Devotional Thought for Today – 03/05/2021

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Ezra 9 

Chapter nine can be divided into two sections. In v.1-4  Ezra cries out for the sins of the Jews. In v.5-14 he confesses their sins against the most Holy God. This brings us to our text for today v.15, Ezra’s final plea is amazing in its simplicity and truth. It is also so appropriate for today.

I know some of you are thinking, how can the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the sinful remnant there applicable to those in the world (especially the U.S.) today.  What was Israel’s great sin?  It was their continual rebellion against God (to be expected in natural man)  and the failure of the chosen to act. 

Yesterday I had the privilege of praying outside a Waffle House in Peral, MS with my good friend Gary “Shepard” Burd.  We played God Bless America,  read 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Prayed for America, and sang Amazing Grace there in the parking lot.

It was our way of acknowledging  (as Ezra) the sins of America, and as Ezra, our way of declaring the remnant is here Lord, we understand we are so unworthy because of the sins of our nation, but please hear our prayers.

We chose to act. How about you? 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, Sovereign ruler of all the heavens and earth, we declare that we have sinned so greatly against you that we are completely without excuse and undeserving of any mercy. Your remnant is here to serve you, Lord, to Act, on your behalf, send your Spirit to guide our path that we do what you have called us to do and may honor and glorify you in our duties. – Amen


 

Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary – Ezra 9:15

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:10


Ministry Spotlight: Open Doors - Faith Radio Faith Radio

Kidnap ‘two girls a day’: The shocking agenda of Islamic extremists

13 days of darkness with Islamic terrorists

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

You can also download the 2021 World Watch List report free

 


Court of Appeal Rules against Christian Public Servant

Melbourne, Australia Pastor Arrested for Incitement

Trinity Bible Chapel of Woolwich Township, Ontario Elders Fined $38K for Contempt of Court Ruling, Must Pay $45K in Court Fees


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

New Armenian Genocide Campaign Video

Boko Haram Death-Threat Ultimatum to Kidnapped Nigerian Pastor

Dutch Parliament Passes Motion Calling on Government to Recognize Armenian Genocide

Iranian Convert Released From Prison But Charges Against Him Remain

Pakistani Christian Couple’s Appeal Hearing Against “Blasphemy” Death Sentences Postponed Again

DAILY PRAYER LINK

MARCH PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE 

MARCH/APRIL PRAYER DIARY

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for


The Voice of the Martyrs

Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event

There is still time to take part in The Voice of the Martyrs’ FREE virtual event on March 5, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. CST. More than 75,000 Christians around the world have already registered to hear these inspiring testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

Register Now

The Book with All the Answers

Man Accused of Blasphemy Faces Death

Rejected Son Now Leading Others

Imran Released After Decade-Long Imprisonment

Christians Arrested in Somalia

Syrian Refugee Growing in Faith

CHRISTIANS FACING PERSECUTION, their first request is for prayer. ADOPT A WORKER FOR PRAYER

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide

‘Ground-Breaking’ Child Safety Standards

I know nothing about The Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP), but their findings and recommendations are worth reading and possibly utilizing in your church or ministry operation. As the following picture shows abuse is a serious problem in America. 


 

‘Ground-Breaking’ Child Safety Standards Offered for Public Review by Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 3, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ —

The Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) has released “ground-breaking” standards for child safety and opened them for public review, March 1. The standards are offered to assist ministries of all kinds as they work to protect children in their care.

The ECAP standards were developed by a team of experts and ministry practitioners, reviewed by a team of attorneys, and approved for public review by the ECAP board of directors. A full list of persons who helped develop the standards is available on the ECAP website. ECAP seeks to bring support, resources, and sustainability to the realm of child safety, especially within the evangelical world, which has witnessed abuse within its ranks and the surrounding culture.

“Our aim is to honor the name of Christ by equipping and educating ministry leaders to protect the vulnerable in their care,” said Jeff Dalrymple, Executive Director of ECAP. “This is a matter of biblical stewardship, and we want to see Christian schools, churches, and ministries become safe places for our little ones to hear the gospel, grow as disciples of Christ, and be protected from harm.”

The ECAP standards address issues of organizational governance, volunteer and employee screening and training, how to respond to a variety of circumstances, and more, with numerous suggestions for best practices. ECAP has made these standards available for public review from March 1 through April 30, seeking feedback, especially from frontline ministry workers and leaders.

“ECAP’s standards and the rest of its work is ground-breaking and extremely important for churches and other ministries seeking to protect children and uphold high standards,” said Sally Wagenmaker, an attorney serving as the organization’s general counsel. “I can’t wait to see ministries using ECAP’s valuable accreditation standards and related tools — for improved child safety, better risk management, and the glory of God in all they do.”

The standards will serve as the basis for an accreditation program, which has been developed in partnership with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The standards and accreditation program will give Christian organizations resources that protect them from making false assumptions in regard to child abuse. The ECAP standards will help prevent abuse and inform an appropriate response when an incident occurs.

To review the standards, visit the ECAP site at www.ecap.net/standards, where feedback can be offered online.

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/02/2021

Logos.com

Philippians 1

Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.¹

Our text for today comes from the last section. Prior paul speaks about suffering for Christ. In one of the most quoted verses, v.21, Paul says For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].  Paul seems to be saying here I have much to do for the Kingdom on earth but yearn to leave this suffering behind. 

This leads to his emphasis on our text. The keywords are “STRIVE TOGETHER.”  Interestingly these words Greek, Sunathleo, soon-ath-leh’-o, are used only by Paul and only here and Philippians 4:3Both infer living a life worthy of Christ and the Gospel but even more, the meaning invokes a  fighting spirit of togetherness for the advancement of those goals. 

What are you doing to fight the fight today?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and the Foundation upon Whom we stand – the gospel of Christ crucified. I pray that I may keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that together we may stand firm in one spirit, with one mind – striving together for the faith of the gospel. I pray I will always be in remembrance of those who fight the good fight of faith praying diligently for them and for those who oppose us.  – to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name, I pray, AMEN

 Adapted from Source:

 

 

 


¹ https://www.bibleref.com/Philippians/1/Philippians-chapter-1.html

PRAYING FOR OUR NATIONAL LEADERS

America is in need of PRAYER for its Elected Representatives now more than ever!

American Pastors Network

PRAYING FOR OUR NATIONAL LEADERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO SET THEMSELVES AGAINST GOD

By, Evangelist Dave Kistler, Co-host, Stand in the Gap Today Radio, Air Date: 1/25/21, 

Seven prayers to pray for our national leaders:

I would suggest these are good for all levels of government

  1. Pray for the conversion of our national leaders and that they live lives of sincere commitment to Christ. (I Timothy 2:4)
  2. Pray that our leaders facilitate our ability to live peaceable lives, not troubled ones. (I Timothy 2:1-2)
  3. Pray that our leaders recognize God’s ultimate authority and that they are subservient to Him. (Psalm 22:8)
  4. Pray that God will confound evil leaders’ plans and turn their evil devices into foolishness. (2 Samuel 15:31)
  5. Pray that the unified attempts of wicked leaders to thwart God’s ways will be broken up as were those at the Tower of Babel. (Genesis 11:7)
  6. Pray that evil leaders lose their platforms and avenues of dispersing an anti-God message and agenda. (Proverbs 21:30)
  7. Pray that evil leaders have their plans turned back on them, as did Haman in the book of Esther. (Esther 7 and Proverbs 28:10)

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/27/2021

Logos.com

Isaiah 6

Isaiah 6 can be broken down into two simple parts, Isaiah’s vision (v.1-7), and his call to ministry (v.8-13).  Isaiah’s vision is of the Lord and His holy temple complete with all the majesty and glory that one could ever imagine.   Then God calls Isaiah to warn or maybe better put fortell of Irael’s destruction for their contunial disobediance. 

Our text begins Isaiah’s call and is similar in nature to that of Samuel when he says here I am in v.4 & 16 of Chapter 3.  God is calling and has a mission for Isaiah one that may not be pleasant, may require unknown sacrafices, may cause him to make enemies of powerful people yet how did Isaiah respond?  Isaiah had three (3) choices in his response, Here I am, No; Here I am, send someone else; or unconditional obediance Here am I; send me.

Would we repsond the same way? What luxuries of life are we willing for forfeit for the kingdom? (Most churches today have trouble collecting tithes) Would we sacrafice all just to serve our Risen Savior? 

Last November we published a devotional, that had as it’s focus Tim Hughes song Here I am to Worship.  I concluded then with; we never know what God’s Will will be for our lives tomorrow. So the next time we are signing songs of praise to the Lord of Lords maybe we need to think about the consequences of what we sing.  Here I am Lord…

Are you ready to Unconditionally Serve God today?

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, teach me more of Who You are and show me how flawed my understanding is of who I truly am and of all that Christ has done for me. Thank you for cleansing my lips and washing me clean in the blood of Jesus. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to live in me and for building me up, into the living Temple, with all who are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. In a world that has lost its way, I pray in Jesus’ name, “Lord. Here am I, send me.” AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Isaiah/6/8

 

 

 

We Stand with Pastor James Coates

On February 16th, 2021, Pastor James Coates turned himself into the Alberta police. He has been charged with two counts of violating the Canadian COVI-19 restrictions and one criminal act. He is being held in Jail pending hearings, refusing bail because the conditions are too restrictive.

View image on TwitterWe Stand with Pastor James Coates

The pages of history are filled with examples of faithful believers who resolutely obeyed God, even if it meant facing severe repercussions from men. When Daniel refused to stop praying, he was thrown into a den of lions. When the apostles refused to stop proclaiming the name of Jesus, they were arrested and scourged. When the church father Polycarp refused to renounce Christ, he was burned at the stake. When the Puritan John Bunyan refused to stop preaching, he was put in jail for twelve years. Many other examples could be given, but the point is clear. To obey God rather than men is not always easy. But it has been the heartbeat of believers in every age…

READ MORE > > 


You can read Grace Life’s public statement here and listen to ’ most recent sermon from February 14th, titled Directing Government to its Duty, here.

Kristopher Kinsinger: The arrest of Alberta pastor James Coates is a constitutional abnormality

What You Need to Know About the Arrest of Pastor James …

The Culture and the Pulpit

The Culture and the Pulpit

On Feb. 15, 2021,  Stand in the Gap Today Hosts Keith Wiebe and Sam Rohrer discussed the purpose, power, and responsibility of the pulpit at this defining hour in our nation’s history. Guests were Pastor Joe Green with the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, and Reverend Paul Blair with Fairview Baptist Church in Oklahoma. 

What is the importance of the pulpit in our society? 

Why don’t many Pastors address current events from the pulpit?

Is the term “Christian” becoming more distinctive in our culture?

How is the pulpit best used to preach and teach the whole counsel of God?

LISTEN to the entire program HERE!

READ the transcript HERE!

Christian Observer

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

I am not a Presbyterian, but I ascribe to their weekly newsletter The Christian Observer because of the content. In this week’s February 17th edition, I was saddened to see every article was about church persecutions in one form or another. 

Australia, Canada, France, and Scotland have all endured religious intolerances that clearly (in my opinion) would make one be forced to chose whether to obey God or man. 

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR GOVERNMENT LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that You are a gracious and merciful God, but I also know that you are also holy and righteous and cannot and will not look upon sin.

Be merciful I pray, to the nations whose leaders have turned their backs on You and the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom You sent to die for their sins. Be merciful to all those in positions of power who are seeking to implement a humanistic and anti-god agenda. Be merciful to those men and women in high places that are seeking to remove all vestiges of Christianity and the One true God from their nation’s laws and rules.

Have mercy on the leaders who have deliberately rejected Your path of truth and justice, and bring them to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.  Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Prayers-for-Leaders-of-the-Nations

You can read the Articles Here

 

 

Amber Found Hope, Recovery, and Restoration

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INSPIRING HOPE THROUGH TRANSFORMATION

Amber

“Hope is possible, recovery is possible, restoration and reconciliation are possible … there is hope for me, and there’s hope for anybody that’s in a dark place.”—Amber

Amber Bigelow grew up too fast.

Amber’s parents divorced when she was just a baby, and she was raised by her mother, who Amber says struggled with alcohol. “I took care of her more than she took care of me,” Amber recalls. Meanwhile, her dad and brother lived in a different city, suffering from addictions and unhealthy behaviors of their own.

Amber was a poor kid who struggled to make friends and mostly bonded with much older kids. “I never really fit in anywhere,” says Amber, who lived in Minnesota at the time. “I always got good grades in school, [but] I was picked on a lot. I was kind of bullied.”

DIVE INTO AMBER’S LIFE JOURNEY