Friday, January 29, 2010

By Faith


And The Walls Came Tumbling Down!

What kind of walls are in your life that affects your walk with Christ? By faith you can tear down those walls. The conquest of Jericho is an example of great faith. Just as theses wall came down when Joshua exercised his faith in God the walls in our lives can also come down when we exercise our faith. Joshua had his eyes fixed on the Lord. He exercised his faith and obeyed God before the battle of Jericho at the beginning of the Israelis conquest of Canaan. God gave the battle plan of how the victory was to be won and the Israelites acted on that plan, in faith.  In different books we can read were archaeologists have confirmed the historical accuracy of the Bible account of this in the present day ruins of ancient Jericho.
Today I want to comment and exhort, a little, about the battle of Jericho.  I want to give the Christian encouragement with their daily walk with the Lord. There is much to be learned about the battle. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua and the people of Israel had crossed the Jordan River and now they were ready to begin to conquer and take the land of Canaan.  Joshua was an experienced military leader, but nothing in all his military training could have prepared him for God's plan to take Jericho.  He would have to act on faith and trust God for the victory which was about to take place. He had to decide to either put his trust and faith in God or use his brilliant military mind to defeat Jericho. Joshua put his trust in God, because he knew that with God all things are possible. He had only to believe God for the victory.
Jericho was considered the oldest known occupied city in the world.  Joshua laid siege to the city.  He blockaded the city. The armies of Israel surrounded it so that no one could enter or leave it.  There was not one weapon lifted against the city. Before the battle began, the captain of the host of Israel (Joshua) had an encounter with the captain of the Lord of hosts (Jesus).  Joshua worshipped Him and listened carefully to the battle plan that was laid out by the Lord. He summited to God's authority. The Lord spoke to Joshua as if the battle of Jericho was already won.  This surely had to strengthen Joshua's faith.  He was being told the future before it even happened by God! We too, as Christians, also know who holds tomorrow and who holds our hand! Praise be to His holy Name.
Here was the plan for the victory of Jericho:  For six days the Hebrews would encircle the city once while the priests blew their ram's horns.  The priests with trumpets went first, then the priests which carried the Ark of the Covenant, then the army.  The only sound would be the sound of the horns; no one could speak a word. Then on the seventh day, they would circle the city seven times in the same manner, and then when Joshua gave the signal, they would shout with a great shout. Then the walls would fall flat and they would run into the city and burn everything and everyone in it. Have you ever felt God so strong that you shouted? I have! I have been out in my yard and just felt the Lord's presents so strong that I just shouted to the top of my lungs: "Thank you Jesus for your blessings on me" If you are worldly you will not understand it but if you are spiritual you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Just as the Israelis put their trust in God, my trust is in Him too. During my walk with the Lord He has tour down many a wall and stronghold in my life and he will do the same for you!
Joshua had a great test of faith. He had to make a decision.  Would he try his own well laid out military plan, or totally trust God and obey Him in faith?  He had an intelligence report from the spies, and might have even drawn up some plan of attack.  If Joshua had a hard time believing God, we are not told anything about it in the Bible, but we are told about his faith. Never misjudge the power of faith.
The army of Israel marched around Jericho as God commanded while the priests blew the horns.  They may have been tired of covering the same ground over and over again each day, but they obeyed God exactly as they were instructed. Their trust was in the Lord. As Christians, we may tire of dealing with the same problem over and over again, but we can trust God to help us just as the Hebrews did and the shout will also come from you: Thank you Jesus!". Finally, on the seventh day after the seventh time around the city, Joshua gave the command and everyone shouted as loud as they could shout.  The shout was a shout of obedience and of faith. Then a great miracle of faith happened:  The walls fell down, flat on the ground, making a ramp for the invading Israelite army!  They ran straight in and burned everything.  The only family who survived inside Jericho was Rehab and her family.  She had helped the spies and was later a part of the ancestry line of Jesus, because she had faith to trust God to save her.
Archaeologists (people who dig up old places) have found those ancient walls of brick, and the burned remains of the city.  They found it exactly like that which was recorded in the Bible. We can trust what the Bible says.  The Bible is an accurate record of history. Nothing was taken from the city.  Joshua put a curse on Jericho and no one ever rebuilt on the same site again.  God was determined to wipe out the idol worship and practices in Canaan. God and His people began the conquest of Canaan with this miraculous victory at Jericho, where the walls came tumbling down!  What a faith boosting event!
The walls can come down in our life also just like the wall came down for Joshua and the Hebrew children. All it takes is faith in God. Trust and obedience to God is what it takes for the wall to come down in our life. Trust and obey for there is no other way. The world will never understand these instructions of faith. They will never understand or have any idea what they mean because the natural mind cannot understand the things of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14) It is sad that most people have little or no knowledge or wisdom at all, of the things of the Spirit. That is the difference between being spiritually minded and worldly minded. Their minds are blinded, they only function in the natural world and see only through worldly vision. People who truly serve Christ have a true under -standing of divine revelation and they can see with spiritual eyes. The "natural" man may be educated, easy going, eloquent, or captivating, but the "spiritual" contents of Scripture are totally and completely hidden from him.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still Small Voice



        And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. {1 Kings 19:11-12}

Just when you think, that all hope is faded and gone, all dreams are pointless, all that you've worked for, is of little value, or that you are a complete nobody,  a still small voice whispers: My Child I love you and I will never forsake you. In the above verses, God to have a word with Elijah. He first allowed some powerful and noisy demonstrations; that could have easily been mistook or take for His voice. Then, a strong wind –- The wind was so strong in fact, that it tore the mountain apart before Elijah's very eyes. Rocks went everywhere. After that, an earthquake followed, and if that wasn't enough, a fire. I would say by the time these very big events had passed, Elijah might have been a little distracted. But the Lord wasn't in any of them. Then, God spoke to Elijah,  in a still             ( tranquil , serene)  small,  {Tiny}  voice.
If your home is anything like mine use to be or like most homes are today, sometimes it's extremely loud! There are Kids playing and hollering, the dogs barking, the television is on, and who knows what else, and then the telephone rings. Suddenly it becomes very important to you to close your hearing to everything else, around you,  so you can hear the person who is calling you. It is the same way, with the Lord, we need to close our ears and to shut everything else out, in order to open our ears to hear Him.!

In the above verses, God had something to say to Elijah. He first allowed some powerful and noisy manifestations to take place; those things might have easily been mistaken for His voice. We do serve a powerful God. A strong wind –- so strong in fact, that it tore the mountain apart right before Elijah's very eyes. After that, an earthquake followed, and if that wasn't enough, a fire! I would say by the time these massive events had passed, Elijah might have been a little distracted, But the Lord wasn't in any of them. While the Lord was the cause of all those things it was not the manner in which He would speak to the prophet. Many modern  churches,  in today’s world, have also, traded in that still small voice for “the fire”, “wind”, “earthquakes and any other thing that fancies them. Then, God spoke to Elijah.... in a still, small, voice. Just as The Lord spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, God does the same with us today. We need to listen for the sound of that gentle whisper that can only come from God. Elijah knew that this still small voice was from God. He realized that God does not always reveal Himself in powerful ways. For us to look for God in big and powerful things may mean that we will miss Him.
We must realize and always believe that God still speaks in that same still small voice today. But are we able to hear that still, small voice with all the madness and idiocy around us these days? It is so essential to turn off and tune out the noise, that is around us, so we can wait for the Lord’s Voice! We must take a step backwards from all the noise and activity of our life and listen for that voice. This can also be a lesson to people who believe that overexcited and loud worship is power from God and sometimes it is, but here we see it was the still small voice of our God.
When God has our complete attention, not only can we come to know Him better, but we can receive that direction we've been longing and waiting for and it may come in that still small voice as He whispers your name.
The same God that cared for Elijah cares for you and me also. I thank the Lord, at this point in my life, that through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come. I am enjoying peace and safety that only comes from God. But I am, also, reminded of other times past when I have known the feeling of despair due to bad health, death and other trials in my life, because they have been brutal and very hurtful to me to me. I am so not foolish enough as to think that I will never have to face any kind of crisis again. Life is filled with ups and downs, good and bad – for believers and non-believers alike. This Bible narrative reminds me to keep the faith: in thought and in action not matter what happens. It reassures me and restores my confidence and belief that God will be faithful to me, even when I have given up hope, when I feel like I am alone, when I can't find the strength to go on.
Each of us will face trials, perhaps some so great we will not have the will to carry on. There are times we may feel abandoned and forgotten. We may feel that the obstacles ahead of us are too massive to overcome. Maybe we will seem unimportant  and our problems of no consequence in the face of the events going on around us. But we need the assurance that God will never leave us or forsake us. In {JOHN 14:16 -18} Jesus Christ gives us a promise to hold on to, that we shall not be left comfortless.
In the midst of our personal and our countries greatest struggles, Let us all pray that The Lord’s still, small voice will find each one of our hearts and the heart of this great nation to help us bear whatever we must; and that, like Elijah, we will know the love of God in our darkest hours.
Bill Patchett
January 18, 2010



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heritage




America's Christian heritage is being stepped on and trashed more every day by politicians that have no thought as to what our country is all about or have very little thought as to what the best interest of the people is. Did you ever stop to ask yourself where our country has come from, what were the principles that it was founded on and what is the direction that it is headed. Did you ever stop to think what our founding fathers were like, what they would say if they knew the state of our country, and what they said in their speeches and their writings. You would be surprised. Our founding fathers, who were our past presidents, statesmen, and scientists, had a 100% different view of our constitution, and court decisions in their speeches, the papers that they wrote, in their debates, and in their thesis than our leaders do today. Can you imagine what they would say if they knew some of the things that are going on in our country today. Can you imagine our politicians, today, making some of these statements:
(1). "I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism." { President Theodore Roosevelt}
(2) "Education is useless without the Bible." {Noah Webster}
(3). "Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life." . {Harvard University 1642}
(4). "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances… could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree." { Charles Darwin}
(5). "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence." {Martin Luther King}
(6). "Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world." { Benjamin Franklin}
(7). "If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under." {President Ronald Reagan }
(8) "History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline." – {General Douglas MacArthur}
(9) "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." –{Edmund Burke}
(10) "The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world." – {Charles Dickens}
(11) "Why, then, should we who believe in Christ be so surprised at what God can do with a willing man in a laboratory? Some things must be baffling to the critic who has never been born again." – {George Washington Carver }
(12) "But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own." – {President Abraham Lincoln}
(13) "All must admit that the reception of the teachings of Christ results in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship." – {President Grover Cleveland}
(14) "These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation....we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth." - Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States { United States Supreme Court 1892,}
(15) "The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other." –{ Alexis de Tocqueville}
After reading those statements we have to ask ourselves what has happen to this country? Where has all the good politicians gone? We now have a president that has said we are no longer a Christian nation. How God must frown on that. Then we have massive killings of unborn babies. We have politicians that would rather pass laws to save a whale than saving a unborn baby. Our kids are being taught in schools that it is nothing wrong with Adam marrying Steve and we now have homosexuals standing behind the scared desk. What an abomination. It is a nation in the last throws before judgment. Any nation that justifies homosexual life style is in its final stages of moral corruption. Prayer and The Bible has been taking out of our schools, court houses, and government buildings. God is not allowed any more. Then we wonder why we have our children are being killed in our schools. Where is this nation headed? We no longer have Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birthday, it is called the holidays so some people will not get offended, but what about offending Jesus? Our politicians and some of the people in this country must realize that without Jesus we have no liberty. There is no safety, no strength, no hope, no liberty, and no salvation for the deep trouble that this country is in, except in Jesus. He is this country's Rock and its only salvation. The hope of this nation and its people are in him. Only in Him will the right way and the truth of all things be returned to this land. Just like it was with Sodom, this country, in the end, will be the end result of reprobate minds.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010




I remember them so clearly,
mom and dad loved them so dearly.
Old brush arbors
by the side of the road.
Where I learned about salvation,
From the book of Revelation.
And in arbors by the side of the road.

Old brush arbors by the side of the road,
Where a sinner could lay down his heavy load.
It was in those old brush arbors,
Troubled souls found peaceful harbor.
Brush arbors by the side of the road.

Many times I had departed,
From the way of life I started.
In them arbors by the side of the road.
But each time the devil caught me,
I remember what they taught me.
In brush arbors by the side of the road.

Old brush arbors by the side of the road,
Where the mighty light of God’s great mercy flowed.
There was praying, shouting, singing
Till the country side was ringing.
Brush arbors by the side of the road...

Friday, January 8, 2010

We Are At War



For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. {2 Corinthians 10:3-6}

As the threat of terror and war come into view more and become greater everyday every day, in this country with the Muslim terrorist and their agenda of hate, We, as Christians, should all remember that we who are saved and are in the Body of Christ are, also, already at war spiritually. We are constantly competing in our minds, we battle over thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The Devil, the enemy of our souls, is constantly on the attack and often attacks us by bringing up things from our past. Things that are under the blood of Christ. He is sneaky. The many failures, regrets, wounds, the suffering, pain and all kinds of torment that we have went through in our life and all of them have the capability to drag us down into doubt, darkness and despair. Our great challenge is not to respond to these memories, of the hurts in our past life, with knowing the old man is dead and all things have became new. Our victory is and thoughts are in Christ. We have a new and better life in Jesus. That is how we respond to those thoughts and feelings of our past. It is with the mind of Christ. Remember all things are made new when we come to Him as new creations!
Remember in the Old Testament when God forbid the priests from entering His Presence if they had touched any dead thing. This is a lesson for us in our present day. We must leave the old, dead frame of mind and way of thinking behind, the ways that you used to react to things in the past – instead, enter into your prayer closet and get in touch and feel at one with your Savior! The one who died for you. The fight over past problems, in our life, is won when we let Jesus take control over the meaning and purpose of our lives. With Jesus in our hearts and minds, everything in our past is now under His authority. So let go and let God go! With Him in charge of our life we are overcomers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

THE LAMB OF GOD



"FOR THEN MUST HE OFTEN HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD: BUT NOW ONCE IN THE END OF THE WORLD HATH HE APPEARED TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF" (Hebrews 9:26)




At the very beginning of Jesus’ Ministry, John The Baptist addressed the sin question and who Jesus was, once and for all, by saying this: “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world”  Notice in those words by John, the forerunner of Christ, when he said, “The Lamb of God. He was, cleverly and clearly, insinuating for the multitudes and crowds to hear, the manner and the way the sin question would be dealt with. There would be no more using the blood of lambs, sheep, goats, and bulls, over and over again, to keep people  because It would be dealt with by Jesus dying on the cross and the spilling of His blood. That is who “takes away sin”  Jesus was and is the Lamb of God.
This is the reason that the Christian faith must be totally centered around the cross and Christ. The Christians faith must always focus on and center around what Jesus did for us at the cross when he laid down His life for us. We must also realize that the very heart of the gospel is the cross and all roads lead to that cross. We hear sinners say that all roads lead to Roman but for the Christian all roads lead to the cross. Our faith must be anchored there. Our heavenly father does not demand much of the human race, but only for one to be saved and that is by putting  their trust in Jesus and what He did at the cross. This is our faith and victory that will overcome this sinful world that we live in. This world is not our home we are just passing through! Our treasures are laid up somewhere above the blue.
The biggest problem with most {not all} the church of today is they have placed their faith and values in other things such as their denomination,  how much money they have, their church, their pastor and many other things. This is the modern day sins of most churches. They have took their eyes off Christ and ignored the cross. They have by passed it by and put their faith in other things such as the prosperity gospel that a lot of preachers teach. Most of the people in our churches today are walking in spiritual defeat because of this.  We are not talking about  the saved believer strapping their self to some type of cross. We are not talking about “woe is me” and we are not talking about “doing penitence.”The true meaning of everything that has been said here is this: “The cross is a finished work. When Jesus said, “It was finished that is what our savior meant. It is finished. When Jesus died on the cross he put away sin, past present, and future, for all those who believe and follow Him. All we have to do is follow Him. If we stumble in our walk of faith then we must get back up and repent. We have an advocate with the father and that is Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who died on the cross and spilt His blood that we may be saved!
As it should be the object of the Christians faith is, simply, to know and understand that God deals with the human race on the basis’ of faith in what Jesus did on the cross. Abraham was a great example of faith. It tells us in the scriptures that: “ Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6)(Romans 4:3) These scriptures does not and did not mean, that Abraham merely believed in God. Abraham believed that God would send a redeemer into this world.
Satan has been so successful over the years because he has turned the faith of believers to other things, other than the cross. The most important thing that all believers must learn and always keep in mind is that our faith and trust must be anchored in Jesus and  what He did for us on the cross. We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the cross.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lifting Up A Standard



How great it is to know that When the enemy comes against us like a raging flood tide , the Spirit of the Lord will drive him back. The problem is that a lot of Christians will not stand on that word. Although when we read this scripture we tend to think about our struggles with the powers of darkness and rightly so, but this scripture will be completely fulfilled in the day when the anti christ will sweep down on Israel in his effort to destroy the Jews and to stop Jesus from setting up His kingdom in Jerusalem, a battle which Satan will lose, but let us talk about another standard today.
There has, also, always been a standard to be lifted up by Christians. The value of any system is based on a standard. The army, of this nation, has a standard that all soldiers must abide by and the value of any Christian must be based on his or her love, and loyalty for the Master. That loyalty and love is the foundation for our standard as a follower of Christ.
As Christians we all know radical changes had taken hold in our society, with massive attacks on the family and our faith. The Roe vs. Wade court decision legalized abortion in the U.S.,  Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Bible, were removed from schools, and parents discipline of their children was frowned upon. Homosexuals openly parade our streets, same sex marriages are preformed in our churches, homosexuals stand behind some of our pulpits and all these sins and a lot of others are a disgrace in God's eyes . The result was radical change and sweeping ungodliness in this country.  Divorce rates began to skyrocket, and families were breaking down at a record speed. Isaiah 59:19 says, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. We as Christians, with the Lord's help, must lift that standard high before there is a slipping away of our freedom of speech, and freedom to preach the uncompromised Word of God. The flood has already started and we must lift up that standard. We must not compromise the Word of God. It is a lamp that guides us in this world of darkness.
It is our job as followers of Christ to go through the gates that are kept shut today in our society. We are living in a day of looseness in our churches, our homes, our morals, and our standards. We are failing our young people and this whole generation because we are not preparing the way for them, That old time way, the old paths to walk there in. But we can still prepare that way. We can still lift up that standard. We need to lift up a standard, a banner, that shows to our children and the world that this is the way and make it plain and straight. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.