Lord Have Mercy

I have on more than one occasion said, "I don't understand how I get out of bed in the morning and not hurt myself." It is a sarcastic comment designed to lead to this thought.  Without Jesus, I would get out of bed in the morning and injure myself.

Humanity is so desperate to understand and solve everything.  But this same humanity says that everything isn't understandable or solvable.  We throw ourselves into a way of thinking that is flawed and unfilling.  But humanity insists on elevating itself to the level of a god.  As it turns out, we need mercy

One writer defines mercy as a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way.  And that at its core, mercy is forgiveness.  http://theconversation.com/what-is-the-true-meaning-of-mercy-72461

We need God to respond to our needs every day.  We need His mercy to forgive us of our sins.  We need Him to keep His promises to us.  Without mercy, what hope would we have?  None.

Now someone might ask, "Why would God have mercy on a sorry lot like us?" Because He loves us.  No, I cannot explain it entirely either.  But I do know that it is true.  God loves me, and He loves you too.

But let's take it a step farther.  We will show mercy to others when we choose to love them first.  Sure there are plenty of reasons why we shouldn't love people.  But if we want to be loved, then we need to love others.  If we're going to be shown mercy, then we should show mercy to others.

As Jesus said, Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." (NLT)

PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to love others and show them mercy too.  AMEN

Who is Praying For You?

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

Who prayed for you today?  Is there anyone in your life that is talking to Jesus about you? 

As a culture, we see asking for help as a sign of weakness.  So the thought that someone is praying for you leads one to believe that something must be wrong.  After all, the only time you pray for someone is when they are in some trouble.  Well, that's not true.  It isn't to say that in times of crisis, one doesn't want someone bending God's ear about their need.  But why do you need someone praying for you when all seems to be going well? 

Temptation is coming.  It isn't a matter of when.  You need people praying that you will resist every temptation that Satan throws your way.  

Rain is coming.  Jesus said that trouble wouldn't discriminate against His followers and others.  Life isn't fair, and when that happens.  You want people who have been praying for you to be prepared for it.  

Wisdom is always needed.  Wisdom isn't something you need for BIG decisions; you need it for everyday ones too.  You need people praying for you every day.  

You need hope like you need air to breathe.  Hope doesn't come from your circumstances.  It comes from Jesus.  People praying for you that you will be filled with His hope is one of the greatest things anyone can do for you.  

Ask Christ to help you find people who will pray for you.  Approach them and ask if they will.  You might even want to mention a few specific things that they can pray about.  Then if you're going to make this even better - ask how you can pray for them. 

PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to build a prayer team around me and my life.  AMEN  

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

It's Sunday, and it's the Lord's Day.  Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.  Because of that, the church set aside that day to worship Him corporately.  It's tradition, the Bible doesn't order us to do it, but we see that the New Testament church was practicing worship on Sunday.

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

In a world that demands our every moment and attention, I admit it is hard to make it stop so you take time to go to church.  But if we can resist the temptation to stay home and mow the yard, I believe we can change our week.

What isn't Sunday worship?  Well, it isn't the song service.  Some people think that worship starts and ends with corporate singing.  Corporate worship begins the moment you enter the door and ends when you drive off the parking lot.

Worship is greeting each other with a genuine heart of love.  I've said it before, the greatest lie told in a church is "Fine."  It follows the question, "How are you?"  Worship asks the question with a genuine desire to know and help.  Worship answers the question with joy and honest response.

Worship is singing, praising, giving thanks and heartfelt expressions love and honor to God.  There is a song service, but it isn't there to entertain, it is an opportunity to give.  Here we offer our lives as an expression of love and gratitude.  We're not looking to "get" anything.  We focus on Him.

Worship is loving one another, whether we are greeting each other or praying for one another.  We do so to enrich their lives and expect nothing in return.

Worship is giving.  There is an offering.  Opportunity to bless others with what God has blessed us with.  But more importantly, we are defeating the god of greed in our hearts that demands that we are as stingy as possible.

Worship is praying.  Whether we are interceding for a need or expressing our heart's desire, prayer takes us into the presence of God where we can receive and believe.

Worship is listening and receiving.  The Word of God is an all-important part of worship.  Allowing those who are called and gifted to give what the Holy Spirit has shared with them enriches our lives and brings us closer to Him in a personal way.

Worship is yielding.  We know that we enter into the church as imperfect beings in need of a perfect God.  At the end of most corporate worship services, there is a challenge.  It isn't a Pastor trying to change their congregation.  It is an opportunity that has been created by the Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus if we are willing to yield to His leadership.

Worshipping on the first day of the week has a profound impact on the rest of your week.  Think about it.  After you have worshipped God, could you go into your world and not reap the benefits of His presence?

What are you doing today?

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to worship You today!  AMEN

It's Fathers Day

This Sunday is Fathers Day.  If you read about its history, you will discover it wasn't easy to get this one on the books.  Mothers Day existed for 40 years before Fathers Day was ever accepted.

Some would like to devalue men and even demote them in the name of equality.  I can understand this.  Men for generations have been accused of being pig-headed, stubborn, and egotistical. (Yes, that's the short list.)  And while I agree that there is more than enough evidence to support these claims, I purpose that isn't the big problem.

Men have a problem that women have, too, sin.  The worst qualities about us come from either a lack of belief in God, or we don't care about Him.  (I think that it's more of the latter.)  When we live our lives untethered to any moral and ethical moorings, we are doomed to drift wherever life takes us.  We are the god of our lives (egotistical) and demand what we want when we want it (bullying).

But not all men are that way, and none of us have to be that way.  The reason I say this is due to the evidence I have seen.

I know men who are not the worst of our species.  They are men of unwavering faith and conviction who serve their families and communities with service and sacrifice.  They are not "wimps" but are some of the toughest men I know.  But what qualities do they pursue that man them the men of God that they are?

They submit to God with a humble heart.  They realize that they are not the masters of their universe and subsequently give their lives to the one who is.  Jesus Christ.   (2 Chron. 7:14)

They follow Him.  They lead their family as they follow Christ.  (Gal 1)

They love fiercely.  They are willing to sacrifice and give because they love so passionately and deeply.  (Eph 5)

They are committed to producing spiritual fruit from their lives.  Love, joy, peace, to name a few.
(Gal 5:22 - 23)

They are not lone wolves but seek to encourage others and be encouraged in a healthy community.
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)

Some may scoff at what I say.  But I would tell you that it takes more guts to be a follower of Jesus than to be an "average" guy who is just like everyone else.  God created you to be different, to stand out, to be His man.  Not to blend in and fit in with what everyone one else is doing.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to be the man of God; I am supposed to be.  AMEN

Praying For A Breakthrough

Starting at 9 am today until 9 am tomorrow we as a church are praying for a breakthrough.

Why do we pray?  Because we want to have the best relationship we can with Christ.  We know that prayer changes things.  We understand James when he said, "You have not because you ask not."  (James 4:2-3) Because prayer forces us to submit to the will of God.

What are we praying for?  We are praying for God's will to be done.  That heaven will come down to earth and make its presence known in our lives.  (Matt. 6) We pray for healing.  We pray for a renewal of our hearts in the Holy Spirit.  We pray for a vision from God.

What do we pray against?  Well, let me say that we don't pray against people.  The Bible is clear that our enemy isn't people.  (Eph 6:12) We are working against Satans plans to destroy our life and the lives of others.  But how do you do that?  Make Jesus bigger than your enemy.  Don't focus on the problem, praise the solution.


What to pray for.
• God will bless and protect marriages and families.
• Pray for the lost in the city/neighborhood you live in.
• Pray for Leadership
Governmental (national, state, local)
Spiritual (pastors, teachers)
• Pray that they will have wisdom, protection, and provision to do God’s will.
• Pray for FFWC

A passion to reach those who don’t know Jesus.
A passion to love and serve others.
Pray a hedge of protection around the church, it’s leadership and attendees. Satan’s plans against us will be defeated.
People will be baptized in the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in other tongues.
Pray for the provision we need to accomplish His ministry in our city.
Pray for needs found on the back of your morning brochure.
Healing, jobs, wisdom, encouragement, and strength for everyone who calls FFWC their home.

How to pray. (Matt. 6) “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. - Open giving thanks, praising Him for what He has done and worship Him with love and honor.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. - Submit your will to God’s will and ask for heaven to come down to earth and rule over your life, family and everything else you are praying about.

Give us this day our daily bread, - Pray for needs, see What to pray for.

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. - With a humble and repentant heart allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life. Forgive anyone you are at odds with.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. - Ask for divine help to keep Satan and his temptations away from you.

For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen - Conclude your time with worship.

Didn't get to sign up?  No problem.  Pick an hour and pray.  You might ask, what do I do if I run out of things to pray for?  Pray it again.  There's nothing that says you cannot ask twice. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to seek a breakthrough in my life today.  AMEN  

Me Vs. The Holy Spirit

Last Sunday, in my message, I shared the following statements.  

If you feel lonely, the Holy Spirit reminds you that God is with you. 
If you feel insecure, the Holy Spirit reminds you that God is your confidence. 
If you feel uncertain, the Holy Spirit reminds you that He is your Counselor. 
If you feel depressed, the Holy Spirit reminds you that He is your Comforter. 

Circumstances can skew your perspective. 

But like David, you have to remind yourself.   Psalm 116:7–10 (GNT) "Be confident, my heart, because the LORD has been good to me. The LORD saved me from death; he stopped my tears and kept me from defeat. And so I walk in the presence of the LORD in the world of the living. I kept on believing, even when I said, 'I am completely crushed.'" 

There is and will always be a tension that exists within our hearts.  Our flesh wants to run to our fears.  But the Holy Spirit will always lead us to faith.  Running to our fears is easy. We can see it and get there in a moment. But following the Holy Spirit requires faith. Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

We struggle because we cannot see.  Faith says, "I may not be able to see, but I trust the One who can." 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I will put my trust in You.  Lead me today.  AMEN