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Hearing From God For Yourself

Hearing from God for yourself
January 2011
by John Paul Jackson

A well-placed, well-detailed prophetic word is a powerful thing. Not only that, but it can make the person who gives it look really, really good! However, the more information we receive from the Lord ourselves, the easier it will be for us to complete what He has set before us to do.

For example, I could receive a clear word from God for someone and tell him, “The Lord says you are going to marry a woman named Brenda.”

What is the natural response when we hear words like that? From here on out, that man is going to be looking for women with that name. Eventually, he will find one, and, as he remembers the word I gave him, it would be very simple for him to jump to conclusions. Well, I like her. I don’t know if I really love her — but John Paul said I’m going to marry a woman named Brenda, so this has got to be her!

Five years later, that man is really angry with me. I never would have married this woman if it weren’t for John Paul. Look what he got me into!

Conversely, wouldn’t it have been better if I had given him the opportunity to make his own decisions? For instance, I could have communicated the same message by saying this instead: “The Lord wants you to know that your loneliness is not going to last forever. Get ready.”

This allows the man to come to his own conclusions. Wow! I wonder if this is the one for me? He has the option of the woman being “the one,” and he has the option of her not being “the one.” And he gets to work through it.

Then, five years down the road when the two of them are facing a difficult time, he won’t blame me! Instead, he’ll go to God and say, “God, You told me this was it. You’re the One who told me to do this! I need Your help!” Do you see how this works?

We need to get direction from God for ourselves no matter the decision we are facing, whether it is a move from one house to another house, a job change or even a car purchase. The more direction we can get from God, the better the situation will be for us. Why? Because anytime we hear from God, we are going to run into difficulty completing what He told us to do. The enemy is not going to sit back and say, “Oh, man! Bob just got direction from God! There is nothing we can do.”

Instead, in most cases the enemy will try everything he can to make the exact opposite take place, saying, “Bob got direction from God. Let’s try to convince Bob he didn’t get direction from God. Let’s do everything we can to convince him he heard the opposite!”

This is what happened with Joseph in Genesis 37. He was given a dream from God, and you can almost hear the enemy’s response to it: “He got a dream from God. His brothers are going to bow down to him. He is going to become a ruler over his people. Let’s sell him into slavery! You go move upon his brothers. You start instigating that type of thought process. I’ll prepare the slave drivers to come along this path. The brothers will cast him into a pit, and when the slave drivers come along, they’ll sell him into slavery. Joseph will be so discouraged that he won’t have any faith to believe what God said, and it won’t happen! This is the way we will destroy God’s plan!”

The enemy will attempt to destroy our faith when we have heard God’s voice. But if we cling to God and purpose in our hearts to see what He sees and to receive direction from Him, we will not be rocked when hard times come. We will understand what the enemy is up to, and it will actually encourage us to keep going. After all, if the enemy cares enough to try to discourage us, it will really discourage him if we press through to achieve that which God designed and called us to do.

The more we receive from the Lord ourselves, the easier it is going to be for us to see His purposes accomplished in our lives.

If you'd like to know more about hearing from God, I offer a course called "The Art of Hearing God." You can find out more about it by CLICKING HERE.


Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of Jan 28, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. 2 Corinthians 1:3–7

INDONESIA — West Java Authorities Try to Prevent Christmas Service — Compass Direct News

Isaiah 59:1
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.

Government officials in West Java tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Indonesian Christian Church, or GKI, in the city of Bogor from holding a Dec. 25 Christmas service. Bona Sigalingging, a spokesperson for the church, said police telephoned church leaders and told them to cancel Christmas services that were scheduled for 7 p.m. Christmas day. The church worshiped anyway, with nearby Muslim demonstrators screaming, “Allahu akbar [God is great]!” and “Break it up!” The next morning, authorities prevented the Christians from holding their regular Sunday service. In a separate incident on Dec. 19, a local hard-line Muslim group persuaded police to remove items such as pews from a Huria Kristan Batak Protestant church in Rancaekek, Bandung. That church had already been closed by authorities. Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Indonesian Christians who continue to meet in spite of severe opposition. Pray that they will be greatly encouraged by seeing the Lord’s continued work in strengthening the church and adding to its numbers.

ERITREA — Scores of Christians Arrested in Church Raids — Release International

Psalm 119:15–16
I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

More than 100 Christians have been detained since Dec. 30 in raids on churches in or near the capital, Asmara, and in the town of Nakfa in eastern Eritrea. In a Dec. 31 raid on the Philadelphia Church in Asmara, all 41 members present were arrested and taken in for questioning. They were also beaten at the police station. On Jan. 1, 27 more Christians belonging to various churches near Asmara were taken into custody and are reportedly still being held by police. On Jan. 9 in Nakfa, 35 believers, including two elderly men in poor health, were arrested during a worship meeting at a private address. The Eritrean church has been further shaken by the news that another Christian has died in custody. Seble Hagos Mebrahtu, who was 27, died at the Sawa military camp on Jan. 1, apparently because she was refused medical treatment for malaria. She is reported to have been tortured after being found reading a Bible at her home. Her death brings to 16 the total number of Christians known to have died in custody since 2002. Pray that Eritrean Christians will persevere in faith and continue to glorify God while enduring this harsh persecution.

PAKISTAN — Turmoil Surrounds Asia Bibi Blasphemy Case — VOM Sources

Psalm 4:8
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Asia Bibi’s blasphemy conviction has caused turmoil and debate not only over the resulting death sentence but also over the blasphemy law itself. Asia, a poor Christian woman, was accused by her co-workers of blasphemy and sentenced to death by the courts. Her case sparked debate across Pakistan about the validity of the law, which prohibits speaking against the Prophet Muhammad or the Quran. The governor of Punjab province, who supported Asia Bibi and called for repeal of the law, was murdered by his own body guard. Asia’s life is also at risk. The VOM team in Pakistan is concerned for her safety both in prison and also as she moves between the prison and the courthouse for hearings. Asia’s family is in danger, too, and our team helped move them to a safe, secret location. Her husband and children are very worried about her. Pray for Asia’s safety and for the safety of her family. Pray that the blasphemy law, which is often used against Christians in Pakistan, will be repealed.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of Jan 21, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11

LAOS—Villagers Destroy Christians’ Rice Fields—VOM Sources and Compass Direct News

Psalm 61:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

On Sunday, Dec. 26, officials and residents of Katin village destroyed the rice paddies of 11 Christian families. The families have been camped on the edge of the jungle since they were expelled from the village one year ago because of their faith. Since their expulsion, seven other families have decided to follow Christ. Village officials told the new converts that they, too, would be expelled unless they gave up their faith. The seven families refused and were kicked out of the village at gunpoint. They joined the other Christian families outside the village. A few days later, while the believers were worshiping in a temporary shelter, residents of Katin drained the water from the Christians’ rice paddies, burned fencing around their farmland and stomped on rice seedlings to ensure it could not grow. The 18 families now have nothing to eat, and authorities have done nothing to help them. Pray that God will provide the newly expelled believers with food, clothing and shelter. Pray also that their firm commitment to Christ will cause their persecutors to want to know him, too.

EGYPT—Bomb Kills 21 Outside Church in Egypt—VOM Canada and The New York Times

Exodus 12:31
Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said.

At least 21 people were killed and 100 wounded on Jan. 1, when a bomb exploded outside a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. The explosion occurred as churchgoers were leaving a New Year’s Eve service at the Church of the Two Saints. Witnesses reported that a driver parked a car near the entrance of the church, then ran away seconds before it exploded. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Attacks against the minority Coptic Christian community have increased greatly in the last two years. Last January, several Coptic Christians were killed by a gunman as they left church. Pray that all Christians in Egypt will remain firm in their faith, even as opposition against them grows. Pray that these attacks will cause Copts to welcome Christian converts from Islam into their churches and better understand their unity in Christ.

NORTH KOREA—North Korean Defectors Shot in China—VOM Sources

Deuteronomy 32:40–42
For I raise My hand to heaven,
And say, “As I live forever,

If I whet My glittering sword,
And My hand takes hold on judgment,
I will render vengeance to My enemies,
And repay those who hate Me.

I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword shall devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”’

Five North Koreans were shot to death and two others wounded by North Korean border guards as they tried to flee the country. The seven crossed the frozen Yalu River into China on Dec. 14. They were pursued by North Korean border guards, who shot them after they had reached the Chinese side of the river. The two wounded North Koreans were taken back to North Korea. Border guards have never before shot a defector inside Chinese territory, and this incident may reflect a change in policy toward defectors. Observers say border guards must have new instructions. Please continue to pray for Christians in North Korea and China, as well as all North Koreans who suffer under an incredibly harsh regime.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



cute story that I read from the Animal Rescue Site :

A friend of mine found 4 kittens, eyes just starting to open, whose mama had disappeared, and no nursing mothers at the local shelter. Not sure what to do, she put the babies in the bed with her Lhasa Apso who had just weaned 3 pups. She felt at least it would keep them warm while she found out what to feed them. Mama Lhasa immediately adopted the babies, nursed them til they were fat and frisky, and taught them how to use the doggie door to go potty on the back patio. All 4 babies have been adopted, but at least one of them consistently makes a short, staccato mew that sounds suspiciously like a bark :o)

Tucson, AZ

Copyright Animal Rescue Right, all rights reserved.


Hollywood Prayer Network Newsletter (Jan)

January 2011 Newsletter

Happy New Year HPN!

It’s a brand new year and we’re excited to get praying for all of the wonderful, creative business community in the world’s most influential city. This is a big time of year so jump in and join us in lifting up all that’s going on in Hollywood!


• We praise God for your love and support of HPN
• Please pray for Hugh Hefner and his engagement to 24 year old Crystal
• Continue praying for Entertainment Cultural Influencers
• HPN is excited to host the annual meeting of the National Prayer Committee
• Pray for the people who are waiting to be nominated or are up for awards
• The 68th Golden Globe Awards are coming up this Sunday, January 16th
• The nomination for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on January 25th
• Pray for actress Meryl Streep, known by many as the greatest living film actress
• Pray for 16 year old Justin Bieber and his single mom Pattie Mallette
• Let’s pray for the Christian film and TV viewers
• Ask God if there is anyone you know in the media whom you can pray for
• HPN Omaha Local Chapter Director, Samantha, asks for our prayers


• We had so many of you contacting us at the end of last year with thanks, answered prayers, donations and praises and we thank you all so much. We praise God for you and for your support of HPN.


• Please pray for Hugh Hefner. Many of you know that Karen interviewed Hef years ago and her heart went out to him. Since then she has found many people praying for him. He is a kind man, just so lost. He even admits to wanting to find a pure love. Now, at 84, as he is engaged to a 24 year old Crystal, he needs our prayers more than ever. Will you ask the Lord to transform his heart? http://omg.yahoo.com/news/hugh-hefner-84-engaged-to-playmate-24/53006?nc

• Keep praying for Entertainment Cultural Influencers at: http://hollywoodprayernetwork.org/content/praying-industry-professionals


• HPN is excited to host the annual meeting of the National Prayer Committee (NPC), a group of national leaders of prayer ministries and organizations. Every year these visionary leaders meet to pray for, encourage, and inspire one another and their ministries. This year the committee is meeting in Hollywood on January 24th - 28th. HPN is partnering with Hollywood Presbyterian Church in hosting the group and we are excited to have 75 of them join us for a week in our mission field. Would you pray with us that they would leave with a new heart and vision for the world's most influential mission field. Also pray with us during that week that these leaders will feel welcome, loved and encouraged!

• Awards season is here in Hollywood. Let’s pray for the people who are waiting to be nominated or are up for awards. May the Lord give all of them, and all of us, His perspective on success and awards and may He be holding up the nominees in His loving hands. We ask that people will find their identity in the Lord and not in the awards that they win or don’t win!

• The 68th Golden Globe Awards are coming up this Sunday, January 16th. The show is hosted by Ricky Gervais and the film with the most nominations is “The Kings Speech.” Please pray for the nominees, the presenters, those who didn’t get nominated and the winners. This awards show is 2nd only to the Academy Awards and it impacts everyone’s life who is in any way involved – for good or for bad. For more info. click on: http://www.goldenglobes.org/

• The nomination for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on January 25th at 5:30am. That is an amazingly stressful day for our film community. People are up early, on the inter-net and on the phone, waiting to see if they are going to have a bright future or if their career is over. That’s not the truth, but that’s exactly what people think who are hoping they or the film they worked on, will be nominated for an Oscar. Please pray for the Lord to show up in their lives, that Christians will be by their side to give them an eternal perspective, and that the Lord uses this experience to bring them closer to Him. The Oscars will be announced on air on Sun., February 27th. For details: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/index.html

• Pray for actress Meryl Streep, known by many, as the greatest living film actress. She has 16 Academy Award nominations, 23 Golden Globe nominations, 2 Oscars and 7 Golden Globe awards. She has been married to Don Gummer for 33 years and they have two children. She has a great reputation as a person of integrity. May the Lord sweep her off her feet so that she can fall in love with Him. May her family join her on the same spiritual journey.

• Pray for 16 year old Justin Bieber and his single mom Pattie Mallette. They are committed Christians whose lives catapulted in the past of years. As we watch one young Christian star after the next fall away spiritually and morally, may we pray that Justin will not take his eyes off of Jesus, that he and his mom will stay in the center of God’s will, and that they keep a strong community of faithful friends and pray-ers to hold them up, hold them accountable and keep them healthy. Justin’s 3-D film “Never Say Never” is being released nationwide on Feb. 11th and it shows his vulnerability as a young boy in the global spotlight. He is trying to stay strong in his faith and we want to support him in prayer along the way. We will be setting up a facebook page in the next several days so that you can all continue to pray for Justin and gather all of his fans across the globe to lift him up to the Lord. Also, hear Justin’s faith testimony at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4bmUgjbKoo and his latest hit song “PRAY” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9tJW9MDs2M

• Let’s pray for the Christian film and TV viewers - that God would melt OUR hearts toward Hollywood so that as we watch the awards shows, any film or TV show, we won’t idolize or hate the actors, writers or directors, but instead that we would be moved to pray for fulfillment in their lives. Pray that the consumer desires will change. Allow the desire to develop and grow for industry cultural influencers and entertainment decision-makers to find truth, peace, joy and freedom. This will happen if we all pray for and not just consume the media.

• Ask God if there is anybody you know in the media or is trying to pursue a career in the arts (performing or creative arts, music, film, TV, video games, dance etc.) who may need encouragement and prayer. Then creatively think about how you can reach out to that person. Can you pray for them, call them and encourage them, give them a financial gift to help pay their rent, or write them a note telling them that what they’re doing is pleasing to God? Creative artists NEED our love and support. Would you be a part of lifting them up, honoring them and encouraging them in their endeavors?


• HPN Omaha Local Chapter Director, Samantha, asks for our prayers. Omaha is having their first HPN monthly gathering on January 20th at the Omaha Hub. She is looking forward to meeting those who attend and praying over their art and God’s plans for HPN Omaha. Let’s ask the Lord to do a miracle amongs this new group of entertainment pray-ers. Check out:http://www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org/local-chapter/omaha-ne


• A 6 week class on How To Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out is being offered to Christians in the industry. It's led by Jim and Karen Covell, this year on Tuesdays, starting February 1st - March 8th. If you'd like to find out more or join the class email Karen at karen@hpnemail.org.

• The Annual National Prayer Committee meeting in Hollywood January 24 – 28th 2011.

• Prayer and Praise for Hollywood - Thursday, Jan. 27th from 7:30 - 9:30pm in Wylie Chapel of Hollywood Pres. with worship led by Edie Boddick. All locals are welcome. Email Caren@hpnemail.org for details or just show up. We will be joined by the 75 national prayer leaders that evening for a wonderful time.

• For updates on Hollywood entertainment news, just click on The Hollywood Reporter On-line at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ As you read, pray for the people and their situations so that an eternal difference is the outcome as we all indulge in pop culture!

• For updates on the Christian community and what’s going on, click on: http://hollywoodconnect.com/events and pray that our community becomes a beacon of light in Hollywood.

Have a great 2011! We look forward to sharing lots of miracles and answered prayers!

In His Grip,
Karen and Caren

How to start out the new year….

"Because we have been absent for so long, Hollywood may be the uttermost part of the earth, more foreign in many ways than China, India, or Africa as far as the Gospel is concerned. Still, we are commanded to go there and be witnesses, and you can't witness without being present. Christians need to be in Hollywood working alongside the men and women who are producing the movies that twenty million people see each week. What a mission field." Bob Briner in Roaring Lambs

"Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." Numbers 13:30

The Hollywood Prayer Network, http://www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org/, is a non-denominational Christian prayer ministry for the purpose of praying for the people, the projects and the powerful influence of the Entertainment Industry. HPN believes that by mobilizing global prayer we can be a part of God's miraculous work of changing the spiritual climate of Hollywood, from the inside out.

This message was sent from:
Hollywood Prayer Network
1763 N. Gower St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
United States


Desiring God

Found some great videos on You Tube by John Piper Ministries. Might want to check them out: http://www.youtube.com/user/desiringGod


Hal Lindsey Report - 2010 Prophetic Year In Review Parts 1 & 2

This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'
At the beginning of each January, I pause to take a look back over the previous year. My annual "Prophetic Year in Review" examines some of the major developments of the past year that I feel were significant in the light of Bible prophecy.

This week, I'll discuss some of the prophetic implications of America's continuing financial nosedive. The current administration tries to put a happy face on the dismal prospects. Europe is convulsing under impossible debt and welfare burdens. This, coupled with the almost suffocating debt America has accumulated, guarantees the crescendo for some sort of global solution to this crisis.

I believe that one of the greatest roadblocks to the ascension of a one-world government this far has been the United States. And the one American institution that has guaranteed this restraint is our extraordinary Constitution. I believe God had a hand in the development of this document, in part, to inhibit the rise of a global government.

But the battle against the Constitution is in full fury now. As we near the conclusion of the "time of the gentiles," I feel America must decline in global significance. That cannot happen until our Constitution, and thus our individual rights and freedoms, are severely curtailed by our enemies, foreign and domestic.

We are seeing that happen daily in a relentless and determined manner.

Friends, we are living in frustrating and frightening, but ultimately exciting times. Though it grieves me to see our great nation stumble toward obscurity, I know that it's a necessary step toward something even greater that lurks just around the corner -- as the ancient prophets predicted. That means time is short. Make sure you're ready to go when Jesus Christ returns to receive His bride unto Himself. Accept and embrace the free gift of pardon that He died to purchase for you.

I also want to thank you once again for your faithful support of "The Hal Lindsey Report" during 2010. May God's richest blessings be yours in 2011 and may God continue to bless our beloved America in the darkening days ahead.

Have a blessed New Year!

Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, Inspiration, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com.

God Bless,

Hal Lindsey
mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147
email: comments@hallindsey.com
web: http://www.hallindsey.com

Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of Jan 14, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15

SUDAN—Southern Sudan Votes for Independence—The Associated Press

Jeremiah 33:8–9
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’

Voters in Southern Sudan are flocking to polling stations to cast their votes on whether to secede from Northern Sudan. On Sunday, the first day of voting in the weeklong balloting period, 20 police died in an attack by Arab tribesmen, and 30 other people were injured. The south is widely expected to secede, splitting Africa’s largest country in two. The creation of a new nation would free Southern Sudan’s large Christian population from the harsh rule of the Islamic north and offer hope for an end to decades of violence. Pray for the voters’ safety as they head to the polls. Pray also that President Omar al-Bashir will allow the south to secede peacefully, as he has promised.

YEMEN—Christians Pray for Revival—VOM Contacts

Psalm 80:18
Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, believers in Yemen will pray for revival in their country. In this poor nation on the Arabian Peninsula, many are without hope and under the bondage of Islam. Pray along with Yemen’s believers that the Holy Spirit will move in Yemen and that many Yemenis will see Jesus as the answer to their hopelessness. Pray that Yemenis will seek the God of the Bible, and pray that believers there will be bold as they share Christ.

IRAN—Governor of Tehran Promises More Arrests of Evangelicals—Mohabat News

Romans 13:5
Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.

In a speech in Tehran on Jan. 4, the provincial governor of Tehran, Morteza Tamadon, said several Christian pastors had been arrested and that more will be arrested soon. Tamadon described evangelicals as a “corrupt and deviant movement” and compared evangelical Christians to the Taliban. The governor said arresting Christians is justifiable as a defense against the cultural enemies of Iran. Recently, Iranian newspapers have reported the conviction of several Iranian Christian converts from Islam. During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, security forces arrested and detained more than 60 new Christians in Tehran and several other cities. Their whereabouts are unknown. Pray that God will soften Governor Tamadon’s heart toward Christians. Pray also for the Christians who were arrested and for all Christians in Tehran.

Add the PrisonerAlert.com application on Facebook by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/prisoneralert/

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Luke 6:37-42 (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Luke 6:37-42
Exhortations to Justice and Sincerity.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

All these sayings of Christ we had before in Matthew; some of them in ch. vii., others in other places. They were sayings that Christ often used; they needed only to be mentioned, it was easy to apply them. Grotius thinks that we need not be critical here in seeking for the coherence: they are golden sentences, like Solomon's proverbs or parables. Let us observe here,

I. We ought to be very candid in our censures of others, because we need grains of allowance ourselves: "Therefore judge not others, because then you yourselves shall not be judged; therefore condemn not others, because then you yourselves shall not be condemned, v. 37. Exercise towards others that charity which thinks no evil, which bears all things, believes and hopes all things; and then others will exercise that charity towards you. God will not judge and condemn you, men will not." They that are merciful to other people's names shall find others merciful to theirs.

II. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit of it: Forgive and you shall be forgiven. If we forgive the injuries done to us by others, others will forgive our inadvertencies. If we forgive others' trespasses against us, God will forgive our trespasses against him. And he will be no less mindful of the liberal that devise liberal things (v. 38): Give, and it shall be given to you. God, in his providence, will recompense it to you; it is lent to him, and he is not unrighteous to forget it (Heb. vi. 10), but he will pay it again. Men shall return it into your bosom; for God often makes use of men as instruments, not only of his avenging, but of his rewarding justice. If we in a right manner give to others when they need, God will incline the hearts of others to give to us when we need, and to give liberally, good measure pressed down and shaken together. They that sow plentifully shall reap plentifully. Whom God recompenses he recompenses abundantly.

III. We must expect to be dealt with ourselves as we deal with others: With the same measure that ye mete it shall be measured to you again. Those that deal hardly with others must acknowledge, as Adoni-bezek did (Judg. i. 7), that God is righteous, if others deal hardly with them, and they may expect to be paid in their own coin; but they that deal kindly with others have reason to hope that, when they have occasion, God will raise them up friends who will deal kindly with them. Though Providence does not always go by this rule, because the full and exact retributions are reserved for another world, yet, ordinarily, it observes a proportion sufficient to deter us from all acts of rigour and to encourage us in all acts of beneficence.

IV. Those who put themselves under the guidance of the ignorant and erroneous are likely to perish with them (v. 39): Can the blind lead the blind? Can the Pharisees, who are blinded with pride, prejudice, and bigotry, lead the blind people into the right way? Shall not both fall together into the ditch? How can they expect any other? Those that are led by the common opinion, course, and custom, of this world, are themselves blind, and are led by the blind, and will perish with the world that sits in darkness. Those that ignorantly, and at a venture, follow the multitude to do evil, follow the blind in the broad way that leads the many to destruction.

V. Christ's followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had, v. 40. Let them not promise themselves more honour or pleasure in the world than Christ had, nor aim at the worldly pomp and grandeur which he was never ambitious of, but always declined, nor affect that power in secular things which he would not assume; but every one that would show himself perfect, an established disciple, let him be as his Master—dead to the world, and every thing in it, as his Master is; let him live a life of labour and self-denial as his Master doth, and make himself a servant of all; let him stoop, and let him toil, and do all the good he can, and then he will be a complete disciple.

VI. Those who take upon them to rebuke and reform others are concerned to look to it that they be themselves blameless, and harmless, and without rebuke, v. 41, 42. 1. Those with a very ill grace censure the faults of others who are not aware of their own faults. It is very absurd for any to pretend to be so quick-sighted as to spy small faults in others, like a mote in the eye, when they are themselves so perfectly past feeling as not to perceive a beam in their own eye. 2. Those are altogether unfit to help to reform others whose reforming charity does not begin at home. How canst thou offer thy service to thy brother, to pull out the mote from his eye, which requires a good eye as well as a good hand, when thou thyself hast a beam in thine own eye, and makest no complaint of it? 3. Those therefore who would be serviceable to the souls of others must first make it appear that they are solicitous about their own souls. To help to pull the mote out of our brother's eye is a good work, but then we must qualify ourselves for it by beginning with ourselves; and our reforming our own lives may, by the influence of example, contribute to others reforming theirs.

Great Quotes With Kirk

"Our weakness and inabilities break not the bond of our duties."
~ from The New England Primer
(the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies)

The Cameron family discussed this little phrase around the dinner table one evening and the truth of it struck not only the kids, but me and Chelsea as well. Often we excuse ourselves from the harder tasks of our faith, consoling ourselves with a mini-pity party owing to our "weaknesses and inabilities". "That's not my gift," we might say, or, "I've tried before, but it makes me uncomfortable to share my faith or to bless my enemies." But it seems the custom of God to command us to do the very things that stretch us beyond our natural reach and push us out of our comfort-zone in order to build within us, as His beloved children, the character qualities of a son or daughter of the King. We start out as toddlers in the faith- "Kindergarten Christians"- and mature into the perfection and likeness of the man, Jesus Christ. Duty has long gone out of fashion in these days of self-empowerment, but it is in the obedience that the transformation occurs in the heart of the child of God. Let us not neglect to obey the commands of our King, no matter how difficult, irksome, or nauseating it may feel at the moment. ~ Kirk

From an Atheist

from Living Waters Ministries:

A few years ago, we told you that an atheist was having financial troubles, and many of you kindly sent him gifts. This week he wrote to Mark Spence and said:

Dear Mark …. about three years ago we talked on the phone. Even though I insulted and berated you, you proved that you were the real deal and a true follower of Christ by loving your enemy and blessing him. You responded with kindness even though I insulted you viciously. In addition you even helped me financially as well as some of the followers of Way of the Master. You guys really saved me from a disaster because I had no income and if I didn't get those MRIs and other medical tests, I never would have gotten the social security disability income on which I now survive. I just wanted to say I will never forget you, Ray and the other Way of the Master followers. I want to thank you very much again.

So thank YOU guys for being the "real deal" and helping this man. Please keep him in prayer.


Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of January 7, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1–4

NIGERIA — Christians Killed in Christmas Eve Attacks — VOM Contacts / Compass Direct News

Romans 8:35–39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

On Christmas Eve, five explosions near Jos killed 31 people and severely injured more than 50 others. The explosions occurred in the Christian suburbs of Kadong and Kada Bui as people shopped in outdoor markets. Also on Christmas Eve, a Baptist pastor, the Rev. Bulus Marwa, and five other Christians were killed during attacks on Victory Baptist Church in Alemderi and a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in Sinimari. Both churches are in the mostly Muslim Borno state, in northeastern Nigeria. The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram reportedly claimed responsibility for the explosions near Jos as well as the church attacks in Borno state. Tensions remain high in Jos, Plateau state, which lies on the dividing line between the majority Muslim north and mostly Christian south, and in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Christians in these areas have been under attack for decades. Please pray for the families of those killed in the bombings and church attacks, and pray that God will heal the injured. Pray that the love and grace of Jesus Christ will be evident in the words and actions of Christians living in these troubled areas and that Christians will respond to their Muslim neighbors with love rather than revenge.

BANGLADESH — Christians Threatened Over Christmas Worship — Compass Direct News

2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

A Buddhist political group, The United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF), threatened Christians in the Khagrachari district, about 180 miles southeast of Dhaka, Bangladesh, prohibiting them from holding Christmas services, according to an anonymous source. “They threatened the Christians, telling them not to celebrate Christmas in the village and not to do any other Christian activities,” the source said. “The UPDF members warned the Christians that if they celebrated Christmas, they would be in grave trouble. They warned the pastor not to take care of the congregation and ordered him to go back to his previous religion, Buddhism.” Christian elders told the UPDF leader by telephone that they had arranged food for around 100 people, but the UPDF members allowed them to eat only their rice and curry. “The UPDF leader threatened them, saying, ‘If you worship today, it will land you in unforeseeable consequences,’” the source said. The pastor and some members of nearby Shuknachari Baptist Church have been living like refugees for several months due to threats from the armed UPDF. Of 18 Christian families in the village, only seven or eight families have maintained their faith in Christ in the face of this opposition, with the others returning to Buddhism under compulsion. Pray that God will grant strength and courage to the believers in this part of Bangladesh.

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Touched By An Angel: Netherlands (Season 7 Ep 23)

These videos show part of the episode and display the main focus of the storyline for the episode. Thanks to Touched By An Angel and MandyPatinkinFan on YouTube for uploading the videos.

Monica works with the newly created Angel, who has yet to be named, trying to explain what it means to work with human beings and the rewards of helping them connect with God. The Angel is apprehensive, wondering why Monica chooses to stay on Earth after experiencing the wonder of being in God's presence. Monica explains that she stays because God asks her to, and because He loves them. But the Angel doesn't know what love is. Monica's first priority is finding the Angel a pair of eyeglasses to correct her blurred vision and trade in her angel garb for human clothes. After doing so, Monica shares her appreciation of different coffees with the Angel when a young girl named Madeline approaches. Madeline explains that she comes to this business complex with her mother who's looking for work. The Angel befriends Madeline and offers to fix her mechanical toy dog. Before long, Madeline is braiding her hair and discerning the angel's name to be "Gloria" from the hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High." Tess explains that Gloria has a very quick mind, but Monica will have to show her how to use her heart. But all that changes when a building explodes in front of their very eyes, as they watch not just one, but many angels of death, arrive on the scene. Monica is suddenly struck by the large scale tragedy before her, and feels unprepared to show Gloria how to use her heart only to be broken. Andrew arrives on the scene and explains that he just took Madeline's mother to Heaven. Gloria helps emergency crews pinpoint Madeline's location based upon the trajectory of her mechanical dog. While Monica leaves her post, Tess assigns Gloria to sit with Madeline who now lies unconscious in the hospital. Gloria is at a loss as to what to do, so Tess suggests she sing to her. Nearby, an older man waits beside his wife of forty years who is also seriously injured, offering her a glimpse of what love is. When Madeline regains consciousness, he suggests Gloria tell her a story to keep her awake. But Gloria is at a loss, unfamiliar with how to use her imagination. As Monica walks along the highway, a charismatic man in a black Mercedes offers to give her a lift. But Monica recognizes this is no ordinary mortal, but Satan, who has taken on human form to tempt Monica. He preys on Monica at her most vulnerable moment, whose faith in human love has been shattered by the bombing, a reminder of all that's wrong with humankind. The driver taps into Monica's belief that perhaps she could succeed where they have failed. He shows her what life would be like if she were human, with a husband and two beautiful children and another on the way. The moment is intoxicating, even for an angel. The driver makes an eloquent appeal, promising to be there for Monica when she falls, leading her to the precipice. But at the last moment, Monica asks God to forgive her. Her prayer is answered and she is transformed, her faith renewed. Monica resumes her post as Gloria's mentor. Gloria is concerned that she lacks imagination, but Monica assures her that among angels, truth is better. Monica explains to Madeline that her mother is in Heaven with God, and that soon, she will be reunited with her. Gloria sits with Madeline until Andrew comes for her, and sheds her very first tear, a sign that Monica has done her job and that Gloria has learned how to use her heart.