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Jan 03

Prepare to Encounter the Lord

 

“Prepare To Encounter The Lord”

“He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.“ (Luke 1:17b)

 Whenever God is about to do something great, He makes all the preparations necessary for people to encounter Him. The story of the birth of John the Baptist illustrates this principle so very well. The Messiah was about to be born into the world; the greatest event in the history of the Universe! He raised up John with the specific purpose of preparing a people to encounter Him! God sends angels to people in impossible circumstances. He summons wise men from the East. He uses an aged Prophet to announce His arrival to the Temple as an infant. He’s about to manifest Himself to the nation, and the people must be prepared to meet Him, or they may miss Him.

 

As Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Tabernacle, it is my responsibility to prepare you to encounter the Lord! Certainly this pertains to His Second Coming when He will lift up the church, raise the dead and judge all mankind. It also pertains to preparing you to learn to encounter Him when He comes to your life in various situations now! The Lord comes to us in many ways, in different seasons of our lives. He comes to us every time we worship Him together, when His Presence fills our hearts as we magnify and enthrone Him. He also comes to us in times of need; or when He calls us to accomplish a special task for Him. Yes, the Lord comes to us in many ways. My concern is to prepare you to be ready for Him when He comes to you.

In order for us not to ‘miss’ Him when He comes to us, we need to be taught and trained to recognize Him. We need to know His voice; discern His will; and learn how to follow His directions for our lives and our Kingdom Mission while we’re still here. We need to hear His voice in our prayer time; sense Him speak through the scriptures and even through others whom He uses to communicate with us! It takes discipline and effort to prepare for the Lord’s coming. Most of all, it takes TIME!

 

I am persuaded that the Lord is preparing to do something great in our day. Yes, I am referring to something involving the entire Body of Christ. I also know that He will come to each of our lives in different situations. Will you be prepared for His coming to you? Will you recognize Him, or just see a babe in a manger like so many other babies you’ve seen and have no room for Him? Will you be so distracted by sorrow or grief that you mistake Him for the gardener instead of the Risen Lord? Will you be so distracted by your past sins and life’s failures that you fail to recognize the Messiah is standing before you; the ONE Who can change your life and heal your wounds? Will you be able to recognize Him when He arrives in common circumstances of life, in the ordinary course of living in this world and not recognize Him?

 

What is it worth to you to be prepared for the coming of the Lord? Is it worth learning to pray more effectively? Study your Bible more seriously? Join more frequently to worship Him together as believers? Let’s determine that we will take definite steps in 2013 to be sure we’re ready for the Lord when He comes to us! Let’s determine to recognize Him and be ready to respond to Him throughout the New Year!

May the Lord bless you continually!

Love in Christ, Pastor Damian

 

Dec 25

Prayer Power

Prayer Power

“…Elijah was as human as we are, yet he prayed….and he prayed again…”

(James 5:17-18)

 

“Prayer changes things!”

We’ve all heard that expression. Yet, we must ask ourselves, “Do I really believe that?” Imagine how powerful Elijah’s prayers were. He prayed and it didn’t rain for 3 ½ years! Then, he prayed again, and the rains came down! He impacted his nation politically, economically, spiritually, and even impacted the culture of his day! Can you imagine ONE PERSON having that kind of influence?

 

Elijah didn’t have this influence because he was so special. He had it because he heard from the Lord, believed; and acted on what he believed by PRAYING! Then, the miraculous happened! This is exactly the same potential that is available to every born-again believer in Jesus Christ! When the Spirit in us enlivens the Sword of the Spirit (Bible) when we read and meditate upon it, we will HEAR FROM GOD and come to the knowledge of His will. Once we’re armed with this, we must pray that what we’ve been shown actually happens! This is what it means to have a prayer-life.

 

When believers form a habit of hearing from God, and praying His will into existence, the world around us cannot help but change. Recently, I asked some friends to keep a very important matter in prayer for us. They agreed with us regularly in prayer over a period of several months. What we prayed for actually came to pass. One of our prayer partners heard our the good news and stated, “There’s no way the people and circumstances involved could resist such a barrage of prayer!” I like the way that was said. When we pray with faith and endurance, CIRCUMSTANCES MUST CHANGE; THEY CANNOT RESIST THAT KIND OF PRAYER!

 

Jesus said, “Whatsoever things you desire WHEN YOU PRAY; WHEN YOU PRAY, believe that you receive and you shall have…; Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you; …IF you ask ANYTHING in my name…” How can we not take every effort and set aside whatever time we possibly can to pray with all this potential behind it?

 

I would like to encourage all of you to join us for prayer every Friday night at the Training Center. Our world needs to become transformed. This can only happen when GOD’S PEOPLE PRAY!

 

May the Lord bless you all,

Pastor Damian

Dec 25

If

“If”

“If my people…will humble themselves…and pray…”

(2 Chron. 7:14)

Who can adequately fathom the magnitude of the great promises of God? They are gigantic, powerful, all-encompassing; they enable us to become partakers of the Divine Nature. Imagine all of God’s power, provision, wisdom, direction, instruction and guidance that is available to all His children – EVERYTHING we will ever need at any time! You could fill all the oceans with them and still have more promises to pour out! All of God’s promises; all of His abundance; all of His Kingdom blessings hinge upon one, little, two-letter word….”If.”

When we think of the cost of prayer, we think of the time it takes to engage in it; the effort needed to schedule that time; and the time needed to spend in God’s Word to provide a foundation for all of our prayers. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? Who has that kind of time? Surely, God knows my heart. If I had more time, I would be able to pray more. Yes, prayer is “expensive,” but I want you to take a moment to think of how expensive PRAYERLESSNESS is…

When we don’t pray, all of heaven’s provision is stopped up. All of the abundance of wisdom, knowledge, direction, guidance and power will never reach us, or our need – REGARDLESS OF HOW DESPERATE IT IS – until and unless WE PRAY! In Matthew 6, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. It’s the only thing in the Gospels that records what they asked Him to teach them. Can you imagine the impression they had about the practice of prayer by our Lord? Whatever it was, it was enough for them to desire to know how to do it. Jesus gave them the desired lesson, which is called “The Lord’s Prayer.” In it, Jesus said we should pray, “…Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” I don’t understand, doesn’t God WANT to do His will on earth as it is in heaven? Who can counter the will of Almighty God? Isn’t His will going to be done, no matter what? I mean, it’s inevitable…isn’t it? NO, it’s not inevitable. There are some who say, “It really doesn’t matter, God’s Will is going to be done anyway, right? WRONG! This is a philosophy called FATALISM; and it’s an erroneous, worldly philosophy! God is waiting to do His will, BUT HE’S WAITING FOR US TO PRAY FOR ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT BEFORE HE DOES IT.

Now, you can begin to see how powerful this two-letter word really is. “IF” Everything God wants to do; all He has to provide rests on one thing, WE MUST ENGAGE IN PRAYER! If we do, then we will see His will done on earth as it is in heaven. So, will you pray? Will you learn to pray more powerfully? Will you engage yourself to become more skilled at praying more discerning prayers? Will you determine to grow in your experience of prayer, commensurate with your knowledge of God and His will for your life? IF you and I pray, GOD WILL ANSWER! He will not move until and unless we do!

Beloved, all of heaven is waiting to be dispensed upon the needs of earth, IF we pray. I want to challenge you to pray daily; attend prayer meetings each time we call them. There are treasures in store for you and your family, our community and our city IF we pray. The next move is yours…..

May the Lord bless you continually and answer you out of Zion? Pastor Damian