Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pray and don't give up 10.16.2016

Dear friend,

KJV Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Regarded: He had no shame, his honor could not be appealed to, to appeal to him as in for the sake of God would be to no avail, or even for the sake of this widow woman who had been wronged. He was destitute of feeling any sense of pity for anyone, for he was all about himself and his creature comforts. Only a bribe could perhaps move him....

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. (Make things right)
In ancient history, widows were to be taken care of, but as always they were vulnerable to mistreatment and to be taken advantage of.
A. She was looking for justice from the judge
B. At first the judge does not want to help, by doing nothing he is favoring the one who has wronged her.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, T
hough I fear not God, nor regard man;
He admitted that he was a self serving judge and did not care about helping this needy widow. He did not care about that part at all.

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, (make things right to her) lest by her continual coming she weary me.
He is saying: I have had it with her, she will never stop bugging me, so I will give her what she wants to get rid of her.
She is a widow in a man's world, has no powerful friends or money, but she gets her hearing from the judge who has no fear of God or man. She is persistent in her seeking help in her situation.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Application to the Disciples
As they all drew nearer to Jerusalem, and as Jesus spoke of the end of all things, He again emphasized faith. He points to the persistence of the widow woman and how she was rewarded. How much more will Our Heavenly Father take care of all the injustices in life, extending continual mercy to us on behalf of His Son? It is similar to the logic that Jesus used when He taught of prayer in the 11th chapter of Luke when He argued from the lesser to the greater as Luke records:

Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

From Luke 17:22 we note that this talk is being given to the disciples and it is a continuation of the topic of discussion of the nature of the kingdom that Jesus has come to establish, He is speaking of the consummation of time when there will be the division made between those who understood what the kingdom was and who received it and those who did not recognize it and rejected it. It is in the context that there will be hard times for them as they continue on towards Jerusalem where that which Jesus has been telling will take place will come to pass. His arrest, His trial, His scourgings, His being nailed to a roman cross, His death and His resurrection.

He tells them that God will avenge his elect speedily, according to the riches of His abundant grace and goodness, for He is not a stingy and self serving being as the judge was. He is going to avenge His elect in His way and in His time, which will be soon and which will be accomplished by Him pouring out His wrath on us. Whoops, that is not right, for He poured out His wrath on His very own Son..........Do I get the magnitude of this statement? Do you? That what we deserve Jesus received in our place!!!

It seems to be what He is saying that in His death and resurrection all will be vindicated and then asks the question concerning faith. It is not only for the disciples, but it is for all believers of all time. Faith is what connects us to that which God has done for us in Christ and it is faith that Jesus now concentrates on. He does not do it to point to the awful harvest of those who rejected Him by their faithlessness, but He seems to be using this question to encourage, stimulate and inspire faith in our hearts in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Luke 18: 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

He brings our thoughts back to the first verse in which He pointed out the purpose and intent of the parable: That we always out to pray and not to faint, not to give up.

Let us think about this for a bit.

Application for us

Why, God, if you are the God of love is there so much suffering? Why don't you just come down and straighten everything out? He did come down in His incarnation, we know that but yet how do we deal with the things that come upon us as we await your gloirous appearing? At times in this life, things are not quite that rosy.........

We could say that in the beginning we lived in a honeymoon, but conflict came, God resolved the conflict and as a result all those that come to
God through Christ have regained the ability to live in fellowship and communion with their Creator and with one another. Immediately after the fall into sin, God had given the Promise: He would send the Messiah to heal the rift that came into the world through sin, but only those who partook of the benefits of the Saviour to come would receive the benefits. But oh how difficult it is at times for us, for others........

God won‚€™t give you more than you can handle...Is this true?

Tell that to a person who has a life altering or life threatening illness.

Tell that to a person who just lost their spouse of many years.

Tell that to a person who is in struggling their marriage.

Tell that to a person who is living apart from their loved one for a period of time

Tell that to a person who is being disrespected in some manner

Tell that to a person who just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere

Tell that to a person whose innocence was robbed from her in her youth.

Tell that to a person who is not able to make ends meet.

Tell that to a person whose child has an ongoing illness.

Tell that to a person who is wondering what is in their future.

Tell that to a person who is yet lives with the burdens of their past...

Tell it to the person crushed under the weight of depression and anxiety.

Tell it to the child who just learned their parent has a terminal illness.

What do we say to ourselves if we find ourselves relating in some way? To those who are struggling in life as they await His return?

First of all and most importantly, Christ paid the price for the sin of the world. He is coming again.„€€As it was said before, He did come down to avenge us of our adversaries: Sin, death and hell.

Hebrews 9: 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Faith keeps us connected to this hope, and it is through communication, fellowship and communion with our Father through Jesus that it is nourished, stimulated and inspired. Through Prayer.....

KJV Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Prayer is letting Jesus into our heart and all the needs that are there.

Helplessness and faith equals prayer

We approach God as a little child (helpless) who is entirely dependent (trust/faith) upon her/his mother/father.

We approach God like one who has a debilitating disease in which one is not able to function normally. After the struggle with acceptance of one's helplessness, one receives the help of others and a bond of friendship and intimacy is established.

We approach God in Jesus Name, which means that we confidentally (faith) come to our Father knowing that He receives us joyfully and expectantly, just waiting to pour out into our lives all that He sees that we have need of.

We come to Jesus who takes us with Him to our Father's throne, we lay our burdens at His feet, trusting in His divine love and care to do what is best for us or the situation which we have placed before Him, we do not advise Him as how to solve it, and we fully expect Him to take care of it in His time and in His way.

An example and a pattern is given for us in John's Gospel, by Mary the mother of Jesus.

She went Jesus with her concern.
KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

She left the solution to Him and did not advise Him.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Jesus addressed the need in His way and for His purposes.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

As we now come to receive His gifts at His table we are reminded of His heart of love that flowed towards His followers when He shared His last meal with them, a very special meal which continues yet to this day.........Let us now catch the continuing emotion of his heart of love and His commitment of purpose that drew Him from heaven to minister to us so that we would be His forever.....

He invites you to His Supper so that He may pour into you the full benefits of His death and resurrection for you, that you would be strengthened in the knowledge of the forgiveness of your sins and that your faith would be strengthened in the knowledge that He is One who has given you all and promises to provide all that you have need of here in time and for eternity.

Come and Dine with Him and with one another.......

Posted on 16 Oct 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
"But the Word of God is not bound." October 9, 2016
...But the word of God is not bound.
Dear friend,

May the grace of God that never stops flowing be poured out into you and I today and always! Amen.

We continue our studies in the letter of Apostle Pault to his young co-worker Timothy. Paul was being held in a Roman prison and shortly he would be martyred for preaching that Jesus was alive and that He was the Saviour of the world. As Paul anticipated the challenges that Timothy would face, he wrote this letter of counsel, admonition and encouragement for he himself (Paul) had experienced the hardships that come from being a proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pick this letter in chapter two. May we be reminded that chapters and verses did not began until around the 11th century, which means that this letter was just that, a continual writing with no breaks. May we continue in this letter.....

May I also say that this letter is what is called a pastoral epistle, which means that mainly it is written to pastors/teachers/leaders of the church, but yet which has application for all since regardless of our station in life as a Christian, we all have those whom we may opportunity to have influence upon.

KJV 2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness,(trouble, affliction, hardships) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Each Sunday we give the children of our congregation a treat, and the reason we do that is to emphasize the grace (unmerited favor/givingness) of God into the minds and hearts. That is what Paul does here with Timothy, calling upon him to be strong in the giving of God to himself. He is not telling him to be strong in himself, but as he wrote earlier in his life in his letter to the Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

He then gives three illustrations which are designed to help Timothy as well as ourselves to ward off those things that would eat into our effectiveness in being passing on the Gospel to others so that they might teach others themselves. A soldier of an army, an athletic competitor and a farmer. The soldier's loyalty is to the army he is serving with, the competitor competes according to the rules and the farmer is eating from the crops he is producing. We will have trouble but we are to keep in mind that we labor to please the Lord and not one else, we walk according to the teachings and instructions of the Lord in His Word and we are privileged to be supported by those whom we are teaching and preaching to.

8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

As Paul begins the next thought, he again encourages Timothy/us to "remember" which means to bring it back to our mind and our recall. This is what is true, this is fact, this is what is reality!!!! Christ who can be traced from the ancestry of David was raised from the dead according to ''my" gospel. It is not his gospel in the sense that he is the author of it, but he means that it is what he preached and which he put all his stock into. The important part of verse 8 to be remembered is that Jesus Christ is alive, is reigning from the right hand of God the Father and is always present here on earth by His Spirit in His body.

This is such an outstanding truth and reality that Paul says like this: "For this reason I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, (like a common criminal) even to the extent that I am in prison, in chains, in a cold dark prison in which conditions are despicable. But you know what!!!! They might put me into these chains, but there is no way that you are going to put the Word of God in chains!!!!!

Those few words have huge significance for us to understand and those are the words that need to be imprinted into our hearts and minds so deeply that we rarely stop thinking about what it means "the Word of God is not bound."

Paul had earlier pointed us to the grace of God as our strength, he had reminded us that the resurrection is a reality and that Jesus lives! Now he points to the power of the Word of God, saying that It cannot be bound, it cannot be chained.

His confidence is not in his flesh, but it is in the grace of God, in the living Christ and it is in the Word of God. Why the emphasis on the Word of God? Well, let's think about that for a bit here in our meditations. Let us start by making this statement: It is not the messenger that is important, even though the life and conduct is important (we will see that later on), it is the message that is all important!! Here is what is meant by this....

The gospel, the good news of God‚€™s love for us in Christ Jesus‚€“the gospel is the most powerful force on earth. Emperors cannot stop it. Chains cannot bind it. The gospel of salvation in Christ is moving forward, marching forward, liberating captives along the way, setting them free from their prisons of sin and death, unchaining the captives long held under Satan‚€™s sway.

That‚€™s you. That‚€™s me. We have been redeemed, set free by the blood of Christ, as the life-giving gospel declares. The Word of God is not bound, and indeed it sets free all those who are bound, and gives them life and courage and freedom, the strength even to suffer death for the cause of Christ.

The unbound Word, alive and active and setting people free. Pharaoh couldn‚€™t stop it. Nero couldn‚€™t stamp it out. Castro couldn‚€™t crush it. Mohammed, Mao, Stalin‚€“all have failed. Isis won't stop it. Persecution, martyrdom, the blood-red sword, unable to stop the advance of the gospel. The more subtle instruments of Satan‚€“ridicule, philosophical ‚€œenlightenment,‚€Ě and compromise--none of this has been able, or will be able, to stop the spread of Christianity.

For Jesus himself has told us, ‚€œI will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.‚€Ě

The Word cannot be bound, it cannot be chained!!

As I have been thinking and praying over this verse which declares that the Word cannot be bound, I was thinking of variouos places in the scripture by which this is understood. Here I will place some references which speak of the Word that cannot be chained and which is the only power that is able to break the chains that bind us in unbelief and sin.

Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus came to set us free, to unchain us.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

The Word that was Spirit, became Flesh, and now is spoken to listeners and is God's means of grace by which He desires to bring sinner to the awareness of their need for His forgiveness.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus has instituted the office of the ministry to declare the wonderful works of God for the purpose bringing the forgiveness that He accomplished through the preaching of the Gospel. It is important to recognize that the declaration is made to all, and where the message is believed, the chains are broken, but where the message is not received, the chains are not broken. It is not the office of the ministry that keeps the chains on, but it is the lack of receiving the message the keeps the chains on.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Yes, the Word of the Gospel cannot be chained, for it not only remits sin, it also breaks the power of canceled sin!

May we be strong in the grace of our Lord, may we remember that Jesus Christ is reigning on high and in the hearts of His church and may we trust in the unchainable Word, so that we would say with the Apostle Paul:

10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

In His Grace,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 09 Oct 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Pray and don't give up 10.16.2016
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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