Receiving Help from the Helper

Receiving Help from the Helper

            Are you tired out, burned out or worn out?  At this moment do you feel all alone to the extent you just want to give up on life?  These are all symptoms of one who is crying out in the middle of a frustrated life.  Such a cry is actually a cry for help.  It is a cry for the helper, the Holy Spirit to come and hover over the hopeless mess like He did in Genesis 1:23.  There we read, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light and there was light.”

There have been so many times when I have felt totally overwhelmed.  As everything appeared so dark and messed up I would cry out, “Dear God please send the Holy Spirit to come and hover over this confusion in the same way He did when the earth was formless and empty.”  Then as I surrendered the situation to Jesus I would see the miraculous unfold as the Helper, the Holy Spirit, did His work.

I believe that at this hour God is desiring to bring light into the darkest most hopeless areas of our lives.  No longer do we need to feel that we are carrying a burden that seems overwhelming. Hasn’t God spoken in Isaiah 43:19, “Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it and know it, and will you not give heed to it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Amplified Version).

In Genesis 28 we find a man by the name of Jacob.  Jacob is on a journey to a new way of life.  Things did not look very hopeful for Jacob because he was on the run from his brother Esau, whom he had cheated out of his birthright.  In verses 10 and 11 of Genesis 28 we read, “Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.  When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set.  Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.”

Jacob was on the run.  Jacob was homeless.  You could say life appeared, at the moment, like a disaster.  If we look up the word “disaster” we see that word is made up of “dis” which means separation and “aster” which means star.  When we are facing a disaster, it is easy for us to feel totally alone, separated from the stars, others and even God Himself.  That night Jacob must have gone to sleep feeling all alone.  But as he fell asleep he must have prayed, because he was able to receive what God was saying to him.  In Genesis 28:12-15, God assured Jacob that he was not alone, nor was he separated from the stars.  In fact, He gave Jacob “a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Verse 13).  God goes on and assures Jacob that He is with him in verses 14, 15.

Is your heart and mind open like Jacob’s was to the extent that God can send the Holy Spirit to you and place a dream within you?  Do you recognize the new thing the Holy Spirit desires to do within you?

At this time let us release our Faith and accept the fact that our Helper, the Holy Spirit, is right here desiring to do a new thing in our lives.  In the midst of all the trials and uncertainties we are facing He is saying, “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Now we must receive the promise Jesus gives us in John 14:16, 17 where He says, “I will pray to the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him for He dwells with you and will be with you.”

The Helper (the Holy Spirit) is right there to assist us.  The tragedy is that we try to do the work of God without the help and direction of the Spirit.  Remember that without the Holy Spirit there would be no world, human race or creation as we know it (II Peter 1:21).  If it were not for the Helper, there would be no lasting work done for our Lord.  There would be no New Testament (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10-14) no faith and no power to proclaim the gospel (Acts 1:8).

Those who have a stone for a heart will not hear or recognize the Holy Spirit.  They are too caught up in themselves and aren’t willing to humbly before the Lord God declare, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (Gen. 28:16).

Jacob went forth from that place and allowed the dream to burn in his heart.  He hung on to the words of the Lord when He declared, “I am with you and watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Gen. 28:15).

For twenty years Jacob hung on and kept working for his uncle Laban.  He trusted the promise of God and let the dream the Holy Spirit had given him burn in his heart.  From the very first passage in the Scriptures (Genesis 1:1) to the last chapter in the Bible, Rev. 22, we see the Helper, the Holy Spirit at work.  Now He wants to work in our lives like He did in Jacob’s.

The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is not just an influence or a force.  The Spirit, our Helper, is shown in the Scripture as the third person of the Trinity with an individuality of His own (II Cor. 3:17-18; Heb. 9:14; I Peter 1:2).  Our Helper thinks, wills (1 Cor. 12:11) and has the capacity to love (Romans 15:30).  He is sent by the Father to bring us into fellowship with Jesus the Son of God (John 14:16-18:26).

In 1 Cor. 2:9 we see that it is the Holy Spirit our Helper, who enlightens us to the deeper things of God.  There we read, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

There is no limit to what the Holy Spirit can and will do in our lives, if we will but love Him and let Him do it.  In order to experience this power both now and for all eternity, we must first let our Helper, the Holy Spirit, be our agent of salvation.  He will then show us our guilt (John 16:7,8) and our need for a Savior.  The Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth about Jesus.

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we then receive the Spirit (John 3:3-6; 20:22) and are participants in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

It is the Holy Spirit, our Helper, who quickens and awaken us to the reality and power of the new birth in Jesus Christ.  We see in Titus 3:5 that “He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

The day came when Jacob took his family and left his uncle.  As he continues on his journey, Jacob knows that he will ultimately have to face the brother whom he had cheated over twenty years earlier.  In order to prepare for this encounter Jacob surrenders his family and possessions to God as demonstrated by the fact that he sends his family and all his possessions across the stream (Gen. 32:22).

Jacob is now alone and, in his loneliness, he finds himself wrestling with God.  When God saw that He could not break the self-serving independence that still existed in Jacob, “He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint” (Gen. 32:25).

Now broken and totally surrendered, Jacob wants the blessing of the Lord more than ever.  In verse 26 Jacob declares, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”  This isn’t a cry for more materialistic goods.  It is a desire for the Holy Spirit to change the very essence of his being.

Jacob’s prayer is answered and he is given the new name of Israel.  “So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared!’” (Gen. 32:30)  The next day Jacob and his brother Esau are reunited.

I have found it is critical that each day I surrender the hardstones of trials, tribulations and disappointments to God daily.  I can’t let these hardstones of difficulty harden my heart.  I must let the Holy Spirit use them to create an altar in my heart before the Lord.

If I truly desire to be productive and filled with the Spirit I must die to myself and be resurrected in Christ Jesus. As this happens, God’s glorious riches of love and the power and life of the Spirit are free to flow. This is why Paul declared in Romans 8:13: “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

Through the work of the Spirit and the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the sinful deeds of the body are put to death and we are free to truly live if we will but obey God. 1 Sam. 15:22 says, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” Allowing the “deeds of the flesh” to be put to death is the result of obeying God, which is essential for receiving Help from the Helper.”

Many of you are wrestling with God at this time.  Yet you are not yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit.  You don’t desire the blessing and assurance of His presence that accompanies a total surrender to Him.  You don’t want to be reunited with that brother.  You are afraid of the brokenness as illustrated by Jacob’s wrenched hip.  You desire the blessings of the Lord, but not the brokenness.  You want to hear his voice, but have no desire to obey it when it demands self-sacrifice and surrender.

As the Helper puts to death the misdeeds of the body we are able to receive the Helper’s gifts described in 1 Cor. 12 – 14. There we see “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries but the same Lord” (1 Cor. 12:5).

Each and every gift is important but as 1 Cor. 13 points out the greatest gift is love. This is the gift of divine love that only God can give.

Along with this gift of love comes the gift of holy boldness, which is so essential if we are going to take a courageous stand for justice.  In II Tim.1:6,7 we read, “for this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.”

As we let the power of the Holy Spirit, our Helper, work in us we will see the fruit of the Spirit springing forth. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).

With the Helper, and the fruits of Spirit flowing through us, we are awakened to the fact that we are no longer losers, just struggling to make it through each day. We are more than conquerors because of the Helper’s resources available to us through Jesus. “How much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

It would be great if we could say that after that day everything went great for Jacob.  It didn’t.  His sons frequently brought him grief. His oldest son made love with his concubine.  For many years Jacob thought that his son Joseph was dead. Jacob’s daughter Dinah was raped.  His wife Rachael dies.  Jacob loses everything in a famine.  He could have given up anywhere along this often-difficult journey of life, but he didn’t.  He had used a stone for a pillow that night instead of allowing bitterness to make his heart, mind, and spirit as hard as stone.  Jacob had then taken that stone and made it a pillar of worship.

Only when you take that stone, representing all the circumstances that could make made you bitter and resentful, and place it before the Lord and let forgiveness flow will you see the staircase to heaven.  Now let Jesus, who is “the way, the truth and the life,” (John 14:6) break and remake you.  Then you discover not only new direction in life but also the power of the Holy Spirit.

As we pray believing for the Helper to come upon us in a new and powerful way, we discover His help in our prayer life and in many other areas. “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26, 27).

We discover in Is. 61: 1-11 that when the Helper, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon someone, they receive the power to bring good news to the oppressed, bind up those who are broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to those held captive, comfort those who mourn, and awaken a song of praise in the faint-hearted. Those empowered by the Spirit (referred to in Is.61:1 as the Spirit of the Lord is upon me) find they are not just performing some sort of good deed but the establishment of righteousness and justice.

The Helper for radical equality for all people that we see in Joel 2:28-32 is the Holy Spirit. For God has promised, “I will pour out My Spirit on all people.” This includes the hurting, the homeless, and the hopeless who can also be recipients of new life through the love of God, and the power of the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

Those who are crushed to the extent that they are no longer able to dream or see visions or prophecy hope are promised, “ I will pour out My Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earths, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:28-32).

Jacob thought all was lost.  The famine had struck.  But that famine resulted in Jacob being reunited with his son Joseph.  At the age of 147 Israel worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff, (Gen.47:31) and stood next to Joseph.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can also walk with God.  He will help you to hear the voice of Jesus and abide in His presence.  You can remain steadfast, immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord.

Refuse to let bitterness make your heart as hard as stone.  Let the dream of the staircase of heaven burn in your heart!  Stand on the promises of God.

You may presently have a stone for a pillow, but stop complaining.  Use it as a pillar for worship and watch and wait, for in the end you will see Him do exceedingly beyond what you can ask or think!  It is a guarantee signed, sealed and delivered through the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses you of all sin.

Let us now receive this power from our Helper, the Holy Spirit. His coming will bless, strengthen and invigorate us for servicing both God and those in need.

Through Christ, may the promise that God gives in Ezekiel 36:25, 26 become ours this very day. “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

As the promise of Ezekiel 36 unfolds in your life you will find the  heart of stone, that reflected indifference to the needs of others, begin to melt and a new caring heart of compassion come forth. We see this miracle unfolding in Ezekiel 37 as the Spirit comes upon a valley of dry, dead bones. When this happens life comes into these bones and an army of compassionate people comes forth.

At this time may our prayer be, “Heavenly Father, please send the Holy Spirit. Come, my promised Helper, and infuse within me the power from on high. Guide me, direct me and empower me so that I may be an instrument of healing and hope in the lives of the hurting and homeless. Precious Jesus, please replace the fear in my life with faith that I may be filled with the holy boldness that came upon Peter in Acts 4:8 and the other believers in Acts 4:31.

Yours in Christ,

Larry Rice

Don’t Give Up

Don’t Give Up

Don't Give Up!

My Dear Friends,

So many are giving up and giving in to despondency, discouragement, disappointment and depression. It is evident in their general “I don’t care attitude” resulting from a mistaken belief that what they are doing really doesn’t make any difference in life any way. This sense of failure is often the result of trying and praying only to have their expectations not met.

Life is a journey in which we frequently find ourselves sliding off the paths before us. It would be so easy just to lie there and give up. Many find themselves in situations where fear, failure, and frustration have paralyzed them until they have lost all desire to go on. How we need to hear what Jesus is saying to us at this moment when He says, “Arise, let us go on” (John 14:31).

There are so many things that can cause us to slide off the straight and narrow path of life. We must let Jesus, who has promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), guide and direct us each and every moment. Disappointment, sickness,

or the death of a loved one can cause us to slide off the path of life to the extent that we feel like giving up. As we make this journey, we must never forget we are not alone. The wonders of creation are a constant reminder of God, the Creator who is forever with us. The Bible is the Living Word, which reveals to us a Savior who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Paul, a man whose life was a slippery journey until he came face to face with the Living Christ, declared, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3: 7, 8).

Knowing about Christ is quite different from knowing Him. There are many great theologians who know a lot about Him but in a time of crisis or personal loss, they totally crumble because they don’t really know Him.

The Prophet Habakkuk, because he really knew the Lord, did not slide off the path of life. He not only declared in Hab.2:4, “The righteous will live by his faith,” but he also went on in chapter 3 verses 17-19 to show us how this is applied in times of difficulty. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He make my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”

Knowing God’s grace, love and power manifested through Jesus Christ and the wonders of creation enables us to not only stand firm but go on to new heights. In the Revised Standard Version, Daniel 11:32 states, “The people that know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Instead of slipping and sliding down the road of life, those who know God will stand firm, not paralyzed, by fear or frustration but posed for direct action.

In the book of Daniel we see how Daniel and his three friends, even when moved as captives to a foreign land, did not slip into depression but rose above their circumstances to do a mighty work for God. They prayed trusting God, and were delivered from the fiery furnace, the lion’s den and the tyranny of the age in which they lived. In the midst of adversity Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego and Daniel were fully persuaded that God had everything under control.

Psalm 40:1, 2 tells us what it means to know God and to be delivered from the slimy pits that we find ourselves all to frequently sliding into. “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Jesus is our solid rock. As we stand upon His word, He gives us a firm place to stand in this slipping age of greed and corruption.

Psalm 40:3-5 tells us the result of trusting in the Lord. “Blessed is the man (and the woman) who makes the Lord his (or her) trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”

Knowing God involves first humbling ourselves and honestly admitting how much we need Him and His direction in our daily lives. “This is what the LORD says: “The wise man is not to boast in his wisdom; the strong man is not to boast in his strength; and the rich man is not to boast in his riches. Rather, let the one who boasts, boast in this: that he understands and knows me, for I am the LORD who acts with gracious love, justice, and righteousness in the land. I delight in these things,” declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23 ISV).

God made it possible for us to know Him by sending His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world (John 3:16). For that reason Jesus could declare “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:6, 7).

Knowing the Lord allows us to see ourselves the way God sees us. We believe it when the Bible says, “The Lord is with you O valiant warrior,” (Judges 6:12).

Yes, you may have made mistakes in the past, but thanks be to God who through Jesus provides forgiveness of sins and the hope of a new beginning. It is a new day and God desires to do a new and powerful work in you and through you. Don’t give up. Stand steadfast and stop allowing your weaknesses and insecurities of the past to keep you from the greatness God is calling you to this day.

The Lord has said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” Now develop the same attitude that Paul did as he continues in 2 Cor.12:9, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.”

You don’t have to keep beating up on yourself every time you give in to that nasty habit that you are struggling with. Instead, further surrender that area of your life to Jesus Christ and pray, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Ps.17:8).

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph.6:14-15).

Stand steadfast as the scriptures say. Don’t give up but remember, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.2:10).

You may not feel at this moment that you are God’s workmanship, created in His image. Maybe you even feel trapped in a rut, but there is hope. Christ is risen! Say to yourself at this moment, “God has lifted me out of the horrible pit, and He set my feet upon a rock and put a new song in my mouth” (Psalm 40:2-3).

Let God put a new song of praise in your mouth today and fill your life with hope. He wants you to know He loves you more than you can ever imagine. “For God so loved the world,” (means you and me) “that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Right now you have a choice for “It shall be done to you according to your faith” (Matt.9:29). If you expect this year defeat, failure and mediocrity, that is what you will get. Or you can remember that it is just as easy to believe God for strength, success and victory, knowing that God has everything under control and that He loves you and wants His best for you.

The reason you can believe God for His best for your life is because you have dedicated your life to Him. You desire to serve Him, reaching out to those in need, sharing His love with others. Take God at His word and make Phil.1:6 personal by declaring, “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

When we see that, with each passing day, in spite of the circumstances God is perfecting His work within us, we are free to believe that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

When we believe God is working for our good and we know we have been called according to His purpose of sharing His love in word and deed with others, we are free to believe God’s best for our lives. This doesn’t mean we will allow ourselves to be trapped in a greedy materialistic lifestyle, for we know God’s best far exceeds filthy lucre (money) as Jesus referred to it. God’s best frees us to live in His presence, knowing that God is working daily for our good in spite of the circumstances.

When we realize that God is at work in every situation, life becomes an adventure in faith. What is faith? “It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”(Heb.11:1)

Now instead of believing the worst, choose to “taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”(Psalm 34:8)

This past year as New Life Evangelistic Center faced a mountain of financial need, I found myself itemizing these needs on a piece of paper and putting them in my Bible at Phil.4:19 where it says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” When worry and uncertainty would strike, I found myself turning to that passage, knowing that God would meet that need.

Now I want to invite you to join me in accepting Jesus at His Word when He says, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13, 17) Let us ask Jesus now to work in us to share His love by reopening the 1411 Locust building. Then we could once again provide from that location help for the homeless, food to the hungry, and good news of the eternal life Jesus has provided through His death and resurrection.

Now “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb.12:1, 2). Don’t give up. Give God 100% by doing your very best on every job He has given you. Your efforts for good do make a difference. Your labor is not in vain.

At this hour our Lord is telling us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Yours in Christ,

How to Change our World thru Prayer and Fasting

How to Change our World thru Prayer and Fasting

Dear Friends,

With each passing day it seems that the battle to shelter the homeless is becoming more intense. Jesus tells us though that we should not be surprised at such. “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me” (John 15:20, 21).

As parking lot and condominium owners unite and try to push the homeless and hurting out of the neighborhood we must remain steadfast in our service unto the Lord.

What our ministry needs more now than anything else are intercessory prayer warriors. As the New Testament points out, there is a spiritual battle under way which requires each of us to put on the full armor of God (See Eph. 6:10-18, 2 Tim. 2:1-5, 1 Tim. 6:12). Clothes in the full armor of God and equipped with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, we are then able to intercede in prayer, assured of victory.

This victorious intercession is possible because of the victory Jesus Christ has provided through His death and resurrection. It is for that reason we pray in His name for He has told us in John 14:12-14 the following: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”

God weeps when He sees the destruction that the lust for power has brought and the prayerlessness of His people. His heart is broken as He sees those He loves going into a Christ less eternity because of the lack of prayer that the lost will be saved. God’s love causes…

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Are These Promises For Me?

Are These Promises For Me?

Dear Friends,

My heart is heavy because of the restlessness, the sad struggle that plays out before me every day. So many people are the victims of rootless poverty that seems endless. As I was preparing this sermon I met a man who said he had just been wandering around for days. He hasn’t slept because he just wants to get back home to Kansas City. He says he just needs enough money for a one way bus ticket. But as I listen it becomes clear that he came to this area homeless looking for work on craigslist and when it didn’t work out, he’s headed back to the same situation. He wants to go back to his fiancé who is giving birth right about now. And he’s just wandering around trying to scrape together whatever money he can get to be back in time for his baby’s birth. That’s his story.

There are so many more stories like this one. No real plan beyond, “Maybe I can find a job” or “I’ll make it somehow.” When I ask, “Who knows you?” I’m told, “Well, my fiancé has a cellphone without any minutes.” The travelers aid society we partner with needs verification. They don’t want to just move people around who don’t have contacts in the destination city. I recommend some other ideas to this man. Ways he can settle for a few weeks in order to rest, eat, find work, and then travel in time. He turns it down and walks out.

I walk over to our front desk and ask a group of men who are crowding the phone operator to have a seat and assure them that their requests will be answered in time. A young man yells out, “I just want a hygiene kit.” I answer him by name and say, “You’ll get it when we call your name.” With that he calls out a curse on the building and on my father by name and walks out. Just because he doesn’t want to wait five minutes. So much impatience and hostility. So much controversy and weariness. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As we set a course for our lives based on God’s word, we can learn to fear Him and walk in His ways.

Let’s go to the Lord now in prayer…

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Experiencing A New Beginning

Experiencing A New Beginning

Dear Friends,

Life has a way of swallowing people up and then spitting them out on the ocean of hopelessness and despair.  Perhaps you are one of the growing multitudes who have experienced such.  Wouldn’t it be great to start over and to begin to live a life free from all the hurt, pain and poison of the past?  Such freedom is possible if you will but let God’s promises and provisions unfold in your life.  In Is. 43:18, 19 He tells us, “Forget what happened long ago!  Don’t think about the past.  I am creating something new.  There it is!  Do you see it?  I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.”

We are able to experience a new beginning because of the forgiveness provided through Jesus Christ.  This forgiveness has been made available because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins through His death and resurrection.  To be forgiven means to be set free from the sins of the past to the extent we can receive the new work God wants to do in us today.  It also means letting go of the hurt and pain that others have inflicted on us as let God’s forgiveness flow through us in the lives of the ones who have hurt us.  It is this miracle of forgiveness that allows us to experience a new beginning.

Through the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ it is possible to…

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Grace Must Answer Grace

Grace Must Answer Grace

Dear Friends,

I think there’s a terrible misunderstanding about what a gift is these days. We’ve all become so accustomed to buying and selling and paying for subscriptions to various services, that the quality of free gifts has become swallowed by the maxim, “the first one is always free.” Gifts are used as incentives anymore. A bait and switch tactic. Draw them in with the gift and then hook them. Keith Green sang about how Jesus was not a “salesmen who will sell you the things you just want to hear.” What sort of quality do we look for in gifts anymore? And what is expected of the giver? More importantly, what sort of gift was it when God gave his only son for this world?

Now if I offer you this antique taxidermied squirrel, would you think that strange? Or this dapper bowler hat, could you use that? Most of you would answer no. We’re accustomed to picking out our own items carefully, irrespective of what people might think we need. We might take a gift so that a giver won’t feel bad, but…

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Standing Firm in the Victory

Standing Firm in the Victory

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

When I encounter hopelessness and depression I have to do something more than engage in fight or flight.  Psalm 143 shows me a better way.  There I see the  Psalmist David is desperate.  He cries out, “O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.”(verse 1)  Like David, I must admit I sometimes feel like declaring, “my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed” (verse 4).

As I continue to meditate on Psalm 143 I see that not only does David identify with my needs but he also shares some very practical steps to live victoriously when it seems that the world is falling apart.  He says, “I remember the days of long ago” (verse 5).  There I see that the first step for victoriously living, David says, is recalling the situations God brought me through in the past when the situation seemed hopeless. (Example, 1 Sam.30:1-20)

The second thing David does is to meditate not only on the promise of God’s Word but also upon the wonders of His works.  This includes not only God’s miraculous intervention in times of hopelessness but also the works and wonders of His creation.  But the wonders of God’s works go far beyond creation.  As John 3:16 says,…

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Content with the Miracle

Content with the Miracle

Dear Friends,

My little girl has a problem. She really wants this particular art set for Christmas. But from looking it up everywhere online she has determined that it is out of stock, so she knows she can’t have it. The more she thinks about this, the more upset she becomes. She moans out loud and writhes around on the couch holding her tablet device. “I really want it”, she says.

It’s that time of year for wanting and not knowing, not realizing her wishes. She asks me about it and of course I can’t answer any questions about Christmas gifts. I usually bow out of knowing what everyone is getting every year, because I don’t want to divulge anything and get myself into trouble. So I have to be hopelessly vague. “Honey, you just have to trust that your family has your wish list (it’s hanging in huge letters on a list that takes up half of the refrigerator) and knows what you want and will do the right thing.”

That answer does not satisfy this 11 year old. Ten minutes later she asks again, “Dad, can you look up this art set on your computer, please?” “No.” She no doubt feels like I don’t care, and that her wish will never be realized. I cannot say one way or the other whether her wish will come true. I have to wait with her for her miracle until Christmas Day. Yes…

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Making Every Day Thanksgiving

Making Every Day Thanksgiving

My Dear Friends,

Many have been misled to think that Thanksgiving is possible only in the midst of bounty. How wrong they are. Harvard Theological Professor Peter Gomaz said, “Thanksgiving isn’t about bounty at all. It’s about survival. In 1621 the feast began with five kernels of corn. It was a reminder of the hardships the first Pilgrims had experienced the previous winter. Food was running out and they were faced at one point to a ration of five kernels of corn. But through it all they thanked God for providing.” Gomaz says, “Thanksgiving is about when you come to the brink and almost fall over it and know that you survived because of God’s Divine Intervention.”

It is particularly critical during these hard economic times that we work to make every day Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is gratitude in our hearts, even in the worst of times. It is the ability to praise God in spite of the circumstances.

Jesus has come to set the captives free. This means freedom from an ungrateful spirit of always feeling life has given us a bum rap. This happens when we make every day a day of Thanksgiving. After all, that is God’s will for our lives according to I Thess. 5:16-18; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Let me share with you the true story about Private Smith, a twenty-year-old soldier who was spending his third year away from home in Baghdad. His first Thanksgiving was in South Korea with latrine duty and eight hours of guard duty. The second year he was in North Africa. That Thanksgiving the army was able to serve three hot meals but suddenly a sand storm ruined all the food and all the soldiers had to eat a peanut butter sandwich for Thanksgiving dinner. Now, here it is a year later and Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Private Smith is in his tent cleaning his rifle and grumbling, “this year had better be different.” He started thinking about when he was a child in Mississippi and how the family would sit around the table reading scriptures and talking about what they had to be thankful for.
No sooner had Private Smith blurted out “what do I have to be thankful for this year?” A big explosion took place.

Two weeks later he heard a quiet voice say, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.” Then he heard a voice start yelling, “he’s starting to come out of his coma.” Private Smith opened his eyes and whispered his name, rank and serial number. The doctor responded by telling the nurse in the room, “You have just witnessed a miracle.” Private Smith asked why the doctor would say that. The nurse told him that two weeks earlier a bomb had landed near his tent. As the explosion took place the private covered his friend’s body and saved his life. When that happened he sacrificed his right leg in the explosion. Private Smith reached down where his leg used to be. He said, “You know, it’s been real difficult for me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and other days as well. I guess I was trying to be thankful for the wrong things. Things I thought were important but really aren’t. I lost my leg but I gained something even more precious, my life. I am also thankful my buddy is alive too. I am so thankful and glad for what I have. This is the best Thanksgiving ever.”

Maybe you are one of those who get all caught up in being thankful for the bounty and this year there is no recognizable bounty. You may be homeless, the utilities may be shut off and you may be unemployed or really hurting. It may be tough times but thank God you still have your life and so much more.

Life is filled with so much that we have to be thankful for. We need to thank God for family, friends, life, creation and most of all the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Psalm 95:1-3 declares, “O Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God. And the great King above all gods.”

Robert Emmens after studying the effect that an attitude of gratitude has on people for ten years states, “People who view life as a gift and have an attitude of gratitude experience a multitude of advantages. Those who express their gratitude can increase their happiness by 25%. Grateful people have greater optimism and lower levels of depression. Keeping a gratitude journal for just three weeks results in better sleep and more energy.

I remember after my first wife Penny died and I felt I had very little to be thankful for, I read a book called Thanksgiving Therapy. After reading this book, I started a gratitude journal, which consisted of listing each day ten things I had to be thankful for. Not only did it help me survive this very difficult period in my life but it also prepared me later for my marriage to Debra. Now I naturally find myself thanking God for Debra and all the other blessings God has given me, even when things don’t seem to be going right.

The holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most stressful times of the year for me. Not only do we get all the people we usually get at New Life Evangelistic Center but we also get all those who are suffering from the cold. Then there are all the people who need food, gifts, shelter, utility assistance and so much more during this holiday season. Last year I found this holiday season much more enjoyable then other years. That happened because I made a special effort to make every day Thanksgiving. Every time I felt the stress mounting with more and more demands being made of me, I would then declare, “I am too blessed to be stressed!” I would then pray and surrender that stressful situation to the Lord.

Making every day Thanksgiving is all about what are you going to focus your attention on. If you only think about what you don’t have and what you have to do, then you will only get bitter and stressed out. That is why Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

It is time to wake up and be thankful. The one who never thanks God and steps out in faith and dares something should expect nothing.

When Moses woke up, he not only heard the voice of God but acted on what he heard and thanked God for it. Moses had reached a point where he was no longer contented with just raising sheep. The fact is the one who is content with what he has done will never be famous for what he will do – Happiness is to lose yourself in a cause greater than yourself and thank God for it.

The person who is failing all the time is the one who is usually complaining and thinking about what he can’t do rather then what he can do. The believer like St. Paul will declare, “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.” Then he will “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presenting your requests before God” (Phil 4:6). We don’t need more strength or more ability or more opportunity, all we need to do is use what we have and thank God for it.

Failures always ignore the things they can do and waste their time dreaming about the things they can’t. New opportunities won’t help the person who isn’t thanking God for the ones he already has and using them. Opportunities are multiplied when they are seized with an attitude of gratitude. They die when they are neglected.

When you start using the talents God has given you and thanking Him for them, you then go forth by faith. As you do this every ceiling will become a floor on which you can walk and you will see a new ceiling rise above you. As you thank God and climb on this new ceiling of opportunity you will see there is no limit as to what God can do.

Make every day Thanksgiving and discover that the best way to better your lot in life is to do a lot better with what you have. Thank God now and build on the lot that you have been given.

As you make every day Thanksgiving and read the scriptures in spite of what the economic indicators in your life appear to be, you will become more and more aware of what Christ has already done for you. When you turn to Him in repentance for all the time you have wasted through a spirit of ungratefulness and read Col. 1:14 you will see that in Jesus you have redemption and your sins are forgiven. Then go on and read II Cor. 5:17 and see how you need to be thanking God for making you a new creation in Christ Jesus. Heb. 10:19-21 tells you how you now have access to God at anytime.

The time has come to stop complaining and start thanking God because God has delivered you from Satan’s domain of darkness and brought you into the Kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13).

Thanksgiving is an attitude in our hearts that is always grateful in spite of the circumstances. It is the same gratitude that the one leper expressed when he came back to thank Jesus for his healing (Luke 17:16-18). Ten lepers were healed physically, but one came back thanking Jesus for his physical healing. As a result of his thankfulness he also found himself receiving a mental and spiritual healing the other nine ungrateful lepers did not receive.

Life is filled with so much that we have to be thankful for. “O come let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God. And the great King above all gods” (Ps. 95:1-3).

Now even in these times of what may be economic difficulties lets go forth making every day Thanksgiving as Ps. 100:4,5 says, “enter into His courts with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Remember this is God’s will for your life. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thess. 5:16-18).

Lets work to make every day Thanksgiving.

Yours in Christ,
Larry Rice

Praying While Persecuted

Praying While Persecuted

Dear Friends,

With each passing day it seems that the battle to shelter the homeless is becoming more intense. Jesus tells us though that we should not be surprised at such. “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me” (John 15:20, 21).

As parking lot and condominium owners unite and try to push the homeless and hurting out of the neighborhood we must remain steadfast in our service unto the Lord.

As the battle intensifies to share Jesus in word and deed what our ministry needs more now than anything else is intercessory prayer warriors. The New Testament points out that there is a spiritual battle under way which requires each of us to put on the full armor of God. (See Eph.6:10-18, 2 Tim. 2:1-5, 1 Tim 6:12) Clothed in the full armor of God and equipped with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, we are then able to intercede in prayer, assured of victory.

This victorious intercession is possible because of the victory Jesus Christ has provided through His death and resurrection. It is for that reason we pray in His name for He has told us in John 14:12-14 the following: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”

Yes, these are trying times…times spoken of in the Scriptures that would take place prior to the return of Jesus Christ. He told us that at that time the love of many would grow cold as wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, economic difficulties, and turmoil in the Middle East took place. At such a time like this it is critical that we know who Jesus is and what His resurrection means in our daily lives.

The risen Christ we are serving as we feed the hungry and shelter the homeless “is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).

It is because Jesus has demonstrated victory over death itself through His physical resurrection, we can be assured of the resurrection coming in the midst of injustice and oppression. We are told in Isaiah 32:3-8, “then everyone who can see will be looking for God, and those who can hear will listen for His voice. Even the hotheads among them will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer in uncertainty will speak out plainly. In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes. Wealthy cheaters will not be respected as outstanding citizens. Everyone will recognize ungodly fools for what they are. They spread lies about the Lord; they deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty. The smooth tricks of evil people will be exposed including all the lies they use to oppress the poor in the courts. But good people will be generous to others and will be blessed for all they do.”

These good people are those who care about others and engage in PUSH prayers for justice. They are willing to do this until they see the promise of Is. 32:3-8 fulfilled. PUSH prayers involve Praying Until Something Happens.

PUSH prayers are those prayers that are doing what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 7:7,8 when He said, “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.”

In order to pray effectively in the midst of trials, tribulations and persecutions Jesus makes it clear to us in John 15 that we must at all times remain in Him. He 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 apart from me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4,5).

Being united to Christ the vine involves more than just knowing about Jesus. In order to survive both now and for all eternity, we must know Him personally in the midst of our daily trials and tribulations. He is not asking us to figure out how He will solve the problem, but accept the fact that He will meet the need beyond what we can even ask or think. That’s why prayer is so important. It causes us to shift our attention from the problem to the Living God who desires to be our problem-solver.

Please engage in intercessory prayer at this time for New Life Evangelistic Center, the hurting and homeless and the sick and despairing. Please intercede for our cities, our nation, and those in need around the world. Let your prayers be birthed from compassion. As E.M. Bounds wrote, “Compassion is moved at the sight of sin, sorrow and suffering. It stands at the other extreme to indifference of spirit to the wants and woes of others, and is far removed from insensibility and hardness of heart, in the midst of want and trouble and wretchedness.” In Matt.9:36-38 we read, “When He saw the crowds, He (Jesus) had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’”

Compassion flowing from the heart of Jesus drives us to our knees as we hear of the homeless driven out of our communities with no place to sleep. It is feeling what those hurting people feel. When I am moved with the compassion of Jesus, I am moved into the middle of the needs of others. My prayers are then able to move those in need to the very throne of God with a love for them, as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5).

Prayer birthed in the compassion of Jesus moves us among those in need, enabling us to experience that need in the depths of our souls. It causes us to obey our Lord’s command when He says “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field.” Please pray for additional NLEC workers to come forth at this time. As we see the magnitude of need around us, let us cry out with the prophet, “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city”(Lam.2:11).

Compassion causes me to ask what would happen if I cared enough to wrestle with God like Jacob, if necessary, until my heart was broken over the pain of the hurting and homeless who have no place to sleep? As I hear story after story about the terrible things people are doing to the homeless, I find myself asking what would happen if I were prepared to engage in the spiritual warfare necessary to see people set free from to fear, indifference, and hatred for those who are homeless and hurting people?

I can’t help but recall how forty years ago people began to intercede for a generation of youth who had fallen into the pits of drugs, sex and despair. As they interceded in earnest prayer, the Jesus movement came forth and tens of thousands of young people turned to Jesus Christ. The same thing can happen today once we begin to intercede with the compassion that flows from the heart of Jesus.

Intercessory prayer means we are willing to move forth in the victory that Jesus has already provided through His death and resurrection. The reality of this enables us to be delivered from the pits of despair and hopelessness to the extent that we are free to praise God. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the (enemy), and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22) Thank God that He has given us the wonderful privilege of entering into the ministry of Jesus for “He always lives to intercede for them.” (Heb.7:25)

As we engage in this dynamic ministry of intercession, we must ask the Lord to cleanse us of all sin. Psalm 139:23, 24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

We must accept the fact that we can’t really pray effectively without the Holy Spirit’s help for, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for.” (Romans 8:26) As we begin to pray in the power of the Spirit, we must aggressively come against Satan in the powerful name of Jesus and with the sword which is the word of God. In James 4:7 we are told, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

When you are praying don’t be surprised if your mind starts going in every direction with one anxious thought after another. As this happens don’t panic or stop praying. Instead, remember Is.26:3 which says, “You (Oh Lord) will keep him (and her) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You because (he or she) trusts in you.”

With our minds at peace, trusting in the Lord, we are then able to praise with power as we intercede in the name of Jesus who, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col.2:15). We can pray with the authority of Jesus knowing that through His work of redemption the powers and authorities have been disarmed. He has truly triumphed over them by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

As intercessory prayer warriors experiencing the victorious work that Christ has done, we are told “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:6, 7).

The question is, are your knees dirty? Are you spending time in prayer? Prayer is communion with God. It acknowledges the ever-present reality of the Living God. Prayer is a privilege that, as we engage in it, our relationship with God grows. Prayer is not an option for we are commanded in the Scriptures to pray. In 1Thess.5:17 we are told to “Pray without ceasing.” In Col.4:2 we are told to, “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” 1 Chronicles 16:11, 12 declares, “Look to the Lord and His strength: seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.”

In 1 Sam. 12:23 we see that prayerlessness is sin. As we study the Scriptures we see that prayer is not vocalized worry. It consists of adoration, communication, communion, confession, contrition, entreaty, intercession, meditation, petition, praying in the Spirit, submission, supplication, thanksgiving, travail, and worship. Prayer is finite, sinful people coming into the presence of God.

If we are to be powerful prayer warriors we must be a people of faith. Faith is an essential element in prayer: Hebrews 11:6; Matt.9:28, 29; Matt.18:18-20 (agreeing in faith). Hannah believed by resting on the Word of God (1 Sam.1:18). Prayer is not an alibi for indifference to the plight of the poor (Isaiah 58:2, James 2:14-26). If we care for and pray for those whom God cares for, God will take care of our needs.

When we pray as Scripture has commanded, God promises, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Is.65:24). We are further promised by the Lord that when we pray and work for justice, “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say; here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Is.58:8-11).

Jesus makes it clear that earnest intercessory prayer performs a vital role in destroying the citadels of injustice as He asks, “Will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8).

Prayer is not an alibi for indifference to the plight of the poor (Is 58:2, James 2:14-26). As we care for those God cares for, He will take care of our cares as we put our faith in Him. Faith is an essential element in prayer. Jesus, knowing the love of many will grow cold in the last days, asks, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Many today claim to believe God is everywhere while they live like He is nowhere. No wonder their prayer life is so powerless for, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb.11:6).

At New Life Evangelistic Center as the pressures and persecutions increase we need more men and women like Epaphras who interceded “Always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Col. 4:12). To wrestle in prayer means to engage in prayer in an agonizing way with an intense desire. New Testament believers not only devoted themselves to but also agonized in prayer with intense desires. The needs we are facing today are no less significant. As you pray earnestly, know that as you wrestle in prayer, Christ’s power is working powerfully in you.

When Christ’s power works in you in a mighty way and you are effectively and productively making a difference in your community don’t be surprised if the people of power, prestige and prosperity hate you. Jesus told you that, “when the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t” (John 15:18, 19).

This reaction from the world can make us bitter if prayer power resulting in being united to Christ is not a central part of our life. Jesus promised in John 15:7-12, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”

As you strive daily to get better not bitter in the midst of trials, tribulations, and persecutions please continue to pray earnestly for New Life Evangelistic Center’s financial needs, the NLEC staff and for the needs of the multitudes that come to us daily. Let us believe that God will provide justice for the hurting and homeless and He will send a mighty outpouring of His Spirit of compassion on each of us.

Yours in Christ,
Larry Rice