Monday, January 25, 2010

Deliver us...

Today we finish our look at The Lord’s Prayer. I hope over the last few weeks, more than anything, you have stopped and thought --if the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and He gave them this instruction concerning prayer then we as His disciples should also desire to know what He is saying to us. The last portion of the prayer reminds us that there is an evil one out there and that he is like a roaring lion and we need to pray for God’s help in fighting the battle.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Before you start thinking that the portion of the verse that says, “And do not lead us into temptation” means that God is capable of tempting us, He is not.

James 1:13-14 tells us: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death

The key here is the interpretation of the word “temptation”. Modern translators use the definition of the word to mean things such as “testing, proving, trying, struggling, etc.” In other words it is okay and appropriate for us to pray God don’t allow this storm or struggle, etc. to come into our life unless it is your will for our molding and shaping into your image.

Many are the times I have given a testimony about something and then said to the Lord at the same time, God I really don’t want to be tested on this please!

Then the passage goes on to say “but deliver us from the evil one.” Daily that roaring lion comes to steal, kill, and destroy! We have the opportunity to pray to be delivered from his paws, but do we?

Today, have you asked God to deliver you from the schemes of the enemy?

Would you be willing to be let loose in a lion’s cage with no way out? He has made a way out of the lion's den for us. Are you calling on His name daily?

Hope everyone is doing well. Our NEW web look is on the horizon, only weeks away! You won’t want to miss it!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Forgive Who...

Well, now we come to a part of the Lord’s Prayer that is absolutely one of the things that is hardest for us to do and causes more suffering, hardness of heart, anger, bitterness and yes, eventually hatred.

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Really. Have you really forgiven those people who have hurt you, lied about you, cheated on you, abused you, gossiped about you, stolen from you, disappointed you, and the list could go on and on. Have you really forgiven those individuals?

Funny how we so desperately cling to His forgiveness and ask for it every time we sin, believing His Word that we are forgiven when we ask from a sincere heart. Yet, we withhold forgiveness from one another.

What are some reasons we withhold forgiveness?

They never asked for it.

Can I share with you that some people will never be coming to ask you for forgiveness because they don’t even know they have hurt you. It does no good to tell everyone else about how a person has hurt you if you haven’t told the person themselves. It’s called gossip. Don’t assume they know because they just may not. So, take your hurt to your brother.

They don’t deserve forgiveness. (The hurt is too deep)

True. Something may have taken place toward you from another person and nothing they could ever do would cause you to want to forgive them. That is why forgiveness CANNOT be earned. It is always a gift.

Afraid if we forgive them they will do it again.

I can promise you that someone is going to hurt you again intentionally and/or unintentionally. It is part of life. We cannot withhold forgiveness just because they might do it again. Why? Because we would become a very bitter person.

Afraid if we forgive them they will think what they did was okay.

You know I wish I could tell you that they are going to recognize how deeply they hurt you and all will be well. But, there are people around us who are going to think what they did was okay no matter what. We still must forgive.

We want them to suffer.

Withholding forgiveness until we decide the person has suffered enough for hurting us - so, how long is long enough? Till you both have developed a hardness of heart?

We think forgiving someone means we have to continue in the relationship with them.

Now, if you are married and/or a parent or child, there is some truth in this even though there are some exceptions. As for the rest of us, the truth is that we don’t have to continue to be in relationships with people who are unhealthy/dysfunctional. But we do have to forgive them as we move on.

Having said all of this…..never forget that forgiveness is always a gift.

Jesus demonstrated that truth on the Cross and we too are to demonstrate that truth in our daily walks.

I pray that God gives all of us an attitude of forgiveness daily!


Monday, January 11, 2010


That’s a word most of us don’t like to hear and most of us have experienced financially and or may still be experiencing. I suspect we are a lot like the servant in the story in Matthew 18:19-35 when he pleads with his master to be patient with him and he will pay all the debt.

Today, we continue our look at the Lord’s Prayer with our thoughts turned towards the black print.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,

Wow! Would it be so unbelievable to those of us who have debt, no matter whether small or large, if someone came up to us right now and said, “Don’t worry I’ve taken care of ‘all’ your debt. You are debt free. Most of us would not be able to believe it but would be more than willing to say, "great!" Some of us would say, "I can’t receive that from you, it is not your debt". Others of us might say, "this isn’t your debt but I really need it so, yes I will receive it".

That is kind of how we are with Jesus and the debt He has paid for us. Some people will say, "you want to take care of that for me great I’m in". (No true salvation here!) Some would say, "it’s not your debt and I can take care of it myself". (No true salvation here - works) And even fewer will say, "yes I am in over my head I have a debt I can not pay and will receive the offer". (True salvation……Admit the problem, Believe He paid it all, Confess you are a sinner in need of a Savior!)

Oh, how I Praise Him that He has paid it all! No matter the cost it’s covered! Coming to the absolute depth of this truth should bring us to our faces before Him!

Hope everyone is starting this year out with a commitment to be in His word daily! Remember to pray for our missionaries all over the world and remember to pray for Pure Joy. I’m ready to be on the road visiting some of your churches.

Pray and if it’s God, call me!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Tears...

If you will, I would like to take a break from our journey through the Lord’s Prayer to share something I believe God put on my heart this past week.

Each year since I have been a believer I spent the last part of the year (such as 2009) in Prayer and Reading the Word and the first part of the New Year (such as 2010) in Prayer and Reading the Word. So no matter where I am I take time to spend this time with the LORD and end the year and start the year in His presence.

At one point in my prayer time, I said "and LORD I pray a Happy New Tears for" ….and I stopped. What? Did I say Happy New Tears? Hmmmm. Obviously a slip up or was it? I started to think about that. You know every year we experience “new tears”. Those tears can come from a multitude of emotions……new baby, your marriage or the marriage of a child or sibling, laughter, passing of a loved one or friend, physical hurts, emotional hurts, sadness, joy, fear, anger, and my favorite tear producer… hormone imbalance! Truly the list could go on and on because what causes tears for one person isn’t always what causes tears for another.

I suppose my point is this…this year I want to encourage you and myself to embrace the "New Tears" and KNOW:

He sees them…. (2 Kings 20:5)
“Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord,

They do not go unaccounted for…Psalm 56:8
Thou numberest my wanderings: Put thou my tears into thy bottle; Are they not in thy book?

As we step into 2010, I ask you to be ever prayerful concerning Pure Joy International and God’s plans for us. We pray that we only turn to the left or right at His Word! Please join us by being a part of Pure Joy International in 2010 through prayer, giving and going!