VIDEO The Future – How to Seek the Holy Spirit

Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Peter Drucker said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.”

But wait!

We know “that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1), and there will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6). Just as the world reaches a crisis point, Jesus will come to rapture His people (1 Thessalonians 4:16). A man of evil will arise who will exalt “himself above all that is called God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will establish a treaty with Israel, but after three and a half years he will break it (Daniel 9:27). He will then set up his image in the rebuilt Jewish temple, which will spark the Great Tribulation. Just when the Antichrist seems about to destroy Israel, Jesus will return (Zechariah 14:4). Christ will reign on earth a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Then God will welcome His children into the new heaven and the new earth, and the eternal city (Revelation 21:1-2). “Thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Who says you can’t know the future?

Prophecy is important to God, and He desires for us to understand His plans. David Jeremiah


How to Seek the Holy Spirit – John Piper

Right Beside You

The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him. Deuteronomy 4:7

Each day at a post office in Jerusalem, workers sort through piles of undeliverable letters in an attempt to guide each to its recipient. Many end up in a specially marked box labeled “Letters to God.”

About a thousand such letters reach Jerusalem each year, addressed simply to God or Jesus. Puzzled by what to do with them, one worker began taking the letters to Jerusalem’s Western Wall to have them placed between its stone blocks with other written prayers. Most of the letters ask for a job, a spouse, or good health. Some request forgiveness, others just offer thanks. One man asked God if his deceased wife could appear in his dreams because he longed to see her again. Each sender believed God would listen, if only He could be reached.

The Israelites learned much as they journeyed through the wilderness. One lesson was that their God wasn’t like the other gods known at the time—distant, deaf, geographically bound, reached only by lengthy pilgrimage or international mail. No, “the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him” (Deuteronomy 4:7). What other people could claim that? This was revolutionary news!

God doesn’t live in Jerusalem. He’s close by us, wherever we are. Some still need to discover this radical truth. If only each of those letters could be sent the reply: God is right beside you. Just talk to Him.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

God’s accessibility to us is a profound gift. How can you avoid taking it for granted? Who in your life needs to know of God’s readiness to hear their prayer?

God, You are bigger than the universe yet closer than a breath. Thank You for being so interested in us, attending to every prayer.

Where the Battles Are Won

Matthew 26:36-56

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wrestled with the knowledge that He would die on the cross, bearing the weight of our sin and being spiritually separated from the Father.

Jesus got alone before the Father and cried out. And when He left that garden, He walked out with calm resolve. Jesus would still drink the cup of suffering and separation, but He knew that in the end, He would triumph (Heb. 12:2). That’s why He could face the cross, the beatings, and the humiliation. When Jesus went to confront the arresting party, He was ready—so much so that the Pharisees and soldiers “drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6). He allowed them to arrest Him, determined to do His Father’s will.

We, too, can come to know God’s heart and mind when we’re in the habit of regularly spending time alone with Him. Then as difficult decisions come, we’ll be better prepared to discern His will.

When we fully surrender to the Father’s plan, we put our decision-making into the hands of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God, who holds the past, present, and future. Even in staggering trials, you can move forward with courage and power that will glorify Him.

Showers of Blessing for Us

“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

This verse provided the inspiration for the old gospel hymn “Showers of Blessing.” While it applies specifically to Israel, it states a divine principle that believers of all times have rightly appropriated to their own lives. The same word (“showers”) is also frequently translated “rain,” speaking of the rain that followed Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal at the end of the three-year drought. “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain” (1 Kings 18:41).

In general, the word is most commonly used to indicate very heavy rains. In fact, its first occurrence is in connection with the great Flood. “The rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:12). This rain had poured forth from the windows (literally “sluiceways”) of heaven, and it provides an impressive picture of the tremendous showers of blessing that God desires to pour down on His people.

In the context of our key verse, the promised showers follow the condition of the preceding verses: “And I the Lord will be their God,…And I will make with them a covenant of peace” (Ezekiel 34:24-25). The greatest blessings of God, accordingly, must follow the knowledge of God and the peace of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.

No doubt the greatest of all spiritual blessings, at least in this life, is the inspired Word of God, and the same word is so used: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud….So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). HMM

Unanswered Prayers

She ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

—Psalm 5:1-2

 

If unanswered prayer continues in a congregation over an extended period of time, the chill of discouragement will settle over the praying people. If we continue to ask and ask and ask, like petulant children, never expecting to get what we ask for but continuing to whine for it, we will become chilled within our beings.

If we continue in our prayers and never get answers, the lack of results will tend to confirm the natural unbelief of our hearts. Remember this: the human heart by nature is filled with unbelief….

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that our failures in prayer leave the enemy in possession of the field. The worst part about the failure of a military drive is not the loss of men or the loss of face but the fact that the enemy is left in possession of the field. In the spiritual sense, this is both a tragedy and a disaster. The devil ought to be on the run, always fighting a rear guard action. Instead, this blasphemous enemy smugly and scornfully holds his position, and the people of God let him have it. No wonder the work of the Lord is greatly retarded. Little wonder the work of God stands still!   FBR036-037

Lord, show me Your power today. Increase my faith. Don’t ever let the enemy claim any territory because of my doubt and unbelief. Amen.

 

An Obligation to Adore

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God.

—Psalm 95:6-7

 

If the Holy Spirit should come again upon us as in earlier times, visiting church congregations with the sweet but fiery breath of Pentecost, we would be greater Christians and holier souls….

Men and women continue to try to persuade themselves that there are many forms and ways that seem right in worship. But God in His revelation has told us that He is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. God takes the matter of worship out of the hands of men and puts it in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

It is impossible for any of us to worship God without the impartation of the Holy Spirit. It is the operation of the Spirit of God within us that enables us to worship God acceptably through that Person we call Jesus Christ, who is Himself God. So worship originates with God and comes back to us and is reflected from us, as a mirror. God accepts no other kind of worship. WHT044-045

[God] is the Being whom we are under the greatest obligations to adore, because He is supremely adorable: a Being whom we are under the greatest obligations to love, because He is infinitely lovely. DTC086

 

Our Words and God’s Word

Romans 1:17

It is a source of joy to remember that in the midst of our humanity God’s word breaks in on our words and grips us in a way that human words do not.

Our initial relationship to the Bible is that of faith. By faith we accept the Bible as the Word of God to us. I have a simple definition for faith which has been helpful to me through the years. Faith is taking everything you know about yourself and committing it to everything you know about God. Every time we pick up the Bible to read it, we are acting on faith.

Martin Luther’s life well illustrates this commitment of faith. Luther, above all, wanted to find God, and he began his journey as a monk, trusting falsely in salvation by works. In 1510 he traveled to Rome by foot, a distance of 800 miles, and in the basilica of St. John Lateran he ascended on his knees the sacred stairs believed to have been trod by Jesus in Jerusalem. Surely, he thought, he would find God in Rome by such acts of contrition. But Luther left Rome a disappointed and disillusioned man. He next turned to scholasticism, and then to ruminations about the doctrine of election, still without assurance.

But in 1514, reading in Romans, his eyes fell on 1:17: “The righteous will live by faith.” Luther’s tortured pilgrimage ended. All was settled. He knew himself as a child of God by grace. God’s Word spoke to him clearly through the Bible. Luther came to know both himself and his Christ through the Word of God, and he was obedient to that Word.

The heart of our relationship to the Bible is our realization that Jesus Christ is the center of Scripture and the focus of the Christian faith. The lasting value of the written Word, the Bible, is that it points as an everlasting sign to the enfleshed Word, Jesus Christ, the center of Scripture.

What results from our relationship with the Bible? One word will do—obedience. The sure mark of the Christian is not spirituality. Martin Luther and John Wesley demonstrated intense spirituality before they were saved. The clear sign that we are Christians is that we obey the Word of God. William Booth wrote:

“I want to see a new translation of the Bible into the hearts and conduct of men and women.”

We approach the Bible by faith. The heart of our relationship to the Bible rests in the recognition that Jesus Christ is the central Word in God’s Word. And the result of our relationship to the Bible is to act out obediently and ethically the mandate of that Word.

Roger J. Green, The Salvationist Pulpit