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You Can Contact God

You can contact God. Emphasis on YOU! Scripture exists as a whole to show how much God wants to contact us. And He did reach into human affairs as far back as the creation of Adam and Eve. In fact, the reason He made them was to have a friendship, a relationship with them. Before they sided with satan (yes, I left out the capital on purpose) He used to come and visit them everyday; He walked and talked with them in the garden. He enjoyed them! Like a father with his beloved children, He just wanted to spend time with them. I love the fact that God brought each animal before Adam, and He let him name the animals. I’m sure He enjoyed seeing what His human child would name them!

But after Adam and Eve betrayed their Heavenly Father everything changed. Before that, Adam was in charge of all the creation God had made. After Adam disobeyed the one simple rule God had given him to obey, since Adam submitted to the word of satan over that of God, he also gave up his lordship, so to speak over the world God had created. That made satan the “god of this world” as it says in 2 Corinthians 4:4. That one act of sin changed everything. The Bible says whoever you obey, that is whose servant you are. That made man the servant of the devil. The next day when God came to visit Adam and Eve in the garden, Adam was ashamed and hid from Him. When God asked why, Adam admitted that he and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, because they wanted the knowledge that God had. At least that is what the snake told them they would get if they ate it.

So now, we humans are a fallen lot. We take after our original father, Adam. We have a sin nature, a rebellious nature. I believe that if Adam hadn’t fallen into sin, then the next guy would have. It wouldn’t have taken long for someone to blow it, right? But God gave us our free will so that when we chose to love Him and obey Him, it would mean something. It would mean everything to Him. It means enough for Him to die in our place to pay the price for us so that we can go back to having a relationship and a friendship with Him. He wants that so very much, He gave His own Son to die in our place! This kind of love is beyond human understanding. We just have to take it by faith.

So, I’m laying the foundation here to prove to you, dear Reader, that God still wants that original friendship and love relationship with you as an individual. He delights in you! I believe He created humans because He dearly wanted people who would freely choose to love Him. Who would need Him and rely on Him to meet their needs and care for them. Just like a great Father and child relationship. So it makes total sense that He would make it easy for us to contact Him. If we just call out to Him He hears us and answers us. Jesus said after He goes back to Heaven, after the Resurrection, that He would not talk much with us because He does not have anything to do with the god of this world. But He does communicate with us in many ways other than talking out loud, as He once did in the garden with Adam. He speaks through His Word the living, breathing Bible. Suddenly a phrase will jump out at you, and it will be an answer to the very thing that’s on your mind! Or you will sense a message in your spirit from the Holy Spirit. There are many ways He talks to us. I’ll go into them in another post. But for today, know that if you call out to God He will answer you. Look for His answer! You will hear it, or see it. He is anxious to have that relationship restored with His human children! And those of us who do walk and talk with Him everyday know that we would never want a life without His loving friendship and care. His presence fills you up inside. It is beautiful and unmistakable! It means everything to the human heart. It’s what we were made for! When you finally connect to the reason for your very existence, life has meaning and joy. It has a purpose and a destiny. You find fulfillment. He formed us from clay in the garden so He could have someone to love!

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Are Tongues For Real?

Praying in Tongues, Is It for Real?

Are you a Christian? Do you pray in tongues? What are ‘tongues’ and why should you care?
If you already know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, then you should absolutely want the gift of tongues.
I wasted years holding off on this. I was born again, loved the Lord, but that tongues stuff was just too weird for me. I thought it was either some kind of occult thing or it was just a practice of the early church that went away with the first apostles.
Something kept quietly nagging me deep inside once in a while about it. I kept pushing it back thinking, ‘I’ll deal with that later.”
So later finally came when I began to follow Derek Prince on YouTube. I got into the habit of listening to him teach as I fell asleep at night. I loved what I was learning so much! I entered a new dimension of my walk with the Lord through all the things Derek taught. I ordered a workbook from his ministry called Self Study Bible Course on basics of the Christian faith, and this workbook included the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Well, after I finished Study No. 7, I couldn’t deny any longer that speaking and praying in tongues was for me. It is a gift. A free gift of the Holy Spirit. But it only comes to those Christians who are baptized, or filled, with the Holy Spirit.

In Luke 11:13 we learn what good gift God the Father will give to all His children who ask Him. It’s the Holy Spirit Himself!! All we need to do is ask the Father, in Jesus name and believe that we have what we ask! We know we are asking according to His will so we know we have the Holy Ghost! Yes, it is by faith. But the Christian walk is a faith walk. Faith is the only way to please our God. He is a faith God!
My little study went on to show me that the first thing that happened when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on Pentecost is that they began to speak with other tongues! Acts 2:4 Wow! Same thing happened to the people that Peter was preaching to in the house of Cornelius. They began to speak in tongues!
Paul himself declares in his letter to the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 14:18) that he spoke in tongues ‘more than
you all.’ He also says that all Christians can pray in tongues, and he wishes that they did! 1 Corinthians 14:5

When a Christian speaks or prays in tongues, he does 4 things:
1. He speaks to God. It’s like a secret love language between you and God that not even the devil can hack into!
2. He speaks mysteries in the spirit. That means the Christian’s spirit, with the help of the Holy Ghost, speaks things to God that not even his own intellectual mind knows that he needs to talk to God about.
3. He edifies himself. This simply means that he builds himself up. Becomes stronger and stronger in the Lord and in His Spirit. He grows in his spiritual walk with God.
4. Jude teaches us that praying in tongues builds our faith.

The book of 1 Corinthians in the Bible has a lot to say about praying in tongues. I also learned much about this subject from my other mentor, Kenneth E. Hagin. If you ever wondered how anyone could possibly spend hours in prayer, it’s because they pray ‘in the Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit takes over and prays in your spirit, through you and for you.

After an honest look at all this evidence, I told the Lord, “Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. If You want me to pray in tongues then I will obey You. I will feel foolish, but Lord, I’ll gladly feel foolish for You.” I opened my mouth and let the Holy Spirit fill it with His language and His prayers. I have never looked back. I was missing so much!
The wonderful Amplified Bible says, “…the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
And He (God) Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the Holy Spirit (what His intent is), because the Spirit intercedes and pleads before God in behalf of the saints (that’s us, Christians…did you know God considers us all saints after we are born again?) according to and in harmony with God’s will.
If you are a Christian who has not yet been filled with the Holy Ghost, nor spoken or prayed in a private prayer language to our Lord, don’t wait another day! Your walk with God will deepen and grow like never before. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will begin to manifest in your life. God will be so real to you! Just step out in faith, like a child, and so what if you feel a little foolish? It doesn’t last long, I promise!

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Are You Catholic? Read This, Please!

Are you searching for truth like I was as a Catholic? I want to share what I learned with you. There is a lot to it. I mean whether or not Catholicism is the truth. As an ex-Catholic, I know. I wasn’t about to leave my Catholic church behind unless I was absolutely convinced. I was raised in it from birth. All my relatives were Catholic, as well as most of my friends. So I needed strong evidence.

I’ll get right to the points that forever changed me, changed my mind and my heart. I was lead to go buy a Bible. I went to a Catholic book store and bought one. I was having doubts and questions about the Mass, confession, everything.

  1. My new Bible opened right to 1Timothy2:5. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Well, that answered the question about praying to saints, Mary, and going to a priest for answers. My one and only mediator was Christ.
  2. Salvation. The Catholic Church never talked about it. I never heard much about how to get to heaven. It was sort of assumed that you’d get there somehow, someday. You’d probably have to burn in Purgatory for awhile to purge your sins away. After all no one is perfect and sinless, right? If you die after having just gone to confession to a priest, you would go straight to heaven of course. Or if you had just said one of those prayers, or string of prayers the church attached a plenary indulgence to. That means you got a free ticket out of Purgatory! (BTW Purgatory is just like hell, except temporary) They don’t teach this stuff too much anymore because it’s not very popular. However it is definitely the doctrine of the Catholic church. What about salvation? Isn’t that pretty important??? Well, in my new Bible I found out that Jesus main message everywhere He went was teaching people that they needed SALVATION! Salvation means ‘saving.’ Saving from what?? From HELL! Yeah, I’d say that should be the number one message of the true church. As a Catholic, the topic of ‘where would you go when you die?’ didn’t really come up. You figured you’d make it if you were a ‘good person’ and obeyed the rules as best you could. It wasn’t the main issue. Well, come to find out it was the main issue for Jesus Christ!
  3. As a Catholic I never heard that I had to be ‘Born Again’ in order to go to heaven! What? Really? They never thought that needed to be shouted from the rooftops? Jesus is the One who first said those words ‘born again’ to Nicodemus! Nicodemus came to Him quietly, didn’t want anyone to know about it. He asked Jesus how he could be sure to get to Heaven. Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3
  4. As a Catholic I was still hung up on two things. From childhood I had believed that only a Catholic priest could administer the sacrament of absolution. That is, he is the only one who could hear your sins and then pronounce that you were forgiven of those sins. Of course, when you did a few more sins, you had to go back and get another confession/absolution from a Catholic priest. It always felt to me like putting my soul through a spiritual car wash. You had to get a wash every week or so. There wasn’t any other way to do it. Or was there?? Then I was lead to this verse which blew me away: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Wow! Combine that with the verse in my first point above, and it was now obvious I didn’t need to go to the Catholic car wash any more! I could go right to God! I could keep it private between Him and me. That felt so right, so good. I had never felt right about telling my most intimate sins to a man. It was embarrassing! I now know that our loving Father never meant for us to do that. It’s between Him and me.
  5. The last thing to go was Transubstantiation. That’s the Catholic teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are actually and really, materially, turned into Jesus’ body and blood. The Catholic church goes on to say that if anyone denies that, they are anathema, which means damned to hell! Well, I had believed this teaching from as far back as I could remember. At the last supper, didn’t Jesus bless the bread and wine and tell His disciples that this bread is My body, and this wine is My blood? I prayed and asked God to show me. I struggled so hard with this one. If it turned out that this core teaching of the Roman Catholic church wasn’t true, then I was out of there. That was it for me! I read the scriptures over and over again that spoke about this. I bought all the Catholic doctrinal books I could find regarding  the teachings put forth by the Popes, who by the way, are supposed to be Christ’s representative on earth, completely holy and sanctified. So I took a second look and saw that Jesus was sitting there with His apostles saying, ‘Take eat; this is my body.” Did the apostles think they were chewing on Jesus as He sat there? No, of course not! It was symbolic. Then He said, “Drink, all of you” regarding the cup of wine. He goes on to say, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” There are several things here. He is sitting there passing the cup of wine to His disciples. Did they think they were draining His arteries of real blood? Then, this was huge for me, AFTER He calls the wine His blood (which the Catholic church says is the moment when He institutes the sacrament of transubstantiation) He then calls it the FRUIT OF THE VINE again! It wouldn’t be the fruit of the vine anymore, would it?? No. This, too, is obviously symbolic. In Luke 22:19, Jesus says, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” It is to be a beautiful, holy remembrance of Our Lord Jesus until that day that we will eat and drink with Jesus again in the Father’s kingdom. Will we be chewing on flesh and drinking real blood in Heaven? What do you think?

If you are a Catholic seeking the truth, look no further than your own Catholic Bible. The teachings of the Roman Catholic church do not lead us to heaven. They do not teach what Jesus taught. They do not teach that by GRACE are you saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:5. And again: Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law.”

Read the gospels and the New Testament as if you had never heard any of this before. If you had just met Jesus when He walked the earth, and listened to Him talk, what conclusion would you come to?

Today I am thrilled to be a Born Again follower of Jesus Christ through His Holy Word, the Bible. The Truth will set you free!

 

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Why Should I Believe the Bible?

Some people live only in the material world they can see and touch. Some admit to an awareness of ‘something more.’ Then you have many who have searched for the truth of ‘What’s Out There’…searching for some meaning for life or to contact other intelligence, if it indeed exists. Finally, there are those who turn to any number of religions and belief systems to figure things out. Some even try Scripture. Who is on the right path? Well, try this on for size!

Why should anyone trust the Bible? Wasn’t it written by a bunch of long dead, ancient guys? What does that have to do with us now?

Everyone would admit that there is a need for a Supreme Court of Appeals in order to stop anarchy. If there is a God – a God who created everything that exists – then He would not want His creation to descend into anarchy, would He? If He cares at all about the creation He made, then why would He leave us without a way to know Him, a way to understand and communicate with Him? The God we can know just by observing His amazing, vast and orderly creation is obviously not a God of anarchy, but order. It is not a stretch to assume He would provide some way for us to communicate with Him.

“The Bible makes high claims to Divine inspiration, inerrancy and authority; and if it is true that the Sovereign God of the universe has condescended to reveal Himself supernaturally in His Book, even as He has revealed Himself naturally in the material universe, then man – even in a world ruined by sin – has a firm foundation in which to build for time and eternity.” – David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?

That the Sovereign God of creation has done this in the Holy Scriptures is acknowledged by many, including the Bible itself. It also claims to be ALIVE! Yes, it’s a living thing which even a brief acquaintance will show you, without a doubt.

So we have the firm foundation we need to understand the Spirit side of life. Hang on! It’s an exciting ride!