Expect a Miracle

At any moment in time there must be multitudes of people who expect a miracle to manifest in their lives.  Each circumstance is different, but oh! so equally important.

Would some expect a miracle of healing from God after fervent prayer, while others place their trust in a team of doctors?  Do miracles manifest with or without any human expectation?

I think so.  For instance, our planet earth is spinning around the sun at an astounding speed of  18.5 miles/sec (30 km.sec).  Even more shocking is the fact that earth is rotating at 1000 mph (1600 km/hr) near the equator without any person or object flying off into outer space!  Gravity is a miracle that I have come to expect.  I don’t pray or hope for it, as it has existed for millennium.  However, just because I don’t expect it doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.

Are you expecting a miracle today? – Perhaps a miracle to land that “perfect” job? Rather than adopt, some barren parents might be praying to conceive a child when the doctors have given no hope.  In medical circles, that would qualify as a miracle.

Whatever miracle you are expecting today, consider that a miracle is likely the glory of God revealed.  Wait for it patiently.

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I pray God gives you favor and that you receive the miracle you expect.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. ~ Romans 8:19 NIV

God’s blessings and thank you for visiting

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Pray for Ourselves

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Do we forget to pray for ourselves?  Most believers have a prayer list that includes the lost, the sick, the dying, the hungry, the poor and needy; but where do we ourselves fit into that list?

Shockingly, when I thought about this recently, I realized that I have not prayed for myself in some time.  I do not mean praying for forgiveness of sin, or coming to God in prayer with a repentant heart.  No, I mean, I forget to pray for my own needs on a regular basis.

So what?  Here is the thing: my relationship with my Heavenly Father suffers.  He wants to do many good things for me, but first I must ask.

A very strange thing happened about four months ago.  I was in a church service on the birth date of a family member and responded to the altar call at the end of the service.  I went forward for prayer that God would bless me and that God would open doors causing astonishing things to happen in my life.

Within a few short months that same relative was diagnosed with cancer and asked me to visit during the cancer treatments to lend support.  I did go; and we have basically been supportive of each other ever since; but I did not make the connection at all that this may be God’s answer to my altar call prayer.  Probably because it was a door that I least expected that God would open.  Only recently did I connect the dots to the birth date of my relative being the same date that I went forward to pray for myself in church.  So the take away for me is that when I pray mostly for others and not for myself, I am very far from knowing God’s plan for my life or His calling upon me.

Praying for myself will draw me nearer to God – not praying for others (although I believe that intercessory prayer is truly His calling upon me).  I cannot be led by the Holy Spirit to know God’s will for me unless I draw closer to Him in this manner.

Frankly, I am astonished at the rapid changes in my life in just the past four months – and all I did was pray for myself.  If we ask God to open doors of His choosing, it’s a pretty good bet that He will give us a very important job.

For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” ~ Acts 13: 47 NIV

Ultimately, if we answer His calling, and walk through the open doors of His choosing, each of us really needs prayer to be equipped to perform God’s will.  So let’s not forget to pray for ourselves.  Amen brethren?

Thank you for following importantstuff.live.

 

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The Crying Days

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Everyone has them, and most of us just want them to end.  For me, that is not happening; so I am left with a journey I call “living through the crying days”.  At least I am not traveling this road alone.  Jesus fights my battles for me when I think to ask Him, and the Holy Spirit consoles me as the tears flow.

Whether illness, grief, loneliness, or unwelcome burdens – sometimes one can only cry.  Our Heavenly Father knew this, of course, before He even created the cosmos.  He lovingly created tears for all broken-hearted souls.  The ancients collected tears in bottles as highly prized keepsakes.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know, for Elohim (Supreme God) is for me. In Elohim will I praise his word: in Yahweh (Self-Existent; Eternal; Jehovah) will I praise his word. In Elohim have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O Elohim: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before Elohim in the light of the living? ~ Psalms 56:8-13 RSB  (Parentheses added)

The act of crying has a bad rep in many circles.  “What good does it do?”  “Just buck up and take it on the chin!”  “Crying doesn’t solve anything!”  But God’s Word is clear:

The prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah in 713 B.C. that Hezekiah would soon die.  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed for mercy:

And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of Yahweh to Isaiah, saying, “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Yahweh, the Elohim of David, thy father, I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.” ~ Isaiah 38:3b-6 RSB

So Almighty God not only added fifteen years to the life of Hezekiah, but He vowed to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of the invading Assyrians and to fight the battle for them.  Wow!  Hezekiah hadn’t even prayed for that!

Our God is SO GOOD!  He promises to one day create a new heaven and a new earth.  There will be no more crying days.

And Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ~ Revelation 21:4 RSB

Today there are reported over 900,000 believers martyred every year on this earth.  These are Crying Days, folks.  Don’t hold back on the prayers or tears for our persecuted brethren suffering for their faith in Christ; for our nation in peril; and for those lost and on their way to eternal outer darkness.  These crying days are the last days before Christ returns.  Pray tearfully for the sick, the dying, the poor and the needy.  Remember to love one another as He loves us and in the words of Jesus, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  Few of us are called upon to make that level of sacrifice, but prayer changes things.  Sincere prayer can even change the will of Almighty God, as we have seen in the case of Hezekiah.

Prayer:  Thank You, Lord, for meeting our every need with your tender Spirit of love and truth; for hearing the prayers of your church; and for noticing tears of the humble being shed during sorrowful days.  We look forward in faith to victory in the Only One Who Fights Our Battles For Us – our Savior and Redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus The Anointed One.  In His Holy Precious Name Above All Names, Amen.

I pray that you are encouraged by God’s Word as you are living through your own crying days – whatever they may be.  God bless you, and thank you for following importantstuff.live.

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Unity|The Great Mystery

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Skyline of downtown New York, New York, USA

Today much of humanity is praying, hoping, and working for peace and unity.  There are many proposed solutions to global unrest; but unity continues to remain a great mystery to most of our world’s leadership.

Unity comes in many forms and shapes.  It is often tagged with titles including peace, freedom, or social reform – just words.  If anyone could solve the Middle East Crisis, avoid a dreadful WWIII, or somehow conquer pestilence and famine; that person would be worshiped as a god by many.  This will actually happen at the end of days during The Great Tribulation, according to Bible prophecy, but what does God’s Word say about our global divisions now?

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ~ Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV

Yes, it is God’s miraculous gift to man who is the answer to all forms of unrest and human division – His name is Jesus Christ (Yeshua in the Hebrew), our Messiah:

For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2: 14-22 NIV

I love the fact that Paul makes it clear that we, too, are mortised right into the walls and foundations of God’s temple.  We will never be separated or divided again, as long as Jesus is our Lord.  That is true unity.  No peace treaty; no two state solution; no “barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.  In Christ’s kingdom, we will have not only one global government but also a global economy that function perfectly in unity; because we will finally have Jesus, our King of Kings to rule with an iron hand against the current chaotic world view of divisive power and greed.

Paul goes on the say in Chapter Three:

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles … Surely you have heard … that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation …This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 3: 1-6 NIV

I can’t make this up, people.  God’s Word is infallible and tells us His almighty solution to man’s sin problem without all the complexity of political deception.  The answer is simply Jesus.  Christ is God’s gift to redeem both the Jews and the Gentiles.  What a crying shame that the world is still unbelieving and nation is still against nation when Jesus already settled this over two thousand years ago at the cross!

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV

So how does being “rooted and established” in the power of God’s love for us bring about unity?

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ~ Ephesians 4:1-5

So it is the unity of the Spirit that holds us together like mortar glues together the stone walls of God’s temple building.  Then why do divisions persist with the church?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4: 14-16 NIV

If we stop chasing after the world but speak the truth in love, we will grow spiritually and experience God’s gift of unity.  God’s solution to global crisis is Jesus. The love of Jesus makes all people fit together perfectly into God’s plan for reconciliation.  Through faith in Jesus, we become one family and no one is excluded if he or she simply believes that Jesus is the true Son of God who gave Himself up to be crucified for man’s sin.  There is no other Name under heaven whereby we shall be redeemed or have eternal peace.

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Please don’t fall for the talk-talk-talk which produces no unifying solutions to world or national problems.  God has already provided the true solution in His Son, Jesus.

Do you feel lost and alone?  Or perhaps confused over world events and how they relate to you?  Does fear, guilt or shame rule over your life?  Are you tired of “looking for love in all the wrong places”?

If so, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your life.  The Holy Spirit will enter your heart and live there forever.  He will guide you in all ways of holiness and righteousness in the eyes of God, the Father.  You will once and for all be reconciled to a right relationship to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

For he says, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV
This is why it is said: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”              ~ Ephesians 5:14

Unity does not have to remain the great mystery to you.  Be saved by the grace of God by faith in Jesus.  It is so simple and requires only a sincere act of confession.

If you are a Christ believer, you can have victory over church divisions by growing in grace the way God intended.  His Spirit power lives within you – just tap into it with prayer and daily study of God’s Word.

May your walk with Christ be guided by His Living Spirit and thank you for following Importantstuff.live!

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Confidence Means Not Backing Down

Today’s Nugget

Somehow your faith is being tested by a situation or circumstance beyond your control or power.  Mine too.  Let’s agree​ to persist in prayer, while pressing into the generosity of our Father as we continue in faith.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” ~Hebrews 10:35-36

Practice Rejoicing

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4 NIV

The Apostle Paul wrote these words in his final message to the church at Philippi from prison.  I have become so negative in the past year I realize that I need to practice rejoicing.  What a difference I can make in God’s kingdom if only I will remember Paul’s message to believers:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:5-7 NIV

On Resurrection Day, the victory belongs to Jesus.  He conquered the grave, and the angels proclaimed to the women who discovered the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid! ” “Do not be afraid!”.

Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and to His disciples later with greetings of “Do not be afraid!” and “Peace be unto you!”.

Today we can rejoice in our faith that Jesus is a Living Savior.  There are no decayed remains of Jesus in a tomb or grave somewhere in Jerusalem. We can rest in the knowledge that God’s Word records a world shattering event when Jesus rose from the darkness of the grave.  Jesus broke the chains of the penalty for our sins, and therefore salvation is free to all who believe in Him.  Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven today.  PRAISE GOD FOR SO GREAT SALVATION!

Even though the church is under attack  and believers suffer persecution for following Christ (over 900,000 Christians killed per year); don’t let anyone steal your joy as you observe Resurrection Day.  Celebrate the fullness of life in Jesus with family and friends and remain steadfast in your faith that Jesus is Risen.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

“I will practice, Lord.  I will practice rejoicing and enjoy your gift of peace.”

Thank you for following importantstuff.live!

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Humble Pie on the Rocks

How long will I continue to indulge in airing my grievances about the cares of this world?  A strange and uneasy feeling has crept into my heart lately that I am as much a part of the social unrest in our nation as anyone in post-election America.

How can this be?  I did my best to be informed on national issues.  I compared candidates’ views.  I prayed, cried, cheered, posted and commented.  I voted.

And the outcome?  The once silent majority has spoken and that suits me fine.  Then I gloated.  I ate humble pie on the rocks.

That is not the same as humbly giving glory to God for answered prayer.  The outcome could have just as easily gone the opposite of my own hopes.  It didn’t, so what is my problem?

Election Reflection:  There seems to be a nationwide obsessive need to analyze, criticize (and in some cases), condemn others of opposite views.  How did I fall into that worldly abyss?  I fell prey by caring too much about what Jesus warned us about in Luke 21:31-36.  I watched (fearfully) the vengeful, hateful and shocking post-election public protests of the past few days and thought in my heart, “Thank God I don’t feel that way,” and other sanctimonious thoughts I am too ashamed to share.  I didn’t realize until this morning that my opinions do not stand up to God’s instruction in His Word – even when it seems that my motives are consistent with “Christian” views.  This came about as I prepared to re-share a wondrous scripture post on social media that shockingly contained venomous remarks about others in the comments section; coming from what I can only assume are believing Christians.  What in this world are we thinking?  I sadly did not share the post and am on my guard in future against sharing any message that links hate to The Gospel of Christ.

I am not demeaning the importance of a believer’s call to stand up for justice and what is right.  The problem is a crushing reality that I do not know God’s plan other than what He has revealed in His Word.  His plans for our nation in particular are either not mentioned in the Bible or are veiled in mysterious symbolism.  Perhaps it will become clear in the future; perhaps not.  Regardless, until Jesus returns and governs in His perfect way, none of what man does to self-govern will ever achieve peace.  There will always be division and major differences of opinion between groups of people on the earth. My thoughts are to continue to pray for our new leadership; that all governing members will seek the wise counsel of our Father in heaven before any and all actions whether domestic or foreign.  I turn my thoughts away now, and embrace:

Maranatha!  Maranatha!

Read Isaiah 55:6-13.

I can aspire to humility but not lay claim to it without remembering the holy words of Almighty God that bring me low:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Verse 13 describes my thoughts. They have been mostly of the thorn-bush and briers.

History has shown that Jesus came to earth to save mankind almost 2,000 years ago at a time when the Roman Empire ruled most of the known world.  Roman rule was brutal, pagan, terrible, and even the instrument of Christ’s own crucifixion… yet history also shows that The Gospel of Good News spread victoriously like wildfire throughout the world on Roman roads and trade ships that networked three major continents.  That would not have happened had not God allowed Roman rule at exactly the time of Christ’s appearance on the world scene.

No, I do not know God’s thoughts or plans but I do know that He deserves my praise and thanks for blessing our nation for over 200 years.  I have strong faith that He is not giving up on America just yet.  He always redeems even a remnant of people who believe on His Name.

My prayer“Change me, Lord, and grow juniper and myrtle thoughts within me for Your Glory!  Forgive my prideful thoughts and actions and stir up Your powerful Holy Spirit in me to love all people like Jesus did.  Help me to shine Your Light upon the whole earth and give You Praise!

This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever. ~ Isaiah 55:13b NIV
This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right for My Salvation is close at hand and My righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this – the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.” ~ Isaiah 56:1-2

I belong to Jesus – not to this world system.  I owe Him everything including my very existence.  My opinions are subject to the Word of our King Over All.  Jesus came to save the whole world, including those who do not share my views or belief in Him.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

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I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His (Christ’s) feet and appointed Him (Christ) to be head over everything for the church, which is His (Christ’s) body, the fullness of Him (Christ) who fills everything in every way. ~Ephesians 1:17-23 NIV (Emphasis added)

This God-inspired prayer sent by the Apostle Paul via Tychicus in his letter to the church in Ephesus (founded in 53 A.D.) was written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome.  Even though Paul was living in the valley of death, these verses are a powerful testimony of his love for brothers and sisters in Christ.  He had not lost his priority of  encouraging believers to live for Christ while here on earth.  My heart is to constantly lift up, encourage, and give thanks for the wealth of God’s kingdom here on earth – true believers. I have much to learn in this regard.  Glory to God!  The Holy Spirit is my Patient and Wise Teacher – ever and always.

God Bless you today and thank you for following Importantstuff.live!!!