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Don’t ever stop praying for those hardened hearts…

 

Don’t ever stop praying for those hardened hearts because you never know, they too could have a Paul Encounter.

The Holy Word of God speaks the following about those with hardened hearts:

  • Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. (Proverbs 28:13-14)
  • Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matthew 13:14-15)
  • As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15)

O friends of God, do not grow weary of praying for sinners, especially hardened sinners. For the Lord God can transform the hearts of stone into hearts of flesh as mentioned in His Holy Word:

  • And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)
  • And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Pray for each person you can think of who is in need of repentance, and pray for that person in faith. We are not forcing people to change but simply praying to the Lord God to transform them from darkness to light and from sin to holiness. And yes, if they wish to follow the Lord God, that they be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to continue in the way of the Lord no matter what the world says.

Also, while you pray for the worst of sinners, don’t forget to pray for each other, for the devil seeks to devour who ever he can

  • Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
  • Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Remember our responsibility is to pray and to preach the Gospel to everyone and then let Jesus take over the situation. Do it by the way of the Lord instead of the way of man and see the difference.

Keep in mind that if any sinner listens to the Word of God and repents there will be much joy in heaven as mentioned by Jesus in the Parable of the Lost Sheep  mentioned below:

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:3-7)

Christ be with you as you pray for hardened sinners!

You need to repent each time you sin

It is a false doctrine to tell Christians that after their first repentance, they never need to repent again for new sins. The blood of Jesus does not automatically wash away FUTURE sins, sins need to be repented of after they are committed. If you disagree, just ask Ananias and Sephira about their pre-forgiven sin. This is why repentance is mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer.

Do not anyone beguile you saying that repentance is no longer needed. It’s already prophesied that there are those who will turn the grace of God into lasciviousness which is unrestrained sexual behavior, or a habitual inclination to such behavior; lustfulness. And obviously these will deny Our Lord Jesus Christ. Beware of them because you have been warned in advance.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)

When Jesus himself commands all people to repent of their sin, then those you who call themselves as believers in Christ too much preach repentance and nothing less. Here are some verses to reflect on:

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)


Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:11-14)

Don’t make sleep your lifestyle when you’re so close to fulfillment of your salvation. Never be like the world that partakes of evil deeds and the punishment that comes with it. You are called to live in the light. This is no ordinary light but the light of the glory of the Living God who created all things.

Don’t imitate the fallen nor the lost because you are in the day and not in the night. The night went away when you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Make good use of the day by doing what please the Lord God and resist all the vile impulses of the flesh.

Wear the armor of light because you’ll need it to continue living as a friend of God. We live in a fallen world but are not of the world nor its vanities. Onward with courage, walk with Jesus Christ in this life and the next!

Never delay your conversion from day to day

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One trap which a lot of people still fall into is of delaying that conversion from day to day. The conversion which I refer to is about repenting from sinful ways and surrendering one’s life to the Lord God.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:)

Do not think that God loves to destroy those who sin but rather he is patient with all. Do no mistake this patience for His Permission. For the sin of presumption has led many to the grave and hell, in which the sinners themselves chose such paths that lead away from God.

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ezekiel 18:32)

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Let your conversion be not in name alone but also in actions. Yes actions that are truly saying that you repent for the glory of the Living God.

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” (Joel 2:12)

Do remember that the Lord God won’t delay. He will do what is right and in time and will be unstoppable. Therefore O faithful ones of Christ, continue to endure and stay true to your conversion to God.

“I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel. (Isaiah 46:13)

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”’ (Ezekiel 12:28)

For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised. “For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls. (Hebrews 10:36-39)

 

If you have fallen into sin: Repent!

Never go back to something God has rescued you from

A dog that returns to its vomit is like a fool who reverts to his folly (Proverbs 26:11)

Some people just like to keep returning to their sinful habits, no matter much you rescue them. They still think that the effect of their wrong choices will carry lesser or no negative effects. However such thinking is just plain wrong and is never supported by the Bible.

 

26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 26-30)

 

If the Lord God has rescued you from any evil, be very thankful to him. This is one life that you have, don’t let it go waste on the same things Jesus saved you from. Don’t keep presuming that God will keep saving you each time. The Bible clearly warns us not to put the Lord your God to the test. So simply don’t stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles, when God does not approve of you going there. What place am I talking about? Its the place of backsliding (into any sin) which is just one stop before the place of Eternal damnation!

 

Never go back to bad friends and bad relations

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)

When Jesus saves you from bad friends, don’t walk right back with them, because they will 100% try to entice you to sin. Don’t displease the Lord God who has kept you from those who can ruin your soul with vile and sinful thoughts.

When you know that your past relationship, only made you an alcoholic or and immoral person, that relationship is simply going to lead you nowhere but in more evil things. Not worth your time nor effort, seriously!

 

Never go back to bad habits or sins

The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his. (Proverbs 14:14)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ( Matthew 26:41)

But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)

What pity will people have for the drug addict who keeps doing back to drugs even after being revived several times due to his or her multiple overdoses? Such a drug addict or let me say recovering drug addicts must take help from those not on drugs to remain off such a lifestyle that can harm the body and mind as well.

In a similar way, going back to alcoholism to ‘forget’ your problems won’t make your problems disappear. These will remain and being drunk will only make it more difficult to fix anything.

Talking about both the above examples and all other sins in general including stealing, idolatry, etc you need to stay clear of them all. The same Lord God who rescued you from these sins and bad habits can give you the grace to never fall back into them. All you need to do is faithfully pray to God to give you the strength to remain true to your calling in Jesus Christ.

“Backsliding, generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.” (J. C. Ryle)

 

Christ be with you!

 

 

 

 

 

Five simple tips to worship God with your heart, soul and mind

Do you worship God because you love him? Do you worship God fully focused or are you always distracted?

And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

 

The greatest thing in your love for God is that you worship him. Don’t worship the Lord God the sake of it but do with full involvement of your heart, soul and mind. Here are a few tips to worship God with your heart, soul and mind:

 

1) Have faith in God

Trying to worship God without believing in Him is completely illogical. And this won’t please God even one bit.

  • But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. (Psalm 73:28)
  • And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

 

2) Repent of all your sins to let your prayers be heard

God is holy and does not desire his worshippers to cling to sin. Repent and ask God for his forgiveness and be determined to do His will.

  • We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. (John 9:31)
  • Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)

3) Forgive everyone because its God’s will

Don’t cling to unforgiveness so that you live as per the will of God. Make it point to fully forgive each and everyone who sinned against you. Also, forgive yourself.

  • And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”(Mark 11:25)
  • Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13)

4) Always love the Lord God

Without love towards God, your worship of God is in vain. Love God in all sincerity when you pray to Him.

  • If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
  • Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

5) Focus on the Lord God

Meditate on the goodness of the Lord. By focusing on the Word of God and speaking it in heart and mind you will be more attuned to the things of the Lord by the Holy Spirit. Even if distractions come, rebuke and reject them in the name of Jesus and continue to worship God.

  • I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)
  • But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)

 

 

Are you willing to give up the vain things of the world?

A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:

Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”

Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”

Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”

Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”

Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”

Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”

Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”

Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”

Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”

Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”

 

Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.

Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!

 

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)

In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.

Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!

Verses for reflection:

  • For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
  • For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
  • And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
  • For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Beware of this motto if you wish to be holy

God calls you to overcome sin

“The call of God to man, ever since he fell into sin has been to be an overcomer. God told Cain, “Sin is crouching at your (heart’s) door…but you must master it” (Gen.4:7). In the last book of the Bible that call is repeated, “He who overcomes shall inherit these things and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev. 21:7).” – Zac Poonen

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