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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Spiritual Secrets

by Kelly Hallahan

n studying the life of Hudson Taylor with my son for a school project, I have returned to the classic: Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. I encourage you to read this book (and it’s $0.99 for Kindle), but I also want to share his secret:
“Hudson Taylor had many secrets, for he was always going on with God, yet they were but one- the simple, profound secret of drawing for every need, temporal or spiritual, upon “the fathomless wealth of Christ.” –Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret

As a missionary, you would think I would already know how important prayer is to daily life. And I believe strongly in the power of prayer. But I must confess, that in comparison with the prayer life of Hudson Taylor, I am a babe. I have only begun to plumb the depths of this mysterious, yet simple practice.

In the Psalms this week, we are reminded of who God is. He is my refuge and my fortress. He is trustworthy. He is my shield. He is Most High. He answers when I call upon Him. He is loving and kind. He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him. He reigns. He is clothed with majesty. He has girded Himself with strength. He is judge of the earth. He is my help. His comfort  delights my soul. He is the great King of all gods. He is our Shepherd. Prayer begins and ends with praise for Who He is.

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods  (Psalm 96:3-4, NKJV.)

As His glory fills our hearts and minds, we see ourselves in proper perspective. Over and over in Isaiah we hear the refrain, I am the Lord, and there is no other. He is God and I am not. He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4, NKJV)… the work is finished. And so we  overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11, NKJV). And our testimony is not “Look what I’ve done” but “Look what God has done!”

 Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you  (Isaiah 46:4, NKJV.)

And so in prayer we confess our utter dependence on God alone. He must do the work. He must provide the funds. He must transform hearts. He must convict of sin. He must send the laborers.

 After these things I looked and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’  (Revelation 7:9-10.)

If we want to see this glorious picture unfold, we must be people of prayer! Oswald Chambers says it well: “Prayer is the battle, and it makes no difference where you are. However God may engineer your circumstances, your duty is to pray.”


Kelly and her husband, Joshua, along with their three children, serve Jesus as missionaries with World Gospel Mission in Kampala, Uganda. You can read more about the Hallahans here
.

Knowing Him

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We are hearing a lot about Heaven and there are many books written about Heaven, but we see in Revelations 1-6 this week that our true seeing of Heaven is found deep within the writings of the vision John had on the Island of Patmos. Jesus says to us: “Why is there a Heaven?” As I contemplate on these verses in Revelation and this phrase “Why is there a Heaven,” I see more and more that what Jesus really wants, more than anything, is that He is known and that we really know Him.

Throughout the ages, His desire is to be known by His people. That is why He came to earth: to be known. It is not all about us; it is about Him. The Father wants to be known so He sent His Son, Jesus, to show us who He really is. How can we know Him? Jesus loved His Father and said that He didn’t do anything except what the Father told Him to do. The Father’s heart is a relational heart. He wants relationship with His people—whom He created and gave life to. He desires that we know Him as He is known. Do we really know Him as He wants to be known? We need to invite the Holy Spirit to give us His mind. May we possess the mind that He created us to have, the mind of Christ. He desires to show us who He really is.

We only know Him by reading His Word, praying, and resting in Him. God desires that we rest in Him. We need that Sabbath rest. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation (Genesis 2:3). The first thing that God called holy was the Sabbath rest and resting in Him. Oh how He desires us to be at rest in Him. God wants us to rest with Him, in His tender love. Love is a heart journey with Him. To really know Him, we must receive him; the more we receive Him, and the more we receive, the more we know Him.

What do I really know about Him? I know that Jesus says He is seated at the right hand of His Father in Heaven, interceding for us. What does this really mean? He is praying for us. Romans 8:34b tells us this: Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. He created us and He sure knows what is best for us. So, as we go to bed at night and awaken in the morning, we just need to say: “Jesus, I don’t know what I need to do to go to the next realm in my relationship with You, but I agree with what you are praying for me. I thank You Jesus, that You have been praying for me and I agree with You, Jesus. You have already drenched it in prayer for all my family and me. Jesus I do trust You and know that You have the best for me and my family.”

Let go of all you think is right and allow His Holy Spirit to show you His deep truths. Oh! We are free to enjoy our relationship with Yahweh. May we be ready and prepared for Heaven.

~Linda Six


Linda has served Jesus as a missionary with One Mission Society for 35 years. She lives in Greenwood, IN with herhusband,Jay, and works in HR at OMS International Headquarters. She is the mother of four grown children and eight grandchildren.


Watching Through Grief

by Marina Layton
Ladies, it has been so good to be in the Word this week (when isn’t it!) with reading John 13 – John 21. I am one that doesn’t have a “life verse”, as my favorite verses are the ones that speak to me right where the Lord has me at that moment in time.

Our family has been in grief over the loss of our 5-1/2-month-old grandson who died this past December 22nd.  He just didn’t wake up that morning and the coroner said it was a classic case of SIDS. But, Jesus, how can that be?  Why would you do “that” to our son and daughter-in-law and their other two children, and during the week of Christmas celebrations?  In January I read Mark 9:33b from a devotional and even though I “knew” it, I was reassured and able to grasp it more fully and rest in it more securely. It says in the New Living Translation,

 You are seeing things merely from a human
point of view, not from God’s. 
I had to admit, “Yes Lord. I am just like Peter here and not understanding your ways, but Jesus, I trust you”.Now back to our reading this week. John 14:6 reminded me (yes, we must stay in His word to reiterate and confirm what we already “know”),

 I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father
except through me.  
(NLT)

  What a wonderful verse when sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone who does not know Jesus. The current world situation and the current public education system would have people believe that other religions are also a way to God.  WRONG! Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY!!

Then as we read on in verses 15 and 16,

 If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will
give you another Advocate who will never leave you.
He 
is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…
Wow! Thank you, Jesus, for sending the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)! Do you know what that means? Any time, yes ANY TIME, we can talk to Jesus, and HE HEARS US! And, we can hear Him through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us!  It may be through His Word or through other believers or even circumstances.Reading on in John chapter 15, Jesus tells us how our relationship with Him and the Father works. God is the gardener and Jesus in the true grapevine.  We know God wants a beautiful garden (people). We as His people (described here as “branches”) need trimming or pruning so more fruit is produced.  Verse 4 says,

 Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. (NLT)

We bought some new living room furniture and one particular chair has become my “prayer chair”.  We didn’t pick it out specifically for that use, but each morning that is where I sit, reading a devotional, reading God’s Word, and praying.  Then I am set for the day, continuing in prayer as the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, reminds me of people and circumstances for which I need to pray.

Let’s skip over to John 16:33 (NLT):

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world. 
And yes, God has done some pruning in my life as I walk with Him through the circumstances of little Ben’s death.  My inquiring mind wants to know “why”, but then I rest in Mark 9:33, and sing, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”I am out of room for this week’s Winter Watch; however, I encourageyou, if you have not done so, to read these eight chapters in John.  In fact, be sure to read the whole book! These are Jesus’ words. What a joy to read HIS words and hear HIS voice!


Winter Watch Links
Watchman’s Guide to Prayer     Reading Calendar     State Prayer Guide     
Click Here to join the Winter Watch.


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Our Great Privilege

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For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; 
for He gives the Spirit without limit  
John 3:34
God the Father is the absolute initiator and keeper of covenant living. Through His unending, unfailing, holy love, every fiber, particle and being of creation is under the scrutiny of His watchful eye, whether or not the recipient is deserving of such love-empowered “watchfulness”. He shows no partiality. He has no favorites. There’s more; He not only watches over His created beings, the Heavenly Father relates to all created. There’s more! Within all of His creation, He has placed the mysterious freedom for all His creation to give a response to the Master. Even stones are able to cry out in praise; the animals, winds and the waves yield to His authority and Lordship. We must never forget that covenant living involves participation from all members. This is the will of God.Our winter reading in John reveals the absolute beautiful, sacred fellowship Jesus, Son of Man, had with the God the Father. While living in the flesh on earth, Jesus (fully divine, fully human) set aside His divine privileges. Only by faith, living according to God’s Word, receiving and living IN the Holy Spirit (given to Him without limit) and the unsevered communion of prayer, did Jesus fulfill the absolute good will of His Father, receive the absolute perfect way of the cross and allow the absolute Holy Spirit to work (Philippians 2; Hebrews 12).

Jesus willed it to be so, demonstrated the reality and paid the atonement for the need of all mankind; living separated from the Father and His Spirit of Holiness. Jesus is the Father’s gift of grace – planned, prepared and provided before the foundation of the earth. Through Jesus’ participation of “obedience unto death,” the shedding of His own blood, we are offered the New Testament covenant; the call of reconciliation to the Father and the gift of the Father’s promised Holy Spirit. With His seal we have the guarantee of knowing Jesus, receiving all we need for a holy life of faith, loyally abiding IN His holy love and living with unbroken Spirit-filled intimacy through a life of prayer (Ephesians 1-3, John 17).

Prayer is not our work. Prayer is the intended privilege of ceaseless, intimate and sacred communion between the Spirit of the Divine God and the spirit of man living as one, through the indwelling presence of God. Just like Jesus, we can know the Father’s will, accept the way of the cross and allow the Spirit to do His work. When invited, the present Holy Spirit of Father and Son, alive, pure, powerful and faithful, works perfectly in and through the likes of you and me.

To us, whom He created from the dust of His ground, God the Father’s one intention has been and always will be to set us dusty clay pots apart as His most precious and priceless possession for the resting place of His presence and to live in the precious likeness of intimacy demonstrated in the communion of The Father and Son. This is a truth we can not comprehend nor live without the blood of Jesus and His Spirit. Even then it will take all of eternity to grasp and enjoy what He has prepared for those who believe and abide loyally IN Him: a thankful life of ceaseless prayer!

The Father continually calls me to draw near in His presence. From His watchful eye, He offers the path of righteousness, a life of truth, the counsel of wisdom and the comfort of His selfless love. Jesus lives to pray for us and invites us to participate in this secret to the mystery of the gospel. Prayer is not a compartment of covenant holy living; prayer is the active reality of covenant living- life IN the Spirit of Father and Son. Our response will affect the entire world.


 Winter Challenge

 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal…  This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.  John 6: 27-29

Your calling is to Himself: John 6:45; Acts 2:39
Your work is to believe:  John 6:29
Your privilege is to pray: I Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2
Your ministry is to overflow his presence: John 7:37,38

Find Him in the Word! – John 5:39
Know Him in His Spirit! – Ephesians 2:18,19; I John 4:13; I John 5:20
Live in Him through prayer! – I Thessalonians 5:17
Share Him through the overflow! –  Romans 5: 5; Luke 24:46-49


Know the truth of His Word, the reality of His presence
and the enjoyment of His fellowship in prayer!
II Corinthians 13:14