I John 3:22 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
There is a lot of talk about prayer these days. It is, after all, easier to talk about it than to actually engage in serious praying. Even then, there is a big difference between praying and getting those prayers answered.
Christ told His disciples that there really is no limit to what prayer can do. In His example to them, no mountain is safe, because prayer can move it. This is because true prayer engages God’s unlimited power to accomplish a specific task.
Notice that there is a condition in this verse. I need to mention that this verse only deals with prayer and not salvation. God gladly answers prayer from His children who are sincere about pleasing Him. They want to obey Him and fulfill His will in their life.
All the saints of the Old Testament who accomplished marvelous things in prayer were people who wanted to please God. They sought Him and His blessing even when others around them did not. They often walked alone as far as people were concerned, but they knew that God was with them. That was what mattered most to them.
As this verse shows, prayer gets answered when there is a right life behind it. Other verses bring out a few other conditions, too, but this one is very important. He knows our life, minds, and hearts. He also knows whether we really want to walk with Him and live holy or just get His blessings.
Christian, do you pray like you should? If you are not getting the answers you seek, could there be a problem with simple obedience and wanting to please Him first of all?
Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
There is no doubt that Psalm 23 is certainly one of the most widely known chapters in the Bible. It seems like a good chapter to start a series of daily devotionals with. Believers all over the world find great comfort in its verses. If you are a believer, it can help you find comfort today, because it declares His care for you.
The key to the comfort that God provides is found in the first part of the verse – “The Lord is my Shepherd.” If this part of the verse is not true, then the last part does not apply. You must be one of God’s children for this to apply.
If you are following where Christ leads you, and are obeying Him, then you can be sure that the provision and comfort will follow. He is a good and faithful Shepherd to His sheep. It may not always come when you want, but it will come. Keep on trusting Him for grace and glory, and you can be sure that He will continue to take care of your needs – “I shall not want.” Notice that the promise is for needs, and not necessarily for things you want. Be sure to thank Him for His provision each day, which includes peace of heart and mind, as well as physical blessings.
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I Peter 2:2,3 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Parents enjoy watching their little children become bigger, stronger, healthy, and more mature. They naturally want to see their child grow to eventually become a mature adult who is able to take care of themselves and learn to think responsibly.
The Apostle Peter also loved to see Christians grow and become strong in the Lord. In the above verse, he recognizes that just like a human infant must have food to grow, a young Christian must also likewise have a daily diet of spiritual food from the Word of God. Without it, they will only become a big disappointment to their Father. Though saved, they will never be a mature child of God. Their spiritual growth will be stunted.
It is God’s will that every true Christian grow strong in Christ. This means growing in their understanding of the Bible, knowledgeable of how to apply and use the Word in daily life, and eventually become able to teach others. It also is a key to receiving God’s blessings on your life and home.
The first century Christians, even right after they were saved, had a strong hunger for the Word, according to Acts 2. They listened to the teaching and preaching of the Word every day and grew fast spiritually. The church grew fast, too, and God blessed them for it.
Christ and the Word really does have a lot to offer believers. If you are saved, then you have already “tasted that the Lord is gracious.” This means you already know He is good and that He has shown you it is worth learning more about Him. He is willing to guide you and help you grow. As much as possible, I also am willing to help you grow and be a blessing to you.
If you are reading this blog post and are not sure of your salvation, I encourage you to download my free eBook entitled How to Be Saved and Know It(no log-in required). It explains the plan of salvation through Christ, and helps you to know how to be saved and have eternal life.
If you are a Christian and want to grow in your knowledge of the Word, I want to encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter. When you do, I will send a printable Bible Reading schedule (a checklist) to help you read the Bible through in a year. I will also send daily devotionals from the Word via email, and will include announcements of new blog posts and new materials as they come out. I am getting ready to release some new materials.
In order to sign up, you will need to go here. This is on a different website.
Mike Valles, Evangelist
If you have come here more than once and find these posts are a blessing to you, I ask that you send a link through your favorite social media. Help this website to get the Word out. Those who come will get a clear presentation of the Gospel, and there are posts and materials designed to enable strong Christian growth. Check out the Christian eBooks page. Thanks.
Certainly the eyes of Americans are on politics right now. With the events of the Democratic National Convention and the recent Republican Convention, the rhetoric is certainly flowing. So are the promises and the verbal attacks. Many decisions will need to be made once in office in light of current issues and problems. It certainly will affect the direction of America.
While none of this is new to politics in America at election time, it is evident that the major candidates have to be carefully evaluated. Both have “interesting” histories, and it must be taken into consideration, as well as their platform. Past performances of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can certainly indicate probable future performance. Much prayer is needed for our future leaders – and present ones, too!
One thing that clearly stands out in the Bible is the blessing that a godly person can bring to a nation. How they were often able to change the history of that nation (Israel and Judah) simply because they read the Bible and sought their answers and direction from God – from Whom they received infallible wisdom and direction.
If you have been following my posts, then you know that a number of them have been about revival. Revival is a work of God performed in believing hearts to bring God’s people back into a right relationship with Him. Oftentimes, many souls are saved at about the same time. Today, the world and its allurements loom large in the hearts and minds of a large number of believers, leaving little room or time for real worship and service. It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul would recognize many of them as real Christians.
The reason I have been talking so much about revival is because God is needed to bring a correction and re-direction to America. As a whole, the nation is undoubtedly moving away from God and His Son Jesus Christ. What believers need to realize is that this is always the tendency of non-believers and nominal Christians.
While the polls are important and not to be neglected, the greater problem is neglecting God – the only One Who can re-establish righteousness in the land! Is He willing to do it? Yes! Can He do it? Yes! But it is also certain that at some point America will answer for its current sins and indifference!
On more than one occasion in the Bible, God faulted and judged leaders and those who followed them because they looked to people rather than God first for deliverance or answers! One such example is found in II Chronicles 16:7, where we see that Asa could not totally defeat the enemy because of it: “And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.”
This principle applies on large and small scales. Blessings that might have been are often missed because looking to God first has been overlooked. If you are a believer and reading this, I hope that today you will look to God first in His Word, and let Him guide and strengthen you. Revival, and the real hope of America’s future, rests with you and me.
I have been talking much about revival lately. I have showed how to get it, but have not yet revealed what blessings may be expected from it.
The blessings I want to talk about are those that a nation can enjoy when it, as a whole, is right with God. The Scripture that I will use come mostly from the Old Testament, since God was primarily dealing with Israel as a nation at the time.
If you are wondering what revival is, according to the Bible, let me define it this way: It means to come to a place where you choose to stop serving self and sin and are sorry for it, and start serving God (repent) with all your being and energy, and you do it according to the Bible. Revival is for true believers in Christ.
We have been seeing a lot of trouble in our nation recently. Starting with the shooting of the policemen in Dallas, there have also been a lockdown at the Capitol, robberies, riots, wild fires, drought, drugs, and more problems. There is no doubt that America is in trouble and needs healing.
A great revival verse I mentioned in an earlier post, II Chronicles 7:14, tells us that if we (Christians) will follow the steps mentioned in that verse, that Almighty God can change the nation. This is the blessing America needs now! When Christians are tired of being lackadaisical, sinful, and in general – uncaring – and they repent of those things, God promises: “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Christian, did you see it – He will heal our land!
Here are some of other promised blessings that can proceed from revival that a believer serving God might expect:
A Long Life
Currently, our nation is seeing more deaths than ever. This is clearly because people are getting away from God. Death is increasing on our highways, because of drugs, disease, guns, and more. But notice the last phrase in this verse:
Deuteronomy 6:2 “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.”
A Blessed Life
Many people in America are realizing that things just are not as good as they used to be. Most people now have to lock their doors at night (with several locks!), their cars, and even be careful how they use credit cards online and at ATMS, etc. It is more stressful, there are more problems, and many people – including Christians – do not experience much joy anymore. Our current political candidates don’t seem to help us expect better days, either. When there is revival, God said things will be better.
Deut. 6:3 “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee…”
Grow in Might
Developing into a powerful nation was one of God’s promised blessings if that nation would serve Him. America, though technologically advanced, has actually diminished in strength, in terms of the numbers of soldiers at home and abroad. Other nations mock us because of perceived weakness. Americans used to be able to hold their heads high as they traveled abroad. It isn’t so today. Notice this promised blessing:
Deut. 6:3 “…and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee…”
Deut. 6:3 “…in the land that floweth with milk and honey.”
One of the great benefits was that God promised an abundance of crops and goods to the nation that served Him correctly. America certainly once knew of those kinds of blessings. Yes, some of the blessings are still there – for now – but not like they used to be. In the news we read of many people, including school children, going hungry. Of course, some problems are caused by sin and misuse of money, and food prices are high, too. Then there are recalls because food is or may be contaminated. Besides that, much that is called “food” these days isn’t even healthy to eat! Companies just want to make money, so they take shortcuts.
People live in fear today. Fear that they might be harmed when going to work, at work, or when going to the store, such as WalMart nad other large stores. A lot of crazy things have been happening. This kind of fear did not exist in many communities until just recently – but it is there now! When God’s people get right and mean business about serving Him, He can bring the good back into our neighborhoods and places of work, and in our homes! He is able. Read what He promised:
Deuteronomy 6:24 “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.”
Christian friend, I invite you to get serious with God. Start praying for yourself, for others around you to be saved and get right. Be faithful to a Bible-preaching church, read the Bible, and tell others about Him. The time is short.
Will you be part of those who will help bring revival to America?
Evangelist Mike Valles
Have you seen these other blog posts about revival?
Before an individual or a nation can experience true revival from God, it is imperative that three steps occur. A quick review of the first two steps toward revival, all found in II Chronicles 7:14, are:
The third step is just as important. In fact, there will not be any revival without it. The Bible puts it like this: “and turn from their wicked ways.” This should be the natural result when there is sincerity in the first two steps.
This third step speaks of repentance. It means being sorry for sin in a way that results in a willingness to turn away from it. Many people today are only sorry that they got caught, but the kind of sorrow for sin that God is interested in is a sorrow that produces repentance. It was first necessary for salvation (II Cor. 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”), and it is necessary to walk daily with a holy God.
When it comes to sin, God hates it all. The Cross shows us how much. He does not let His people pick and choose which sins they want to hold on to. Not at all. If He is going to bless, they need to depart from all that is called sin, as we are told in 2Ti. 2:19: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Some Christian groups are of the impression that God is all love and loves everybody. To them, everything is a bed of roses and God’s purpose is to give you a good day – no matter how you live.
Unfortunately, it just is not true entirely true. The Bible tells us that the Apostles and others in the New Testament who God tells us were filled with His Spirit certainly did not have that kind of life. Although God does love, He also wants simple obedience if He is to bless. He is not only love; He is also holy and just.
God wants us to think about sin the way He does, so that He may give us the life He wants us to have. A reaction that sometimes occurs when God’s truth about sin is preached is that even some of God’s people get huffy and say: Well, that is just that preacher’s opinion! Yet they never take the time to search the Scriptures to see if it is true, or ask the preacher to please explain it to them. It’s a pet sin, and they just want to hold onto it – no matter what God says about it!
Our God is holy, and He never changes. We are told that nothing unholy or defiled will ever enter Heaven after the last days: “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Re. 21:27).
He also tells us, in II Cor. 6:17,18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
If you want revival, get in line with God’s will. Stop doing those things that you know are displeasing to Him. You also need to give up sin, and then start doing His will with all your heart.
He has given us His promise. If you, as a born-again Christian, a true child of God, will put away sin, and start seeking Him, then you can find Him and His blessings again, as He promised in James 4:8-10:
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Will you do it? Will you seek Him today? My friend, I hope and pray that you will and that you will start right now.
This means that if you have not been going regularly to a Bible-preaching church that you will start. It means that if you have not been reading your Bible that you will start today. If you have not been praying and witnessing, that you will start. The good thing about it is that He does not expect you to do it alone. If you are sincere, He is more than willing to help you – all along the way!
Tomorrow, I will talk about the blessings that God will give when he revives His church and people.
For True Revival,
Evangelist Mike Valles
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