Who Is Your Prayer Partner?

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Charles Zimmerman is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our new website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

Who Is Your Prayer Partner?

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrew 7: 25)

Prayer Partners

Every once in a while, I am reminded of one of the perks that I am blessed with in my place of employment, which is the number of people who pray for me and my family. I work in the addiction ministry at America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy. This ministry has not only existed but produced much fruit, even in the thirteen years that I have been here. I constantly remind folks that we owe it all to the prayers of God’s people.

But I must confess that I am not always faithful to pray for everyone who asks. Sometimes I am preoccupied with other matters and sometimes I just forget. I am human. There are some of the saints that I know who are more faithful and diligent than I in prayer . I count it a privilege to be on their prayer lists. But as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and members of His family by virtue of that belief, we have a prayer partner whose faithfulness in praying for us is without a flaw. He is our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

While on earth, He prayed for His followers. I believe that He was praying for His disciples the night that they got caught in a storm at sea. I know that He prayed for Peter when He knew that Peter was going to fail by denying Him. He even prayed for His enemies who persecuted Him viciously as they hung Him on a cross to die. As a result of Jesus’ prayers for His persecutors, a number of them were saved when Peter preached a sermon shortly afterward in Jerusalem.

All of these instances give me hope, because I know that the frequency and fruitfulness of His petitions are not dependent on my performance or perfection. How grateful we must remain that at this very moment we have the Ultimate Prayer Partner in Jesus Christ our Risen Savior.

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7: 25). Lord, thank you for the prayers that you utter on my behalf to the Father. Chaplain Jim Freed is the Director of Men’s Addiction Recovery Ministries at America’s Keswick

Keswick, America’s  (2012-12-13). Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 7433-7456).  . Kindle Edition.

Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 16-18

Think About This: The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessing, and in living a life of fellowship with Him. Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

There’s Always Gonna Be Weeds

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Charles Zimmerman is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our new website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

There’s Always Gonna Be Weeds

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)

There’s Always Gonna Be Weeds

Do you remember the day you finally dragged yourself to the foot of The Cross? Maybe someone gave you a helping hand like Simon of Cyrene did for Jesus but do you remember that day? How did you feel that day? Were you so sick and tired of being so sick and tired? Perhaps you were completely emptied of mind and of spirit? Maybe you were only 9 years old and you felt the Spirit prompting you to go forward after the alter call during Vacation Bible School.  Or maybe, like myself, you were face first in hardcore addiction when you heard a voice say…“This has to stop or you’re a dead man walking”.

It is not so much the matter on the how you got there but it being a blessed thing to know you at least got there. Amen?! Ya Know, some people don’t make it there at all and it should make the entirety of Christianity mourn but sometimes we are too focused on ourselves to take notice. Kinda like the way we behave when weeds pop-up in our gardens where, “He walks with me, and talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.” There are so many of us who believe that once we’ve accepted that we’re sinners, need Jesus and have said the sinner’s prayer that everything old in us is gone. I’m here to tell you to be careful with that thought because weeds happen and chances are you’ll be offended.

I had thought that once my life made the 180 degree turn from what I once was everything else was erased…that wasn’t and isn’t the case. Like many, once life became new blessings came but there were things that I had done in my past that had a consequence attached with them that most likely will last a lifetime. And when they rear their ugly head during my stroll in the garden I have to remember that I sowed things into the fabric of my life that others have chosen a position on. I have been told by those close that there will not be any forgiveness and there will be no forgetting. Once in a while I get reminded of that position by them and I do grieve it…for the moment only!!!

I have noticed that many who claim to be His children have much trouble with the same weeds popping up in their gardens and the offence by it happening is alarming. They say “How dare this happen to me, I’m a Christian!!” when they really are almost saying “God…you promised. No Weeds!” The heat of offence gets even hotter when they are reminded that Jesus, Himself said when trials come your way and not if. Especially when a behavior that hasn’t really been dealt with is continued with the same consequence occurring. In my case what I call letting off steam can come across as displaying anger and it can send people scattering away…when I really need them to understand why I feel so passionately about an issue. It’s been getting better but at times my weed of anger still shows itself in my garden while I think I am taking a blissful stroll with the Savior. >heavy sigh<

In John’s Gospel we find Jesus saying these words, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Funny how Jesus states that abiding in Him will keep you at peace before He says the world will bring you troubles. If we truly are in Him as we stroll with Him in our gardens, those weeds should be an easy pull from the soil and not an offence that they are there at all. Weeds are gonna happen and we need to understand that the ground under our feet has been cursed since the fall of Adam and Eve. Once we get our focus off the weed and on the One who overcame all this nonsense we can sing, “And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.” Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger

Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 13-15

Think About This: “If you look at how flawed you are, you will upset yourself and interrupt the presence of God and His perfect work within you. The embarrassment you feel at seeing your own faults is a greater problem than the original faults.”—Fenelon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

Spiritual Disciplines

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Charles Zimmerman is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our new website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

Spiritual Disciplines

The goal of spiritual discipline in a Christian’s life is to become God-centered, which is not to be confused with developing a strict devotion to a law, otherwise known as legalism. Rather, it is special training for believers to assist them in being, as the scripture indicates, “ready in season and out.”

Spiritual Disciplines

It takes work, not be closer or earn favor with God, but to live freely, bearing the fruit of the Spirit. James confirms, “But someone will say, ‘you have faith; I have deeds. ‘ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (James 2:18)

Spiritual discipline directs us to do activities that are conducive to developing personal godliness and Holiness. It assists us in modeling Jesus’ behavior – humbly serving others, which was an innate part of His nature, not just a duty. A few examples of spiritual discipline are prayer, meditation, devotional time, etc. Lately, I’ve been enjoying alone time, thanking Him and praising Him for who he is and what he has done.

The Essential Question: Why is Spiritual Discipline so important?

When I played football, the actual games were the times to demonstrate what was taught and learned in practice. From the playbooks, to exercises, to training, all these activities helped me to be more effective and prepared for the actual game. Life is obviously not a just game; it is spiritual warfare and the disciplines prepare us for the inevitable fight that we must endure. Paul warns, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians5:17)

One thing of which we can be certain, life will always have complications. We will always be presented with different obstacles and issues, but spiritual discipline will help us navigate through those various seasons. In addition, the disciplines help us make better choices in this world of confusion. They provide us tools and wisdom to be proactive in our decision-making.

The ultimate reason why we should exercise spiritual discipline, because it is consistently taught as a Biblical principle in that God loves, ‘obedience over sacrifice.’ “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.”(1 Timothy 4:7) Juan Mendez is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full-time at America’s Keswick. You can write to him @ jmendez@americaskeswick.org

Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 10-12

Think About This: To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven. J. C. Ryle

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

I Am Persuaded

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Charles Zimmerman is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our new website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

I AM PERUSADED

“ … for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 (Amplified Bible)

In this day and age where we have questioned everything including biblical truth, I am very thankful that we can be persuaded that HE can be trusted in and for ALL things.

FOR I AM PERSUADED

In his little devotional, Meet Me in the Meadow [Dayspring], author Roy Lessin gives a list of thing we as believers can be persuaded about:

  • God’s plans are the best plans and the right plans for your life.
  • No one has a plan that is greater or wiser than God’s plan for your life.
  • God wants you to trust Him with all your heart to fulfill those plans.
  • God never makes a mistake because His plans are made with perfect wisdom.
  • Every decision God makes for your life is a loving decision because God is love.
  • Every decision God makes for your life is good because God is good.
  • God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. Therefore, you do not need to be afraid or worry about where God’s plan will take you.

In a world where everything around us seems to have no stability right now, we can trust in and rely on Him – persuaded and convinced that “He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to [us] and which [we] have committed to Him until that day!”

Can you jot down some of the ways that He has confirmed His plan for your life? Is God leading you in a different direction? Are you willing to trust Him for the plans for your life? – Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick

Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 7-9

Think About This: A casual relationship with the Word of God reflects a casual relationship with the Son of God. —Anonymous

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

Beyond Care

Beyond Care

For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord. Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a slave of Christ.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 1 Corinthians 4 and Galatians 1
BEYOND CARE

Oh beloved, it is true. There is within each of us the enormous capacity to mess up. We have, to man, done – said – thought – dwelt and pursued folly that brought down on us the righteous anger and indignation of others. We have errored so deeply (each of us) so as to miss the glory of G_d altogether. And in our error, we were doomed.

Fear, the proper response to G_d and His ability to judge sin, drove our lives. But the problem was the fear did not stop there. We were drowning in fear. It was choking us, and blinding our eyes. The fear we had, spilled over into everything we experienced. We imagined punishment and rejection from other people wherever we looked. And any actual punishment or rejection for our actions merely served as anecdotal evidence that our fear was worthwhile.

All along though, we had a problem that we did not know was already fixed. This same One we rightly feared, has done something astoundingly good. All of the punishment we also rightly expected for the error in which we lived, has been meted out and received by Another. Jesus has borne all the fallenness of us all. But not only did He bear it, He buried in the hell we will never have to visit on account of His great work on our behalf.

And in all of this, there is something in everyone, who changes their minds and believes this incredibly Good News, that has to be learned: Along with the expectation of punishment being cast into the depths of the sea, there also should go our fear. For even the One we rightly fear has told us now that we should fear Him not, because we have been made the brother of the Son, and the son of the Father.

So, in being made new creations and members of the very family of G_d, something changes about who we are. And that something is everything. We used to be in a place where the expectation of rejection and punishment rightly drove feelings of fear within us. But now, the perfect Love of a perfect G_d, who has so mightily saved us, has invaded our beings – and is beginning to make us like Himself. And in this ongoing perfecting of His Love within us, the fears we used to bear are cast away like old and unnecessary trash in our backpack.

Can we see it? We now only have one Person to fear and to please. And He is already pleased to know us, and to have paid our way into His eternal family. There is, therefore, nothing to fear. No thing and no person. Ever.

So, when we feel the old false friend of fear speaking within us (reminding us of mistakes, or even prompting us into them), and then showering us with the expectation of punishment – we need to speak back to that fear with some truth. And the truth is that fear (for the believer) is a liar. And anything that is a lie does not come from G_d, for lying is one thing He says He cannot do.

And somewhere along the path He has set before us, we come to a place where we set fear aside altogether. For we realize it is useless, and even dangerous, to our journey Home. There is so much to do, and so many people to Love that any distractions from Him and the work He has set before us is a waste even more enormous than our former failures. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and blogs for Freedom Fighter

Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 146-150

Think About This: A perfect faith would lift us absolutely above fear. ~George Macdonald (1824-1905)

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Oh, what joy for those who disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Psalm 32:1-2

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Give Me Liberty or Give Me … Grace

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Roger Willmore is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and Dr. Dino Perdrone is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me…Grace?

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.”  Romans 14:13-14 (ESV)

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me

I am sure there is a good majority of you who remember hearing about a guy named Patrick Henry who said “Give me liberty or give me death”. It’s a pretty cool statement to make isn’t it? It says I would rather die than live my life as a slave, doesn’t it? And as remarkable as the philosophy is behind such a bold statement we live in a society that can, at times, not realize that it is a slave to one thing or another. For those in Secularland, slavery goes very much unnoticed but in Christendom the argument about slavery has a loud whisper amongst us, doesn’t it? I am speaking of the territory called “Christian Liberty”.

It’s that territory where verse’s like “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) get tossed aside because we found this, Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4), as a justification factor for our skewed view on “Christian Liberty”. It has if we have decided that the Apostle Paul is confused, in and of himself, and some 2000 years later he needs our help to re-iron out the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. May it NOT be so!! “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

On a nice Saturday afternoon my wife, Kathy, and I had been cleaning out a storage building we have on our property. After plowing through all our kids’ stuff we found ours and some of the stuff we found deserved to thrown out but there was one box that I ignored because I thought it belonged to one of my two teenagers…it belonged to me. In this box was some knick-knacks that I use to keep on my desk when I had an office job but there a manila envelope with a few surprises. One was my father’s obit from when he passed back in December of 2008 along with all the sympathy cards I received the other was a manuscript for a book of poetry I had been working on…back when I was addicted to methamphetamine in the mid 80’s.

Nothing good was in that writing I assure you but in it I found out something I had been a slave to and it wasn’t so much the drug as it was my justification to keep on consuming the drug. I had built a character around the whole idea and named him “Crankenstein” (monster, cuddly monster). Nothing good I assure you was in him and by the grace of God he died when I left him at the foot of The Cross. But he made me think about those who think it is okay to just skim the surface of those things, any of those things that not just can BUT WILL cause us or another to stumble. It boggles my mind when I hear about Christians who defend their right to enjoy those things that subtly lure us into slavery.

Isn’t it better to understand what the gift of God is than it is to keep on paying for the wages of sin? I hope your answer is yes and you are one who understands that freedom in Christ Jesus comes by grace and is not a liberty for you to misuse. But for the grace of God, go I as well my dear brothers (and sisters). Just because I have written this doesn’t make me immune to it myself…oh, no, no, no. I need to be careful all the more, after all, I would rather be a trophy of God’s grace then a poster child of constant rehabilitation. Who wants to be a slave to that? Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger

Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 140-145

Think About This:“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”—Patrick Henry

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Oh, what joy for those who disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Psalm 32:1-2

A Hard Bargain

We’d love to see you this week at America’s Keswick. Dr. Roger Willmore is speaking Sunday night through Thursday night, and Dr. Dino Perdrone is speaking Monday – Thursday morning. You can also watch live at: www.americaskeswick.org. We’d love to see you. Check out our website or call 800-453-7942 for more information.

A Hard Bargain

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.” Psalm 115:1

One thing I will never be accused of is being a salesperson. The few times I sold my cars have been less than a “joyful experience”. There are people who can get excited and even feel very comfortable being the salesperson. I find that sometimes even trying to share my faith I am looked at as a door to door insurance guy.

You Drive A Hard Bargain

Did you ever try telling someone that money will never make you happy? That’s a hard bargain to sell. I remember thinking to myself when someone told me that and saying “it would sure help”. The truth is money can make you very happy, but is “happy” something you want to pursue? It’s like trying to grab a hold of sand and keeping it in your hand.

There have been many attempts to “sell Jesus” that have gone wrong. The truth is we are an “assurance” salesperson, I just think the advertising we use make Jesus a hard sell.

The Psalmist tells reminds us that we are to give glory to the Name of God because of His mercy and to give glory to His truth. His sales pitch is God is our help and shield.

When I think of giving glory to God’s name I believe we do that through our character and the way we carry ourselves. I can remember growing up there was a time when my Dad would give me strict warning not to do anything that would cause my name to be in the newspaper in a negative way.  In our small town people were judged by their name sake. There are multiple times in the Bible where someone is asking for mercy and deliverance “for Your name’s sake”.

Then there’s “Your truth” he speaks about. I believe the truth of God is best received when we patiently wait for someone to ask. A witness only answers when he is asked for his testimony. Our actions will raise questions. I read a billboard which said “God isn’t looking for attorneys, He’s looking for witnesses”.  Another moto I live by is “before you tell someone about Jesus, Tell Jesus about that somebody”. In other words, asking God to draw a person unto Himself makes us a vessel for the work He alone can do. Than when someone trusts Jesus as savior or surrenders to His lordship we can say, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.”  Rob Russomano is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full-time at America’s Keswick

Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 133-139

Think About This:If God’s peace is in our hearts, we carry it with us, and it can be given to those around us, not by our own will or virtue, but by the Holy Spirit working through us. We cannot give what we do not have, but if the spirit blows through the dark clouds, and enters our hearts, we can be used as vehicles of peace, and our own peace will be thereby deepened. The more peace we give away, the more we have.Madeleine L’Engle

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Oh, what joy for those who disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Psalm 32:1-2