image2

Pray without ceasing

(Pray that all would do this Hand in Hand)

To the Reader

It is my intent to remind the body of Christ of the importance of prayer, not only as individuals, but as an assembly of believers as well. So, please read and consider what’s being presented in this article and let’s return to a type of church that God originally called us to be. And that is a praying one. Amen.


First, We must have Faith

Anyone reading the Old Testament as well as the New can clearly see that faith in God is one of the key fundamentals for an effective relationship with God our Father. Paul the apostle said: "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3) Also, James said: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:5-8)


But most importantly, let's remember what our Lord Jesus Christ said: "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6) Then Jesus goes on to say: "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) Let's hope and pray that he does brothers and sisters in Christ, for without it we can't please God.


Then, comes the Faith-filled Prayer

Now along with our faith in God the Father, prayer is also one of the important essentials in our Christian walk. Jesus our Savior "spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint" as did the apostle Paul saying for us to: "Pray without ceasing.” (Luke 18:1, 1Thessalonians 5:17) Jude said to be: "building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” as well as James telling us to: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Jude 1:20, James 5:16)


So, by our faith and prayers, we can partner with God and change not only our own lives, but the lives of others as well. On the other hand, our lacking in this can have a negative effect as well. We can see this to be true when the disciples asked Jesus why they themselves could not cast the devil out of a manʼs son. For Jesus said: “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:20- 21) So we can see that the disciples could not cast the devil out because of their lacking in faith and prayer. Thankfully, they had Jesus come to their rescue to deliver the man's son.


THE HARVEST IS TRULY GREAT

Our Lord and Savior Jesus said: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) Wow, did you grasp that? Jesus is telling us to ask God to send people out to share the Gospel. Now, does this mean that no one would be saved if we don't pray for this to happen? Also, would we still be unbelievers if others didn't pray for us as well? Only God Himself knows that answer. However, just look out in the harvest fields (the world) and see all the people who need to be harvested into God's Kingdom. We need to bring the gospel message to them so that they may have eternal life as well.


Let's also remember what Jesus also said while praying to God the Father for those who believed: "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” (John 17:9) And then afterward he prayed for us as well when he said: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:20-21) So, Jesus was praying for those who believed and for those who would believe their report. So again, this is a call for action on our part today as well, for we are to share the Gospel with those around us.


We are also reminded of what Paul said to Timothy: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4) So let's take the time to always be in an attitude of prayer, asking God to work and intervene not only in our own life, but the lives of others as well.


YOU HAVE NOT, BECAUSE YOU ASK NOT (Excerpt From: Torrey, R.A. “The Power of Prayer.”)

You will find these seven words in James 4:2, the seven closing words of the verse, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” These seven words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian, of the average minister, and of the average church. “Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “that I make such poor progress in my Christian life? Why do I have so little victory over sin? Why do I win so few souls to Christ? Why do I grow so slowly into the likeness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?” And God answers in the words of the text: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”


“Why is it,” many a minister is asking, “that I see so little fruit from my ministry? Why are there so few conversions? Why does my church grow so slowly? Why are the members of my church so little helped by my ministry, and built up so little in Christian knowledge and life?” And again God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”


“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the church of Jesus Christ is making such slow progress in the world today? Why does it make so little headway against sin, against unbelief, against error in all its forms? Why does it have so little victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil? Why is the average church member living on such a low plane of Christian living? Why does the Lord Jesus Christ get so little honor from the state of the church today?” And, again, God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.” (click here to buy book)


CONCLUSION

This all being said, how much time do we on a personal level spend in prayer? Or, even on a corporate level as a church, how often do we get together and go to prayer before God? Could it be true that we as Christians put other agendas and activities before prayer? For according to God's word, prayer should not be a weekly or bye weekly thing, but a daily activity for us, not only as individuals, but as a church as well. For I can tell you from my own personal experience that there is nothing more important than our time in prayer. For even in my own life I felt the results of brothers and sisters in Christ praying for me. And let's remember that it was our prayer to God that first changed our own lives as well.


I encourage all of you to go through the bible and read for yourselves the prayers of God’s Saints such as Salomon, Daniel, Hannah, Abraham’s servant, and Nehemiah to name a few. All these changed people’s lives and the course of history through their prayers and faith in God. Let’s also not forget about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9) So we see that Jesus through prayer was heard and was victorious and became the author of our salvation. So, if Jesus needed to pray, how much more do we. Amen


Back to the Top

Praying Always

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:18-20)

image3

bearing good Fruit

(Pray that All would Produce Much)

What Fruit are You Producing?

Is your walk my brothers and sisters in Christ displaying all the fruits of the Spirit as listed above? I ask this because even though we may be doing great works for the Lord, if we lack the fruit of the Spirit, all those great works would profit us nothing. For we read: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)


So, everything that we do must be done with the attitude of love. And let’s also remember that Jesus said: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23) 


This is true also in the book of Revelations where we read: "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; "and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5)


That is heavy brothers and sisters in Christ. For we can go through life practicing the gifts of the Spirit but possibly miss out on heaven by not having the first fruit of the Spirit which is love. We see this happening in Judas Iscariot’s life. For Judas being part of the twelve apostles was sent out with the other eleven healing and casting out devils, for we read: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. ... And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:1-2, 6)


So, even though Judas Iscariot was doing the work that Jesus commissioned him to do, he failed when it came down to the fruit of the Spirit, which we know is love. For we read in John’s gospel that Judas complained about the waste of the ointment that Mary (Martha’s sister) poured on Jesus: “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:3-6) So, John the apostle makes it clear that Judas cared nothing for the poor but wanted the money for himself. And we know that he ultimately betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. So, For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)


Now, we come to the Gifts of the Spirit

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1 Corinthians 13:10)


Now, we as Christians should not come to the wrong conclusion believing that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. For we can mistakenly think that this passage above is referring to the completion of the Canon of Scriptures (the bible). However, I do believe that this view is totally wrong? For those who adopt that view are only coming up with a (lame) excuse for their lacking to step out in faith and practice these Spiritual gifts. And let’s remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12) So, to believe that Paul the apostle would come along later and contradict our Lord Jesus Christ is absurd.


So, what is the meaning of “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away?”Well, let’s see what the scriptures say: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21) And again we read: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) So for now, we’re not seeing the complete picture of what we're going to be in Christ, but only a partial image. However, there’s going to be a day when we will see Jesus face to face in our new resurrected bodies and be conformed to his image. For Paul the apostle said: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)


So then, these gifts which serve us now will be done away with because there be no need for them anymore. For they only serve as evidence of the wonder working power of God in this current corrupt world system. However, as long as we’re in these bodies and living on this present earth, we defiantly need these gifts just as our Savior Jesus Christ and the early church needed them. Amen.


Now, let’s look at what the scripture says:

  • “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28). Just a casual reading of the word of God will clearly show that these gifts are necessary for the church of today. But as said before, they are also to validate what we are proclaiming.
  • Jesus said: “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:37-38)
  • Again, in chapter 14 Jesus says the same thing: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:11-12) Jesus Himself is saying that we are to do even greater works than his. So why aren’t we doing that today Christians?
  • “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:17-20)
  • Here again we have Jesus proclaiming the gifts of the Spirit that we are to receive. And let’s remember that Jesus never mentioned anything about the gifts of the Spirit being done away with. “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-30)
  • Also we read: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:3-4)
  • Again: “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3) So again, these gifts of the Spirit are to bear witness to what we are preaching. And how desperately do we need them today.


From these scriptures above, we can see that miracles are not just to heal and deliver people from bondage, but also to validate what we are preaching. If our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ felt it necessary to validate what he was doing with miracles, how much more do we. So, if we believe the lie that they're no longer necessary, then we are denying all scripture and even the words of Jesus himself. And why would Paul write with much detail about the gifts of the Spirit if he knew they would soon be done away with? For there is no direct mention of this interpretation in the Old Testament as well as the New. I am convinced that Paul had no clue that his writings would someday be bound in a book along with many other writings of the saints of God. So, let’s step out in faith brothers and sisters in Christ and practice these gifts of the Spirit.


In Closing

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:30-31)


Now, let’s ask God to help us excel in using these gifts while we still have time. (Ephesians 5:15- 16) For the time will come were: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24) And then we read: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)


And how much more striking will this be if it happens in a lukewarm church that is void of the true gifts of the Spirit. This can cause great deception throughout the whole world. God help us all to practice all the gifts of the Spirit in our churches today. Amen.


Below are some scriptures on this topic:

  • Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22)
  • And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:43)
  • And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. (Acts 5:12)
  • For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:18-19)
  • Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. (2 Corinthians 12:12) 
  • How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3-4)
  • Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (James 5:14-18)


Back to the Top

Being Fruitful

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The Joy of the LORD

(Pray that everyone will Catch It)

HE WILL JOY OVER YOU WITH SINGING

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)


If we look at the meaning for the Hebrew word for joy in the passage above, we would discover that it means to get very joyful, even to dance, spin around. Now, we need to remember that this passage is speaking about our God and Creator. Can you grasp the reality of our God and Father singing and showing this kind of emotion over us? Yet, that’s what God does over his creation whom he loves. So, we should do away with the mentality that thinks of God as some killjoy who want to stripe us of all joy and pleasure. For nothing can be further from the truth.


Now, if God shows this kind of emotion over us, shouldn’t we be singing and getting emotional over him as well? We need to be rejoicing over the fact that he is our awesome God and Creator in who's "presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11) And not only that, but we who are in Christ Jesus our Lord will be spending eternity with God in paradise. Oh, how wonderful that day will be! Yet, do we dare tap our feet and clap our hands? Do we ever show any kind of emotion when it comes to worshiping Him? Oh, what is wrong with us fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Do not believe the lie that we must be reserved when it comes to worshiping and praising our God. We do need to pray and seek help from him as a church to praise him with our whole being. For we need to holding nothing back as David did who: "danced before the LORD with all his might.” (2 Samuel 6:14) Yes, our God is so worthy, so let's truly get excited over our Awesome God and be in love with him always.


BEING CONTAGIOUS

Okay, I know if you totally let loose at your next church gathering, they may escort you out the door. But it only takes a few people excited about God to get others going as well. His joy is contagious and let us pray that everybody would catch it. So, go ahead and be totally obsessed and in love with Him. Because let's face it, living for anything else will only lead you to emptiness and despair.


"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His offspring.' 


"Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:24-31)


JESUS IN PROVERBS

Over in Proverbs chapter 8, we see Jesus Christ who is personified in the usage of the word wisdom in verse 30 and 31. For we read: ”Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men." When He completed the world, He rejoiced saying, “my delights were with the sons of men.” Wow, God rejoices and delights in us his creation. I find it so comforting that God loves us and that he does delights in us.


But not only that, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Our God who loved us so much, sent his only Son to suffer for us and take the penalty for our sins. “But thanks be to God for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us.” (Galatians 2:20) For it is he that rose victoriously and overcame the grave. Let us also thank the Father for his Holy Spirit who indwells in us believers. (1 Corinthians 6:19) We were bought at a price, so let us set our mind and heart always on God, living a life that totally glorifies him. Amen. (Colossians 3:1-3)


SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)


This: ‘I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands,’ quoted above, has obvious and beautiful fulfillment in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus. As Jesus told Thomas in a post-resurrection appearance, look at My hands. (John 20:27) When we see the nail-scarred hands of Jesus, we see how He has inscribed us on the palms of His hands. With such love, how could God ever forget His people?” Quoted By David Guzik.


IN CONCLUSION

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)


So, in conclusion to all this, let us always remember how much Jesus loves us and in like manner to be in love with him. Let the world experience our love and 9oneness with God and with each other so that all may see Jesus Christ in us. (John 17:21-23) And let us not forget that we are the light of the world, so let the love of Jesus shine in our hearts as we tell the world about him. Our prayer and hope should always be that those who see us would see God in us, those who hear us would hear Christ speaking through us, and those who know us would know that his Spirit dwells is in us, and that they would crave what we have. Amen.


It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around, can warm up to its glowing. Thatʼs how it is with Godʼs love, once you have experienced it, you spread His love to everyone; you want to pass it on. What a wondrous time is spring, when all the trees are budding; the birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming. Thatʼs how it is with Godʼs love; once you’ve experienced it, you want to sing “Itʼs fresh like spring”; you want to pass it on. I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found. You can depend on Him, it matters not where youʼre bound. Iʼll shout it from the mountain top – Praise God I want the world to know; the Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on. Pend by: Kurt Kaiser


Some Scripture References:

  • Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:11)
  • Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. (Psalm 149:2-5)
  • Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbral and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 150:1-6)


Comments concerning Proverbs 8:30-31 above:

  • for Wisdom here has personal properties and actions; and that intelligent divine person can be no other than the Son of God himself” – Matthew Henry.
  • Jesus explained to the men on the road to Emmaus that everything that was written in the Psalms (Scriptures) was written about Him (cf. Luke 24:27). In Proverbs He is the wisdom of God” – Dave Shirley.
  • The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old,” this is the Lord Jesus, this is Wisdom” - Dr. J Vernon.


Scriptures on Rejoicing in the LORD:

  • Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NKJV)
  • Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalm 97:12)
  • The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19)
  • I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
  • Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)
  • Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (Joel 2:23)
  • Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:18)
  • And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. (Zechariah 10:7)


References to Dancing for Joy:

  • And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14)
  • Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; (Psalm 30:11)
  • Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. (Psalm 149:3)
  • Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. (Psalm 150:4)
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
  • Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)


Back to the Top

image4
image5

finding true rest

(Pray that All would get Theirs)

CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

When you think of someone that’s resting, what example comes to mind? Could it be a person kicking back under a shady tree with a hat pulled over their face? Or even better yet, could it be someone on a vacation getaway relaxing on a white sandy beach on some remote island? Well, even though these may be a good example, the real truth may be just the opposite of what you think. You see, being in that prone position under a shady tree or on a getting away vacation doesn’t promise relieve from any anxieties, feelings of restlessness or fears. Because no matter where you’re at, your problems will still follow you.


So then, true rest is not that outward condition as seen above, but that inward condition which is of the heart. For it can only come from the Holy Spirit dwelling within, given us comfort and hope regardless of our outward condition. Oh, what peace and joy we have in Jesus, for in him we have true rest. So, why not put all your trust in God and let Him lead the way for you. Remember, the Father truly knows best and he will direct all your paths by his Son Jesus as quoted above. Below, you will find some scriptures on this topic of peace and hope.


  • Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)
  • Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. (Psalm 100:4- 5)
  • Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD! (Psalm 144:15)
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:3-4)
  • Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)
  • There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
  • These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)


GOD'S LOVE FOR US

Below are some encouraging passages from God's word to help you either came to know Him, or help you in your walk with him. God is totally Awesome who made a way for you and me to come to him and receive everlasting life.


  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
  • But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:8-9)
  • For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
  • Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16)
  • In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9- 10)


GOD’S PERFECT PEACE

Here we have four key bible scriptures that can set you on the right path. First, we must keep our mind on the LORD at all times, trusting him in every situation. For if we will do this, we can be sure that he will fill us with his perfect peace. Second, we must completely rely on him to show us the way and the path we must take. So many times, we can lean on our own theology and depart from the truth of God’s word. And thirdly, it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ that we can find true rest through all of this. We need not struggle and try to work our way into heaven, but allow him to show us the way. For we are “a work in progress,” learning the truth as we walk in the Holy Spirit. So, the more we keep our eyes on the Lord, the more we can't help but fall deeper in love with him, and the deeper we fall in love with Him, the more we can't help but keep our eyes on Him. It's a beautiful snowball effect.


  • But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)
  • I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:3-4)
  • Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)
  • Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)
  • Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)


Back to Top

Come unto Me

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

image6

Unity of the Believers

(Pray that All would Join Around the True Light)

Why Cause Divisions?

We as Christians can spend so much time debating and lecturing about this and that, getting caught up in our talk over Calvinism, Arminianism, post- tribulation, pre-tribulation, are we saved before baptism or during, and on it may go. We then build our churches with their own sets of rules, views and traditions, creating denominational organizations complete with their own names of distinction. Well, is this not true? Don't we label ourselves as Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Assembly of God, Nazarenes and Church of Christ just to name a few?


And let's not forget about those Churches that consider themselves "nondenominational" but yet are part of an Association of Churches. Even these churches have duplicated themselves with their own name of distinction along with their own set of rules and views. All these are causing a division within the body of Christ and making the church look confusing, not only to us Christians, but to the world as well. Now, please don't get me wrong. I love my brothers and sisters in Christ who attend these churches. And to make things even clearer, I myself attend or even have attended some of these churches. However, by us continually allowing these names of distinction, we are creating divisions not only in the eyes of us believers, but in the eyes of the world as well.


One True Church

According to the word of God, there is to be no divisions within the body of Christ. We are to be the one true Church, and this would include all our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. But, as noted above, there are so many church Denominations and Associations that are causing divisions among Christians. And why is that? Could it be because we think we have a better handle on the truth than the fellowship down the street? I do believe so, for why else would we do it? God's word sums it up best where it says: "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1Corinthians 1:11-13)


Now it may be true that we love our Lord and Savior from the heart. We may also be totally sincere in our faith as Christians, praying and reaching out to the lost and other believers as well. (Mark 16:15) However, at the same time we are building these invisible walls of separation. And the sad part of it all, we do it in plain view of the world who is watching and maybe even mocking. (Romans 2:23-24) Please Note: If we examine most of the early churches in the New Testament, we would see that they were only referred to according to their locality such as a name of the city or of a person who owned the house. So, these types of labeling was not to show a distinction from one another but to aid the reader to understand their locality. (Romans 16:3-5, 1Corinthians 1:11, 16:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, Philemon 1:2)


So, God calls us to be one in Christ and to dwell in unity with fellow believers. Jesus prayed for this Christian unity so that the world may see our love for one another and thus recognize that he truly came from the Father and that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. And this unity can only be truly accomplished if we obey God by breaking down these dividing walls that we have made. Because let’s face it, if we don’t do it God may do it, and that in such a way we could never have imagined. (John 17:20-23)


Learning Unity the Hard Way

The Syrian Christians were praying for revival and believing that God would do a great work in their land. They like us had their churches along with their different denominations. And then came the war with its bombings and terrorists. Churches were destroyed and down came their denominational barriers that separated believers. Syrian Christians groups who at one time may have questioned each other’s salvation are now gathering for weekly prayers, asking God to move in their nation and in their churches. Now, these same Christians continue to spread hope in the face of hopelessness, holding high not a political or denominational banner but the banner of Jesus Christ. (see video link in the reference area below)


 And let’s not forget what happened when persecution broke out against the early church as described in the book of Acts. For we read that: “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” So we see that persecution doesn’t stop the spread of the Gospel, but only increases it. (Acts 8:3-4)


Just a Reminder

We cannot put God in our own little theological box. Yes, sometimes we get up on our little “soap box” and act like we know everything, but the truth of the matter is we don’t. (1 Corinthians 8:2) Let’s remember that Gods ways and thoughts are much higher than ours, so let’s just humble ourselves before Him and let God be God. (Isaiah 55:8) So let us quit leaning on our own understanding of things and allow his Holy Spirit to teach us his truths. We must embrace the truth of his word, and take upon ourselves the yoke of Jesus so that we can truly learn from him. For its only when we keep our eyes stayed on him, can we truly be led by the Holy Spirit into all truth. And in all, let us remember what his word says to us: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. So, if this is true with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then we likewise must be in unity with our God and with each other. Amen. (Deuteronomy 6:4)


In Closing

So, let us put away our own petty differences and all those things that can cause divisions and strife and seek the truth of God's word. For only in doing so can we find true biblical oneness and unity. For we are that 9one body in the Lord with its many members who are called to function as a whole. (1 Corinthians 12:12) There is a world of people out there who need to hear the gospel and we are to be the salt and a light to them. Isn’t that what we’re called to do? Aren’t we supposed to spread the love of Christ to the lost out there so that they may have eternal life too? So, let us fulfill our Lord's Prayer by being one in Him and fulfill the great commission which is sharing the Gospel with the world. We need to learn from His Holy Spirit as Christ shows us the way. Amen (Mark 16:15)


Reference from article above:

  • "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)
  • Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
  • "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
  • For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)
  • And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
  • Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23)
  • As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4)
  • Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. (Romans 2:23-24)
  • Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. (Romans 16:3-5)
  • For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:11-13)
  • And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. (1 Corinthians 8:2)
  • For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
  • The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (1 Corinthians 16:19)
  • And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: (Philemon 1:2)
  • Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: (2 Thessalonians 1:1


Video on Liena’s Prayer: Please click this link


Back to Top

No Divisions

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)

image7

A True church

(Pray that All would attend one)

Is it an Assembly or a Church?

Some people may think that a church is the building which holds all its occupants. However, a church is not a building but an assembly of people who are gathered together in a house, a barn, a warehouse, or even out in an open field. For the word church in the Greek means a “gathering” or an “assembly” of people. For we read in the book of Acts: “And Barnabas went forth to Tarsus, to seek for Saul, and having found him, he brought him to Antioch, and it came to pass that they a whole year did assemble together in the assembly, and taught a great multitude, the disciples also were divinely called first in Antioch Christians. (Acts 11:25-26) So the word “assembly” in the Young’s Literal Translation is the same word translate as church in the King James translation. So again, whether it’s translated as a “church” or the more understandable word “assembly” (which is found in the Darby version or the Young’s Literal Translation), we see that it’s not a building but we who are gathered together in Christ’s name.


Below are some scriptures of the bible that show that the early Church mainly met in people homes.

  • And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:13-14)
  • Peter therefore was kept in the prison; but unceasing prayer was made by the assembly to God concerning him. ... And having become clearly conscious in himself, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was surnamed Mark, where were many gathered together and praying. (Acts 12:5, 12)
  • Salute Prisca and Aquila, my fellow-workmen in Christ Jesus, (who for my life staked their own neck; to whom not I only am thankful, but also all the assemblies of the nations,) and the assembly at their house. Salute Epaenetus, my beloved, who is [the] first-fruits of Asia for Christ. (Romans 16:3-5)
  • The assemblies of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla, with the assembly in their house, salute you much in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 16:19)
  • Paul, prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timotheus the brother, to Philemon the beloved and our fellow-workman, and to the sister Apphia and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the assembly which is in thine house. (Philemon 1:1-2)
  • Salute the brethren in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the assembly which is in his house. (Colossians 4:15)
  • and to the sister Apphia and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the assembly which is in thine house. (Philemon 1:2)


The Promise to be Persecuted

When I was first saved, I attended a house church where a sister in Christ gave me a Precious Promise Book that was full of encouraging scriptures. But there was one promise I never recalled seeing and that was the promise of persecution for us Christian? However, they are there, maybe not in that wonderful Precious Promise Book,” but they are in God’s word for sure. So the question is, have you been facing this “promise” of persecution sense you became a Christian? Now, let’s consider the early church. For they didn’t gather in great man-made cathedrals or chapels, but in common places such as homes or in fields, and yes even in underground catacombs (grave chambers). This they did because there were (and still are) those who opposed our Christian faith.


For unlike some churches today which operates mainly like some social gathering or club with their key motivational speaker, the early church was an active group of people who came together to pray and encourage one another. This they did to equip themselves with the tools and strength needed to spread the gospel to the world, even in the face of persecution and death. Because let’s face it, if you’re not being persecuted in one form or another while being a Christian, then you may not be living your life according to the bible. For “indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)


So, are we seeing and hearing of persecutions in our local churches today? And no, I don’t mean the ones you hear from the pulpit which are taking place in foreign lands, but the ones that are happening within our own congregation. And how many of us Christians came out of church last Sunday being encouraged in word and prayer to continue in the faith and persevere in our sufferings as we preach the gospel, even in the face of death? For I can honestly say, I don’t see that happening. Thus, there must be something wrong with the way we Christian are living our life today. So, could it be that our current assemblies (churches) are watering down the gospel to make it appealing, not only to us Christians, but to the community around us as well? 

For if you read through the New Testament, especially in the book of Act, you will get a clear picture of those who are living the Christian life. So, according to God’s written word, you be the judge whether or not you’re in a church which is following the clear teaching of Christ.


Below are a few scriptures that speak of persecution that’s promised to Christians:

  • Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
  • And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
  • Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20)
  • And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. (Acts 8:1)
  • Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. (Acts 11:19)
  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)
  • Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. (1 Corinthians 4:11-14)
  • We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
  • So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (2 Thessalonians 1:4)
  • For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15)
  • But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. (2 Timothy 3:10-11)


Should a Church be Seeker Friendly?

As said earlier, some assemblies today strive to make a comfortable atmosphere for people. And yes, people who are seeking the truth as well as those who feel God tugging on their hearts, should feel welcomed and at home within our assembly. However, we should not compromise the clear truth of the gospel to these same people but to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:14-15) For Peter straight out said to the crowed of unbelievers: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:22-24)


So, we see that Peter didn't pull any punches when it came down to his preaching. Then after they felt convicted and sorry, he lets them know how to be saved by saying: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38). So, it wasn’t a “God loves you just the way you are” message, but one that said to repent and turn from your sins. And just a casual study of God’s word will make you realize that the messages of Jesus weren’t geared to the lukewarm crowds. For his massages were spoken in such a way that ether you’re going to follow after him, or you’re going to run from him. For let’s consider some of the things he said:


  • "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
  • Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36)
  • He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
  • Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)
  • Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Luke 9:57-58)
  • Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-60)
  • And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:61-62)
  • The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. ... Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" ... From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (John 6:52-53, 60, 66)
  • Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)


So, we can see that even though Jesus loves all of mankind, he’s only looking for those who are totally for him and in love with him. For let us consider what Jesus said in the book of Revelations: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16) So, we see that Jesus will not tolerate anyone that is wishy-washy or halfhearted when it comes to believing and trusting in him. So no, a church shouldn’t be a place where seekers can feel comfortable with who they are, but a place which makes them feel uncomfortable about themselves and thus want to change. For Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)


So, why attend a House Church?

Home fellowships are an ideal place for us to come together and focus on personal prayer needs as well as for those around the world. This is something we can't normally do when we're attending a large traditional church on Sunday. For it can be hard to fellowship and get our prayer needs met when things are running on a schedule time limit. Also, House Churches can be a tool to help breakdown denominational barriers by bringing in your neighbors who may attend a different assembly. And if there are any unbelievers living nearby, it could be a good way to expose them to the simple basics of what a true Christian assembly is all about. For even our Savior Jesus met and preached in homes at times. (Matthew 9:10-13, Luke 10:38-42 and more)


Also, encouraging one another in our walk with the Lord helps us to learn and to grow in him, and small home fellowships are an ideal place for this to happen. This is because smaller fellowships take us out of the impersonal and brings us into the personal. Within these smaller groups, we can have group interactions by asking questions as we read and study the Bible together. And just think, no denominational walls, no church overhead to pay for, and no large staff that's relying on money from parishioners. Its church in the simplest and purest form.


Getting Back to Basics

Now, am I encouraging everyone to right away uproot themselves and their family from their current traditional church and find a House Church. Well, even though I believe that would be the ideal thing to do, I also do realize that it may take time to find a home fellowship in your area. So, until that happens, it’s best to remain in the church you’re at. But, even if you don’t find one, you may consider starting one yourself in your own home. My wife and I first hosted one in our home which lasted several years meeting in three different homes. And now that we moved, I’m hoping to either find one that’s already established in our area or start another in our home.


So, if you are one of those who are caught in a mega churches where you can easily get lost in the crowned, or stuck in some traditional church where you hear an hour long sermon and out the door you go, I encourage you to consider finding or hosting a Home Church. For how many churches have you been to that actually practices what Paul the apostle commanded. For he said: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Prayer is supposed to be the main event within a church, with singing and a short exhortation only to follow. Imagine if an unbeliever stepped into your church and found people weeping and pleading for our family, congregation, community, nation and all the lost of the world. That person is going to realize that God is in this place and these people. So, he’s ether going to fall down in repentance or run straight out the door.


WHAT ARE SOME GOOD FUNDAMENTAL BASICS FOR A HOME GROUP?

  • Focus mainly on prayer with some worship and studying of God's word.
  • Do some reading of the word in which everyone can take part in.
  • The leaders (which should be men) are to make sure things stay decent and biblically in order.
  • Avoid empty talk about sports, movies, and other vain pursuits of this life.
  • Avoid all gossip and anything that may cause discord among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • If the gathering gets too large, consider splitting up and forming another home group.
  • Never let food be the main focus or reason for the gathering.
  • Avoid naming your church group which is an error of organized churches of today. If any distinction between home groups is necessary to aid in location, ether use the current address as reference or the names of the main occupants of the house (such as: meeting tonight as Mike and Becky’s).
  • Allow children to be part of the reading of scriptures as well as getting involved in prayer and worship.


WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM ONE ANOTHER?

  • To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves
  • To believe that there should be unity among all true believers, here and around the world, and that without walls of division. (John 17:21)
  • To pray for one another to be bold in the faith to spread God’s word around, even in the face of persecution and death.
  • Pray for each other’s true needs such as sicknesses for oneself or for family and friends. Please, avoiding worldly requests such as what car or house to buy. For let’s remember that there are brothers and sisters in the world that don’t have neither house or car. So, let’s show contentment as well, for as long as we have food, water and clothing, we are doing well.
  • To lay hands on those who are sick, anointing them with oil as the scripture say we should do
  • To stand on God's Word and believe that he speaks to this generation just as it did to those in the past. (James 1:22)
  • To never lean on our own understanding of things or get caught up in our own theology. But stand on God’s word and be led by his Spirit. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • To encourage one another in our walk and to: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
  • To believe that all the gifts of the Spirit are available for today
  • To endure persecution and suffering.


WHAT IS THE MAIN BELIEVES THAT THE LEADERSHIP SHOULD STAND ON?

  • Jesus Christ came in the flesh and became fully human like us. Jesus died in agony on the cross for our sins and spent three days and nights in hell as well suffering its torments in our place. (Matthew 12:40, Acts 2:25-27, Luke 16:23-28)
  • Divorced and remarried couples are living in adultery and must put each other away in order for true repentance to take place. Therefore, they should not to be allowed in the fellowship of believers while they are living together in sin. However, we must love them and be praying that they would put away their sin. (Malachi 2:13-16, Matthew 19:9, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, 7:39, Ezra 10:3)
  • All competition sports are based on pride and should be viewed as idolatry. Therefore, the leadership should discourage anyone talking about it during the meetings. (1 Maccabees 1:11-15, 2 Maccabees 4:7-9, 13-16, 1 Corinthians 9:25) *


Click on the links below for more info on house churches:


Back to Top

Meeting in Homes

Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. (Romans 16:3-5)