Hangin' Out With God

Getting up close and personal with God through knowing and believing His Word

YouTube Video – ‘Are You Laboring to Get Healed? — April 4, 2017
Patrick: Servant of Jesus Christ — March 17, 2017

Patrick: Servant of Jesus Christ

(I wrote this article a few years ago, but it’s worth featuring again today.)

ST.PATRICK2. - EXTRA BRIGHT - creditsSo why make a fuss over some guy named Patrick, who was a minister in Ireland 16 centuries ago? What’s the big deal?

Well, the “big deal” has absolutely nothing to do with shamrocks, green beer, and leprechauns. It does have to do with the fact that this one man, with a heart full of love for Jesus Christ and His creation, led at least 70,000 people into a saving faith in Jesus Christ during his brief 30 years of ministry. And he did so using no tools of communication other than the spoken and written word. That fact, my friends, is WORTH celebrating.

When March 17th dawns again this year, millions of people will be wearing green and celebrating in honor of St. Patrick, but I hope that those of us who have a genuine relationship with Jesus will focus our attention – not on the scores of legends that have grown up around that name – but on the truly miraculous, anointed life of the REAL St. Patrick of Ireland.

The Word of God says, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” When a man who was taken into slavery by heathen tribes manages to find the living God, escape to freedom, and return years later, at the risk of his own life, to spiritually set his former captors free by the power of the Gospel, we see the truth of that scripture. In a work written around 450 A.D. and called simply Confession, the man honored by most of the world as the patron saint of Ireland tells his own story of his intimate encounter with God and his evangelism of an entire nation. What I’m sharing in this article comes from that work written by his own hand.

Born in England in the late fourth century, Patrick was the son of a British nobleman, who also served as the deacon of the village church. In spite of that fact, Patrick did not grow up knowing God. At the age of sixteen, he was captured by pirates who frequently roamed the coastal areas and captured large numbers of young people in order to sell them as slaves. He says of that experience: “I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God, and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people . . . . There the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God. And he watched over me before I knew him . . . and he protected me and consoled me as a father would his son.”

IRISH PASTURES

IN THE STEPS OF KING DAVID

Patrick was sold to a pagan chieftan-king in Ireland. Most of the Irish tribes at that time were so pagan that they sacrificed their children to idols, and many were cannibalistic. They had never heard of Jesus Christ. Patrick was cruelly mistreated during the six years he was held prisoner and forced to serve as the king’s herdsman. But like his spiritual ancestor, another young herdsman who came to know God intimately while spending days and nights in the fields and on the mountain caring for the family’s livestock, so it was with Patrick. He describes the experience in these words:

“But after I reached Ireland I used to pasture the flock each day, and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] . . . up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number. Besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain, and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.”

After six years, while sleeping one night, Patrick heard the voice of God tell him that it was time for him to escape, and the Lord proceeded to give him directions to a ship harbored almost 200 miles away. “I turned about and fled . . . and I came, by the power of God, who directed my route to advantage, until I reached that ship.” Patrick tried to bargain with the captain to take him on board with the promise to see that he was paid at the end of the voyage, but the captain adamantly refused. Patrick turned away, and as he walked back toward the hut where he had been staying, he prayed, confessing his confidence in God’s faithfulness. Before he had gone many more steps, one of the men called him back to the ship and told him the captain had changed his mind. Patrick recorded, “I . . . hoped that they would come to faith in Jesus Christ, because they were barbarians.”

After reaching land, on the coast of France, the ship’s crew journeyed for twenty-eight days through uninhabited country, running out of food and suffering from extreme hunger. One of the shipmen began to taunt Patrick about his message that his God was “great and all-powerful,” asking why he couldn’t pray for them so that they wouldn’t have to perish from hunger. St. Patrick described his response in these words: “I said to them confidently ‘Be converted by faith with all your heart to my Lord God, because nothing is impossible for him, so that today he will send food for you on your road, until you be sated, because everywhere he abounds.’” He goes on to add, “Behold, a herd of swine appeared on the road before our eyes, and [the men] slew many of them and remained there for two nights, full of their meat and well restored. After this they gave the utmost thanks to God, and I was esteemed in their eyes, and from that day they had food abundantly.”

ROCK OF CASHEL

IN THE PATTERN OF ST. PAUL

A few years later, he managed to return to Britain, and recognizing all he’d been through, his family begged him not to leave them again. But God had other plans. Like the Macedonian call that came to Paul in the night, so the lost souls of the Irish people called out to Patrick. “There, in a vision of the night, I saw a man coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish,’ and as I was reading . . . I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke.”

Patrick then relates two different occasions when he was aware of speech and prayer going on inside of him while he was sleeping. Both of these experiences convinced him even more that he was being called by God to go back to Ireland. Describing one event, he records the following:

“I saw Him praying within me, and I was, as it were, inside my own body, and I heard Him above me – that is above my inner self. He was praying powerfully with sighs. And in the course of this I was astonished and wondering, and I pondered who it could be who was praying within me. But at the end of the prayer it was revealed to me that it was the Spirit.” Another time he said, “ . . . I heard and could not understand, except at the end of the speech it was represented thus: ‘He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.’ . . . I remembered the Apostle’s words: ‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.’”

Patrick made the decision to go before the church authorities and ask them to send him to Ireland. Some of his elders brought up the sins of his past, before he had known the Lord personally. Others reminded him that he would surely lose his life if he went back among the cannibalistic pagans, and thus would be going as a martyr. But none of those arguments discouraged him, and he finally won their blessing to go as a missionary to the people who had enslaved him and treated him so inhumanely.

His actual work there began around 430 A.D. At that time the Druid priests regularly performed animal and human sacrifices to idols, and numerous forms of black magic and occult rituals were a part of the normal life of the people. Patrick was literally walking into a haven of deep-seated witchcraft and demonic strongholds. He had intended to go first to the king who had enslaved him, purchase his own freedom from that king, and then tell him of Jesus and His love. However, when the king heard that Patrick was coming to try to convert him, he gathered all of his goods within his house and set fire to everything, including himself, so that he would not be tempted to believe in Patrick’s God. Patrick arrived at the home in time to see the smoke still rising from the self-created funeral pyre, and he was shattered at the power of the devil to bring a man to do such a thing in order to keep him from knowing the true God.

Patrick relates a number of episodes of attack on his person by demonic spirits, as well as by the pagan kings and Druid priests. He prayed daily against these forces of darkness and used every spiritual weapon at his command to break them. But he was never afraid of them. “I fear none of these things” he wrote at one time, “because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere.”

GREEN MOUNTAIN

IN THE SHADOW OF ELIJAH

The major turning point in this confrontation between the powers of hell and the powers of heaven came when Patrick decided to confront the most powerful king and his evil priests at the king’s own stronghold – Tara. The place was full of kings, nobles, soldiers and Druid priests, who were celebrating an important pagan feast which happened to coincide with Easter that year. On the eve of the feast, the high king was supposed to light the first bonfire — before any other fire was lit anywhere in the land. However, Patrick had camped out on a plain in full view of the castle on the hill at Tara, and he lit a huge fire in honor of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, before the king could light the ceremonial fire to worship his idol.

The king was enraged, and he armed twenty-seven chariots with his soldiers, priests and a crowd of other guests, and drove to Patrick’s camp. As one of the two most powerful Druid priests began to insult Patrick and His God, Patrick called on God audibly to cause the evil priest to be brought to death immediately. Before everyone present, an unseen force lifted the priest off the ground and then sent him crashing back down, shattering his skull. The king then called for his soldiers to seize Patrick, but that godly man stood and spoke a word from the Psalms, “May God arise and His enemies be scattered!” Immediately, darkness covered the area, and confusion set in. Soldiers attacked one another, horses ran away, and chariots were smashed. The following morning, Easter Sunday, Patrick and five of his companions entered the king’s castle. The king’s personal priest still tried to hold out against Patrick, but the confrontation ended in the fiery death of that priest, as a result of which, the king finally admitted his defeat and knelt before the man of God.

This auspicious beginning to Patrick’s ministry gained him an enormous reputation. But because the land was divided among numerous small, warring kingdoms, Patrick found that each realm had to be won over individually and taken for the kingdom of God. He often approached the kings bearing valuable gifts and money in order to gain an audience with them. Then he would tell them about Jesus and his salvation. If a king gave his blessing, Patrick was permitted to preach throughout that realm. The Druid priests and unsaved kings continued to fight him fiercely, but the Lord blessed Patrick’s faith and obedience.

Records show that during the thirty years of his ministry, St. Patrick led at least 70,000 people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He established hundreds of churches, and in less than a hundred years from the beginning of his work, the nation of Ireland had become predominantly Christian and was sending out its own missionaries to other lands. Patrick went to be with his Lord on March 17, most likely in the year 460 A.D.

IRISH CHURCH.JPG - ed

FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

As we approach the day that marks the yearly celebration of St. Patrick and his life, perhaps it would be good to consider this truth: In every generation, God has his David’s, His Elijah’s, His St. Paul’s, and His St. Patrick’s. All He requires to be able to raise them up in our generation is for each of us to do two things: get close enough to Him to hear His voice clearly and then obey Him instantly, regardless of the cost. St. Patrick has said it well:

“Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God . . . . Who was it summoned me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in this world, He inspired before others that I could be – if I would – such a one who, with fear and reverence . . . faithfully, without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ brought me and gave me in my lifetime. . . . Accordingly, therefore, to the measure of one’s faith in the Trinity, one should proceed without holding back from danger to make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, to spread God’s name everywhere with confidence and without fear . . . .”

(Photos of Pastures, Ben Bulben and Rock of Cashel: Jon at pdphoto.com)

***

~~~

Epiphany: You Don’t Have to Be a Christian to Call On Jesus — January 6, 2016

Epiphany: You Don’t Have to Be a Christian to Call On Jesus

Epiphany is a celebration by the Body of Christ of the revelation of Jesus Christ to the gentiles — all nations of people who are not from His own Jewish heritage. On this day, we often celebrate the arrival of the wise men from the east, who came many miles, following a great sign in the heavens, to worship Jesus as the Lord of the universe who had come to earth as a man to redeem His creation from their own sin and its curse. The following article is an edited version of one I posted a few years ago, but I feel it says what is in my heart on this special day of celebration. I hope it blesses you, even if you read it when I originally shared it. It comes to you with my wish that you will have a continuous revelation throughout this new year of Jesus Christ and all He wants to be for you and your life.


JESUS ON DONKEY - WIKIPED.“Here comes Jesus!”

“Jesus of Nazareth is coming!”

“Do you see Him yet?”

“Here He comes!”

“Here comes Jesus!”

Excitement was rampant, and cries of “Hosanna” filled the air. Shouts of joy and triumph could be heard for miles along the road, and people rushed to lay palm branches and their personal garments as a carpet of welcome. Jesus of Nazareth was coming to Jerusalem.

This carpenter-teacher who had journeyed among them for nearly three years, teaching them, healing them, feeding them, forgiving them, raising their dead. This miracle worker, this wise man, this man who was gentle enough to draw crowds of children to his side yet bold enough He would soon drive money-changers from the temple with a whip — this man whom many claimed was the prophesied Messiah of Jehovah — this man was coming again to Jerusalem! I’m sure, had we been there, we would have heard the message repeated over and over again for miles: “Here comes Jesus! Here comes Jesus!”

We in the Christian world celebrate that event on one special day out of the year, and we call it Palm Sunday. We have special services and some of us wave palm branches in the air to commemorate the day that is often referred to by church historians as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But that event happened over 2000 years ago. One could say it’s all history now; it’s been said and done;  it’s over.

But not so, my friends! I am thrilled beyond words to be able to tell you that Jesus is still coming to anyone and everyone who would like to receive Him. He’s a living, vital, right-now Jesus. He is the I AM (The self-existent one who causes all other things to be; the one who is and becomes whatever He desires to become — Hebrew definition). And the great I AM desires to become everything that His creation needs.

Jesus of Nazareth is alive today, and He’s still loving people, teaching people, feeding people, forgiving people, delivering people, healing people and making  them whole. And, yes, He’s still raising people from the dead. He’s the same Jesus who fulfilled the words of the ancient prophets by riding  into Jerusalem on a donkey that day.  He’s the same Jesus who worked myriads of miracles for the people. He’s the same Jesus who went to the cross to pay for the rebellion and sin of all the human race.

He’s the same Jesus who rose from the grave and took His throne as Lord of the universe. He’s the same Jesus who promised that if we would call on Him and receive Him as Lord, He would freely fill us with His own eternal life and with power to serve Him. He’s the same Jesus who promised that after our life of service to Him on this earth, we would move on to Heaven and live with Him forever. No questions —  no if’s, and’s or but’s. No struggling to get there, no sacrifice, no hard work, no price to pay. Jesus did the work. We receive the benefit.  And the Word of God,  Hebrews 13:8, says “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So I can tell you confidently: “Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to you today! He’s coming because He sees your need; He sees your trouble; He sees your sorrow; He sees your pain; He sees your desperation; He sees your hopelessness; He hears your questions; He hears your confusion; He hears your private crying. He’s coming to you because He loves you.

Did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian for Jesus Christ to love you? Sometimes we who call ourselves Christians tend to flock together so tightly that we become almost like a clique, and the rest of the world feels as though they can’t break through the wall to become a part. But my message to the “rest of the world” today is that you don’t have to become a part of the “clique of Christianity.”  All you have to do is get to know Jesus, the real person.

And did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian to call on Jesus? That’s right. Jesus isn’t listening just for the call of the Christians. Certainly, He’s attuned to their cries and He rushes to their help when they need Him, but Jesus the Christ is listening — intently — for the cries of all the millions of  His creation in this world who don’t know Him at all. His heart is waiting expectantly for their voice to call out His name. And He’s ready to answer that call swiftly. He’s ready to come home with you at any time.

When Jesus walked the earth, He was often found in the homes of those who were not active believers. People whom the scriptures refer to as “publicans” and “sinners” found that Jesus was more than willing to spend time with them and teach them the truth about God — and show them God’s love by healing their sick and delivering those in demonic bondage. In fact, He often received hateful criticism from the religious leaders of His day because He gave Himself so freely to those who did not have a relationship with the true God. But Jesus’ response was simply that His main reason for coming into the earth was to find those who did not know Him and offer Himself to them.

Zacchaeus was one such man. (His story is told in the Word of God, the book of Luke, chapter 19.) Although technically a descendant of Abraham, Zacchaeus was chief among publicans — which means he made his living working for the Roman government, collecting taxes from his fellow Israelites — and, by his own admission, cheating them. He had heard about Jesus, but he was no believer. However, he was curious, and as Jesus passed through Jericho, right before his entry into Jerusalem on the donkey, Zacchaeus, a short man,  climbed into a tree so that he could see and hear Jesus easily. Jesus called him down from the tree and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.

Zacchaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah and opened to Him his home and his heart. We know that he invited Jesus in with his whole heart, because, after spending only a short time with Him, Zacchaeus voluntarily confessed his sin of cheating and promised to make restoration of everything with interest. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus to do so. The man simply opened his heart to Jesus, and a changed nature was the result.

So, I will say once more: You do not need to be a Christian to call on Jesus. No matter what religious tag you wear — including that of “Atheist” —  that tag will not keep Jesus from coming to you if your heart is reaching out for Him and inviting Him in. What will happen to that religious tag after you meet Jesus? Who cares?  I can guarantee you — without qualification — that if you ever meet the real Jesus, you won’t care.

Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to us today — Christian and non-Christian — He’s coming. With words of comfort and reassurance to destroy fear — with delivering power to destroy the yokes of the devil — with healing and wholeness for body, mind, and spirit — with wisdom and direction that leads to successful solutions — with the power of His Holy Spirit and all of the anointing for service — with eternal life to overcome death once and for all and forever.

Jesus is coming!  He’s coming to you!  Right now! Open your heart to Him and let Him meet all of your needs today.

~~~

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jesus_entering_jerusalem_on_a_donkey.jpg

Running With Jesus — November 7, 2015

Running With Jesus

DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN -GOSPELGIFS
Gospelgifs.com

Whom do you run with?  Is that terminology familiar to you? In some circles the term “running with” refers to spending one’s time frequently interacting with certain people — identifying with them — people who have similar interests and goals — the people we consider our best friends and buddies.

Sometimes the people we choose to “run with” make a huge difference in what we do with our lives, what advantages or disadvantages we fall heir to, and what other people think of us. Most people try to “run with” individuals or groups that make them feel comfortable, but occasionally someone gets courageous enough to “run with” another person because he presents a lifestyle that is challenging, exciting, or dangerous.

Personally, I like the company I “run with.” The head guy is Jesus Christ, and I’ve found that “running with” Him is  comfortable, but it is also challenging and exciting at the same time. Here’s just a small example of what life is like in that world:

Running with Jesus means giving instructions to trees and mountains and having them obey immediately.

Running with Jesus means always having plenty to eat, because we can multiply loaves and fishes any time.

Running with Jesus means always having enough money to pay my taxes or any other obligation because if there’s no money handy, I can always go fishing and get some.

Running with Jesus means telling angry storms to shut up and be quiet.

Running with Jesus means walking on the water.

Running with Jesus means telling the devil and his demons what bus to take and what stop to get off at.

Running with Jesus means loving people, feeding them when they’re hungry, and healing their hurting bodies.

Running with Jesus means forgiving others every time they mess up and giving them another chance.

Running with Jesus means praying constantly.

Running with Jesus means experiencing total peace and rest no matter what the circumstances.

Running with Jesus means having the Creator of the whole universe as my Father and knowing I am accepted and loved beyond words for eternity.

If you’re not already “running with” Jesus, why don’t you leave whatever group you are “running with” and join us. You’ll never be sorry.

 

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Pastor John Osteen – Faith Like a Seed, Part 2 — February 13, 2015
Tapping Into God’s Miracle Working Power – Lisa Osteen Comes — August 28, 2014
Kenneth E. Hagin — ‘El Shaddai’ — June 1, 2014

Kenneth E. Hagin — ‘El Shaddai’

 

Kenneth E. Hagin has been one of the most faithful and anointed ministers of God that I have ever known. During his long life of service to the Lord, from the time he was raised from his deathbed at 16 until he went to be with the Lord in his mid 80’s, he has not only taught God’s Word faithfully, but he has lived it fully and with abundant fruit. I have had the privilege of sitting under his teaching since I was in my 20’s, – both in person and via tape and video. This particular sermon, “El Shaddai,” is one of my favorites. I trust it will enrich your faith and bless your life as well.

 

~

 

Here Comes Jesus! — April 13, 2014

Here Comes Jesus!

JESUS ON DONKEY - WIKIPED.“Here comes Jesus!”

“Jesus of Nazareth is coming!”

“Do you see Him yet?”

“Here He comes!”

“Here comes Jesus!”

Excitement was rampant, and cries of “Hosanna” filled the air. Shouts of joy and triumph could be heard for miles along the road, and people rushed to lay palm branches and their personal garments as a carpet of welcome. Jesus of Nazareth was coming to Jerusalem.

This carpenter-teacher who had journeyed among them for nearly three years, teaching them, healing them, feeding them, forgiving them, raising their dead. This miracle worker, this wise man, this man who was gentle enough to draw crowds of children to his side yet bold enough He would soon drive money-changers from the temple with a whip — this man whom many claimed was the prophesied Messiah of Jehovah — this man was coming again to Jerusalem! I’m sure, had we been there, we would have heard the message repeated over and over again for miles: “Here comes Jesus! Here comes Jesus!”

We in the Christian world celebrate that event on one special day out of the year, and we call it Palm Sunday. We have special services and some of us wave palm branches in the air to commemorate the day that is often referred to by church historians as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But that event happened over 2000 years ago. One could say it’s all history now; it’s been said and done;  it’s over.

But not so, my friends! I am thrilled beyond words today — this day — Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014 — to be able to tell you right now:

“Here comes Jesus!”

Jesus of Nazareth is alive today, and He’s still loving people, teaching people, feeding people, forgiving people, delivering people, healing people and making  them whole. And, yes, He’s still raising people from the dead. He’s the same Jesus who fulfilled the words of the ancient prophets by riding  into Jerusalem on a donkey that day.  He’s the same Jesus who worked myriads of miracles for the people. He’s the same Jesus who went to the cross to pay for the rebellion and sin of all the human race.

He’s the same Jesus who rose from the grave and took His throne as Lord of the universe. He’s the same Jesus who promised that if we would call on Him and receive Him as Lord, He would freely fill us with His own eternal life and with power to serve Him. He’s the same Jesus who promised that after our life of service to Him on this earth, we would move on to Heaven and live with Him forever. No questions —  no if’s, and’s or but’s. No struggling to get there, no sacrifice, no hard work, no price to pay. Jesus did the work. We receive the benefit.  And the Word of God,  Hebrews 13:8, says “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So I can tell you confidently: “Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to you today! He’s coming because He sees your need; He sees your trouble; He sees your sorrow; He sees your pain; He sees your desperation; He sees your hopelessness; He hears your questions; He hears your confusion; He hears your private crying. He’s coming to you because He loves you.

Did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian for Jesus Christ to love you? Sometimes we who call ourselves Christians tend to flock together so tightly that we become almost like a clique, and the rest of the world feels as though they can’t break through the wall to become a part. But my message to the “rest of the world” today is that you don’t have to become a part of the “clique of Christianity.”  All you have to do is get to know Jesus, the real person.

And did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian to call on Jesus? That’s right. Jesus isn’t listening just for the call of the Christians. Certainly, He’s attuned to their cries and He rushes to their help when they need Him, but Jesus the Christ is listening — intently — for the cries of all the millions of  His creation in this world who don’t know Him at all. His heart is waiting expectantly for their voice to call out His name. And He’s ready to answer that call swiftly. He’s ready to come home with you at any time.

When Jesus walked the earth, He was often found in the homes of those who were not active believers. People whom the scriptures refer to as “publicans” and “sinners” found that Jesus was more than willing to spend time with them and teach them the truth about God — and show them God’s love by healing their sick and delivering those in demonic bondage. In fact, He often received hateful criticism from the religious leaders of His day because He gave Himself so freely to those who did not have a relationship with the true God. But Jesus’ response was simply that His main reason for coming into the earth was to find those who did not know Him and offer Himself to them.

Zacchaeus was one such man. (His story is told in the Word of God, the book of Luke, chapter 19.) Although technically a descendant of Abraham, Zacchaeus was chief among publicans — which means he made his living working for the Roman government, collecting taxes from his fellow Israelites — and, by his own admission, cheating them. He had heard about Jesus, but he was no believer. However, he was curious, and as Jesus passed through Jericho, right before his entry into Jerusalem on the donkey, Zacchaeus, a short man,  climbed into a tree so that he could see and hear Jesus easily. Jesus called him down from the tree and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.

Zacchaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah and opened to Him his home and his heart. We know that he invited Jesus in with his whole heart, because, after spending only a short time with Him, Zacchaeus voluntarily confessed his sin of cheating and promised to make restoration of everything with interest. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus to do so. The man simply opened his heart to Jesus, and a changed nature was the result.

So, I will say once more: You do not need to be a Christian to call on Jesus. No matter what religious tag you wear — including that of “Atheist” —  that tag will not keep Jesus from coming to you if your heart is reaching out for Him and inviting Him in. What will happen to that religious tag after you meet Jesus? Who cares?  I can guarantee you — without qualification — that if you ever meet the real Jesus, you won’t care.

Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to us today — Christian and non-Christian — He’s coming. With words of comfort and reassurance to destroy fear — with delivering power to destroy the yokes of the devil — with healing and wholeness for body, mind, and spirit — with wisdom and direction that leads to successful solutions — with the power of His Holy Spirit and all of the anointing for service — with eternal life to overcome death once and for all and forever.

Jesus is coming!  He’s coming to you!  Right now! Open your heart to Him and let Him meet all of your needs today.

~

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commonshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jesus_entering_jerusalem_on_a_donkey.jpg

 

 

 

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J. Rufus Mosely on Receiving Healing from Jesus — October 18, 2013

J. Rufus Mosely on Receiving Healing from Jesus

RUFUS MOSELY - brighterJ. Rufus Mosely was a Jesus-centered author, preacher, and Bible teacher who focused everything in his life and teaching on developing and preserving a constant connection to Jesus. During the middle of the 20th century, his ministry drew thousands into a new understanding of how to live in the constant presence of Jesus Christ and all that He has to give us – including healing. Below is a short excerpt from his book Perfect Everything, published by Macalester Park Publishing Co, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jesus, according to the New Testament report and the witness of the Holy Spirit, healed all who came to Him and all who were brought to Him for healing. He refused no one. ‘He healed all who were sick.’ (Matt. 8:16).

Everything of God has in it healing virtue. Everything of creation: earth, water, fire, air sunshine, minerals, food, and herbs – under guided, intelligent use – have in them something of the health and healing of God. Everything of His Spirit and presence and nature is marvelously healing. So are the fruits of the Spirit, ‘love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’

Enough love will heal anything; and everything else combined with love is health and abundant life giving.

God heals with doctors, without doctors, and sometimes in spite of them. The whole power of God and of the universe for healing as well as for salvation is in Jesus Christ and is immediately available to us through Him and His Spirit. …

In answer to the question, how can we best co-work with Him for our own healing and for the healing of others, these are some of the ways:

1. Repent of all the sin and sinning you know of, and pray to know all of the sins you have committed against your body, mind, and soul, as well as against all others and against the whole of life. …

2. Among the sins gainst our mind and soul are unforgiveness and resentments. Freely forgive everyone as Jesus Christ has forgiven you and as you would like to be forgiven by others. …

3. Seek the forgiveness of all who have anything against you and cease everything else until you do your best to get your brother reconciled and back in love with you. (Matt. 5:23024). …

4. Recognize and strengthen your faith by saying to yourself and others that all that Jesus Christ did when He was here in the flesh He can do now, and evermore. One of my … friends, Mr. Kirby of Huntington, WV, told me that before his healing, he was all crooked and twisted from rheumatism and arthritis …. Later, when reading the New Testament, he read one of the accounts of Jesus having healed someone whose physical condition was as bad as his own. He then said, ‘Jesus, if you could do it them, You can do it now.’ Instantly, he says, he rose up well and even ran upstairs. …

5. Say to Jesus Christ and to yourself and to the one prayed for: ‘It should be easier for You ( Jesus Christ- to do what we are asking of You than to have done the more difficult things You did in Galilee. When I was at Warrenton, NC, January, 1947, conducting a spiritual retreat … a leader of the choir had a very near relative who had had one kidney removed at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the time, he was prayed for, he was on the way to the boat to go back to Hopkins to see what could be done for the other kidney. In prayer I said something like this: ‘Precious Jesus, if You could make a kidney, of course You can heal it, since it ought to be easier to heal or repair than it is to create.’ The relative caught faith … and had the witness that the young man of her deep concern was healed …. When he got to Hopkins and was examined, he was told that ‘something wonderful’ had ‘occurred.’ The last report from him is that he is well and back at work.

6. Do your part as best you know and the best you can know by praying and obeying and trusting Him to do His best. Mr. Flynn anointed with oil, in the name of Jesus a black sore on Mrs. Flynn’s face, supposed to be a cancer, telling the Lord, ‘I’m doing all I can and I am trusting You to do all You can.’ It was not long until the black sore dropped off and left the face without even a scar. (Avondale, NC, 1947). …

7. Invite Jesus to come in and reign and be all in all in the ALL of you; particularly in the most needy and diseased parts. He is knocking to do this and only needs to be wanted and invited. The insane have become sane after they were persuaded to ask Jesus to come into their minds and spirits and brains and bodies and affairs. I find the following type of invitation always opens the way for Him to bring an increase of His presence … and healing power: ‘Precious Jesus, come in and be all in all in the all of me and of my affairs. Let Thy perfect joy be in me and make my joy full. Let Thy perfect Spirit be in my spirit and make my spirit perfect; let Thy mind be in my mind and make my mind perfect. Let Thy perfect Body be in my body and make mine perfect. Be bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart; be perfect salvation with health and healing for every bit of me, including every organ and function of my body as well as every faculty of my mind and capability of my soul.’ There is nothing He does not heal. …

8. When you ask for healings or other gifts from Jesus, He says, ‘Believe that you receive them and ye SHALL have them.’ (Mark 11: 24). ‘And this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He heareth us – we know that we HAVE the petitions that we desired of Him.’ (1 John 5:14-15). Often the things we ask are manifested while we are asking. If not manifested at once, if they are according to His will (and everything that is best for us and everybody else is according to His will), they are on their way, and are sure to arrive. …

9. Dedicate to seek and to find and to give yourself to the best life, the best work, and the best services He has for you, and that you have for Him and for others. …

10. You may find it advisable to get two or three in touch with Jesus to join you in prayer for your own healing and the healing of others and for some of the number to keep in continuous prayer until the healing occurs. …

11. Stop looking at and feeding upon your diseases; and look to Jesus and feast upon Him. … Moses understood understood the secret of looking away from the trouble to the Deliverer and Healer when he commanded the children of Israel, when bitten by the fiery serpents, to look away from the serpents and … look to the brazen serpent, typifying … Jesus Christ as the savior and Healer. … No mater how large and poisonous the serpent, those who looked to the brazen serpent … were healed. …

12. Stand on His promises to you, as well as His promises in the New Testament. …

13. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to how to pray for healing He is making intercession according to the Will of God, and will enable you also to do the same. …

14. Take yourself and your problems and those you would help to Jesus. There are no failures with Jesus. He never dins anyone so sick that He cannot heal him nor so dead that He cannot resurrect him. …

15. In the Name, the Spirit, of Jeus Christ, as a true follower of Him, pray the prayer of command as well as the prayer of intercession, thanksgiving … and victorious realization. Even Jesus, knowing that the maiden and Lazarus were not dead, but only asleep, awakened them … only by His command to awake. …

16. Ask Jesus to show you how to co-work with Him in your own healing. When a brother was in great need I sought in vain from health specialists and doctors as to what would be best … for him to eat. Then I lifted up a prayer to Jesus and asked Him. Instantly my tongue was taken and ‘grapes’ was spoken. Several weeks later, I found out from a health expert that grapes are the best food of all in cases of low blood pressure, and this was one of my brother’s troubles. Jesus knows a great deal more about food than anyone else. He also knows the best exercise ….

17. Seek perfect union with Jesus; let His love flow in freely and flow out freely to everybody and everything. …

18. See yourself and others as perfect and complete in Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says, ‘Present every man as perfect in Jesus Christ’ – not outside of Jesus Christ, nor apart from Him, but in Vital Union with Him. … To affirm perfection outside of marriage with Jesus is an effort to make something true which is not true; while to affirm it in union and marriage with Him is to affirm that which is already true, needing only recognition to bring it into manifestation. It is Jesus Christ Himself, the Ideal made actual … who brings perfect healing and victory over death and all that causes death.”

(Perfect Everything, J. Rufus Mosely, 2nd Edition, Macalester Park Publishing Co, St. Paul, MN, pages 108-123.)

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But What If My Faith Is Weak …? — May 29, 2013

But What If My Faith Is Weak …?

JESUS ON WATER WITH PETER - BLUE

During my 40 years of ministry to the sick, I have realized that one very common problem often plagues those seeking healing from the Lord. That problem is fear concerning their own faith and whether or not it is too weak to receive the help they need. So let me address the problem from two different directions. First of all, we will see from God’s Word that “little” or “weak” faith did not keep Jesus from performing extensive miracles for people when He ministered in person. And secondly, we will look at how to make sure our faith grows stronger on a continuous basis.

Many people look at the scripture in Mark chapter 6 where Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and teaches in their synagogue, but is rejected by the people. Verses 5 and 6 of that chapter say, “He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid his hands upon a few sick fold, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief.” If we are not careful, we can be easily deceived by the enemy Satan and the lies he has managed to slip into religious doctrines, and this situation offers an excellent opportunity for such deception. Many people who need healing read these words and say to themselves, “Well, Jesus could not do any big miracles there because those people did not have enough faith. If they didn’t have enough faith with Jesus standing right there, then I’m sure I don’t have enough because I need a really big miracle.”

But dear one, that is not the case at all. This passage does not say the people of Nazareth had “weak” faith. Look again. And look at the story as it is told in the other Gospels as well – especially, Luke, chapter 4. Each Gospel writer emphasized a different aspect of the story – as they did with many of the events they described – because each had a different job to do with his Gospel. Luke makes it clear that these same people totally rejected Jesus as the Messiah – or even a true prophet of God. They so rejected Him that they pushed Him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built and tried to throw Him off the hill to kill Him. We are not dealing with “weak” faith here. We are dealing with total unbelief, rebellion, and absolute rejection of Jesus as an anointed prophet of God. And, yes, in the face of such absolute unbelief and rejection, He cannot perform much in the way of miracles for them because God as instituted His covenant with man in such a way that man always has a part to play in the work of God in his life. These people made their choice not to receive miracles from Jesus.

But what is interesting to me is that, even with all that unbelief and rejection, the one thing Jesus was still able to do was heal some sick people. Now, isn’t that something to think about? He was not able to do any “mighty miracles,” but He was able to heal a few sick people – obviously some who did believe in Him. So doesn’t that tell us that, as far as God’s power is concerned, healing sick people doesn’t really count as “mighty miracles” ? In other words – it’s some of the easiest work God does. Now, of course, as far as God Himself is concerned, it’s all easy. But, you understand, these explanations were written in terminology that we can all relate to.

But does the Word have anything to say about people with “weak” faith getting something from Jesus? Most decidedly, yes! Let’s look at just a few. First of all, in Luke 17:5-6, Jesus’ disciples ask Him to increase their faith. But Jesus’ answer to them is, “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.’” Now, a mustard is extremely tiny. In fact in other places in scripture Jesus refers to it as one of the smallest of seeds. So if that is the measure of faith we need for a miracle as big as uprooting a tree and moving it into the ocean, getting healed doesn’t take a whole lot.

But Jesus follows this statement with a short sermon about how servants act, and He makes the point that we expect our servants to work. He indicates, by tying those two points together, that the amount of faith is not the problem, but rather being diligent to put that faith to work. We must remember that James says “faith without works (corresponding actions) is dead.” (James 2:17-26). The word “works” from the Greek literally means action that corresponds and bears out the truth of that faith that we claim to have. In other words, we must make sure we plant our faith in God’s Word and then act and speak in agreement with the Word if we expect our faith to bear fruit.

Now let’s look at Matthew 6, where Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, is telling His followers not to fret about food or clothing or other material needs because God will take care of them as surely as He does the birds and the flowers. In verse 30, He says, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Now, consider this dear reader. Even though their faith is “little,” God is going to be able to provide all their material needs – if they will just put that “little”faith in Him and let it work there.

And Jesus proved that what He said was true when He fed more than 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. In Matthew 14, He has compassion on the multitude who have followed Him and listened to His teaching for several days, and when His disciples suggest He send them away to find food, He says to the disciples, “They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him,’We have here but five loaves and two fishes.’” (Matt.14:16-17). You see, He was giving His disciples the chance to use their faith to feed the crowd. They could have done so, or He would not have told them to do so. But they did not yet understand about putting their faith to work so Jesus had to go ahead and work the miracle Himself. But notice: He worked this huge miracle for them even though their own faith was too “little” to do the job.

Now, lets’ look at one more. To my mind, it is one of the greatest examples because, to me, this miracle was enormous. Again, for God, it was everyday stuff. But looking from the human perspective, this is something extraordinary. When Jesus came to His disciples walking on the water, in Matthew 14:25-32, His disciples become fearful. He calls out to them to be not afraid, and Peter says, “Lord, if ti be thou bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus, without any hesitation, says, “Come,” and out Peter hops. Now the extraordinary thing is that, according to the Word, Peter, “walked on the water to go to Jesus.” This ordinary human being walked on the water. Was it because his faith was so “strong”? Let’s see.

We all know the story, don’t we? “But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’” And what does Jesus do? Does He say, “Sorry, Peter, your faith is too weak for you to get this miracle. If you can’t believe better than that you’ll just have to drown.”? Of course not.

Immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him and said unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’” So there you have it, friend. Jesus says Himself that Peter had “little” faith, and we can see that he most certainly did. But Jesus was still able to perform miracles for him – and did so – even with “little” faith. In fact, I believe Jesus knew Peter well enough to know that He didn’t really have strong enough faith to make it on his own when He told him he could “come.” But that did not cause Jesus to tell Peter not to try. And even though Peter’s faith was “weak,” He still managed to walk on water for part of the way. Then even when he started sinking, Jesus was still able to work on His behalf and deliver him – even though his faith was only “little.”

So, dear one, don’t be burdened with fear concerning your faith because you think its small or weak. Just plant that faith into Jesus – and His Word – and it will be enough to give Him what He needs to work for you.

However, we do not want to be satisfied with faith that is not as strong as possible. So we need to realize that God has provided a way for our faith to increase and grow stronger on a consistent basis. That way is His Word. Now don’t get led astray by multiple religious doctrines that try to tell you that trials and tests will create or strengthen your faith. They will not! There is absolutely no scripture that even hints at the idea that trials will create faith. On the contrary, the Word of God tells us of only one thing that will create faith in us. Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF GOD.” You see, God’s Word is the only thing that will show us those spiritual things that are real. We cannot see them, touch them, taste them in the natural. We couldn’t believe in God by looking to our natural senses to tell us He was there. It took the Word. When we heard the Gospel – either by reading it, hearing it preached, listening to someone’s testimony – or in other ways – that Gospel (Word) convinced us that God was real and that He loved us. In other words, it created faith in us, and we were able to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior.

In the same way, all of the things God has provided for us – all of the victories He has accomplished through Jesus – are in the spirit realm. Our faith – by our own confession of that Word – and our own acts of obedience to that Word – bring those spiritual things into the natural realm. Salvation in all its forms (cleansing from sin, healing, deliverance, material provision, peace) is established in the spirit realm and moves into the natural realm – to manifest in our bodies, our minds, and our circumstances – through faith.

So if we want more faith – or we want our faith to grow stronger – we must get into God’s Word faithfully and apply it to our lives. We must not only read it; we must obey it – be doers of it.

Jesus talked about people who were dull of hearing and who had hardened hearts and could not believe. Do you know how they got that way? They heard the Word, but they made no response to it. In actual fact, every time we hear truth from God’s Word and just toss it aside and don’t apply it and obey it, there’s a film that begins to form over our hearing and over our hearts. The next time the Word comes forth, we don’t hear it quite as easily, and therefore, we can’t believe it quite as easily. Then if we do that again, the same thing happens again. After a while, our hearing becomes dull, and our hearts become hardened.

Contrarily, every time we hear truth from God’s Word and do apply it and obey it – make it a living part of us and our lives – our hearing becomes even more sharp, and our hearts are opened up even more by that Word becoming active on the inside of us. Life begets life. That’s why Jesus had so much to say about being careful how and what we hear, as in Mark 4:24-25. “Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. [A more clear translation of this last line is “from him shall be taken even that which he thinketh he hath.”]

So we do not want to be casual in our care of the faith God has given us. We need to be diligent to get into His Word and obey it so that our faith will continually increase and grow stronger. Remember, we are not interested in just having enough faith for our own needs. We want more than “little” faith because we want faith strong enough to help the other people in our lives receive their miracles from God’s hand as well.

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Image courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy:
http://karenswhimsy.com/public-domain-images/life-of-jesus/life-of-jesus-7.shtm

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