Your Favor

Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O LORD, help and comfort me. (NLT) -Psalm 86:17
We all need signs from God every now and then to get through life. It’s not just a sign for ourselves, but for other people to recognize. This, in turn, speaks to those who may not have a relationship with Him. When you turn to God for comfort in desperate times it strengthens your relationship with God. Remember, He cares.
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May the Lord bless each of you in your personal quest to know His will for you and to submit your will to His.

To become an instrument in the hands of God is a great privilege and sacred responsibility. Wherever we live, whatever our circumstances, no matter our marital status or age, the Lord needs each oneof us to fulfill there unique part in building His kingdom in this final dispensation. It is my testimony that we can know what the Lord wants us to do—and experience “the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.” 1 My desire tonight is to share part of my very personal journey of coming to understand how we become such instruments.

I start where my journey ended— “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only   possession which is truly ours to give!”

I bear witness, my beloved brothers and sisters, that in order to truly be an instrument in the hands of God, in order to fully have that blessing bestowed upon us in “the day of this life” in which we “perform [our] labors,” we must,  “finally submit ourselves” to the Lord.

The refining process in my life that led to my testimony of this principle began unexpectedly when in my mid-20s, I received my patriarchal blessing. I had fasted and prayed in preparation, wondering in my heart, “What does the Lord want me to do?”

I hate to admit it, but I was disappointed and troubled.  I has turned my back on God. I thought I could do things on my own and not wait for the Lord’s time and had pride issues at the time.  I had slipped far from God and was on my last lag. I had no where else to turn but to God. He pulled me out of the pit. I asked God for forgiveness and  rededicated my life to Lord.i felt His forgiveness.  At that point in my life, I had barely read the Bible from cover to cover. Without question, I was unprepared to serve the Lord. So I put my patriarchal blessing in a drawer. I did, however, begin a serious of scripture study each day as I started to
focusing on God.

Over subsequent days I pulled out my Bible blessing and read it again and again, searching for deeper understanding. Even knowing I was going to live out a promise I had received from the Lord decades earlier did not alleviate my concerns.

In my quest for peace, I redoubled my efforts to serve the Lord. I pondered the meaning of my covenants in a way I had never done before. For me, at this defining crossroads in my life, my temple covenants served as a foundation and catalyst. Yes, I feared, but I realized I had chosen to make personal, binding, sacred commitments I meant to keep to our Father in Heaven. When all was said and done, this wasn’t someone else’s service to perform. This was my to serve, and I determined to serve. By start seeking the Lord first and for most. Making Him the center of my life.

“The Lord thy God has called thee by name out of the heavens. Thou hast been called … to the great work of the Lord: to do a work in this generation which no other … would do as thyself, in all things according to the will of the Lord.” The Prophet Joseph was called to his unique part of “the great work of the Lord,” and as overwhelmed and unprepared as I felt, I knew I was called to my portion of the work, too. This insight was helpful and gave me courage to do the Lord’s work.

In my constant prayers I continued to ask, “Father, how can I do what Thou hast called me to do?”  As I sought solace in a quiet place, these words came clearly into my mind:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.


Realizing in a most personal manner that the Lord would be with me and help me was just the beginning. I had much more to learn aboutbecoming an instrument in God’s hands.

My first lesson in the process of becoming an instrument in God’s hand had been to search the scriptures, fast, pray, attend the temple, and live faithful to the covenants I had made in the house of the Lord. My second lesson was that in order to “boldly go forward,” I needed to rely completely on the Lord and seek earnestly for personal revelation. In order to receive that revelation, I would have to live worthily to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost with me.

My last lesson was precisely. In even the smallest details of each day, I submitted my will to the Lord’s, for I so needed His help, His guidance, and His protection. As I did, gradually my relationship with my Father in Heaven changed—in profound ways—that continue to bless me.

My life’s journey is different from yours. Each of you could teach me much from your experiences of submitting your will to the Lord’s as you earnestly seek to know His will for you. We can rejoice together in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, gratefully acknowledging the blessing of having a testimony of the Savior and His Atonement for each of us. This I know—our individual efforts to become instruments in the hands of God have not been easy and have stretched us spiritually, enriching our mortal journeys in the most personal, glorious ways.

Today I would like to say my heart is more at peace today. The Lord and made my heart a love and caring heart. I am a prayer worrier and know the Bible more and continue to seek His Word. I’m so in love with God I cannot stop reading His Word and serving him in showing love to others around me. And I give all the credit to God for turning my life around for the best. And it all started with me by giving it all to God by trusting him and having faith.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord bless each of you in your personal quest to know His will for you and to submit your will to His. I testify that our individual will “is the only possession which is truly ours to give.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

How to Be a Spirit-Filled Christian

So you got saved. Welcome to the family. But now what? Before you are tempted to go out and try to imitate other Christians who are living a good life, I have a better idea for you to consider. Forget “imitation.” Think “impartation.” Think filling. Think fullness.

The key to your salvation is the blood of Jesus. The key to your abundant life of discipleship is the power and the filling of the Holy Spirit. The blood washes away the sins of those who trust Christ to do it. The power of God fills the believers who daily long for and receive an impartation of power from on high. He already lives inside of you as a believer. (1 Cor. 6:19) But now He wants more of you….so that you can live everyday filled with His love and holy affections.

“But I thought I had to have the gift of speaking in tongues to be filled with the Spirit.” Who taught you that? Do you realize that there have been many believers over the centuries who have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and yet have not claimed to have the gift of tongues? If the Holy Spirit decides to give you that particular gift, receive it and use it wisely. But you don’t need to ever confuse the gifts of the Spirit with the fullness of the Spirit.

Some Christians who have this gift or that gift are not living a Spirit-filled life. They are grieving the Holy Spirit by sinful choices they are making on a consistent basis. God has not taken away their spiritual gift, but they simply are not flowing in His power at the moment. That happens to all of us Christians whenever we choose to think or behave in a manner that goes against the truth and against the will of God. Therefore, the Word of God says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” (Ephesians 4:30) In other words, don’t offend Him. By God’s grace, stay away from sinful thoughts….sinful words….and sinful behavior.

You and I will not be filled with the Holy Spirit until we are first emptied of anything that stands in the way of His fullness. Do you have such an issue in your life….perhaps a “secret sin” which you seem to give into over and over again? God is going to drill down deep until He gets to the very root of that thing. He will keep his finger on that issue in your life until it has been put to death in you by refusing to feed it….refusing to give into it….refusing to coddle it. It must die….and then you will be a step closer to the fullness.

D.L. Moody said, “We are leaky vessels, and have to keep right under the fountain all the time in order to stay full.” How true it is. Yesterday’s filling will not be enough for today. It’s like the manna the Israelites received from God everyday in the wilderness. We must wait on God….and watch for His blessing….and depend only upon Him to be our provision. When our soul becomes that hungry for God, we are in a position to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Your religious pedigree does not guarantee your filling. It’s not about your label….it’s about the desires of your heart. If you desire to be filled with the Spirit more than anything else in life, stay on that train….ride it all the way into the station. Whenever your flesh rises up with desires which threaten your fullness, ask Jesus to cover those enemies of your soul with His blood.

A Spirit-filled life will always result in a life that is filled with the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22) If you have the gift of tongues, but have not His fruit….you are not living a Spirit-filled life. If you have been gifted by God to preach the Word, but have not His fruit….you are not living a Spirit-filled life. If you are a Bible scholar, but have not His fruit….you are not living a Spirit-filled life. Gifts, knowledge, and experience are no substitute for His fruit.

This is why even a person who has lived as a mature Christian for decades can enter a period where he or she is not Spirit-filled. It might last a day, or an hour, or a year. It all depends on today’s manna from heaven. Am I hungry and ready to receive? Or am I distracted by the desires of my flesh….and feeding those desires by choosing to dwell on them and give into them?

Some say that “happiness is a choice.” I would say that “a Spirit-filled life is a choice.” And it’s pretty hard to argue against that premise if you just take God at His Word.

So Christian….here’s the drill: Saying ‘no’ to sin….meditating on Scripture….praying everyday….doing what God says to do….singing in your heart to the Lord….Christian fellowship with other believers….utilizing your spiritual gifts to His glory….sincerely praying for those who get under your skin….hungering and thirsting to be Spirit-filled today….and then riding the wave….and staying out of the way of what God is doing.

As a believer, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13) You will need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit if you are going to live this day as a Spirit-filled Christian. Your job….don’t feed your sinful desires….and then hunger for today’s impartation. His work….provide a wellspring of living water and a daily impartation of His Spirit.

It’s not like God has hidden the blueprint from us. It’s right out there in the open for anyone who desires this experience in their Christian life. The Holy Spirit inspired St. Paul to explain it this way: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15-20)

Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” (Luke 11:13) Do you want to live a Spirit-filled life? I mean with all of your heart? If you do….and it’s not just a passing fad….then go for it. Do the drill. Do your part. Ask God to do what only He can do. And then wait….in faith….and expectation….and desire. And then repeat it tomorrow, and everyday for the rest of your life on earth.

You may be very close to “entering the zone” so to speak. There is more power available than you have known up until now….this could be your breakthrough. Hey believer….Jesus did not die on the cross for no reason. Likewise, He did not send the Holy Spirit at Pentecost for no reason. Once you figure out why He came, then figure out how you plan to become filled with this One our Lord called “the Comforter.” (John 14:26)

You can empty yourself today….and receive a filling. When tomorrow comes….empty yourself again….and receive another filling. It’s like the Israelites and the manna all over again. Only this time, the Presence of God is dwelling within His people. Hallelujah! Are you getting hungry and thirsty yet for God?

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1,2) Let me tell this you my friend….the minute you begin to experience that reality and that desire from the bottom of your heart, you will be on the verge of His fullness. So don’t give up….today could be your day to enter a whole new dimension of Christian experience.

By the way….when you get to that edge….and you are so thirsty you can taste it….as God begins to pour out more of His grace upon you….stay in that place….on the edge….hungering….thirsting…….serving…..singing…. praying….loving…..receiving an ongoing outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon you.

That my friend, is the place where all of us who know Christ really want to live. Nothing this world has to offer can touch it! Let’s get to that place every morning and hang out under His waterfall all day….there is glory there in that marvelous place of worship, thankfulness, and praise! God’s presence and filling truly brings the fullness of joy, the power to serve others, and spiritual insights you could never even come close to understanding by your own wisdom.

So go for it! There really is a solution for any believer who feels bored with his Christian life, or distracted by the cares or temptations of this world. Do you think the early Christians were ever bored in the book of Acts? Think again. That book began with Pentecost. You may be in need today of a “personal Pentecost” in your own life. If so, just remember….the Comforter has never left the world since He was first sent here 2000 years ago. He has been filling Christians around the world for all of these centuries. He is still doing it today. In fact, He is either filling you right now, or He isn’t.

This might be the perfect time for you and Him to have a little alone time. He is a gentleman and will typically not fill anyone unless He has first been given an invitation to do so. How strongly do you as a disciple of our Lord desire the Holy Spirit’s fullness in your life? Your answer to that question will explain a lot about your current experience as a Christian.


Thinking About Getting a HD DVR?

Thinking About Getting a HD DVR?


Missing a favorite show might not seem like a big deal, but it is: if nothing else, you have to be on spoiler alert. Wouldn’t it be great if TV could work around your schedule and life? It.