Before anything else let's pray!!!
Heavenly Father; Lord God we need you. You alone are worthy of all honor and praise and worship and adoration. Thank you Lord for hearing our heats cry. Thank you Lord for sending your Holy Spirit to comfort us in our times of grief, Thank you Lord for your Son who overcame the world and all the tribulations of it that we might be of good cheer. Thank you Lord for the miracle of birth. We lift up the new baby before your throne and say glory to God for you are a miracle. We continue to pray for the Howland's baby and ask you Lord that you not only strengthen this child but we pray Lord that the entire family be brought closer to you Lord let them know that You are in control of all our lives. Lord I pray for those who are mad at you may you give them some understanding of your ways. I pray for those who think you are made at them, may you give them the peace that passes all understanding that they may enter into your presence with joy in their hearts. Now Lord I ask that you search every person's heart and fill them with your love. Take away the pain and the depression, take away the loneliness and the confusion, take away the sadness and the anger and the resentments and the lies.... Replace it all with the fruit of your Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Let these attributes of you naturally manifest themselves in each and every one of our lives that we might see Jesus and him only for it is in His name we pray
I am sending an attachment with this e-mail those reading this on the website and others will not be able to down load it. It is a picture of the Howland baby. The one we prayed for last week. 1 lb 9 oz. and God is doing a miracle in the whole families life. It is so wonderful to be able to see God work. sometimes it is painful to watch yet at other times it all comes so clear and we can see His glory.
I miss hearing from some of you, please write me and let me know what God has been doing ion your lives. We will be starting our home church this Sunday night. Pray for us I know that God will bless all our efforts and He will give us the desires of our hearts as we delight in Him. With that said let's hear the encouraging word....
WELCOME TO THE DANCE
John 1:1-17 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not….That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth….
(John 1:16 KJV) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
(John 1:17 KJV) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
A father took his children to the zoo where there was a wild cat exhibit. His two boys were excited about getting to see the wild cats up close. As the family was walking towards the dangerous cats the father noticed a friend of the family that was having problems with their baby carriage. The father stopped to help his friend with the carriage when he looked back up his boys were nowhere to be found. After a frantic search he found that the boys had found a small hole in the fence where the tigers and lions were being kept. As the father saw his young children in the cage with the wild animals his heart went into his stomach. He was about to yell at his sons when he noticed the cats were sleeping. He quickly realized that if he yelled at the boys the wild cats would wake up and tear his children into pieces…….
(To be continued…..)
There is a misconception about God. Too many people see Him as an uncaring God who wants things the way He wants them or else. When they were taught that the beginning of wisdom was fear of the Lord, they mistakenly understood fear to be fright rather than awe and respect. Too many people thing that Jesus died so that we could be good. He did not die so that you could be good; He died to make you His.
In Galatians 5:1 Paul writes: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
When we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for us upon the cross he sanctifies us and sets us free form the bondage of sin. Too often we get set free from one thing only to bet tangled up in another.
Let me try to explain quickly what I mean by sanctification. The English word comes from the Latin; santificatio, Which means the act or process of being holy. Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. There are two aspects of it the first being at the point of our new birth as a Christian. It is in that moment that we are "positional sanctified." That ensures us that God has set us aside and separated up from the penalty and bonds of sin and it's influences in our lives. The second if the process of sanctification that is continually being perfected in our daily lives. The reason I am going over this is because it is easy to get confused about sanctification and believe the lie that you Satan will try to tell you about your salvation. There is one thing about sanctification that I want you to remember and that is this; in the act of our sanctification grace comes before obedience. There is nothing that you can do to earn your salvation. There is nothing you can do be holy in God's eyes. It is only by the grace of God that we are able to come into His presence. And His grace is so complete that not only can we come boldly before His throne but He has adapted us as His very own and so we become joint heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Did you hear the one about the man who was in heaven waiting at the pearly gate? Peter comes up to the man and tells him that he needs only 100 points to get into heaven. So he asks the man what he did on earth that would get him these points. The man said with confidence, " I went to church every time the doors were open and gave more than my tithe in every offering." St. Peter said "Good, that's 2 points." Then man looked surprise then said; "Well I have been faithfully married to the same woman for 55 years." Good again that's 1 more point. The man was getting worried then he remembered all the good things he had done as a Christian and after telling them all to St. Peter he still only had ten points. In despair the man said to himself, "At this rate it will only be by the grace of God that I get into heaven." "That's it Peter exclaimed 100 points, Welcome home!"
There are two types of people and they are both sad. Those who believe they are good enough. You know the ones who think that they will be able to get into heaven because they are good people. They never hurt any one and in fact they do a lot of good for people. They like the Pharisees of Jesus' time will never be able to experience the joy of forgiveness because they do not realize that they even need to be forgiven.
The other type of person that I see a lot of and infact I have a tendency to be like is the person who looks at them self in this process of sanctification and when they see how far along they are they think they should be so much better than they are so they end up living in guilt. Sometimes I look at myself and I see the sin that so easily besets me and I say how can this be. I will pray about something and think I hear from God only to end up making a huge mistake. I look at my daily spiritual walk and I think that after all these years I should be so much better than I am.
When I get in that mind set. When I start questioning my own salvation I look in His word and remember the invitation. He invites us to a dance. He wants us to live and breathe and enjoy his glory. He wants us to dance like David danced. He wants us to finally come to the end of ourselves and turn to Jesus. My friends the battle has already be won.
Yes, we may be Christian soldiers but guess what the war is over its time for the celebration. Its time to dance. Look at the difference between "the law" and grace. The law says, "Thou Shalt Not!" Grace says, " Look, I love you even if you do mess up but for your own sake please don't. And oh by the way, welcome to the dance.
To finish that story I started at the beginning of this message. Remember the two boys are in the cage with the sleeping wild cats. The father knows that that if he yells at his boys it will wake up the cats and his kids are goners. So the father walk over to the hole in the fence and calmly opens his arms and in a loud whisper says to his children, "Come and give daddy a hug!"
That is what God is saying to you today. He is not mad at you. He loves you right where you are. But He loves you too much to keep you there. In His eyes He sees the purity of Jesus in you. Let go of the guilt, Let go of the shame and enjoy the dance. It reminds me of a skit that my wife does she calls Dance With Me Daddy:
Dance with me Daddy!
I was Daddies little princess, and I did many things with him, like wait for him to walk in the front door and leap into the air off the top of the sofa and yell "Daddy catch me!" You know…. He always did. Oh I am not saying that I am not responsible for ninety-seven percent of his gray hairs, because I promise you I am. I loved and idolized my Daddy way back then, and I still do.
You know I am a forty-year-old woman, at least that's all I will admit to. I want to talk to you about one of my fondest memories with my father. It happened a very long time ago, to a very small and shy little girl. Yes, I was a shy little girl.
Momma use to fix my hair and dress me in beautiful little dresses, that she made herself, ruffley socks and those special black patted leather shoes. You know the ones that shined so brightly that you could see your face in them.
I would wait for there to be music or maybe I would just make it up myself, I really don't know. This is what I do know. I would look up at him and say with a slight giggle in my voice, "Daddy lets dance!"
He would reach down his large left hand and take my tiny little hand tenderly in his, then do the same with the right. I would bend my head back so far just to be able to see into his eyes. Then he would say "Put your feet on mine, that way you won't slip and fall." and I would put my pretty patted leather shoes on his. Then we would dance, worling and spinning, swishing and swaying. What a wonderful time dancing with daddy, even though there were many in the room it was just my dad and me floating on air.
Now that I am much older now I know about another father, and he has told me in his word that I must come to him as a little child. So some times when you see me praising the Lord with my hands raised high….. I am reaching up high and taking my left hand and putting it into my Heavenly Fathers hand. I am taking my right hand and holding tight to his other loving hand. I am leaning my head back to try to see His loving face.
He's telling me " Put your feet on mine, I know the steps, that way you wont stumble and fall!" And I cry "Daddy dance with me!"