GET TOGETHER- DON’T GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

GET TOGETHER- DON’T GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

Eph 4:29-32 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)

For all of us when we come to the Lord Jesus Christ there are areas that we need the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. I have had to pray this passage over myself and certain situations on numerous occasions since I became a Christian. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I certainly don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit by exhibiting those seven behaviors or actions in the above passage. Those being corrupt words, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice. Below I have these words and the Greek terms that the Bible was originally written in for each one.

1. Bitterness- pikria, pik-ree’-ah . It can figuratively or literally mean poison. A state of sharp resentment or hate; spite or bitter resentment

2. Wrath- thumos, thoo-mos’ a state of intense anger with the implication of passionate outbursts

3. Anger -orge, or-gay’ a state of anger or fury

4. Clamor- To cry out against someone or shout at them in a disrespectful manner

5. Evil speaking blasphemia, blas-fay-me’-ah To speak against someone in a way that will bring harm, or injure his or her reputation

6.Malice-kakia, kak-ee’-ah a feeling of strong dislike with a possible implication of the desire to do harm

I have thought about some of the ads that I have seen by some of our candidates that are running for statewide office. As a Christian that is Pro-Life and a believer that marriage is between one and one woman I have been troubled by these ads where candidates that advertise that they are Christians slam their opponents.

I don’t think us being Pro-Life and Pro Marriage between one man and one woman exempts us from abstaining from these behaviors that grieve the Holy Spirit. Certainly, we are to speak the truth. Certainly, we are to stand up for what we believe. But we are also to do this without grieving the Holy Spirit.

In a culture that is so hostile to the church we will need the Holy Spirit’s help to speak the truth in love. We will need the Holy Spirit’s help to not as Paul writes in Ro 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. (NKJV)

If you noticed I left off one behavior in my list. It is speaking corruptly. The Greek term here for corrupt is sapros, sap-ros’. It means pertaining to that which is harmful in view of its being unwholesome and corrupting – ‘harmful, unwholesome.’

We can see many that oppose the Gospel filled with rage, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking. The devil would like to have us to resort to those behaviors. But if we will not grieve the Holy Spirit we can depend upon Him to help us to glorify God even in the face of persecution and hostility. 2Co 10:4,5” For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

LET US PRAY

Lord Jesus I know for me and many others there are times that the enemy attempts to get us to respond as the world responds when we are persecuted or criticized. We need Your help through the Holy Spirit to not grieve the Holy Spirit and act in a manner that brings glory to Your Holy Name. Help us to pray through this passage in all circumstances and situations where we would be tempted to speak, or act in a way that would not bring glory to You.

In Jesus Name

Amen

God Bless you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

BLAST FROM THE PAST GET TOGETHER – Others Are Important

BLAST FROM THE PAST

GET TOGETHER – Others Are Important

Mt 7:12 ¶ “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

I must admit that some of my weakness and shortcomings that the Lord is healing me from are people pleasing, performance, and the opinion of man. And yes, I have been delivered from those demonic spirits, but we also must learn how to walk in a way where we are not only free of those, but realize that we are still called to love and value people.

Sometimes on the other hand we can often go to the other extreme where we don’t value people and we can become self-centered and forget that Jesus has commanded us to love others and to care for them. When Jesus was pressed by the Pharisees about what was the greatest commandment here is how He answered Mt 22:37-39 Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Greek term for like in verse 39 is hom’-oy-os. It means being like something else in some respect. As some of the billboards on the highway used to say Jesus is serious about that loving your neighbor thing. It is a commandment from Him.

Here are a few questions that I need to ask myself. When I am tempted to fault find another Christian would I want them to fault find me? When I am in the company of a non-Christian can I win them better by treating them as I would want to be treated, or by being a jerk to them? Wasn’t that what Jesus was trying to teach us when He taught the Parable about the Good Samaritan ( Read Luke 10:30-37) ?

One of my favorite passages is Php 2:3” Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” With that said I pray that for all of us in the Body of Christ we will know that just because we are not supposed to be man pleasers, or perform so that we can get the approval of others we are called to love, serve, and value others without any other motive, but loving God, and loving our neighbor. When we do we are obeying what Jesus said to do and we will be about the business of advancing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Let Us Pray

Lord today we thank You that you have called us to be a people that love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. You have also commanded us to love our neighbor sa ourselves and to do good to them. We need Your help. We also know that some will need Your help in loving us. Help us to love, serve, and treat others the way that you have commanded us to do.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- CAN WE STILL WIN THEM?

GET TOGETHER- CAN WE STILL WIN THEM?

Lu 11:17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. (NKJV)

What a great and undeserved blessing it is for me to live in the United States. I have been to several countries and met wonderful people in all of them. But I am always thankful to get back home and enjoy the freedom and the blessings that God has given to our nation. I pray that in no way in this Get Together that I try to make a political point on behalf of, or in opposition to any political figure in this nation. That is certainly not my intent. Also, I am not putting this here for some type political, or religious debate.

I will be upfront I am a person that believes that life begins at conception, and that marriage is between one man and one woman. I also know that racism is a very serious sin that has led to much mistrust and bitterness in our nation. When I was working in our family business there were at least two times as late as the 1970’s that I had some customers try to intimidate me because we had served African Americans in our business.

As a Christian that fully believes that there is only one God who has revealed Himself to us through His only begotten son Jesus Christ in whom I believe the following words to be so true “Ac 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” I have a question for the church. And that question is for me as well.

Can we still win people to Christ? A Pastor friend of mine who I would consider more conservative in some ways than me gave me two good words of wisdom one time. He told me to not try to defeat those that oppose the Gospel, but to try to win them. The other word was to preach prophetically and love pastorally. Meaning preach the word without compromise, love the people, and depend upon the Holy Spirit to do the work of convicting people of their sin.

There is an uncivil war going on in our nation now. For us as Christians our battle isn’t against people. Eph 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NKJV)

One of the devices of the enemy is to try to get Christians to respond in a manner no different than the world’s response. We are told to respond in a different way than the way that the world, or those who oppose the Gospel respond “Ro 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”(NKJV) Jesus said it like this Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. ” (NKJV)

Certainly, there are evil forces at work in this nation and yes, they do work through people. Before I became a Christian the forces of evil worked through me as they do all lost people in some way. But praise God somebody was praying for me and loving me despite my sinful wicked condition! And Praise God that God used them to win me to Christ!

As we celebrate the birth of this wonderful country that many have died for. A country that I believe was founded on Christian principles although we have not always been perfect in adhering to them. My prayer is that God will birth a desire to pray for those to be converted that oppose the Gospel in this nation. For we all once opposed it either wittingly unwittingly: Ro 5:10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

My prayer also is that God will once again birth an evangelistic and missionary zeal in His church again. Here is a statistic that should challenge us all 75 percent of all Christians do not believe that sharing their faith is important. We can’t win them if we don’t think that it is important. My answer to the question that I posed is yes, we can still win them. We can win them if we get our eyes on Jesus. We can win them if we truly make our churches Houses of prayer. We can win them if our lives reflect the life of Christ and most of all we can win them if we really have a desire to win them. I pray that as we all celebrate the 4th of July that we will prayerfully ask the Lord to guide us and direct us in order that we can win the lost to Christ. I believe that God would love to redeem all that is wrong in this wonderful nation and make it a light shining on a hill. Not only may God bless you, and God bless this nation, but may God use us to bless others.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that you are the only Name given unto Heaven through which men and women can be saved. Forgive us for not being concerned about the souls of those that oppose the Gospel. You came to seek and to save that which was lost. Make our churches Houses of Prayer. Make us a people that rather than trying to beat the lost, but a people that can win the lost.

In Jesus Name

Amen

I do pray that all of you in the United States that are reading this will enjoy a wonderful 4th of July. For our brothers and sisters in Christ that we have been so blessed to serve with in other countries that are reading this we do covet your prayers and we do know that God desires to bless your nation as well. Looking forward to seeing our friends in Guatemala very soon!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- IT’S A TEAM THING!

GET TOGETHER- IT’S A TEAM THING!

1Co 12:14-18 For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

This past weekend my son-in love Shaun and two of our grandsons Judah and Micah participated in a Father – Son Basketball Camp at Missouri State University where our son Jake is an Assistant Coach. We all had a great time!

During the camp Head Coach Dana Ford answered questions as we sat in the team meeting room. He also shared some of his coaching philosophy. He told us that in a team sport such as Basketball that it isn’t about the individual, but about the team. He shared that for those that may not buy into the team concept that perhaps they should pursue another sport that is about the individual rather than the team. That made think about how the church is like a team.

Certainly, God loves us individually. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We can now have a personal relationship with Him because of that. However, the Bible also points out that we are saved to serve. We are to be in a loving relationship first with God, but also in a loving relationship with other members of the Body of Christ.

All of us have an important and essential role to play in the Body of Christ. I cannot say of Christians that may be in another part of the Body of Christ that I have no need of you. You can’t either. We may not always serve side by side. We may have different worship styles, but we are one body. We all need each other’s prayers. We all need each other’s love and support.

Within our local congregations we all need one another. For example, I just had to call one of our members to come and check something here at the church that really isn’t in my area of expertise. God has created all of us in some way to contribute to the body. Don’t ever think that what you are doing even if no one see it, but God is not important.

As the Body of Christ, we have an important assignment. We are called to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth. If you are a hand, ask God to anoint that hand to use for His glory. If you are an eye, or a foot, do the same.

When we have a personal relationship with Christ that does not mean that we have a private relationship with Christ. Jesus said it like this:

Joh 17:20 -23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” The writer in Hebrews says it like this : Heb 10:24,25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We have no other option, but to be team players. But what a glorious option that is. This team never loses and one day we will see our opponent that is already defeated put away forever: Re 20:10 “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Be a team player! Help recruit others to the team! The benefits are eternal!

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus forgive us for the times that we have not been team players. Today help us through the Holy Spirit to fulfill our calling in the Body of Christ. We pray as eyes we will see, as ears we will hear what the Holy Spirit is saying ,and as feet we will go where you have commanded us to go.

In Jesus Name

Amen

For the sake of being modest I won’t share about my performance at the Camp. You can check with the coaching staff. (Lol)

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER-  He Shall Direct Us In All Things

GET TOGETHER-  He Shall Direct Us In All Things

Joh 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (NKJV)

 

When I was about twenty years old I coached a Junior High Football Team. I made many mistakes during those two years.   There is one that stands out to me and that I would learn from.  It happened like this.  One time was when  I changed a play when I yelled the change to a player that I was sending in off the bench.   He was so far out on the field that he could not understand me.   The play that he thought I called sounded like the play that we needed to run, but it wasn’t the one that we needed to run, and we got tackled for a loss at a very crucial time.   It was not the players fault. It was mine.

When we need direction from God we don’t need to be concerned that He is going to tell us what to do at the wrong time. His timing is always perfect.   Although the voice of the Lord is powerful and can reach us at any physical distance we can allow some things to distance ourselves from the Lord that would inhibit us from hearing His voice.

We can let being busy with even good things that inhibit us from spending time with God. We can begin to read the word prayerlessly and it becomes like homework rather than enjoying intimacy with our Heavenly Father. 

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. We don’t have to wonder, or guess what truth is.  He will reveal the Father’s will for us in our congregation, our families, our calling in life, and every other aspect of our lives. He will never misunderstand what the Father is saying.  He will always communicate the right play to run at the right time. 

 He will also tell us what to do in the future. We don’t have to guess, and we don’t have to wonder.  We are reminded of all these things throughout the Scriptures Pr 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will speak to us. This morning as I was praying about a matter after some good quality time with the Lord I heard the small still voice of the Lord tell me what to do concerning this matter. In Joh 10:27 we are told “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (NKJV) He never miscommunicates. He never leads us in a wrong direction.

There were some things that I probably should have thought about as I was trying to change the play that I was sending in by the young man. I should have thought about was he able to hear what I was shouting at the distance that he was from me.  He was also a young player and was probably a little nervous.   Our Heavenly Father knows the perfect way and the perfect time to get His message to us. It is our responsibility to be seeking, listening, and then doing what He says.

 Today He is speaking to those who will listen. Don’t let sin, or fleshly distractions keep you from hearing His voice and obeying His voice. And as I said earlier don’t let the busyness of life hinder you from hearing His voice.  If we don’t let those things interfere we will hear what to do and what not to do. Then we can walk in victory because He knows what is ahead of us. And He has planned a good future for His children Jer 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

 

 

Let Us Pray

 

Lord Jesus today we pray that You will help us to be good listeners to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.   We know that the Father has the perfect plan for every part of our lives. Root out the junk in us that inhibits us from hearing the small still voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

In Jesus Name

Amen

 

Blessing to all of you! May we all hear His voice and obey His voice. When we do we can get ready for some God things to come our way!

 

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

 

Re: GET TOGETHER– TRUST HIM TO DO IT!

Today as we were returning home from Springfield Missouri there was a man getting gas right beside us at a station about thirty miles out of Springfield. He had on a T- shirt. On the front it said I have been found. On the back it said “it was right that we should make merry” from Luke 15:32. No matter what you have done there is a Father willing to find you, forgive you, and throw a party to celebrate your return home. Come home today, and let the party begin! “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”

Luke 15:31-32 NKJV

GET TOGETHER–   TRUST HIM TO DO IT!

Ps 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. (NKJV)

 

 

This verse comes from one of my favorite Psalms that have so many of the promises of God in them.  I am so glad that Jesus paid the price for His children to be able to receive the promises of God. The Apostle Paul said it like this in “ 2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (NKJV)

 

Sometimes God allows challenges to come to our life that only He can take care of for us.  Recently J.J. had challenged me to begin to read the passages about trusting God as we were discussing some situations that were challenging to us.

As I began to read and print off several passages on trusting God this one has really stuck with me in a good way.   As Christians we have all put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. As we progress on this journey there are challenges that will come our way to see if we are willing to trust Him in these various circumstances and situations. This is a big part of growing as a Christian.

 

Did you notice that in the passage from Psalms the first thing that we are to do after we trust the Lord is to do good? That is one reason that the enemy will try to get us to believing that we cannot trust God. He wants to inhibit us from doing good.  Remember The serpent convinced Eve that she could not trust God:

           

 

Ge 3:1-5¶ Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”  Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

Think about this it was the Lord’s desire that they trust Him, do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.  Look what happened because of their mistrust of God.

             Today God desires to do good to His children. There will be times that the enemy will try to convince us that we cannot trust God in certain situations and circumstances.  When this happens, we can either be like Eve and suffer the consequences, or we can feed on the faithfulness of God and dwell in the land as He desires for us to do.   Below are some passages on trust.  This week get some time alone with God and begin to declare these passages over your situations and circumstances.  I believe that when you do you are going to walk in a new level of trust and watch God do some things in you, and for you that only God can do.

 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that You are always calling us to a higher level of trust. We praise you that there are things that only can be done by the Father-Son-and Holy Spirit on our behalf. We are going to declare your word over them and watch for God to work in a way that it could only be God that did it and that only God can get the Glory for it.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Ps 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the LORD.

Ps 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Ps 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.

Ps 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

Ps 115:9 ¶ O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 115:10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 115:11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.

Ps 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.

We love you guys thanks for your love and encouragement.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER– TRUST HIM TO DO IT!

GET TOGETHER– TRUST HIM TO DO IT!

Ps 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. (NKJV)

This verse comes from one of my favorite Psalms that have so many of the promises of God in them. I am so glad that Jesus paid the price for His children to be able to receive the promises of God. The Apostle Paul said it like this in “ 2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (NKJV)

Sometimes God allows challenges to come to our life that only He can take care of for us. Recently J.J. had challenged me to begin to read the passages about trusting God as we were discussing some situations that were challenging to us.

As I began to read and print off several passages on trusting God this one has really stuck with me in a good way. As Christians we have all put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. As we progress on this journey there are challenges that will come our way to see if we are willing to trust Him in these various circumstances and situations. This is a big part of growing as a Christian.

Did you notice that in the passage from Psalms the first thing that we are to do after we trust the Lord is to do good? That is one reason that the enemy will try to get us to believing that we cannot trust God. He wants to inhibit us from doing good. Remember The serpent convinced Eve that she could not trust God:

Ge 3:1-5¶ Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Think about this it was the Lord’s desire that they trust Him, do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Look what happened because of their mistrust of God.

Today God desires to do good to His children. There will be times that the enemy will try to convince us that we cannot trust God in certain situations and circumstances. When this happens, we can either be like Eve and suffer the consequences, or we can feed on the faithfulness of God and dwell in the land as He desires for us to do. Below are some passages on trust. This week get some time alone with God and begin to declare these passages over your situations and circumstances. I believe that when you do you are going to walk in a new level of trust and watch God do some things in you, and for you that only God can do.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that You are always calling us to a higher level of trust. We praise you that there are things that only can be done by the Father-Son-and Holy Spirit on our behalf. We are going to declare your word over them and watch for God to work in a way that it could only be God that did it and that only God can get the Glory for it.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Ps 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the LORD.

Ps 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Ps 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.

Ps 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

Ps 115:9 ¶ O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 115:10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 115:11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Ps 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.

Ps 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.

We love you guys thanks for your love and encouragement.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- GET READY TO WORSHIP

GET TOGETHER- GET READY TO WORSHIP

Joh 4:19-24 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This past Sunday morning the Holy Spirit touched my heart through someone in our congregation in a very special way. There is a lady who attends our congregation that is physically blind. I say physical because although she cannot see with her eyes she isn’t spiritually blind.

She was in the sanctuary while the choir was practicing before the service. She was sitting in the pew with her hands raised and a beautiful smile that was lighting up the whole sanctuary. The Lord used her to get me ready to worship.

Sometimes as a Pastor and I am sure for all Christians there can be many distractions that will be hinderances to us worshipping the Lord in Spirit and in truth. We often get concerned is it too hot, or too cold. We get to wondering why this person, or that person isn’t here. Is the music too loud, or not loud enough?

We were just coming off being off a Sunday and I always must pray through getting back into the flow when we have been off the week before. It was a holiday weekend and our attendance was down. When the service was beginning the Lord brought to my attention how this sister was just so happy to be in the House of the Lord. She was already worshipping before the service even started. The Holy Spirit then gave me such joy and peace and we had in my opinion a wonderful service.

When the woman at the well encountered Jesus she asked Him where the proper place was to worship Him. Jesus lets her know that it isn’t the place, but it is the heart of the worshipper that is most important. We often get into debates over what style music is best for worship. We often ask ourselves do we need more contemporary music, or go back to the old hymns, or perhaps maybe Southern Gospel? The answer is that it can be any of them, or none of them. It is the heart that is prepared to worship in Spirit and in truth that matters.

One thought that came to me about this dear sister was that she didn’t come to evaluate, but she came to celebrate. I am not saying that we should not test the spirits when we come to a service, but I have caught myself at times doing more evaluating that celebrating.

If we have been saved from Hell we have much to celebrate. If we are going to Heaven we have much to celebrate. If we have been healed or delivered from anything we have much to celebrate. And most us unlike our dear sister that I have mentioned can still see physically with our natural eyes. So, I am preaching to all of us especially to myself to be ready to worship when we come to the House of the Lord.

Would you take just five minutes each day this week to pray for the service wherever you worship this coming week? Would you pray for all who will be participating in the service in some way? Please pray for the Pastor, the worship team, choir, altar workers, all who contribute in some way. Please pray that those who attend will come to celebrate the goodness of God and worship the Father in Spirit and in truth?

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus You are so worthy of our worship and adoration. Please forgive us when we allow petty things to distract us. Help us when we come together to worship the Father-Son- and Holy Spirit in Spirit and in truth.

In Jesus Name

Amen

We are so blessed to know each and everyone of you. On behalf of J.J. and myself we pray God’s best for all of you.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- HE IS A REPAIRING RESTORING GOD

GET TOGETHER- HE IS A REPAIRING RESTORING GOD

Isa 58:11-12 The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

We just got back yesterday from a family trip to the beach. We went to Fort Morgan, Alabama and really had a great time. Going to the beach and listening to the waves and marveling at God’s creation is one of my most favorite things to do.

I would like to share one of my great grace moments with you while we were there. We had rented a beach umbrella and I was sitting there by myself one afternoon for a little while. During that time there was a group of people in front of me. They were well behaved mostly adults. They were listening to music that I no longer listen to. It was the rock music of the seventies. Let me say this I am not judging them, or anyone else for listening to the music that they were listening to.

On the other hand, it was music that I listened to when I was living in rebellion against God. It was music that I listened to during a very dark time in my life. And for me I usually tried to live out what those songs were saying. So, for me regarding that music it certainly wouldn’t be helpful for me 1Co 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” I am thankful that I am not under that power anymore and certainly don’t want to go back under it.

Now for the grace moment. As I listened to those lyrics and remembered even one time driving all the way to Fort Walton Beach by myself and basically turning around and coming back the next day I began to praise God that He had given me a wife that I never thought that I would have. I began to praise God for giving us children. I never thought that I would have children during that time, and I certainly didn’t think that I would ever have grandchildren.

There are many people out there right now that have given up hope. Many are like I was trying to get their broken heart healed through drugs, alcohol and by other carnal means. If that is you, or if it is someone that you love this message is for you. There is One who can repair your life, or the life of that person that you are praying for. There is One who can restore dreams and can give eternal life and life more abundantly. His Name is Jesus. As the above passage tells us. He will satisfy your soul. He will heal your damaged emotions. He will bring healing to your body. He will give you a fresh new countenance. He will even use you as a vessel to do it in the lives of others.

Today if He has already done it for you take time to give Him praise. If you haven’t given your life totally to Him let today be the day. Decide that rather than trying to live out your life singing to lyrics that are contrary to His will for your life. Let today be the day that you begin to sing a new song.

The Psalmist repeatedly reminds us to let the Holy Spirit change our tune:

Ps 33:3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Ps 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear And will trust in the LORD.

Ps 96:1 ¶ Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Ps 98:1 ¶ <<A Psalm.>> Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

Ps 144:9 ¶ I will sing a new song to You, O God; On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,

Ps 149:1 ¶ Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints.

This is a great part of the repairing and restoring process. Let him put that new song in your mouth. When He does you won’t want to go back to singing the old ones again.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus some of us thought that we were broken beyond repair. We thank you that not only have You restored and repaired, but You are still working on us healing old wounds, dressing up old scars. We thank You for repairing and restoring our sin damaged lives. We pray for those reading this that are hurting and those that are living in rebellion trying to heal that hurt that they will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to that place of repair and restoration.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Thanks to all of you who pray for us. We can never thank you enough.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- LET HIS VOICE BE YOUR VOICE

GET TOGETHER- LET HIS VOICE BE YOUR VOICE

Ps 29:1-11 <<A Psalm of David.>> Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!” The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, And the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace. (NKJV)

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday! On this day we celebrate the day that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. Believers and followers of Christ can now experience the supernatural power that we all need to be faithful witnesses of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus had promised that this would happen: Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

One time and I am not sure what study that I was doing, but in one the author implied that the disciples who were gathered in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost were singing the above Psalm. This Psalm was recognized as the Festival Psalm for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. The phrase “the voice of the Lord” is used six times in this Psalm. Let’s look at them and see how the voice of the Lord can thunder through His people who have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised that we would receive.

“The voice of the LORD is over the water”. Today do you feel like the waters of uncertain situations and circumstances are about to carry you away? Cry out to Him and know that His voice is thundering over the situation and circumstances.

“The voice of the LORD is powerful.” Jesus said in Mr 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (NKJV) Today let His voice speak through you and command those mountains of worry, fear, doubt, confusion and sickness to leave. His voice is powerful, and He desires to speak through His children.

“The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” When the King speaks everyone around knows that it is the voice of authority. It is the voice that makes all others go silent.

“The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars.” The cedars of Lebanon were big strong trees. The voice of the Lord is more powerful that the strongest natural force. Perhaps there are some natural things that God desires to remove supernaturally from hindering us in our journey with Him. Know that His voice is powerful enough to do that. Naturally we are told that people will always be addicts. Supernaturally we know that God can change that and set people totally free.

“The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.” When He spoke on the day of Pentecost He released the fire of God upon those that were gathered in the Upper Room. Ac 2:3 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.” He is still speaking and releasing that fire today for all of us who will seek as they did in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost.

“The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness.” His voice will still shake the wilderness today. You or someone that you know may be in the wilderness of addiction, of despair, and the wilderness of heartbreak. This past Sunday in our service we had a man testify of how the Lord has been faithful in bringing healing to him after his son had been killed in a kayaking accident several years ago. This son had just graduated from college and was getting ready to embark on a career. Like any of us would have been his parents were devastated. Even though there was no doubt that this son was with the Lord when someone has a child leave this walk of life it is a very devastating and painful thing. The wilderness can be a cold hard place. But praise the Lord that the voice of our God can shake the wilderness! As our brother Jeff shared this testimony we could certainly see how the voice of the Lord had thundered and brought him out of the wilderness.

“The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth.” The voice of the Lord is always giving new life. He is the God of life. On that first Pentecost Sunday. The Lord gave new life to His people. He empowered His people as He promised that He would. He is still empowering His people today. Let Him empower you by giving you either an initial infilling, or a fresh infilling of His Holy Spirit today. When we do our voices will become conduits for His voice.

Let Us Pray

Lord we thank You that Your voice is mighty. We thank You that Your voice can do greater things than we can imagine. Help us today to be people that allow our voices to be conduits for Your voice.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Have a Happy Pentecost!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston