One Name

One Name

David C. McCasland

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10

Philippians 2:5–11

Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!

Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.

I am adding a special prayer to the end of this article:

Father God I thank you for everything you do in my life. I thank you for the blood of Jesus that washed away my sins and saved me from damnation. God I thank you for the love and protection you offer my family and loved ones. The world may know the names of Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé for their achievements and advancements in their fields of expertise, but your name will be righteous and superior above all names. Thank you father.- Amen

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Darkest before Dawn

The night is far gone, and the day is near. Let’s therefore throw off the works of darkness, and let’s put on the armor of light.
– Romans 13:12
This saying just means that things will get worse before they get better
Our world can be a very, very dark place. As the years pass, as social norms changes, as political views change, as people become more tolerant or accepting to certain things, as time passes it appears to be getting darker.
We are living in a culture that is less moral than in previous years. Violence and Hatred is increasing. Racism and discrimination are being shed in to the light at a more rapid pace than ever before thanks to social media (I do not blame social media, I am just stating that due to access of social media, there are more means to share, display and cause awareness to what is going on).
No matter what we do, right now it seems very, very dark. What is morally and ethically wrong, it seems is right. Religion and the principals of good is seems to be wrong.
Looking back at the saying: “It is always darkest before the dawn!” If any of this is remotely true, then knowing that we are currently living in a dark world, which appears to be getting darker by the day, then we should find hope that after the days get darker, the dawn will shine bright among us.
As the world gets darker, we should seek comfort and get closer to Christ. Each passing day our goal should be to get even that much closer to God than we were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, an hour ago, a minute ago even a second ago.
The light from God is coming closer. With each unethical, immoral act, with each biblical principal ignored, we know that we are just one day closer to the demise of the enemy.
So what do we do until the beacon of Christ’s light fully shines upon the earth again? We are to pray without ceasing. We are to live with hope, we should rise before the dawn praying, preparing each new day to be ready to compete with the darkness around us. We are to remaing trusting, loving, faithful, diligent, we should be beacons of light here on earth setting an example until Christ’s time comes.
Even in our personal lives, when we are suffering through trials and tribulations, though those moments feel dark, murky and frustrating, our faith and hope in Christ liberates us from our trials. Our faith, patience, diligence and prayers are our solutions to get us out of our darkness. In our Personal circumstances we also see the that it is darkest before the dawn. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is hope in knowing that though things are getting darker, we shall rise up at the coming of dawn.
Father God help me to continue to stay centered and focused in you. Help me to stay grounded in you despite what challenges we may face. Despite the changes of society. Help me dear lord stay as a pillar of light, an example of your grace, so when the dawn arises i to shall rise with you. Lord, help me to continue to find comfort that though things are getting darker, there is hope at the end of this long road ahead of us. I put my faith and trust in you my lord. Amen.
ray: Lord, help me embrace the hope of Your return and spread Your light amid the world’s darkness.

Pray More

I am currently reading a book which brought me back to this scripture. I can’t recall how many times I have read this verse and it wasn’t until reading the first chapter of this book I was like oh snap…. the answer is here. I need to read more and pray more.

The book I’m reading is:

*spoiler alert.*

I am going to share some clips from the book. Just so you can grasp my aha moment. Though based on my own reflections of the word and my writings I did understand where the author is going with.

First let’s look at the following:

I am thankful that my church has many, many prayer warriors among the congregation. I am thankful on the emphasis of not only studying the word, living the word to the best of our carnal abilities to ensure our spiritual walk is as pure as possible, but also the importance of prayer. We pray often. We open and close our services in prayers, we pray before reading the word, we pray for liberation. During the alter call we all stand united in prayer for those in need of prayers. We have a set day where we have prayer services. We know prayer is important. We pray for one another in our times of need. We pray for one another when things are going well. We pray for others we do not know just because we were stirred up to pray.

Not all churches have emphasis in prayer. Some focus more on learning. Some focus more on praise and worship. Though we do those as well. We also pray. We encourage each other to pray.

As the excerpt from the book indicates many churches are not lit by the fire of God because of the lack of prayers from the congregants. Now I don’t want to judge or critique what other churches do or don’t do, because I am guilty of skipping a prayer here and there as well. Some people seek the refuge of the church to pray for them in their time of need…. yet they get upset when there are no results. How are you supposed to get results if your not praying as well?

Now back to this scripture. I am going to enter the excerpt from the boon that made me say oh snap … my aha moment. Sometimes we need to see things in a different light or perspective to fully be able to see. So once again …. spoiler alert…

Of course I believe in what the word says. But this young man, who according to this story was new in his walk, new in his faith, new in the seminary just realized something. God’s promise, is limitless. Though we know this. The key to this absolute limitless power is prayer.

So yes we should pray more. We should pray a whole lot more. We need to also maintain our faith, since the author noted the access to this promise God gave us is dependent on faith and prayer.

Mathew 21:21-22

Have faith!

Don’t doubt!

Pray!

Receive!

I think this will be my next craft project for my next TShirts.

We need to:

Have faith!

Don’t doubt!

Pray!

Receive!

We need to have faith and pray before we can receive our promises and blessings.

We need to remember the enemy trembles when we pray. He is also the reason why we are distracted and can’t pray the way we would prefer or as often as we want.

God I know your power is limitless. I know and have witnessed your greatness first hand. Lord I have heard and seen you answer my prayers first hand. I know of the importance. I have more power than I realize. If I entrust all my faith in you, pray harder, prayer firmer, pray in faith, pray at another level which I am currently not at, I know the blessings will be even more bountiful than what they are. Lord I don’t want to be a mediocre Christian. I don’t want to be lukewarm. I want to be on fire in your presence my lord. Thank you for your promise and the secret with your promise. Amen

My heart, my reward

http://bible.com/116/jer.17.10.nlt

God knows your thoughts before you can utter one word. He knows your intended actions before you move an ounce. He knows your heart, better than you do.

When it’s our turn to stand before our creator, we will be judged thoroughly for everything we did.

We will be held accountable for everything we were not held accountable here on earth. You will be judged for your thoughts, your actions, your heart and intentions. Though here in the flesh we may have perceived or led others to believe a certain thing about ourselves, in front of God it’s a whole other story. He can read you like a book. He wrote it after all. Here is a friendly reminder that we will be rewarded based on our own merit, not anyone else’s. Your salvation is based on you, your deeds, your actions and your intentions. Your salvation is not based out of any other individual.

Father God thank you for this reminder. That you are the keeper of all that I do. That I will be held accountable for all my actions and my hearts nature. If I have sinned dear lord I ask you for forgiveness once again. I ask that you help me not only be a better person than I am today, but to grow even more closer to you than I am today. Amen.

Joyful

There can be no hero without a villain. There can be no understanding of plenty without scarcity. There can be no salvation without dire circumstance. If you are at the edge of a sheer cliff, if your harvest is weeds, your herds are missing, your den has lions, then you are ripe for a saving hand.

No safe and steady person needs a rescue. But no secure person will have the pleasure of being swept off their feet by the God of the universe either.

If Jesus is the hero you’ve been praying to come, He will. He came to save the lost; He said so. So be on the lookout. Stay hopeful. There is a joy not in your pain but in your hope, in the expectation that God will come through with His magnificent plan. We can take joy in knowing that in His own way, in the best way, God will rescue what has been lost. He will sweep us off our feet and place us on top of our circumstance.

Reflection questions:

◦ Most of us don’t find our loss in figs, vines, and olives. What is the equivalent for you today?

◦ How would you like God to sweep your troubles away? Hand over those expectations and ask him to rescue you in whatever way he deems best

◦ When God has helped you with your losses, and swept your troubles away, have you shown gratitude?

◦ Have you been able to remain faithful and joyful in God throughout the events in your life?

I have seen and been grateful for the many times God has swept away my problems, my troubles, my burdens and My worries. There have been times where I did not leave it in his hands to handle my situation at his timing. Those circumstances led to me learning the hard way that no matter what, I need to always keep my faith and trust in him. That despite my circumstances, I always put my faith and trust in him to sweep my troubles away. While I wait I remain praising him. While I wait not seeing the fruits of my labor, I trust in him more knowing the reward will be far better than I can anticipate at that precise moment. My problems may not be lack of figs, lack of crops or lack of fruit, but the relevance in this scripture is true despite what problem one is facing.

Father God I humbly thank you for constantly sweeping my problems away. I thank you your love, your mercy, your compassion and your help at all times. I know some circumstances can be readily fixed quicker than others, I know your timing is precise and I will trust in you wholeheartedly knowing that you always provide what is best for me. I will keep faith in you, keep praising you, keep loving you and most importantly trusting in you. Amen

What Do the Experts Say?

What Do the Experts Say?

Tim Gustafson

These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39–40

John 5:31–40

Genesis 10–12; Matthew 4

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes of the “uncanny ability of experts to get things hopelessly, cataclysmically wrong.” A quick glance at recent history shows he’s right. The great inventor Thomas Edison, for instance, once declared that talking movies would never replace silent films. And in 1928, Henry Ford declared, “People are becoming too intelligent ever to have another war.” Countless other predictions by “experts” have missed the mark badly. Genius obviously has its limits.

Only one Person is completely reliable, and He had strong words for some so-called experts. The religious leaders of Jesus’s day claimed to have the truth. These scholars and theologians thought they knew what the promised Messiah would be like when He arrived.

Jesus cautioned them, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.” Then He pointed out how they were missing the heart of the matter. “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39–40).

As another new year gets underway, we’ll hear predictions ranging from the terrifying to the wildly optimistic. Many of them will be stated with a great deal of confidence and authority. Don’t be alarmed. Our confidence remains in the One at the very heart of the Scriptures. He has a firm grip on us and on our future.

Father, whenever we are troubled or alarmed, help us to seek You. We commit this coming year and all it holds to You.

Knowing the future is uncertain; knowing the One who holds the future is a sure thing.

This article is true, we have the truth in front of us within the very scriptures we read, yet we don’t listen because of the uncertainties that arise. Many “experts” are out there to this day making projections, doing studies and analysis, low and behold beg each claim to predict outcomes they have no authority to predict. Though as the article mentions they speak with such certainty and authority that one can easily believed the predictions being foretold. Only God knows the day and the hour of events to unfold. No one else. Not even these “experts”. Continue to lean with confidence in the word and the evidence it presents forth. Trust in God. Do not be deceived by the experts.

Father God I thank you for your love and understanding . I thank you for your words that have been transcribed for us to get to know you, to understand you and to help us build a better relationship with you. You are the alpha and the omega. Only you know what the future holds. Though many experts can seem certain, I know for a fact only you have the authority to tell of the future, an authority that none of these so called experts have. Help me, and those reading this article to be constantly reminded that no one has authority over you.

Amen.

Just Like My Father.

Just Like My Father.

David H. Roper

It is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16

1 Peter 5:8–12

Genesis 13–15; Matthew 5:1–26

My father’s dusty, heeled-over, cowboy boots rest on the floor of my study, daily reminders of the kind of man he was.

Among other things, he raised and trained cutting horses—equine athletes that move like quicksilver. I loved to watch him at work, marveling that he could stay astride.

As a boy, growing up, I wanted to be just like him. I’m in my eighties, and his boots are still too large for me to fill.

My father’s in heaven now, but I have another Father to emulate. I want to be just like Him—filled with His goodness, fragrant with His love. I’m not there and never will be in this life; His boots are much too large for me to fill.

But the apostle Peter said this: “The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ . . . will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). He has the wisdom and power to do that, you know (v. 11).

Our lack of likeness to our heavenly Father will not last forever. God has called us to share the beauty of character that is His. In this life we reflect Him poorly, but in heaven our sin and sorrow will be no more and we’ll reflect Him more fully! This is the “true grace of God” (v. 12).

Father God, we want to be just like You. Help us to grow more and more like You each day!

Through the cross, believers are made perfect in His sight.

What a touching article on fitting ones fathers shoes. We all have had individually in our lives, whether it’s our parents, a relative, a teacher or someone you admire that we wish to be like them. As the author noted he came to the realization of whom he really should follow, even though those shoes are waaay tooo biiiig for any of us to fill. Have you heard of the phrase we must be Christlike? That’s what he is referring to in this article. To try to be one and like the father one must follow in the steps of Christ. Those are really big shoes to fill. We face temptation and sin our every waking second. We battle these temptations and trials which at times are meant to throw us off course. Other times they are meant to bridge you closer to your creator.

Father God I thank you for setting an example in Jesus for us to follow to be close and one with you. Father I know I am a sinner and I ask for forgiveness for my sins & offenses I may have made. I know you are pure, and I am not. I ask again for forgiveness for my ever sinnjng nature. I ask for strength to handle my temptations and trials. I ask for knowledge to discern what steps you need me to take. I ask for patience, for I have not much. I ask for you to continue to love me, for I love you, and will forever love you too. I thank you for all that you do. For I want to see you and be beside you at my appointed hour. Amen.