When I Say, “I Am A Christian”!

kneeling in prayer sunset

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean livin’.
I’m whispering ‘I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.’

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow!”

Author: Unknown

©2014 Mark Davis

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Merry Christmas!

Every day should be Christmas!
Every day that we get to live,
As we live it, we call it the present.
We give and receive presents on Christmas.
Every day should be Christmas!

Sick or well, as we live, it is a present to us.
Enjoy your presents to their fullest.
We never know if we will ever get another present!
Thank God for your presents
By living for Him every day.

Merry “every day”!
But NEVER leave out “Christ”!

–Mark Davis

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Psalm 30:10-12 - “Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

©2013 Mark Davis

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Joyce Meyer – Anointed Woman of God or Heretic? (Part 1)

Christians Are Us:

“I don’t like writing negative things about other people, especially those who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ, however, I feel that the Lord has called me to be a watchman on the wall. It isn’t a job I asked for, but ever since I read the following passage in Ezekiel, many years ago, I have felt compelled to warn people from sinning against the Lord, and from following false doctrine and false teachers. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-21 ~” Cheryl Showers

 

Recently, there has been talkings around me about the credibility of Joyce Meyer.  In this article, Cheryl only touches on some of the things that make her a person that you really don’t want to learn from.  Many of her false teachings are woven into truth and it sounds really good and believable.  As Cheryl shows, Joyce is absolutely in the “False Teacher” category – for the books, she is in my books too.

 

Christians, please be careful of what and who you read.  The more truth you put into your brain, the easier it will be to keep the untruth out.  Saturate your life with God’s Word and Godly things to look at, hear, drool over :-) , and in doing all that, you have no choice but to be thinking about Godly things.  When you have “God” swarming in your head it is near impossible to let sin in; keeping you away from committing sin.  Abide in Christ (John 15:4-7)!

 

God bless you all.

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

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Originally posted on Burning Fire Shut Up In My Bones:

Image Credit: Zachery Oliver

Image Credit:
Zachery Oliver

I love the Lord, and I love His word. In fact, I’m very passionate about Him, His word, and His people. His word is life, therefore, it is of utmost importance that we know His word and not twist it or alter it in any way. Otherwise, we run the risk of leading many people astray.

Teach me Your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.

~ Psalm 119:33 — NLT ~

Image Credit: ubdavid.org

Image Credit:
ubdavid.org

This scripture is a promise to the Lord, that if He will teach me His decrees, I will keep them to the end. Now, it’s important that I share with you what keep means in this scripture, because it means much more than I ever realized until I studied it.

The Hebrew word for keep is natsar (pronouncednä-tsār’), which means:

I. to guard, watch, watch…

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Why Would YOU Want To Be A Christian?

Wow, what a question.  Have you ever considered why you or anyone else would want to be a Christian? If you were to ask that to 100 people, you would probably get 100 different answers.

I think that God, or Christianity of some sort, has a different appeal to everybody but ultimately, when the answers are sifted out, you come down to the basic reason of Good nature versus Bad nature.

On the Good Side, most people’s image of Christianity says:

  • If you are at the lowest that you think you can get, Christianity can make everything better for you.
  • If you are having problems, regardless what they are, God can make things all better.
  • If you have poor health, Jesus will heal you – just like He did in the Bible.
  • I want to be rich and Christians say that if you are walking closely with God then He will let you have anything you want.
  • I want to see my deceased loved ones.
  • And the list could go on for a long time.

When in actuality, God, in His Word, The Holy Bible, says:

Come unto me all you who are weary
and I will give you rest.

-Matthew 11:28-30

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9

2In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.

-John 14:2-3

4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

-Revelation 21:4-5

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him
shall be in him a well of water springing up
into everlasting life.

-John 4:14

13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep,
that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
that we which are alive and remain
unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 

Christ transforms the Christians

Yet, on the Bad Side, people would say about Christianity:

  • “There really is no hell.”
  • “If God is real, He is very loving and would never send anyone to hell.”
  • “Christianity is nothing but a bunch of rules that if you break them you go to hell.  There is no way to keep them all so why try?”
  • “The God I know of from the Bible is not loving at all, in fact He is very angry and vengeful. Why would I want to spend eternity with a God that caused the whole earth to be flooded and He chose to make total nations be slaughtered by His people?”
  • “I’m having too much fun doing the things that the Bible says are wrong.”
  • “I believe that when we die we don’t go anywhere – there is no eternity – we just cease to exist.”
  • “I believe that hell is the bad stuff that we go through while we are on earth and when we die, God lets us all go to heaven.  If we are really good, we get really nice things when we get there.”
  • “I go to church every time the doors are open and I even give my 10% to the church. I try to be as good as I can and love everyone else.  That should mean that I will get into heaven if I’ve been good enough.”
  • “I was baptized when I was little and went through catechism so I should skip purgatory and go right into heaven when I die.”
  • “God has blessed me with plenty of money while I’ve been on the earth and I’ve even given a lot of it to the poor. Since I’ve done so well on earth, then God must love me enough to let me into heaven. I’ve never done anything really bad so I should have no problem getting into heaven.”
  • “I don’t think that anybody can really KNOW that they are going to heaven for certain.”
  • “And there are so many more that I can’t list them all, but most of them are similar to these.”

Instead of giving you a bunch of scriptures that refute what I just wrote above, let me ask you a question (or three or four).

What is it that you are relying on to get YOU to Heaven?

If you were to die in the next 10 minutes and you are standing face to face with God and He asks you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” — What would you say to Him?  

If what you were relying on to get you to Heaven was wrong, would you like to know? If you can say, “YES“, to this question, please read on.

If you can relate to any of these statements on the BAD side here, and your answer happens to be, “NO“, then you can close out of this page and find something else to read (I suggest reading “I’m Dead, Now What?“) because you won’t want to listen to anything that I have to say anyway.

Moving on…

According to the Bible only (I am not making any of this up) since we count the Bible as God’s own Words – He doesn’t just come out and talk to us person to person (yet).

First – Every man is a sinner (breaker of any/all of God’s 10 commandments as set forth in Exodus 20)

James 2:10 -
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law,
and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Romans 3:10 -
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 -
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Second – The penalty of sin is eternal death!

Romans 6:23 -
“For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Third – Eternal Life is offered to us ONLY through Jesus.

John 3:15-16 -
15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.

John 14:6 -
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 5:8 -
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Fourth – How do we receive this GIFT of God?

Romans 10:9 – 13 -
9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It’s as easy as that!

If you are relying on anything more than what I’ve just described, then you are not putting ALL of your faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His redeeming blood that was shed to wash away all of our sins.

God doesn’t want us to add anything to this because if we do, it becomes a “works based” salvation. What do I mean by that?  I mean that if there was ANYTHING that we could personally add in order to get to heaven, we would be relying on ourselves to do something special to buy our salvation into heaven.  God won’t let that happen!

Why?  Because, if you or I were able to add anything to that very basic salvation then, whether on this side of heaven or even once we get into heaven (which won’t happen), we would be bragging to our friends or anyone we come in contact with about what WE did to get to heaven. Can you tell me what sin that would be called?

PRIDE!

Proverbs 16:18 -
“Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 -
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Pride is one of the biggest sins that there is.  If you think about it, most of our sins that we commit on a daily basis are based on pride or at least are stemmed from it.  They can almost all be linked back to pride.  That being the case, and pride being a sin, and heaven can contain NO SIN, we would never be allowed into heaven based on anything that we are able to personally do.

All God wants us to do is to put our faith and trust in Him.  Believe in Him and His salvation-work at Mt. Calvary as all that is needed to get into God’s Heaven.

Doing some of those extra things that you do to get into heaven on your own might make you feel really good, but imagine how much better you could feel if you trust Christ first and then all of those good things that you would have done for your salvation, if there is still any virtue in their accomplishment, you can do them for God’s glory rather than your own.

You see, in Matthew 6:16, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees of the day for doing works out in the open so that they can look more pious than others, but in verses 17 and 18 He goes on and tells them that they should do their “works” in private so that only God can see them.

Because, in verses 19 through 21 He goes on to say:

19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- Matthew 6:19-21

What’s even better than this is in:

John 14:2-3 -
2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.”

These verses give me great promise and comfort that when my time on earth is finished, I will have a place of extreme comfort to be able to finally rest.  Jesus ascended into Heaven after His resurrection from the dead so that He could prepare a place for me.  If you put all of the verses together, that tells me that after we are saved from our sin’s penalty in Hell, and I start doing things for Him (not for myself and my own glory), I start to lay up treasures in Heaven.

Those verses indicate that there are many mansions in Heaven and that Jesus is going to prepare a place for me and if I lay up treasures in Heaven, as the other verse says, then, when I get there, I should have, as I picture it, a larger mansion with many treasures in it.

Why would anyone in their own right mind want to, knowing this, please ourselves and others around us for our own vain glory when we have so much more waiting for us when we do things the way God wants us to do them?

I mean, seriously, WHY?

Yet, people do it all the time — WE do it all the time!

Yes, I’m guilty too!  It is the “old man”, the “sin nature”, that is in us that naturally wants to receive the pleasure from the gratitude that we get or the trophy (or equivalent) that we would get for doing something especially well and so that others around us can see how GOOD WE are.  We have to fight that sin nature to make sure that God gets the glory for our accomplishments instead of us – after all, He is the one that gave you the ability to do the thing that got you that glory.

I can speak from experience that if you continue to bring glory to yourself and God has other plans for you and you continue to do your own thing to please yourself rather than do the things that would bring God the glory… He can arrange it to where you are no longer able to do those things that bring you pleasure/glory, but make it so that you have no choice but to turn to Him.

Folks, He will continue to allow bad things to come your way so that little by little you are disabled of the things that bring you that pleasure.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  God has control over all!  He can and WILL do what is necessary to get your attention… until… some day, He may finally determine that you are a hopeless case and you will never turn to Him to do His will and He will bring you home.  That “home” may be Heaven, or it may be Hell, but if you don’t listen to Him and His callings, the outcome may not be the way you would really have liked it.

God wants your talents and your time and abilities – let Him have them.  <I’m pleading with you> Turn your life over to His will.  You will have more peace and joy in your life than you ever imagined.

Yes, you will still face adversity but the difference now is that when you do, you will have a friend with you that sticks closer than a brother, that will NEVER leave you or forsake you and will never steer you wrong by giving you bad advise.  He is the Comforter.

You see, all of those things that I listed at the beginning of this article can still be yours but only if you are serving God.  He will NOT grant those things to you because of your own selfish pleasures. He truly knows the best way to live your life – better than you do.  Let Him have control over your life so that He can show you what He has in store for you.  It may not be what you thought you would be doing, but I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Lord, I ask that you get into the heart of those reading this article right now and convince them of all of the great things that You have in store for them – at the very least, You can take away the heartache and hurt that they are feeling right now.  Give them comfort in knowing that You are now in control of the situations in their life.  Please, bring healing to their hearts and lives.  In Jesus’ Name and for His glory I ask these things, Amen.

If you have received the blessing from this article and or this prayer, please leave a comment (or go to my contact page if you wish to stay anonymous) and let me know that you have received a blessing from this.  I would really love to share your joy so that I can give God the glory as well.  As always, if there is anything you need from a spiritual point of view, please feel free to let me know.

God bless you, –Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

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Here’s The Problem With Our Churches Today

I’m reading a lot in different places about how everybody (that is talking) is a “Christian” and how there should not be division among the “Christians” and, in general, churches/ religions/ denominations.

They think that all they have to do is call themselves a “Christian”, when in actuality, there’s a lot more to being a “Christian” than just saying you’re a “Christian” and then doing a bunch of good things.

First, let us look at what it means to be a “Christian”.

The definition of “Christian”: Christ – like or Christ – follower

How do you become a Christian?

If you look at Romans 10:9-10, it says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.

And then Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

First, to be a Christian, we have to confess with our mouths that we are going to follow Jesus AND we have to believe in our hearts that God actually did raise Jesus from the dead on the third day, and that’s all it says we have to do. Then it says that with the heart man believes unto righteousness (or salvation or becoming a “Christian” by more than just name). Not only do we have to say that we are going to follow Jesus, we have to believe it.

It’s not enough to just believe that we are going to follow Jesus, but we also have to confess that we have, and to open our mouths and tell people and then, and only then will we be saved. (Step by step guide through salvation)

You see, there’s nothing there that says that we have to do anything special other than this, there’s no good works, there is no baptism, there’s no “Hail Mary”s. That’s IT!

Ephesians 2:8-9 backs up that statement by saying that it’s only by God’s grace that we are saved and the reason for that is: it can’t be because of anything WE DO, “and that not of yourselves,” means that there’s nothing we can do that will get us into heaven. Salvation is a gift of God, requiring no works because God doesn’t want any man to be able to brag about what they did to get to heaven.

Joining a church, giving money to a church or any other charity, working in a soup kitchen to help the poor, just generally being a good person, WILL NOT GET YOU TO HEAVEN! Really good people such as: Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul, Buddha, or your next door neighbor can NOT get to heaven by their works!

At that point, and only after all of this is completed, can we call ourselves, “Christian”!

If you have not done that, then you cannot call yourself a “Christian”! If you are relying on other things besides confessing sin and claiming Jesus as your Savior for your salvation, then you MAY NOT BE a Christian.

This is not being judgmental! This is only repeating what God’s Word says. It is stated again many other times through Scripture. What more do we need?

Once this is completed, the hard part begins. Now we have to BE LIKE Jesus!

Matthew 16:24
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Many people figure being like Jesus is just loving people. When in actuality, Jesus tells us to keep His commandments. How many commandments are we supposed to keep? Is it only “love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor”? No, it’s not!

We have to remember that Jesus is God, no question about it. We also have to remember that God gave the 10 Commandments along with many other commandments after that in the Old Testament.

Then we have the much-debated-upon “doctrines”. These doctrines come out of the same Book that tells us about Jesus and explains to us what Jesus wants us to do. The whole Bible is filled with His commandments. If we are not doing EVERYTHING that is written within the pages of the Bible, then we are not doing what God wants us to do.

Now, you want to know why people argue? It’s because of the doctrines! Are these important? ABSOLUTELY!

Some of these doctrines are cut and dried; you don’t have to wonder what they’re telling us to do. Some of them are not so cut and dried. That is where religions and denominations come in. That is why people have to argue. That is why there is dissension in our churches. That is why we have church splits as well.

With all of the “education” that we have out there today, each individual teacher (or pastor/priest) is going to teach their own point of view. In other words, too many of them, what the Bible says at that time means absolutely nothing. The unfortunate thing is that we, as the little people, end up being taught the wrong things… And we believe them.

We are told Acts 17:13, that we are to be like those in Berea, and search the Scriptures daily to see if any of these things are true.

You don’t have to believe me about any of this. You can go on living the way you want to. You can call me all sorts of names. You can do anything, but if you don’t believe the Bible, you’re wrong. I challenge you to prove me wrong. The Bible does not contradict itself.

I may consider myself to be a particular denomination; that denomination does not make me a Christian, nor does it even make me better than anyone else. I’ve chosen the denomination that I belong to, because of what they believe, instead of a non-denominational church because they don’t want to tell you what they believe or they only tell you part of the story.

It’s up to you to figure it out by studying the Bible and to find out if they are right or wrong. If they are wrong and you stay there, you are wrong. In James 4:7, it says, “for to him that knows to do good and doeth it not, to him it is SIN”! [emphasis mine]

I’ll tell you what, the journey really begins after a person becomes a Christian. As a Christian, we are to be discerning of what is right and wrong, and then call it what it is – and then do something about it!

You never saw Jesus, when confronted with something that was wrong, just walk around it. He always confronted it head-on. Think about the temple and the money changers and how He overthrew their tables, and He cast them out of the temple. He actually got mad. And this was Jesus – He got mad! Sometimes we have to, too!

When somebody says something that goes against what you THINK you believe, instead of trying to fight with them, try trying to figure out if what that person said is actually true or not. How do we find out? By going to God’s Word. Because, you see, if it doesn’t go along with what the Bible says, it’s most likely WRONG!

In a perfect world there would not be any argument between different religions or denominations. In fact, there would be no religions or denominations, we would all believe the same things. That IS coming in the near future. It will either be after Jesus comes to take us to be with Him, or it will be when this world sets up a (false) one-world-religion and demands tolerance among all religions.

There is only one way to heaven. If your church does not teach that, it is wrong! And, if you stay there, knowing what I have just said, you will be wrong too and God will hold you accountable for it at the Judgment!

IT’S YOUR CHOICE…

©2013 Mark Davis

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Behold Our King!?!

In a society today, where, day by day, it becomes more and more apparent that the world as we know it is almost a thing of the past, and we have wars happening around the middle-east and Africa and various countries’ economies have failed, it makes us wonder, “WHY?”

It really doesn’t matter what part of the world you live, you should still be able to see and/or feel some of it happening around you – and maybe to you (I’m sorry).

Normally I would be happy to tell you that I live in the United States of America, but it is seeming more every day that the good ole USA is in the midst of collapse as well.  There are Major cities whose economies have tanked and they have gone bankrupt – who ever heard of a city going bankrupt anyway?  Never in the history of the United States has that ever occurred and then our federal government is giving them money so that they don’t get wiped off the face of the earth – and this has happened more than once in just the last year or so.

There are earthquakes happening all over the globe at a rate that far surpasses written history and with that volcanic activity has increased as well.  We are hearing of major volcanoes that, if they erupt, will decimate or smother anything within a thousand mile (or so) radius.

We, here in the U.S.A., being a democratic society, have elected a president, senate and law-makers that, in the last 5 years, have quadrupled our national debt; being at this time over $17 Trillion and counting.  The “elected” are required to debate amongst themselves to try to come up with a balanced budget every year – there hasn’t been a balanced budget in the last 5 years.  Now, they have forced a healthcare system upon the people that is going to end up throwing our society into a tailspin and the economy of the U.S.A, will tank as well.  Our national credit rating has been downgraded to the point that we are almost in a position of becoming a second-world country.

What does any of this have to do with a king which I named in the heading?

Nearly (in round numbers – don’t take me to task on this) five thousand years ago the Children of Israel had been ruled by a God that they couldn’t see where all of the other societies around them were ruled by kings that they have chosen.  Leading up to this, the Children of Israel started complaining to Samuel about this and began demanding that they be allowed by God to elect a king.

Side Note:
Does it make any sense to you that they would have to go through a “prophet” of a “God” that had been ruling them for hundreds of years to this point to ask permission to be able to elect a king?  I didn’t think so, but the story goes on…

Finally, the Lord of Israel let them have their way.  Samuel was on the Lord’s side and about as fed up with the people as God.  We pick up the conversation (a bit one-sided) at that point – Samuel speaking:

1 Samuel 12:13 -16:
“Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
14 “If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
15 “But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 “Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.”

Are you watching?  Earlier I told of many things happening around the world.  If those of you reading this are from another country, I pray that you will put this into the context of what is going on around you, but, for the majority of my readers, living in the U.S.A. I will keep it a bit more personal and right in front of your face.  Here are a list of some of the things (I wish I could list them all) that lead to our moral and societal breakdown:

  • United States of America originally founded on Biblical principles giving us freedom OF religion
  • Now people are trying to have freedom FROM religion with a “totally” God-less society
  • Women’s Liberation – burning of the bras
  • Introduction of Rock and Roll – British Invasion
  • Woodstock
  • Equal rights movement – Martin Luther King Jr. and the black/white revolution
  • Moral infidelity reaches the White House (not that it had never been there before but it was made popular through popular media) with John F. Kennedy
  • Vietnam/Korea conflicts that we really didn’t belong in and leading to others around the world – riots rampant at home in the States
  • Charles Manson became the first serial killer “heard around the world” which increased crimes and severity of crimes around the world
  • Gay Liberation – leading to increase of immorality
  • Impeachment of Nixon and Watergate
  • Pornography becomes popular through magazine and video media
  • Increased acceptability of teen and illegitimate pregnancies
  • Major drugs become popular and in some cases legalized/taxed
  • The 1980’s brought in Glamour and Punk Rock producing a heightening level of “acceptance” and “toleration”
  • Beginning of being able to sue in a court of law individuals and companies reducing the sense of responsibility of one’s own personal actions
  • Iran takes US captives and Reagan was instrumental in getting them back, as a result terrorism breaks out and an outbreak of Islam/Muslims and their terrorism
  • Outbreak of AIDS and other major epidemics leading to scientific development of germ warfare
  • Taking the Bible and Prayer out of our public schools
  • Abortions are popularized and legalized – Planned Parenthood (partially funded by US government)
  • Beginning of airline terrorism – heightened security needed around the world
  • Terror hits at World Trade Center (the first hit in the garage) then the Oklahoma City bombing and then the 9/11/2001 Twin Towers World Trade Center/Pentagon and Pennsylvania attacks
  • Divorce becomes readily acceptable among couples also making couples living together without getting married just in case it didn’t work out for them also creating single-parent families more prevalent
  • Personal computers become a norm in most households
  • Advent of the internet and readily available of all types of information, good or bad
  • Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender lifestyle acceptable and even promoted in our public schools
  • Rampant availability of pornography on the internet
  • Escalation of movie ratings, leading to higher and higher ratings needed, then television ratings needed, then more and more nudity acceptable on TV – glorifying violence and sexuality
  • Sex education in school health classes – now being taught to kindergarten students 5-6 years old (really?)
  • 10 Commandments being removed from our courthouses and oaths not sworn on the Bible
  • The word “God” being removed from our pledge of allegiance and currency

If you’ve been through the Bible much, especially if you’ve read how it all ends, you will realize that this world really is going to end and, in the end, there will be only two kinds of people: those that end up in God’s heaven and those that end up in hell/Lake of Fire.  It is not a fairy tale or a joke.  There have been thousands of Prophecies that had been told of in the Bible and historically they have been fulfilled, all but a few. That’s right, the ones that deal with how things end up – how the world ends.

There is some hope though.  Later in that chapter of first Samuel it gives this condition for us to have God’s favor provided we have accepted His free gift of salvation as indicated in the New Testament (remember that 1 Samuel is part of the Old Testament):

1 Samuel 12:24-25:
24 “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
25 “But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.”

That is pretty cut and dried.  We run the risk of being consumed as a country or personally.

If you haven’t accepted Christ as your personal Savior and accepted His free gift of salvation, I strongly suggest that you do.  If you would like to find out more about it please click here.

©2013 Mark Davis

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“Shrek the Sheep”

Shrek the Sheep

This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his normal fleece… Simply because he was away from his shepherd.

This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus calls Himself a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep.

Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ as savior but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.

When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd and the shepherd took care of the rest.

Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Christian, let Jesus shear off your extra baggage.  Give it to Him and let Him take control.

If you can’t call yourself a Christian or you aren’t sure you are a Christian, please read “You’re Dead, Now What?” .

Comment Here

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©Mark Davis 2013

Temptation

Proverbs 1: 10
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

Luke 4: 8 –
“And Jesus answered and said unto him,
Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,
and him only shalt thou serve.

1 Corinthians 10: 13
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

– Matthew 26: 41
Watch and pray,
that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

James 4: 7
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 1: 12 – 16
12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 “Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

Hebrews 2: 18 –
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Ephesians 4: 27
“Neither give place to the devil.”

– Mark 14: 38
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Hebrews 4: 15
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Luke 22: 40 –
“And when he was at the place, he said unto them,
Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

James 1: 2 – 4
2 “My brethren,
count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 “Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 “But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

– Hebrews 12: 4
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin.”

2 Corinthians 2: 11 –
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us:
for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

1 Peter 4: 12
“Beloved, think it not strange
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you:”

Mark 9: 42 – 47
42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

– 1 John 4: 4
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you,
than he that is in the world.”

1 Peter 4: 1 – 2
1 “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh,
arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 “That he no longer should live the rest of his time
in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

1 Peter 1: 7 –
“That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory
at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

Ephesians 6: 10 – 17
10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

– Romans 6: 12 – 14
12 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 “Neither yield ye your members
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God,
as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Luke 4: 1 – 13
1 “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 “Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5 “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9 “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
10 “For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11 “And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12 “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”

– 2 Chronicles 32: 31
“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon,
who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land,
God left him, to try him,
that he might know all that was in his heart.”

Revelation 3: 10 –
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth.

2 Peter 3: 17
“Ye therefore, beloved,
seeing ye know these things before,
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
fall from your own steadfastness.”

2 Timothy 4: 18
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Galatians 5: 17 –
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other:
so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Luke 22: 46
“And said unto them, Why sleep ye?
rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

– Proverbs 3: 5 – 6
5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”

1 John 2: 15 – 17
15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

1 Peter 4: 7 –
“But the end of all things is at hand:
be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

– 1 Peter 1: 6
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice,
though now for a season, if need be,
ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”

1 Corinthians 6: 18 – 20
18 “Flee fornication.
Every sin that a man doeth is without the body;
but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 “What? know ye not that your body
is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 “For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit,
which are God’s.”

Romans 7: 5 –
“For when we were in the flesh,
the motions of sins, which were by the law,
did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”

– Luke 11: 4
And forgive us our sins;
for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

Luke 8: 13 – 14
13 They on the rock are they,
which, when they hear, receive the word with joy;
and these have no root, which for a while believe,
and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard, go forth,
and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to perfection.

Mark 10: 21 – 25
21 “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 “And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 “And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Matthew 12: 41 –
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment
with this generation, and shall condemn it:
because they repented at the preaching of Jonas;
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

– Proverbs 13: 14
“The law of the wise is a fountain of life,
to depart from the snares of death.”

Psalms 94: 18
“When I said, My foot slippeth;
thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.”

– Psalms 66: 8 – 12
8 “O bless our God, ye people,
and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9 “Which holdeth our soul in life,
and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 “For thou, O God, hast proved us:
thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 “Thou broughtest us into the net;
thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”

Genesis 39: 7 – 14
7 “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 “But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 “And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11 “And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 “And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13 “And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
14 “That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:”

Revelation 12: 11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Hebrews 12: 3 –
“For consider him that endured such contradiction
of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

1 Timothy 5: 15
“For some are already turned aside after Satan.”

– 1 Corinthians 7: 5
“Defraud ye not one the other,
except it be with consent for a time,
that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer;
and come together again,
that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

Romans 14: 13 –
“Let us not therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block
or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”

Zechariah 13: 9
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

– Ecclesiastes 1: 9
“The thing that hath been,
it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.”

Proverbs 14: 27 –
“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
to depart from the snares of death.”

Psalms 66: 10 – 13
10 “For thou, O God, hast proved us:
thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 “Thou broughtest us into the net;
thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
13 “I will go into thy house with burnt offerings:
I will pay thee my vows,”

– Psalms 17: 4
“Concerning the works of men,
by the word of thy lips I have kept me
from the paths of the destroyer.”

Job 7: 18
“And that thou shouldest visit him every morning,
and try him every moment?”

Joshua 7: 21 –
“When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment,
and two hundred shekels of silver,
and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight,
then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold,
they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent,
and the silver under it.”

– Genesis 27: 6 – 13
6 “And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying,
Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
7 “Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat,
that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
8 “Now therefore, my son,
obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
9 “Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats;
and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10 “And thou shalt bring it to thy father,
that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11 “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother,
Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12 “My father peradventure will feel me,
and I shall seem to him as a deceiver;
and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 “And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son:
only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.”

Genesis 22: 1 – 14
1 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”

Genesis 3: 1 – 19 –
1 “Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field
which the LORD God had made.
And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said,
Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 “And the woman said unto the serpent,
We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,
then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil.
6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,
and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 “And the eyes of them both were opened,
and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons.
8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
and Adam and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 “And the LORD God called unto Adam,
and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden,
and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?
Hast thou eaten of the tree,
whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me,
she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 “And the LORD God said unto the woman,
What is this that thou hast done?
And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent,
Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle,
and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go,
and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed;
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16 “Unto the woman he said,
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
and thy desire shall be to thy husband,
and he shall rule over thee.
17 “And unto Adam he said,
Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,
and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying,
Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake;
in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;
and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
till thou return unto the ground;
for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art,
and unto dust shalt thou return.”

– Revelation 12: 10
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,
Now is come salvation, and strength,
and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:
for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,
which accused them before our God day and night.”

2 Peter 2: 18 –
“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity,
they allure through the lusts of the flesh,
through much wantonness,
those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”

2 Peter 2: 15
“Which have forsaken the right way,
and are gone astray,
following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor,
who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”

– 2 Peter 2: 9
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,
and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

1 Peter 4: 5 –
“Who shall give account to him that is ready
to judge the quick and the dead.”

Hebrews 11: 17
“By faith Abraham,
when he was tried, offered up Isaac:
and he that had received the promises
offered up his only begotten son,”

– 2 Timothy 3: 13
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived.”

1 Timothy 6: 9 – 10
9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 5: 8 –
“But if any provide not for his own,
and specially for those of his own house,
he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

– 1 Thessalonians 3: 5
“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your faith,
lest by some means the tempter have tempted you,
and our labour be in vain.”

Galatians 4: 14 –
“And my temptation which was in my flesh
ye despised not, nor rejected;
but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 12: 7
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

2 Corinthians 11: 14 – 15
14 
“Therefore it is no great thing
if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;
whose end shall be according to their works.”
15 “And no marvel;
for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

– 2 Corinthians 11: 3
“But I fear, lest by any means,
as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted
from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10: 28 – 32
28 “But if any man say unto you,
This is offered in sacrifice unto idols,
eat not for his sake that shewed it,
and for conscience sake:
for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
29 “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other:
for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
30 “For if I by grace be a partaker,
why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.
32 “Give none offence, neither to the Jews,
nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”

1 Corinthians 8: 9 – 13
9 “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak.
10 “For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 “And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 “But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
13 “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

Romans 14: 15 –
“But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat,
now walkest thou not charitably.
Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”

Romans 12: 21
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

–  Romans 8: 35 – 39
35 
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long;
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
38 “For I am persuaded,
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 10: 10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Luke 22: 55 – 60 –
55 “And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall,
and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56 “But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire,
and earnestly looked upon him, and said,
This man was also with him.
57 “And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58 “And after a little while another saw him, and said,
Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59 “And about the space of one hour after another
confidently affirmed, saying,
Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
60 “And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.
And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.”

Luke 22: 31 - 32
31 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:
and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
32 
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold,
Satan hath desired to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 21: 33 – 36 –
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away:
but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves,
lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting,
and drunkenness, and cares of this life,
and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them
that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape
all these things that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man.”

– Luke 12: 35 – 38
35 Let your loins be girded about,
and your lights burning;
36 “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord,
when he will return from the wedding;
that when he cometh and knocketh,
they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:
verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself,
and make them to sit down to meat,
and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch,
or come in the third watch, and find them so,
blessed are those servants.

Mark 14: 67 – 71
67 “And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 “But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69 “And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 “And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.”

Mark 14: 37
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping,
and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou?
couldest not thou watch one hour?

Mark 13: 33 – 37 –
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray:
for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants,
and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!

Mark 13: 21 – 22
21 And then if any man shall say to you,
Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
and shall shew signs and wonders,
to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

True Independence

americaneagleflag

Independence is celebrated on July 4th each year in the United States of America.  Of course this independence was won 200+ years ago, giving us freedom from the oppression of England in that day.

What is Independence?

  • Freedom?
  • Self-determination?
  • Potency?
  • Resilience?
  • Self-reliance?
  • Liberty?
  • Self-governing?
  • Sovereignty?

The United States of America formally declared their independence from England on July 4th, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What most people don’t understand is that they are also under the tyrannical reign of none other than Satan himself.  Just because they don’t see him in front of their noses doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist and doesn’t reign.  The people of the American colonies did not see the king of England.  In fact many of the colonists had never even stepped foot in England, but yet they were under his rule and oppression.  In fact they might, on occasion, even see a British soldier and at times even squads and whole armies of them.

We, no matter where you might live (this applies to you too), don’t see Satan himself or even his soldiers that we would normally call his demons, which are usually in spirit form.  Frequently, most people are influenced by one or more of his demons and some people have even made their bodies the homes of some (one or more) of these demons – we would normally say that these people are possessed by the demons. And, yes, it is very real.  It is not something that was made up in a story book or movie or t.v. show.

Why is this so important?  Because if we follow, or even allow ourselves to be controlled by Satan and his minions, we will follow him to eternal death. Some will call this HELL!

Why is Satan so bad?  Think about what Satan is related to in our own terms today.  What is he known for? He is the “Father of Lies”;  he is behind everything evil and bad.  How far down on the “ruler of bad” does his influence go?  All the way down! Even to the smallest white lie or even a bad thought.

Why should it be so important to us?

You see, Satan is so crafty that he makes bad (henceforth referred to as SIN) look so enjoyable and fun – not to say that all things enjoyable and fun are sins – that most people that do it don’t even think twice about it because it doesn’t seem wrong.

But when you look at the outcome of sin, it always comes out bad, sometimes even to the point of the death of themselves or even someone else.  Immediately, it might seem or even be harmless, but, you see, the evil has already been done.

When a person starts smoking a cigarette it doesn’t kill them.  But maybe, many years later, after that person has smoked all of their life since, one day a doctor tells them that they have lung cancer.  But at the beginning it didn’t seem so bad.  It didn’t seem to hurt anyone.  It did smell up the house quite a bit, so maybe it would be a better idea to smoke outside. Hmm.

He didn’t realize that while smoking obviously causes damage to the lungs, the “bad” that the cigarettes do in the lungs doesn’t stop there. It gets into the bloodstream and it gets into other organs and tissues and starts killing them too.

He didn’t realize that because he smoked, it makes his likelihood to contract any other type of cancer 50% more. In any organ or tissue in his whole body.

He didn’t realize that just the exposure of the smoke to others who might not smoke, increases the other person’s chances of contracting cancer as well as many other diseases (and deformities).  He didn’t even think that he might be hurting someone else at the same time.

I write this passionately because some of this has happened to me, you can read about some of it here.

You see, I may not have total liberty and freedom from the effects of the sins that I have committed in my mortal body, but I have the awesome promise that when I no longer have this human body and my soul lives on in eternity, I will have a beautiful and perfect body (Phil. 3: 21; 1 Cor. 15: 42-44; 1 John 3: 2);  I will experience no pain – at all! (Rev. 21: 4)

I suffer on a regular and constant basis as a result of my sin but it serves as a reminder of the grace of God.

You see, just as sin will eventually lead to death (physical and eternal), eternal life requires a penalty as well.  Because God cannot live in a place where there is sin, and because of the fact that everyone has sinned (Rom. 3: 23; Rom. 3: 10), there is no way that any person on earth – past or present – has lived a perfect and sinless life so that we could warrant entry into God’s presence.

Time for celebration now – God figured out a way that we can get into heaven (His home).  He figured out a way that someone else could take the penalty of sin – death – for us!  What joy!  But who would be able to do that?  It would have to be none other than God Himself.

How could that be?  How would He do it?  It just so happens that God has 3 parts to Him (just like we have 3 parts – body, soul and spirit): God the Father (Who lives in Heaven), God the Son, Jesus (the One that has the physical body); and God the Spirit (the spirit that is in all places at all times).  God determined that He would send His Son to die for us – to take our place in death, so that we could have eternal life.

Jesus, in human form (actually we are in His form, but that is another story), was sent to earth as a baby, to be born of a virgin – Mary.  He was raised by Mary and her husband Joseph until He was around 30 years old all the while Jesus didn’t sin one time – He lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live.  Then Jesus started His ministry years – about 3 years. During which time, He did many miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick and disabled people; He raised dead people.  He proved that while He was still man and sinless, He was still God and All Powerful!

But then came the penalty.  Remember that Jesus was sent to earth by The Father to take the penalty for our sins which would be death!

He would have to die for us.

You know, Jesus, being God still, had the ability to call it quits at any time He wanted to while He was still on earth – and with everything that He went through, I would have called it quits early in His life, I think. But He didn’t!  He stuck it out here on earth and dealt with all of the cuts and bruises and all the temptations that we would go through.  But He was still sinless, perfect and still a man!

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us – so that we don’t have to. (John 3: 15 – 16; Rom. 5: 8)  Could you imagine, willingly handing your only son over to have him blatantly murdered?  There would be no one left to pass on your family name.  All of the love that you have given and received from/to your son… gone – as a human, never to return – forever!

Jesus knew why He was there.  He knew what He had to do.  DIE!

He died in the most horrific, barbaric and painful way that they had at that time – the cross.  Two pieces of good sized trees, cut to go one across the other.

One of the tree poles was longer so that it would stick up in the air and so that they could put it in a pretty deep hole to prop it up. Furthermore, they publicly humiliated Him by forcing Him to lift up His own cross and drag it along the path, up the hill to Mt. Golgotha (meaning: the place of the skull).

Once they got to the top of the mount, they then took His hand and held it to the other piece towards the end and used a spike that was about 9 inches long to drive through his hand and then into the wood so that it wouldn’t pull off.  Then they did the same to the other side, stretching His arms as far apart as they would go.

They took his feet and, using the same kind of nail, drove the spike through both of His feet together and then into the wood.

Since the Jews hated Him, thinking Him to be a heretic and full of blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God and God Himself, they mocked Him calling Him, “The King of the Jews”.  Because of this, they fashioned a crown out of thorn branches.  The thorns were said to be nearly 2 inches long.  They then put the crown on His head and then shoved it into His scalp as far as it would go.  They then put a sign at the top of the cross above His head that said “King of the Jews”.  They mocked Him and tore His beard out of His face by the clumps.  They gave Him vinegar on a sponge to drink, which, of course, He couldn’t drink or even swallow.  In fact it stung His face in the wounds that had been given Him through His beatings.

After all that, a group of soldiers lifted Jesus, being attached to the cross, up, putting the bottom of the pole into the hole and let it drop – probably a couple of feet – and it fell down.  Then it stopped, ripping and tearing at His flesh on His hands.  In fact, when He hung on that cross, His rib cage was lifted up into a position to where He couldn’t get a breath of air.  He had to push Himself up with His nail-torn feet.  Oh, what excruciating pain that must have been.  And it was for you and for me.

While on this cross, Jesus took upon Himself the weight of ALL of the sins of the world – past, present and future (Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Peter 2: 24). In fact, for a period of three hours, the skies turned dark, like an eclipse except it lasted for three hours (Mark 15: 33). During those three hours, God the Father turned His back from Jesus, likely, because He couldn’t look upon all of that sin.

Mark 15:34 says, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

After that He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died. Soon after He died, the soldiers came to Him to make sure He was dead. Instead of breaking His leg like the other two that He was crucified with, and seeing that He was obviously dead already, they just took a spear and jabbed it into His side and blood and water gushed out.

He was buried in a borrowed tomb with a huge round stone rolled in front of the doorway so that it couldn’t be rolled away without much effort.  In fact, it took two to three men to move it in or out of place.  Once it was in place, the Romans placed 2 soldiers at the tomb to guard it because they had heard that Jesus said that He would rise again after He was crucified, so they figured that if they placed guards there for a few days (He said that it would happen on the third day) to make sure that the disciples didn’t come to rob the grave and make it look like He had risen.

God is so much more powerful than that.  He caused the guards to fall asleep and then God’s angel rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus was risen from the dead.  Not because of the angels but because He is God and He caused Himself to be risen from that grave.

Mary Magdalene was the first to come to the tomb to pay her respects to “the dead”, Jesus, and when she got there, she saw that the stone was moved and she looked inside and saw two “men” – actually angels – sitting in the place where the Lord was laid.  They asked her why she was crying and she told them because they had taken her Lord and she didn’t know where they had taken Him.

After that she turned around and there was a man (Jesus) standing at the tomb opening and, Mary supposed that He was the gardener.  He then asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for.  She asked Him if they had taken Him somewhere and that she would like to know where.

Jesus said to her, “Mary”.  She recognised His voice and said, “Master”! He told her not to touch Him yet because He had not yet ascended unto the Father.

Mary ran and told everyone else – the disciples.  The same evening, all of the disciples were sitting in a room together and the door was closed then Jesus just appeared in front of them and He told them to be calm and not worry.  They recognised Him and He showed them His scars in His hands and feet and his side and they knew that they had seen the Lord. (John 20: 11 – 20).

You see, Jesus was truly God!  If He wasn’t, He couldn’t have raised Himself from the dead just like He told everyone before He died.

The fact of the matter is here, that Jesus did all of this for you and for me. To take our sins away from us so that we are no longer looked at by God as sinners, but as redeemed or bought back by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus’ blood was shed to cover all of the sins of the world, so that God no longer sees them as sin that we are accountable for.  We can now go to Heaven to be with Him when we die.

We are now set free from the sin and the eternal death that goes along with it (Romans 6: 23).  We are now able to be called “Christians”.

But wait!  It doesn’t stop there!

God wants to give us this independence from sin, but He doesn’t just give it to everyone and they don’t know it.  He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for it (Romans 10: 9 – 10; Romans 10: 13).  That is why “everybody” isn’t saved from the eternal death in Hell.  That is why it is so important that I tell you this story.  That is why we, as Christians, have an obligation to spread the Word about Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

You see, that is True Independence!

Just like our soldiers went to war and fought and died (some of them) so that we can have the liberties that we have and the independence from the oppression of an evil dictator, Jesus went to war against sin and the Devil and died – but as He died (and rose again), He won the war against the Devil and paid the price so that we can have independence from the penalty of sin.

Friend, if you have not yet asked Jesus for His salvation, His independence, I urge you to do it right now.  Please, with all sincerity, repeat this little prayer (talking to Jesus) after me:

Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner . . . and I deserve the penalty of death and hell. . . . Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins, . . . and I want you to take away my sins . . . so that I can go to Heaven to be with you when I die. . . . I want you to be the Lord of my life . . . and make me a new and better person . . . so that I can reflect the changes . . . that you have made in my life. . . . and so that I can share the great news . . . to my friends and family and everyone I know . . . so that they can see You in me. . . . Thank you, Jesus . . . for removing my sins from me  . . . so that I can have eternal life. . . . In Your name, Jesus, . . . Amen.

Christian, if you just prayed that prayer with me, I’d like you to just make a comment at the bottom of this page or go to my About/Contact Us page and just let me know what you have done.  It is something that all of us can rejoice about and we want to rejoice with you about it.  It shouldn’t be anything embarrassing to you to let me/us know about this life changing decision that you have just made that is going to change your life and who you are, for the rest of your life.

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that when we ask Jesus to take away our sins and to forgive us, He comes in to live in our life (some people even say that He comes in to your heart – same thing) and He will NEVER leave you, no matter what you might do that might displease Him. If you do something again that is a sin, just ask God to take that sin away and forgive you of it, and He will.

Let’s all live a life of True Independence!

In Christ’s Name and in His love,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading – These articles are strongly recommended:

Prayer

Once a person has initiated a personal relationship with God, he/she should want to try to cultivate that new relationship with God.

As with any other type of relationship, you can NOT have a relationship without communication; there needs to be you talking to someone and that someone talking back to you.  That is the way you get to know each other.  One talks – the other listens.  It doesn’t work so well when one does all of the talking and the other doesn’t talk at all.  It becomes a one sided love affair, so to speak.

So now we have this “love affair”; between you… and God.  How does that work?

I know that there is this part about how you are supposed to do what God wants you to do but how do you really know what that is?

It all has to do with prayer. 

God made the first move by sending Jesus to die for our sins. 

You made the next move by trusting in His redemptive blood to save you from sin’s deadly fury. 

God has now made you a part of His family; a son of God; joint-heirs with Jesus to the King-hood of God.

The next step is that we are to follow Christ. 

Now we are back to where we started again.  Where do you go from here?

You need two things:

1) A Bible (if you don’t have a physical Bible, you obviously have the internet and there are bibles available online).
2) An insatiable desire to please God by learning and doing what He tells you to do.

If you look around you at church, you will notice that there is not one person around you that is anything like you.  That is exactly the way God wants it, because you are special.  No one else has the same set of skills or personality traits that you have.  God needs YOU to do exactly the things that you are equipped to do.  Sometimes you might know right off hand what those things are that need to be done, but other times, you have to wait for years to find out what it is that He wants you to do for Him.

Prayer

Prayer is another way of saying that we are talking to God.  Unless you know something that I don’t, talking to Him is very much unlike the way we talk to others around us right now.  We can see most people that we talk to (unless they are on the phone or on the internet).  They are visible to us.

However, we have to pray to God “in the Spirit” because He literally is within you.  God, the Father, is still in Heaven.  Jesus, God the Son, is in Heaven awaiting His return for us, but when Jesus left us, He gave to us a “Comforter”, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the triune Godhead. According to Romans 8:9, the Spirit “dwells within” us.

I’ll give you one way to look at it but there are many others as well…

Jesus_Teaching

The “Lord’s Prayer”
Matthew 6:9-13
  9 “Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
 10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11 “Give us this day our daily bread.
 12 “And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
 13 “And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
forever.
Amen.”
 
We’ve all heard this prayer at some time or another and are quite familiar with it, but do we really know what it is or what it was intended for?  It is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer” but, truth be told, our Lord wasn’t really praying when He said it.  So then what was it said for?
 
“The Lord’s Prayer” was intended to be a model for us so that we might learn to talk to God too.
 
In Matthew 6 at the beginning of verse 9, it actually says, “After this manner therefore pray ye.”  This “prayer” was actually intended to be a model prayer for us to be able to use to talk to God.  You see, prior to this time, normal people were never expected to be able to talk to God unless you were a prophet or a priest or maybe a king.  We were to have a “go-between”, or a priest to be able to have his prayers reach God.  Today we don’t need a priest due to the fact that we are to pray to God through Jesus, or in Jesus’ name.  (John 14: 13-14; John 15: 16; John 16: 23-24; John 16: 26)
 

Let’s take this model apart and see how this is supposed to work.

Greeting:

Our Father

“which art in heaven”

What specific Father are we speaking to (just in case there might be another father in the room where you are praying so there is no confusion).

“hallowed be thy name”

Showing reverence to our one and only Holy Father.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Praying for His kingdom to finally come because we want to see Him again, and that His will will be done on earth as it is always done in Heaven.  Unfortunately, enough, His will isn’t done on earth that often.

Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are asking for our daily sustenance.  We are relying on Him to provide for us our food and raiment for the day.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Help those whom we owe to forgive our debts in the same manner in which we forgive those who owe us.  In other words, “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

This is very similar to the previous line where, we are asking our Heavenly Father to keep us from temptation and, if/when we fall, that He would remove us from that situation, or “evil”.

This final segment is frequently left out of our current “Lord’s Prayers”.  For some reason, someone doesn’t want it to happen:

For thine is the kingdom,”

His kingdom is here, now!  This is not the same kingdom for which we prayed just a few minutes ago above, but rather we are asking for His Spirit to be around us and to work around us for this “time frame”, the time in which we live now.

and the power,”

… And He has ALL the power in this world and ALL of the power OVER this world.  He is ALL POWERFUL!

and the glory,”

… And because He is all powerful, we will give Him ALL the glory that is due to Him for everything that He does for us and around us, because He is ALL GLORIOUS!

“,forever.”

How long?

forever!”

“Amen.”

Pause, and close the prayer.  (Sort of like saying your good-byes.)

Later in scripture, Jesus taught that “…whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14: 13. (mentioned above)

So, to most properly end the prayer (but by all means not the only way to do it) we would say:

“In Jesus’ name we ask these things.  Amen.”

 More to come regarding Prayer.

©2013 Mark Davis

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