Monthly Archives: June 2016

Keep pressing on, even when God seems silent.

God-is-not-silent

There might be times when God seems silent. When some people pray and nothing happens, they believe that God is not listening. They abandon their prayer and their faith because they believe that it useless to pray to a God who does not answer nor care about their struggles. It is easy to interpret God’s silence and a lack of interest in his creation. Some view prayer and faith as a ‘waste of time’ because God does not answer.

What might seem like God’s silence really isn’t. If you have felt this way, don’t give up on prayer nor on faith. God listens. God has something planned for you. Keep pressing on, even when God seems silent.

Have you prayed to God and nothing seems to happen? Be patient and hold on to faith. Some people might tell you that God does not exist or that praying is a waste of time. This is not true. God does exist. He does care about you, and he will never ignore you.

God answers prayer according to his will and in his own time. He will always do what is best for us. When he is ‘silent’ this a time to draw closer to him and to wait upon him. God will answer our requests and give you what you need at the right time.

Jesus is not silent concerning our needs and struggles. He hears our prayers and acts on our behalf. He speaks words of comfort and strengthens us through the Holy Spirit. You might wonder if God is silent, he is not. He speaks to us through the Son and the Holy Spirit.

May we always be reminded by the Holy Spirit that God isn’t silent. He still speaks to us. He’s telling us to hold on to faith and to press on in hope.

Don’t let doubt, the world, and the devil get you off track in the journey. God in his own way will let you know that he is present. He will not be silent. He’ll be there to guide and to bless you. Keep pressing on in faith. God is never silent.

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Blessed be the holy name of Jesus.

jesus-christ

Blessed be the holy name of Jesus! Holy name full of grace of love.
Praise the name of Jesus forever. He sends blessings from above.
Saints, bless that name. Declare it to people of every nation.
Wonderful name of Jesus! In that name, there is life and salvation.

Blessed be the holy name of Jesus! Second person of the Divine Trinity.
With the Father and Holy Spirit are one. All three in holy unity.
Sweet name of Jesus! Praise be that name we bless.
Before the world, that name we boldly confess.

Blessed be the holy name of Jesus! Brightness of eternal light.
His glory and grace forever shines. It shines through sin’s dark night.
Christ the Redeemer, glorious light. He is mercy shines without end.
He breaks the chains of bondage. He leads all from the captivity of sin.

Blessed be the holy name of Jesus! Lover of souls, who will never forsake us.
Jesus faithful friend. In his gentle arms he’ll take us.
O how the Savior cares for us. He loves us so.
He watches over and guards his children here below.

Blessed be the name of Jesus! Strength of those who trust in his name.
Courage of those who testify about Jesus without fear or shame.
Blessed is that name. To Jesus, let the choirs of heaven and earth sing.
Let the beloved bend the knee and honor the Lord and King.

Michael Carter

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The race and the goal.

running-to-the-finish_t_nv

Philippians 3:13-14New International Version (NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

 

These words from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians have great meaning for me. My personal motto, Pressing on in hope are based on these words of Scripture.

I have chosen St. Paul’s words because I wanted to focus my journey not on the past. I want to press forward with a clear goal-to obtain through
faith the prize of life eternal with Jesus Christ. My journey is not filled with hopelessness and despair, but with faith that looks to the cross. It is not my desire to be held captive by the past. Instead, it is a journey that presses forward and praises the Lord for all his blessings and looks forward to the blessings to come.

St. Paul wrote of the aim of his life. He looked ahead and ran his race with his eyes focused upon Christ Jesus. Jesus had changed his life and had given him a new purpose. St. Paul’s desire was to serve Christ and to proclaim the good news of the Gospel. St. Paul had a goal. That goal was to press forward and to run the race. He was pressing towards the prize of eternal with Jesus Christ.

St. Paul’s purpose was to make Christ known to all people. He was so dedicated to this goal that he was willing to suffer all things for the sake of the Gospel. He wanted all people to know about Jesus Christ and his saving power. This was his goal during his earthly journey.

What is the aim of God? The aim of God is to bring all people into a closer relationship with him. His desire is to point all people to his Son Jesus Christ. God’s aim is for all people to have saving faith in Jesus Christ.

God’s aim for us gives both blessedness and meaning to life. His purpose is for us to daily walk in faith and to serve others. The goal that God has for us is to press on in faith and not be held captive to the past. He does not want us to focus on the passing riches of this world but on the eternal prize that is in Christ Jesus.

The goal of the believer is to do all which is pleasing to God. Believers are encouraged not to be focused upon pursuits which would lead away from Christ and corrupt character. Focus upon the goals which build faith and character. Work on the goals which would benefit others and give glory to the Savior.

In order to keep these goals clear, always stay close to God. Keep close to God through worship, fellowship with others, prayer and study in the Scriptures. It is too easy to become distracted and lose sight of the eternal goal. Life can be busy and full of challenges. Don’t allow the busyness and the distracts pull you from time with God nor cause you to lose sight of the eternal goal.

Look ahead and don’t remain stuck in the past. Remember and forget past failures and faults. Thank God that he has brought you a mighty long way.Take hold of his grace and forgiveness and press on. Press on ahead through life, through all the challenges and onward towards the eternal goal.

These words of Scripture have strengthened me through difficult times. Between the years 2000-2003, I lost my parents and my brother. I could have given up and turned away from God. I chose not to. The faults and failures of the past and the many other setbacks have not dampened my faith nor killed my hope. I will press on in hope. I have resolved that I will run the race because at the end is the prize-eternal life with Jesus Christ.

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Lord, deliver us

jesus-and-the-devil

Lord, deliver us from the wicked who seek to do us harm.
Protect and defend us by the might of your arm.
Enemies devise evil and stir up strife all the day long.
We will not tremble before them. We will stand strong.

Defend us against the agents of violence and sin.
Though they plot and attack, the wicked shall not win.
God of justice and righteousness, bring their plans to defeat.
Those who spread terror and violence shall be crushed under your feet.

All their wicked plans will crumble and fail.
In your power and righteousness, we shall prevail.
The wicked want people to feel terrorized and distressed.
You O Lord, give victory and strength to the oppressed.

Gracious Lord, grant us courage against those who do us wrong.
Unite us in the face of evil and make us strong.
We will not tremble nor fear those who wish us ill.
Strengthen us O Lord. The wicked shall never break our will.

Michael Carter 2016

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The God who restores you

restores

How many of you remember this old rhyme?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horsemen, all the king’s men.
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Many people remember this rhyme from their childhood. This rhyme has much to say about the human condition. It speaks of falling to pieces and not being able to be restored. There are many people who have experienced this in their own lives. These are people who have fallen, their lives are in pieces and they need restoration.

Humpty Dumpty had been sitting on a wall when he lost his balance. He fell and was broken beyond repair. There was little that the king’s men could do for him. Aren’t some people like Humpty? Haven’t they lost their balance and have fallen to pieces? Sometimes it’s difficult to know how help them pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and to be restored.

There are many ways in which people lose their balance. People go through job losses, broken relationships, illness or other setbacks. When the struggles become overwhelming, some people fall to depression or addictions. They loss their balance and they fall to pieces.

Out of the depths of brokenness, many cry out for help. They cry out to be lifted up and to be restored. It is a cry for someone to help them to stand on their feet and to make a fresh start.

If you have been in this situation, or you know of someone struggling, then you know how hard it is to put the pieces back and to be restored. Sometimes friends and family try to help, but they are like the king’s men. There’s little that they can do.

Jesus does something that the king’s men could not do. He is able to bring about restoration. Jesus is able to heal broken and shattered lives and makes all things new.

You can have a restored and renewed life. Jesus can give this to you. Once he has restored and renewed you can share with others the good news of restoration and new life in Jesus Christ.

Michael Carter

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SAVIOR, I COME.

Kneeling-at-the-cross

Savior, I humbly come in prayer to thee.
I am able to stand because thou has reached down and touched me.
O’ my Savior, for the care of my soul, I look to thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

When I suffer afflictions and am perplexed by fears unknown.
Where shall I go? I flee for refuge to thee alone.
When I seek peace from my fears, I look to thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

Poor I am, and at times forsaken, yet I am thine.
There is no greater joy and peace then in thee I find.
Yea, all my joy and my blessings flow from thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

Weary I come to thee, and I lay my head upon thy breast.
Through faith in thee, I am safe, and I have a promised rest.
All comfort and assurance comes from thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

In the journey, I’ll suffer neither pain nor loss.
Daily do I cling to thy holy cross.
All my hope and faith is built upon thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

Savior, for my sins thou suffered and thou was crucified.
Through faith in thee, I stand redeemed and justified.
The gifts of forgiveness and salvation ever come from thee.
Blessed Savior, always take care of me.

Through this earthly journey, I’ll walk and have no fear.
I am at peace, for I know that thou art near.
With thy mighty hand, thou will lead and guide me.
I hear thou say;, “Fear, not. I will take care of thee.”

Michael Carter

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ALL PRAISE TO JESUS CHRIST.

all praise

 

All praise to Jesus Christ! Praise Jesus, the source of life and salvation.
He is the Church’s rock and it’s sure foundation.
The Church stands upon the Apostle’s doctrine. Christ is the Cornerstone.
The Scriptures teach that salvation is found through faith in him alone.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Father’s promise of redemption that he made.
Through the Son, the debt and punishment for sin would be paid.
The Son came in the flesh to undo the first Adam’s sin.
He would destroy the powers of sin and death and bring life without end.

All praise to Jesus, who came. The promise of salvation to fulfill.
The Second Adam. The obedient Son who came to do his Father’s will.
He did not come in pomp or power, but was born of humble birth.
Jesus took on our form to dwell with all who live on the earth.

The mighty King laid aside his crown and came to suffer in our place.
He bore the cross and died so that all would be saved by his grace.
Though he suffered and died, in victory he was raised from the dead.
The devil bruised his heel. The victorious Christ crushed the devil’s head.

Christ the Victor ascended to heaven and is seated upon the golden throne.
The saints in heaven and on earth give praise to him alone.
He has left the Church his Spirit. Through the Spirit, the Church will endure.
May his Church be faithful and always keep it’s doctrine pure.

The Lord continues to bless his Church. With his people he shall abide.
Through the Word, the Spirit will always teach, comfort and guide.
Christ feeds his people with his body and blood, which strengthens the soul.
His Spirit points to Christ and keeps before believers the heavenly goal.

When this pilgrim journey is over, we’ll join him in the Kingdom above.
With the sacred assembly, we’ll sing and rejoice in his grace and love.
Yes! We’ll stand with that blessed assembly and we’ll joyfully sing.
“All praise be given to Jesus Christ, our Lord and King!”

Now to him, the blessed Lord who in victory rose up from the grave.
To Jesus Christ, who by grace came to redeem and to save.
Praise to him and to the Father and to the Spirit through eternity.
Praise be given to the blessed holy Trinity.

Michael Carter

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Shepherd of the flock

ministry symbol

Shepherd of the flock, be faithful in your ministry and with boldness, preach the Word.
Stand before the flock and declare the goodness of the Lord.
Be steadfast in your ministry. In season and out, never fail to preach.
Feed the flock of God. Never be afraid to equip, correct, and teach.

Have the servant’s heart and gladly serve, not seeking either wealth or fame.
With all faithfulness and boldness always lift up Jesus’ holy name.
Keep watch over yourself and show the flock a holy life.
Be a good soldier of the cross, willing to endure hardship and strife.

Always feed the flock and point their eyes to the holy cross.
Have a ready and active ministry. Strengthen the faithful, seek the lost.
In your preaching, preach the Law, calling all to turn from sin.
In your preaching, preach the Gospel, proclaiming life without end.

Be steadfast and unmovable. Be faithful and on the Gospel, stand your ground.
Be faithful in ministry and in the work of the Gospel, always abound.
Your labor in the Lord is never in vain. Your work the Lord shall bless.
Do not grow weary. Hold on to the One who you serve and confess.

When your earthly labors done, and you are called to the eternal home above.
There with the sacred assembly, you will glory in the Savior’s love.
You, who have preached and labored in the Church shall be blessed.
In the courts of everlasting glory, shall find joy and rest.

Michael Carter

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Our hope is not in vain.

my_hope

Our hope is not in vain. God has poured his love into our hearts.
His faithfulness strengthens our souls. His grace and mercy never departs.
God reckons righteous all who believe in Jesus, who was raised from the dead.
Our hope is not in vain. Praise be to Jesus Christ, our living head.

Jesus was handed over to death for our sins. He was raised for our justification.
Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace and salvation.
Through Jesus, we have gained access to the grace in which we stand.
Our hope is not in vain. Jesus holds us in his gracious hand.

Our hope is not in vain. Faith in Jesus gives us strength to prevail.
His love and mercy towards us will never fail.
We will have times of hardship and pain.
Christ Jesus will never leave us. Our hope is not in vain.

Keep pressing on in the journey. Have faith and hope each day.
You will not fail because Jesus will guide you along the way.
Faith in Christ shall sustain you. Our hope is not in vain.
Those who trust in Christ shall have the richest gain.

Michael Carter 2016

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