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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

A gentle breeze ruffled the massive oaks on the sprawling spring-green lawn of the Texas Capital in Austin this past week. Eight-thousand-plus people were gathered to pray.

Graham Decision America

The sights and sounds of people of like mind and faith—some kneeling, some with hands lifted, some standing—all with heads and hearts bowed, humbled before the Sovereign God of the Universe, confessing the sins of our fathers, the sins of our nation, and our own sins.

How sweet was the sound of those voices lifted to Heaven, recognizing the only hope for our nation comes from The Lord God Almighty and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  As we held hands and prayed with people of many races, nations, and ages, I felt the presence of the Lord and His peace and knew we were standing on holy ground.

Graham Boss picture

At the close of the hour of prayer, we sang God Bless America, and my eyes could no longer hold back the tears.

And this scene is being repeated in State after State, as Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, calls Americans to prayer. Praying not to a god of our imagination, or an idol of wood or stone, but to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—The God of all creation—El Shaddai, The Lord God Almighty.

Graham crowd flags

The only God. The God of our forefathers. And the God upon whose principles America was founded and has prospered–until we chose to turn our backs in ridicule of His holiness and righteousness and march to the tune of our own drum beat.

But our God is a God of mercy, forgiveness, grace, and a love so deep our tiny hearts and minds do not have the ability to comprehend, unless we choose to come to the cross, and allow His Spirit to teach us His way.

In II Chronicles 7:14 God gave His people the following instructions:

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Graham Boots

Almost 2,700 years ago a young Jewish teen was captured and carried to Babylon with thousands of other Jews. Jews who were given over to judgment by this same righteous, holy God for many of the same offenses Americans are participating in today. Their priests were corrupt. Their kings were evil. The people had forsaken the Lord God Almighty and perverted their worship and their ways.

According to His Word, God had to judge them, just as He will have to judge us. Scripture tells us, “God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.”

This Jewish teen, Daniel, spent seventy years in Babylon, just as God had told them through the prophet Jeremiah, and Daniel realized because of the books—God’s Word recorded by the prophets from the beginning—the time of their desolation was almost completed. So Daniel “…set his face before the Lord God to make requests by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sack cloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3 NKJV).  “Oh Lord, to us belongs shame of face to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You” (Daniel 9:8 NKJV).

Daniel’s prayer is recorded in the 9th Chapter of Daniel, and I plead with you—take time to study this prayer and use it as a model, a template, for your prayer time.

Graham children a

If you are concerned about the state of our nation, the condition of our homes and churches, and the peril facing our children, I ask you to set aside time every day to come apart from the chaos of your life and earnestly seek God—confessing your sins, seeking His forgiveness, asking His directions, and pleading for Him to create in you an insatiable appetite for His Word.

We are in trouble, folks. Trouble no political party or candidate can fix. Trouble no stable economy or being great again can mend. If we are to survive as a nation and a people, we must seek God. Now. If like Daniel, we look at the Book, we will know there’s little time left to seek God’s mercy and grace and forgiveness. Little time left for our generation to repent and return to the God of our Fathers.

Graham Capital

                        GOD, PLEASE RESTORE AND BLESS AMERICA

 

 

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Which is best?
In truth both are necessary, and there’s an old saying, “The best defense is a good offense.” But as fallible humans, we always take everything to one extreme or the other, don’t we?
Take prayer for example. Can you recall a recent prayer time in your church group? Is it an exercise in the power of God or pitiful complaints about our comfort? Most likely it’s a Helpingtime of mopping up the battle field casualties—and goes something like this: Dear Lord, please heal (you fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank again) has lost his job and needs to feed his family. Heartfelt prayers? You bet. Necessary prayers? Of course, we are instructed to pray for one another. But do these prayers ever get to the real heart of God’s will, or are they just an exercise in triage?
We’re kinda like Gideon in the Book of Judges. The Angel of the Lord found Gideon hiding in the wine vat during a time of enemy attacks and addressed him: “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12 NASB). And can’t you just hear Gideon whisper, Who me?
Yet God in fact made that young man into a mighty warrior for the Lord, and that’s His instruction and plan for you and me!David
I was skimming over Paul’s words in Colossians during Bible study this morning,
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…” (Colossians 1:9 NASB).

Bible Reading
And my mind slammed on the brakes and backed-up. Heard of what? My eyes retraced his prior words. “…since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all of the saints;” (Colossians 1:4 NASB). So, Paul’s praying for fellow Christians in Colossae. And I asked the question where was Paul when he was writing this letter to these folks? Short answer—in prison in Rome—a long, long way from Colossae.
I don’t know about you, but if I were in prison I wonder if I’d be praying without ceasing for anyone but me. Nah, I’d be whining, pray for me! But I scanned through to the end of the book and only in the last few words to the Colossians does Paul say, “Remember my imprisonment.”
But the remainder of what Paul said in this letter, written probably two or three years before He was executed, clangs a clarion call through the two thousand plus years of history in between that should jar us to the reality of why we’re here. In 2016. What we are supposed to be doing? And pokes a finger at just how deceived and distracted we’ve become. More concerned with our physical comforts than the mission God laid before us.
Jesus tells you and me, “We have not, because we ask not.” Paul could never be accused of not asking. And with boldness! Listen to how this apostle prayed and ask yourself: Has anyone Prayingever prayed like that for me? Or have I ever prayed like that for anyone else? And don’t Paul’s petitions go to the root of the problems of those he prayed for?
• That you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
• That you will walk in a manner worthy of the LordThe way
• To please Him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God
• Strengthened with all power according to His glorious might for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience
• Joyously giving thanks to the Father
Why?
• He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
Because?
• He rescues us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son, in whom we have redemption—the forgiveness of sins.

Any way
Folks, we are hiding in the wine vats of political correctness. Deceived about how love acts. And what love is and does. Choosing to live like powerless paupers while the shroud of darkness seeps, sucks, and smothers our peace and freedom bought and paid for by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve ignored or forgotten our mission.
The Word of God instructs us: “Come boldly before the Throne of Grace to find mercy and help in time of need.” But we have lapsed into a full-time anemic defense, attempting to manage the casualties and bury the dead, forgetting we are valiant warriors for the Kingdom of God—accountable to the King of Kings and Lords of Lords for every idle word—even in prayer. Because, unlike the church in Colossae, we have the manual!
I challenge you, because I’ve challenged myself, to pick up your Sword of the Spirit and begin praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ like Paul prayed for these brothers and sisters struggling under the growing harsh control of Rome and the persecution he knew was sure to come.
And pray like your life depends on it—it does ‘til Jesus comes.Hannah

 

And by what authority can we expect results? That’s the subject of next week’s blog!

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