FREE

 

          Allow me to just take one moment to express some heart-felt thoughts to you all. First of all I want to thank you for your warm letters and e-mails both responding to the messages as well as my birthday. Thank you all so much. I feel bad about missing the birthdays of people close to me. I know I constantly miss my Father’s birthday. My sister’s birthday was just this past week also and I missed it. Even my own children’s birthday. So I just want to take this time to thank you all for being in my life. You are a gift from God. My prayer is that these words help you come a little closer to the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            Join me in prayer please;

Our heavenly Father; Thank you for your Grace and your Mercy. I come into your presence today in the name of Jesus. Forgive me dear Lord for entering your courts with my hands full of sin. Only you can wash me clean. Forgive me Lord for not feeling the depths of the pain that my sin causes you. Help me Father to never take your Grace lightly but rather to count the blessing of your saving Grace as my only hope of the eternal life, which I know, is in you. Father God; there are so many of us now with so many different concerns upon our hearts. Billy’s little baby boy struggling for his life in the hospital. We thank you for the miracle of life and the work that you are continuing to do in that family’s life. Marcel continues to pray for her children and grand children. Lord we lift Carla again before your throne and ask that you touch her with the reality of your truth and goodness. Many of us are praying over health issues. David continues to win the battle of his lung disease. Others are longing for that breath of life that healing touch that comes from you. I believe your word Father where it is written that by His stripes we are healed. I know that you are the God that heals. Father I pray that you continue to give the doctors who are ministering onto Rose Poston wisdom and strengthen her and Pete both physically and spiritually. I also want to pray for Joey’s back this week Lord. Touch him with your power. Let him know without a shadow that it is you Lord Jesus that holds together the entire universe. Thank you Lord for Virginia Dirk. Be with her as she goes for surgery on her wrist this week. Let her healing amaze the doctors and give her a quick return to the wonderful art that comes from her blessed hands. Lord God I pray for my Boys, Matthew and Nathan. Be with them Father for I can not be. I have entrusted them into your hands and I know that your perfect will is being worked out in their lives. Continue to bless my wife with improved health. Thank you for her in my life. Tank you for Rachel and the entire Dort family. What a blessing they have been. I ask that you be right in the midst of Austin’s wedding this weekend. Let your presence be felt and let the bonds of matrimony be secure for Austin and Michelle. Bring every one home from the wedding safe and sound. I know that some of us are concerned about our financial situation. Lord I pray in the name of Jesus that you open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing upon these you people so much so that they will be able to share it with others who are in need. You own the cattle upon a thousand hills as well as the hills themselves. You are our provider. You are the one we turn to in our times of need. You have never let us down. We are trusting in you for all our needs. Our biggest need is you dear Lord and your kingdom. I know that you are a rewarded of those who diligently seek you and all of our worldly concerns will be given to us as we first seek you and your kingdom. Lord we are calling out to you now in one accord. We need peace in our families, We need joy in our marriages, we need love in our relationships, and we need patience in our workplaces. We need goodness upon the roads. We need gentleness with our children. We need faithfulness in our relationship with you. We need self-control over our own selfish desires. We need you. Jesus we call upon you name and believe. We accept you blessing right now we receive the healing. We receive the financial blessing. We receive the spiritual fruit. We receive the fullness of you into the center of our beings right now, with all thanks giving. And now we pray for the one who teaches us you word; forgive him of his sins and pour out your anointing upon him that we might see Jesus and Him only. For it is in His name we pray; Amen.

 

            I remember hearing someone tell about how Shirley McClain is quoted as saying how the greatest adventure any one could have is the journey within our selves. Now that I have had many years to travel through the jungles of my life I am discovering more and more of how true the Bible is. It has never failed yet people still insist upon coming up with there own ideas about life. I have to go easy on them because I came up with some pretty far-fetched ideas myself. As I journeyed within myself I did not discover that beautiful soul blooming under its own glow. Rather what I found was more of a horror story. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa 64:6 KJV) “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

 (Mark 7:21-23 KJV) I do not think I have to go much further before  you get the idea that if we were to honestly take that journey within ourselves we would only discover that in the end there can only be one destination for our souls. That destination is death and despair, separation from the one true God who we tried so hard to imitate yet not hard enough to embrace.

            Oh great  Pastor Bob this is encouraging. Not! Well, I have to tell you what I experienced this week. It was the first time since being renewed in the spirit that I felt a separation from God. It has been seven years of this fire burning within my bones. Seven years of the eternal river of life flowing from my inner most being. Seven years of eternal life, then this spirit of separation and despair came upon me. Somebody else is experiencing this same feeling right now. It almost felt as if God had given up on me and I did not blame Him one bit. I tried for days to call out to Him yet it felt as if my prayers were hitting the ceiling and not being heard. I felt an emptiness that I had not known in a long time. Then I realized that that emptiness is what hundreds, thousands even millions of people experience every day. They try to fill that void with the things of this earth but still come up hungering for more. Some just give up on ever filling the void and settle into a life of fragrantless silk flowers covered with the dust of by gone dreams.

            Let me tell you what saved me from drowning in that sea of complacency. The key is found in the word saved. You see, even though I had in my head the truth that we are saved by grace in my heart I was still relying upon my living the Christian life. And I knew that I was falling short of that standard of excellence. I took a look at my self along that line of sanctification and saw how far down the list I was and I gave up. You may have felt like giving up in the past. You might even being feeling like it now. Well I am here to tell you in the midst of the sandstorms of life there is a pearl of great price. There is hope in tomorrow. There is life abundant. There is a river that can flow from the depths of you soul that will never run dry. There is an eternal flame coming from the throne of God that will ignite your life like an inferno.

            It is grace. It is the realization that it was not my Christian service that kept that fire burning within my bones. It is not my discipline in reading the bible and spending hours in prayer that kept that river flowing. Infact there is nothing that I can do to earn the grace of God. If I could it would not longer be grace now would it. God loves you right where you are. Sin and all. He is not surprised by your thoughts. By the way, He knows every one of your thoughts. You have not been hiding anything from Him. The truth is that while you and I were still sinners Christ died for us. That righteousness that we know we can never achieve, that is if we can be honest enough with ourselves to admit that we are sinners in need of a savior, That righteousness is imputed onto us by the work that Jesus did upon that cross.

            You say yes I know that Jesus died on the cross to forgive me of my sins but I had better not mess up or all of those sins are going to be poured back onto me and all my hope in eternity will be lost. Now if you are thinking any way along those lines then the truth is you have never really been saved. I am talking about an eternal salvation that can only come from trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone. Not any of your or my Christian works of righteousness. We could not even come close. It is the grace of God and we get ahold of that truth then we can know without a shadow of a doubt that we are saved and Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. We will realize that we are forgiven so we can finally lay down that heavy burden of guilt and shame. We can set our pride aside and admit that it is God. The very creator of the universe who has accepted me as his own child. It is that same all powerful God who now dwells within my very being. No I can not become righteous and holy, how can I become something that God already says I am.

            Are you ready to be delivered from that dark cloud of discontentment. Are you ready to let the river flow. Are you ready to believe upon the Son of God. It has to start with  you changing your mind about your ability to do it. You have to come to the point where you admit that you can not now, nor will you ever be able to live up the holiness of God. Guess what. You already do. Its like being set upon a shelf for so many years then Jesus comes in and takes your place so not you are not only free to go out into the son but you now are clean and holy and pure and accepted as the Father’s beloved.

            I learned a great lesson this week. I learned that no matter how great the teacher without the truth there is no class. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Trust Him today.