Greetings from Pastor Bob and The Encouraging Word. The first thing I want to say this week is how much of an honor it is to have you reading and being a part of this cyber ministry. Many who receive this weekly message also get the daily devotion that is put out every morning. If you would like to start getting the Daily D. simply let us know by replying to this message or e-mailing us at Revboo@aol.com You can also read the Daily D., or the weekly messages, archived messages, be a prat of our prayer warriors and discover more about this ministry by checking out the website at www.theencourangingword.org. I will link you to it at the end of today's message. I think it important to inform you all of the passing of Rev. Piper this past week. I know we have been praying for his healing but above all that God's will be done. Now Rev. Piper is in the very presence of our LORD and savior and heaven is a little sweeter because he is there. Let us continue to lift up the family, his wife Trudy, his son's and daughter, all his loved ones. I was amazed at the funeral. There were so many men and woman of God, leaders from around the country came to pay tribute to this wonderful Man of God. My only wish is that I would have had more of a chance to get to know him. I am so thankful for the time I did enjoy fellowshipping with our good friend, brother and leader. He will be greatly missed

There are other prayer requests that came in this week so I hope you are ready to call upon the name of the LORD for He is able. One thing I know is true about prayer, it will either change the situation or it will change you. So if you would just bow your heart and as you read this prayer let it also be your prayer. Then as I finish, take some time to open your own heart and let God know the need that you have. For His word tells us that we are to make our request known unto God with prayer and supplication, that means asking over and over, with all thanksgiving. And the peace of God will keep you, through Christ Jesus our LORD. Join me now in Prayer will you?

             Dear Father God, LORD we come before you humbly in the name of the messiah, your son, Jesus. We ask dear LORD for your grace to be poured out upon us. We ask to be called your children. Change my heart dear LORD. Make me more like Jesus. Help me to overcome the trials and temptations of this life and keep my eyes firmly fixed on you. For you alone are worthy of all my praise. You alone are worthy of all my love and devotion. Let your love be demonstrated through me. As I empty myself of myself, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Fill me to the overflowing with you. LORD there are many that need a touch from you today. Some that we pray for we pray to you because you are our only hope. But what a great hope you are. Some we lift before you praying that they come to know you and the power of the blood of Jesus that not only can wash away all our sins but by His resurrection we to can be renewed, revived, set free, delivered, and become new creations in you. With that LORD I lift up to you Doris who you know LORD. She cries out to you for help, guidance, and strength. LORD, I pray for her protection and I pray that you use her to be the manifestation of the invisible God to an unbelieving, unrepentant world. I pray for Ken who is in the Rehab center. He is trying LORD, but only you can completely set him free. I pray for Jimmy and Anthony, and Todd Rogers. (does anyone know how Todd is doing?) Dear LORD there are so many people that need the real peace that passes understanding that is only found in you. You hold true joy, real, lasting love and great unsurpassable wisdom. Father God search my heart and meet me now at the very point of my need. I need you LORD. I need you. I surrender my life and my heart to you. Change me dear LORD. Change me. In the wonderful, powerful, name of JESUS. Amen... please just take some time right now to open your heart up to God and let Him in. Let Him heal and renew your inner most being. Let God love you, for He does. God loves you and you know what? So do I. Rest now in His arms.............


       There is one prayer request that I personally have. I am going to ask you all to pray for our automobiles. I right now have three junk cars parked out in my front yard. It looks like I am back on the hill - Billy. OK, Two of cars are junk and one is junk but still running. So my prayer request is that I am able to at least get rid of the two junk cars and get a reliable car. Thank you for your prayers. I will let you know how God answers this one. Well, I want to get into the Word of God so prepare your hearts and lets go to church!!!!!!

 

Justice and Mercy  

 

Scripture: (Exodus 15:13 KJV)  Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

The above scripture is a verse in the song that Moses and the people of Israel sang after they safely crossed the Red Sea and the sea then swallowed up the Egyptian army. God in His mercy led the people of Israel out of the bondage of slavery and guided them in His strength into the Holy land. Yet because of the peoples unbelief they wondered in the wilderness for forty years until that generation passed away. Read this deciding verse that brings the judgment of God upon them:

(Num 32:9-12 KJV) For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them. And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.

Mercy and Justice. Sin and Grace. Heaven and Hell. What is it all about and what difference does it make to my life? The whole of it all I think can be answered in how you view the Word of God. Is the Bible the inspired word of the one true living God or it just a spiritual guide book that leads us to a higher understanding of the cosmic universe and all that Californian, new age, pagan, ballyhoo? To some it is a stumbling block that pops up now and again in their lives simply bringing condemnation and shame. I am so sorry that they are not able to see the reality of the love of God within the pages of His Word. I heard someone say how they were taught that you can take the Bible and interpret it pretty much for yourself. So many people do that and they wonder why there is no real relationship between them and God. I could spend this time going through the Bible and showing you how science is just now discovering the truth of the Bible. With modern ship building designed from the description of Noah's ark. With the victory of the plaque finally won after implementing the old testament hygiene techniques for handling the dead. I could go on to show you how archeologists continue to prove the historical validity of the Bible. I could reveal to you over 300 old testament prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. I could point out the millions of lives that have been changed by the preaching of the Bible. So let me ask you is the Bible the Word of God or not? Everything weighs in the balance of this question. Your moral standard is based on your belief in the ten commandments. Your hope for eternity is based upon the gospel message that goes throughout the pages of the entire book. All of your convictions, your hope, your faith, your life style all depend on how much you believe in this one book called the Bible, the Word of God. 

I am going to take it for granted that you have come to the conclusion the Bible is indeed the actual word of God. If I have come to a wrong conclusion please contact me and let me know so that I can try harder and pray harder for you. But for now indulge me and let's just say that the Bible is the one true inspired word of God. It is so full of judgments and hard consequences. Then again it is so full of promise and grace. How can God be both just and merciful? How can God pour out both His wrath and His grace upon those He loves?

I know that we have been over this all before and this is not the real point of today's message but lets quickly look at this answer of law and grace. You can discover such fundamental truth for yourself by reading the book of Romans. Paul talks about sin and he calls it what it is. It is sin. It is an abomination unto God. If you want to have a right relationship with Him give up the sin. But we all know that that is easier said then done. That is where grace comes in. In the seventh chapter of Romans Paul explains how he does the things that he really doesn't want to, and ends up not doing that which He wants to do. Then thank God there comes the eight chapter of Romans. OK, I know most of us will not take the time this week to read the whole book of Romans so at least commit to read the eighth chapter again, it will bless your socks off. I will give you the first verse right now.

(Romans 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The point is; there is such great promise in the Word of God. There is so much love in the Father's heart for us. There is so much mercy and grace being poured out upon us by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is so much resurrection power available to us from the Holy Spirit. So really we get to choose. You see if you do not discover the truth of the Bible being the word of God then you are stuck with the consequences of the actions of man. But when you do discover the reality of the Word of God you can experience mercy triumphing over judgment. And for those of you who simply pick and choose different verses to accept as truth while forgetting the ones that might interfere with your life style/sin, sorry it is one or the other, mercy or judgment. You choose. 


Now before I leave you there I want to give you the good news. You see Joshua did trust the LORD and lead the people into the promise land. God wants you to know that the curse has been broken and even death itself no longer can claim any victory in our lives. Paul Sheridon said something that I hope I never forget. He said that the excellency of a man can be measured by the object of his love. Thinking about that I realized just how true it was. It is the objects of our desire that show the world who we are. You, reading this today have been called to excellency. You have been invited to place your desire on the king of kings. You have been proposed to, if you will, by the Lord of lords. Someone reading this today may have never asked Jesus into your heart. You might not understand all that it means to be a Christian. But you know that God is real and He loves you. You can feel Him knocking at the door of your heart. I invite you right now to let Him in. simply pray this prayer with me right now: Dear Jesus forgive me for all of my sins. I know that if I was judged right now I would be condemned. But your word has taught me that there is no condemnation in you. Your word has shown me that you love me and can save me. So I invite you Jesus into my heart and make you Lord of my life right now. Father God I thank you for making me your child by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus I am a Christian.

Welcome to the family of God. Now I know that there are many people reading that have already accepted Jesus as your savior but you have been missing that closeness in your relationship to him. For some it may be a habitual sin that has drawn you away from Him. Others may have just seemed to have wandered away, being distracted by the cares of your day to day life. Someone reading this right now calls themselves a Christian but has never really experienced that close relationship with the LORD. I am going to ask you all to pray with me right now. Some need deliverance from the bonds of sin, others need to return to their first love and still one needs to experience the true presence of God in their life. All of this can be done just like the word of God says; not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the LORD. If you want that right relationship with God pray with me now and let the Holy Spirit move in your life today.

Father God you know the hardness of my heart. You know the circumstances that brought about that callousness. LORD I am hurt. I have never let anyone in as deep as I need to in order to bring healing. But right now I let down my guard and ask you, dear Jesus to fill me with the love of the Father. Holy Spirit I invite you to flood my soul with the presence of the one true living God. LORD I call out to you from the bottom of my heart and plead for you to reveal yourself to me. Right now I put it all on the alter. I lay down all my life and follow you. For you LORD God, you alone are worthy. You alone. OH, LORD, do not let these just be more empty words. You know the things I hang unto. You know the desires of my heart. Give me a new heart. put your Spirit within me. I recommit to you right now my heart, my family, my life. I put my trust in you and by faith go forward into the promise land. No matter how big the enemy you will give me the victory. So from this day forward as for me and my house we will serve the LORD. Thank you Jesus. Thank you LORD. Amen and Amen

Give Him praise.

             If you would like to write us you can address your letters to:
                   Pastor Bob Richardson
                   700 N. Garden Ave.
                   Clearwater, Fl. 33755

Please send in your prayer requests I know that God is able. Never forget that God loves you, and I really do too. Thank you for being a part of the family of God.
                               In His service
                                           Pastor Bob!!!!!!