Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"Therefore they could not believe"..but why?! It's cuz they hardened their own heart over and over again and God was so SO patient, but firmed em up in their own lame choice. Heads up, it can happen.

Prayer ain’t a religious thang. Real prayer never has been – it’s the intimate honest talk of a love relationship.

Prayer is not to inform God ..or command.
Prayer is to ask and INVITE God!
Prayin’ (that daily connection of passion and purpose) is liked by God far more than merely sayin’ your prayers. Lost religious folk, even nominal Christians who ain’t really.. like sayin’ their form prayers in public to “appear holy.” A vain show to impress and gain applause. Remember the dead-inside religious leaders in the New Testament? In reality they were preyin’ on the people rather than prayin’ for the people.
Prayin’ for Jesus was a vital connection with a loving God, not some lame public show for people. Off alone, He wasn’t talking to them.. but was for them. 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.“ ~ God 

Paul’s command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing,” can be confusing. Obviously, it cannot mean we are to be in a head-bowed, eyes-closed posture all day long. Paul is not referring to non-stop talking, but rather an attitude of God-consciousness and God-surrender that we carry with us all the time. Every waking moment is to be lived in an awareness that God is with us and that He is actively involved and engaged in our thoughts and actions. It all starts when we each decide to humbly turn from the sin (repent) to God, get real with Him and ask Jesus to come live on the inside. Do it now! This is for now, not Manyana.  

When our thoughts turn to worry, fear, discouragement, and anger, we are to consciously and quickly turn every thought into prayer and every prayer into thanksgiving. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul commands us to stop being anxious and instead, “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Facebook.com/shareJesus

When we pray what happens? Peace happens, God's will done on earth happens for His glory, JOY, EDIFICATION, HEALING, RESTORATION, BLESSING happens, false teachers get exposed, hard-hearted n deceived people get totally freed from their bondage and weirdness. It's a day to pray. Today! It's not a time to get concretized in willful stubbornness or religious pride. Who needs that? None! Religoius hard-heartedness is overrated and worthless! 

Remember when God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh of Egypt. It was after he himself chose to harden his own heart against God and His will. God simply made him firm in his own unfortunate choice. Listen, turn today. If Jesus can save a hard-hearted wretch of an altar-boy like me, He can forgive anyone!

For the Scripture says concerning this Pharaoh, "even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth" (Rom 9:17-18). But Kurt, that doesn't sound fair at all. Again, listen..using Pharaoh as an example as God declared, "I will harden whom I will harden." Go back again to the Bible story of this Pharaoh. It says, "And Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord... and Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord." Foolish of him. We read about this ten different times that Pharaoh hardened his own heart against the Lord. And after declaring this ten times that Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord, it said, "The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh." That's patient mercy giving him time to repent.

It is so interesting that two different Hebrew words are employed in this text. The one that says this, "Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord" ..that's how it is translated. But where says, "The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh," the Hebrew word literally is "the Lord made firm or stiffened the heart of Pharaoh." So that there is what? It is Pharaoh hardening his own heart, hardening his heart, hardening his heart again, and finally God does something. He moves in and He firms-up Pharaoh in this.. and He sets him real firm really in that hardened condition. Scary! Religious, or not, who in their right mind would want that to happen? I hope not you! If a man or woman hardens their heart over and over and over again.. against the Lord it is very possible that God will then go ahead and make firm that person's own decision. SAD!!! What a waste of a life! God hasn't changed over the years--He will stiffen them in it and that, of course, is worse than a tragic day for them. Jesus is waiting for each of us to turn away from sin, from dead religion to Him, because this rejecting of Him (as the Father's only provision for our sins), this choice to harden literally constitutes the unpardonable sin.

When a person has gone too far in this..it's most horrific! When they proceed in this hardening of the heart against God and His will.. God then moves in to make em firm in their heart. Go read John 12:39 where it says, "Therefore they could not believe," not, "they would not," "they could not."

As an act of their own volition, they hardened their own heart against Christ. Back in the day they had seen miracle after miracle done (perhaps you have too), a real demonstration after demonstration. Jesus said, "If you don't believe Me, believe the works that I do because they testify to you." Thus, every miracle that Christ did was a testimony to them that He was indeed the Messiah, but still.. unbelievably.. they hardened their own hearts and they hardened their hearts and they hardened their hearts again, until finally John tells us, "Therefore they could not believe." Do you really want that, or to hang with perverse religious leaders who do this? We become like those we hang tight with! Hey, time is running out. You might not believe these are the last days -- but these indeed be our last days. So be careful if you've been hardening your heart against God, lest you come to that place where God will make firm your heart. Jesus is a gentleman who won't force you to have what you refuse to have, or subsequently to go where you have opted not to go. Thus, God declared, "Those I will I will harden and those who I will have mercy upon, I will show mercy." Nobody goes to heaven who didn't choose to go there. Make your reservations in advance. Jesus is the door--He is the only way in. Not religion or good works. But you might respond, [Paul said,] Well then how can God find fault with me? (Rom 9:19). If it was God who hardened my heart, then how can He find fault with me for having a hard heart? It's not God's will that any live independently from the Word like they might feel like doing ..all opposed to Him. He is faithful and can't reward rebellion. How can I resist God's will (Rom 9:19).. when His peace, joy and love are waiting for us? Jesus and eternal life are there for us! Jesus says to you... 

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Ask God to soften your hard heart. Don't wait. In a troubled world with troubling, hard-hearted individuals, when your heart starts to get all troubled, hardened or afraid, choose not to let it stay that way. Cuz what good would that do.. for anyone? No excuses about this church or that, or so and so did this or that to me.. or should have done this! It's about you before God minus them on Judgement Day. Admit it and quit it--turn to and trust Jesus now.  
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