Looking for Fruit!

Last year during the Covid shut down, my son, knowing how bored I would be isolated at home, bought me for Mother’s Day a City Pickers Garden container.  It is about 24” X 20” container with wheels.  It was perfect after filling with all the growing ingredients to make my 2 okra plants, 2 bell pepper plants and 2 squash plants grow and produce vegetables. It was fun. This year I decided again to grow vegetables in my City Picker’s Garden.  Each morning I go to the patio to water my little garden.  It brings a smile and excitement to my heart when I see the fruits of my labor ready to harvest.

This morning as I went to check the plants, I was reminded of Galatians 5:22-23 in the Bible that states: “The Fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.” I think we can certainly say, that is Jesus personified.  We know, this heavenly fruit is only produced in and threw a believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. That life that is totally surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.

I cannot help but let my imagination wonder if each day our Heavenly Father might be looking for that Heavenly Fruit in His beloved children.  You see, Jesus labored much on that old, rugged cross for you and me. Our Heavenly Father has watered us with His Word, filled our hearts with faith to believe, and has empowered us with His eternal power.

Oh, how wonderful it is to bring joy to our Heavenly Father’s heart when He sees love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control being lived out by His children.

Joy

Phyllis

SERVING IN RESURRECTION POWER-Part Two!

“Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them (Elijah and Elisha) crossed over on dry ground.”

2nd Kings 2:8

In Part One (Scroll down to April 1, 2021) I wrote to you concerning how New Testament Truths are often illustrated in the times, the people, the places and the events of the Old Testament, and such is the case with the subject of serving in resurrection power in the ministry of the prophet Elisha!  In our earlier writing we pointed out the preconditions for thus serving were present in Elisha’s ministry when Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha (1st Kings 19:19). 

Today we want to see how Elisha was then further prepared to serve.  Remember, the mantle still belonged to Elijah.  Elisha had to be prepared for it to be his.  This was accomplished by two ways, testing and trials.  The same will be true for us if we are to serve the Lord in His resurrection power!  Elijah was then successively called by the Lord to go from Gilgal to Bethel, from Bethel to Jericho, and from Jericho to the Jordan River (2nd Kings 2:2,4,6).  Each time the Lord tested Elisha’s faithfulness by using Elijah to give Elisha an excuse for not going with him.  In each instance Elisha passed the tests by insisting that he as servant accompany Elijah!  Then Elisha was also prepared by trials!  Upon arriving at Bethel, the sons of the prophets asked Elisha if he knew Elijah would be taken from him that day.  The same also happened at Jericho.  In each instance Elisha replied by saying, ‘Yes, I know’ Be still!’  It is not an easy thing for one that means much in the growth of a servant of the Lord to pass, but it is imperative to see the Lord will never forsake you!  

Finally, it is important to see Elisha’s introduction to serving in resurrection power (v6b-8).  See 2nd Kings 2:8 above.  Rivers are often symbolic in the Bible, particularly in the old testament.  They often speak of times of transition, or even death.  If any of us are to serve in the resurrection power of Christ, we must transition from our ways to His way, from dependence on self to reliance on Christ in us!  When Jesus said, “If anyone serve Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there my servant will be also.” (John 12:26).  Before He made that statement, He taught the parable of the grain of wheat, that the outer husk must die to bring forth more grains of wheat!  But notice the newness of life and ministry afterward!  A new prayer (v 9-10)=Vision fulfilled; A new power (v 11-13)=The mantle is now Elisha’s; A new person (v 14,15)=Resurrection power is obvious to others! 

No one serves in resurrection power on the wrong side of the river! 

Jon Moore

BE A BIRD WATCHER!

Every where we turn there is bad and worrisome news. At times I confess, I get caught up in all the worries that the world news is telling me!  Yesterday as I was sitting on my patio watching the birds flying and landing in the yard, seemingly without a care in the world, I was reminded of what my heavenly Father tells me in His Word about His care for His children!

Matthew 6 tells us God’s perspective on WORRY. (I have taken part from verses due to space)

Verse 25: I tell you, STOP being uneasy, anxious, and worried about your life.

Verse 26: Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them.  Are you not worth more than they?

Verse 27: And who of you by worrying can add one unit of measure to your stature or span of your life.

Verse 28: Why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies (bluebonnets in Texas), they neither toil nor spin.

Verse 31: Therefore, do not worry!

Verse 32 Your heavenly Father knows well what you need.

Verse 33: Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be given to you.

Why should I be discouraged,

Why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely,

 And long for heaven, heaven and home,

 When Jesus is my portion, My constant Friend is He,

Oh, oh, oh His eye is on the sparrow  and I know he watches over me.

Let not your heart be troubled, His tender Word I hear

And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fear;

Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, AND I KNOW HE WATCHES OVER ME! By Civilla Martin & Charles Gabriel

Joy,

Phyllis

 

SERVING IN RESURRECTION POWER-Part One!

“So he (Elijah) departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth.  And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.”  1st Kings 19:19

 It was a significant day when I came to see that the New Testament is enfolded in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is unfolded in the New Testament!  As the Lord has progressively revealed His Truth with the passage of time, it becomes apparent that the doctrines of Truth clearly revealed in the New Testament are illustrated in the times, the people, the places and the events of the Old Testament.  Such is the case with resurrection power!  Easter Sunday is one of the most important dates on the calendar of a Christian.  On that day we celebrate the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead.  We say to one another, “He is risen!”  The response is, “He is risen indeed!”  Most sermons are focused on Christ’s victory over death, hell and the grave in our behalf (what He has done for us), but there is a deeper truth that is sometimes missed.  That truth is what the Lord wants to do in and through us!  Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5).  Paul wrote, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.”  (Philippians 2:13).  The Life of Christ working in and through us in resurrection power is clearly stated in the New Testament and illustrated in numerous people in the Old Testament.  One example is the prophet Elisha.

 Perhaps the most amazing example was after Elisha’s death, when he was in his grave.  “And Elisha died, and they buried him.  Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year.  And as they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha.  And when the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet.” (2nd Kings 13:20-21).  Now, I would say that is resurrection power!  If nothing else, that is worth looking at the call of Elisha to powerful service.  The casting of a prophet’s mantle (upper body shawl) on a man in the Old Testament was the sign of calling to ministry (v 19).  Three things should be noted about the preconditions for serving the Lord in resurrection power.  1) Elisha was already a member of the Lord’s Old Testament people.  In New Testament terms Elisha was “saved”.  2) Not only was Elisha saved, but he had a servant’s spirit.  He had been farming his parent’s land (v 19).  3)  Finally, Elisha was already living a separated life!  Many of Elisha’s contemporaries had rejected the faith of their elders and had adopted a lifestyle of idolatry.  Yet, Elisha was true to God with all his heart (vv 20-21).

 A recently widowed woman could not get gas from the pump into her car.  She had the nozzle in the tank pulling the trigger, but did not have the pump “On”.  The motor was not engaged to pull the gas from the underground tank through the hose into the car’s gas tank!  Likewise, to serve the Lord powerfully, fruitfully one must serve in resurrection power, the power of the new Life in Christ, not the old life of self!

 Jon Moore

  1. S. Part Two will be coming soon…

 

Good News!

I am sure that you have heard of “the bad news bears.”  Nowadays seems all we hear is, “doom and gloom.”   Guess what?  I have some “good news!” God almighty is still in control.  He delights in showing Himself strong and in control in seemingly out of control, bad situations.

Exodus:  God’s children were in Egyptian captivity with no deliverer, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, God through Moses delivered them, parted the red sea so that they walked on dry land to cross over to safety and provided every provision that they would need on their journey.

Daniel 6:   Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den with no way out, impossible situation?….GOOD NEWS, God stopped the mouths of the lions and saved Daniel. The Savior saved His servant.

Matthew 1:   Jesus was born of a virgin, impossible?…GOOD NEWS, all things are possible with God.

Matthew 14:  When there were no provisions, with five thousand hungry men, plus women and children and only 5 small loaves and 2 fish with which to feed them, that’s impossible?…..GOOD NEWS.  Jesus multiplied the fish and bread, then all were fed with 12 baskets left over.

Luke 24:6:  Jesus was crucified and in the grave for 3 days, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, “Up from the grave Jesus arose,” and God raised Him from the grave so that we could experience salvation and have new life with God eternally!

I could go on and on.  I think the problem is that we have been reading and listening to the wrong source (the boob tube, the social media mess).

As children we sang the little song, “The B I B L E is the book is for me.” Let us get back to the book that has all of God’s promises, of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Now that is GOOD NEWS folks!!!

Joy

Phyllis

PRAYING FOR REVIVAL!

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence—As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence!  When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.  For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.”  Isaiah 64:1-4 (NASB)

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is quoted as saying, “Prayer is the engine that drives revival, and testimony is its fuel!”  If that is true, “How should we pray today for revival?”  That begs another question, “What is revival?”  To deal with that question we need to sit at the feet of the prophet, Isaiah and learn what Biblical revival is, and how we should pray today.

First and foremost, we need to see clearly that Biblical revival comes only from the hand of Almighty God, and He is supernatural!  Listen to Isaiah and the terms he uses.  “Rend (tear open) the heavens and come down.”  Make the mountains quake (tremble) and the waters (oceans, rivers, lakes) boil at Your presence!  Listen also to these testimonies.  George Whitfield, reputed to be one of the greatest preachers who ever lived and was so greatly used in the revivals that swept both England and America in the early 1800s recorded this in his diary about one of the evangelistic services he preached, “Suddenly, God the Lord came down upon us!”  Those caught up in the great prayer-revival of the late 1850s spoke of “Holy Zones” where people were suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with the Holy and Mighty presence of God, confessed their sins and lost condition, calling on Christ for forgiveness and salvation and were gloriously saved!  Evan Roberts, the preacher God used so powerfully to shake the country of Wales in the early 1900s, and J. Edwin Orr, the historian who later wrote so eloquently of that revival used such terms as, “indisputable” and “inescapable” to speak of the awareness of the presence of God.  Mary Peckham, the young woman saved in the great revival that swept the Hebrides Islands in the late 1940s and 50s testified, “The islands were alive with God’s presence!” 

Make no mistake about it, the Bible speaks of God as being always present (Omnipresent).  At the same time, the Bible also speaks of exceptional times where He chooses to make His presence unusually known!  This is confirmed by countless testimonies of men and women of faith across the years recounting times where God chose to “come down,” sometimes unexpectedly, and sometimes after intense pleadings by the people of God! 

Are we not at a place where the world and the Church are in desperate need for the Lord to come down upon us?  “Lord, do it again!  Rain down on us in all Your glory with Your holy Judgment in one hand, and Your amazing Grace in the other!”

Jon Moore

PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY

 As we begin the New Year, we all try to set some goals and resolutions for the new year.  For me it is seems to always involve, “no more sweets,” or exercising more. Most of us don’t do too well at keeping them.  I would like to suggest that we add one more very important priority. This is one we really need to keep. It is praying for our family like never before. The world today has so many evil obstacles in their lives.  The devil is like a roaring lion trying to kill, steal, and destroy. So much of our time is spent on other things that I am afraid we tend to neglect, or at least are inconsistent in taking them to our heavenly Father in prayer.  If we really believe that God hears and answers prayer, then we must PRAY.

  1. Learn to pray God’s will.
  2. Faith Praying: Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.” Find out what the Lord has in mind for your family and join the Father in praying His will. Psalm 36:9 says: “In Thy light, we see light.”  Which means that we must be in God’s Light ourselves as we seek to know how to pray for our family.
  3. Promise Praying: We must be led by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. Match our speech with God’s promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding YES.  And through Christ our AMEN ascends to God for His glory. NLT

 

  1. What can I expect when I pray?
  • He hears: Psalms 40:1 “I waited patiently and expectantly, and the Lord heard my cry.”
  • He speaks to His children: “My sheep hear my voice”: John 10:27.
  • “The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest…..your God who goes before you, will Himself fight on your behalf.” Exodus 14:14

What have you found to be the greatest impediment to praying consistently for your family?

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Oh, Father my desire for my family is taken from Psalm 27:4, that they may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of their lives and gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek Him.

Joy

Phyllis

THE TEST OF TRUST!

“How long, O Lord, will I call for help, and You will not hear?  I cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ Yet You do not save.  Why have you made men like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler over them?  The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, drag them up with their net, and gather them together in their fishing net.  They offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net.  Will they therefore empty their net and continually slay nations without sparing?  Habakkuk 1:2,14-17 

We certainly live in unusual times!  It almost seems that the world has been turned on its head, and things that have been tried and tested by time have been cast aside.  Worst of all, if we were to listen to the lies of our age-old enemy, it would seem to some that the Lord has forgotten His people, or He is no longer paying attention to present-day happenings.  It apparently seemed that way to the prophet as he stated his complaint to the Lord.  He asks, ‘Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?’ (v1:13) 

Imagine his initial shock when the Lord tells Habakkuk that He is going to use the Chaldeans to discipline His people (1:5-11).  He specifically says, ‘it will certainly come, it will not delay.’ (2:2,3)  Then the Lord reminds the prophet that Babylon will eventually be punished as well (2:5-11; 15-20). 

That bring us to one of the most mis-quoted, mis-interpreted verses in the Old Testament.  ‘O Lord revive Your work in the midst of the years.  In the midst of the years make it known.” (3:2b)  In processing what the Lord had just said to him concerning both the nation of  Judah and the nation of Babylon, Habukkuk cries, Your way is best, ‘In wrath remember mercy!’ (3:2c).  Then, coming to grips with the Truth he has just heard, the prophet utters one of the most eloquent prayers of faith recorded in Scripture.  ‘I heard, and my inward parts trembled.  At the sound my lips quivered.  Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble.  Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress; For the people to arise who will invade us.  Though the fig tree  should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines; Though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food; Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls; Yet, I will exult in the Lord.  I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.’ (3:16-18) 

My prayer for myself and for you is that we be found so full of faith that we would respond in such a profound and powerful way! 

Jon Moore

 

White as Snow

“Come now, let us reason together. says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18a

Today I was in my art studio painting a dog portrait.  As I felt like I had not gotten the picture exactly right, I began to take alcohol and a Q tip to remove the acrylic paint from the areas on the canvas that needed changing.  I noticed that no matter how much scrubbing, there was some paint that never came off completely.  What ends up happening is that after it dries, I just try paint over the smug. Most of the time it covers, but I know that there is still a messy place under the finished painting.

I wonder if that is what we do sometimes spiritually.  The Bible is clear that we all sin (make mistakes.)  Instead of confessing that sin to Jesus, we try to get relief of the guilt by trying to forget it or just paint over it by trying to do better the next time. If we could just remember that we as God’s children have access to Jesus, our Savior that died and shed His blood on that old rugged cross, that we might be forgiven and have a new clean canvas.  By confessing our sin.      1 John 1:9 says that He is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

     Oh! precious is the flow

     That makes me white as snow,

     Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Nought of works, ‘tis all of grace_

Nothing but the blood of Jesu. (written by: Robert Lowry 1876)

Joy

Phyllis

THE CALL TO CONSIDER CAREFULLY!

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord.  Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they shall be like wool.  If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land, but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.  Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 1:18-20

 Is this it?  Are we living in the generation that sees the end of this world as we have known it?  Some say so, but is it true?  When the disciples asked Jesus when the end of the age would be, He told them, “No one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone!”  The question today (and every day) should be, “What is the Lord saying to me today?”  One worthy consideration is to examine how the Lord spoke to people in the days of the Old Testament.

 The prophet Isaiah was sent by the Lord to say to the Lord’s people, “Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me.”  (Ch. 1:2).  “Sons who act corruptly!  They have abandoned the Lord.” (Ch. 1:4).  “Your land is desolate, your cities are burned with fire, your fields—strangers are devouring them in your presence; It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.”  (Ch. 1:7).  The people sought to placate God with their religious activities.  “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts.  They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.”  (Ch. 1:14).  “Cease to do evil, learn to do good.”  (Ch. 1:16,17).  Then the Lord explains how to go about doing these things.

 He first gives a chance to His family, “Come now!”  (Ch. 18).  If we do come to the Lord, it will be at His timing, not ours!  “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow.”  We can be forgiven!  As of today, the Day of Judgment has not arrived.  Thank God it is still the Day of His Grace!  Not only that, but we can be fulfilled.  “If you will consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land.”  The time to deal with the Lord is when He is dealing with us, and He is obviously dealing with us today!

 Our gracious God not only provides His family a chance for renewal, but He also announces a choice for the foolish.  “If you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”  (Ch. 1:20).  Jesus dealt with the issue of the reliability of the Father’s Word with His disciples in Matthew 7:24ff by using the analogy of the foundation for a house.  If one builds his house on a rock, even if floods come and winds blow, the house will stand.  But if  one builds his house on sand, when the winds blow and floods come, the house will fall, and great will be the fall of it!  Each must ask himself, “On what am I building my life?”

 So what about the reliability of Scripture when it comes to the future?  Once again Isaiah speaks up.  “Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken!” (Ch. 1:20).  Untold numbers throughout history have put their trust in the truthfulness of God and His Word, and the testimony of their lives have been an encouragement to others to trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.  (Proverbs 3:5,6).  What about you?  What about me?

 Jon Moore