Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
Acts 16, 26
Paul and Silas preached in the city of Philippi, causing great unrest. Once the people were so in uproar that they grabbed Paul and Silas, led them before the rulers and let them beat them on their bare backs, then took them to prison and put them in the block. It took a long time for Paul and Silas to recover from the horror and regain confidence in Jesus. Then they began to sing hymns of praise to their steadfastly faithful LORD , to the LORD who himself had endured all tortures, beatings and the cross and is now the LORD of heaven and on earth, the king of kings. God’s answer to their thanks, trust and loyalty was an earthquake. It rocked the whole prison and the doors sprang open. Quite astonishing that an earthquake loosened the chains of the prisoners and they were free; – perhaps an angel did this and not the earthquake? In any case, they were all free now, how good!
Praise has the power to break chains. Because during praise God works mightily. Praise is more than a pious, cheerful song. It is worship and divine joy to the highest degree. There the chains of Satan can no longer hold us, there liberation happens! There the doors of our personal prisons open and we are set free! Because God wants it that way.
But where are the people who are faithful to God even under such circumstances and who can praise Him from their hearts? Where are worship leaders who can reach this depth and lead the people of God into the presence of the Lord?
Again and again God gives dreams, images and visions that show a dark, cloudy sky. But then the praise rises from the earth, quiet and weak at first, but then it becomes stronger and stronger. Where the praise rises, the clouds over the land tear up and the light shines on the earth. The hole in the clouds becomes bigger and bigger, the light becomes brighter and brighter until the whole land is bright. Then the Gentiles come to recognise the Lord, then they are no longer bound in their prisons and chains, then there is healing for our country.
Thank You Jesus, and thank You again! You are worthy to be worshipped. You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords, You are the Christ, the Redeemer, the Saviour and Retriever! I love You!
PS: Pastor Wilhelm Busch and Corrie ten Boom report on the power of praise in German prisons during the Nazi era. Similar things can also be heard from Russian camps: praise brings freedom even behind barbed wire walls. God acts!
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and all in me His holy name!
Psalm 103, 1
When God created man, He endowed him with a longing for perfection and harmony – and with a longing for a partner, for God. Everything else that supposedly satisfies our hunger for it is not really worth anything, it is shadows, one chases after a mirage, an illusion.
Only in God does my soul really come to rest, only in Him do I find what I really seek. Only with Him am I boundlessly happy!
One way to God is praise. He made me so that I like to look up to something higher, find refuge there, and use my life for it. That is why praise is so important to me, it is my deepest need.
Psalm 22 says that God sets His throne above our praise. He feels well where we praise, – there He becomes active. And we feel well and become active when we praise Him. It is an interaction. We praise and HE reacts with love and closeness. How many problems have already been solved in praise, how many sick people have been healed in the time of praise, how a life changes through praise and thanksgiving, from a grim beard to a cheerful person!
Praise is a way of life. Get up in the morning and don’t grumble, but thank God for the day and God’s help. At noon not complaining about the potatoes, but thanking God for the vegetables. In the evening not complaining, but thanking God for the help during the day, and that we are still alive…. There is much reason to complain, but much more to thank! He is still Lord!
Grateful people are very attractive for others. They are cheerful and look carefree. They have a pole of peace. Other people long for it and we attract them like light attracts moths. Jesus was such an attractive person.
Throw away all your guides on how to become a happy person and start praising Him, being grateful to Him. Depression fades, insomnia is defeated and joy sets in. For God is still Lord!
Thank You for this new lifestyle! You are Lord, You love me, You care about me! You are wonderful, You are my goal, my life, all my happiness! How good that You found me, accepted me and that I am Your child! Thank You!
If a man owns hundred sheeps and one of them has gone lost …
... will he not leave the ninety-one on the hills and go to look for the one that has gone lost? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
So Jesus says and He means it that way. He never wants that even one of His sheeps gets lost. He takes care of it, searchs for it everywhere, in bushes, forests, in fields far-off until He finds it. The joy is then great, the fright forgotten.
Yes, so the joy in heaven is great when finally a sinner is giving his life to Jesus. The sacrifice of the Lord was then not in vain! There are so many in need of His help but do not know Him, do not call for Him.
Jesus is now in heaven and we are His deputies looking for the losts.Where did they get lost, where they are captured? What are their problems?
I recently visited pre-trial detainees in prison. To my surprise homesickness were their biggest problem. They want to go home! If they only would know that Jesus is the answer of their desire. He is our home wherever we are. As He said, He will prepare a place in heaven for us much nicer than we can imagine. Our homeland is there, not here, where we are only guests. If Jesus lives in us we are not lonely. He fills us with His love, mercy, and grace. We then totally enjoy the Father`s favour and protection. Peace is in my heart irrespective of all problems I am facing. I leave the problems outside to keep my peace inside. Oh, how fine I am!
Yes, Jesus goes to look for the lost sheeps. Today He sends us to seek and find them and bring them to the Father. What a great longing for the “sinners” He has!
Do not waste your energy with the “rigtheous”, look after the “sinners”, the losts loved by God.
Thank You, Jesus! You looked for me and found me. Now I am prepared to seek and find the losts sheeps myself to bring them back into the safe stable as You like it.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had (divine) authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
I have been to many services where I would have liked to fall asleep. Even some loud sermons made no impression on me except tiredness and boredom. What was it like with Jesus? And with the apostles? Did they speak in such a theoretical or phrase-like way? So loud or full of rhetorical tricks?
The Bible says it was not so with Jesus, nor with the apostles. In church history and in my observations there were many powerful preachers whose sermons tore people and me from their seats; – God Himself spoke through these people, and they gladly let themselves be used. Whether loud or quiet, tall or short, it was the authority of God alone made the Word alive in me and others.
Whether your sermon is brilliant or boring depends on your talent and training. Whether God speaks through you depends on your relationship with Jesus. If you are one heart and soul with Him, He will gladly speak through you and your words will have authority.
God wants to speak. But do we have faith in it? Do we follow Him or only ourselves and our minds?
Even dumb sheep look for the fattiest pasture. If they have the choice, they don’t stay on arid land. Christians are different. They get stuck in their habits and hear a nice but meaningless sermon every Sunday. Were they born to martyrdom?
I need strong, healthy food, also spiritual. Why should I kill my time with boring sermons and meetings?
Jesus spoke the Word of God. That is how He reached into people’s hearts. They felt God’s work and reacted. They wanted more. They wanted to drink the living water, more and more. They wanted Jesus to take shape in their lives.
Thank You Jesus, Your Word is for me to live! Through Your word You solve many of my problems – You sometimes speak a word of power and often comfort, You build my faith, answer my questions and work miracles through Your word. I love You and Your word!!
The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
Matthew 22, 2
Yes, in the same way the heavenly Father prepares the wedding of His Son Jesus to the bride, the church. He is very much looking forward to Jesus being reunited with the bride! Now is, in a manner of speaking, the “time of engagement”. The couple get to know each other, long for each other and make plans, tell each other everything and dream of being together.
Soon Jesus will come and fetch His bride. It will be a great celebration!
At that time the people who were actually invited did not have time to attend the wedding. They had more important things to do. The messengers of the king were so annoying that they were killed. – That’s how many prophets and evangelists have fared.
But God has directed His eyes on His people and never lets such a sin go unpunished. Religion is the worst enemy of living Christianity!
When the invited guests would not come, the king sent the messengers to anyone they could find: out on the country roads, to the pubs, to the cinema, to the markets, everywhere where there were people. And such people came to the celebration: good and evil, noblemen and vagrants, a very colourful mix. But everyone got a wedding dress and no one was denied access.
The king did not save at the banquet. He poured out the best wine, served only the most delicious dishes. – We sometimes get a little jealous when people from the street eat the best food …. God does not know such thrifts and sensitivities.
We see a great satiety in the people who already attend church or who have been respecting pious traditions all their lives. But we see a great hunger for God at our banquets for the homeless or when we go to prison to witness for Jesus. These people want more!
God is forging a very special army together: Homeless people, alcoholics, drug addicts, lonely people, losers ….. Maybe there won’t be so many high-ranking, distinguished people there. But Jesus came for the sinners, not for the righteous. He loves them!
Thank You Jesus, You have accepted me! With You I am precious and loved, welcome and warmly welcomed! Thank You, You have time, hope and patience with me! I am right with You. Thank You!
The thieve comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Heaven and hell clash here, the biggest opposites one can imagine. There is the deceiver, liar, the crook, robber and murderer on the one side, and on the other side the Light, the Source of Life, the Son of the living God, the Savior: Jesus!
Not man is our enemy, even if he does evil but the devil, the origine of all evil. Once having been the angel of light he is now the father of all lies who is able to camouflage and hide himself well, to seduce, confuse, twisting the truth perfectly. He is the wolf in sheep`s clothing pretending innocence and harmlessness. He seduces with earthly passions and lusts to rob heavenly treasures as peace and joy. He is a murderer who likes to cause heavy quarrels between humans and enjoys manslaughter. He is a cheater: as former angel of light he knows the Bible words but misuses them to keep us away from Jesus. As a permanent accuser he sows hostility, useless disputes in the Christian community. Yes, he really knows all tricks to keep us away from Jesus and our mission.
The fight against him is truly real. Jesus wants to help us, wants to give us knowledge how we can defend and protect ourselves. Above all, the common prayer in the Holy Spirit and the intercession are the effective weapons and shields of the saints who thereby save pure life against sin and uncleanness.
For several months I suffered tiredness which became more and more intense. For hours I just sat there, had no energy to do something. It was really threatening in the end. I dye if this continues! It must be over! So I cried and turned to Jesus asked for help in tears sometimes. Brothers and sisters specifically had prayed for it. I am so thankful to them.
In that situation a book of Corrie ten Boom came into my hands reporting about the same lack of energy and tiredness. As she did, I immediately commanded that all fatigue and dullness disappear in the name of Jesus and thanked Him for deliverance. The enemy tried it again of course. But now I was aware of these evil attacks and did not allow the weariness to come. I proclaimed: No, in the name of Jesus I am not tired!
That was long ago. Today I may say that this lack of energy, dullness, lameness, lethargy, this sitting around has gone. I am so grateful!. Yes, Jesus has come that I may have life, life to the full!
Thank You, Jesus! You free me from everything! You have overcome all attacks of the enemy. I am safe in Your strong hands. Your name is holy and powerful! Thank You!
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
Revelation 2, 10
The goal of life ….. yes, what is it? Why do I live, where is the journey going? Or am I a comfort zone, thinking that this will go on for eternity? – Jesus is the Lord of life, He can give us the crown of life or not, depending on whether we want it or not.
What is my life worth? What do I use it for? What do I strive for? Just for retirement or a new car? For children, spouses, parents or other ideals? – Jesus wants to be the goal, harmony with Him and intimate fellowship with the Creator of the universe and heaven; – to become one with Him. This is the life for which we are programmed. Only there do we find fulfillment in abandon.
I have given my life to the Lord, for He left His life for me. His love envelops me every day anew. A day without Him is a lost day. How could I withhold anything from Him? Everything belongs to Him: my material things, my time, my energy, my health and even my life – it is in His strong, gentle hand. I trust Him, for only He has never disappointed me.
I want to remain faithful to Him in life and death. I think of the brothers and sisters in North Korea and elsewhere who are in torture camps in the name of their Lord and who are murdered, of the Christians who have to go back to the Islamic states and disappear there …. faithful to the death. Would I be able to do that? But God assures me: It is like Stephen who was stoned for Jesus. God had him firmly in his hand and Stephen saw the sky open and Jesus standing before the throne. Perhaps he felt nothing of the stones, but was blessed in the Lord. (cf. Acts 7, 54ff.)
I think of the brothers and sisters I saw die. What peace there was! What a blessed expectation lay in their eyes! Yes, if the Lord is so close to me in the face of death, then I too can die quietly, in Jesus’ hand, in His hand. He carries me.
Yes Lord, I will remain faithful to You all my life. And when the hour comes, then You will be faithful to me. Thank You for this knowledge and this security, which drives away all fear. Thank You, You are there!! Thank You, You are the Lord!
See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children—and so, in fact, we are.
1 John 3,1
At this end there is a point or an exclamation mark. That means point, finish, end of discussion. There is no question mark!
If you also have an exclamation mark, then it is good. But if you have a question mark, then you have problems. Some people think that they are God’s children as long as they are good. But if they’re not good enough, then there is a question mark or a no. But do you know, we don’t constantly change our parents and parents don’t change their kids. My children are my children and remain it, no matter how they behave. Some humans don’t have a father who always cares for them, but just a biological father who made them. And some only have a Creator-God and no heavenly father. But God wants to be your father and indeed a heavenly, wonderful, loving, patient, kind father! Let yourself be pampered by the love of God, make up your mind to be His child. He wants, and how is it with you? Today there are two prayers. One for the children of God, and one for those who want to be one.
Thank You, my Father in heaven! You really are my father, who never leaves me, depresses me or makes me feel bad. You love me! I can bring You all, even with my failure. Because You forgive me, help me back up and give me new courage. You have so much hope for me! How nice that I can be Your happy child! Thank You, Father, that You take care about everything! You’re truly a kind, merciful, loving and patient Father.
Thank You, Father in heaven, that You want me! Yes, for You I want to open my heart’s door, please come in and be my father! Clean me from all unholy, unclean and from all sin. Jesus has paid my sins on the cross! From now on I want to be Your child and want to live to Your honor. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, who leads me and blesses me with Your gifts. Let me remain faithful to You, because You are loyal to me.
God`s love has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Yes, that is true, without the Holy Spirit we have no access to God, are not able to perceive His actions. We then do not feel that Jesus wants to speak to us. We do not even long for it. How deaf we are to God
s words, so to speak almost immune!s love is a gift to which we should open ourselves more and more and continue training it constantly. We then experience His peace, his joy and inmidst of all His presence, His warm closeness until we literally bathe in His love. The stream of His mercy flows in us. Everything is still in us, ready to receive and enjoy. Wonderful! For ever you want to stay there.
My son Gabriel did not feel the cold after his accident which was due to head injuries. Its getting better now. But as he did not feel the cold, so some people do not feel the love of God. They are separated from it, seem to be really immune.
We all need a revelation, a breakthrough. To feel God
How glorious, that this is not a mere deceptive feeling. It is real, the only truth with which God had created us. Long for that and grow in it!
These positive emotions strengthen and encourage us to resist sin, to serve the Lord, not to grieve Him, motivate us to bring the good news to others. In Him we are all one in heart and soal!
As a human being Jesus was exemplary in everything, fair and friendly, full of compassion, joyfull and patient. In His image He wants to transform us! He counts on our willingness to say good-bye to our egoism, our fearful character and helps us to take this step. Obedience to the directions of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary. So many Christians remain powerless and joyless because they are not ready to obey.
Thank You, Jesus, You send me the Holy Spirit who helps me to be a true Christian.You gave me everything to be more and more like You. I trust You and am full at Your disposal! Please forgive when I sometimes do not listen to You immediately and go my own ways.