THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS

Pray with intense focus: Pray, knowing that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. But what should we be seeking in prayer today? There are 3 things that have been burning in my heart to ask for. Here they are in the order in which I believe we need to pray for them.

1. The local church. Why would I mention this first? This current hysteria threatens to hit the local church hard. That is not good on more levels than you may realize. Satan wants to weaken churches in America for several important reasons.

Pray against the temptation to develop the habit of staying home from church after this is over.

 Pray that believers will continue to financially support their church now, even if they are compelled to stay home.

Pray that state governments will not use this as an excuse to persecute the church.  Few things are more dangerous right now than the state drifting from justifiable health guidelines into police brutality. Only a fool doesn’t know about the growing outright hostility toward Christians in the Blue states. Their mouths are watering at the prospect of shutting down churches. They are looking for any excuse, and we must rebuke all demonic power and ask God to cause the fire of revival to fall on churches everywhere. The disruption of churches in America is from Satan. Pure and simple.

Worshiping together is a key to Christianity. Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Remember: We are the only movement in history where the founder attends every meeting.

If there is a chance for you to worship with others and you opt instead for worshiping alone or as the hippies among us love to say, “I will commune with nature.” You may find some blessing, but you will not receive the full measure that the power of agreement provides.

Hebrews 10: 25 urges us: “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (of the Lord) approaching.” House meetings are being touted as a substitute for corporate worship. And this not a problem if the motives are pure. Often, however, these meetings are led by leaders who are engaging in self-promotion. They are doing it because they did not get the recognition they felt they deserved in a church setting.  This is a lot like socialism: it sounds good, but it has never worked because the true motives are wrong.

I believe that something good can come out of this. Maybe we will remember the joy and satisfaction of simple church…before we got all slick and professional.

We must also pray fervently for the persecuted church around the world.

2. That America will repent. Americans who pray today had better repent. Every mouth that prays today must begin by asking for forgiveness. Any kind of asking that comes before repentance will offend God’s holiness. We are a nation of great wickedness. We have thumbed our nose at God. We have murdered the innocents and destroyed marriage. We celebrate things that God abhors.

Daniel was not guilty of the sins of Israel and yet he repented for them. In Daniel 9:4-5, he wrote, “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, Who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,  we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”

The one thing we do not want to see is this: 2 Chronicles 28:22, “Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.”  If America smugly assumes she can ask and stay unfaithful to the Lord—or worse, become even more unfaithful—that would spell certain doom.

3. Pray that God will show mercy and curse this virus. Do not ask with pride, spouting your, “rights and privileges.” Humbly declare, “We are not deserving of a national miracle, but we humbly beg for Your mercy.” In this prayer, we must remember that all the nations of the world far less able to fight this pandemic.

I am a firm believer in miracles of healing and in the power of God to drive back disease. But I have never seen miracles break out when the voices calling upon God were charged with pride and entitlement.

Our Father and our God, have mercy on us this day as we turn from our wicked ways. We do not ask for comfort and ease, we ask for holy desires and the resolve to fight on in order to share the Gospel with the world. We forsake all those things that have become our idols. We condemn perverse and unnatural desires that have aroused Your anger against us. We pray in the name that is above all names—the Name of Jesus!

               

 

 

 

 

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THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS

Pray with intense focus: Pray, knowing that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. But what should we be seeking in prayer today? There are 3 things that have been burning in my heart to ask for. Here they are in the order in which I believe we need to pray for them.

1. The local church. Why would I mention this first? This current hysteria threatens to hit the local church hard. That is not good on more levels than you may realize. Satan wants to weaken churches in America for several important reasons.

Pray against the temptation to develop the habit of staying home from church after this is over.

 Pray that believers will continue to financially support their church now, even if they are compelled to stay home.

Pray that state governments will not use this as an excuse to persecute the church.  Few things are more dangerous right now than the state drifting from justifiable health guidelines into police brutality. Only a fool doesn’t know about the growing outright hostility toward Christians in the Blue states. Their mouths are watering at the prospect of shutting down churches. They are looking for any excuse, and we must rebuke all demonic power and ask God to cause the fire of revival to fall on churches everywhere. The disruption of churches in America is from Satan. Pure and simple.

Worshiping together is a key to Christianity. Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Remember: We are the only movement in history where the founder attends every meeting.

If there is a chance for you to worship with others and you opt instead for worshiping alone or as the hippies among us love to say, “I will commune with nature.” You may find some blessing, but you will not receive the full measure that the power of agreement provides.

Hebrews 10: 25 urges us: “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (of the Lord) approaching.” House meetings are being touted as a substitute for corporate worship. And this not a problem if the motives are pure. Often, however, these meetings are led by leaders who are engaging in self-promotion. They are doing it because they did not get the recognition they felt they deserved in a church setting.  This is a lot like socialism: it sounds good, but it has never worked because the true motives are wrong.

I believe that something good can come out of this. Maybe we will remember the joy and satisfaction of simple church…before we got all slick and professional.

We must also pray fervently for the persecuted church around the world.

2. That America will repent. Americans who pray today had better repent. Every mouth that prays today must begin by asking for forgiveness. Any kind of asking that comes before repentance will offend God’s holiness. We are a nation of great wickedness. We have thumbed our nose at God. We have murdered the innocents and destroyed marriage. We celebrate things that God abhors.

Daniel was not guilty of the sins of Israel and yet he repented for them. In Daniel 9:4-5, he wrote, “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, Who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,  we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”

The one thing we do not want to see is this: 2 Chronicles 28:22, “Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.”  If America smugly assumes she can ask and stay unfaithful to the Lord—or worse, become even more unfaithful—that would spell certain doom.

3. Pray that God will show mercy and curse this virus. Do not ask with pride, spouting your, “rights and privileges.” Humbly declare, “We are not deserving of a national miracle, but we humbly beg for Your mercy.” In this prayer, we must remember that all the nations of the world far less able to fight this pandemic.

I am a firm believer in miracles of healing and in the power of God to drive back disease. But I have never seen miracles break out when the voices calling upon God were charged with pride and entitlement.

Our Father and our God, have mercy on us this day as we turn from our wicked ways. We do not ask for comfort and ease, we ask for holy desires and the resolve to fight on in order to share the Gospel with the world. We forsake all those things that have become our idols. We condemn perverse and unnatural desires that have aroused Your anger against us. We pray in the name that is above all names—the Name of Jesus!

               

 

SAVING PRIVATE YOU.

SAVING PRIVATE YOU.   A SERMON ABOUT MEMORIAL DAY BY MARIO MURILLO

Saving Private You

I know that this will come as a shock…today is not a day about buying a car or a sofa.  It is also not a day we honor veterans, we do that on Veteran’s day in November.  No, today is about stopping to remember that someone died for you.   Someone made the ultimate sacrifice.  They died to give us the freedoms so many abuse today.

Memorial Day was first known as “Decoration Day.”   It is not hard to guess why.   The nation would visit graves of fallen heroes and leave flowers and other tokens of gratitude and honor.

In the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan attached above, we see, perfectly depicted, the right response of a soul that knows someone died to save them.

One of Satan’s masterstrokes is to cheapen holy days.  He has done this for thousands of years.  To blur, devalue or even utterly redefine a holy day is his stock and trade.

We see this at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.  The meaning and intent of a solemn or joyous day is sapped by banal and bankrupt counterfeits.   Why does Satan do this?

The answer is clearly seen in the incident of King Jeroboam.  Jeroboam seized power from the House of David by using the anger of Israel toward Solomon’s son Rehoboam.  The Jews rejected Rehoboam after he vowed to raise taxes and reduce services to the people.

1 Kings 12: 26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”

Likewise Satan knows that Holy Days can trigger a return to values and subsequently a return to God in our nation.

Our president is steering us the way Jeroboam steered Israel by cheapening or redefining American Holy Days.

The proof is in the fact that he:

-Regularly skips the National Day of Prayer.

– Renamed the National Christmas Tree the “Holiday Tree.”

-Went golfing on Memorial Day in 2009 and 2011; this despite the fact that George W. Bush refused to do it as president to honor the parents of those who lost loved ones.

Recently I took criticism for pointing out that as Memorial Day weekend began Obama did not return the salute to the Marine who saluted him at the door of Marine One helicopter.  Obama fans noted that he corrected this by stepping back outside the Helicopter and talking with the soldier.

My point is that there is no excuse for this oversight.  It smacks of a mind detached from honoring our military.

As the leader goes so go the sheep.   Memorial Day finds us oblivious to the treasure that families have spent to guarantee our freedom.  

In a very real way we are all Private Ryan.   Satan wants to bury that fact.  

Memorial Day cuts me to the heart that all over our nation there are moms and dads who  have lost sons and daughters and they did it for you and me.   Memorial Day also fuels my rage against our government’s tendency to take away the freedoms that our fallen heroes died to protect.

As an evangelist, I am constantly preaching a message about the One who died for us all, which is another reason why I am adamant about Memorial Day.

Satan did not want Israel to remember their Holidays, days and remembrances that could lead back to God.   Wonder what Satan thinks Americans might realize if they think long and hard about someone dying for them?

Cross in the clouds copy