BUILT AGAIN

“The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times” (Dan 9:25)

Daniel was in exile. He discovered the scroll of the Prophet Jeremiah who said that the people of God shall be in exile for 70 years. That was the time to fulfill their chastisement. After that, God will show mercy on them and bring them back to Israel. Daniel discovers that the time is at hand. He does not take it for granted that the promises of God will come to pass. Daniel does not passively admire the Word of God. He prays reminding God of His promises. This is a big lesson: we should not take the Promises of God for granted. He that has the revelation is the one who should lead in prayer and intercession.

Daniel knew that Jerusalem was an abandoned city. If the people of God return they shall only meet desolation. Trusting God for the return of the exiles, he prays for Jerusalem. This is another good lesson: if we really have faith, then we should pray forward. We are not looking at the present place or situation. We are praying for the things that shall be but they are not. That is called a prayer of faith. If you are barren, pray for your grandchildren. If you are sick, pray for that work or ministry God told you about. If you are poor, pray about the color of the roses in front of your new house.

Daniel prays for mercy. I often to the same! When it comes to me, Mercy is wonderful beyond word. Mercy smiles, embraces; smells like the lilies, dresses like a bride and sings like the doves.

Daniel confesses the sins of his people. He identifies with them. Because of sin, the only thing we have now is ‘confusion of the face’. The word confusion means shame, spiritual dryness, disappointment and sadness. He prays that God should shine His face upon the sanctuary. God’s gracious face will prevail against the shame of our faces. This is our prayer: The presence of God should come back to the house of God. The glory of God should be revealed to the faithful and humble worshippers. The Person of God the Holy Spirit should freely move in our midst. God is all they need. God is all we need.

Daniel spoke to Angel Gabriel and was greatly blessed by him. But Daniel knows that the house of God needs more than an angel. They need God! We too need God to come and dwell among His people. We need revival. We need healing. We need deliverance. We need the grace of God. We need a new beginning. Only God can grant these. Only Jesus Christ can save. May we forget all else! May we forget the success of the past and the failure of the present time! May we hunger and thirst for God to come down! Then the wilderness shall bloom like a field. Then the building shall rise. Then the wall shall be built! The troubled times of this season are powerless against the move of God! The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church! The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead tells us to rise once more. To the glory of God! All honor and adoration to the Lamb upon the Throne! In Jesus name, amen!

PRAISE REPORT

“For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go! They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail” (Ps 91:11, 12; TLB)

This afternoon a great miracle happened. Brother Marcello (his nick name), one of the brothers from our church fell down from the ceiling at the new sanctuary. We are preparing the tubes for the ACs. He was welding inside the ceiling and lost his balance. The height of the ceiling is surely above 25 feet. We never had any accident since we started the building three years ago. This is the first one. Miraculously, he only had some little bruises on his back. Nothing else! No fracture! No bleeding! Nothing serious! Pastor Leigh said that it was like an angel placed foam on the floor so that he will not be hurt.

This evening we had the mid-week service. Brother Marcello came to church like usual. There was much joy in the congregation. We praised God for His goodness and faithfulness to us as a church! We serve the Living God! To God be all the glory!

DOUBLE MINDED

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways…. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (Jam 1:6-8; 4:7, 8)

A young man who claims to be born again sent me this letter: “Dear Malia, I am in big trouble. Please help me! Please pray for me! I can’t even sleep. I am ashamed and worried. This is my story… There are two sisters in my life. The first one is very nice. She is a little older than me. She has a good job. She said that she is sorry for me. She offered to help me with prayer, counsel and money. She has been doing that for more than a year. I know that she loves me but we have nothing romantic between us. The second one is younger than me. I love her but I don’t know if she loves me. Last month I made a serious mistake. On an impulse I went to propose marriage to both of them in the same day. Each said yes, but later they found out what I did. They are both now angry with me threatening to tell my pastor. Please tell me what to do…”

I told him to give his life to Christ that he is not born again. I told him to repent of all his sins especially doubt, wickedness, manipulation and lust. I told him that for now, he is not ready to marry. That he should serve God until he is a mature Christian. I prayed that God should show him mercy and grant him a new beginning…

But the reason why I printed this letter is to show you how a double minded man behaves. In Greek, the word ‘double minded’ means to have ‘two souls in one body’. A double minded man may be religious but he is always disappointed with his ‘Christianity’ for God does not answer his prayers. He is the one praying and he is the one answering himself. He is like the wave of the sea, up and down, depending on the outside winds. He is a man who says yes and no in the same time. He has no true faith in God, because faith is ‘the assurance of things not seen’ (Heb 1:1). He cannot come to God with assurance in his heart that God is God. He does not trust God’s promises!

Listen, you cannot have both assurance and doubts in the same time. This man is ‘unstable in all his ways’. To be spiritually and emotionally unstable is almost mental sickness. An unstable man changes easily. He listens to what men say and tries to please them all. He is moody and anxious, restless and easily depressed. He is unstable not only in his prayer life, but ‘in all his ways’. His friends and family are never sure of what he will do next. He has no clear focus or defined purpose in life. You can never make plans with such a man for he will always disappoint you. These people are always unhappy in their marriages. Their spouses complain of this wavering in all their plans.

What is the cure? God! The Bible commands this man to come closer to God, to totally submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. This drawing closer to God so that He ‘takes notice and respond’ is a great spiritual principle! You cannot be forgiven, cleansed, healed and delivered at a distance. This principle was known and practiced even in the Old Testament. “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2Chr 15:2). Once you come into God’s presence, you shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit. You shall be able to resist any demon and you shall be delivered. These things are true!

May you hear the voice of God calling you to His presence! May God give you a fresh testimony and a new smile of thanksgiving! Nothing is impossible for God!  In Jesus name, Amen!

PURSUE PEACE WITH ALL MEN

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Heb 12:14, 15)

As a pastor I meet people who always murmur and complain. In medicine, a murmur in the heart means serious trouble. That heart is sick and dying. Spiritually it is the same. People who have a murmuring heart are never satisfied and never happy. They like to argue for little things. There is a shadow on their faces that shows internal pain. They are extremely difficult to help. They have grieved the Holy Spirit but they still insist on their rights. To murmur it means to be angry silently, to complain in a low tone that God is not fair to you. In Hebrew, the word ‘murmur’ is very interesting. It means to stop from a journey and lodge in a house. But the whole night you cannot sleep, you stubbornly complain about everything in that room.  After a long journey you have come to this house along the road. You enter and the host offers you bed and some food. It may not be the best in the world, but this is the best that he has .The whole night you prepared to argue with the host to reduce the price of that lodging. But in the morning, he tells you that there is no payment. You are surprised at his kindness but you don’t want to show it. Courtesy demands that at least you say ‘thank you’. But in your heart you reject the kindness of the host and you insult him when you leave. Many years have passed. You still remember the gracious kindness of the stranger. But on top of that, you remember the mosquitoes in the room; the AC that was not working well and the toilet that had no seat. You forgot that you were very tired when you came to his gate. You forgot that he gave you the best he had without charging you money. Forgetting the good and remembering the bad produces bitterness.

Remembering only the problems that accompanied a blessing in the past it is sin. The grace, the kindness, the unmerited favor of that stranger has failed to make you a grateful man. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has failed in your heart. That grace that saves the souls of men died in your soul.  It could not save itself in you. Bitterness killed grace! What a tragedy! The effect will be a troubled conscience and no peace at all. The spiritual pollution will open the door to demons who will harass and trouble you. This is a most serious matter. Repent! Come to the Cross of Christ! Plead the Blood of Jesus! Deliver yourself from bitterness! Separate yourself from bitter, ungrateful and proud men! Say ‘thank you’ often, for all things and to all people!  Train yourself to be godly! Be holy as God is holy! I pray for you In Jesus name, amen!

DRAW ME

“Draw me… Take me away with you—let us hurry!

Let the King bring me into His chambers” (SS 1:4)

‘Draw me closer to You, my Lord…’ This is one of the greatest prayers for a Christian.

You may ask: why do I have to pray such a prayer? I already know Jesus Christ. I am a child of God. Why then should I ask the Lord ‘draw me’? This is because there are many levels of intimacy with the Lord. The Christian life is not stagnant. It is not a lake that slowly evaporates in the heat of a merciless sun. The eternal life is like a river, ever increasing, becoming a flood, until finally it disappears into the ocean of God’s grace. Another reason to pray such a prayer it is because the heart of man is deceitful. You may have your feet close to the throne in heaven and your heart is still looking down on earth, longing for thins left behind.

‘Draw me…’ This is called the drawing of love, the drawing of grace. Love is like a magnet; its force breaks every chain of the world. It is a royal voice calling you into the chambers of holy things never felt before.

As for me, I am right now sited at His banqueting table and His banner over me is love! I have tasted and I now testify that my Lord is good and strong and sweet. His voice is powerful and gentle in the same time. His song is like a trumpet and like the strings in the same time. In His embrace I finally lose myself, I let go… of my fears, of all these unanswered questions. Bothering my mind… He knows all things and that is enough for me… He whispers love to my heart…He breathes peace to my soul. This is my morning dose of the Spirit. Just because the way it started I know for sure that today is a good day!

‘Draw me closer to You my Lord until all that is left is You and You alone…In Jesus name, amen!’

NEW THINGS HAVE COME

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2Cor 5:17)

This was a very wonderful prayer meeting. I do not have words to describe it but I will try my best…This evening to pray and to worship was very easy. It is like we all danced in the clouds. We prayed for revival. We thanked God for His Word and for His Spirit in our church. We thanked Him for the gift of prophesy. We thanked Him for His grace upon us.

We prayed against the evil spirit of ‘boredom’. To be bored it means to be weary and tired of your life, thru lack of interest. This demon attacks especially the believers who wait on God. It is ‘a brother’ with the spirit of religion, impatience and backsliding. The demon says something like this: ‘Don’t you see that God does not hear your prayers? Your situation will never change. Morning, afternoon and evening you shall be the same. Nothing good, nothing new happens to you. Your wife, your husband, your business…will never change! God has forgotten about you. It is better to give up…’ Boredom comes with weakness of the body, restlessness, depression and anxiety. The same demon will tell you to drink alcohol or to over- eat because these things are like entertainment. This demon is a liar for in Christ, old things have passed away and everything is made new. Mercy is new every morning. How can I ever be bored? If you have an encounter with the Lord, you can never be bored and you can never be the same! Life will be an eternal adventure, no matter the circumstances.

We prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came in His special way. We sang again and again: “Jesus You are beautiful…” The anointing was too strong to preach any message. Long ago we made a promise to God that He will always be first, in everything. He has all our heart, all our love, all our time and all our attention. Nothing shall interfere with the move of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in this church. God first and man second! It shall always be like that until, Jesus comes! Thank God for the grace to keep such a wonderful promise!

“I see Your face…Jesus You are beautiful… You are beautiful…You are beautiful…”

TRUE FAITH

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1)
This is a good picture that helped me long ago to understand what faith is. There were two very poor and hungry men. A rich man came and felt pity on them. He gave each of them a bag of corn and told them: ‘This food will be enough for you for as long as you live!” Each one jumped with happiness and said ‘Amen!’ Each then took his gift and went home with it. Mr. Doubt and his wife feasted daily on it until it got finished. Then he became a poor beggar again. Mr. Faith and his wife decided to divide the corn in two places. Half of the seeds in the bag they planted in their garden. The other half they eat it daily, not too much, but just enough to live. Their sacrifice and humility was great wisdom. When their corn got finished, the harvest of the one planted just began. With time, he became the greatest corn farmer in his country. It all started with a bag of grains and a word of hope from a rich man called Jesus! He told both of them: ‘This food will be enough for you for as long as you live!” Mr. Doubt eat it all like there is no tomorrow. Bro. Faith believed the Word. That is faith! “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17)

If your ‘present faith’ will not last you for an eternity, will not produce a harvest of godliness, then it is not true faith. The True Living Faith is a gift from God. It always comes by grace! Faith makes a man humble and wise, never proud and wasteful. No man has the wisdom or the strength to believe God, except by the power of the Holy Spirit! So, be filled with the Holy Spirit! In Jesus name, amen!

“Life asks no questions that faith cannot answer”
(Anonymous)