PROTESTANTISM (evangelical churches)
evangelical special people in this world are the most precious
and the most appreciated people of all.
No matter what happens, they always understand.
They go a million miles out of their way.
They hold your hand.
bring you smiles, when a smile is exactly what you need.
They listen, and they hear what is said
in the spaces between the words.
care, and they let you know you're in their prayers.
Special people always know the perfect thing to do.
They can make your whole day just by saying something
that no one else could have said.
Sometimes you feel like they share with you
a secret language that others can't tune into.
Special people can guide you, inspire you, comfort you
and light up your life with laughter.
people understand your moods and nurture your needs.
They lovingly know just what you're after.
When your feelings come from deep inside
and they need to be spoken to someone;
you don't have to hide from, you share them.
...With special people.
good news comes
Special people are the first ones you turn to,
when feelings overflow and tears need to fall.
Special people help you through it all.
people bring sunlight into your life.
They warm your world with their presence,
whether they are far away or close by your side.
Special people are gifts that bring happiness
and treasures that money can't buy.
In them you can see how shines the light of Jesus.
When He had finished praying, Jesus left with His disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and He and His disciples went into it.- John 18:1
September 29, 2008 Floyd Ray Gage
It seemed like a common enough thing to do. They crossed a valley and entered an olive grove. The thing is that this seemingly simple thing was an act of supreme faith on the part of Jesus. He knew this is where He would be betrayed. He knew this is where He would be arrested and the final part of the road to the cross would be entered. Yet, we see no hesitation in Christ. He goes with His disciples straight into the valley of the shadow.
The prayer that He has just prayed clues us into why. Jesus knew what was about to happen and we find in the other gospels that He really didn’t relish the idea of doing it, but He knew that there was no other way. God, the Father, had laid the plan and it was the only plan that would work.
Jesus loved His disciples and He loved us so much that He walked into that olive grove without hesitation. He wasn’t going into that grove to be a martyr. He wasn’t going into that grove to prove a point. He was going into that grove to be obedient to the Father and to show God’s supreme and enduring love for the ones that He had created and given life to. He was going into that grove to be God’s grace personified.
I do not know what was going on in Jesus’ mind as He crossed that valley and entered that grove. I am fairly sure that the coming sacrifice crossed His mind a time or two. Maybe some sorrow over Judas entered into His thoughts. I feel certain that love was filling His heart for all who would trust in Him.
The true test of any faith is not what we say. It is not what we pray in public. It is not in the position that we accept. The true measure of anyone’s faith is what do we do when the chips are down and we have the choice to cross the valley and enter the olive grove of obedience or to head the other direction and try to avoid the pain and sacrifice of obedience.
Jesus chose the pain and sacrifice of obedience for you and for me. We should choose the pain and sacrifice of obedience for Him and all those that need a witness for Christ.
I do not know what your valley is that you are crossing and I do not know what olive grove of obedience you are being called to enter. I do know that if you choose to go across that valley and enter that grove of obedience, you will not be alone. Christ will be with you. Perhaps, for a time you will have some friends with you as Christ did at first. The disciples did not understand what was happening but they were with Christ and I am sure that Christ took some comfort from their presence those last moments before His arrest.
Thank God for those that are with you in your valley and in your olive grove. They may not fully understand what you are going through, but they are there. Don’t push them away. Hold them close and enjoy their fellowship and company. Pray for them and show your care for them. Most of all rejoice that God has put them in your life.
We all know that in the deepest midst of the olive grove none of our friends can go with us, but Christ can and does. We never have to stand alone in the grove of obedience. Christ wasn’t alone either, though it seemed He was. The Father was with Him up until the cross. Christ will be with us through it all.
Whatever may be keeping you from going into the valley and entering the olive grove, turn it over to God. The grove may seem frightening, but Christ is there waiting.
There was a woman who had been
diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as
she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come
to her house to discuss
certain aspects of her final wishes.
She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like to be read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order
and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
"There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in
that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'.
Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork....the best is yet to come".
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear,
they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. author Unknown
Beatitudes of marriage
BLESSED are the husband and wife who continue
to be affectionate and considerate, loving
after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.
BLESSED are the husband and wife who
are as polite and courteous to one another
as they are to their friends.
BLESSED are they who have a sense of humor,
for this attribute will be a handy shock absorber.
BLESSED are they who love their mates more than
any other person in the world and who joyfully
fulfill their marriage vows of lifetime of
fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.
BLESSED are they who attain parenthood,
for children are a heritage of the Lord.
BLESSED are they who remember to thank God
for their food before they partake of it,
and who set apart some time each day for
the reading of the Bible and for prayer.
BLESSED are those mates who never speak loudly
to one another and who make their home a place
where seldom is heard a discouraging word".
BLESSED are the husband and wife who faithfully
attend the worship service of the church
and who work together in the church for
the advancement of Christ's Kingdom.
BLESSED are the husband and wife who can
work out problems of adjustments
without interference from relatives.
BLESSED is the couple who has a complete
understanding about financial matters and
who has worked out a perfect partnership
with all money under the control of both.
BLESSED are the husband and wife who humbly
dedicate their lives and their home to Christ
and who practice the teachings of Christ in the
home by being unselfish, loyal, and loving.
The Lord is my Shepard ....That's RELATIONSHIP!
I shall not want ....THAT'S SUPPLY!
He maketh me to lay down beside green pastures....THAT'S REST!
He leadeth me beside still waters ....THAT'S REFRESHMENT!
He restorth my soul ....THAT'S HEALING!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness ....THAT'S GUIDANCE!
For his name sake ....THAT'S PURPOSE!
Yea, though I walk through the vally of death ....THAT'S TESTING!
I will fear no evil ....THAT'S PROTECTION!
For thou art with me ....THAT'S FAITHFULNESS!
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me ....THAT'S DISCIPLINE!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies ....THAT'S HOPE!
Thou anointest my head with oil ....THAT'S CONSECRATON!
My cup runneth over ....THAT'S ABUNDANCE!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ....THAT'S BLESSING!
And I will dwell in the house of The Lord ....THAT'S SECURITY!
Forever ....THAT'S ETERNITY!
....THAT'S CONCURRANCE AND HIS LOVE FOR US COMPLETE!
BRIDGE OF LOVE~
Jesus built a bridge of love that reaches from heaven to earth
Only He can save lost souls and reveal what life is worth,
He hears every cry and sees our every tear,
When we find His bridge of love, He will take away all fear.
For God so loved the world, He gave His very best
He sent His only Son, that we might have eternal life and rest,
Once upon a tree, Jesus hung and died for all men,
On Calvary's rugged cross, He willingly paid the price for sin.
God's love for this world was the greatest gift of all
Jesus was one with the Father, He answered heaven's call,
He was the only perfect Lamb, who was a sacrifice pleasing to God,
Salvation is only through His name, in this land we now trod.
God still loves this world and gave us one perfect plan
He still paves the way to salvation with a bridge of love for fallen man,
When we look to the Lord in repentance, with a desire to do His will,
God will grant forgiveness paid for by His Son, on Calvary's lonely hill.
A bridge of love has been built; we pass from death to life in His name,
When you call upon Jesus, life will never be the same,
There is only one path that leads to salvation, eternal life, and peace,
All must go through Jesus, to find hope and love that shall never cease
There was once a man who didn't
believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others
know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe,
and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging
comments. One snowy Eve, his wife was taking their children to service in the farm
community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him
to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower
Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"
So she and the children left,
and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger
and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was
a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a
loud thump. Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.
When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying
south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were
lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew
around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window,
The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place
for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait
out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched
and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.
But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize
what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare
hem, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke
it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.
Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn,
but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn.
Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why
don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can
survive the storm?"
He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were
a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into barn,
got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.
He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn -- and one-by-one,
the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken
a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"
Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us?
Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind,
lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us.
As the winds! and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this
wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. Years of doubt and
disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow,
and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"
Sarah Louise Heath Palin
One Man's Opinion by Jim M.
Whatever you personally think of politics in America, one thing is for sure: The election in November for President and Vice President will be a first with whomever is elected. The choice, I believe, however is clear.
Now, since it appears that one of our own Assemblies of God adherents has been chosen as the Vice-presidential candidate for the Republican party, I thought that I would provide a little background for your perusal in case you are not aware of who she is and what she believes.
Prayer of Abandonment
Lesson from a butterfly
A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force it body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.
The man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles. He would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
How true this is! How many times have we wanted to take the quick way out of struggles and difficulties, to take those scissors and snip off the remaining bits in an attempt to be free. We need to remember that our loving Father will never give us more that we can bear and through our trials and struggles we are strengthened as gold is refined in the fire.
"May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have." Don't focus on the things you DON'T have, enjoy each moment of every day God has given you. This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
So let's take today, even with its struggles and make it a good day. Our loving Father God has given this day to me to use as best as I can. The struggles of life won't go away, but remember that God is allowing us to go through it for a reason.
** I know He is the beginning, so why do I worry about the end?
** I know He is the creator, so why do I wonder who will destroy?
** I know He has forgiven me, so why can't I forgive myself?
** I know He is a healer, so why do I speak of sickness?
** I know He can do all things, so why do I say I can't?
** I know He will protect me, so why do I fear?
** I know He will supply all my needs, so why can't I wait?
** I know He is my strength and my salvation, so why do I feel weak?
** I know that everything and everyone has a season, so why when
someone's season is over do I weep instead of rejoice?
** I know He is the right way, so why do I go the wrong way?
** I know He is the light, so why do I c hoose to walk in darkness?
** I know that whatever I ask of GOD, GOD will give me,
so why am I scared to ask?
** I know tomorrow is not promised, so why do I put off
for tomorrow what I can do today?
** I know that the truth shall make me free, so
why do I continue to lie?
** I know He gives us revelation, knowledge and
understanding, so why do I lean on my own understanding?
** I know I should live in the spirit as well as walk in the spirit,
so why do I choose to live in the spirit but walk in the flesh?
** I know that when praises go up, blessings come down,
so why do I refuse to praise Him?
** I know I am saved, so why do I refuse the word He has given me?
** I know He has a plan for me, so why am I rushing it because
** I am eager to do His will, when it is His time not my time?
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FATHER?
Randall D. Hughes
"O righteous Father…I have declared unto them thy name…" "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." Matt. 6:9
This is one of the most famous passages in the entire Bible. We often refer to it as "The Lord's Prayer." In this opening sentence we find reference to the Father's name. How many times have we read, or even quoted this passage without giving thought to what it is saying? Does the Father have a name? What might it be?
There are many references made by Jesus to the "name of the Father" in the Gospels. Yet, how often do we stop and think about the possibilities? Jesus said emphatically in John 17:26.
"And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:"
Jesus declared unto his Disciples the Father's name. This phase was the impetus for the question, "What is the Name of the Father?" Do you recall this declaration? The Father's name is ___________ . How could we miss this? Although you will not find it in a statement like the incomplete sentence above, you will find the answer.
Throughout the Bible God has used many names for his people to identify him. We will look at a few of these and see if they might tie into the words of Jesus.
The Bible begins with a reference to God. "In the beginning God…" This is the Hebrew word "Elohim." There are about 2,570 references to God as Elohim in the Old Testament. Elohim refers to God's creative and governing powers, his omnipotence and sovereignty.
God is also referred to by the Hebrew word "El." This means God Almighty. There are around 250 such references.
It is in Exodus 6:3, that God first introduces himself as Jahwe. This is the way he is referred to most frequently, around 6,823 times this name is used. Although its actual reference only appears four times in the KJV it is often indicated by the all upper-case letters "LORD." This name is interpreted as the Self-Existing One. This name is often used in a compound manner. We will look at some of these as they give insight to attributes of God.
Jahwe-JIREH, the LORD will Provide. Gen. 22:8, 14
Jahwe-RAPHA, the LORD that Healeth thee. Ex. 15:26
Jahwe-NISSI, the LORD is our Banner (victory). Ex. 17:15
Jahwe-M'KADDESH, the LORD our Sanctifier. Ex. 31:13, Lev. 20:8
Jahwe-SHALOM, the LORD our Peace. Judges 6:23 &24
Jahwe-RAAH, the LORD is my Shepherd. Ps. 23:1
Jahwe-TSIDKENU, the LORD is our Righteousness. Jer. 23:6
Jahwe-SHAMMAH, the LORD is
There (ever present). Ez. 48:35
These are all references made to Jahwe in the Old Testament. However, in the New Testament a very special thing happens. The Book of Matthew opens with a clue as to what this is. Matt. 1:23. Behold a virgin shall be with child, …and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Who was this child that would be born of a virgin? This child would be Jahwe in flesh!
This child that was born in Bethlehem would fulfill over three hundred Old Testament prophesies. One such prophecy was he would be proceeded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3*) "The voice of him who cries in the wilderness: Prepare the way of Jahwe; make straight in the dessert a highway for our God." * Indicates verse is from the Hebrew-Greek Interlinear Bible (Hendrickson) All other references are King James.
This prophecy tells us Jahwe is coming! This was fulfilled in Mark 1:2 & 3. But if John is the messenger, then Jesus is Jahwe! Is this possible? What would this imply, if it is true?
If Jesus is Jahwe, then he would surely have the same attributes. Let us compare the various attributes of Jahwe to Jesus.
The first was provider. We can even be more specific if we look at what happened in Gen. 22. Abraham is on his way to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. In verse 8, Abraham makes a prophetic statement that at the time was a word of faith. "God will provide himself a lamb…" In the Book of John we find Jesus beginning his ministry. John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." God did provide Abraham a sacrifice at that time, and God provided himself a Lamb for our sacrifice in Jesus Christ. In Phil. 4:19 he promised "to supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
The next attribute was that of healer. Jesus most definitely fulfilled this aspect. Matt. 4:23. "And Jesus went about… healing all manner of disease among the people." The greatest is the healing of a sinful heart.
It is Jesus that gives us victory. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:57. 1 John 5:5, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Yes, our victories are only through Jesus.
Jesus is our sanctifier. Heb.10:10. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all." Also in Heb. 13:12, "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood…"
When the angels proclaimed the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:14, they said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Jesus is that perfect peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." John 14:27
In John 10:11-14, Jesus tells us he is the "Good Shepherd." Verse 16 tells us there is just ONE shepherd. Matt. 26:31, he is the shepherd that is smitten and the sheep (disciples) scatter. Heb. 13:20, "…our lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep…" See also 1 Pet. 5:4
Since our righteousness is filthy rags (Isa. 64:6), we most definitely need the righteousness Jesus provides. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, Matt. 3:15. Rom. 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all who believe." "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5:21. See also Phil. 3:9.
The last comparison we will look at now is "the LORD is there." Col. 1:19, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;" The prophesy we already considered from Isa. 7:14, "…and shall call his name Immanuel." God with us! Truly God dwelt with his people in a special way. "…we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it…)" 1 John 1:1-2 Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matt. 28:20. He is still with us today!
After such a dissertation as this you may feel that we have lost track of our original question. This is not the case. We are simply viewing the person of Christ from a different angle. Most people see Jesus as the second person in a trinity. Others feel he is the mighty God, second to the Almighty God. I do not feel such claims can be fully substantiated in Scripture. God has emphatically declared his oneness throughout the Bible. Almost 10,000 times in the Old Testament he is referred to with no hint of having collateral persons with him. The problem people seem to have is they try to separate God into the manners he has manifested himself. And although there are many ways God has manifest himself, they seem to focus on the primary manifestations of our dispensation. Specifically, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Hopefully, somehow minds that have been blinded will be opened. "In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Cor. 4:4.
As you recall from Gen. 1, we are made in the image of God. You possess a body, soul, and spirit. Yet, how many persons are you? One! How many names do you go by? You have one primary name. God is a Spirit. If we could compare it would be as though our spirit existed before we took on flesh. For we know the Spirit of God existed before he manifest himself in flesh. Jesus was the body God dwelt in. And he does have one primary name. The name Jesus!
There is one more compound form of Jahwe we will look at. That being Jahwe-JESUS or Jahwe is Salvation. In the Old Testament Jahwe was very explicit in proclaiming his oneness. Isa. 44:24*. "So says Jahwe, your Redeemer and your Former from the womb; I am Jahwe who makes all things; stretching out the heavens; I alone, spreading out the earth. Who was with me?" He is very emphatic in letting us know who gets the credit. Isa. 42:8*. "I am Jahwe; that is My name; and I will not give my glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images." Not only did he make all things, he alone is the Savior. There is none before or after him. Isa. 43:10-11*. "You are my witnesses, says Jahwe; and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no god formed; neither shall any be after Me. I, I am Jahwe; and there is no Savior besides Me." Jahwe is the only Savior!
Let's consider something. You are going to make a image of yourself. This image is to represent You. What are you going to name it? Tom? Bill? Bob? Of course not! You will give it YOUR name! God prepares a body to dwell in (Heb. 10:5). What will he name it? Notice this is the "express image of his person." Heb. 1:3. Jesus tells us in John 17:26, "and I have declared unto them thy name…" This is in reference back to the Father mentioned at the start of verse 25. Do you know the name of the Father? Jesus declared it. He not only declared it. He manifested the name! John 17:6, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…" Is there a difference between declaring and manifesting? To declare means: "To state officially, formally, or authoritatively. To make clear." There are some similarities to the meanings. Manifest: "Clearly apparent, esp. to the sight; obvious. To show plainly; reveal. To be evidence of; prove." So Jesus showed plainly the Father's name! Is there still a question in your mind what the name is? There shouldn't be.
Sometimes we are confused by the terms Father and Son. They are used because the Spirit Fathered a Son, his own body. Col. 1:15, "Who is the image of the invisible God." Look at Isa. 9:6, the prophecy concerning Jesus. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Councellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." This includes some of the attributes of Jahwe, governing, and peace. But notice this Son is The Mighty God, The everlasting Father! Wow! It was prophesied the son would be the Father! How can Jesus be the Father? The eternal Spirit simply took on flesh (or wore flesh) fulfilling prophecy.
Let's look at what Jesus had to say about this. "…no man cometh to the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." John 14:6-7. Jesus said that His disciples knew the Father and had seen him! He went on to say in verse 9, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father?" When you see Jesus, you see the Father. When you know Jesus, you know the Father? John 8:24-27*, "Therefore, I said unto you that you shall die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. Then they said unto him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Altogether what I also say to you. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but One sending Me is true, and what I heard from Him, these things I say to the world. They did not know that He spoke to them of the Father."
Jesus said he is the I AM! So Jesus is Jahwe! Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and my Father are one." So the name of the Father, Jesus plainly revealed is Jesus!
One of the most obvious verses that shows Jahwe is Jesus is found in Acts 9:5. "And he (Saul) said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus…" Knowing Saul's educational background and his realizing the supernatural aspect of this encounter, there is no doubt this question is actually, Who art thou Jahwe? Answer: Jesus!
If Jahwe is the only Savior, then why was it said of Saul that he would bear the name of Jesus before the Gentiles? Why be a witness to Jesus, (Acts 1:8)? Because Jesus is Jahwe!
As one reads through the New Testament, the importance of Jesus name is repeated over and over again. "And whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col. 3:17. Listen to the importance the Apostle Peter placed on the name when he said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." You will not find another name in the entire Bible that is given equal or more honor and glory than Jesus name. There is an interesting verse in Zechariah 14:9*, relating to God's name. "And Jahwe shall be king over all the earth. In that day there shall be one Jahwe, and his name one."
After all the verses we have looked at do you wonder what that one name will be?
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2;2:9-11
One day all will acknowledge Jahwe, the Father, the Eternal Spirit, the One True God, who took on flesh, by his fleshly name. "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…" 1 Tim 3:16. This manifestation of God was without a doubt Jesus Christ!
"Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." 1 John 2:23. Why is this? Because the name of the Father was manifest plainly. If Jesus is not the name of the Father, then the name of the Father is NOT in the New Testament! But the name of Jesus is found 942 times in the New Testament. The name God chose for himself for eternity. For Eph. 1:20-23 states:
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."
Someday all will know and will see. The one who's name is above every name, (even other names God has used). The one who loved us so much he would die for us. We will see him face to face. The only face God ever had or will have, the face of Jesus Christ! For he manifested the Father's name
Sites dedicated to fulfilling the Ultimate Purpose of Christ
as laid out in John 17:20-23.
This the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I open my spirit to You, and I give thanks for Your life that fills every cell of my body and life.
I open my eyes to You, and I give thanks for Your light that warms and brightens my day.
I open my heart to You, and I give thanks for Your life that fills me with compassion, understanding, and peace.
I open my soul to You, and I give thanks for Your presence in my life and in the lives of the people I hold dear.
Thank You, God, for all that You are and for the blessings that fill every moment of every day
The Bible Says There Is Only One Way To Heaven:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
Good Works Cannot Save You:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trust Jesus Christ Today! Here's What You Must Do:
1. Admit you are a sinner:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)
"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10)
2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent):
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30)
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour:
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
What to pray:
Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12)
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or have lead someone to the Lord - as a new Christian you should recommend:
1. Read and study your Bible every day to get to know Christ better. Use the resources at Didaskalos Ministries. Ask an older Christian to guide you as you grow.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalms 119:105)
2. Talk to God in prayer every day:
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
3. Be baptized, worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached and the Bible is the final authority:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:19)
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16)
4. Tell others about Christ:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16)
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
When He Is Near
It’s quiet in the Church and I
Can feel that You are here.
In fact, I can’t remember when
Your presence was so near.
Alone, within these hallowed walls,
I bend my knees to You.
Sincerely Lord, I seek Your will.
Your deeds I yearn to do.
The busy world is rushing on.
But, just for now, I rest
And draw my strength from You
Who always knows what is the best.
And, quietly, in tender ways,
You plant the seeds of Love.
Within my heart comes forth the will
To do that from above.
Oh, I would stay! For, in the air
Your Spirit lingers strong!
I hold my breath and listen close,
Expecting angel songs.
But, human hands become Your own
When human heart revere.
So, I’ll arise to do Your will;
Secure, because You’re near.
Jesus is God, Lord
Almighty, Omnipotent King, Lion of Judah, Rock of Ages, Prince of Peace, King of
Kings, Lord of Lords, Provider, Protector, Paternal Leader, Ruling Lord, and Reigning King of
all the universe. He is Father, He is Helper, He is Guardian, and He is God.
He is the First and
Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the keeper of Creation and the
Creator of all He keeps. The Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He
always is, and He always will be. Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never
Undone. He was bruised and bought healing. He was pierced and eased pain. He was persecuted and
bought freedom. He was dead and bought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings
The world can't
understand him, the armies can't defeat Him, the schools can't explain Him, and
the leaders can't ignore Him. Herod couldn't kill Him, the Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, the
people couldn't hold Him! Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him, the New Age
can't replace Him, and Donahue can't explain Him away!
He is light, love,
longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God. He is
Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure. His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will
is unchanging, and His mind is on me! His is my redeemer, He is my savior, He is my guide, He
is my peace. He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord and He rules my life.
I serve Him because
His bond is love, He burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of
days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and the
sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
And if that seems
impressive to you, try this for size. His goal is a relationship with ME! He
will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me,
and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts
me up. When I fail, He forgives. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am
lost, He is the way. When I am afraid, He is my courage. When I stumble, He steadies me. When
I am hurt, He heals me. When I am broken, He mends me. When I am blind, He leads me. When I am
hungry, He feeds me. When I face trails, He is with me. When I face persecution, He steels me.
When I face problems, He comforts me. When I face loss, He provides for me. When I face Death,
He carries me Home!
He is everything for
everybody, everywhere, every time, and every way. He is God, He is
faithful, I am His, and He is mine. My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world, and
so, if your wondering why I feel so secure, Understand this: He said it, I believe it, and that
settles it. God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.
He is My Heavenly Father...
"THE WORLD'S BIBLE"
Christ has no hands but our hands
To do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet
To lead men His way;
He has no tongue but our tongues
To tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help
To bring them to His side.
We are the only Bible
The careless World will read;
We are the sinner's gospel,
We are the scoffers creed;
We are the Lord's Last message
Give in deed and Word-
What if the line is crooked?
What if the type is blurred?
What if our hands are busy
With work than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin's allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him
Unless from Him we learn?
The A.B.C's of Becoming a Christian
-Admit that you are a sinner
B -Believe that christ is the lord
C -Confess him before men
D -Deny yourself and follow him
E -Enjoy being a child of God
F -Forgive your enemies so your father will also forgive you
G -Glorify your father who is in heaven
H -Honor your father and mother
I -Ignore Satan when he comes to decieve you
J -Judge not
K -Keep working for Jesus
L -Leave your past behind you
M -Marvel Not
N -Never go to sleep with hatred toward your brother
O -Obsess yourself with the word of God
P -Provide food for the hungry
Q -Quit serving the things of this world
R -Respect God and the things of God
S -Sell your soul to God
T -Tell your friends about Jesus
U -Unite yourself with other christians
V -Venture into strange lands spreading the word of God
W -Witness to others
X -Xray your heart every day
Y -Yearn to see God
Z -Zone the devil out of your life
up as soon as she saw the
surgeon come out of the operating room.
She asked, "How is my little boy?
Is he going to be OK? When can I see him?"
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry.
We did all we could."
Grief stricken, Sally asked,
"Why do little children get cancer?
Doesn't God care any more?
God, where were you when my son needed you?"
The Surgeon said, "One of the nurses will
be out in a few minutes to let you spend
time with your son's remains before it is
transported to the University."
Sally asked that the nurse stay with her
while she said goodbye to her son.
She ran her fingers through the thick,
red, curly hair. The nurse asked,
"Would you like to keep a lock of his hair,"
to which Sally replied, "Yes please."
The nurse gently cut the lock of hair,
placed it in a plastic bag, and handed it to Sally.
Sally said, "It was Jimmy's idea to give his
body to the university for study. He said it
might help somebody else and that is what he wanted.
I said no at first, but Jimmy said, "Mom, I won't be
using it after I die.
Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one
more day with his mother." My Jimmy had a heart of
gold, always thinking about someone else and wanting
to help others if he could."
Sally walked out of the Children's Hospital for the last time,
after spending most of the last 6 months there. She set the
bag with Jimmy's things on the seat beside her in the car.
The drive home was hard and it was even harder to go into
an empty house.
She took the bag to Jimmy's room and started placing his
model cars and things back where he always kept them when
he wasn't playing with them. She laid down across his bed
and cried herself to sleep holding his pillow.
Sally woke up about midnight and laying beside of her on
the bed was a letter, folded neatly, She opened it and read:
"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me, but don't think
that I will ever forget you or stop loving you just because
I'm not around to say 'I Love You'. I'll think of you every day,
mom, and I'll love you even more each day. Some day we will
see each other again. If you want to adopt a little boy so you
won't be so lonely, he can have my room and my stuff to play
with. If you decide to get a girl instead, she probably won't like
the same things as boys do, so you will have to buy her dolls
and stuff girls like.
Don't be sad when you think about me.
This is really a great place.
Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as soon as I got here
and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to
see everything here. The angels are so friendly. I love to watch
them fly. Jesus doesn't look like any of the pictures I have seen
of him down there.. He took me to see God, and guess what, Mom?
I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him like I was somebody important.
I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter and tell you good-bye
and everything, but knew that wasn't allowed. God handed me some
paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter with.
I think Gabriel is the name of the angel that is going to drop this
letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of
the questions you asked about where was He when I needed Him.
God said- the same place He was when Jesus was on the cross,
which was right there as He always is with His children.
Oh, by the way, Mom, nobody else can see what is written on this
paper but you. To everyone else it looks like a blank piece of
paper. I have to give God His pen back now. He has some more
names to write in The Book of Life.
Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper.
I'm sure the food will be great. I almost forgot to let you know
that now I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is gone. I'm glad
because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand
to see me suffer the pain either, so He sent the Angel of Mercy to
get me. The Angel said I was Special Delivery!
Signed with love from God, Jesus and Me."
written by JLH, July 25, 2000
THE TEST OF OUR RELIGION
Imagine that you are making an
application for heaven. What would you list as your qualifications?
>I have always believed in God.
> I'm thought of as a religious person.
> I have tried to live a good life.
> I have been baptized.
> I go to church.
> I haven't done anything really bad.
> I have friends who will vouch for me.
If you were to list any of those qualifications on an application for heaven, it would indicate that you don't understand the worthlessness of religion. The only application that would be accepted by heaven would be one on which you listed your qualifications as follows:
> I can cite no merit of my own.
> I have been a sinner from birth.
> I am coming not in my name but in Christ's.
> I believe Jesus is the Son of God and my Savior.
> I have accepted His sacrifice for my sins.
> I believe He rose from the dead.
> I have put my trust in Jesus Christ to save me.
This is the confidence of the apostle Paul who to distinguish between religion and Christ wrote, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:1-22; James 1:1-27; Daniel 7, 8, 9
Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in Thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is FOREVER able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life in His Love
Joy's will fill your soul
Keep thanking Him for all the things
LOVE imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yeild the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking on the past
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "Thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victoriously in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God Most High
Yes, there'll be good times, and yes, some will be bad, but....
ZION waits in GLORY.... where no one will ever be sad!!!
"I AM to blessed to be stressed!" The shortest distance between a problem and the solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels before the Lord can stand up to anything!
Someone To Care
When the world seems cold
and your friends seem few
there is someone who cares for you
when you've tears in your eyes
your heart bleeds inside
there is someone who cares for you
Someone to care, someone to share
all your troubles like no other can do
He'll come down from the sky
and brush the tears from your eyes
you're His child and He cares for you
When your disappointment comes
and you feel so blue
there is someone who cares for you
when you need a friend
a friend till the end
there is someone who's a friend to you
Someone to care, someone to share
all your troubles like no other can do
He'll come down from the sky
and brush the tears from your eyes
you're His child and He cares for you
To confirm what we all know.
We are all God's children, and
He will always be there for us,
to wipe a tear from our eyes,
and to be our friend.
So always remember...
Someone To Care
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilage to carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus Knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards?
But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I have listened to," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not
here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?
Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
"The Room" was actually written by speaker and author Joshua Harris and is in his book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." He says it was something that he put on paper as the result of a dream he had while in Puerto Rico for the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade and published in his magazine the same year. Interestingly, Brian Moore was also real. He did attend the high school described in the eRumor and lost his life as the result of a traffic accident shortly after having presented "The Room" for the meeting of Christian athletes. His friends and family believed that he had written it and the story about Brian was passed along to others sincerely. Joshua Harris told that he appreciates people getting the facts straight about the origins of "The Room" but is more concerned that people hear the message of the story than knowing who actually wrote it.
What if, GOD couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank Him yesterday?
What if, GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him today?
What if, we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?
What if, GOD didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?
What if, GOD took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?
What if, GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?
What if, GOD didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin?
What if, the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?
What if, GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?
What if, GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him yesterday?
What if, GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?
What if, GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives?
What if, We failed to send this message on?
I asked for ...
I asked for Strength...
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong
I asked for Wisdom...
And God gave me Problems to solve
I asked for Prosperity...
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work
I asked for Courage...
And God gave me Danger to overcome
I asked for Love...
And God gave me Troubled people to help
I asked for Favours...
And God gave me Opportunities
I received nothing I wanted...
I received everything I needed!
LESSON FROM A CHILD
One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town,
taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.
Suddenly, my son Matthew spoke up from his relaxed position in the front
seat. "Mom, I'm thinking of something."
This announcement usually meant he had been pondering some fact for a
while and was now ready to expound all that his seven-year-old mind had
discovered. I was eager to hear. "What are you thinking?" I asked.
"The rain," he began, "is like sin and the windshield wipers are like God,
wiping our sins away."
After the chill bumps raced up my arms; I was able to respond. "That's
really good, Matthew." Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this
little boy take this revelation? So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain
keeps on coming? What does that tell you?"
Matthew didn't hesitate one moment with his answer: "We keep on sinning,
and God just keeps on forgiving us."
I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on. Isn't it
comforting to know that God does keep forgiving us. That all we have to do
is ask Him to come into our lives and He will keep washing our sins away.
I hope each of you remembers this story when you turn on your wipers; God
does keep forgiving when we invite Him into our life.
"A Single Rosebud"
I got a dozen roses
From a friend the other day,
But I only have one left,
For I gave them all away.
I gave one to my sister
Who to me is very dear,
In hopes that it would bring to her
A little floral cheer.
I took one to a friend
Who's not feeling very well,
The flower or the visit -
Which helped more, I could not tell.
One went to another friend
I haven't known for long,
She struggles, so in some small way
I hope it helps her carry on.
The rest went to the ones
Who've helped me in so many ways,
They have been a cheerful presence
On sad and dreary days.
The roses were so pretty
I just could not keep them all,
Except one single rosebud
Standing beautiful and tall.
My friend gave me those flowers
To help brighten up my day,
But the biggest joy I found in them
Was in giving them away!
- Author Unknown
Dearest child of mine,
You are a precious soul.
I want you to always remember
how dear you are,
for you are so very special.
I'm watching you every day,
for you are my dearest treasure.
Never forget you have been sent
to this earth to share all you have,
to love your family and your neighbor
and the stranger walking by -
They need you as much as you need them.
For each of you can help each other
to make it through life's paths.
The gifts you have been given -
your talents and your strengths,
your compassion and your love -
Share them with all you know.
You are my wonderful child,
your blessings touch many,
I know your heart and your mind.
You have so much to offer.
Give the gift of yourself
and your blessings will grow ever stronger.
Does Prayer Change Things?
They say that prayer changes things, but does it REALLY change anything?
Oh yes! It really does!
Does prayer change your present situation or sudden circumstances? No, not always, but it does change the way you look at those events.
Does prayer change your financial future? No, not always, but it does change who you look to for meeting your daily needs.
Does prayer change shattered hearts or broken bodies? No, not always, but it will change your source of strength and comfort.
Does prayer change your wants and desires? No, not always, but it will change your wants into what God desires!
Does prayer change how you view the world? No, not always, but it will change whose eyes you see the world through.
Does prayer change your regrets from the past? No, not always, but it will change your hopes for the future!
Does prayer change the people around you? No, not always, but it will change you - the problem isn't always in others.
Does prayer change your life in ways you can't explain? Oh, yes, always! And it will change you from the inside out!
So does prayer REALLY change ANYTHING? Yes! It REALLY does change EVERYTHING!
God Is A Builder
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"The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine." (Is. 44:13)
"For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." (Heb. 3:4)
"For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb. 11:10)
Jesus Is A Builder
"Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself." (Heb. 3:3)
"Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him." (Mark 6:3)
God Builds In Three Ways:
1. God Builds Revelationally: (to reveal is to uncover, to reveal, to open, to expose, to disclose)
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." (Deut. 29:29)
There are some secrets God has chosen not to reveal to us, possibly for the following reasons:
(1) our limited minds cannot fully understand the infinite aspects of God's nature and the universe (Ecc. 3:11);
(2) some things are unnecessary for us to know until we are more mature;
(3) God is infinite and all-knowing, and we do not have the capacity to know everything he does.
Deut. 29:29 shows that although God has not told us everything there is to know about obeying him, he has told us enough. As a result, disobedience comes from an act of the will, not a lack of knowledge. Many, however, suggest that there are some things of God they violate unknowingly. Through God's Word we know enough about him to be saved by faith and to serve him. We must not use the limitation of our knowledge as an excuse to reject his claim on our life.
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Mth. 11:27)
In the Old Testament, "know" means more than knowledge. It implies an intimate relationship. The communion between God the Father and God the Son is the core and the heart of their relationship. For anyone else to know God, God must reveal himself to that person, by the Son's choice. We are blessed that Jesus has clearly revealed to us God, his truth, and how we can know him.
Christ's mission was to reveal God the Father to people. His words brought difficult ideas down to earth. He explained God's love through parables, teachings, and, most of all, his life. By examining Jesus' actions, principles, and attitudes, we can understand God more clearly.
"Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
Even in anger, God is merciful: he has always warned his people through prophets before punishing them. Warnings about sin and judgment apply to us today just as they did to Israel. Because we have been warned about our sin, we have no excuse when punishment comes. God had warned his people through his prophets, so they could not rationalize or complain when God punished them for refusing to repent. His warnings are a way of showing mercy to you.
"...which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets." (Eph. 3:5)
God's plan was hidden from previous generations, not because God wanted to keep something from his people, but because he would reveal it to everyone in his perfect timing. God planned to have Jews and Gentiles comprise one body, the church. It was known in the Old Testament that the Gentiles would receive salvation (Is. 49:6); but it was never revealed in the Old Testament that all Gentile and Jewish believers would become equal in the body of Christ. Yet this equality was accomplished when Jesus destroyed the "dividing wall" and created the "one new man".
2. God Builds Generationally:
"Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ." (Mth. 1:1-17)
"'The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'" (Num. 14:18)
"But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." (Ps. 33:11)
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." (Deut. 7:9)
God builds generationally, thinking not only of this generation, but thousands of generations to come. Like many of the patriarchs of our faith, you may never see the fruit of your life. It may come forth in many generations down the line. We are to build for the future. This implies we must see beyond our current limited vision and discern what God is building and join Him in His work. We must resist the desire to build for only our lives, but focus on those who will take our work and continue to build upon it.
"A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just." (Prov. 13:22)
God Builds Relationally:
The beginning of the Bible's restoration emphasis is found at the beginning of all things, in the Book of Genesis. God created man in His own image, male and female. Man enjoyed the image of God, the intimacy of God, and unbroken fellowship with God.
But man chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In that moment, he decided to take his life into his own hand. With that tragic decision, man lost everything precious God had given. Immediately, God provided clothing made from an animal skin. This clearly revealed God's plan of redemption and restoration for fallen man. That first sacrifice, providing clothing, pointed toward the ultimate sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Himself.
"He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables." (Mark 4:11)
Some people do not understand God's truth because they are not ready for it. God reveals truth to people who will act on it, who will make it visible in their lives. When you talk with people about God, be aware that they will not understand if they are not yet ready. Be patient, taking every chance to tell them more of the truth about God, and praying that the Holy Spirit will open their minds and hearts to receive the truth and act on it.
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Luke 10:22)
Christ's mission was to reveal God the Father to people. His words brought difficult ideas down to earth. He explained God's love through parables, teachings, and, most of all, his life. By examining Jesus' actions, principles, and attitudes, we can understand God more clearly.
Seven Keys To Becoming An Apprentice Carpenter:
1. Get Real...Be Honest. Practice honesty and truthfulness in all your relationships. Deal with anger quickly, not allowing it to influence your treatment of others.
2. Choose To Submit. Maintain a selflessly submissive attitude in all your family relationships. Understand that this will provide evidence that Christ rules your home.
3. Serve The Lord, Not Man. Do not become a people-pleaser in ministry, business, or home. Serve the Lord in all you do. Recognize that it is He who has assigned you to your post of responsibility. You do not serve a church/church body, employer, or mate...you serve God.
4. Fix You First. Correct your faults and solve your own problems before attempting to correct faults or problems in others. Examine yourself for things that bother you about others.
5. Build Godly Relationships. Refuse to practice any form of relational unrighteousness or sin: wrong sexual activity, angry exchanges, jealous or envious attitudes, greedy desire for things, gossip, or coarse humor.
6. Practice The Right Stuff. Practice diligently every form of relational righteousness: love, compassion, humble attitudes, self-giving behavior, freely flowing forgiveness, and patience with others.
7. Choose Peace. Let peace govern all your relationships.
Another song I like:
If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive.
If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain,
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive.
If I have been perverse or hard or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,
When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive.
Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee,
Forgive the secret sins I do not see,
O guide me, love me and my keeper be,
Dear Lord Jesus, Amen
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.
Two of the greatest inventions of my time has been the laptop computer and email. The laptop means I no longer have to stay in one place to be productive in my business life. Email has allowed me to stay connected to people all around the world with the touch of a button.
My greatest frustration is when either of these does not work. Sometimes email cannot be used because I can't get a connection. Sometimes I can't use my laptop because I have not properly charged it, and then the charge runs out while I am on an airplane. Both of these situations mean I am unable to tap into the resource that allows me to fulfill my calling in my work to the fullest.
The morning time with God is much like these situations. God pours His Word into my spirit, and I am recharged. This recharging has am important effect on my day. It allows me the greatest opportunity to hear the small voice that directs my steps. If I refuse to "get connected," I risk following my own ways of fulfilling the duties of my day. It sets forth the opportunity for God to speak into my spirit what He desires for me each day. It allows me to focus on God's purposes, not mine.
The only way to know someone is to spend time with him or her. The only way to discern the voice of another is to hear from that person's voice. David, the author of this psalm, was a warrior, king, and businessman. He understood this principle of connecting with God in the morning. His morning allowed him to connect with God's Love, renew his trust in Him, and hear His directions for his life. Shouldn't you and I do the same?
TGIF-Today God Is First by Os Hillman
YOU ASK WHY I FOLLOW THIS JESUS?
You ask why I follow this Jesus?
Why I love Him the way I do?
When the world's turned away from His teachings
And the people who serve Him are few.
It's not the rewards I'm a! fter
Or gifts that I hope to receive
It's the Presence that calls for commitment
It's the Spirit I trust and believe.
The Lord doesn't shelter His faithful
Or spare them all suffering and pain,
Like everyone else I have burdens,
And walk through my share of rain.
Yet He gives me a plan and a purpose,
And that joy only Christians have known,
I never know what comes tomorrow,
But I do know I'm never alone.
It's the love always there when you need it;
It's the words that redeem and inspire,
It's the longing to ever be with Him
That burns in my heart like a fire.
So you ask why I love my Lord Jesus?
Well, friend, that's so easy to see,
But the one thing that fills me with wonder is
Why Jesus loves someone like me.
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all
our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
~Written by Joseph Medlicott Scriven, 1855~
A brother asked me: "Dear friend, Am I once saved, always saved or can I
backslide until I lose my salvation?"
One friend of mine answered to him: " You were never lost.
You were not born "German","French" or "American".
You were not born "Christian", "Musim" or "Jew".
Those things were done to you by the people in the PLACE and in the TIME into which you accidently got yourself born into.
You were born a Human, A child of God. Born to ADAPT into whatever PLACE and whatever TIME you happened to be born into.
Whatever language, nationality or religion you are given, you carry the hopes and dreams of God and all of His Creation since the beginning of Life.
The future of your children and of God's Creation is in your hands.
Every living thing that ever existed on earth is here to sacrifice its life for the future of Life.
You decide what is harmed and what is saved.
May you always feel the will of God, and Bless God, His Children and His Creation with your deeds"
A shepherd told him: "Let's look at this in its proper perspective. You are reading my email right now, because you are literate-- you have learned how to read.
Can you ever become illiterate again? Can you unlearn your ability to read my words, and comprehend them? Then how, if you know you belong to the Kingdom of God, believe on Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and therefore live your life according to His teachings and what He told us during His ministry that you have agreed to do when you accepted our membership in the Kingdom of God (repent and live according to the teachings of Jesus)-- you therefore are "saved"-- so how can you "backslide"? When you know something, when you have truly learned it-- it is impossible to "unlearn" it. A bell once rung can never be unrung.
Anyone who "backslides" was never "saved" in the first place-- they truly don't understand who they are, and have not personally committed to the covenants of their forefathers, and therefore are not yet a part of the Kingdom of God. But if they truly DO understand who they are, have personally accepted the commitments of the covenants their forefathers entered into with GOD THE EVERLIVING at the base of Mt. Sinai under the direction of Moses, then for them to walk away from that is not "backsliding"-- it literally is the only act they can commit that could cause them to be thrown into the lake of fire at judgment. But I doubt very seriously that you truly understand who you are, much less that you have personally accepted the covenants of your forefathers, so the gates of Hell are certainly not yawning before you.
But consider carefully what I have said here, because the attitude that you are "saved" according to whatever definition you give the word "saved" could mean that you falsely believe that nothing further is required of you, and you will go to heaven regardless of what you do or fail to do. This is the teaching of Satan.
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." These words require action on our part-- Jesus' atonement for our sins does not make us perfect all by itself, without any action on our part, otherwise it would have been totally unnecessary for Him to complete his 62 week ministry prior to the crucifixion. If what I say is false, then the rich man who refused to give up his wealth and follow Jesus would still make it to heaven-- so why did Jesus say that it is "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle" than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Can't all rich men enter simply by saying they believe on Jesus Christ? That is exactly what the man did when he told Jesus he believed in Him-- but Jesus told him to go give away all that he had, and come follow Him. If Jesus knew the man would go to Heaven anyway, why did Jesus ask him to give up all of his worldly wealth? Think about it. That's only one proof of many, many, many in the Bible that we are expected to take action to seal our faith, and to strengthen it."
A SOLDIER WITH A MISSION
In 1949, my father had just returned home from the war. On every American
highway you could see soldiers in uniform hitchhiking home to their
families, as was the custom at that time in America.
Sadly, the thrill of his reunion with his family was soon overshadowed. My
grandmother became very ill and had to be hospitalized. It was her kidneys,
and the doctors told my father that she needed a blood transfusion
immediately or she would not live through the night. The problem was that
grandmother's blood type was AB-, a very rare type even today, but even
harder to get then because there were no blood banks or air flights to
All the family members were tested, but not one member was a match. So the
doctors gave the family no hope; my grandmother was dying. My father left
the hospital in tears to gather up all the family members, so that everyone
would get a chance to tell Grandmother goodbye.
As my father was driving down the highway, he passed a soldier in uniform
hitchhiking home to his family. Deep in grief, my father had no
inclination at that moment to do a good deed. Yet it was almost as if
something outside himself pulled him to a stop, and he waited as the
stranger climbed into the car. My father was too upset to even ask the
soldier his name, but the soldier noticed my father's tears right away and
inquired about them.
Through his tears, my father told this total stranger that his mother was
lying in a hospital dying because the doctors had been unable to locate
her blood type, AB-, and if they did not locate her blood type before
nightfall, she would surely die. It got very quiet in the car. Then this
unidentified soldier extended his hand out to my father, palm up. Resting
in the palm of his hand were the dog tags from around his neck. The blood
type on the tags was AB-. The soldier told my father to turn the car
around and get him to the hospital.
My grandmother lived until 1996, 47 years later, and to this day no one in
our family knows the soldier's name. But my father has often wondered; was
he a soldier or an angel in uniform? Sometimes, we never know who God will
bring into our lives to carry out a special mission nor do we know whose
lives God will have us touch.
One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in
the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things
were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when
he had a job. His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things
and cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind
turned to the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was
filled with anger, resentment and frustration.
Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find,
knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree
to seek the one he knew would always be there, and with tears in his
eyes, he prayed "Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this
You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed.
Today, you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot.
I don't know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs
that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive.
As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I can not do, for I don't
know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear
you, but I pray that you teach me to do this one thing I can not do -
Teach me To Forgive.
As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt
something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner
of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see
what it was because where the oak tree had been was alarge square piece
of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the
wood with a large spike through them. He raised his head more, and
tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw
spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep
thorns sunk into His head.
Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their
eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.
Have you ever told a lie, he asked?
The man answered - yes Lord.
Have you ever been given to much change and kept it?
The man answered yes Lord. And the man sobbed moreand more.
Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours, Jesus asked?
And the man answered yes Lord.
Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain?
The man, crying now, answered yes Lord.
As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"?
The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer yes
Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt
something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the
blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus,
and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.
Jesus said, I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you
Taking up the Cross
The forgiveness of sin is promised to him who repents and believes; the crown of life will be the reward of him who is faithful to the end. We may grow in grace by improving through the grace we already have. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world if we would be found blameless in the day of God. Faith and works go hand in hand; they act harmoniously in the work of overcoming. Works without faith are dead, and faith without works is dead. Works will never save us; it is the merit of Christ that will avail in our behalf. Through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God.
The faith we are required to have is not a do-nothing faith; saving faith is that which works by love and purifies the soul. He who will lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting will walk intelligently in the way of God's commandments. If we are to have pardon for our sins, we must first have a realization of what sin is, that we may repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. We must have a solid foundation for our faith; it must be founded on the Word of God, and its results will be seen in obedience to God's expressed will. Says the apostle, "Without . . . [holiness] no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).
Faith and works will keep us evenly balanced and make us successful in the work of perfecting Christian character. Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Speaking of temporal food, the apostle said, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The same rule applies to our spiritual nourishment; if any would have the bread of eternal life, let him make efforts to obtain it.
We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth's history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation; and should not we fear lest a promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer, strive with agonizing effort to enter in at the strait gate.
Jesus Makes Up for Our Deficiency. There is no excuse for sin
Romans 10:9..."That if you confess
with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him
from the dead, you will be saved." (NKJV)
The meaning of this is that we confess Jesus as Lord, both of the Universe and of our individual lives respectively. In order to confess this it must be a reality in our lives, otherwise we are just mouthing words. Therefore, in order to be saved, we do not only believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 4:15), but we appropriate and confess the fact of Jesus being our Lord, and for this to happen we must make Him the Lord of our lives: this involves submitting to the Spirit of Christ as Romans 8 also declares. Then, when we confess Him as Lord, even believing that He is risen from the dead (and the reason we believe this is because we have experienced the fact of His resurrection; for He has sent His Spirit into our hearts from His throne in heaven), we know that we will be saved as a result.
A further step in our sanctification process is baptism in the name of Jesus, as Acts 2:38 declares, for we are promised that as a result of being baptised in Jesus' name, that we shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is not, 'might receive that gift', but 'shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' Before baptism there is an 'if' involved that I don't want to take a chance on. It is possible for an unbaptized person to be saved, for some have received the gift of the Holy Ghost before being baptized in the name of Jesus (and yet, if given the chance, those who have received this gift will soon be baptized, for the Spirit of God is given only to those who obey Him); However, if you want absolute assurance, then be baptized in the name of Jesus, for it is written that, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned." Here it does not say that the one who is not baptized will be condemned, but he who does not believe; therefore we do not necessarily consider baptism a requisite for salvation. However, if we interpret it thus: that baptism always follows true belief; then we consider it true that Jesus did not need to say that the one who does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned: because the primary issue is faith: baptism without faith will not prodice salvation, but faith without baptism is able to produce salvation, because we contend that even Abraham was saved apart from baptism in the name of Jesus. However, if you want to be sealed in the Holy Spirit, if you want to know for sure that you are going to heaven, then I would suggest doing the things above: First believing in Christ, making Him your Lord (and if He is your Lord, then you will obey Him in the step of baptism in Jesus' name according to Acts 2:38), then confessing Him as your Lord at the time of baptism: and you shall (not may, not might, but shall) receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And Jesus said, "Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God...Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:3,5)