Taking the Mask off!

2 Cor 3:18 “And all of us as with unveiled faces, continue to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are continually being changed into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another from the Lord, the Spirit. (Amplified Bible)

As we have been wearing the masks everywhere during the Covid 19 pandemic that has swept our world, I could not help but think how uncomfortable it has become. My glasses fog up where I can’t see as well, my breathing is impaired, I can’t smile and be friendly with others like I love to do, and certainly having conversations and  being understood is much more difficult.

I am afraid that many times, we as Christians, wear our spiritual masks trying to hide the real condition of our walk with the Lord or the lack there of. Moses face shown with the glory of the Lord after he encountered God on the mountain, however as the days went by, the glory began to fade,  so he wore the face covering so that others might not see it fading).  Exodus 34:25-39 Could that be us?  Are we one way at home and another around other folks. Is the glory fading? What are some of the things that the spiritual mask covers?  Secret sins, ungodly TV or movies, critical spirit, gossiping, self-protection, and others that I am sure the Holy Spirit can bring to our mind.

It is time to repent and take off the spiritual masks!!!

What are we gaining by removing our spiritual masks?  We can see much more clearly the truths in the Bible, we can once again have that personal intimacy, and once again have those amazing conversations with our heavenly Father, and certainly now, we can freely breath in the breath and power of the Holy Spirit.

 And with an “open face,” we are being constantly changed from glory to glory into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joy

Phyllis

 

THE FORSAKEN FACTOR IN REVIVAL!

“However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.”

2nd Chronicles 32:26

The Bible is full of promised blessings for those who humble themselves!  Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the wise man Solomon wrote, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23).  James reminds us, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).  Peter writes in 1st Peter 5:6, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.”  Unfortunately, today’s society does not look on humility with the same admiration as does the Lord!  The question becomes, Why does the Lord put humility first when it comes to the conditions He requires for the coming of revival in 2nd Chronicles 7:14?

A studied look at Scripture reveals that when there is a list of blessings, or conditions for blessings, whatever is listed first is listed first for a reason.  It is the most critical, most important.  Think about it!  Why would one pray, or seek the Lord, or turn from every way that deviates from the right way (the meaning of the word ‘wicked’ in 2nd Chronicles 7:14) if one thinks that we can solve our own problems, or make ourselves right with God in our own way?  When we humble ourselves, the rest tends to follow, but prayer, seeking God and broken repentance are foreign to the prideful.

We need to recognize the scale of mankind’s problem.  First, pride is a perpetual problem.  “So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others…And many were bringing gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem and choice presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.”(vv 20-23).  Not only is pride perpetual, the enemy will see to it that it is also keenly personal.  After the Lord delivered Hezekiah from certain defeat and imprisonment, He was personally healed by God from a fatal disease!  “ In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign.  But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud!”  (vv24-25).

Some years ago, a preacher friend of mine sent me a book of which he had been the general editor.  It is a collection of sayings by people who are noteworthy for their faithfulness and fruitfulness in ministry.  One such is the author and theologian J. C. Ryle who is credited with saying, “We have been too often content with zeal for orthodoxy and have neglected the sober realities of daily practical godliness!  There has been of late years a lower standard of personal holiness among believers than there used to be in the day of our forefathers.  The whole result is THE SPIRIT IS GRIEVED!  And the matter calls for much humiliation and searching of hearts!”

My prayer for myself and each of you who name the Name of Jesus as Lord and Savior is that each of us would begin to humble ourselves before Him!

Jon Moore

My Determined Purpose

Many years ago, I read a little book by Bro. Laurence called, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”  Bro. Laurence had devoted himself to God as a monk and lived his life praying and doing what we might call menial tasks for his fellow brothers. He states that He made a commitment to doing little things for the Lord each day and to never deliberately stray from Him.  Oh, how the Lord gripped my heart of the necessity in my life for a much deeper and more intimate fellowship with my heavenly Father! I had found my self so busy serving the Lord that I had neglected the most important, worshipping and being in His presence daily.

What does it really mean to live and dwell in His presence? In Websters 828 dictionary it states: in close view, within, a spiritual Spirit to be present.  Psalms 27:4, “One thing I ask of Thee, oh Lord, that I will seek, inquire for, and insistently require that I may dwell in Your presence all the days of my life.”

“MY PRAYER”

That I may know Jesus—

That I may__

 progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.

That I may __

perceive and recognize and understand the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly.

That I may —

In that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection.

That I may __

 share in His suffering as to be continually being transformed in His Spirit into His likeness even to His death.

Taken from __Philippians 3:10

Joy ,

Phyllis

 

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART FOUR)!

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”

Ephesians 5:18

Back in January I said I would attempt to address four basic questions about the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  The first question was, “Why should every Believer be filled with the Holy Spirit?”  I dealt with this by examining the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of the Gospel of John, because they contain an ongoing discussion by the Lord with His disciples about His soon-coming departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the role the Spirit would fill in the life and ministries of His followers.  If you have not already done so, I recommend you scroll down and read the last three month’s devotionals.

 This month I will focus on the last three questions.  Question two is, “What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?”  The Greek word “filled” in Ephesians 5:18 means “to fill; to be filled to the full.”  It carries with it a picture of “to be fully taken up with; to be fully under the control of!”  Thus, to be filled with the Holy Spirit means not so much to have more of the Spirit, but for the Spirit to have more (all) of you!

 Question three is, “Do you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit again?”  Some argue they do not need to be filled, because they were filled with the Spirit at conversion!  Certainly, a Biblical view of salvation teaches that it includes a full surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but guess what?  You leaked!  The commandment to be filled in Ephesians 5:18 is in the present imperfect tense in the original Greek language meaning, “Be always being filled with Holy Spirit!”  Ask yourself this question, “Do I have the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 fully operative in my life today?”  The absence of any one of this cluster of fruit indicates you need to be filled again with the Spirit.  Likewise, “Is the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated in your daily living, preaching, teaching, witnessing.  Acts 1:8 says we receive power when the Holy Spirit fills us.  The absence of power is a reminder we need to be filled again!  Note the experiences of the disciples in the book of Acts.  See 13:52 especially.

 The fourth question is, “How is one filled with the Holy Spirit?”  Peter in Acts 2:32-33 tells us that when Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, the Father exalted Christ to the right hand of God, the place of all authority and power.  He gave the Son the promised Holy Spirit.  Jesus then poured forth the Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit!  In like manner when we as Believers genuinely surrender our life to the Lordship of Christ, crowning Him both Lord and Christ, He once again pours out the Holy Spirit into us in His fullness!

 Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART THREE)!

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit!”

Ephesians 5:18

Two months ago, I began to address the question, “Why does every Believer need to be filled with the Holy Spirit?”    This is the first of several questions I will seek to address in this series.  We have been examining chapters 14, 15 and 16 of the gospel of John, because they contain a discussion by the Lord with His disciples about His soon-coming departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the role the Spirit will fill in the life and ministries of both the disciples and those who follow them.  I recommend you scroll down and read Part One and Part Two before you read any further.

The third reason every Believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit is not only that He indwells and instructs the Believer, but that He also endows the Believer (John 16:14)!  Remember, the word “disclose” means to tell back!  The blessed Holy Spirit not only makes Christ real to the Believer, but also in the Believer, and ultimately through the Believer!  Remember also the meaning of the word “another” in John 14:16=“Another like Me!”  Jesus, the Son came to disclose (To tell back) the Father (John 16:15), “He is the radiance of the Father’s glory, and the exact representation of His nature!” (Hebrews 1:3) So, the Holy Spirit came to disclose (To tell back) the Son (John 15:26).  Only the Believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit can effectually disclose the Life of Jesus Christ! 

We have examined three reasons from Scripture why every Believer should be filled with Holy Spirit.  Because He indwells the Believer, He instructs the Believer and He endows the Believer!  Yet, there is a fourth reason.  Ephesians 5:18 is not a recommendation, it is a Biblical commandment!  In the original writing of the New Testament (Greek) there is a way sentences can be constructed so that the reader (listener) can know the statement is an imperative commandment!  Such is the case with Ephesians 5:18, it is imperative that every Believer be filled with Holy Spirit!  And how did Jesus Himself tell us we are to express our love to and for Him?  “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).

Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART TWO)!

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit!”

Ephesians 5:18

Last month we began addressing the question of why every Believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit!  Remember that we are focusing on John chapters 14, 15 and 16, because these chapters contain a time of ongoing discussion by Jesus concerning His soon-coming departure, and the ministry His disciples would soon be leading.  A significant part of this discussion focuses on the role the Holy Spirit will fill in the life and ministries of the disciples, and those that will follow them!  In this discussion Jesus deals with three reasons why every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).  The first reason is because the Holy Spirit indwells the Believer, both with you (John 14:16), and in you (John 14:17).  To review scroll down and re-read last month’s devotional!

The second reason every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit is He instructs the Believer.  “He will teach you all things.” (John 14:26a).  All the Believer truly knows of the Lord is taught/revealed to us by the Holy Spirit!  He instructs us in three ways.  First, He reminds us, “He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26b).  Some times we don’t need to learn something new.  Sometimes our memory needs to be prompted to remember Truth we have already learned!  That could happen when we are meditating on Scripture we have just read, or just heard, or in a conversation we are having with a fellow Believer.  The Spirit uses all kinds of instruments in His ministry to us!

The second way the Spirit instructs us is He refines us, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the Truth.” (John 16:13a).  You may well ask, “Isn’t that the same thing as John 14:26?”  NO!  These are two separate things.  One is that the Spirit teaches us all things; the other is He not only teaches Truth, but He leads us INTO the Truth!  This is one of the ways of God that David referred to in Psalm 103:7, “He made known His way unto Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel!”  He reveals Truth to His servants and follows it by putting them in life experiences that will require them to validate the Truth in personal experience.  Only then can they minister the Truth in the Lord’s power!

Finally, the third way the Holy Spirit instructs the Believer is He reveals to us, “He will  disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13b).  The word “disclose” means to “tell back.”  If you want to know that for which you need to be prepared, pay attention to what the Lord is teaching you today!  There are no “accidents” in the life of a child of God, especially one who is committed to be a loyal follower!  Any educator will tell you the best environment for learning is one teacher for every student, and that is what the Lord has provided for each of His children!  Each Believer has the undivided attention and ministry of the Holy Spirit.  That is another reason every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit!

Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART ONE)

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”

Ephesians 5:18 

The decade of the 1960s was marked by rebellion in America!  Against the war in Vietnam, the military draft, the sexual mores of the day and against organized religion.  There was experimentation with foreign religions, “free” sex, often accompanied with hallucinating drugs.  Young people argued they were “searching for the Truth!”  Notably, out of this some came full circle to discover salvation through faith in Jesus Christ!  Yet in this rebellious setting there was widespread false teaching that spread, particularly about the Holy Spirit.  Sadly, some preachers spent more time condemning the false teachers than they did communicating the Truth from the Bible! 

It is often said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same!”  Sadly, rebellion is a present problem, and Believers are not exempted from the temptation!  I am convinced there is a critical need for more teaching of Bible Truth about the Holy Spirit.  That is why I will seek to address four basic questions over the next several months.  Why should a Believer be filled with the Spirit?  What does that mean?  Who should be filled?  And How is one filled?  I will address these issues from the gospel of John, chapters 14, 15 and 16!  These chapters contain an ongoing time of discussion by Jesus concerning His soon-coming departure, and the ministry His disciples would be leading.  A significant part of that discussion deals with the role the Holy Spirit will fill in their life and ministries.  

In this discussion Jesus deals with three specific reasons why every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit.  The first reason is because the Holy Spirit indwells the Believer.  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper”  (John 14:16a).  Many know that the Greek word translated Helper is at other times translated Comforter, Advocate, or Intercessor.  The word means, “One called alongside to help.”  Another word important to understand is the word “another”.  That word in the Greek means, “Another like Me.”  Jesus says that the best description of the Holy Spirit is He is another like Me!  Then the Lord expands that statement, “that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16b).  Jesus came for a specific task assigned by the Father, to redeem lost humanity by paying the redemption price, the willing sacrifice of His sinless Life.  Soon He would return to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit, He (the Spirit) is to abide with us FOREVER!  

Not only that, but the Holy Spirit is now in us, “…that is the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 16:17).  When one first believes on the Lord Jesus Christ the temptation is to think that the Christian life will be so wonderful that it will be easy.  Then life happens, and sin enters the picture again.  We begin to realize that living for Christ will be harder that we thought, and finally we come to see it is an impossible task.  Just as we learn that we need Him with us in our loneliness, we realize our need for Him in our weakness.  Praise to God our Father that the Holy Spirit is our Divine Helper who makes the impossible gloriously possible!                                             

Jon Moore

Christmas Joy!

The Christmas season is here once again.  I love the music of the season. I am one that starts listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  So I get to hear the song, ”Joy to the World” a lot.  What exactly does this word joy mean? According to Webster dictionary:  Joy: to rejoice, an emotion evoked by well- being, to have a feeling of great pleasure and delight. That is a human emotion that comes and goes with the sunshine or clouds in our lives.  Is that how we are supposed to live as Christians? Can we have a different and settled joy in our hearts and lives no matter the dark the clouds that surround us?

What is the answer? YES! If God’s Word says that we can, then we can!

Psalms 87:7 “All my springs, my source of LIFE and Joy are found in You , oh Lord.”

John 10:10 “The thief came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I came that you might have Life, and have it more abundantly.” (Agape Life, God’s Life)

In 2nd Peter the Bible states that the Lord has given us everything pertaining to Life. The question that we must ask ourselves is, “Am I experiencing the Life that has been provided to me as God’s child? Am I letting the enemy, people, circumstances, moodiness, etc. rob me of experiencing real joy, God’s Joy ?”

What to do if you are not living in that kind of joy?

  1. Be saved! John 3:16, 2. Be filled with the Spirit, 3. Feed your soul on God’s Word, 4. Decide! How do you want to live, 5. Transfer the eternal truths of God into experiential reality in our life by faith, trusting Him to keep His promises.

We now as children of God have a choice.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!  

HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life!”  John 3:16

 The verse written above is the most familiar verse in the Bible.  Many have it memorized, some who do not make any claim of being a Christian!  It comes at the end of a conversation between Jesus Christ and a man by the name of Nicodemus.  During the conversation, Jesus tells this prominent man from the Jewish community that every person (no exceptions) must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God!  When Nicodemus misunderstands the meaning of this statement by saying, “How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  Jesus then explains there must be two distinct births, one a natural birth of water and a spiritual birth of the Spirit.  Nicodemus then asked, “How can these things be?”

 Jesus then expressed amazement that a man understood to be “the” teacher of Israel, obviously indicating Nicodemus had a reputation of being knowledgeable in the Scriptures, could not understand the necessity of two births, one natural, and one spiritual.  Nicodemus then exclaimed, “How can these things be?”  Jesus follows this question with His explanation of how one is born again in John 3:16 quoted above, requiring that one must “believe” in Jesus.  The challenge lies in properly understanding the meaning of the word ‘believe’.  Many have assumed that it means a merely intellectual transaction, but the demons in hell believe that much, and shudder (James 2:19)!

 The New Testament word ‘believe’ means, “To trust in; To cling to; To rely on.” 

1) To believe in Jesus that results in salvation means to trust in what Jesus has done for you!  “Christ also died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us unto God.” (1st Peter 3:18). 

2) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to cling to who Jesus is in you!  “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Colossians 1:27).  “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13).

3) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to rely on all Jesus has said to you!  “It is impossible for God to lie!” (Hebrews 6:18).

 Here is the question to be answered!  Here is the question you must answer, if not today, then once you die.  “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgement!” (Hebrews 9:27).  Are you qualified to enter the Kingdom of God?  Have you been born again?

Jon Moore

 

Another Story of When God Comes in Revival!

In the early years of the 1700 – 1900’s the revival fires burned.  God sent powerful awakenings to: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, India, Korea, the United States and many other parts of the world.  God used many people such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, and John Hyde (known as praying Hyde). Hyde, a missionary to India, prayed for 12 years before he saw an answer to his prayers.

A revival began in Southern India where Amy Carmichael along with many others had been praying that a new visitation of the Holy Spirit would come all over India as it had in many other places.  Amy was a Protestant Christian missionary in India who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavus.  She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books. On October 22, 1906 Jesus came in the close of the morning service.  It was startling.  Soon the whole upper half of the church was on its face on the floor all crying out to God, each boy, girl, man, and woman alike.  The sound was like a sound of waves or a strong wind in the trees.  I had never heard such a thing, Amy confessed.  Many outside rushed to the church.  Months later, most all of the children had been saved and most adult backsliders were restored.  Many in the village were converted and many were quickened to walk in newness of life.

Oh God, may we be found faithful to be fervent in praying, repenting of our sin, and seeking You above all else, so that You might pour out revival in our nation and world.  Oh Father, grace us again with Your Holy presence.

Burdened,

Phyllis

Parts of this were taken from “Revival Fires,” by Wesley Duewel.