Sunday, August 30, 2015

Preparing Yourself for Mentoring and Investing in the Kingdom of God

Most new Christians and many long time Christians think that once they are “Saved” that the only thing they have to do is try to be good and be kind. Obviously, when we are Saved we are joyful in the Lord and thankful for our Salvation. But, there is more to our Salvation than forgiveness, cleansing from our sins and a ticket to Heaven, although that is what gives us so much of our joy and thankfulness. With our Salvation we are now to live for the Lord and are to do the things that He would have us do. To truly be able to live for the Lord, though, we have to learn what God wants us to know so that we will know how to walk for Christ. We have to acquire spiritual knowledge. But, how do we get this knowledge and how do we learn?

Well, God did not leave anything to chance. He gave us a world that has everything in it that we could possibly need to grow and develop into a people who can honor and glorify the Lord in all we do. Still, God knew that we would need more than just the earth and everything in it that He had created for us. God knew that we would need knowledge of Him and knowledge of the important things that He wants us to know. We needed instruction. So, God gave us His Word, the Bible, to help guide us and to teach us what every person should know about Him and the world that we live in.

From the importance of rotating crops to give the soil time to rejuvenate to the safest foods to eat, God made sure that His Word had the information we would need to survive. Furthermore, God gave us His commandments and directions for leading a productive and happy life. In fact, the Bible contains so much information about God, Christ, and life in general that those who don’t read the Bible can be lost in trying to live out their life and may be lost for eternity.

On the day of their baptism, which is a public acknowledgement of their belief in Christ and a water immersion to symbolically follow Christ into death and be reborn into a new cleansed being, individuals at our church receive a gift. The Pastor of our church gives each person a new Bible. But the pastor also stops to explain that the Bible is God’s Word and instruction for their life. He then tells them that no one can make them read it, but God would love for them to take the time to read what He has to say to them. The Pastor tells them that they can get to know God’s heart if they will read the Bible. Then, the Pastor asks them to try to read the Bible every day so they will be guided in the way to walk for Christ. Long ago, the Apostle Peter also explained the importance of reading the Word of God. He said:

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.

For, ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.’

 – (I Peter 1: 22-25. NIV).

The Bible is not an outdated book! It is the Truth! It is just as relevant today as the day that the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write it. Although, I have read the Bible through many times, I can still pick it up and find relevant information and guidance for my life. When I read from the Older Testament, I discover how God expects us to act and behave. For through the stories about God’s people, i.e. the Jews, I learn things such as the importance of truthfulness, obedience, love, discipline, and to be able to recognize evil. And, whether I read that the Lord had Moses build the tabernacle in a very precise way, or whether I am reading about Joseph being sold to the Egyptians because his brothers were jealous of him, I soon realize that all the precise details and the many specific stories “point to and find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ” Keep reading and you will soon discover that the Older Testament leads us right into the Newer Testament where we can discover our Savior. Jesus Christ is the Savior that God foretold within the pages of the Older Testament; a Deliverer that God would send to mankind to save us from our sins.

The Older Testament is about a group of people who struggled to draw near to God; often not understanding what God was telling them, because they often listened to the devil and their own fleshly desires rather than to God. They also made mistakes or were just blatantly disobedient to God’s commandments. Don’t most people today still listen to their personal desires and accept the evil influence of the world around them? So, nothing has changed that much, except -------- now we can know Christ as our Savior! Moreover, we can share Christ with others in this world too! We can read the Bible and find out how we are to live for Christ and His Father and how to be obedient.

In reading the Bible, we learn that we do not have to be controlled by this earthly life; rather we can control how we relate to our life and how we relate to other people. With our Salvation, we can show the love of Christ to others through our loving actions. We can also share the knowledge that we have received from reading God’s Word – His instruction Book for our life.

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

– (Hebrews 4: 12. NIV).

Wow! The Bible is powerful! So, if we read the Bible, we can learn what God wants us to understand. We can learn how to live for Christ and how to love others as ourselves. We can learn how to please God. But, if we fail to read and invest in the Bible, we are just wasting our lives while we are here on earth. For, failing to read the Bible means that we are giving up the power that comes from following the Word of God. Furthermore, by failing to read the Bible, we will not know what we are expected to do for the Lord, nor will we live the way that we are meant to live for Him. So, we need to read and invest our lives in the Bible and take it to heart.

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote one of the Holy Spirit inspired books within the Bible. This small book is just a part of the entire Word of God, but it is powerful. James wrote for God,

Do not merely listen to the word (or just read it), and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard (or read), but doing it will be blessed in what he does.” 

-- (James 1: 22- 25. NIV).

In other words, we are to be “doers of the Word.” I don’t know about you, but I would rather read the Bible than not read it, because in reading the Bible I can learn what I need to know so that I can be the best Christian that I can personally be. I also want to ensure that I can share my Christ-light with others correctly and with truth. I want to be a “doer of the Word.” Then when I get to Heaven, I won’t be like the man described in the “Parable of the Talents (or loaned money)”.

In Matthew 25: 14- 30, Christ gives us more information about being “doers of the Word” and about Heaven through the parable or story of the loaned talents of gold:

 Christ said that a wealthy man had to go on a trip, so he called his servants and left them gold to invest for him while he was away. To the first, he gave five bags (talents) of gold, to the second he gave two bags (talents) of gold, and to the third he gave one bag (one talent) of gold to invest. The first man immediately invested the five bags of gold and soon doubled it. The servant with two bags of gold also went to work and doubled the money. But the servant with only one bag of gold dug a hole and placed the gold there for safekeeping.

When the master got back from his trip, he called his servants to him. The first man gave ten bags of gold back to his master; five more than he had originally been given. The master said, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” You have been trustworthy and faithful in handling my money, so I will put you in charge of many more and even greater things.

The second man gave the master back four bags of gold. He, too, had doubled the master’s money. Again, the master praised the servant. He told him that because the servant had been faithful in handling that small of amount of money that he too, would be put in charge of more and greater things.

But the third servant just returned the one bag (talent) of gold that he had been given and had hidden for safekeeping. Why had he hidden the bag (talent) of gold? Well, the third servant said that he was afraid that he might lose the master’s money, and he knew how strict and demanding his master was. So, to be safe, he just hid the money. But, instead of praise, the master called him a wicked and lazy servant. The master told him that he should have at least put his money in the bank so that it would have drawn some interest. However, because the servant was untrustworthy and lazy, the master took the talent of gold that he had given him and gave it to the servant who had ten talents of gold.

Then the master said, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

– (Matthew 25: 29-30. NLT).

The main lesson from this parable is that we have all been given abilities and talents to use in serving the Kingdom of God. Our service for God doesn’t have to be mentoring, but whatever your talent is that God has given you, use it. However, to understand how to use your talent, you must increase your knowledge and understanding of the Word of God by reading and studying the Word, so that you can share the Word with others and so that you can live a more productive and honoring life for the Lord. In other words, we have to invest in the Word of God in order to expand our knowledge and grow our talents so that we can then give back to the Kingdom of God by being “doers” of the Word.

When we get to Heaven (assuming that we have asked Christ into our heart and we truly meant it) God will ask us what we have done for Him. Did we take God's instruction book, the Bible, and study it so that we could understand what God wanted us to learn?Did we invest in and share the Word of God with others? Did we apply the Word of God and God’s direction and commandments to our lives? Did we serve in and benefit the Kingdom of God through our kindness, caring, humility, love, patience, etc. for others? Did we grow our talents for the purpose of doing for the Lord and others? Or did we just sit on the assurance of our Salvation and do nothing with it to benefit the world and others? Perhaps, like the third servant in the story above, we buried our Salvation so deep in our heart that others could not see it?

When we get to Heaven, God will give out crowns of honor for the work that we have done within His Kingdom. We will get even more honor and responsibilities if we have invested wisely in the Kingdom of God. How do we invest in the Kingdom of God?
We invest in the Kingdom of God by studying God’s Word and by sharing our knowledge and our God given talents with others so that more and more people can come to know and live abundantly for the Lord. 

What kind of crowns and responsibilities will you receive when you get to Heaven? We will receive crowns and greater responsibilities when we get to Heaven based upon the work that we have done for the Kingdom of God while we are here on earth. Have you invested in God’s Kingdom by working for the Lord? Have you helped to increase the Kingdom of God or have you done nothing; not even taking the time to read the Word of God?

If you are interested in serving in and investing in the Kingdom of God through Active Relational Christian Mentoring, please start reading the Bible. You need the knowledge that God has provided for you within His Word. But, even if you don’t mentor, but provide some other service for the Kingdom of God, you need to know what God has written in His Word for you. In reading the Bible you may even find that you can do some other type of service for the Lord. Perhaps because you have read the Bible, you can answer someone’s question about the Bible and God's Salvation? At the very least, you will know how to explain to others what you believe, because you will have gotten your own knowledge from investing in the Word of God.

You can pick up the Bible and read any book or chapter any time, and it will bless your soul. But, if you truly want to get the full and big picture that God has given us, you may want to start by reading the Older Testament, for throughout the Older Testament books God points to Christ. Look for Him as you read, for He is there.

If you read further into the Older Testament, you will find that the prophets even foretold of Christ’s coming, and they foretell of the end times as well. But, please don’t use the old excuse that there are too many “begats” or that the list of genealogies is too long in the Older Testament. Yes, there are a couple of chapters on the genealogies. But they are not a large part of the Bible, so that is just an excuse not to read the Bible. Moreover, it would not be the end of the world if you just scanned the “begats” and then went on to the next section. I will tell you, though, that once you have read the Bible a couple of times, you will actually look forward to understanding some of the genealogies so that you can know about Christ’s earthly ancestors. But whether or not you read the genealogies, please read and continue to read the Bible every day. God gave us His Word for a reason, and it wasn’t to collect dust on our coffee table or book shelf. Don’t bury the knowledge in the Bible in a hole or on a book shelf.

Remember that we can’t tell others about the greatest true story ever told, if we don’t know it ourselves. It is also especially hard to mentor non-Christians if we don’t know the Word of God, because they will invariably ask questions that we can’t answer. But, even if you are never asked a question about the Bible, the Word of God will touch your heart each and every day that you read it. As you invest in the Word of God, God invests in you! I challenge you to read your Bible. I challenge you to invest in the Kingdom of God by serving through ARCM or some other Christian service. You Can do it!

Happy Reading!   

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brotherly Love: What it is and Why it is Important to Christians

  It is not always easy to love another person, but as Christians we are to cultivate and nurture the seed of love. This seed of brotherly love for others was bestowed upon us through Christ and His love for us. Yes, there are people who just naturally seem to really care about and love others. Yet others seem to just ignore people and don't want to help or show love to others. However, Christians have no excuse not to love others, because we are to nurture and develop Christ's love for God's children. For, upon accepting Christ's glorious offer of Salvation, which was offered to us through His great love and sacrifice upon the cross, and with the presence of the Holy Spirit now indwelling our lives, Christ has given us the ability to love even those that may be hard to love. In fact, throughout the Gospels we find Christ telling us to love others as we love ourselves. But, it isn't always easy to grow our love, so we have to cultivate and nurture our embryonic ability to love others, which starts to grow when we accept Christ as our Savior. For, just as Christ loves us, we must love each other.

The Apostle Paul said that if we have all the spiritual gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit, and if we have all kinds of earthly riches, but have not love for others, then we are nothing.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all the mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
– (I Corinthians 13: 1-3. NASV).

Those are pretty strong words. But the Apostle Paul is not the only Apostle who talks of the importance of developing love for others. Along with the Apostle Paul, Peter, John, and even James, the brother of Christ, all addressed the importance of loving others. In fact, before Christ called the Apostles to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, He told them that they were to love other people as themselves. It is often hard, though, to love others as we love ourselves. But, we really need to work on loving others the way Christ wants us to love.

In the last few weeks of recuperating from my knee surgery, I have had plenty of time to re-read the Bible again. I don’t know how many times this makes of reading the Bible, but I know that every time I read the Bible I learn something new, or see a verse that applies to my life in a new and more invigorating, stimulating and useful way. This time through the Newer Covenant/ Testament, I was in awe of the number of Scripture verses that emphasized Christians’ need to love others and to treat other people in the way that we would want to be treated. Additionally, the Scriptures tell us over and over again that we are to build up the body of Christ in love. There were so many verses on the subject of love, doing for others through our love and building up the body of Christ through our love that I finally lost count.

In the book of I John, brotherly love toward other Christians is spoken about in twenty-four of the verses. In fact, the entire chapter three in I John is on Christians loving one another. But, it isn’t just I John, for all of the Newer Covenant/ Testament books speak of the responsibility for Christians to love each other. In fact, Christians are to have more than just a responsibility to love; they should have and should want to nurture Salvation’s internal desire to shower the love of Christ upon others. Let’s take a look at just a few of the verses in I John that speak of our responsibility to develop and nurture love for others.

“… anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For, this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” 
(I John 3: 10-11. NASV).

We know we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” 
(3: 14-15. NASV). 
(Now a murderer can truly repent of his sin and through Christ be cleansed from all unrighteousness, but until he does that he does not have eternal life.)

“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” 
(3: 23. NASV).

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this, the love of God was manifested in us; that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 
(3: 7-11. NASV)

Perhaps there are so many verses on love and loving Christian behavior, because love is not always easy to find in our hearts when we are hurting, disgruntled, and unhappy. It is especially hard to find love in our hearts for others who don’t have our same views or who are acting in ways that we personally think are inappropriate. So, we need to cultivate the love seed that Christ planted within us at the time of our Salvation by practicing kindness, caring, mercy, empathy, patience, goodness, and humility when we interact with others. Above all we need a sincere heart of brotherly love.

Developing Brotherly Love

“… speaking the truth in love,
we are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the head,
even Christ
 from whom the whole body,
being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies,
according to the proper working of each individual part,
causes the growth of the body
for the building up of itself in love.”

 – (Ephesians 4: 15-16. NASV).

In order to be of godly service to others we need to have and to nurture brotherly love. Active Relational Christian Mentoring requires that we speak truth in love. For, people grow and learn when the mentor speaks the truth in love. However, when a mentor lacks brotherly love, the mentee often shuts down and fails to learn what is needed from their mentoring sessions. No one wants to get instruction or help from someone who acts like they really don’t care about them. So, Christian mentors must have an attitude of brotherly love in order to selflessly mentor another. Of course, mentors without brotherly love, rarely want to give up their time or effort to help another person. Moreover, it is only when Christians can reach out in brotherly love that we can truly have a godly impact on another person. 

So what then is brotherly love?
Brotherly love has nothing to do with liking someone so much that we want them to become our best friend. In fact, if we can have a heart of love toward another person even when we don’t care for their personality, their actions, etc., we are on the road to being able to understand brotherly love, which is what Christ expressed and spoke of when He said that we are to love others like ourselves. For, brotherly love looks beyond what we see and hear with our earthly senses. Rather in brotherly love we begin to see the other person through God’s eyes of love. You see, God loves us for not only who we are, but for whom we can become; a righteous child of His through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. So we, too, need to look at the other person as a valuable human created by God; one who has worth, one who has a heart, one who is loved by God and one who has great potential to glorify God in everything she does.

So, how do we develop and express brotherly love. Well, one of the first things needed in order to develop and nurture brotherly love is empathy. We are to have empathy for what the other person may be going through. No, I am not talking about sympathy, although there may be an occasion for sympathy. I am talking about relating to what the other person needs and then finding ways to help that person.

Empathy is the ability to share in another’s thoughts, emotions and feelings. Our help, then, may be to just be there for the person and to listen to her, or it may mean being willing to mentor her through a traumatic time or a desired learning experience. It could also mean that you are willing to actually work to help her accomplish something, such as helping her paint her house. (I remember when our church small group got together and painted the house of a widow, because she couldn’t afford to paint it. We had empathy for her situation, and our empathy and brotherly love was expressed in action.).

Another aspect of brotherly love is the development of a kind and caring attitude toward others. Most people understand what kindness and caring is, because we have all experienced it. Other people have been kind and caring toward us, but we have also been kind and caring to ourselves. Brotherly love expresses both kindness and caring toward others even when we don’t really know the other person. Most of us realize that it is usually easy to be kind and caring to those that we know or care about. 

Unfortunately, even Christians may not go out of their way to show kindness and caring to those they do not know. However, true Christian brotherly love does not discriminate against anyone. In our brotherly love we are to be kind to even strangers; knowing that we may be given an opportunity to share the Gospel. For, even if we don’t know a person well, or even if we know nothing about them, Christ has asked us to reach out in brotherly love to share the Gospel and to help each other. Furthermore, He has told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Moreover, Christ did not say that we are to just love the ones that we think we might like or the ones that might do something for us.

 Christians have experienced firsthand the kindness and caring of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are to also be kind and to care about others. Christ cared about our souls. He did not want anyone to spend eternity in hell. Christ was also kind to us. Christ was kind when He helped people, but He showed all of us the ultimate kindness when He took our sins upon His shoulders and died for our sins so that we could receive Salvation. What pain and suffering he experienced so that you and I will never have to spend one moment in hell away from God and Christ. Christ conquered eternal death for us. He arose from the grave and now sits with God, the Father, awaiting the arrival of all who believe on Him.

Just as Christ cares about the souls of each of us, we are to care about the souls of those we meet. Just as Christ showed kindness to all He encountered, we are to show kindness to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to those who may yet come to know Him. In our caring and kindness, we are to want what is best for each person that we encounter.

ARCM is a great way to show our kindness and caring. It is a great way to reach out in brotherly love to help each other. Furthermore, with kindness and caring for the other person and their needs, we can with brotherly love, “cry out” to God when the person needs the intercessory prayers of another Christian. Furthermore, we should also want what is best for those whom we may never meet. For, even if we never meet them, we can still show this particular aspect of brotherly love, by praying for individuals we have not personally met. In fact, Christians often pray for those on their churches' prayer list, even though they may not personally know the person; even “crying out” in intercessory prayer for those in need. Certainly, we can “cry out” for their Salvation.

Brotherly love also encompasses compassion and mercy. God showed us mercy by sending Christ to become the propitiation for our sins. With brotherly love, then, we should also have an attitude of compassion and mercy toward the actions or words of others. We know that not everyone is going to say exactly what we want to hear. Sometimes, people will act in ways that are not very loving toward us either. At other times, someone may hurt our feelings, but, brotherly love does not pay back the hurtful actions of another. Instead, through a compassionate and merciful heart, we are to forgive. Love shows mercy by not seeking retribution. As the Apostle Paul said, Love “does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, … bears all things, … endures all things….” – (I Corinthians 13: 5-7. NASV).

It is easy for us to show compassion and mercy to a spouse, friend, or someone we have known for awhile, but it is not always easy to show the same compassion and mercy to someone we don’t know as well. Becoming more Christ-like is expressing both compassion and mercy to even those in the body of Christ who may have hurt our feelings.

Expressing goodness toward others is also a part of brotherly love. Goodness is a type of benevolence expressed through our actions toward others. Throughout the Newer Covenant/ Testament starting with Christ, Christians are told that we are to “do good” toward others. In other words, we are to develop and cultivate an attitude of goodness within ourselves that will be expressed toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Doing good or goodness encompasses many different actions, but all brotherly love actions should be engaged in for the purpose of helping or in caring about another. With Christ in our hearts, we are to not only be good, but we are to do good for others. The Apostle Paul said that we are to “ … always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” --  (I Thessalonians 5: 15. NASV).

So, brotherly love also means that we are to look for ways that we can “do good” for others. We are to look for ways that we can share the goodness of Christ with those who don’t know Him. But we are to also to look for ways to show our brotherly love by doing good for those within the body of Christ. Throughout our lives we are to cultivate the seed of goodness in our hearts, so that it will grow into a desire to express goodness the way that Christ intended for us to express it through brotherly love.

Patience is another trait of brotherly love. But, it is not always easy to have patience with those that we feel should know better, with those who always seem to do things the hard way, or with those who have a totally different attitude than we have. However, brotherly love should practice and express patience for another’s actions and words (provided, of course, that those actions and words are not immoral, demeaning, or evil). Mentors express patience in teaching someone who has never heard or doesn’t understand what we are trying to teach. We are to also express loving patience for the needs of another. Furthermore, if we are mentoring her, we need to have patience for her learning style, the objectives she is trying to reach and for her search for knowledge or skills in her own particular way. We are to have patience in the way she does things and within her depth of understanding.

Active relational Christian mentors need to have patience with their mentees. But even when we look at those who are not our mentees, we need to be able to see them through patient eyes. In fact, we are told that “… patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” – (Ecclesiastes 7: 8. NASV). Haughtiness of spirit does not produce love for others! It produces pride in self.

This brings me to humility. Brotherly love for others requires us to have and to express humility. Humility is to be an everyday part of our lives. For, if we are prideful, we cannot possibly see the other person with eyes of brotherly love. Lack of humility often means we think more of our self than we think of the other person. Christ gave us a picture of the ultimate humility when He went to the cross for us. For, Christ thought more about us than He did of the pain and humiliation that He would be subjected to in dying for our sins. Christ is the perfect example of humility in action.

Humility of self is perhaps one of the most important traits a Christian can have. For without humility we cannot comprehend what Christ did by laying down His life for us. Without humility we cannot understand what it means when Christ says, that the greatest love someone can have for another is to lay their life down for them. (See John 15:13). Now, brotherly love will not usually require us to lay down our life for another, but when we can, with a humble spirit, be willing to share the Gospel, mentor another, “cry out” for another in intercessory prayer, or help her in some other manner, we are figuratively laying down our life for another. For, it takes a great deal of humility to reach out to another without expecting anything in return. Accolades and crowns for humbly reaching out to another to help in some way will generally not be given here on earth. But, God will remember all the humility you have expressed in your brotherly love toward others. God may have crowns awaiting you in Heaven for all your humble service and for the brotherly love you expressed toward others, including your sharing of the Gospel.

The last trait of brotherly love that I want to discuss is the trait of a having a sincere heart. It is easy to use words to say all the right things and to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others. However, it is only when we have developed a sincere heart that we can truly reach out in brotherly love to provide Christian services such as ARCM. For, only when we are sincere in our love and sincere in our devotion and actions can we then show others that we love them with a brotherly love that comes from the heart.

Brotherly Love in Action

Active Relational Christian Mentoring is based on brotherly love. For, it takes brotherly love (or sisterly love) to give of our time to another woman. It takes brotherly love to teach, support, comfort, and help another woman. But, if we are not careful, we can easily find every excuse in the book to not reach out in Christian love. Even the simple acts of visiting or calling someone who is sick or in need of Christian support can be denied to them, because we can love self and our own convenience more than we love them. Moreover, to avoid showing Christian brotherly love, we can come up with some very good excuses. But the bottom line is that if we always make excuses, we end up pushing our brotherly love for our fellow Christians to the back of our hearts. Only when we truly express brotherly love in action can we say that we are indeed trying to be a good and loving Christian.

To be able to mentor in Christian love or help others, though, we have to give up self-pride, self-wants, self-convenience and self-negations that can keep us from helping or reaching out to other women in Christian love. We have to care more about the other person than we do about the things of this world.

The Apostle John said, “But whoever has the worlds’ goods (that can be money, knowledge, skills, etc.), and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” – (I John 3: 18. NASV).  Over and over again, we are told that love is an action word and that it is in our deeds that we show we truly have brotherly love for one another.

Although, upon our Salvation we were given the seed of brotherly love, we have to nurture and develop this love by practicing having empathy, humility, a sincere heart, etc. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of effort on our part to develop the traits of brotherly love. Many times, it is only through dedicated prayer and devotion to the Word of God that we begin to see a change in our own attitude toward others. That constant devotion and practice in developing greater and greater brotherly love leads to greater service for the Kingdom of God. Remember, Christ wants us to share His light of Love with others.

Obviously, any type of service for the Kingdom of God is predicated on the love we have for Christ and the brotherly love that we have for others. Active Relational Christian mentoring is a service we can engage in for God’s Kingdom, and it, too, requires a heart of love to help other women in whatever area they have a need. Although, it takes a great deal of brotherly love to give up our own precious time in order to mentor another woman, it takes just as much or even more brotherly love, to “Cry Out” to the Lord and intercede on the behalf of others or for our mentee before the throne of God. So, we all need to work on developing our brotherly love for each other.


I will end with these last two Scriptures, which sum up what we are to exemplify in our Christian attitude and our brotherly love toward others:

From the book of Romans:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal [diligence], but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn [weep] with those who mourn [weep]. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud [haughty in mind], but be willing to associate with people of lower position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do [respect] what is right in the eyes of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
– (Romans 12: 9-18, 21. NIV)
[bracketed words are mine for further clarification]

From the book of II Peter:

“… He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For, if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

– (II Peter 1: 4-11. NIV)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Preparing to "Cry Out" for Your Mentee and Others

In the last blog we talked about the importance of being able to “cry out” to God and intercede on the behalf of other Christians. The person that you may be mentoring could be a Christian or a non-Christian. Both types of mentees need your daily prayers. But there will be also be times when you may need to “cry out” for your mentee. (Certainly mentors of non-Christians should be crying out to God for the mentee to desire to know Christ personally).

One of the reasons that it is so important for us to be willing to “cry out” and intercede for the needs of our Christian mentees and others is that we are all part of the body of Christ. Being part of the body of Christ means that we are to show brotherly love and care about the needs of each member of the body. Not only are we to show Christian love to each other, but it is in that love that we can intercede on the behalf of another Christian woman. 

As an individual who is part of the body of Christ, we are to not only do good deeds through services such as the service of ARCM, but we are to lift each other up when we have needs. We are to serve and lift each other up in brotherly Christian love. Christ is love! Christ is our example of sacrificial love. The greatest love is to give your life for another, which is exactly what Christ did when He, out of love, sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins. Christ was compassionate, loving, and merciful!

To be truly compassionate in our Christian mentoring, we need to look at our mentees through the loving eyes of Christ. It is only by truly looking at the other woman through the eyes of Christ that we can identify her needs and even see her hurt. Looking requires listening, asking questions, watching her body language and yes, looking into her eyes. If we should find that she is hurting in some manner or another, whether emotionally, physically or spiritually, we need to not just pray, but “cry out” and intercede on her behalf with zeal, devotion, and with an expectation to hear from God. Remember that “the effective fervent prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – (James 5: 16. NASV).

Moreover, we are told in the Scriptures that we are to:
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
– (Galatians 6: 2. NASV).

We are also told to:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
– (Philippians 4: 6. NASV).

So, we can “cry out” and intercede on the behalf of another woman when we see her burden. Christians are to make requests for each other, and we are to especially reach out to God when one of us can’t make the request for our self. But, to make a request in intercessory prayer, our prayers must be spoken with our whole heart.

Most of the time, we pray with our whole heart, but there are times when we pray quickly and without really thinking deeply about our prayer. Intercessory prayer, or "crying out" to God needs to be done with your whole heart. To be able to pray from your whole heart you will need to be not only compassionate but forgiving and sincere in your intercession

First, before praying, you should ask God to forgive you of any sins that you have not already asked for God’s forgiveness. Moreover, if there is any unforgiveness in your heart toward the woman for whom you will be praying, please first forgive her.

For, we are to:
 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – (Ephesians 4: 32. NASV).

Next, in prayer, thank the Lord for the things that He has done for you and for the person for whom you are interceding, which could also be your mentee. Now prayerfully ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit as to how you need to word your prayer. Sometimes it is important to take a few moments to listen for the Holy Spirit’s words of guidance and discernment. For, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak in your prayer if you will just take a moment to listen.

Then, with your whole heart determine to be sincere with every word that you speak to the Father. Our sincere words of prayer are the invisible connection between our need or another person’s need and the inexhaustible resources of God. Crying out in intercession for another person connects us with the One who has the resources and the will to help. Not only does God have the resources and will, but He has the Power to make things happen for His glory. So, whether it is a miracle, a change in the attitude of another (although that may seem to be a miracle at times), the positioning of an individual to receive blessings, or any of the other millions of ways that God can intervene and institute a change in the life of the individual, we are to recognize His love and intervention by praising and glorifying God.

Use God's Word in your prayer of intercession. When "Crying Out" to God speak His Word back to Him. You don't have to have Scripture verses memorized, as you can use the Bible to help you speak God's Holy Word. However, it is always wonderful to be able to speak God's Word from memory. Think about memorizing some Scriptures that are special to you and to Who God is.

Finally, praise God and glorify Him for Who He is. Thank Him for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. End your intercessory prayer of "Crying Out" by quoting God's Word such as the Scripture spoken by Christ found in John 14: 14 which says:
"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."

Then end your time spent in prayer (often it will be a prolonged period of time if you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your praying), with the acknowledgment that you are interceding on the behalf of someone by going through God's Son, and your Savior, Jesus Christ. A simple phrase such as: I ask these things in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christians are to “Cry out” through Christ,
our High Priest

We are to “cry out” and intercede for others through Christ, our intercessor, who is our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.  In fact, Christ said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  -- (John 14:13. NASV).

Just as Active Relational Christian Mentoring requires a commitment to be there and help a mentee, intercessory prayer or "crying out" to the Lord for another person requires a commitment to prayer and praying. This means that we have to selflessly give of our time. We cannot be selfish about our time or about our talents to help another person. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that we are to:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have an attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
– (Philippians 2: 3-5. NASV).

Obviously, in the interest of others we are to pray for them when they need God’s help. Moreover, any ministry for Christ must include faithfulness, love, and a sacrificial spirit. “Crying out” to the Lord for the needs of another and interceding on the behalf of another woman means that we must have a servant’s heart. We must not only be devoted to “Loving our neighbor as our self”, but we must also be devoted to the Lord. Can you commit to serving the Kingdom of God and commit to be there for another Christian woman when she needs help? Can you reach out in Christian love and help another woman? Certainly, Christ wants us to be there for each other. Moreover, as our High Priest and Intercessor, Christ is ready and willing to take your intercessory cries before His Father.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
– (Hebrews 4: 15-16. NASV).

None of us are worthy of God’s love, grace, mercy and Salvation, however, God not only offers us all these things through His Son, Jesus Christ, but God is also willing to help us when we “Cry out” to Him. He gives us blessings beyond our wildest imaginings through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Moreover, God wants us to come before His throne without fear and timidity. We are not to be anxious for anything. For, God wants to help His children, and He has the power to fix or confront any problem or challenge that we may face in this world. Therefore, God wants you to come before Him with not only your needs, but with the needs of others. He wants you to draw near to Him in prayer. Moreover, God wants to see your love for others expressed through your willingness to come before Him on their behalf. We are to “Cry Out” and intercede for our neighbor (and our mentee) with love; going through the One who will take the situation before His Father. Christ, our High Priest, will intercede on our behalf. We just have to be willing to pray!  You can do it!  You can mentor another woman, and you can pray and intercede for her and others, as well.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Crying Out to the Lord: for Yourself and Others

“O Lord, you are so good,
so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid.
Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
Hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever trouble strikes,
and You will answer me.”

– (Psalm 86: 5-7. NLT).

Christians and Christian Mentors are to “Cry Out” to God

(Note to readers: I broke this blog up into sections so that you can stop when you need to and then continue reading later. I hope this helps those who have only a little time to read in one sitting)

For Christians, prayer should be an everyday part of life. Among our many prayers, we pray for our needs, our family, and for our health, happiness and protection. We even pray for the needs of others. There are times, though, when we need to “cry out” to the Lord for immediate help. We have all been there; the car starts to spin out of control, we feel threatened by a stranger, or someone we know needs immediate physical healing or they will die. It is during those moments of imminent danger and threatening situations that we “cry out” to God.

God wants us to “cry out” to Him. God has said, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” – (Jeremiah 33: 3. NASV). The Hebrew word for “call” has the meaning of “calling aloud” or “crying out”. In fact, throughout the Bible we can find Scriptures where God encourages us to call out to or “cry out” to Him and to rely on His strength. For example:

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.
– (Psalm 34: 17. NIV).

Do not fear, for I am with you:
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
– (Isaiah 41: 10. NASV).

God wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. To have an intimate relationship or fellowship with God we must communicate with Him. In fact, communication is the key to all intimate relationships and fellowship. For, it is through communication that we let other people see who we really are and how we really feel. So, too, it is through our communication of praise and worship that we show God how much we love and glorify Him. It is also through prayers of communication that we ask things of our Father in Heaven; showing Him that we trust in and have faith in His love and protection. It is only when we bring our requests and praises through His Son, Jesus Christ, that we show the Father and the Son our belief in their love and that we have welcomed the gift of Salvation.

The Power of “Crying Out” to God
Effectual Fervent Prayers!

God wants us to communicate with Him daily, but He also wants us to voice our fervent appeal when we need help. Whether it is fear, trouble, anxiety, panic, or moments of impending disaster, we are to fervently appeal to God through Christ. James the brother of Jesus said that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – (James 5: 16. KJ). 

According to Bill Gothard in his book The Power of Crying Out: When Prayer Becomes Mighty, the phrase “effectual fervent” comes from the Greek word “energeo” where we get our word “energy.” When we then add the phrase “availeth much” we get a literal translation: “makes much power available”. In other words, effectual fervent prayer is earnest, energetic, can accomplish much, and is dynamic in its working, or makes tremendous power available.

God has tremendous power. God has the power to change things. Our fervent prayers to God through His Son can effectually accomplish much, because we have put our faith and trust in the One who can help. God has the power to help, and He can change the natural order of things to create miracles, if we truly believe and rely on His strength and power. However, we must pray believing that God will answer and take care of the situation, or we are just speaking empty words.

Remember the story of Peter, the disciple? Well, the disciples were in a boat going from one side of the lake to the other to meet Jesus on the other side. The boat was being buffeted by waves and was a considerable distance from land.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I, Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ He said.
 – (Luke 14: 25-29. NIV).

Well, we know the rest of the story. Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water, but when he took his eyes off the Lord he started to sink. It was then that Peter cried out “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out and took Peter’s hand and saved him. Jesus then said, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?” We, too, can often momentarily doubt. But, we can ask God to give us the faith to believe. For, God not only wants to save us, He wants us to cry out with belief or in faith knowing that He will indeed save us. Perhaps Peter’s doubt arose when he took His eyes off of Christ and looked at the churning water. Surely, though, Peter must have believed enough (even as a grain of mustard seed; see Matthew 17:20.) to “cry out” and ask the Lord to save Him.

Dying to Self-Control
With Faith Believing in God

We have all heard stories of miraculous saves like Peter’s after a person has cried out to God for help. You know, like when a car that was going over a cliff suddenly stopped at the edge of a cliff for no apparent reason; except that the person had cried out to God for help. Perhaps, too, we have heard and even witnessed miraculous healings after people have cried out to God. In all of these incidents, though, someone has cried out with their whole heart that the person would be saved. Certainly, Peter cried out with his whole heart believing Christ could save him. Why is it then that so many of us fail to “cry out” to God with our whole heart? Could it be that in general, we believe that God will answer our prayers, but that specifically we just don’t have the faith required to “cry out” to God with true belief until we finally have nowhere else to turn. Certainly, Peter had nowhere else to turn, so he cried out to Jesus both in belief and with his whole heart.

Sadly, it is often only when we can no longer rely on ourselves or some other person to control a situation that we then turn to God. Do you just turn to God only when you are in dire straits? How would you feel if someone was only your friend when they wanted or needed something from you? Even if you haven’t experienced it personally, we certainly can all imagine that kind of hurt. Perhaps God feels that kind of hurt from us? Fortunately for us, if we are “Saved,” God is always our friend. Even though, it has to hurt God when we neglect to talk to Him or when we fail to glorify Him verbally to others, God still hears our cries and answers our prayers if we are trying to live in obedience to Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God answers when we “cry out” to Him, because He loves us so very much!

As Christians, we should always want to be God’s friend and to do the things that He wants us to do. We should always strive to live for Christ and let our Christ-light shine out on the world so others will want to know and live for Christ. We get the opportunity to shine our Christ-light even more when we serve the Lord in some type of ministry like Active relational Christian mentoring. Moreover, it is through ARCM that we can help others, i.e. our mentees, learn to cry out to God when this fallen world intrudes on their life. We can even “cry out” with them.

Our desire and need to “cry out” to God is a humble reminder that we cannot do on our own what only God can do. God, through Christ’s intercession on our behalf, will give an answer or bring justice to those who humbly “cry out” to Him. Whether we are praying or truly crying out to God, there are times when we may not think that God’s response was as timely as we would have liked it. Remember, though, that God will respond to our cry in what He determines to be the best schedule for us. Sometimes God’s answer is instantaneous, like when God stopped the car from going over the cliff or when Jesus saved Peter from drowning. At other times the answer may take years to appear. But in every situation, God sees all and knows all; where we only see a small piece of the picture. He knows the best answer and the best time to answer our prayer. It is only when we see God’s answer to our prayer that we can finally see that God knew the best timing and the perfect answer to our prayer. However, even when an answer to a prayer may be “no”, we must have faith and trust that God’s answer is the right answer.

In Faith, Waiting for God to Answer

Sometimes, God answers our prayers and cries instantly, but at other times it is what we experience as we are waiting for His answer that makes us stronger while building our Christian character. Although it took nine years for God to give me an answer to the work-related enemy relationship that I dealt with daily, I grew in patience, understanding, and kindness. (See previous blog for the story about my enemy.). I learned what it was like to be mistreated, so I never want to see anyone else mistreated. Consequently, I will go out of my way to stand up for others and shine the light of Christ out into the world. Through those seemingly long years, I grew in Christian generosity and love.
For nearly ten years I prayed to God for the best way to deal with the situation. But it was when my husband (as my spousal mentor) and I cried out to God and prayed together that I was able to better handle the situation. It was through God’s timing, that I was given a way out of my predicament without just giving up and leaving the school district in the second or third year. Finally in my tenth year, God gave me His answer by showing me that I would need to retire for physical reasons.

Yes, I eventually left the school district, but over the years I had learned a great deal, I had become stronger, and I had set aside money for our future that I would not have been able to do had I just walked out early. Most importantly, my enemy did not get the satisfaction of having run me off, and although she couldn’t understand it, she saw how a Christian could turn the other cheek. However, through all the years that I dealt with my enemy, my husband and I never gave up praying and believing that God would answer my need. Along the way, God grew my character and then He answered my prayers in His timing with my best interest at heart. Furthermore, God watched my enemy to see that she did not harm me. Only when it appeared that she was getting out of hand, did my physical condition deteriorate to the point that I needed to retire.

Jesus Christ told a parable to His disciples to emphasize that they should always pray and “cry out”; never giving up. He told the parable of the widow who constantly went to a judge pleading for justice against an adversary. For some time the judge refused to answer her.

But, finally, he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming.’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says, And 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. …’”
 – (Luke 18: 4-8. NIV).

The woman in the above parable cried out to that judge on her own. Perhaps if she had asked someone to “cry out with her, she might have been able to get the judge to listen and act on her behalf sooner. Like all of us, she could have used a mentor. At the very least, another woman could have given her support and additional courage. Although we are not told, maybe she did have a friend who encouraged her to speak out to this judge.

As Christians, we do know that God can read out hearts and minds. Unlike the judge in the above parable, God not only reads our hearts and minds, but He knows what we need. However, God will often wait until we have cried out to Him before taking action and answering our prayers. For, it is only in crying out that we have finally admitted that we are not capable of taking care of the situation, and that we have nowhere else to turn. We have finally admitted that God is the only One who can help. Perhaps we should have humbled ourselves sooner.

Collective “Crying Out”
“Crying Out” for Your Mentee

If we take time to read the Bible we will discover that in many cases, it was also only when God’s people finally cried out to Him with their collective voices that God answered and sent them help. Remember the Exodus? It was only when the Israelite people humbled themselves to “cry out” to God for help that God “remembered” His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Hundreds of years before, God had told Abraham that after 400 years He would rescue the Israelites from Egypt. However, God didn’t forget His promise or His people, rather the people had forgotten their God. It was only when the Israelite people remembered God and cried out in recognition of His power and sovereignty that the Israelites were saved from Egypt. Like the Israelites, God wants us to voice our need for Him. He wants us to pray daily and to cry out in desperate times.

There are still just some situations that require more than one person’s prayer. In fact, the Apostle Paul told Christians to “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it…” – (Colossians 4: 2. NASV). Obviously, if we devote ourselves to prayer, we are to also pray for others. Interceding in prayer on the behalf of others is, indeed, an important part of a Christian’s life. This means that it is also a very important part of ARCM. Helping another Christian by interceding on their behalf and by crying out to the Lord with them is an awesome way to show our love to our neighbor. Two or more Christians crying out and praying together in humility is powerful too! Indeed, powerful results come when several people, who are in right relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, “cry out” to God.

Throughout the Bible, we find groups of people “crying out to the Lord.” In fact, five times in the book of Acts it says that the Apostles were of one accord, including in their crying out to God. One example is found in Acts 4: 24-31. The disciples had been threatened and were commanded not to speak about Christ by the chief priests and elders. When released, they went to their companions (other disciples), and “they lifted their voices [crying out] to God with one accord … And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the Word of God with boldness.” 
Whether we are crying out to the Lord with our spouse, our mentee, our friend, or with a larger group of people like the disciples, we can focus on an urgent need if we cry out in unison.

All Christians are part of the body of Christ, so when one member is blessed with God’s answer, all believers are blessed too. All the disciples were blessed with the Holy Spirit and were given boldness to speak the Word of God. So, when we praise the Lord together or “cry out” in unison for a need, we are all blessed. The Apostle Paul tells us in the Scriptures that we are to: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
-- (Ephesians 6: 18. NASV).

Petition can mean to “entreat, beseech, implore, appeal or plead”. It, too, is a type of crying out to the Lord. In the above Scripture, the Apostle Paul entreats us to pray for all the saints, or in other words, all the Christians. If we need to “cry out” to the Lord or petition for others, we are to gladly do so. With our new Christian self, given to us by the Christ’s cleansing blood, we are to strive to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – (Colossians 3: 12. NASV). If we have this type of heart, we should be willing to not only pray for others, but “cry out” or intercede on their behalf before God.


The reasons for crying out to the Lord for ourselves or for others are as endless as the needs a human can face on a day to day basis. Certainly, we need hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience to help our fellow Christians when they have a need. But, whatever their need, with Christ’s heart we can be there for them and to “cry out” with them to the Lord. We can “cry out” for relief from an enemy. We can “cry out” for self-control, for faith and for spiritual victory. We can “cry out” for blessings, like in I Chronicle 4: 10 where Jabez prays for blessings and for his territory to be enlarged. At other times, we often find ourselves crying out for healing for ourselves or others. We may even need to “cry out” for someone to be released from demons (See Matthew 15: 21-28).

Many Christians have also cried out for the quenching of a friend’s spiritual thirst so she can learn more about and come closer to Christ. But, the greatest cry of all is for Salvation. The prophet Joel prophesied that , “… anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.” – (Joel 3: 32. NLT). Today that has come to fruition. The Lord is Jesus Christ, and anyone who calls upon Jesus can be “Saved”. So, if you want to know Jesus Christ as your Savior, call or “cry out” to Him, and He will hear your cry.

We can cry out to the Lord anytime. We can shout at the top of our lungs, we can simply pray out loud, we can cry out silently, or we can even cry out with our silent tears like Hannah did in I Samuel. God hears us! He is just waiting for our cry. He is waiting for our communication, our humble willingness to prostrate ourselves before Him and for our acknowledgement of our total dependence and reliance upon Him. Then, when He answers our prayers, we are to glorify Him. We are to shout to the world that God did this for us. We are praise Him with all our entire being! We are to tell others of His glorious deeds! We are always to have “… an attitude of Thanksgiving.” – (Colossians 4: 2. NASV).

Today, I cried out to the Lord for my sister who needs a medical device to monitor her fragile health. I cried out to the Lord for my Aunt, who had surgery for a tumor. Thank you Lord for the smooth and quick surgery! I will continue to cry out to the Lord for her to get the report that the tumor is benign. I also cried out for my mother’s smooth recovery from foot surgery. I continue to cry out, too, for our nation and the nation of Israel. I have asked God for Israel’s protection as well as for their people’s salvation. I have prayed and cried out for our nation to turn back to Christ and God. We are the cusp of disaster, and without God’s divine help, our nation is in dire straits. Will you "cry out" for our nation and for Israel with me?

The Greatest Cry of All!

Whether you are Jewish or non-Jewish you may want to know if you will someday go to Heaven. But, there is only one way to get to Heaven! Don’t let anyone fool you or tell you differently, including the devil who often tells people that a loving God wouldn’t let such a good person like you to go to hell. We have a loving God, but He is a just God, who will not tolerate unrighteousness and sin. No one can enter Heaven and live forever with God without first asking Christ to cleanse them of all sin and unrighteousness. Yes, you and I are sinners. We have to be cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness first before we can be in the presence of Almighty God.

The devil is a liar! Moreover, he is betting on you believing His lies. Why? Well, he doesn’t want any person (i.e. one of God’s creation) to go to Heaven. So he tells you lies and gets you to accept the sins of this world as ordinary and okay. He also gets you to accept his worldly ideologies including false philosophies and untruths. Furthermore, he wants you to believe that you are so-o-o good or that you have done so many good things that a good god would not keep you from Heaven (remember, he is using yours and the world's standards of good, as well as his deviousness to give you thoughts of what a loving and “good” god would do). The devil does not want you to know God and His True and Just character.

Next the devil tells you lies about what makes up happiness. You see, the devil doesn’t want any person to be truly happy or peaceful, and he wants you to die and be in misery forever. So while you are alive, the devil either wants you to be miserable and hate your life, or he wants you to think that you are happy the way you are living; doing all the fleshly things of this world in which you seem to find momentary happiness. Just remember: the fleshly lusts and sinful acts of this world can only provide fleeting happiness. Most people have to continue doing more and more sinful things to continue to feel momentary happiness.

 The only way to true happiness and peace is through Christ. Christ will cleanse you of all your sins. He will give you a reason to live for Him. In fact, Christ died for your sins so that you could indeed be cleansed of your sins and have true riddance of guilt. But in order to obtain freedom, cleansing, and the right to spend eternity in Heaven, you will need to ask Christ to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to come into your heart. You will need to first repent of your sins. You can do it!  You can be Saved! Just call out, "cry out",to Christ and He will answer!

If you truly ask Christ into your heart, then don’t forget to tell someone that you are now a child of God’s,

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
– Romans 10:9. NASV).

And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God, but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

– (Luke 12: 8-9. NASV.)

I pray that you "cry out" to Christ for Salvation!