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We are making this a Permanent Part of our Evening Devotional!
My Good Friend, F. Carrington Weems II, has written a 42-Chapter Book
entitled: A Ticket to Heaven!
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Today, we are starting a Weekly feature called:
“A Word From Casey!”
Dr. Winfield Casey Jones is a Retired Pastor from the First Presbyerian Church of Pearland, TX, He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”But what is going on in heaven that we should pray for it to happen on earth? The Old Testament prophet Isaiah had a glimpse. In Isaiah 6 we read that in about 740 B.C. Isaiah had a vision of heaven, and he “saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’” (Isaiah 6:1-3, New Living Translation)
So in heaven, according to Isaiah, angelic beings are ever praising God and shouting “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts” About eight hundred years later, the Apostle John in Revelation records something similar. John also had a vision of heaven, and in Revelation, chapter 4, we read that John saw the heavenly creatures singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
Actually when Jesus is teaching us how to pray and he gives us the Lord’s Prayer as a model, he begins the prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name…..on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9). The New Living Translation shows us the true meaning of the old English word “hallowed.” “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates the original Greek of the Lord’s Prayer as “Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.” As you can see, in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is thinking of how the angelic beings sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” to his Father in heaven, and he is teaching us to ask God that even as these beings praise Him in heaven, so His name would be praised and honored as holy on earth!
This makes me think of Psalm 100, which I learned as a child. This Psalm teaches us to enter into the presence of God with singing and praise, with honoring God’s name.“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4, New American Standard Bible)
So according to Psalm 100, the way to approach God is though thanksgiving and praise! My friend Rev. Mike Endicott, who has a healing ministry headquartered in Wales, teaches that healing prayer, counter-intuitively, begins not with asking God for healing, but rather with praising God for who He is and what He has done. (Among other things, He is a caring, compassionate, forgiving, and healing God who has borne our sins, sicknesses and diseases on the cross.)
Jesus himself often prayed in the way I am describing—beginning by giving thanks and praising God. According to the four gospels, on one occasion Jesus had been teaching, and as evening approached, he was confronted with the fact that the crowd of 5000 people in the middle of nowhere was hungry. He asked his disciples to survey the available food, and they came up with five loaves of bread and two fish. So what did Jesus do? If we read the four gospels together, we find that he “looked up to heaven,” “blessed the food,” and “gave thanks”!
In a place of scarcity and human need, Jesus led, not with reciting the need to God, but with thanking God! As Psalm 100 commands us, he entered into the presence of God with thanksgiving and praise! From there a miracle happened! This is why Jesus teaches us to begin our prayers to the Father with the prayer of heaven, praising God’s name as Holy!
Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at email@example.com. This column first appeared in the Pearland and Friendswood Reporter News.
Read and hear each Chapter from the Book of Revelation:
GODLINESS EXALTS A NATION, BUT SIN
IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE!
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Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” – Psalm 23:6
Goodness and mercy will pursue you all the days of your life. That’s what the word “follow” literally means in Psalm 23:6–to pursue.
Jesus pursued you with His call of salvation, and He will continue to pursue you. His goodness and mercy are like two sheep dogs that follow the flock to assure there is safe journey to the Shepherd’s final destination.
How many times have you questioned God’s provision in your life and wondered if He really cared for you? Well, there’s no question here. It says surely, not hopefully. Yes, you and I will stumble, but He will pick us up.
How would you live differently today if you knew that grace and mercy were going to follow your every step? How would you treat others?
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“The Greatest thing that ever happened to me was when I realized that GOD forgave me of all my sins through the Death, Burial and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus and through my Faith in Him.”
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Likewise also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God(Romans 8:26-27).
This is the deep mystery of prayer. This is the delicate divine mechanism which words cannot interpret, and which theology cannot explain, but which the humblest believer knows even when he does not understand.
Oh, the burdens that we love to bear and cannot understand! Oh, the inarticulate out-reachings of our hearts for things we cannot comprehend! And yet we know they are an echo from the throne and a whisper from the heart of God. It is often a groan rather than a song, a burden rather than a buoyant wing. But it is a blessed burden, and it is a groan whose undertone is praise and unutterable joy. It is “a groaning which cannot be uttered.” We could not ourselves express it always, and sometimes we do not understand any more than that God is praying in us, for something that needs His touch and that He understands.
And so we can just pour out the fullness of our heart, theburden of our spirit, the sorrow that crushes us, and know that He hears, He loves, He understands, He receives; and He separates from our prayer all that is imperfect, ignorant and wrong, and presents the rest, with theincense of the great High Priest, before the throne on high; and our prayer is heard, accepted and answered inHis name.
–A. B. Simpson
It is not necessary to be always speaking to God or always hearing from God, to have communion with Him; there is an inarticulate fellowship more sweet than words. The little child can sit all day long beside its busy mother and, although few words are spoken on either side, and both are busy, the one at his absorbing play, the other at her engrossing work, yet both are in perfect fellowship. He knows that she is there, and she knows that he is all right.
So the saint and the Saviour can go on for hours in thesilent fellowship of love, and he be busy about the most common things, and yet conscious that every little thing he does is touched with the complexion of His presence, and the sense of His approval and blessing.
And then, when pressed with burdens and troubles too complicated to put into words and too mysterious to tell or understand, how sweet it is to fall back into His blessed arms, and just sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak!
My testimony is at: http://boblewis.net/testimony
Dr John Morgan
September 24, 2017
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Let us not sleep, as do others.
There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song-
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open-the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them-a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
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Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
God continues to bless Sagemont Church. In the last two Sundays, over 100 people have made public decisions to make Jesus Christ Lord of their life. Pastors Chuck Schneider, Stuart Rothberg, and Jim Hastings have been teaching the scriptures as both the Old and New Testaments prophesy and proclaim that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again to claim and receive His children unto Himself. During the worship services, I am preaching the message and promise of the return of Christ.
One may ask, “Pastor, why do you passionately believe that Jesus is literally going to return to the earth?” These are a few reasons:
Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
- Jesus said He would! John 14:3 “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
- The entire Christian view of history demands it.
- The prophetic signs found in scripture are now clearly being fulfilled.
- Earthquakes all over the globe. Matthew 24:7 – (over 20,000 since 1971)
- Hearts will fail for fear. Luke 21:26 – Suicides are epidemic.
- Great explosions of learning. II Timothy 3:7 – People cannot discern the truth.
- Immorality abounds. Luke 17:26-27 – Like the days of Noah.
Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus will come to save His children and judge the rest.
God and Churchill
I have just completed reading one of the best books that I have read in the last twenty years. God and Churchill, written by one of our newest Sagemont members Jonathan Sandys (pronounced “sands”), great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. Wallace Henley, staff member at Second Baptist Church, Houston, assisted Jonathan in this profound book. The purpose of the book is to make clear “how the great leader’s sense of divine destiny changed his troubled world and offers help for ours.” Tyndale Momentum is the publisher. The book has many profound quotes. However, there is one that has impacted my life more than many others. Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, addressing the Church of Scotland General Assembly in 1988, said “I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come back unless you nurture the roots.”
One of the responsibilities of the Bride of Christ, the Church, is to keep Christianity on track and prevent the derailing of His ultimate purpose. The paganism that is engulfing us today will ultimately destroy us unless we return to the roots of our faith. “Our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It is on the solid rock we must stand for truly all other ground is sinking sand.
Note: The book God and Churchill is available in the Sagemont Bookstore.
PLEASE REMEMBER JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL IN YOUR PRAYERS!
Read and hear each Chapter from the Book of Revelation:
Recommendation: Let your Marriage be a Dance… Choreographed by God!
Please Pray for our Troops that remain in Harm’s Way over-seas;
Please Pray for the Unemployed, the Homeless and the Unsaved around the world;
ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS: Please Pray for the economy in our Great Nation . For Peace, Democracy and Freedom in the Middle East; For a solution to our Immigration Problem; Protection for Jerusalem and Israel; Wisdom, Common Sense and Good Judgment for our World, National, State and Local Leaders; For our Military Men & Women in harm’s-way overseas; For our Police, Fire and EMS Personnel watching over us on a local level; For our Country; that it will turn from its wicked ways and humble itself before God so that He will heal our land! That we will elect the people that God would have us to elect to office. Please Email your Prayer Requests to:
Bob’s Favorite Quotes:
1.) The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith and the end of anxiety is the beginning of Faith. George Mueller
2.) Its not Red, Yellow, Black or White Races; Its the HUMAN RACE! Bob Lewis – June 2, 2011 (You can quote me on that!)
3.) God will NOT do what YOU can do and YOU cannot do what GOD can do!
4.) FAITH MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE… NOT EASY!
5.) GOD is GOD alone; I am NOT GOD;
We should ALL state that to ourselves;
He does NOT need our help, we need His!
Other favorite Verses:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.
The Lord hath given him rest from all his enemies.
11 Samuel 7:1
Thy remembrance shall endure into all generations.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.
I rejoice in thy salvation.
1 Samuel 2:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well please.
Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his trust.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.
Sleep on now, and take your rest.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
…Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…All things work together for good to them that love God.
…Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
…Not my will, but thine be done.
The Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent, one from the other.
For with thee is the foundation of life: in the light shall we see light.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John iv:16
Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.
This is the promise… the life everlasting.
1st Epistle of John ii:25
For of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does!”
Bible Chapter Look-Up Just Enter the Book and Chapter and click enter! If you don’t know the Chapters in the Old & New Testaments in order, Just go to: Books and Chapters in the Holy Bible: Click Here! and look them up!)
May God Bless the reading of His Word and may He Bless you and your family and let His Favor shine down upon you today in everything you say and do, in Christ’s Name, Amen.
The most important verse in The Holy Bible is: Jesus told Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have Everlasting Life!” John 3:16
The SECOND most important verse is: Jesus said: “I Am The Way The Truth and The Life: NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME!” John 14:6
From a Subscriber: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
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His Great Commission, as He ascended back into Heaven while on the road to Bethany was:
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