Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
Mark 4:9

Charles Stanley, author of the book, “How to Listen to God,” once wrote, “I believe one of the most valuable lessons we can ever learn is how to listen to God. In the midst of our complex and hectic lives, nothing is more urgent, nothing more necessary, nothing more rewarding than hearing what God has to say. His voice waits to be heard and, having heard it, we are launched into the greatest, most exciting adventure we could ever imagine.

This is absolutely true, when we wait to hear God’s voice. And, when we hear it, boy! What an adventure. It is in that moment in time, when we now have the God appointment path, or mission if you might call it, that we have a new sense of urgency of action. And, we are filled with the Holy Spirit as we take on, God’s Will.

In Mark 4, we find Jesus teaching the crowds of the farmer scattering seed. Jesus tells the us in Mark 4:3-8, “..A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

That is where we find Jesus telling us the importance in listening, when Mark writes in Mark 4:9, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” We must hear our Lord’s call on our lives by listening with our hearts, our souls, our minds, our everything and, we must also understand His message He has for us to do.

I believe, today, God wants us to hear His word, hear His voice by listening in silence, and without distraction. It is that moment when we become silent to this world’s distractions is when the Holy Spirit speaks to us through prayer, thought, feeling, signs, or however else He does, but become silent today, open your hearts to hear our Lord’s voice and listen with your hearts to understand His call.

God Bless you all as we listen to our Lord’s will.

Brother Jonathan

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And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting. And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:4-5

I find the hardest things in life is “waiting.” It truly is one of the hardest things for me to do, that is… to “wait.” Oh, I hate waiting. Ask my wife Christina, she’ll tell you. Especially when it comes to restaurants. We finally decide where to dine out and when we finally get to our destination, there it is… the dreaded line and, we wait. But, not me… I see the line and I run.

How many of us run when it comes to waiting?

Waiting is a big part of God’s WORD.
I can count at least 33 Scriptures on waiting: Genesis 49:18, Psalm 25:3, Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 25:21, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 31:24,Psalm 33:20, 22, Psalm 37:7, 9, Psalm 37:34, Psalm 40:1, Psalm 59:9, Psalm 62:1, Psalm 62:5-6, Psalm 106:13, Psalm 130:5-6, Isaiah 8:17, Isaiah 25:9, Isaiah 26:8-9, Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 49:23, Isaiah 64:4, Lamentations 3:25, Lamentations 3:26, Micah 7:7, Hosea 12:6.

And, I am sure there are many more Scripture’s not mentioned above on waiting, but as you can see, waiting is very important. The fact is, waiting is a big part of God’s plan for us. And, that’s what I believe Paul was trying to say when we read Romans 5:4-5, “And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting. And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You may be going through a fire right now, but the Lord will get you through it as long as you trust in Him and His will. That’s the hardest part of waiting, for me is, that waiting on whatever it is, usually is not of my will in why I wait, it is the will of the Lord. We all must wait for our Lord, El Shaddai (God Almighty) to get us through whatever it is.

So, wait on the Lord, rest in His comfort and be assured that God will help you in the areas you need it most as long as you call upon Him for guidance. Keep your eyes focused upon the Lord and you will not sink. I am not saying you will not suffer, no. I am not saying you will never have, “fires,” again… no. I am saying that these “fires” will affect you less and less while you are strengthened by our Lord more and more as you continue to do His will.

God bless you all as we all wait on the Lord!

Brother Jonathan

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Do need prayer today? Do you have something on your heart and you would like to share it? Then write to me, I am here for you as we walk in God’s will together.
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2008-2012 © Brother Jonathan, All rights Reserved!
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“Who crucified Jesus?” Maybe the question should be, Who didn’t crucify Jesus?

The religious leaders played their part, as did Judas, Pilate, and, of course, the actual soldiers who put the nails in His hands and feet. Satan played his part too, but here’s something else to consider—God the Father killed Jesus.

The Bible says that “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isaiah 53:10). This means the crucifixion of Jesus was not a mistake. Nor was it an afterthought.

It was part of God’s plan from the very beginning. Before there was a solar system, a planet called Earth, a garden called Eden, or a couple known as Adam and Eve, a decision was made in the councils of eternity that God Himself would come to Earth as a man and would go to a cross and die in the place of all sinners.

Why? So that humanity could be put into contact with God. Jesus came to Earth to purchase back what was lost in the Garden of Eden. He came to buy back the title-deed to Earth. He came to die on a cross for our sins.

Humanity’s worst mistake was, at the same time, God’s master plan.

The Bible says, “He suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). In His own words, He came to give His life as a ransom for many (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

In other words, Jesus was born to die so that we might live. The purpose of the Incarnation was for our atonement. The birth of Jesus was for the death of Jesus.

As He prayed facedown in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew that Judas Iscariot was on his way there with the temple guard. He knew the physical pain that awaited Him. He knew they would punch Him, rip His beard from His face, and tear His back open with a whip. He knew they would nail Him to a cross.

But worst of all, He knew he would have to bear the sin of the entire world. When Jesus pierced the darkness with his cry from the cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”—meaning, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”—I believe that, at that moment, he was bearing the sins of the world: past, present, and future.

He was dying as a substitute for others. The guilt of our sins was imputed to Him, and He was suffering the punishment for those sins on our behalf.

Why did this have to happen?

God was punishing Jesus as though He had personally committed every wicked deed by every wicked sinner. And in so doing, He could forgive and treat those redeemed ones as if they had lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness.

This is called justification. It is not just merely the removal of sin. It is the imputing of the righteousness of Christ to those who put their faith in him. That is what happened when Jesus hung on the cross.

And Scripture clearly teaches there was a moment when the sin of the world was placed on Jesus: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

So, as tragic as the death of Jesus was, on this day we remember that it really is, in effect, very good!

Jesus was forsaken by God for a time that you might enjoy His presence forever. Jesus entered the darkness that you might walk in the light.

The Lord revealed something to my wife, Christina and I really feel I should share it. She said, how many of us would continue the course if we already knew the path we were on, lead to death, great tragedy or even intense suffering like Jesus? Jesus knew where His path lead to. He knew He was going to go through what was the Will of the Father and be whipped, beaten, spit at, tortured…. and….. nailed to the Cross. He knew what fires awaited Him. Now, how many of us would run or try to avoid the fires if we knew what they where beforehand? Yet, this would be going against the Father’s will. Sometimes in life, the Father’s Will for us is very hard. Very trying. A the fires we go through are so great, we almost lose our very lives. Yet, we must go through these fires because it is a necessary part of the Father’s plan for you and I. We must be shaken. Stirred up. 

A faith that cannot be shaken is a faith that has been shaken.

Remember, we were purchased by the Lord God to be His own. We are the body of God. We are the Brothers and Sisters of Christ. We are what completes the Lord’s purpose. We must remember this every waking moment of our very lives. We need to repent. We must atone for our sins because they were already forgiven… We now need to learn to forgive ourselves for what we have done.

 

Brother Jonathan

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Has Brother Jonathan’s Devotion’s touched your life? Do you have something on your mind and need a prayer? Then, please write me now and tell me about it. I am here for you!
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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
John 11:25

Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For some, Easter will be a great day, spent surrounded by family and friends. But for others, it will be a sad day, because Easter is a reminder of a loved one who has died and is now desperately missed.

Death seems so cruel, so harsh, and so final. That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross. They were devastated. Death had crushed them. But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.

They would have remembered Jesus standing at the tomb of his close friend Lazarus. They would have remembered that Jesus did something completely unexpected: He wept (see John 11:35). Jesus wept, because He knew that death was not part of God’s original plan. Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die. But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us. Jesus wept, because it broke His heart.

But standing there at Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus also delivered these hope-filled words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). Death is not the end. And the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves it.

If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God. Easter brings hope to the person who has been devastated by death.

 

Brother Jonathan

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Has Brother Jonathan’s Devotion’s touched your life? Do you have something on your mind and need a prayer? Then, please write me now and tell me about it. I am here for you!
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2008-2012 © Brother Jonathan, All rights Reserved!
It is unlawful to copy, redistribute or edit this publication without the express written permission from Brother Jonathan

But the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,t who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
Mark 16:6–7

Do you need a second chance today? On the first Easter morning, Peter needed one. There in the Upper Room, he had insisted that he would never deny Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted, Peter not only denied the Lord, but he denied Him three times. The last glimpse Peter had of Jesus before His crucifixion was in the glow of the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, where he actually made eye contact with Jesus. And then he went out and wept bitterly.

What kind of look do you think Jesus gave Peter when their eyes met? Do you think it was one of those I-told-you-so looks? Do you think it was one of scorn, as if to say, “How could you betray Me?” I don’t think it was either one. I think it was a look of love, a look of compassion that said, “I still love you, Peter.” And I believe that is why Peter went out and wept bitterly. He had failed the Lord so miserably. He probably thought there was no hope for him.

But then a message went out from the empty tomb that Jesus had risen, followed by these instructions, “Go, tell His disciples—and Peter. . . .” It was not, “Go tell the disciples, including Peter, James, and John. . . .” It was just Peter, because Peter needed a special word of encouragement.

Do you need encouragement today? Maybe you have fallen short. You didn’t plan on it, but it happened. And like Peter, maybe you ended up with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time, ultimately doing the wrong thing.

God gave Peter a second chance. And He will give you one, too—because I believe, Easter is for the person who needs a second chance.

Remember, Easter is a day of renewing. Easter is the day our Lord Jesus rose from the dead… Concurred death, and saved us all from sin! Jesus gave everything for us… He didn’t do it half heartily… Everything! It is our turn to embrace what the Lord did for us and run with it. Have faith and believe and know that, today, you are renewed. Today you are free! Today, you are healed! Fore, today is the day the Lord had come so let us all rejoice… Worship and do everything in our power to never stop the fight.

If you have yet to accept the Lord in your life. Well, I have a special gift for you. Today is that day. You can accept Him. Close your eyes. Yes close them. Hold you hands up above your head. Reach for the Heavens and ask the Lord this: Jesus. I come to you a broken human. I am nothing without you. I know I am lost without you and I need you. I give you my everything and surrender to the Father’s will. Lord, I accept you into my life as my Lord and Savior. Jesus, you are the only way to the Father. I am forgiven because you died and rose again for me. AMEN!

God bless you all, and remember, Easter is for 2nd chances! It is a day of remembrance in the awesome sacrifice that Jesus did for us all, so that we can be freed from death!  

Brother Jonathan

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Has Brother Jonathan’s Devotion’s touched your life? Do you have something on your mind and need a prayer? Then, please write me now and tell me about it. I am here for you!
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2008-2012 © Brother Jonathan, All rights Reserved!
It is unlawful to copy, redistribute or edit this publication without the express written permission from Brother Jonathan

 Faith Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
James 1:2

God is in control of all circumstances that surround the believer. The devil can do nothing in the life of the believer without the express permission of God. But why would God give that permission? Because Satan’s attacks will show what you are made of.

A faith that cannot be shaken is a faith that has been shaken. And if your faith is real, it will even endure through the worst of circumstances, because character is not made in crisis; it is revealed. For example, when tragedy struck Job, we find him worshiping God, but we find his wife saying, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Trials, temptations, and crises separate the wheat from the chaff, the true from the false, and the real from the unreal.

Are you facing a great trial, or going through intense fire’s right now?

When we face hard times, it really reveals our true character, by the fire. God allow’s us to experience these fire’s to strengthen us and grow us in the Spirit. Why, you might ask? Let’s read some Scripture together

Suffering helps us grow spiritually and makes us stronger in our faith. James reminds us, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:3–4)

You will be tested. You will suffer. You will deny the cross. You will doubt… But, you will preserver. You will come out on top. You will be stronger and better than before. You will be able to overcome the challenges in life and it will be all the more easy the next time up. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty… It all works out in the end. It’s up to you to rely on God to get you through it.

 Brother Jonathan

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Has Brother Jonathan’s Devotion’s touched your life? Do you have something on your mind and need a prayer? Then, please write me now and tell me about it. I am here for you!
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2008-2011 © Brother Jonathan, All rights Reserved!
It is unlawful to copy, redistribute or edit this publication without the express written permission from Brother Jonathan

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Maybe you are in one of life’s storm right now and have cried out for it to stop, and it hasn’t. In fact, it has gotten worse. You’re asking why—why has God allowed this? There are no easy answers to that. But know this: where there are no trials in life, there will be no triumphs. It has been said, “The hammer shatters glass, but it forges steel.” And often in the hardships of life, great things will come as a result.

The apostle Paul died and went to heaven, and he wrote a few lines about it. But then he was imprisoned under house arrest and wrote the epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy. Through his glorious triumph in heaven, he said very little. But through his difficulties and hardships, he said a lot.

Many times when you go through difficulties in life, there are things you will learn and discover that you could not learn anywhere else.

Psalm 23 is a well-loved passage of Scripture that many have committed to memory. It is a pleasant scene of sheep grazing on grass and drinking from cool mountain springs. We love that. We love the green pastures and still waters. But then David continues on: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Yes, there will be those times when God will take us to the green pastures and still waters. But He will be with us in the valleys as well. And it is through those valleys we learn important lessons, because fruit does not grow on mountaintops; it grows in valleys.

God has His purposes in the storms of life. And He is with you in your storm.

Notice something important here of the use of the word “valley.” It is not a path, a simple walk-way, it’s a valley! Walk through your valley’s, and fear no evil! Even though you can be imprisoned. Even though you may be beaten. Even though you may be suffering. Waiting on the promise of the Lord for salvation. Remember this, you can beat you, they can torture you, they can imprison you, they can even kill you. But… But, my brother’s and sisters, they cannot kill your faith in God. They cannot take away your eternal life in Jesus Christ! 

My wife Christina told me something a few days ago that really hit me and I want to share this with you. She asked if I ever heard people talk about good times they have had? “Oh, if only I can go back to that day.” Or, even the bad times. “This is the worst day of my life!” She said, “Jonathan remember this, you will never have to face that day over again. If you are in prison. Yesterday is the day you will never have to face again. If you are being tortured. Yesterday is the day you will never be tortured again.” Live everyday in the now. Live if fully for God and keep your faith. No matter what! 

Pray to God, listen to your heart and let the Lord guide you through this… It will get better. Try finding the good out of your current situation and remember, the Lord promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Brother Jonathan

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Has Brother Jonathan’s Devotion’s touched your life? Do you have something on your mind and need a prayer? Then, please write me now and tell me about it. I am here for you!
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2008-2011 © Brother Jonathan, All rights Reserved!
It is unlawful to copy, redistribute or edit this publication without the express written permission from Brother Jonathan