Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:47-50

Jesus tells another parable, the last in this series of parables. This one has some similarity to the Parable of the Weeds, for its conclusion reveals something about the end of the age. Here we have fishermen as the example; they cast their nets and haul in a big catch. They drag their nets to the shore and sort their catch, for there are good fish, ready for market, and there are fish to throw back; Jesus likens this process to what will happen on the last day, when the angels of God will sort out the Kingdom. The “good fish” will enter, and the “bad fish” will be tossed out. To put it another way, the Kingdom of heaven is open to everyone, but not all will choose to enter, and when the day comes, many will find that they waited too long, and that the doors are now closed.

The above portion is a reblog from LifeReference @ wordpress

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Decide now that you want to be caught in God’s net of salvation and not the devil’s net of eternal separation from God. The choice is yours.

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Do You Have A Plan for Prayer?

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Prayer pursues joy in fellowship with Jesus and in the power to share his life with others.

And prayer pursues God’s glory by treating him as the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. In prayer, we admit our poverty and God’s prosperity, our bankruptcy and his bounty, our misery and his mercy.

Therefore, prayer highly exalts and glorifies God precisely by pursuing everything we long for in him, and not in ourselves. “Ask, and you will receive . . . that the Father may be glorified in the Son and . . . that your joy may be full.” Unless I’m badly mistaken, one of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant life of prayer is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to.

If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don’t just get up one summer morning and say, “Hey, let’s go today!” You won’t have anything ready. You won’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned.

But that is how many of us treat prayer. We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready.

We don’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned. No time. No place. No procedure. And we all know that the opposite of planning is not a wonderful flow of deep, spontaneous experiences in prayer. The opposite of planning is the rut.

If you don’t plan a vacation, you will probably stay home and watch TV. The natural, unplanned flow of spiritual life sinks to the lowest ebb of vitality. There is a race to be run and a fight to be fought. If you want renewal in your life of prayer, you must plan to see it.

Therefore, my simple exhortation is this: Let us take time this very day to rethink our priorities and how prayer fits in. Make some new resolve. Try some new venture with God. Set a time. Set a place. Choose a portion of Scripture to guide you.

Don’t be tyrannized by the press of busy days. We all need mid-course corrections. Make this a day of turning to prayer — for the glory of God and for the fullness of your joy.

Specific Prayers Creates A Lighter Load


Praying specifically about a problem creates a lighter load. Many of our anxieties are threatening because they are ill defined and vague. If we can distill the challenge into a phrase, we bring it down to size.

It’s one thing to pray, “Lord, please bless my meeting tomorrow.”  It’s another thing to pray, “I have a conference with my supervisor at 2:00 PM tomorrow. She intimidates me. Would you please grant me a spirit of peace so I can sleep well tonight? Grant me wisdom so I can enter the meeting prepared. And would you soften her heart toward me and give her a generous spirit? Help us have a gracious conversation in which both of us benefit and your name is honored.”

There! You have reduced the problem to a prayer-sized challenge! As God’s children we honor him when we tell him exactly what we need.

Breaking the Sound Barrier


If the Lord’s silence is good for us, then how should we respond when we feel as if there’s a wall blocking our access to Him? The only way to break through is to keep on praying. It’s important that we remain on our knees and continue talking to Him.

First, pray to God, requesting that He let you know the reason for His silence. While Jesus was on the cross, He demonstrated that we can approach the heavenly Father with our questions. (See Mark 15:34.) Our Lord invites us to talk with Him about anything because He understands us perfectly. He knows the motivation behind what we’re asking and has an accurate read on where we’re at spiritually.

Second, ask Him to reveal His will for your life and to guide you. Remember that His timing may not match yours.

Third, trust Him. Be still in the Lord’s presence as He works in your life, and believe that He always sees the way clearly, whether or not you do. Be aware that God desires for His children to listen—even when we feel as if He’s not talking, even when we feel like giving up.

Finally, open the Bible and start reading. The Holy Spirit living within you will interpret God’s Word to your heart, and you’ll begin to hear Him speaking to you.

In addition to talking to God, practice being silent in His presence. When you listen carefully, He will satisfy the deepest longings of your heart with a sense of Himself. Then feelings of anxiety will give way to peace.

Our Helper in Prayer


Romans 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit is a practical helper. He is part of the Trinity, which means He’s one with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. And He is all-powerful and all-knowing, just like the other two members of the Godhead. In other words, the Spirit dwelling within us knows exactly what God in heaven wills for our life.

Since even the most intelligent people operate with limited knowledge, it is wise to depend upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance, especially in prayer. We do not know what the future holds; as a result, our desires may not fit God’s plan. Or it might never occur to us to request something that the Lord knows we will eventually need.

There are believers who give up on prayer because our human limitations prevent fully understanding how it works. But those who stop communicating with God miss out on the awesome work of the Spirit. He directs our prayers, impresses upon our hearts the truth about what we have asked, and ultimately opens our minds to God’s will.

Believers never have to worry about offering up a wrong prayer. In our humanness, we often ask for something that we think will satisfy our fleshly need. But the Holy Spirit won’t present a request that goes against the Father’s will. Instead, He intercedes to ask for what is right. And at the same time, He whispers to our heart that what we have requested is not suitable.

If God’s will is our true desire, then we’ll be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He is our prayer link to the heavenly Father, and where He leads, we must follow.


(reblog from Charles Stanley | In Touch Ministries)

Our Life Hangs on the Word of God


The Word of God is not a trifle; it is a matter of life and death. If you treat the Scriptures as a trifle or as empty words, you forfeit life.

Even our physical life depends on God’s Word, because by his Word we were created (Psalm 33:6; Hebrews 11:3) and “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

Our spiritual life begins by the Word of God: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). “You have been born again . . . through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

Not only do we begin to live by God’s Word, but we also go on living by God’s Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

Our physical life is created and upheld by the Word of God, and our spiritual life is quickened and sustained by the Word of God. How many stories could be gathered to bear witness to the life-giving power of the Word of God!

Indeed, the Bible is “no empty word for you” — it is your life! The foundation of all joy is life. Nothing is more fundamental than sheer existence — our creation and our preservation.

All this is owing to the Word of God’s power. By that same power, he has spoken in Scripture for the creation and sustenance of our spiritual life. Therefore, the Bible is no empty word, but is your very life — the kindling of your joy!

An Amazing Book. An Amazing Foundation For life.

Step into almost any bookstore, and you will find volumes covering every topic imaginable. Want new direction for your life? Self-help sections are extremely popular and accessible. Are your children disobeying? Parenting literature abounds. But do all of these “expert” authors have trustworthy credentials?

There is a place to find guidance and information that won’t ever mislead: The Bible will bless and benefit everyone who reads and applies its wisdom. Here’s what the Author—“the God of truth” (Isa. 65:16)—says about His own Word:

1. The Bible gives direction for life (Psalm 119:105). God uses His Word to lead us, no matter what our circumstances may be. The Holy Spirit can take even simple verses, which seem general at first glance, and apply them to our specific situation.

2. Scripture strengthens us when we grieve or face difficulty (Psalm 119:28, Psalm 119:116). By spending time processing what God says, we’re reminded that He loves us, cares about our situation, and can handle whatever we’re facing. Worry and pain turn into peace, hope, and joyful confidence.

3. God’s Word helps us understand our inner motivations (Heb. 4:12). Scripture acts like a mirror that lets us see ourselves as we truly are.

The Bible is the very mind of God put into words so that man can know his Maker more fully. In deepening our understanding of the heavenly Father, we learn how to live successfully and die unafraid.

To what extent do you depend upon this amazing Book as your foundation for life?