On Wings Of Eagles

free counters

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Walking through the Swamp of Despondency!

Psalm 107:2-6 (ESV)
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.

In his book, Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan has written one of the most beautiful allegories about the journey we all travel as believers. The book describes the hero, Christian, and his journey from the City of Destruction to his heavenly destination, the Celestial City. Now there's one part of Pilgrim's Progress that I want to focus on today -- walking through the Swamp of Despondency!

At one point during their travels, Christian and his companion suddenly find themselves there....in the Swamp of Despondency. Still bearing his burden, Christian, begins to sink in the mire. His traveling companion manages to get out, but he returns to the City of Destruction without giving aid to Christian. Christian is left all alone and sinking even deeper in the mire, until Help, the allegorical figure for the Holy Spirit pulls him free from the swamp.

Christian then asks Help why this dangerous plot of land has not been mended so that poor travelers might go safely to the Celestial City. Help replies, "This miry slough is such a place that cannot be mended."

How true it is in real life! As hard as we try to avoid them, whether young in the Lord, or spiritually mature...swamps of despondency seem inevitable, and we must struggle through them!

Charles Spurgeon once wrote to his students in the book, "Lectures to my Students", "Fits of depression come over most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy. There may be here and there men of iron...but surely the rust frets even these."

There are times in our lives when we will struggle through the swamps of despondency -- but praise God that He has provided us a helper for those times of need! We need to press through, seeking and trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to pull us out of those nasty swamps, and set our feet back upon the Rock of our salvation.

Dear Lord, as we come across the struggles of life thanks for the helper that You have sent to help us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

In the margin were the words

Matthew 18:19-20 (ESV)
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

His nightmares began each day when he awoke. James Stegalls was nineteen. He was in Vietnam. Though he carried a small Gideon New Testament in his shirt pocket, he couldn't bring himself to read it. His buddies were cut down around him, terror was building within him, and God seemed far away. His twentieth birthday passed, then his twenty-first. At last, he felt he couldn't go on.

On February 26, 1968, he prayed for it all to end, and his heart told him he would die before dusk. Sure enough, his base came under attack that day and Jim heard a rocket coming straight toward him. Three seconds to live, he told himself, then two, then...

A friend shoved him into a grease pit, and he waited for the rocket to explode, but there was only surreal silence. The fuse malfunctioned.

For five hours James knelt in that pit, and finally his quivering hand reached into his shirt pocket and took out his Testament. Beginning with Matthew, he continued through the first 18 chapters.

"When he read Matthew 18:19-20," he said, "I somehow knew things would be alright."

Long after Jim returned home, as he visited his wife's grandmother, Mrs. Harris, she told him a night years before when she had awakened in terror. Knowing Jim was in Vietnam, she had sensed he was in trouble. She began praying for God to spare his life. Unable to kneel because of arthritis, she lay prone on the floor, praying and reading her Bible all night.

Just before dawn she read Matthew 18:19-20. Then she immediately called her Sunday school teacher, who got out of bed and went to Mrs. Harris' house where together they claimed the Lord's promise as they prayed for Jim until reassured by God's peace.

Having told Jim the story, Mrs. Harris opened her Bible to show him where she had marked the passage. In the margin were the words -- "Jim, February 26, 1968."

I don't think we are nearly aware enough of how crucial our prayers are for the lost and hurting. Sometimes we don't get to see the fruit, but God hears and answers our prayers! Don't be discouraged today -- keep lifting your voice in intercession and expect great things!

Dear Lord, help us always be aware of how important it is for us to talk to You in prayer. When we feel the tug by You help to stop and pray. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

The enemy loves to sow discouragement

Proverbs 15:23 (ESV) 
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!

A modern parable has been written about the tools of the enemy that I believe we can really learn from.

"Some time ago, an advertisement appeared in which the devil was putting all his tools up for sale. On the day of public inspection, each one of his tools was marked with its selling price: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on, were each on the block. Set apart, however, from all the rest of the pile, was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn, but priced very high -- it was discouragement!"

Someone asked the devil, 'why is that one priced so high?' He replied, 'Ah, that one is more useful to me than all the rest. With it I can pry open a man's heart and enter, when I cannot get near him with any other tools. Once inside, I can lead him any way I choose. The tool is very worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.'"

The enemy loves to sow discouragement -- but believers have a tool much more powerful -- encouragement! We can speak a word into the lives of those who desperately need to hear it: to the college student adjusting to his new environment; to the missionary who may feel alone in the harvest field; to the disillusioned newlywed young couple; to the forgotten servants of God who labor in an obscure and difficult ministry; to the orphans and the widows; to all those who need to hear a word in due season!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be the people that You would have us to be. Help us not give into the schemes of the Devil. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Are you drying up with idleness?

Isaiah 58:11 (ESV)
And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.

One of the great marvels of the Roman Empire was the invention of the aqueduct system to provide water over vast distances. It was an absolutely ingenious method which made use of gravity, with stone arches to support the water channels. An aqueduct was built in 109 AD which carried water to the city of Segovia for eighteen hundred years. For nearly sixty generations this aqueduct provided cool water from the mountains above. But fairly recently, it collapsed.

A well-intentioned citizen, observing the ancient structure, remarked, "This aqueduct is so great a marvel that it ought to be preserved for our children, as a museum piece. We shall relieve it of its centuries-long labor." So the city decided to construct a modern water system with iron pipes to carry the water, intending to give the aqueduct a long-deserved rest. What they failed to realize, of course, was that attempting to preserve the aqueduct by stopping the flow of water through it, assured its rapid disintegration! As the sun beat down on the now dry mortar and stone, the centuries old structure quickly began to fall apart. Amazingly, nearly two millennia of service would not accomplish the destructive work of less than a century of idleness!

This story ought to really encourage us in Kingdom work...since, continuing to allow Jesus’ living water to flow through us, we are constantly renewed and preserved, rather than drying up with idleness.

Dear Lord, help us to stay focused and busy for You. Help us not become idle and useless where we will fall apart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Are you carrying potatoes?

Mark 11:25 (ESV)
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

I read a powerful anecdote and we wanted to share it.

"One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person we'd refuse to forgive in our life, we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.

We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a mushy nasty slime. The hassle of lugging this stinking thing around with us made it clear what a foul and heavy weight we were carrying spiritually."

When we won't forgive others, we're really only hurting ourselves. Let's let go of all our unforgiveness and release all our "potatoes" to the Lord. We need to get free so that we are able to do great things for Him!

Dear Lord, help us have an attitude of forgiveness. Help us not carry a grudge against those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's your spiritual temperature today?

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (ESV)
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[a] for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Charles Spurgeon was a minister often accused of being "controversial". One day a friend of Spurgeon's remarked, "So, I hear you are in hot water again."

"No, I'm not the one in hot water," Spurgeon answered. "The other fellows are. I'm the man who makes the water boil!"

We're living in amazing times. Wars are being waged. Prophecy is being fulfilled. And what are we doing exactly?

More than ever before, we should be focusing on the condition of our heart before the Lord and in prayer for God to open the eyes of the blind. We should be talking about the truth of Messiah daily with those who don't yet know Him. Who cares if people think it's controversial? This is not the time to care what people think of us! This is the time to get the water boiling!

What's your spiritual temperature today? Is it causing anybody to boil? Good! There's so much work to be done!

Dear Lord, as we live in these days help us be working for You to bring the lost into the kingdom. Help us not be luke warm bur hot today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Are your roots deep?

Jeremiah 42:10-12 (ESV)
10 If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. 12 I will grant you mercy that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land.

As we read Scripture sometimes it can hit us pretty hard.  I believe there are words for all of us here.

God has called each of us to something specific and He wants to plant us in a way that our roots can grow deep in Him and in that particular calling. He wants us to become solely dependent on His nourishment there, that we might grow to be strong, solid leaders with the capacity to serve and guide those around us who are in need where He's called us.

The Lord warns us about being double-minded. We're double-minded when become too busy to seek God's will for lives and the empowerment to fulfill it. We're double-minded when we allow our fear and anxiety to get in the way of us getting to and staying in that place to which He's called us.

Let's not run from the Lord. He has so many blessings for those who seek Him and follow after Him whole-heartedly. Let's give our all to Him today and strive to be single minded in His calling upon our lives!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are always there to lead us and guide us. Help us be stead fast as we read Your word so that we may be the people You have for us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Let's master our tongues!

Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.

We talk a lot, don't we? But do we really say anything important? Let us consider some of the greatest words known to mankind.

The Declaration of Independence -- 300 words. The Gettysburg Address -- 266. The Lord's Prayer -- 56 words. Jesus' words to us, the great commission, "Go ye" -- only 2 words!

On the other hand, not long ago, the U.S. government issued an order setting the price of cabbage -- 26,911 words!

Let's master our tongues! With it we can speak life, blessing, and encouragement to all those around us today!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would get a handle on our tongue and use our words in a manner that would bring honor to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Let's rededicate our lives to the Lord

Proverbs 16: (ESV)
When a man's ways please the Lord,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

A young reporter approached an old man on his 100th birthday. "Happy birthday, kind Sir! Can I bother you to answer one question? In all your years, of what are you most proud?" he asked.

"Well," said the man, "I don't have a single enemy in the world."

"Really?!" shouted the reporter, "That's just incredible -- how inspiring to us all!"

"Yep," added the centenarian, "outlived every one of 'em."

Sadly, each of us has acquired an enemy or two in our lives. While it's our human nature to find fault in others and make an occasional unnecessary enemy, sometimes it has nothing to do with us! What can we do to make peace with enemies like those?

"He" is the operating word in the verse above. He, that is, the Lord, makes even enemies be at peace with him. All we have to worry about is making sure that our ways are pleasing to the Lord and He will do the rest!

When our path is straight, and God is the focus of our journey, then our ways will please Him and He will make even our enemies be at peace with us.

Let's rededicate our lives to the Lord again today and see Him bring the victory.

Dear Lord, we pray that as we journey along the way help us keep our eyes on You. We thank You in advanced for the victory that we can have in You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Do you want the fullness of the Spirit in your life?

Luke 24:49 (ESV)
And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Knowing He was about to depart, Jesus left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait...for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term...

What would have happened if they had left after the 4th day? Or the 6th day? Or the 9th day? They would have missed the promise and the amazing blessing that came with it. But those 120 believers stayed - they stayed and pressed in until the Holy Spirit came!

Do you want the fullness of the Spirit in your life? Continue pressing on. Wait with relentless faith and patience. Perseverance is often the critical factor in receiving the promises of God. Our Lord will fulfill every good promise in His perfect time.

Dear Lord, help us to continue to press on. Help us be faithful as we serve You. In The Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Established our foundation upon the ROCK

Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Here in Florida we always have the chance of being hit by a tropical storm or hurricane during the summer months. Back in 2004 we were hit by 4 hurricanes and we were very thankful that our house was built to the standards that were set so it would stand strong even in the storms.

In this passage, Jesus is talking to Jews, of course. They were familiar with the rain and how vigorously it comes down these seasons. They knew not to build their houses on sand -- or else they would quickly collapse when the rains came!

The Lord is warning us about building our houses on weak ground. He knew that stormy seasons would come and He wants us to be prepared! We don't want to be one of the many whose houses will collapse because they were built on fame, fortune and other things of this world. We must be careful to build our house only upon Him. Even building our houses upon seemingly innocent things like family, tradition and good works is dangerous. We want to be of those who've established our foundation upon the ROCK of the truth of His Word and who will be able to weather the coming storms because of it!

Are there storms raging about you today? Let's completely built our life upon the Rock.

Dear Lord, help us to focus on building our life upon You. So that when the storms of life come we can stand firm. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Build with care

1 Corinthians 3:10 (ESV)
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. His contractor was sorry to see such a good employee go, and asked him if he would build just one last house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed but his heart was not in it. He resorted to bad workmanship and using cheap materials.

When the carpenter finished his work, the contractor came over and handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done for me all these years and I’d like you to have this house as a token of my gratitude.”

The carpenter was shocked! If only he had only known he was building his own house, he would have worked much harder! Now he owned a house that wasn’t built very well.

We should think of ourselves as carpenters and our lives here on earth, as our house. Each day we hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall, we must build with care! It is the only life we will ever build. And what we do here will count for eternity!

Our lives today are the result of our attitudes and choices in the past. Our lives tomorrow will be the result of our attitudes and the choices we make today! Let’s build to the best of our ability. 

Dear Lord, we pray today that we would take what you have given to use and do our very best to build the life You have for us. IN the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Would you shine shoes?

Matthew 6:4 (ESV)
So that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I came across this very powerful story about one of the most influential men of God in my life, D.L.Moody, the book is named A Call to Excellence by Gary Inrig.

A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody's Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.

Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world's only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret.

When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret.
I don’t know about you but I'm humbled, how about you? Many of us want to be great ministers for the Lord. We want our names and our works to be remembered. But let's never forget the true ministry of the Lord. Not only would have Jesus shined those shoes in secret, He would have returned to wash their feet too!

Have you been asking the Lord to use you? Here you have it! Shine some one's dingy shoes, give a gift to someone in need, love on someone hard to love -- but don't tell the world -- do it in secret! You can be sure that the Lord sees these things! And He will open up more opportunities for you to do even greater things for Him! Guess what -- there's so much work to be done!

Dear Lord, open our eyes to ways that we can be a servant for you. Help u snot look for the recognition for ourselves but for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Emptied of the world and Full of His pwer

Luke 11:13 (ESV)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "These infillings went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."

D.L Moody said, "I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."

Let's get right with the Lord today. Let's set aside some time to get before Him and empty ourselves of the world's influences and our selfish ways that we might be filled with His power and anointing! There's so much work to be done!

Dear Lord, help us empty our self of the things of this world so that we may be completely filled by You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Accomplishing more than we ever could have imagined!

Philippians 3:14-15 (ESV)
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

When Paul wrote to the Philippian church he spoke of pressing forward for the prize of the high calling. Though he was physically content whether rich or poor, the apostle was not content with his spiritual condition, but constantly seeking a deeper, more intimate and fruitful walk with the Lord. Paul had great expectations for his own lifetime, and he accomplished tremendous things, yet if he'd known while writing his epistles that they would edify the lives of billions of people for 2000 years, I think he'd be saying to himself, "This I could never even have imagined!"

D.L. Moody once said; "We honor God when we ask for great things. It is a humiliating thing to think that we are satisfied with very small results."

Why do we honor God when we ask for great things, or expect more from Him? Simply because He is great, far greater than we can imagine, but also because we are made in His image. His greatness is glorified by what He performs through our lives. If we desire great things, it's because we're reflecting His awesome nature. It is in us by nature to seek more and greater things -- just as Paul and D.L Moody did. We should not be ashamed of it when our motives are pure, because our Lord will be glorified all the more. Not seeking fame or fortune, but the glory of Jesus crucified and risen, will be a lifetime of pressing forward, and accomplishing more than we ever could have imagined!

Allow your mind and your heart to think and to dream of great accomplishments for our Lord.

Dear Lord, we ask for great things and look forward to how You are going to fulfill more than we could imagine. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Read, hear, apply and live the Word

Romans 10:17 (ESV)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

D.L. Moody spent many hours praying for faith. He once said, "If all the time I have spent praying for faith was put together, it would be months. I thought that someday faith was going to come down and strike me like lightening. But faith did not come. Then one day I read in the 10th chapter of Romans, "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." I now opened my Bible and began to read God's Word and faith has been growing ever since."

Much of what believers describe as 'faith' has nothing to do with Biblical faith. Our faith must not be based on emotion, or want, and not on the latest Christian seminar. But it must be centered on God's Word, on Messiah, His death and resurrection, His salvation. The Living Word is the eternal, everlasting love of God which has been poured out upon our lives.

Read, hear, apply and live the Word, and you will grow strong in faith.

Dear Lord, give us the strength to read, apply and live the Word that You have given us. Help to stay in Your word daily. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Burning to put God's promises to work

2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

I read this story tonight and it got me thinking.

When a power plant in a tiny village in Alaska caught fire one evening, a local fire truck stood, unused, in perfectly working condition as the plant burnt to the ground. Damage to the plant was great. And why did this state of the art firetruck go unused? So sad... simply nobody in the town knew how to operate it.

It made me think. Amidst the everyday fires we face in our lives, God has given us precious, perfectly good working, state of the art promises. Unfortunately, it seems that either we are ignorant of them or fail to know how to operate them!

D.L. Moody says that many of the promises God has given to His people, to us, "seem to be pretty pictures of an ideal peace and rest, but are not appropriated as practical helps in daily life. And not one of these promises is more neglected that the assurance of salvation. An open Bible places them within reach of all, and we may appropriate the blessing which such a knowledge brings.”

Are you burning to put God's promises to work in your life today?? I know I am! Let's get into God's Word, get to know the depth of His commitment to us, and put His wonderful promises to action! The fires are raging and there's so much work to be done!

Dear Lord, help us be on fire for You. Help us dig into Your Word so that we may know what You have for each of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Encouragement for Sunday School teachers.

Matthew 25:21 (ESV)
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

In the mid 1850's a troubled teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts moved to Boston to try to find work. He hadn't gone to school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, his grammar was awful and his manners were brash and crude. Thankfully, an uncle took him on as a shoe salesman--on condition that he be obedient and that he attend church.

The boy had been raised in a Unitarian church which denied the full divinity of Messiah and did not emphasize human need for salvation from sins. At his uncle's church, he began learning about these things, but decided that he wanted to enjoy the pleasures of the world and wait until just before he died to give His life to the Lord. However, through the kindness and persistence of his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, the rebellious teen was encouraged to continue coming to church and study the Bible regularly. Kimball said he had never seen anyone whose mind was as spiritually dark.

On April 21, 1855, Kimball decided to pay a special visit to the boy at his uncle's shoe store in order to ask if he would commit his life to the Lord. The boy listened closely and gave his heart to God that day. Immediately he began sharing his faith with others. Later, the young man moved to Chicago. He wandered the streets to find other young boys to bring to his Church. He had a passion for saving souls and determined never to let a day pass without telling someone about the gospel. The boy's name was D.L. Moody....and he became a great man of faith.

Among his many achievements on either side of the Atlantic was the founding of Moody Bible Institute. In fact, to this day, Moody Bible Institute and the Moody Broadcasting Network continue to reach thousands of souls on a daily basis! It was estimated that before D.L. Moody passed away that as many as a million souls were brought to the Lord.

What a testimony Moody's is! But we overlook the fact that it was a faithful Sunday school teacher's obedience and persistence that changed the course of history! We may think we are doing very little for the Lord... that we're merely teaching a few kids at Sunday school. But the Lord can use anyone in His service -- those whose hearts are given to Him.

Be an Edward Kimball -- reach out and touch someone today for Him -- through one touch, you may be touching future millions.

Dear Lord, we thank You for our Sunday School teachers today. We thank You that they take the time to study and share Your great love with those You bring to their class. Continue to bless them. In The Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Become an intercessor

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (ESV)
4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Most people have never heard of "Auntie Cooke", but I guarantee you that you'll get to know her in glory!  She arrived in Chicago in 1868 as a perfect stranger, but she immediately became involved in D.L. Moody's church when he was just thirty-one years old.  She described him years later, as a 'diamond in the rough', and someone who needed the divine unction and power.

During a camp meeting in 1871, she felt an intense burden to pray for Moody.  So, along with her friend, Miss Hawxhurst, Auntie Cooke began praying for him that he'd be filled with the anointing power of the Holy Spirit.  While Moody was unsure of this need, nevertheless, he asked the two ladies to meet with him every Friday afternoon and they began to earnestly pray.  Moody's hunger increased for the power of the Spirit and the Friday before the Great Chicago Fire, Ms. Cooke testified, "Mr. Moody's agony was so great that he rolled on the floor and in the midst of many tears and groans cried to God to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire."

It was shortly thereafter that Moody went to New York to raise funds for the rebuilding of the church that was destroyed in the fire.  While walking down Wall Street in New York, Moody was hit with power! In fact, Moody recalled how he cried, "Hold, Lord, it is enough!" Throughout his life, he reluctantly talked about that experience, but Moody testified how this was the turning point in his ministry.

Moody stated, "I went to preaching again, the sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world."

The lasting legacy of D.L. Moody's ministry was connected to two ladies that most will never read stories about.  Do you want to have a lasting legacy?  Become an intercessor!

Power only comes through prayer – and without any power – how are we going to change the world?

Dear Lord, help us to be people of prayer. Help us take the time each day to earnestly pray for those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Successful walk with the Lord

Romans 12:1 (ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

D.L. Moody tells a story about having heard Pastor Henry Varley once say that, "The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him."

As Moody pondered the pastor's words, He realized something. Pastor Varley did not say that God would use an intelligent person. He didn't say an educated person, nor did he say a person who was ultimately gifted. What the wise pastor said was that the person with whom God will work with and for and through will be the person "who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him".

This radically changed Moody's ministry.  God isn’t looking for people with amazing minds or hands or voices or computer skills. He’s not looking for those who are wearing the nicest suits or dresses at church. And He’s not looking for the people with the highest grade point averages at the local Christian College. What God is really looking for, are people who are simply sold out for Him!

One of the great secrets to a successful walk with the Lord, is understanding total commitment to Jesus. But being totally committed requires us to daily take up our cross -- leave the past behind us -- and despite all the obstacles the enemy tries to throw in our path, press forward for the Lord and His work! Let's consecrate ourselves to the Lord again today.

Dear Lord, help us work on being successful. Help us be totally committed to You in all that we do. In The Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Does the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on you.

Luke 11:13 (ESV)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

D.L. Moody has been influential in my personal life.  Since attending Moody Bible Institute in the 80’s I have studied and read about his life and ministry in the 1800's. One of the stories I read was about how D.L. Moody was preparing to lead a revival throughout England to which an elderly pastor protested and said, "Why do we need this 'Mr. Moody'? He's uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?"

A younger, yet wiser pastor stood up and responded, "No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody."

Do you truly want to be monopolized by the Holy Spirit? Let's face it -- the degree of fullness of the Spirit of God is in direct proportion to the intensity of our true desire. The reality of the spirit-filled life is -- we have as much of God as we truly want.

Let's allow the Holy Spirit to monopolize our lives and in doing so -- we'll be empowered to do the great things God has called us to do in these days!

Dear Lord, Help us let You monopolize our life and the things that we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

There's so much work to do.

Philippians 2:13 (ESV)
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

God used D.L. Moody in a mighty way. Even though he only had an 8th grade education he changed the world for the better. Thousands have come to the Lord through his ministry and the fruit has remained much after his passing.

Some of you have heard of R.A. Torrey, an equally anointed man who worked closely with Moody and knew him well. He gave a sermon illustrating the seven reasons for Moody's great anointing and success for the Lord and I wanted to share these with you. My wife was moved to tears of conviction when we read them last night.

1. Moody was a fully surrendered man, he held nothing back from the Lord (...they loved not their lives unto the death. -- Revelation 12:11).
2. He was a man of much prayer (Pray without ceasing. -- 1 Thes. 5:17).
3. He was a deep and practical student of the Bible (Study to shew thyself approved unto God... -- 2 Timothy 2:15).
4. He was a humble man (Be not wise in your own conceits... -- Romans 12:16).
5. He was not a lover of money (For the love of money is the root of all evil... -- 1 Timothy 6:10).
6. He had a consuming passion for the salvation of the lost (Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
-- Mark 16:15).
7. And he was endued with Power from on High (... until ye be endued with power from on high. -- Luke 24:49).

If we want to bear much lasting fruit for the Lord, I think this is a surefire way to go about it. I know my heart is convicted, how about yours?

Let's strive to look at these areas of our lives and ask the Lord to empower us to make good changes! There's so much work to be done!!

Dear Lord, we pray that you would give us the power to make good changes in this world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Be the light in the darkness.

Matthew 5:15-17 (ESV)
15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

D. L. Moody told the story of a man who was crossing the Atlantic by ship. He was terribly sick and confined to his cabin. One night he heard the cry “Man overboard!” He felt that there was nothing he could do to help, but at second thought, he said to himself, “I guess I can at least put my lantern in the porthole.” He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it shined out into the darkness.

The next day he learned that the person who was rescued said, “I was going down in the dark night for the last time, when someone put a light in a porthole. As it shone on my hand, a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in."

All of us have weaknesses -- and times of weakness. The fact of the matter is, though, that weak or not, we need to muster up the strength to put our lights in our portholes for the sake of the dying and the lost among us. It’s so tempting to sulk in our weaknesses, and stay in our beds -- but God expects more of us. He has given us the strength to do all things -- even move mountains! There are so many people around us sinking in despair. But God has chosen us to reach out and light up their lives!

Let's do something extraordinary for the Lord today. Be bold, speak up! Let’s get beyond our weaknesses and light up the darkness around us!

Dear Lord, help us do something extraordinary for You today. Give us the strength to be what You want us to be today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

How many spiritually dead neighbors do you have?

Psalm 85:6-7 (ESV)
6 Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

D.L. Moody was on vacation in England from his ministry in Chicago. At one point during his sabbatical there, a local pastor prevailed upon Moody to speak at his parish church. So D.L. went to preach the next Sunday morning. That afternoon he recorded in his journal that it was the deadest crowd he had ever seen and the only thing worse than preaching to those people was that he had promised to speak again the same night.

But that night, midway through his sermon something happened. The people started to come to life, and Moody felt compelled to ask if anyone would like to become a Christian. Many people stood up. He was taken aback, "Maybe you don't understand what I am asking. So when we are dismissed if you want to become a Christian come over to this little room and meet with me." When the service was over, D.L went to the room and it was packed; and many became believers.

Now he was on vacation, and so next day, Moody boarded a train for Ireland...but the Lord had other plans. Disembarking in Ireland he found a message awaiting him, "Come back. Revival has broken out." So Moody returned to the church and preached for 10 straight nights and over 400 people came to the Lord. Moody was perplexed. How could he have known that an 80 year old widow named Mary Ann Adeland had read one of his sermons in the newspaper and begun praying every day that God would bring D.L. Moody to her church?

We might well wonder what this thing is about prayer...especially prayer in the secret place. How does it work? Why does it work? A little old widow's love and concern for her spiritually dead neighbors inspires her to pray relentlessly and specifically, and the vacation plans of a great revivalist are adjusted for a local harvest, a God- orchestrated vacation revival for D.L. Moody, right in her home town! Believers pray because they love, and little passionate souls like Mary Ann Adeland are hidden gems in the Lord's crown. How many spiritually dead neighbors do you have?

Dear Lord, we pray that we would have our eyes open for those around us that need Your love. Help us pray for them that their hearts will be softened to hear Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Accustomed to our blessings

Numbers 11:6 (ESV)
But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.

I am a big Keith Green fan. He sang a great song about the children of Israel in the wilderness complaining to Moses that they "Wannna go back to Egypt".

In our verse, God had been sending Manna from heaven to feed them. You would think that the Israelites would remain in awe of how God kept raining down this special heavenly delicacy that was able to feed thousands and thousands of people. But after a while it just became commonplace, even boring. Every morning they would witness God's miraculous provision right before their very eyes, yet they wanted something else, something better!

At times, even we can get accustomed to our blessings so quickly, can't we?!

Emerson said that if the stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay up all night to behold them. But we have seen the stars so often that we don't even bother to look anymore!

Let's be sure not to take God's provisions lightly though we see them on a daily basis!

Let's examine our hearts today, and purpose to appreciate the goodness of God's provision upon our lives. Truly, we are blessed and we thank you Lord for your goodness!

Dear Lord, help us not get accustom to the things around us. Help us always be thankful for the things You have done for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen