The king of the forest came thundering down

download (4)massive treeSeveral years ago, a massive tree in Colorado fell to the ground with a resounding crash after having stood majestically on a hill for more than 400 years. It was a mere sapling when Columbus landed in San Salvador. Over the centuries it had been struck by lightning 14 times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake. In the end, however, it was killed by some little beetles. Boring under the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until one day that lordly king of the forest came thundering down. Like these small beetles, that seem so insignificant, sins make substantial inroads into our spiritual lives, and if left unchecked will cause our downfall. The idle word spoken, the prayer time omitted, and the occasional fleshly pleasure indulged — these things can bring down our lives faster than we realize. (from http://www.sermoncentral.com) 

How can we tell if we are backsliding? These are some of the symptoms. 

  1. You don’t really like to be around highly spiritually people. 
  1. Christianity has become very formal; you no longer enjoy your walk with God. 
  1. You lack love for God and for people. 
  1. You have little or no interest in evangelism or world missions – the conversion of souls to God.  
  1. You have little interest in personal or corporate prayer. It is a duty not a joy. 
  1. You have no desire for the word of God. 
  1. You have a critical fault-finding spirit that often turns into gossiping about others. 
  1. You have an uncontrolled temper. 

If any of these points apply to you, or if you are getting angry as you read this devotion, then you are in the process of backsliding. Don’t let the “little beetles” bring you down. Confess these things to Christ today! Turn and go God’s way. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8 ASV) 

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What causes men to take giant steps in faith?

download (3)I stood on the platform that first crusade night and saw crowds of people before me who urgently needed a miracle from God. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Call someone with an injured knee up on the stage!” I was obedient, but when I saw an elderly man break down at the foot of the stairs, unable to come to the platform without assistance, I realized that I was not just dealing with a painful knee, but with a man unable to climb stairs at all. It dawned on me that – if the Lord did not intervene – this could turn out to be very humbling for me.   

What causes men to take giant steps in faith? In Acts 3, Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray. There at the gate, they came across a beggar who was lame from birth. Something grabbed Peter’s heart. He could not pass this needy man. After commanding him to walk in the name of Jesus, he put his reputation on the line by taking the lame by his hand and pulling him up. At that very moment, the power of God flowed through him, and the lame man was totally healed!  What makes people take risks for God? 

Peter had prepared himself in the prayer chamber (upper room). But he was also willing to take a risk in public.  I am convinced that there are two requirements for Christians to witness God’s mighty miracles. First, God shares His heart with you when you are alone in HIS presence. There you learn to recognize His incredible voice. Then, when you are in the public eye, you will be willing to risk looking like a fool if necessary. The desire to please God will be so much greater than any desire to be accepted by men. 

The man in Waliso who had broken down at the foot of the stairs stood so frail, looking at me with great expectation. Hundreds more were watching from the crowd. I laid my hands on him and prayed a simple prayer. As I opened my eyes, I noticed no improvement whatsoever. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke again; “Take him by his hand and walk!” I immediately took him by his hand and said, “Come on, let’s walk.” With the first step, the power of God came upon him, and he was completely healed! He was jumping up and down and ran across the stage. We all looked on in amazement. The next day he ran up the stairs to the platform to give his testimony again. God is so willing to do so much more in our generation – if we will just let HIM! 

 

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Dare to believe!

download (2)A Baptist lady was weeping at the back of a Gospel tent in Sacramento, California. She had come in early while the men were still setting up the tent for R. W. Schambach.  Schambach heard her crying and went to the back to see what the trouble was.  He asked her, “What’s the trouble, mother?” 

She answered, “I came hundreds of miles from San Francisco, and now I was told there will be no prayer cards for praying for the sick today!  I just knew that if I could get my daughter under the tent, her eyes would be straight, but now I can’t even get a prayer card!” 

“Where is your daughter?” Schambach asked. “Here, she is.” She said, still weeping.  Schambach looked into the eyes of the little girl and saw two straight eyes.  He asked, “You sure this is your daughter?” “Of course, I know my own daughter,” she replied.  “But you said she had crossed eyes.  This girl has perfectly straight eyes!” 

The mother knelt down and looked at her daughter and began to shout.  She didn’t need a prayer card.  She grabbed her girl and began to run and shout for joy. God had taken her at her word.  “I just knew that if I could get my daughter under the tent, her eyes would be straight!” That is precisely what happened! 

The lady in the bible with an issue of blood also made a bold declaration, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:21 

God will meet us when we dare to believe Him! 

 

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The end of a bootlegger

bootlegger picHe came, weeping and crying loudly under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  

Joseph Kirubi Kinuthia, a 29-year-old man, had been living in Nairobi with his wife and 3 children. He owned a business that made bed sheets and loose covers for sofas.  Slowly, he yielded to the prodding of the enemy of his soul and backslid terribly.  He abandoned his family in Nairobi and moved 200 miles west to Nandi Hills to live with his aunt, who brewed illicit liquor called “chang’aa.”  His aunt hired him to smuggle the illegal alcohol from the countryside to Nandi Hills town. It was a lucrative business, where he could make a lot of money.  Very soon, he had fallen and was in deep bondage to alcohol.  Although he made a lot of money, he found himself going into deep debt because of his addiction.  

Joseph had many conflicts with the police and was a wanted man.  Deep bitterness and plans of revenge against law enforcement filled his heart. 

Joseph came to the crusade but became very loud and could not be calmed down by anyone. Some pastors took him aside and began to pray for him.  As they prayed, he was set free from demonic oppression. The pastors helped him to the altar as the call for salvation was being made where he re-dedicated his life to Christ.  He was so overcome with remorse that he couldn’t even give his name to the counselors. Some people thought he was too drunk or that he was just not earnest, but they were wrong. 

On Sunday, Joseph attended a church service in Nandi Hills and gave his testimony. The congregation listened in disbelief. 

Knowing the depths, he had come from, this bootlegger indeed decided to follow Christ with all his heart. Deeply touched by his testimony, a local pastor agreed to facilitate the reunification with his family. His wife had not given up on him. She was waiting for her prodigal husband to come home.  With the help of his pastor, Joseph began to revive his business. ( Report by Peter Ireri) 

The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 

 

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She had just escaped the fire

FireA girl of about seventeen years of age fought her way through the great torrents of blood, crushed, charred, and baked flesh. She had just escaped the Iroquois Theater fire, that happened on December 30, 1903, in Chicago. It was the deadliest theater fire and the most fatal single-building fire in the United States history up to that point, resulting in at least 602 deaths. Her hair was singed, her eyebrows were burned off, her face and hands were blistered, and her clothing was hanging in charred rags. As she got on the streetcar to go home, she was moaning and sighing wringing her hands saying, “O, God! O, God!” A lady next to her said, “You ought to be thankful that you got out alive.” She answered, “I am, but I didn’t help anybody else out! It was all I could do to get myself out alive.” She was grieving because others had to die, and she didn’t help them. 

How many Christians have the goal of getting themselves out of the fire of life alive but don’t help others out of the fire? 

Proverbs says, “He who is wise wins souls! (Proverbs 11:30)” How would we feel if it were a member of our family that was in the fire?  If it is not your flesh and blood, it is somebody else’s. 

There was a mine cave-in in Pennsylvania. The alarm sounded, and men came from all over to volunteer with the rescue. With pick and shovel, they worked hard, trying to dig as quickly as they could to the men underground before they die. An old seventy-five-year-old man appeared on the scene. He threw off his cap, coat, and vest, spit in his hands, and picking up the pick, he began frantically picking. Soon he traded the pick for a shovel, and he shoveled until the sweat rolled down his cheeks. He stood there tottering, about ready to fall from exhaustion when some of the younger men said to him, “Grandpa, take a break and let us young fellows do this job.” 

He answered, “No way, boys! I’ve got three sons down in there! There is no way I am stopping!”  

When it comes to eternity, if it isn’t your boy, it is somebody else’s. If it isn’t your girl, it is somebody else’s. 

The trouble with our world today is that we don’t care much what happens to others, if we go to heaven, everything is good for us.  

We don’t know when we will go into eternity.  The truth is, you will have to meet everyone you neglected in this life in eternity at the judgment. What will they say to you? (from Billy Sunday) 

 

 

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Report by Melody Franz, age 12

barefoot-child-feet-107773

I could hardly wait for my summer break. This summer was going to be very special. For the first time after five years, I was finally able to return to Kenya, where we had lived for so long. This time, I was going with my daddy on one of his crusades. I had been saving up my money for a long time. With the help of family, friends, teachers and even strangers, I was now able to go back.

When we finally arrived in Wote, Kenya, I saw the majestic tent already standing. The welcome I received was overwhelming. I was so thrilled to see my friends and our team members again.

The crusade had already been going on for several days, but on Saturday, which was my birthday, God did something very special.

Mwikali Muthoka had been coming to our meetings since they had started. She was lame and had to be carried to the altar every day for healing prayer. For over 22 years, she had to be taken care of by her parents. Every time I saw her struggling, my heart felt so heavy and sad. When she was carried, her feet were just dangling behind her. On Saturday, 21st June 2008 (my birthday), I went quietly behind the stage and prayed. I said: “Lord, today is my birthday and I have only one birthday wish: please heal this lady!”  The power of God came upon her and in the blink of an eye she was healed! For the first time in 22 years, she could stand up on her own two feet.

That was the best birthday present I have ever received!  The Lord answered my prayers and gave me my birthday wish.

This is not going to be my last mission trip. The day before we left Kenya, I told my daddy that I was going to start saving up my money right away again.

Melody Franz

 

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Lord teach us to pray

2There was a time in my life as a young person, were praying for 15 minutes a day was a great accomplishment! I felt quite good about myself until God began to deal with me. In the period of just one week, the Holy Spirit spoke to me five times. After the fifth time, I realized that God was very serious. I grabbed my Bible, went into a room where I could be alone, and repented with many tears before the Lord. The Holy Spirit came upon me at that time and soaked me in HIS presence. After 1½ hours, I emerged changed. I had never prayed alone that long my whole life. I will never forget that day – I had gotten my breakthrough in prayer! Since then, God has continued to give me growth in my prayer life. I have had to learn to overcome discouragement, dry times, and many attacks from the enemy, but being close to God is such a treasure and makes it all worthwhile!

The best method of prayer is just praying (simply communicating with God with all your heart)! One of the biggest problems in the Church today is that we talk a lot about prayer, but we do not pray. We talk a lot about evangelism, but we do not evangelize. God is looking for men and women of action! There are scores of books written on prayer, but we would be so much more effective if we would do it! 

I challenge you not to let the devil steal the best thing in life! Yes, it takes discipline and hard work, but the reward is pressing into the Holy of Holies. It will make the difference in all that you do!

When was the last time you prayed until you experienced the Glory of God?

Ex 33:18,19 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.

 

 

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