himself has written.  The Bible is a treasure chest that begs to be opened; within it’s pages you will discover all of the answers you have ever desired to know.  Open it and experience the fullness of the one true and living God.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, as we read Your Word, please give us a desire to dig deeper; to search for new insights and new truths.  Guide us as we read and speak to our hearts; make Your plan for us clear in our minds and in our hearts.  We yearn to know the full, complete goodness of Your book; and in turn, the complete knowledge of your affections for us.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Staying Focused on Jesus

JESUS SPEAKING

    [As Christ walked with Peter along the beach, he said] “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”  This he spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God […] Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on his breast at the supper, and had said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”  Peter, seeing him asked Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”  Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?  You follow me?” (John 21: 18 – 22.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     Shortly after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to his Disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  He ate with them; He fellow-shipped with them; and He encouraged them.  He also privately took Peter on a walk along the beach. The apostle John followed them at a close distance.  The Lord told Peter that one day he would be crucified for his faith.  Peter then inquired about the Apostle John’s fate.  Jesus gently rebuked him; such matters were not his concern.  Jesus reminded Peter to remain completely focused on following his Lord and Savior.  During their brief conversation, Peter had made a very common error; a mistake that is still prevalent within the church today.  Many incorrectly focus their attentions on other believers; or on their circumstances; or even on themselves.  However, Jesus Christ alone requires our complete and undivided attentions.

     How important is it to remain focused on Jesus Christ?  On another occasion, prior to the crucifixion, the disciples were rowing across the Sea of Galilee when they saw Jesus walking toward them on the water.  Peter, being filled with faith, yelled “Lord if it is you […] tell me to come to you on the water.”  Jesus replied, “come.”  Peter got out of the boat, and began to walk on water; but as he approached Christ, he began to focus on the large waves that encircled him.  Because he had taken his eyes off of the Lord, he began to sink; he cried out to Jesus saying “Lord save me.”  Jesus grabbed him, and pulled him from the raging sea.  Peter’s faith had wavered because he turned his attentions away from the messiah.  We can all learn from Peter’s mistake; those who are wise will continually remain focused upon Jesus Christ.

    This world is full of diversions.  We, like Peter, are all guilty of looking to the left and to the right; we have all, on occasion, misplaced our attentions and have succumb to the numerous distractions in life.  Though we have failed in many ways, with God’s help, we can once again refocus upon our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  May our trust, faith, and hope in Him never waiver; for in Him we find our strength, our salvation, and our greatest victory.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, we look to Your Son, and we place our faith fully in Him.  Remove any distractions or diversions that exist in our lives and in our hearts.  May our attentions always be focused upon You and our Messiah.  Continue to sanctify us Father, that we might continue to be fruitful.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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