The Hand of Prayer

The Hand of Prayer

By John David Hicks

“Pastor, teach us the essentials of prayer in a simple way so we can remember it, as Jesus taught His disciples.” To this end “the principles of prayer” with the use of the “hand” was developed and used with children and adult to teach them how to pray.

1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him.”


Some time ago I read how a nurse taught a very sick man how to pray. In so doing, she changed his life. This once discouraged, disheartened and miserable man became a person filled with joy and peace.

The nurse used her hand to teach him the steps of prayer. Our hands were created to hold things. They also touch, feel, and help us communicate through gestures. They can also help us remember things. That is why the principles of prayer are easily remembered by the use of our hands.

There is deep satisfaction in bringing your loved ones and all mankind to God in prayer. Each of her fingers stood for someone. Her thumb was nearest to her, and it reminded her to pray for those who were nearest and dearest to her. The second finger is used for pointing. Those who teach us often point to us with this finger when they would ask us a question; therefore, her second finger stood for all her teachers in school and in the hospital.

The third finger is the tallest so it stood for VIP’S (Very Important People). This category includes the leaders in every sphere of life. As every pianist knows, the fourth finger is the weakest finger. The nurse used this finger to remind the man to pray for those who were weak, for people in trouble, or in pain.

Finally, the little finger is the smallest and the most unimportant. To the nurse it stood for herself and by using this finger it helped her to keep her life in perspective. This is a good way to remember the basics of prayer.

(1) THUMB – REMINDS US TO PRAY FOR THOSE WHO ARE CLOSEST TO US: Your loved ones, family, and friends. (Ephesians 6:18; Matthew 7:11; l John 5:16).

(2) POINTER – PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERS: For Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers, Missionaries and Fellow Workers. (Ephesians 6:19; Colossians 1:9-10; 4:3-4).

(3) TALL ONE – PRAY FOR THE V.I.P.’S (Very Important People) IN THE WORLD: Presidents, Kings, leaders, our employers, the Sheriff. (1Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Samuel 12:23).

(4) THE WEAKEST – PRAY FOR THE WEAK AND HURTING IN THE WORLD: First pray for those that you know about, then read the newspaper for people in accidents, sickness and death in a family. (Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 34:4-5; Matthew 25:40; 2 Thessalonians 3:2,3; 3 John 1:2; Acts 20:35).

(5) LITTLE ONE – PRAY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR NEEDS: By confession and petition. (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 4:16; Colossians 4:2; Ephesians 3:16).

A prayerless life is a defeated life. In Luke 18:1, Jesus said, “…men ought always to pray and not to faint.” If you pray you won’t faint and be feeble in life. Pray is the mightiest force on earth. As you pray, whose life will you change, and what circumstances will you influence today?

The Glory of His Presence

The Glory of His Presence

Psalm 100:4–5 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

By John David Hicks

The book of Isaiah likens salvation to a city with walls and gates, and every one of the gates is named “Praise.” For you to come into the presence of God, the place of salvation, you must go through the gate of praise. There is no other way to have access into the court of God.

In the psalm above, we are told to enter God’s presence through the gates of thanksgiving and to come into His courts with praise. Why does thanksgiving with praise give you access to God’s presence? The psalmist gives three reasons why you should give thanks and praise the Lord. First, because the Lord is good. Second, His love endures forever. Finally, His faithfulness continues through all generations. The goodness, love and faithfulness of God will then open the door into a fresh revelation of God’s presence.

Moses found it so. When Moses asks to see God’s glory; the Lord said that He would proclaim His glory by letting His goodness pass before him. Exodus 34:6–8 says, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin… Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.” Like Moses, when you see God’s goodness, love and faithfulness to you, you too will bow and worship. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that by beholding the Lord’s glory, you are transformed. “We who… reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” The transformation doesn’t happen by your efforts. It happens by beholding the glory of the Lord. The glory of His goodness, love and faithfulness is what changes you into His likeness.

The goodness of God describes the benevolent nature and character of God. It refers to His acts of mercy, pity, compassion, long-suffering patience, grace and justice (Ps. 145:8–9; 103:8; Zeph. 3:17; Rom 11:35–36; 1 John 4:8). Good things happen to you when you believe that God loves you because God’s goodness opens the door of grace.

The Bible affirms both God’s sovereignty and His goodness with equal emphasis. The goodness of God is behind all the blessings God daily bestows upon us. God created us because He felt good about us in His heart and He redeemed us for the same reason (Ps. 68:19; Matt. 7:11). Tozer reminds us that, “Nobody ever got anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it.” Romans 2:4 says that, “The goodness of God leads to repentance.” Your response to the goodness of God will cause your heart to overflow with heartfelt gratitude and thanksgiving. “I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Ps. 16:2). “The goodness of God endures continually” (Psalms 52:1).

The love of God is an attribute of God, which means it is eternal, immutable and infinite. It never began to be and it can never end; it can never change and there is no boundary to it;” so says Tozer on the Almighty God. God has chosen to love you. It is not about you earning His love. God is love. “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love,” so says Thomas A Kempis.

“How do I know that God loves me?” The answered is: “I know God loves me because Jesus died for me.” The greatest example of love is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God in Christ demonstrated His love by giving His life to redeem us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Because of the cross, you are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved. Your worth and value come from the love of God. He is committed to your well-being. He wants you to know that you are completely accepted and well-pleasing in His eyes. That is why He gave you the gift of righteousness. Knowing this love makes you strong and bold in life. You “are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

The Faithfulness of God is to all generations. God remains faithful even when you have been faithless (2 Tim. 2:13). God is faithful to keep his word. Because God is faithful,l He will always do what He said and accomplish what He has promised. Remember that God loved you even before you turned to him. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving–kindness.” NRSV says, “therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jer. 31:3). Because God is faithful, you can trust Him to keep His promises. The Lord knows everything about you, and chose to love you. His everlasting love compels His loving faithfulness to you. When you remember that God is omnipotent, with unlimited power and authority—you can’t live in despair; you have faith, hope and love.

Remember the old hymn: “Great is Thy faithfulness!” Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me… There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be… Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth; Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Now, live in His presences with thanksgiving and praise!

The Danger of Forgetting

The Danger of Forgetting
By John David Hicks

When it comes to forgetting, James warns us, “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” (James 1:23-24).

James pictures for us a man with a dirty face and messy hair, who after looking in a mirror forgets what he looks like. If he fails to do something about it, he is foolish. It is just as foolish to look into God’s Word and make no changes in your life. When you know a truth but don’t put it into practice, you become unresponsive to it. It has no power or authority in your life. God honors those “who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).

The GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The reality of Satan’s defeat makes our redemption possible (Rev. 12:11; Acts 10:38). “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant” (2 Cor. 3:5-6). In this new covenant God declares, “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Heb. 8:10).

This new covenant gives you the legal right and authority over Satan, making you “more than a conqueror” through Jesus Christ your Lord. You have been redeemed from your sins on legal grounds from Satan’s kingdom to God’s. You have been given the gift of righteousness with the legal right to come boldly into the throne room and take your place as a son. You have the legal right to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling as the temple of God. You have the legal right to use the name of Jesus in prayer. Jesus has given His authority to you, His body. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Col. 2:9-10).

These truths were foundational to the Christians of the New Testament. They created an atmosphere of faith in the church that was infectious. Today, however, these truths have been neglected or forgotten by much of the church. The enemy is always seeking to define you by your past, so you need brothers and sisters who will declare to you the truth of your identity as an overcoming child of God who can destroy the works of Satan. If the enemy can divide, isolate, or discourage you, he can conquer you. Affirming your identity in Christ and encouraging one another in the community of faith is foundational to your life and witness.

YOUR CONFESSION AND FAITH ARE BASED ON GOD’S PROMISES IN THE BIBLE. God has said, “I am watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 NASB).

Your faith with confession calls faith into reality. Abraham by faith believed God, “who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist” (Rom. 4:17 NASB). All believing climaxes in confession. Believing and confession are practically one. What does the Scripture say: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming” (Rom. 10:8). Your faith can never go beyond your confession. “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:10 NASB).

When you by faith arise and take your place “in Christ,” the gates of hell will be broken down and strongholds will be “conquered through him who loves you.”

TO BE “IN CHRIST” MEANS that I am a new creation, born into the family of God (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3). As God’s child I am a partaker of His life and nature (2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 4:4). I am united and one with Christ as the vine and branches (John 15:5; 17:21). I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). I have His strength and all my needs will be supplied according to God’s riches (Phil. 4:13; 4:19). I have grace to be an overcomer (2 Cor. 9:8; Rev. 12:11). I have the anointing of the His Spirit to do God’s will (1 John 2:20, 27; 1 Cor. 6:19; Phil. 2:13). “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

The danger comes to you as a believer when you confess, “I am in Christ.” The devil gets upset and is deeply troubled by your confession, because he knows the power and authority you have “in Christ.” In Helps to Holiness Samuel Logan Brengle put it this way: “Many people who say they are fighting the devil do not know what fighting the devil means. It is a fight of faith in which you take hold of the promise of God, and hold on to it, and believe it, and declare it to be true in spite of all the devil’s lies, in spite of all circumstances and feelings to the contrary, and in which he obeys God, whether God seems to be fulfilling the promise or not. When a soul gets to the point where he will do this, and will hold fast the profession of his faith without wavering, he will soon get out of the fogs and mists and twilight of doubt and uncertainty into the broad day of perfect assurance.”

Satan’s temptation to Jesus and to you is to doubt that you are loved and accepted as God’s child. “If you are the son of God,” he says, “prove it.” God has said to Jesus and to you that you are His beloved son. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph.1:6 NKJV). John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.”

Don’t forget that you are “in Christ,” a part of the fruit-bearing body of Christ (John 15:5). The branch is completely dependent on the vine to be loved, accepted, and made righteous. Abiding brings the branch into relationship with the vine. Jesus said, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9 NASB). “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Thank the Lord that you are “in Christ,” and are abiding in His presence. Be aware of it.

Being “in Christ” not only makes you victorious over the evil one, but also makes you like Jesus, so you can complete the task of bringing the kingdom of God to earth (Matt. 6:10; John 14:11-14). When you are aware of who you are “in Christ,” there will be a bold confidence in your walk in Christ. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

The danger comes from looking into the Word of God and forgetting who you are “in Christ!” So with confidence, declare with David, “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with Love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…. Praise the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103:2-5, 22).

The Big Battle

The Big Battle

By John David Hicks

I am in a big battle spiritually and I want a big victory. The Lord said to me: “Big Battles are won by first having little skirmishes. They will add up to the victory you are seeking.” Life is about winning the little skirmishes. God told Joshua how he would take the Promised Land: “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land” (Ex. 23:30). As you win the little skirmishes, you will become a stronger Christian warrior. It’s the little victories that build you up and creates the momentum to win an even bigger battle. But you’ve got to be willing to fight your little skirmishes in prayer. The command from headquarters is to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).

David gives us the secret to his victories in battle: “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chron. 16:11). In his battle with the Philistines and the giant Goliath, David cries out, “the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Sam. 17:47). It is not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will win the battle. It is those who in prayer put their trust in God.

King Jehoshaphat faced five armies in battle. He prayed, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:12).

You need to hear what God said to King Jehoshaphat, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…” (2 Chron. 20:15, 17).

In the battle, we feel that it all depends on us. We can’t just sit around and do nothing—we’ve got to try to save the situation. But God wants you to see that the “battle is the Lord’s;” he will not leave you nor forsake you.

So what should you do in your battle? Jehoshaphat sent his singers to the front of the army to proclaim, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chron. 20:21). Thank God for his faithfulness, don’t fret, and do what the situation requires.

Like Jehoshaphat when your prayer turns to praise you have prayed through. “His mercy endures forever.” They had to re-name the battlefield, into the Valley of Berachah. Berachah means “blessings.” WHY CHANGE THE NAME? “There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it” (2 Chron. 20:25–26). God turned their battle into a great blessing!

Do you have a battle to fight? Start with the skirmish. Then stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

The beauty, goodness and faithfulness of God.

The beauty, goodness and faithfulness of God.
By John David Hicks

Remember the beauty, goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in your life.

You can be confident that God ascribes unsurpassable worth and love to you on the basis of Calvary (Rom. 8:32). You are deeply loved, highly favored and greatly blessed (Num. 6:24-26). And remember that your prayer requests are always “yes” and “amen” in Christ Jesus. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 1:20). So, when you say “yes” to God, it means that you had to say “no” to something else. Every world-class athlete that desires to make the Olympics must say “no” to the things that would hinder them from reaching their goal. He must say “yes” to the disciplines that would cause him to succeed.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–24, Amplified Bible, “Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 19 Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit; 20 Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. 21 But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast. 22 Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be. 23 And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 24 Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].”

Thanksgiving is the Will of God for you!

Thanksgiving is the Will of God for you!

By John David Hicks

God did not say everything would be good in your life. In a sinful world “bad things” can happen to good people. Paul experienced these “bad things” and learned that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

It’s easy to give thanks for your blessings, but hard to give thanks in the difficult circumstances, hardships and afflictions. Often the circumstances make no sense or are very hurtful. Yet we are called to trust God totally, knowing that He is in charge. God sees the overall picture. It is an act of faith when you give thanks. You are confessing that “Jesus is Lord” and He is in control of all the situations of life.

It is in difficult times that our character is built and our faith is strengthened. That is why in the next verse 29, God wants you “to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” God is concerned with your character. Like Jesus, you can trust God’s sovereignty and love in every situation. God’s children are to be “overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7). This keeps you from being self-centered and gives you faith. The self-centered person’s life is characterized by ingratitude (Romans 1:21) and no faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Thus, God instructs you to, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Paul did not say “for” all circumstances give thanks, but “in” all circumstances. In the middle of bad circumstances we are thankful for God’s presence and for the good He will accomplish through the affliction. As you mature in the Lord, you will live “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph.. 5:20).

If you would ask Paul, “What is the will of God for my life?” Paul would tell you three things that are the will of God for you: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Rejoice, pray and be thankful. That is the will of God for you!

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).

May you have a joyful thanksgiving–knowing that God is for you and that you are going to make it (Philippians 1:6).


Steps to Divine Direction!

Steps to Divine Direction!

By John David Hicks

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:5 nasb).

Here is the KEY to God’s direction and solving life’s problems. Three simple steps of faith guide you to the answer.

The first is to commit your way to the Lord. Commit is a decisive act on your part. You acknowledge the Lord by taking your hands off the answer and commit everything to the Lord. The Lord isn’t just interested in solving your life issues, but in conforming you into the likeness of his Son (Rom. 8:29). Therefore, your life circumstances are about training you to become Christ-like. The Holy Spirit is teaching you every day how to trust the Lord; He is your place of security. When your heart is set on who God is for you, then your commitment will move you forward. When you deposit some money in the bank and get a receipt, you know you’ve deposited it. You can count on it. That’s commitment.

Second, trust also in the Lord. This is a continuing attitude, not a single act of commitment. Trust is a constant, and you practice it all the time. Your faith just goes on trusting. Faith is not always logical, but your trust is in His unchanging nature. Thus, you are trusting and believing in something that you can’t see, yet seeing it as a reality heading your way. For He is true to His word, faithful and loving to you. Trust is born out of your relationship with the Lord. You know that you made a deposit in the bank. So, you don’t have to worry about it. The bank knows it’s there and knows what to do with your money—trust the bank. But in your case, you are not trusting in a bank, you are trusting the Lord. He will take care of you. As you are open to the Lord, divine direction will come. Your hope in the Lord makes it easier to face your circumstances with faith, because trust is naturally operating in your life.

After you take the first two steps, then then the third step is the Lord’s: He said He would will do it. He will make your “Divine Direction” happen. This confidence comes from the knowledge that, you didn’t choose the Lord. It was He who chose you. He appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using Jesus’ name (John 15:16). The Lord is the object of your confidence, not circumstances. As you give thanks to the Lord for who He is this makes Him your focus. This produces faith in you that the Lord will do what He wants to do. Whatever circumstances you have in mind, whatever requirement your need asks for, whatever anxious problem, whatever troubled decision, you have committed it to the Lord – that’s your part. Your attitude of faith is that you know that you can trust the Lord. Your conviction and peace is the assurance that the Lord will do it. He’s your Lord. You can count on His love and care. As you trusted the bank with your money, you can trust the Lord with your life and its problems. Your part is to take it to Him by faith by committing your way to the Lord. Continue trusting in Him, and know that He will do it.


Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare
By John David Hicks

A master of the history of warfare, George Patton has been called the greatest general of World War II. When a German senior officer was captured toward the end of the war, he remarked, “General Patton is the most feared general on all fronts. The tactics of the general are daring and unpredictable. General Patton is always the main topic of conversation. Where is he? When will he attack? Where? How? With what?” General Patton won more battles, took more territory, captured more prisoners and had fewer casualties than any other army general.

Patton was a master of the history of warfare. When Patton faced the German forces under the command of General Erwin Rommel, Patton is reported to have shouted in the thick of the battle, “I read your book, Rommel! I read your book!” And he had. In Rommel’s book Infantry Attacks, he had carefully detailed his military strategy. Patton, having read it and knowing what to expect, planned his moves accordingly and won.

We also have read about Satan’s plans in God’s book; so we “are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Cor. 2:11). Jesus said that Satan has come to steal every promise, kill your body and destroy your relationships, but He came that we may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). Now we can be prepared for spiritual battle.

God could have defeated Satan in the beginning, but he selected mankind to do it. 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Jesus has won the victory. His body, the church, is commissioned to expand God’s kingdom by storming Satan’s stronghold and “the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). The “gates of Hades” represents everything that resists God’s loving will for the earth. The church is the vehicle for finishing the work Jesus began. That is why we are called the “body of Christ” (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27).

According to Paul Billheimer in Destined for the Throne, our prayer life determines our place of ruler ship in God’s kingdom. Jesus’ victory on the cross won the legal right and authority over all that was lost in the fall. Satan is defeated, but God has given the enforcing of this victory over Satan to His church, to you and me. Satan will not give up any of his rights or authority until you, the church, enforce Jesus’ victory.

Like the early church, we need to be bold in our prayers and in our witness. “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30). “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (v13). “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (v18-20).

The Lord has promised, “On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them… Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13:9-11). “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

God has given us a very powerful weapon to overcome Satan in Rev. 12:11, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Not only is it Christ’s victory, but the authority of your testimony that will win the battle. A lack of boldness to confront the enemy in the power of the Cross means you have no authority in your testimony. Your faith is feeble.

Paul says that the answer to prayer and witnessing is that “the love of Christ is what compels me” (2 Cor. 5:14). Your faith in God is the source of that victory. In 1 John 4:4, John explains, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Let’s boldly by faith take our world for God! “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).


There are no second chances in life or are there?

There are no second chances in life or are there?

By John David Hicks

Years ago, a sports writer was deeply impressed when he saw the famous baseball player Lou Gehrig come to bat with 2 out in the 9th and the winning runs on 2nd and 3rd. NY was one run behind and a hit meant a win. Gehrig had knocked two foul balls. He had two strikes against him. On the next pitch, the umpire called Strike 3! Lou Gehrig turned and said something to the umpire. Lou Gehrig had never argued with the umpire. The sports writers’ rush to the field and asked what he said. I only said, “Mister ump, I would give $10 to have that one back.” The reporter added, “There are people who would give ten thousand dollars to get just one minute back and the privilege of changing that minute. But there is no road back in life.” There are no second chances. Or is there?

In the Bible, Peter denied the Lord three times. But God is faithful even when you are not (Romans 3:3). He becomes the great apostle. Abraham failed and sinned six major times, but God remade him into the Father of the Faithful. Jacob, the deceiver, God changed his name to Israel, Prince with God. David, God forgave his sins and called him a man after my own heart.

God has no second best. God’s Grace manifests itself in human failure, sin, weakness, loss and heart break. His love, mercy and goodness give you new opportunities and a fresh revelation of God and life. Out of your inability and failure, God’s Grace can transform you. God’s Love flows with mercy and grace. This is more than a second chance.


Remove the Temptation

Remove the Temptation
By John David Hicks

When I got up this morning, I saw that my dog, Bruce got into the garbage in the night. This has been his big weakness. Bruce has a good heart and wants to please. He is the best dog we have ever had. But when he is left alone and exposed to the garbage—he falls into temptation. James 1:14 says, “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” So, we have learned the hard way, not to expose him to temptation. He can’t handle it.

Jesus told us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” You are to ask God to make you aware of temptation and the evil one. The Spiritual lesson here is—remove the temptation! Like Joseph, you must “run from the zone of temptation.” You cannot sit there and argue about the temptation with Potiphar’s wife. She will not listen. Remember the ten second rule? You have ten seconds to run. The longer you stay, the stronger the temptation becomes. Joseph ran and thus, overcame the temptation.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Cor. 10:13). That “way out” is to run from the zone of temptation!


Receiving the Promises of God

Receiving the Promises of God
By John David Hicks

When someone makes you a promise, its quality depends on the character and integrity of the person that made the promise. When God speaks into your life with a promise, the same principle applies. You know that He is righteous and He is truthful. He never lies, never flatters or deceives. He is holy, innocent, without sin and without guile. You can trust or have faith in His word. His promises are guaranteed by His character. His Word is His bond.

You know what God is like. So it is easy to believe in a promise made by Him—it is unshakable and guaranteed. However, the promise must be fully received before it can be entered into and fully realized.

To do this, you must ask, “What does the promise say specifically?” Are there any conditions that need to be fulfilled? All personal promises have conditions that are implied or stated. All God’s promises come out of relationship and are full of grace. Grace is the empowering presence of God that is necessary for the conditions to be met. Thus, the promise will enhance your fellowship with the Lord. The promise is given so that you can do something that is profound. A promise is a rich opportunity for advancement in the kingdom and a major boost to your faith.

It is easy, though, to run ahead of God and miss His timing. Without patience many people will fail to receive the promise. Hebrews 6:12 says, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Patience with faith causes you to inherit the promises. So if you have faith but no patience, you won’t inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 10:35).

As a believer you are in Christ. Thus, the promise carries the weight of the father’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. By putting you in Christ, the Father’s promise is made to Jesus as much as is to you. 2 Peter 1:3–4 tells us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through… 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.” His promises exalt you to a place in Christ that guarantees God’s commitment to answer. His promises release all kinds of possibilities into your life.

God’s purpose behind the promise is to create life, hope, faith, love, direction and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Promise and He will bear witness to your spirit. You received every promise from God by faith. Once you receive the promise, you must believe it, speak it, meditate on it, and accept it as yours. Thus, a promise should lead you into a deeper relationship and fellowship as you experience what God has for you.

Praying God’s promises is life-changing because you live by faith in the confidence of His Word (1 John 5:14-15). Christ died for all that all of us might receive all the promises (2 Corinthians 5:14). Through Christ you have access to all the promises of God. Hebrews 4:1 exhorts you to not fall short of receiving them. The scripture reminds you that “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45).

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). God’s Word is the only true anchor for your soul when you are tossed by the waves of doubt, uncertainty, and bewilderment—God is faithful to keep His Word! He was faithful in the midst of the doubt of Abraham and Sarah. He was faithful in the affliction of Job. He was faithful to Joseph in prison. He was faithful to Paul in the storms at sea. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

Stop right hear and check out your promises. It’s your key to a life of blessing and the kingdom of God. Since Jesus Christ completely affirms all God’s promises to us as sure and positive, Paul tells us the appropriate response to God is to say Amen. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).