I Have A Friend

In my lifetime, I have had many friends. Some were friends for a short period of time and others have stood the test of time. About 50 years ago I made the biggest decision of my life and that decision was to live my life as a practicing Christian with Jesus at the center of my life. It was a decision that gave me peace, hope, a reason for living and a promise that He will never leave me or forsake me. He hs been and still is my Saviour, my friend and some day my coming king.

I have a friend, I have a friend

He will be with me, Through to the end

That is his promise, To all who believe

He is our friend, He is our friend.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you John 15, 15

  1. A friend of Jesus! Oh, what bliss
    That one so weak as I
    Should ever have a Friend like this
    To lead me to the sky!
    • Refrain:
      Friendship with Jesus!
      Fellowship divine!
      Oh, what blessed, sweet communion!
      Jesus is a Friend of mine.
  2. A Friend when other friendships cease,
    A Friend when others fail,
    A Friend who gives me joy and peace,
    A Friend when foes assail!
  3. A Friend when sickness lays me low,
    A Friend when death draws near,
    A Friend as through the vale I go,
    A Friend to help and cheer!
  4. A Friend when life’s short race is o’er
    A Friend when earth is past,
    A Friend to meet on Heaven’s shore,
    A Friend when home at last!

  5. Joseph C. Ludgate,

Cast All Your Anxiety

Many of us are familiar with the words of 1 Peter 5-7…cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I have dealt with anxiety, within my own life, with family members, friends and acauaintances. For many, it holds a tight grip on their everyday existence. 

My healing began when I visited  a doctor and he perscribed a nerve medicine. But the best perscription he gave me  was as I was leaving his office.  He asked me, ” Steve, do you believe in God? I don’t recall how I answered but I went home and poured the pills down the drain and spent my spare time reading the bible and other religiously oriented material. By the way some of it was new age but I kept returning to the bible and eventually I made the decision to become a believer in Jesus.  I was raised in a Christian home but church attendanve ended when I was 9 years old. I was 22 years old when I accepted Christ as my Saviour. 

As a side note, I had been praying that I would meet that doctor again and thank him for his life saving perscription. It was around 48 years later that I had the prayer answered and when I told him my story, he said ” Steve, you are giving me goose bumps.” I could see that he was touched by my story. 

But what does it mean to cast all your anxiety on him? The last part of this verse says, Because he cares for you. This he is Jesus. This is written to christians. I am going to be very blunt. Jesus cares about and loves intimately only those who believe on him and in him.  How do you love someone intimately? You have to spend time with them, you have to care about them, you have to love them unconditionally. Do you have an intimate relationship with Jesus? I have inserted links to other websites which describe intimacy with Jesus.

Intimacy With God, The Way To Fulfilment

Practical ways to grow intimate with Jesus

Intimate With Jesus

 

Romans 10:9; that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

The blessing begins with a relationship with Jesus. Have you started that relationship? If not, why not? Why not start that intimate relationship, with Jesus, right now. 

Prayer for forgiveness to begin your relationship with Jesus.

Lord Jesus, forgive me because I am a sinner. I believe that you are the son of God, that you died and rose again and because you paid the penalty for my sins and for who ever will believe, I am forgiven and ready to start a new life. Thank you Jesus.

Read your bible and study. This is one of my favorite resources.

Got Questions Ministry...click here 

Bible Verses On Anxiety

Anxiety has our world in a tight grip and we struggle with it in so many different areas of our daily living. Was it meant to be like that? If we are bible believing it was not what God intended. The unthinkable happened. Sin entered and what was made perfect became broken by sin.

Anxiety and worry was introduced into the world because of sin. But my question is can what was once broken be healed?  This is one verse that, in my opinion, contains a biblical principle for dealing with sin and sin’s destruction in our lives.

Proverbs 28:13. ”Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Please scroll down for a prayer to pray to renounce anxiety and worry

The following are some bible verses on anxiety and worry.

1.  “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  ~ Psalm 56:3

2.  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 4:6-7

3.  “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

4.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

5.  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:18

6.  “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” ~ Psalm 94:19

7.  “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1

8.  “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” ~ Proverbs 12:25

9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

10. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:34

11. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

12. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” ~ Isaiah 35:4

13. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” ~ Luke 12:22-26

14. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1

15. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~ Psalm 55:22

16. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” ~ Mark 6:50

17. “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

18. “‘For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 41:13-14

19. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1

20. “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” ~ Psalm 118:6-7

21. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” ~ Proverbs 29:25

God made each of us special. Yes, we may have been born with a physical or other health issues but no matter our birth  disabilities, we are loved by God.  Recognizing that you are loved by God and that You have received Jesus as your saviour,  pray the following prayer and learn to love yourself for who you are. I will be writing an article about my daily victory over anxiety.  I say daily because I have to daily commit my life to living a Christ centered life. Blessings in your life journey.

Renouncing Anxiety… Lord, I come into your presence through Jesus my Lord and Saviour. Lord you are well aware that I have a problem with anxiety and many times it controls my life. My anxiety has caused depression and many people do not understand what I am going through. Lord, Anxiety controls my life. In Jesus’ name, I recognize that I need to deal with the root cause of anxiety so I renounce the sin of anxiety and bind it so that anxiety will not control my life. Thank you Lord for listening to my prayer  and binding this sin from my life. In Jesus’ name  I pray, Amen.

Links to other websites that deal with anxiety and worry.

A link to renouncing anxiety

Holistic Healing For Anxiety

A Worrier’s Guide To Peace Catholic writer

How I Cured My Anxiety a non biblical perspective  Charlie Hoehn

To Renounce Sins

Recently, while leading a bible study I came across a word that I had not paid attention to in my over 40 years studying and teaching scripture. The word is renounce and the particular bible verse is Proverbs 28:13. ”Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” 

This verse appears to be saying that we are to confess and renounce our sins. Most of us are familar with confessing our sins but what does it mean to renounce sins. Is there a difference? Some translations use the word forsaking but in my opinion this does not do justice to the word renounce.I like the word surrender. 

Romans 6; 12-14…  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Read the above verse over a number of times and note verse 14a  For sin shall no longer be your master…

We go to God in prayer and confess our sins.. eg.

I have a problem with anger and basically I pray the following prayer..”‘Lord, I come into your presence through Jesus and I need to confess that I have a problem with anger. Today, as you are aware I becaame angry with my wife and I acted in a way that was sinful by saying things that were unkind and hurtful. Forgive me in Jesus’s name, Amen.” Oh yes, I need to go and apologie to my wife. In another few days or weeks, the same thing happens and I repeat the process.

We have not treated or processed the root cause, in this scenario, which is the sin of anger. Anger is my master.

How do we deal with the root cause. Yes, we have confessed but we haven’t renounced the sin. How do we do that?

After confessing and asking for forgiveness we should call out the root of our sin. Anger!

This is the most important part of our prayer if you have a desire to deal with whatever is causing you to sin. For me it is anger and at times lust. You know the sin or sins that control your life and keep you from  being the Christian that God calls you to be. . To be like Jesus.

Romans 8:5-9

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

If we desire to be like Jesus we must renounce those sinful desires or actions that are not like Jesus.

Renouncing Anger… Lord, I come into your presence through Jesus my Lord and Saviour. Lord you are well aware tht I have a problem with anger and many times it controls my actions and reactions. My anger has caused hurt to my wife and family and to me. Lord, I am guilty of letting anger control my life  . In Jesus’ name, I recognize that I need to deal with the root cause of anger so I renounce the sin of anger and bind it so that anger will not control my life. Thank you Lord for listening to my prayer  and binding this sin from my life. In Jesus’ name  I pray, Amen.

You can pray this or a similar prayer of renouncement for any sin issue in your life.

God Bless

Steve

Anxiety 

  A link to renouncing anxiety

Holistic Healing For Anxiety

 

Additional resources will be added.

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Regards,

 

 

 

Do You Have Hope

Jer 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ( Jeremiah 29:11)

This was the promise of hope that our daughter claimed for her twin boys who were born premature, at 26 weeks. The doctors gave very little hope with many possible medical issues. They are now 14 years old. One is healthy, with a hearing disability and the other child has heart issues but otherwise they are fine.

Confession And Repentance

We often think of confession as something which is more relevant to sinners or the unsaved than to Christians.  However, many verses in the Bible about confession are directed to Christians.  It should be noted that , while confession and repentance are not synonymous, repentance should be an essential component of confession.  In 1 John 1:9  we are told ‘if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’  And in James 5:16 we are instructed to ‘confess your faults one to another and pray one for another.’  In both cases the writer is addressing Christians and their need for confession.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments confession plays an essential  role in the lives and accomplishments of some of the major players in Biblical history.1)    Before Daniel received a visit from the angel Gabriel who gave him a vision of the coming of the Messiah and the events of the end times, he  humbled himself before God and confessed ‘I was praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.’ (Daniel 9:20)2)    When Isaiah saw the majesty of the Lord in the temple he realized his own sinfulness and confessed ‘Woe is me! for I am a man of unclean        lips’. (Isaiah 6:5)  This occurred before he wrote one of the greatest  books of the Bible.3)    Job was described as a ‘perfect and upright man’, yet after a direct conversation with God he declared ‘I abhor myself, and repent in dust and          ashes.’ (Job 42:6)

Revival is something we often pray for but very few of us get to experience.  It is accepted that revival must begin within the church, or the body of Christ.  Why do we see so few revivals today? Could it be that there is a lack of confession of, or genuine repentance from sin among Christians?Although forgiven Christians will not be judged and condemned for their sins, John tells us that ‘if we say we have no sin we lie.’  Maybe we forget or overlook the fact that Christians sin in unique ways, since their thoughts and actions should be in obedience to the will of God and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. ​The Bible clearly defines ‘quenching or grieving’ the Holy Spirit  by Christians as sin.  In contrast, the unsaved are for the most part unaware of God’s will for them as they do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them.  Christians may also sin in ways that are not obvious to them.  In Psalm 19 David wrote ‘Cleanse me from secret faults’ and ‘keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins.’
Why is confession so important to Christians and what are the typical ways in which Christians sin?  Probably the majority of sins for which a Christian will have to account are sins of omission, or failure to do the things God would expect us to do.  This would include the following:
1)   do we ‘love God with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength?’2)   are we good stewards of the time, treasure and talents God has entrusted us with?3)   do we take advantage of the opportunities to witness that God places before us in our daily lives?4)   even in our worship do we seek to glorify God only, or are we often guilty of going through the motions?
Probably the greatest problem with unconfessed sin is that it interferes with or breaks our fellowship with God, and results in God not hearing or answering our prayers.   In light of this, David asks God to search him with the familiar words ‘Search me O God and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts.’  In this case David is not relying on his own ability to examine himself but is asking God to search his heart.  When we  pray like that we can be assured that God, Who is omniscient, will reveal even our secret or presumptuous sins and invite us to seek His forgiveness and cleansing.

Can We Control Our Thoughts

I was listening to an aquaintance and he said that we should pay attention to what we should be paying attention to. Can we control our thoughts so that we pay attention to what we should be paying attention to. This is the you tube link https://youtu.be/GsP6w6DiN8M .

There is a scripture verse that has become one of my favorites. It speaks about taking our thoughts caprtive, 2 cor 10:5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Can we control our thoughts by using the instructions found in this verse? How do we take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ? I had been using the term, censoring our thoughts, as we live the Christian life. We are told not to sin in thought word or deed. There is an article by Michelle Freeman that discusses the idea of taking thoughts captive. You can read it here.

In my own daily living, there are thoughts that invade my mind and many of them can be very entertaining. Especially those that are of a sexual nature or those that make me a dominate figure in different situations. I dream just about evary night and some of those dreams are frightening, however; many of them are invigorating, Years ago, before I began a relationship with Jesus and recognized the person that God had intended for me to be, I would be held captive by my thoughts and dreams.

However; as I studied the bible and understood that Jesus’s desire for me, as a Christian, was to be Christlike. How is this possible?  There are many verse that tell us that we should have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – 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.

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

The only way for me or you to have the mind of Christ and to take our thoughts captive is to get our hearts right and allow the Holy Spirit to censor what goes into our minds. We must pray, read and meditate on the word and when thoughts come into our minds, that we know not to be Christlike, let them be captured by Jesus. This is my method, I pray,” Lord this is a thought that is unacceptable to you so I’m asking you to weed this thought from my mind and if it resurfaces I will again let it be captured by you. Thank you Lord because you know my thoughts even before they become a thought in my mind and you are aware of the evil that they can cause in my life. Lord take those sexual, immoral thoughts captive. Thank you Lord for giving me a clean heart and a clean mind.  Amen

Honor The Son

As I was doing my devotions, the following verse of scripture struck me as it has never done before. The verse is found in John 5:23 “That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”

The following verses were spoken by  Jesus as well, as He is being questioned about his identity by the Jewish leaders. They were questioning his working on the sabbath by healing the man at the pool and Jesus’s claim that he was the son of God.

John 5-19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.

What is Jesus actually saying and teaching that is applicable to us today? What does it mean to honor someone?  According to the dictionary, when speaking of people, it is to show respect, to exalt or to give glory to a person or even to yourself. One of the ten commandments teaches or instructs us to honor our father and mother.

Scripture verses about honor.

John 4-44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)

1 Timothy 1-17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Romans 13-7  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Hebrews 13-4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

John12-26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

1 Peter 2:17-19 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

Maybe The Lord’s prayer should be part of our daily prayer life. Personally, I like the traditional wording.

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

There are many more verses about honor in the bible. Take some time to do a search and meditate upon the verses. You will be blessed.

I have to ask myself the question, am I honoring God in my life today because of my faith in Jesus? Am I showing God respect and is he being exalted above all things in my life? Jesus has made it possible for each one of us to have a relationship with The Father. He who honors the Son honors the Father.

Revelation  5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Prayer Intercessor

Prayer can be defined as ‘simply asking God to do for us – or for others –  what He has promised to do if we ask Him.’
​ One Study Bible defines intercession as holy, believing, persevering prayer, whereby someone pleads with God on behalf of others who desperately need God’s intervention.

Are you a prayer intercessor? Oswald Chambers describes  intercession or intercessory prayer as putting oneself in God’s place by seeing a person or situation from His perspective. In other words, we see the outcome that God would desire, and we petition God that He would bring about the desired result.​​ We’ve often heard testimonies from Christians who believe that their conversion was the result of prayer.

Andrew Murray said ‘intercession is the chief element in the conversion of souls’.​​Charles Spurgeon said that many people give up on souls they consider ‘spiritually’ dead’, or those they assume will never be saved.  But he cautions that we should never give up until they are confirmed by a physician to be physically dead.

​​George Muller, was a prayer intercessor. He was a man of great faith who prayed for 52 years for some of the people on his prayer list until most were eventually saved during his lifetime.  And others were saved after his death.​​Concerning intercessory prayer, Sidlow Baxter stated that ‘men may refuse our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments and depise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers’.

​​We see many examples of the results of intercessory prayer in both the Old and New Testaments. ​​James describes Elijah as a ‘man subject to passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months’.  And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain.

.​​Another great account of intercessory prayer is found in Numbers 14, where Moses stood before God, and pleaded for God to withold His anger and not destroy his murmuring and complaining people.   We know that God answered that prayer and spared the people.​​ And of course the greatest example of intercessory prayer was, and still is Christ.  Jesus spent a whole night in prayer before choosing the twelve disciples, and before He preached the Sermon on the Mount.  And we are told in Romans that He still makes intercession before the Father’s throne on behalf of His own.

​​I’d like to finish with a true story.​​About 20 years ago, in the small city of Almolonga, Guatemala, several believers and pastors began to unite in prayer and fasting for their region.  At the time the city was plagued with prostitution, drug and alcohol addiction, bloody violence and murder, widespread corruption, and idolatry – it was a city in need of divine reformation.​​When the body of Christ  began to make their stand against these things through intense prayer and fasting, they slowly saw transformation take place in Almolonga.  Drug cartels fled the city, prostitution rings were dismembered and governmental leaders came to the Lord.  Within a short amount of time the church exploded.  It is reported that as many as 92% of the Almolongan population became Christians.​​But not only did the church thrive, so did the land.  Crop production increased dramatically.  The Lord healed the land as well as the people.​​ This is just one example of what can happen through intercessory prayer.​​ Should we expect less today?

C Hepditch