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The Spirit And Discernment (Today)

As you may know I’ve recently written a book called Open to the Spirit. This post today is not in the book but something I’m posting just for this blog. Tongues gets too much attention when it comes to being open to the Spirit. If we are open to the Spirit, it means we have to […]



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The Spirit And Discernment (Today)


Daily Prayer for April 4

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him…I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” John 1:32, 34, NIV

Our Father in heaven, as your children may we truly receive something from you to bring our lives into a living bond with you. Grant that we may overcome everything harmful and evil. May it be given to us to help that your kingdom may come closer and closer, that your will may be done, and Jesus Christ, your Son, may be recognized as the light of the world for the salvation of all people and their deliverance from all evil. Protect us and grant that your Spirit may remain with us. Amen.


Still considering the meaning of Easter?

Read these articles.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Writing: Not On The Side

If I’ve been asked this once, I’ve been asked it 500 times: “How do you do it?” And by that my questioners want to know how I have time to teach, write books, take care of this blog, and speak on occasions. I’ve given all kinds of answers — our kids and grown and gone; […]



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Writing: Not On The Side


This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

Wishing you all a most meaningful and joyous Easter celebration!
Greg and Eric for This Day’s Thought from The Ranch

EASTER

by James Wilson

John 15:13

Back in the 1880’s Nietzsche declared that “God is dead,” and before the turn of the Twentieth Century, Shaw and Wells chimed in saying the 20th Century would mark the end of the world’s “religious phase.”

Yet, today a church now meets in Russia’s Museum of Religion and Atheism-the former center of atheism. Nearly half of the United States’ population attend Worship on a regular basis while revival is sweeping through Latin America and Christianity grows behind China’s iron curtain. (From Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html )

Nietzsche, Shaw and Wells have long since decayed in their graves, and God continues to live! That’s the message of Easter. He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Why do we believe? Recently an African Muslim was converted to Christ. When someone asked him why he had become a Christian, he answered. “Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down a road when suddenly it forked in two directions, you didn’t know which way to take. There at the fork in the road you could see two persons, one dead and one alive. Of which one would you inquire the way?” This is a supreme difference between Islam and the gospel. The Muslim regards both Muhammad and Christ as prophets of God. But whereas Muhammad lived and died and passed from the scene of history, Jesus lived, died, and arose!. (John T. Seamonds)

Muhammad died, and was buried. His faithful followers take pilgrimages to visit his remains, the same is true of Buddha and other religious leaders. But it is not true of Jesus. You cannot visit His remains, you can only visit his empty grave, because He isn’t there. He Arose!

This side of history, we understand that Jesus’ death was necessary. Without His death, there could be no resurrection. At the cross, He laid down His life for us. He willingly gave His all. But how did his friends that He laid His life down for view the cross?

One answer to that question would be, “from a distance.” Except for John, they weren’t there. The cross was the ultimate symbol of shame. It was reserved for vile criminals. The disciple’s teacher, the one they left home to follow, was hung on a cross, and when He was, they turned their back on Him. No doubt they viewed the cross as shameful. Perhaps they even began to question the wisdom of their decision to follow Him.

Disillusioned? Disappointed? Certainly. Afraid? Perhaps. The crowd was out of control. Did they know if they were safe? Could the soldiers come and take them away as they took Jesus away?

Then it happened! Jesus broke through the chains of death and arose from the grave. He appeared to the woman at the empty tomb and gave them the word to tell the disciples. Later, he appeared before the disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there.

The disciples found Thomas and told him the good news. Jesus had risen!

But Thomas doubts the apostles testimony. Let’s read John 20:24-25 “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’”

He’d heard about the vicious way they’d driven the nails in his hands instead of tying them to the cross, and he’d heard the way the soldiers stabbed him in the side with a spear, like a piece of meat. His anger and his doubt blended to become a toxic cocktail of bitterness, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” Do you blame him? His hopes and dreams dashed, Thomas was drowning in depression and doubt-no way he could believe the unbelievable, not without proof. In the next verse, Jesus challenges Thomas to believe. “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” (John 20:26-27 )

Without touching the nail scars or putting his hand in Jesus’ side, Thomas believes. Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28

Thomas, by his actions said, seeing is believing, but we know that “Believing is seeing.” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:29

That’s you and me! We’ve not seen, and yet we believe.

We believe, because He loved us. The scripture says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 KJV)

A volunteer at Stanford Hospital, was present when a little boy decided to give the ultimate sacrifice because he loved his sister Liza. The volunteer says the little girl was dying of a rare disease, with only one chance for survival–a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother. After the doctor explained what would happen during the transfusion, the little boy agreed to give his blood to save his sister.

He peacefully laid still during the transfusion. After a while, he asked the doctor a question that gave great insight into his character, “Will I start to die right away?” Apparently, the boy thought he would have to give all his blood, but was willing to do so to save his sister. (From Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Jesus laid down His life for you. There is room at the cross for you. Will you come to Him today?


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This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day’s Thought from The Ranch- Friday


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

This Easter-time brings us the assurance that when He comes and shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, believers who sleep in Christ and those then living will be caught up together to meet Him in the air, and all will be, as in the twinkling of an eye, transformed and transfigured and possessed of bodies as perfect and as glorious as His own, and in these glorious and resplendent bodies we shall reign and rejoice forever.

E. P. Goodwin


This Day's Verse

Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.  At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened.  The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.  They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

Matthew 27:50-53
The New Living Translation


This Day's Smile

We Christians do not believe that Jesus Christ was the only one that ever rose from the dead.  We believe that every death-bed is a resurrection; that from every grave the stone is rolled away.

Charles Spurgeon


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This Day’s Thought from The Ranch- Friday


Daily Prayer for March 28

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1–2, NIV

Lord God, we thank you that you have given us atonement, an atonement that delivers us from all evil, from all that is temporal and perishable, and that allows us even now to live in eternity. Grant that many people become aware of the greatness and freeing power of the redemption you have offered us. May a people be born to you, serving you with light in their hearts as they look to the future coming of Jesus Christ. Be with us, strengthen us, and protect us from all the deception on earth. For we want to be your children and nothing else; with our whole hearts we want to look always to you. Amen.


Reading for the Holy Week

Wednesday: Easter Questions


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Daily Prayer for March 23

This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances.” Isaiah 49:8, NIV

Lord our God, protect us in your Spirit. Strengthen our hearts especially when we often have to bear suffering, that we may be steadfast in hope and may again and again experience a day of salvation. Protect us in every way. Accept our praise and thanks, and let our hearts rejoice in what you have already done for us. We want to discern your ways more and more so that we may please you as your servants. Amen.


Ready for Easter?

Read these stories and devotions as you prepare.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Daily Prayer for March 12

But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for the gift of your light in our hearts, allowing us to have faith in you. We thank you for your light, which shows us the many ways you save us from need, darkness, and death. In the midst of this darkness you keep our hearts safe so that we can be faithful until your time comes, the time when you will reveal yourself to the world, and when all voices will cry out as one, “Yes, Father in heaven, we thank you. You have redeemed us all.” Amen.


Why pray every day?

Deepen your prayer life with these resources from Plough.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Daily Prayer for February 23

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10, NIV

Lord God, we turn to you, praying that your kingdom may come. May your Jerusalem really come on earth, with all those blessed ones who are allowed to gather around Jesus Christ through forgiveness of sins and the resurrection. Come with your light into our time so that sins may be forgiven and people may find salvation. Remember those in great distress. Come with your help to those struggling with sin or death, for help can come from you alone. Nothing can help us except your fatherly love in Jesus Christ. Praised be your name! Amen.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Daily Prayer for February 15

For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that even in need and misery we may feel and know that you are with the weak, for you are mighty in helping your children. You give the weak strength to serve you in spite of all their faults and weaknesses. Make us glad at heart for everything we are allowed to do and experience, because it serves you, your glory, and your kingdom until the day when others also are given eyes to see. Amen.


Who wrote these prayers?

Learn more about Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt