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  #161  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:46 PM
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While we usually think of this time of year as a time of being with family and friends, a time of great joy, the fact is for many it is one of the worst times of the year. Many people dread the holiday season because for many reasons they are alone and feel left out of the festivities associated with the Christmas season. It is the time of year when suicides are at their highest. Being alone takes on a new significance during the holidays. This devotional today is dedicated to all of you reading these words who feel this way today. You don't have the joy, you don't have the Christmas spirit, because you are alone.
I want to encourage you today. First of all, I want to remind you as God told Joshua, as the Lord told His disciples, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The fact is, God is always with us. While that fact is comforting, it still does not alleviate the loneliness many feel from a lack of human companionship. In the Book of Hebrews, God commanded that we "not forsake the fellowship of one another."
That means being part of a local church. You see, one of the important facets of being part of a local church is that it is a source of fellowship. It is where we can find people of like faith, who become part of our life. While many of you understand that God is always with you, and you have fellowship with other believers, you are still dealing with being alone.
The real loneliness that is so strong during this time of year is the loneliness that comes from not having a spouse, or not having a close intimate relationship with your family. One of life's mysteries to me after many years in the ministry is why God allows some to remain single. I wish I had an answer, but I don't. The best I can do is to encourage you to treat it like any other battle.
Get a plan, pray, and ask God for wisdom. Have someone who will pray with you and walk through this with you, and then rely on the strength God can give you each day. Don't be frustrated if you don't see results right away. His timing is always perfect, His grace sufficient for the day. God knows your desire and understands your need. As for your family, do all that you can to reconcile with any family members you are estranged from during this Christmas season.
I love you so much. I care about you. I know the pain and hurt so many are going thru during this wonderful season when others appear to be so full of joy. Please know that you will be in my prayers. I wish I had a magical answer but I don't. However, there is One who does have the answer. It is during these times in our life, these times when we hurt and things don't make sense, that we need to press in even deeper to our daily walk with Christ. You see, that is what will sustain you through those lonely, difficult times.
The promises in His Word are true. We need to find our peace, comfort, and joy in Him. In our service to Him. My best advice for those who are lonely, is to know that you are not alone. Find ways to serve others during this Christmas season. It is in your service that you find the true meaning not only of Christmas, but in what being a Christian is all about. It is also in service that we realize we really are never alone as long as we have Jesus.
As difficult as this Christmas season may be for you because you are alone, let me remind you that I am always here for you. You have the promise of God's Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Here is some advice for those who are alone this Christmas season. Let the Lord use YOU to bring His hope, His love, to someone else who may be alone this Christmas season.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
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  #162  
Old 12-03-2011, 04:12 AM
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This message applies to every single person who is reading this right now. It doesn't matter how old you are, whether you are a man or a woman, what your skin color is, what nationality you are, how much money you have or don't have, this is a universal message that is applicable to everyone. You see, nobody that has lived very long in this sin-filled and evil world has escaped the trials and tribulations of this life and not experienced some sort of pain. EVERYONE reading this Devotional knows the pain that comes from time to time during this journey we are on.
For some, that pain was experienced in your childhood through mental, physical, or sexual abuse. Some have experienced that pain later in life through failed relationships, many through being divorced. Everyone has lived through the pain of the death of a loved one. Many of you have experienced the pain of financial hardships. Others have lived through the pain of losing your job or other employment and career issues. Sadly, some have lived through the experience of being a crime victim. Everyone has experienced the pain from making poor choices at some point in their life. Most have had to experience the pain of some bondage such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, money, shopping, lying, or a myriad of other bondages that people get caught up in.
NOT ONE PERSON READING THIS HAS NOT HAD TO LIVE THROUGH THE PAIN THAT COMES FROM LIVING THIS LIFE HERE ON EARTH.
Today, I want to share a word with you that could be one of the most important things anyone has ever told you. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP LIVING WITH WHATEVER PAIN YOU HAVE FROM YOUR PAST. Let me repeat that, because I really want you to hear these words clear. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP LIVING WITH WHATEVER PAIN YOU HAVE FROM YOUR PAST. If you are, that is only because you have CHOSEN to live with that pain!
The fact is, God has made a way through faith in His Son for you to put the pain of your past behind you and live your life in freedom. Jesus has told us to give Him our burdens, that He would carry them for us. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us. You see, God doesn't expect you to carry the pain of your past with you each day. He wants you to live FREE from your past so that you can enjoy the abundance that this life has to offer.
Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples that in this world, they would experience trials and tribulations. But He told them to, "Be of good cheer because He has overcome this world." You see my friend, trials and tribulations are part of this human experience, but God has made a way through His Son for us to still enjoy the abundance that this life can offer despite those trials and tribulations.
The only reason you are carrying the pain of your past with you today is because you have chosen to believe the LIE instead of the TRUTH. Jesus tells us in John 8:44, "Satan is a liar. He is the father of lies." When he speaks, he speaks his native language...lying! God on the other hand is TRUTH. The Word of God is TRUTH. The lie of satan is that you have to carry the pain of your past around with you each day like a 1,000 pound anchor around your neck. The truth from God is that you can take that pain of your past and give it to Jesus. HE WILL GLADLY TAKE THAT 1,000 POUND ANCHOR FROM YOU TODAY!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Everyone reading this Devotional today has experienced some of the pain that this life offers. So many of you have never let go of that pain and have simply learned how to live your life each day with that pain. Because of that, you are missing the fullness of the joy, peace, and abundance that this life can offer. Because of that, you are not completely fulfilling your purpose in this life which is to serve and glorify God with your life. Because of that, you are not living in total freedom and victory each day. Right now, this very moment, I want you to stop whatever you are doing. If you are at home, at work, or school, it doesn?t matter. Stop whatever you are doing right now and pray this prayer.
"Dear Father, I thank you for this day. I know that today was not promised to me, but it is a gift from You. Dear God, You know the pain I have today from what has happened in my life. I am tired of carrying this pain with me day after day. It is robbing me of my joy, of my peace, of knowing the abundance that this life can offer. I trust Your Word today that tells me that I can give this burden to You, that You will take it from me. I trust Your Word today that tells me to cast my cares on You because You care for me. In the name of Jesus, I give You the pain of my past today. In the name of Jesus, I surrender it to You. Take it from me, and fill me right now with Your joy, with Your peace, and let me live from this day forward in FREEDOM FROM MY PAST! In Jesus name I pray. Amen!"
I will be praying for you today my friend. God loves you SO MUCH! He cares about you SO MUCH! We live in an evil and sin-filled world. Because oF that, we all will experience pain in this life, but God has made a way so that we do not have to carry that pain around with us for the rest of our days. He has offered to carry it for us, to take it from us. I pray today that you will trust Him and give Him the pain of your past and live in FREEDOM from this day forward!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #163  
Old 01-14-2012, 06:09 AM
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With the amount of email Liveprayer receives each day, you can only imagine the amount of SPAM that we get. As I was weeding through the SPAM in my personal email account the other day, I actually had to stop and look carefully at a few, that looked almost like prayer requests but were SPAM for porn sites. If there is one thing in this world that upsets me more than anything else, it is the bold way that satan shares his message of sin with this world, and how afraid most Christians are to share our message of Truth and hope!
Satan brings the world a message that is designed to kill, steal, and destroy lives. He has NO FEAR in presenting that message as boldly as he is able to. Yet we, those who have placed our faith in Christ, who have the ONLY true message of everlasting life, who have the ONLY message of hope for this hurting and lost world, meekly, almost ashamedly, present our message in the most low-key form possible! WHY??? I actually got mad that if satan can be so diabolical and relentless in trying to destroy peoples lives, why can't we be as relentless in trying to SAVE people's lives???
Satan knows the weaknesses of man. He has man's nature down to a science. Greed, sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, food are the most base weaknesses. So satan uses the modern day media to flaunt his message of "greed is good," sex is great any way that you can get it no matter what form it takes, alcohol is socially acceptable, drugs are the "in thing," gambling is just harmless entertainment, and food is a necessity of life that we should enjoy no matter how much of it we eat.
These messages permeate the world that we live in. We are bombarded endlessly with them by the media to a point that we accept them as fact. Satan knows that this strategy works because there will be nobody bold enough to counter or challenge his message. His message in the mainstream media goes mostly unchallenged. HE REALIZES THAT VERY FEW CHRISTIANS IN A SECULAR FORUM WILL CHALLENGE WHAT HE SAYS!
The FACT IS, greed is NOT good, it is evil. Sex is designed ONLY in the confines of marriage. Alcohol affects your brain and is a crutch that many turn to, to numb their way thru life. Drugs are an escape from reality that will destroy you. Gambling is a misuse of the resources that God has entrusted to you and is poor stewardship. Food is necessary, but only when you consume the right kinds of food and the right amounts. Who out there is telling THIS SIDE, the TRUE SIDE, GOD'S SIDE of this story to the world at large???? Answer: not many!!!!
My friend, it is time for God's people to stand up, to say, "DEVIL, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." Our churches are just as much to blame!!! Many don't even deal with the needs of their congregations, let alone the world outside the doors of the church. It is time to stand up and accept the responsibility God has given to those in leadership, those who call themselves Christians, and take His message of hope and everlasting life through Jesus Christ to this lost and sin-filled world. How can the devil be so bold with lies, and God's people so timid with the truth???
I love you and care about you so much. Jesus in MANY parables told us that our time is short, we must be busy about our Father's business. Now is the time to be aggressive. Now is the time when those who God has placed in roles of leadership must be willing to sacrifice all to take HIS message to this world at large. EVEN IF IT MEANS LOSING ALL THAT WE HAVE. We can never lose everything when we have Jesus!!!
The fact is, what we have is simply given to us by God to further His Kingdom, NOT to create our own personal fiefdoms. That is why when the opportunity came nearly 13 years ago to start Liveprayer, I had no problem committing ALL that we had to this ministry. It was a vehicle God could use to open hearts and share the everlasting message of faith through Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting of this world. It was a privilege to give all that we had to be able to share Christ with hurting people.
God is calling YOU today to be bold. Look around you. How bold is satan with a message of destruction? How much bolder should YOU be with a message of everlasting life? DO NOT LET THESE WORDS GO UNHEEDED TODAY. GOD IS CALLING ME AND YOU TO A LEVEL OF BOLDNESS LIKE NEVER BEFORE.
It is time to take on the same mindset of satan in regard to presenting our message. Satan has no fear, there are no limits to him. We must operate the same way. We must never tire, never lose sight of who the real audience is--the lost in this world!!! We must get outside the comfort zone of the existing church, Christian community, and be bold enough, creative enough, to share the message of hope and faith in Christ with this lost and hurting world. Now is the time, today is the day. Time is short!!! A lost and hurting world is waiting to hear the TRUTH!!!
Let this word today be a wake-up call to pastors, those who work in ministry. Let this also be a wake-up call to YOU. Just because others choose to stay within the safety of the Christian community, does not mean God is not calling you TO THE WORLD THAT YOU LIVE IN TO MINISTER. It is time to "think outside of the box", quit doing what is comfortable, and start making some noise in the world at large as we proudly, and boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, the ONLY life, and the ONLY way to God! HE is the answer all men and women worldwide seek! God gave you this life to serve and glorify Him. We only get one chance to make a difference. God is calling YOU today to share the GOSPEL with the world!
IF SATAN IS SO BOLD WITH A LIE, HOW MUCH BOLDER SHOULD WE BE WITH THE TRUTH!!! SATAN IS RELENTLESS IN DESTROYING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE, WE HAVE TO BE JUST AS RELENTLESS IN SAVING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #164  
Old 01-15-2012, 05:49 AM
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One of the things that has greatly troubles me recently is the number of people who say that they believe in God, say that they are a Christian, yet have no problem supporting choices that are clearly defined in God's Word as sin. My friend, Jesus said it best when He said that "no man can serve two masters". The Christian faith is not a smorgosbord where you can pick and choose what you like. You can't claim to have faith in Christ, yet support the things that the Bible speaks against.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CHRISTIAN MODERATE, to borrow a political term. Either God is real or He is not.
Let me first clarify what a Christian is. A Christian is a person who has made the personal choice to repent of their sins and ask Jesus into their heart by faith (John 3:16; Romans 10:10; Ephesians 2:8,9). It is your personal faith in Christ that makes you a Christian. The church you belong to cannot save you. Having a priest or pastor baptize you when you were a baby did not save you. Living a good life does not save you. The fact that your parents are Christians cannot save you. Only making the choice to repent of your sins and ask Christ into your heart makes you a Christian.
*If this is something that you have never done, the Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation. Pray, ask God to open your heart, then go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm . God has made it so easy, but it is a choice that only YOU can make.
Once you have gotten to this point, the next step is that you MUST accept the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant Word. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be a Christian and not accept the Bible as God's Word. You see, to come to Christ by faith, you have accepted that this is God's plan to give his creation, which is separated from Him because of their sin, a way to come back into His everlasting fellowship. This is God's ONLY plan!
That is why faith in Buddha will not save you. That is why faith in Muhammad will not save you. That is why faith in the fables of a false prophet like Joseph Smith will not save you. That is why faith in a golden statue will not save you. It is ONLY faith in Jesus Christ that saves you because it was Jesus Christ who God sent to die for your sins! He was God's perfect sacrifice to give fallen man a way back into everlasting fellowship with Him. So if you accept THAT, then you have to accept the ENTIRE BIBLE as God's inspired, inerrant Word. It can't only be partly right!
The reason is that God cannot lie. The Bible is an all or nothing proposition, it is either ALL true, or NONE of it is true. This is very serious, so please hear what I am saying to you today. You can't live your faith with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. You either believe it all, or you don't really believe any of it. Either God is true and we can count on EVERYTHING He says, or God is a liar and we are the most foolish of all people.
My friend, there is NO MIDDLE GROUND. This is where so many Christians break down in their life. They simply don't want to let go of the things of this world. The fact is, this life is only a brief journey anyway. When it is over, the things of this world will be gone, and the ONLY thing that you will be left with is the fact that you have Christ in your heart, or you have rejected His love for you. PERIOD.
I love you and care for you so much. I realize that this is difficult for so many of you to read. I already know that there will be thousands of very angry emails about how intolerant I am and how the Christian faith is horrible for excluding so many good people. The fact is that the only thing intolerant about the Christian faith is accepting sin in a person's life.
Would a parent feed their child a plate of garbage to eat? Of course not. Why? Because they love them and know that it would be very harmful to them. When God says don't sin, He is saying don't eat a plate of garbage because it is harmful to you. As for the Christian faith being exclusionary. That is the FARTHEST thing from the truth. The Bibles says "whosoever believes in Him shall not perish". Whosoever is potentially EVERYONE. Everyone has the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts and accept God's free gift of everlasting life. I don't find that exclusionary, but INCLUSIONARY!
I will be praying for you today. Praying above all that you realize how serious it is to make a full and total commitment of your life to the Lord. The fact is, when we ask Him into our hearts, the Bible says that it is no longer our life, but that it belongs to Him. We surrender our life to Him. I realize, as much as anyone, how unpopular our faith can be to the world we live in.
The sad fact is, much of that world is lost, hurting, and living without ANY hope. They have chosen to reject God and live life the way they want to. That is fine. God has given everyone the free will to make that choice. Sadly though, no matter how they may appear on the outside, inside they never experience the true joy, peace, and abundance that this life has to offer. As they get older, they start to realize that there has to be more to life, and in their search for God, get caught up in every kind of New Age, crazy philosophy that exists.
What they are REALLY looking for is the peace that ONLY comes from a personal relationship with Christ. As Christians, you, me, each one of us, we are called to be a light to this dark world that we live in. We can ONLY let our light shine brightly when we are living fully, 100% for HIM. If you believe that God is real, TODAY is the day to make sure your life reflects that belief!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #165  
Old 01-18-2012, 05:23 AM
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One of the things that you can count on as you live your life are the unexpected surprises that will come your way from time to time. We all do our best to try and control what is happening in our life, but there will always be things happening to us we simply have no control over. It is at those times in life that our faith must become real and sustain us no matter what the challenge may be.
Nobody who is reading these words today is immune from the unexpected surprises of life. Waking up and finding your pet has run away, going out to play and getting injured, having a doctor tell you that you have a disease, coming home and finding your spouse has left, getting a call from the bank that a deposit bounced causing your checking account to be overdrawn, getting hurt by a close friend, being told your job has been eliminated, getting a phone call in the middle of the night that one of your parents has died, finding out your child is on drugs, getting rear-ended by a careless driver, being told your credit card was declined, and the list could go on and on of unexpected surprises great and small.
You see my friend, no matter how much control we THINK we have over our life, that is a myth because you cannot control how other people think or act. People make mistakes that can affect your life. People choose to live in rebellion to God and their rebellion can affect your life. The reason we can never have total control over our life is because we can never totally control the people that are part of our life each day. People will always fail us, people will always let us down, whether it is intentional or not.
That is why our faith is not in a man, but in THE man . . . Jesus! He is the only one that will never fail us, never let us down. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. It is during those difficult times in life, especially when we are faced with the unexpected, that we have to find our strength and hope in Him. You see, through Jesus, no matter what life may throw at us we can find the strength and hope each day to battle through the problems life may bring our way. THERE IS NO BATTLE YOU ARE FIGHTING TODAY THAT YOU CAN'T WIN WITH JESUS!!!
The key to victory is to not let the surprises of life distract you, cause you to lose focus from what God has called you to do with your life. Let me repeat this because this is a big one. Please, read these words over and over. THE KEY TO VICTORY IS TO NOT LET THE SURPRISES OF LIFE DISTRACT YOU, CAUSE YOU TO LOSE FOCUS FROM WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE!
Here is another one for you. Worrying about the things you have no control over will cause you to not take care of the things you do have control over. One more time. Worrying about the things you have no control over, will cause you to not take care of the things you do have control over.
I love you and care about you so much. On this journey called life we are always going to face unexpected surprises, things that come out of nowhere and all of a sudden become major issues in our life. Nobody who lives is free from the unexpected problems of life. The key is how we respond to those unexpected problems. We can ether let them weigh us down like an anchor at the bottom of the sea, or we can exercise our faith in Christ and be victorious over whatever unexpected problems may come our way.
I will be praying for you today. I know that many of you are dealing with circumstances in your life that popped up out of nowhere. I am praying that you will take your burden to the Lord and allow Him to help you find peace and joy today despite your circumstances. That peace and joy comes from knowing God is in control and that there is victory in Jesus.
Don't let the distractions of life keep you from being faithful in doing what God has called you to do with your life. Give those things out of your control to the Lord, and focus on those things that are in your control. That is how you deal with whatever life throws at you.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #166  
Old 02-13-2012, 03:19 AM
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The death of Whitney Houston. As most people, I was saddened but not surprised when the news broke Saturday night that pop icon Whitney Houston had died. Despite the incredible God given gift she was blessed with, honed in the church as a child, she led a very troubled life over the past 20 years. A life plagued by addiction to drugs and alcohol that no doubt contributed to her early death. I pray for her family during this difficult time, and pray that growing up in the church Whitney truly made a real commitment of her life to Jesus Christ by faith.
Death is the great equalizer. At the moment a person takes their last breath, their name, their job, their bank account, what they may or may not have accomplished during their life, all ceases to matter. At the moment they take their last breath, the only that matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ, nothing else. It is foolishness to put everything you have into these few years on earth. James calls life "a vapor." The Bible tells us tomorrow is promised to none of us, that each day is a gift from God.
Sadly, most people live their lives like they will never die, spending every second fulfilling the desires of their flesh. Their entire focus is on these few brief years and all of their time and energy, talents and resources, are invested in a life that will be gone in the blink of an eye.
If Bill Gates would die without accepting Christ into his heart, like the rich man in Luke 16, the moment he dies he will be eternally separated from God. All of his billions, all of his great accomplishments, all of his "good works," will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Likewise, if a homeless man in Chicago dies but knows Christ as his Savior, like Lazarus, the moment he dies he will be eternally with God his Creator. The fact he had no money, or no possessions, or never did great things in his life will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. DEATH IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER!
What is the main focus of your life today? Is it solely focused on these few short years, or are you preparing for your eternal home? Are you using each day to lay up treasure where moth and rust doth corrupt, or are you laying up treasure in Glory? Do you spend your day on the temporal or the eternal? How much of your time, talent, and treasure is spent on this life versus your eternal life? These are all serious and legitimate questions only you can answer. Another good question you need to ask yourself is what will your legacy be? Are you working to build a legacy in this temporal world, or are you working to build a legacy that will stand for all eternity?
The most important question that I could ever ask you is, are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to take your last breath and be standing before God your Creator? If you took that last breath in the next moment, do you know without any doubt where your eternal home will be? Are you ready to die? Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to stand before God your Creator? If you can't answer each question with an emphatic YES and you aren't 100% certain that you will be spending eternity in Heaven, please, take a moment right now and ask God to open your heart to hear His voice and watch this video clip: http://www.liveprayer.com/altarcall.cfm
There is no decision you will ever make in this life more important, since this is the decision that will determine where you spend eternity. The moment you die, all that will matter is whether you know Jesus as your Savior by faith. All of the things that separate men in this life cease to exist. As a man takes his last breath, he will be separated like the wheat and the chaff. All that will be left are those who rejected Jesus and those who surrendered their heart and life to Him by faith. Death is the great equalizer!
I love you and care about you so much. God put you on my heart today and wanted me to tell you that if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior by faith, NOW is the time to do it. You may not have tomorrow. If you do know the Lord in the pardon of your sins, it is time to quit focusing so much on this temporal world, and start focusing more on eternity. The things of this life will all pass away, but there is an eternity awaiting each of us. It is not our accomplishments for this world that will stand the test of eternity, but our accomplishments for the Lord! Our only real legacy is not in the impact we make on this temporal world, but the impact we make in the eternal souls of men!
I will be praying for you today to open your heart and hear the Lord's voice speaking to you. He loves you and has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. He wants to use you to touch hearts and lives for the Lord. God has given you life to serve Him. May this word today open your heart to the fact God is calling you and asking you to turn completely to Him. Turn from the temporal pleasures and attractions of this life and focus instead on the eternal hopes and goals of our Heavenly home. It is too late for the rich man in Luke 16 to tell those he loves about Jesus, it is not too late for you!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #167  
Old 02-15-2012, 08:17 AM
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Brother Bill,
Good Word!
Thanks,
Steve Kreins (A Former Know-It-All)
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Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:25 AM
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For men and women whom God has given a great amount of energy and ability, one of the biggest traps the enemy uses is getting them so focused on daily work that they neglect other aspects of their life. It is common to minimize and not give enough time to that daily, intimate contact with the Lord that is so critical to anyone who professes Christ as their Savior. The other area that suffers is the responsibility to the home.
As one who fights this battle daily, I can personally attest to how easy it is to get caught up in our job or career. It is something that can happen in a very subtle way over a period of time, and without any bad intentions or motives. It is a very clever trap of the enemy that I want to expose today and share with you how to avoid at all costs.
The passage of scripture today very clearly lays out how God feels about those who neglect their home. If you notice, there are no exceptions. It doesn't say you are exempt from being an infidel if you are in the ministry. Or you are exempt from being an infidel if you have an important job. Or you are exempt from being an infidel if many people at work depend on you. God was clear and concise in that taking care of our home is a major priority in our lives, without exemption.
I am totally convinced in my own heart, that the reason our society is in such a bad state today, is because we are now reaping what we sowed, as far as the family is concerned, since the mid-60's. From the free-love, anti-authority days of the 60's and 70's, to the me-first 80's, to the self-indulgence of the 90's, and through today, we now have a generation who grew up without the love and nurturing of two parents.
Whether it be from divorce or parents driven to succeed at any cost, our society is now dealing with the problems of the breakdown of God?s family plan. God tries to tell us in His Word, that after our personal relationship with Him, the next priority in our life MUST be our home. There is nothing more important that we do each day than to operate as the spiritual head of our house.
IT IS OUR FIRST JOB, AND TAKES PRIORITY OVER ALL OTHER EARTHLY JOBS AND PURSUITS.
How do we avoid falling into this trap? The best way I know is a two-fold approach. I HAVE to start every day in prayer and the Word, or it doesn't happen. It has become a discipline of mine over the years. That helps me to zero in on what is really important, and throughout the day gives me the type of God-centered focus I need to keep me where the Lord wants me to be.
Having started out that way each day, I then am reminded of my duty as the spiritual head of my home. To properly operate in that role requires sacrifice and planning on my part. I am very busy. I put in long days. But it is a priority each day to fulfill my role and obligation as the spiritual head of my house, so I plan into my day the things necessary to make that happen.
It boils down to time management, planning, and prioritizing. It is funny how we can always find the time to do the things we really want to do, the things that please us. That simply proves that it really boils down to our priorities. If we follow God's Word, and our home is a top priority, then we will find the time to provide the spiritual leadership in our home God has called us to provide, regardless of what else we do in our daily lives.
I know that this is difficult for many to read. Many you are saying that it sounds good, but that it is not realistic in your case. Let me reiterate. It MUST be realistic, because it is what God has instructed us to do. Of course, I have not even addressed the issue of single-parent homes in all of this, but that doesn't change God's command. There are NO exceptions.
One thing I have found in my personal journey with the Lord, when we are trying to follow His Word, attempting to live in obedience to His commands, He will help us. Again, there may be sacrifice involved, it may not be easy, but God will strengthen you, give you wisdom, and part the seas to help you follow Him.
I love you and care about you so much. I pray that you will read these words today, sit down and pray, and ask God how you can fulfill what He has asked you to do in relationship to your responsibilities at home. In some cases, you may have to totally readjust your lifestyle. Again, God will help you. There are several passages of scripture that are very strong and very clear. I am praying that He opens your eyes and heart to fulfill your responsibility to your home each day.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #169  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:34 AM
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"The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them." Ezekiel 34:1-6
A sad commentary on so many pastors and Christian leaders right from God's Word. Last week I was doing some study in the Book of Ezekiel. In reading through some passages, I came across these first 6 verses in Ezekiel 34. As I read these words, I could only think that this was the sad description of so many pastors and Christian leaders today.
50 years ago, you could sit in the pew of most any church of any denomination and hear the Truth of God's Word. Those pastors and the men and women God raised up on the national scene were men and women who would never compromise the Truth of the Bible and understood their only mission was to bring the lost to Christ.
Fast forward to the year 2012 and you have entire denominations of pastors who don't even preach, teach or believe the Bible. It is questionable if many pastors were ever "called" and are even saved. Those who have risen up into national prominence are more worried about selling books, having the newest private jet, building bigger buildings, and living like the rulers of small nations rather than preaching the unadulterated Truth of the Bible and leading the lost to faith in Jesus Christ. My goodness, you now have so-called Christian leaders who are endorsing and working for the member of a satanic cult to become our next President!!!
When these are the men and women leading the people, why are we surprised that many who sit in the pews of the nations churches on Sunday aren't even saved, don't accept the Bible as Absolute Truth and our only authority, and the majority of the ones who do lead weak and ineffective lives. That is why I encourage people all the time to seek out a pastor who is a true shepherd.
That is increasingly difficult today, but there are still many men of God who have not bowed their knee to Baal and are not the shepherds described in Ezekiel 34. Sunday is the day most Christians go to church. It is the only time most of you ever see your pastor, and that is usually from your seat in the sanctuary as he leads the worship service and preaches the message.
Having preached in over 500 churches of every denomination nationwide, I can honestly tell you that for most pastors, Sunday morning is their favorite day of the week and the one day they usually feel their work for God really has some meaning. You can never know the pressure most pastors are under. If it was only getting up on Sunday morning and being the "man of God" it would be wonderful, but that is not reality.
It is a 7-day a week, 24-hour a day calling. Many have outside jobs. There is the constant pressures of raising the budget, dealing with the interpersonal problems that always exist when you have a group of people, overseeing the political infighting that often occurs, on top of the spiritual requirements of shepherding the flock, having an anointed word each week for the various services, and other requirements the office of pastor carries with it.
My prayer for you today is to support your pastor. Pray for your pastor each day. John 10 gives us the picture of the ideal pastor. Pray that your pastor will be able to tear away from the distractions of this world to be the shepherd described in John 10. God has placed that pastor in your life to guide you, spiritually nurture you, and have spiritual leadership over your life. Do all you can to show your love and appreciation for all your pastor does for you, most of which you may not even recognize.
Also, God has placed your pastor in your life for spiritual leadership. When you come into times of crisis, don't hesitate to go to your pastor. That is ultimately why they are there, to help you and guide you through those difficult times in your life.
I love you and care about you so much. I pray for you daily. Sadly, today there are too many pastors and Christian leaders who fall into the description found in Ezekiel 34. It makes the work that much more difficult when you have people running around calling themselves Christians, but supporting sins like abortion, homosexuality, the destruction of God's plan of the family. You have others who think there is nothing wrong with belonging to a cult or false religions and they have bought the universalistic lie from hell that everyone will get to Heaven.
Let this message today be a remember to lift up your pastor in prayer and recognize him for all he does for your life. God has called His sheep to be obedient and obey those in spiritual authority. Take inventory and see if you are fulfilling this admonition, and ask God to help you. He loves you so much, that he has placed your pastor in your life to shepherd you and guide you in your spiritual journey. Show your love for Him today by praying for and supporting your pastor.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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  #170  
Old 06-23-2012, 04:12 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, must you have the gift of speaking in tongues as evidence that you even have the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: NO! Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift. Everyone has at least one gift, some have multiple gifts, nobody has ALL of the gifts. The Bible teaches that the moment you are saved, you have the promise of the Holy Spirit indwelling in you. The key is whether you YEILD to the Spirit. What many call the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is a matter of semantics, since it is simply the act of yielding to the Spirit already indwelling in you.
This is by far one of the most controversial issues in the church today. One of the things that grieves the heart of God the most is the division within His body. Perhaps nothing has divided the Body of Christ more than the issue of spiritual gifts. The sad fact is, it is a lack of understanding of this issue that has caused this division. Those who worship in a Pentecostal or Charismatic style church, embrace this issue, often too much so. Those who worship in more mainline denominational style churches such as the United Methodist, Presbyterian, or Baptist, ignore this issue, often too much so. Like in most differences, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle, and the issue of spiritual gifts is no different.
Let me first clear up some beliefs that are 100% incorrect. Many who do not embrace spiritual gifts take the position that they are not for this day, that at some point they ceased to exist. NOTHING could be farther from the truth. There is NO, ZERO, Biblical support for this. Jesus told his followers that they would do even GREATER things than He did. He healed people, raised the dead, fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, among other miracles.
Likewise, those who hold to the belief that those who do not operate in certain gifts are not saved or spiritually immature, are just as wrong. The biggest issue in this area are those who claim that if you do not have the gift of tongues you do not have the Holy Spirit. 100% WRONG! The Bible CLEARLY says that EVERYONE who is saved, receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the "Promise" Jesus spoke of. The Spirit is the "Comforter." Being YIELDED to the Spirit of God that resides within you is the issue.
When you hear of people being "baptized in the Holy Spirit," if they are saved they already possess the Holy Spirit. What is actually happening is that they are YIELDING to the power of the Holy Spirit that is within them. THAT is something that each person must do every day to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through their life. This hotly debated issue is more an issue of semantics than anything else.
As for Spiritual Gifts. These are special gifts that God gives to His children at specific times, for very specific purposes. God does not do ANYTHING by accident. Likewise, you cannot just activate the Gifts of God like you turn on a light switch. The biggest abuse of this is in the area of healing. YES, God does use human instruments to heal people. I will say that 99% of his human instruments are DOCTORS!
Can someone rent a 20,000 seat arena, have a 200-voice choir, an orchestra majestically lead the crowd in 1 hour of praise and worship, at the height of this emotional experience, spend 45 minutes taking an offering, then open the altar for people to come forward and be healed and people are actually healed? Yes! But even in this kind of situation it is God using the faith of the individual, in accordance with HIS plan, that brings about the healing. Never forget, in the Bible when Jesus healed someone, He said, "go, thy faith has made thee whole!"
The point is you do not have to go to a big crusade or be in the presence of a certain person to be healed. It is JESUS who heals through our faith, and in accordance with God's ultimate plan. I have over a 5,000,000 praise reports from people that have sent in healing requests to Liveprayer over the last 13 yearss who have been touched by God. Was there something magical about the prayers they got from here? NO. But God did hear those prayers and used the faith of the person in accordance with His perfect plan to bring about their healing. All Bill Keller or any other person can do is to pray with you and challenge you to believe, and to put your faith in God. The same Jesus who healed in the Bible, is the same Jesus that heals today.
The other gift that is greatly abused is that of the prophet. In the Old Testament, God often spoke through the prophet. Now that we have His Word, a prophet is someone who declares the oracles of God. A prophet is not a psychic, though God can give a prophet direction for a person or situation in advance. Most who call themselves prophets however, speak in a lofty language, and much like the psychics, speak in generalities that can apply to almost ANY situation.
*Remember, a false prophet is one who leads people AWAY from the God of the Bible and HIS Truth!
The bottom line to this sadly divisive issue is that spiritual gifts DO EXIST. They are NOT a sign of spiritual superiority but special gifts that God gives to His children at specific times for VERY specific purposes. The fact is that EVERY believer has at least one gift and no believer has ALL of the gifts. The Bible says we should desire the gifts of God so that we can better fulfill our purpose of serving Him. The purpose of this Devotional is not to get into a theological debate over this issue. I am not here for that purpose, and I refuse to allow myself to get entangled in that kind of exchange.
I realize that there is much teaching on this issue and possibly your church teaches things that might contradict what I have said. I will say this. One reason I rarely deal with this issue, is that like prophecy, people can get so focused on this one issue, that they forget the most important issue of all which is what Liveprayer is here to do. That is to help you translate your faith into your every day life and fulfill all that God intends for your life to be. I have preached in churches of every denomination and the one common bond in every church, no matter WHAT position they take on issues like Spiritual Gifts is that there are people hurting, and looking for encouragement and answers in their day to day life.
I love you and care about you very much. I will be praying for you today, especially that you don't allow an issue like Spiritual gifts divide you from other parts of the Body of Christ. Like Paul writes, we each are a different part of the SAME Body. I will pray however that you open your heart to all that God wants to do with and through your life. To accomplish that, He will often give you special gifts to carry out His work. I pray that you open your heart to His will and plan for your life. Never limit the power of God that allows you to best serve Him.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:59 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, are there any biblical references that can be used to help us to explain and understand the growing number of UFO sightings and related phenomena? As God created the heavens and the earth, and considering the incomprehensible size and God's ultimate authority over the universe, it seems possible that mankind may not be God's only created species that exist, other than HIS Angels.
ANSWER: There is not, other than in Genesis Chapter One we read God's account of the creation of the universe and ALL that is in it. I don't put much thought into the whole UFO, alien issue. However, the one thing that is certain, IF they exist, they are part of God's creation.
Let me share some insight with you that I have found to be true in my life and I am sure you have found in your own life. It is in our failures that we learn life's most important lessons and grow. Nobody wants to fail, but the only person who has never failed is someone who has never tried. Failure is part of life. It is something we all have to experience from time to time. The key, however, is how do you respond when you fail? How do you respond when life doesn't go as you planned?
Winning, losing, succeeding, failing, these are all concepts that we begin to learn as children. Playing games is something all children do, and quickly we learn there are winners and losers. During our childhood we try many things, music, sports, different hobbies. Again, we quickly learn the joy of succeeding in the things we do and that empty feeling when we fail. While it is important to keep winning and success in perspective and learn how to do both with humility, it is even more important to learn how to handle defeat and failure, as well as the lessons they can teach us.
The first lesson in losing, in failing, is to take personal responsibility and not blame other people or anything else. Having spent 31 months of my life in Federal Prison, having ministered these past 20 yrs to tens of thousands of men and women who are incarcerated, I can tell you the biggest problem I see with people in prison is the refusal to take personal responsibility for the choices that put them in prison. Most people you talk to who are in prison will tell you they are there because of what this person or that person said or did. They are not willing to accept responsibility that they are there because of the choices THEY MADE. A person who is in prison will never be able to move forward and turn their life around until they are ready to accept personal responsibility for THEIR choices.
Whenever we lose or fail, it is always easy to sit back and make excuses. Some of those excuses may even be valid. However, rather than investing the time and energy into finding excuses why we lost or failed, it is far more productive to look at the role WE played in our loss or failure. You learn nothing by blaming someone else or making excuses. When you sit down and are honest to look at yourself, at the choices you made that contributed to your loss or failure, then you are able to learn from the mistakes you made and hopefully not repeat them in the future. We can all learn much from our losses and failures in life if we will simply be honest with ourselves and take the time to analyze our thoughts and actions so we can identify what we did wrong.
The second lesson in losing, in failing, is to not let our loss or failure paralyze us from trying again. Some people become so devastated by losing, by failing, that they simply refuse to try again. My friend, losing and failing are part of life. As I said earlier, the only people I have met who have never lost or failed are people who have never tried. You can't be afraid of losing or failure. Nobody likes to lose. Nobody likes to fail. However, you will never win unless you also lose and you will never succeed unless you also fail. Rather than being paralyzed by losing and failing, let them motivate you. Learn from your losses and failures so that you don't repeat the mistakes and poor choices you made that led to them. instead of losing and failing making you weak, they can make you strong.
*LET ME SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME SINCE THIS IS A POWERFUL THOUGHT. INSTEAD OF LOSING AND FAILING MAKING YOU WEAK, LOSING AND FAILING CAN MAKE YOU STRONG!
The third lesson in losing, in failing is this, THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD! In the process of serving the Lord, we will always have times and experiences when we feel in our flesh that we have failed, that we have let the Lord down. That is a lie from the pits of hell! THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD! You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail is to NOT serve Him! God uses our obedience and faithfulness in ways we will never see or understand until we get to Glory. The reality is, when we are yielded to the Lord, God uses our lives to do incredible things that we never even realize.
As a matter of fact, I submit that the greatest things you will ever do for God you don't even know you did them until you get to Heaven. Those are the things you do each day simply by being obedient and faithful . God will give us a little feedback along the way since He knows our flesh is weak and needs encouragement. However, the vast majority of what God does in and through our lives we will never fully comprehend in this life. Don't forget, our job isn't to know everything that is going on, it is simply to be obedient and faithful. God can use a willing and yielded vessel!
I love you and care about you so much. Losing and failing are simply part of this life. Things often don't go as we planned. THAT IS LIFE! How we respond to losing, to failing, when things don't go as we planned is the key. Never forget, God is on the throne. He doesn't take naps, or go to the bathroom, or take a break to eat a sandwich. God is on His throne at all times and nothing happens apart from God allowing it to happen. The vast majority of the time we lose or fail is because of the choices we made. God gave us free will, and God allows us to make the choices that lead to our losing or failing. Again, the key is how do we respond when we lose or fail.
Your first response should be prayer. Pray for God to open your heart, give you wisdom, and show you why you lost or failed. Than, you need to pray for God to give you the strength to overcome your disappointment in losing or failing, and help you to move forward. Lastly, you need to seek the Lord to guide you so that you don't make those same poor choices again. Listen to me carefully. God doesn't abandon you when you lose or fail. You are not alone. He is there with you each moment, so reach out and allow HIM to comfort you and give you His peace. God is with you in the good times and bad, through victory and defeat, through success and failure.
I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will speak to your heart today through these words. If you have suffered some defeats in your life recently, if you have failed, know that I am here and praying for you. Losing and failing are part of life. Don't let your defeats or failures keep you from moving forward. Life goes on. Sit down and learn from your losses, learn from your failures, and work to insure you don't make those mistakes again. Let me share a secret with you today. As long as you know Jesus as your Savior you can never lose or fail and if you don't know Jesus as your Savior, you can never win or succeed. One more time, say it out loud slowly, "As long as I know Jesus as my Savior I can never lose or fail and if I don't know Jesus as my Savior, I can never win or succeed!"
My friend, as long as you know Jesus, no matter what may happen, no matter what the setbacks in life you may experience along your journey, no matter what your defeats or your failures may be, you will always win and be successful! YOU ARE ALWAYS A WINNER AND A SUCCESS BECAUSE OF JESUS!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:28 AM
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"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17
Taking a stand for the lost in Great Britain and in Europe. With the spotlight of the world shining on London as they host the Summer Olympics, I am reminded of great men of the faith who brought their God-given talents and gifts to the United States to help lay the foundation of faith here we enjoy today. George Whitfield, EM Bounds, the Wesley brothers, on and on the list goes of great men of God born in England who came to the US to preach and build the Christian church here.
Sadly, Europe in 2012 is spiritually dark. They have replaced Biblical truth with a philosophy of human secularism. For most in the United States who know Jesus as their Savior, going to church is nothing special, some even view it as a great sacrifice. In Europe, most churches are empty or sparsely attended. They are being closed because there are no congregants. Generations have lived and died rejecting God's Truth and the Gospel!
*Europe is critical since it is a foreshadow of how the church in the United States will look in the next generation if we don't turn back to God and His Truth!!!
James 4:17 is often referred to in theological circles as the sin of omission. The fact is, it is the sin most Christians commit each and every day. It is just as much of a sin in God's eyes as a sin of commission such as adultery, murder, or any other sin. To not do the good we know we ought to, is just as much a sin as any sinful act we might commit. We simply don't have the luxury of sitting back and watching unrighteousness and not speak out.
We were first introduced to Saul of Tarsus in Acts Chapter 7 as he was committing the sin of omission, giving his approval to the stoning of Stephen as he held the coats of those who were stoning him to death. Even though he didn't hurl one rock, he was as guilty as those who did by his silence as they killed an innocent man.
I have never been what someone would call a Christian activist. I appreciate those who are led to work in this area, but I have always taken the approach that true change is made one heart at a time. We can't eliminate pornography from the Internet, but we can change the hearts of those who look at it. We will never win the mythical drug war by locking people up, seizing shipments of drugs, or burning the fields they are grown in. We win by changing the heart of the person who is using drugs. The way to ultimately stop abortion is by changing the hearts of the women who make the decision to kill their baby. So my approach has always been to attack the root of the problem, sin, and help people find a new life in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, I cannot sit back and watch things go on around me that are just absolutely wrong and keep silent.
So many Christians are content to sit on the sidelines, listening, watching, experiencing the fullness of the Christian life vicariously through others. One of the popular Christian magazines each month has become little more than an advertising vehicle for this Holy Ghost Conference, that Camp meeting of the Millennium, the annual Partners Only Crusade, Women's meetings, Men's meetings, and on, and on, and on. The point I want to make is that the people of God have gotten very fat and lazy with all of the Christian celebrities and the Christian entertainment that our culture has produced. Too many of God's people have become lazy and more comfortable sitting on the sidelines watching, which was never God's plan.
I am a big believer in education and listening to God's anointed teachers of the Word to learn all we can. But while we are hearing the Word, we, also, must be DOING THE WORD! All of the commands in the Gospels, the Book of Acts, Paul's letters, and the other New Testament writings were to be active participants in our faith-helping others, witnessing, teaching new believers. God gives spiritual gifts to His people to be active DOERS of the Word, not idle bystanders. He has given each one of His children gifts and abilities to help advance the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught in many parables that it is a sin to not utilize the gifts God has given you. I want to make sure you clearly understand today, that it is a sin to not use the gifts and talents God has blessed you with to serve Him.
That does not mean you have to quit your job and become a missionary to a third-world country, or sell everything to start a ministry. God may call you to do that. However, for most of His children, He has called you to serve Him exactly where you are today. It is no accident you live where you live, go to school where you do, work where you do, or recreate and shop where you do. God has placed you there strategically to be a light to others. The most effective way we can serve God is in our normal day-to-day life. Letting our Godly lifestyle be a living testimony to those we come in contact with. Helping those around us in a time of need. Getting involved in projects and ministries through our local church.
I love you and care about you so much. Please pray today for the Lord to bless our brothers and sisters in Christ living in Europe. Pray for those who boldly take the Gospel to those nations each day, literally. I will be praying for you today, that these words will cause you to stop and reflect on your life. Ask yourself if you are on the sidelines or are actively living the Christian life God has called you to live. Are you using your gifts and talents for Him? Take inventory today of whether you are not only hearing the Word, but DOING the Word. I want to see you be all you can be and all God has called you to be for Him.
Remember, our greatest and most effective service is rarely those big things we may be involved in for the Kingdom, but the quiet, one-on-one ministry to someone who is hurting and looking for hope. Everyone who knows Christ can tell someone that Jesus loves them. Everyone that knows Christ can testify to what Jesus has meant in their life. Everyone who knows Christ can share the love and hope we have in Him with someone. Become a DOER of the Word and don't be guilty of the sin of omission!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:35 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, there was a girl murdered last weekend down in St. Louis. Two eighteen year old punks are going to be officially charged first thing in the morning. If we are not supposed to kill, such as abortion, than how can a Christian jusify killing these men if convicted.
ANSWER: This is an issue I am quesitoned about often. Today's Devotional covers this in depth.
For those who have been reading my Devotionals during these past 13 years, you know I refuse to shy away from the issues that we deal with in our day-to-day lives, issues many ministers refuse to address primarily because they do not want to offend anyone. The fact is, the Word of God is an offense to all that do not believe. As those God has called in this day to share His Word with the people, it is not our job to worry about offending someone, simply sharing the absolute truth of the Word, and than leaving it up to each who hears to accept of reject what God says.
Within the first years of Liveprayer, I dealt with the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. If all accounts of what he felt in his heart in his last days on earth are correct, he rejected God and is eternally separated from Him. NOT because of his heinous and horrific crime in killing 168 innocent people, but for rejecting Jesus Christ.
I was saddened to hear the pastor of the United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City across from where the Mura Federal Building once stood, say on national TV that God would never forgive Timothy McVeigh. That is NOT what the Bible says. The fact is, ANYONE, the "whosoever" of John 3:16, that truly repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ by faith will be saved, even someone who committed such a horrible act of violence as Timothy McVeigh. The choice he made is the same choice we all must make in this life, to accept God's gift of everlasting life by faith, or reject it.
Many have trouble accepting this truth. They have trouble accepting the fact that someone like a Timothy McVeigh could do something so horrible, yet still be eternally with God. But you see, we are ALL sinners. The Bible proclaims that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says "For it is by grace you have been saved, though faith . . . and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God . . . not by works, so that no one can boast."
You see my friend, God has made a way for everyone, even the Timothy McVeigh's of the world, to accept Christ by faith, repent of their sins, and be born again. Even though you may not have done anything as horrible as McVeigh did, the fact is, you are still a sinner, and you will be eternally separated from God, just like Timothy McVeigh, when this journey is over, unless you come to know Jesus as your personal savior.
If you are not sure that you will be eternally with God when you die, if you have never made that commitment, you can do it today, right now. Simply go to www.liveprayer.com, click on Salvation, and you can have the assurance that when your life is over, you will be with the Lord for eternity.
*Plan of Salvation: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
The other issue that has stemmed from the execution of Timothy McVeigh is capital punishment. Many who oppose capital punishment say it is hypocritical to be opposed to abortion and yet support capital punishment. That is an apples and oranges argument. Abortion is the killing of an innocent life. Capital punishment is the killing of someone who is guilty of a serious crime against society. You can not even argue the two, because one deals with an innocent life, the other deals with a guilty life. Another false argument is that capital punishment is not a deterrent to others from committing the same kinds of horrible crimes. It is not supposed to be a deterrent. It is the penalty for committing such crimes.
You see, capital punishment has a very solid basis from scripture and ultimately is a decision each society must determine. One of the wonderful things about our country is that we can change laws that we feel are not acceptable. Let me just add, Liveprayer is here to pray for people's needs, not to debate social issues. For those who disagree with capital punishment, you have the right to form your own opinions. I try to use God's Word as my final authority on all matters, and you cannot ignore the biblical predicate for capital punishment.
I love you and care about you so much. I have prayed extensively over these words today. I asked God that in the midst of the horror this one man has brought to so many, someone would read these words today and come to know Christ as his/her personal savior. Timothy McVeigh had the ultimate opportunity to accept Christ, since he knew the date and time of his death. Most of us are not that lucky. We never know when we will die; when we do, our chance at accepting Christ is lost.
I pray you don't wait too long. Every time we see the news of senseless killing, it only reinforces how quickly life can end. I am sure nobody expected to go to work at a Federal building that day and not come home. Christ loves you so much He died for your sins. He is standing at the door of your heart today, knocking. It is no accident you are reading these words. I am praying that you will open your heart to Him, and let Him in.
Plan of Salvation: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:25 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, my question involves Deacons. Should I take my name off of the Deacon election? I am now married to my third wife whom I know God had His hand in bringing us together. Some think in 1 Timothy 3:12 says the Deacon should be husband of one wife, literally means one wife, never divorced. Others say that you are not to be married to more than one wife at a time.
ANSWER: Very few churches follow what the Bible teaches in this area. It is crystal clear that for the office of pastor, deacon, and elder, it is to a MAN, not a woman, and a man who has never been divorced. Those who say it means you are not to be married to more than one wife are trying to compromise what the Bible teaches since God's plan never was for being married to more than one woman. Understand this does not mean a woman can't hold any other office of service and be an incredible blessing to millions, nor does it mean a divorced man can't hold any other office of service and be an incredible blessing to millions. Most important, divorce is like any other sin, we go to God for forgiveness, and if we are blessed to remarry, the goal is to do it God's way..for life.
One of the greatest tragedies in this life is the time that we DON'T spend with those we love the most, those that God has given us to share this journey with.
I WANT TO CHALLENGE YOU TODAY. MAKE THE TIME, MAKE THE EFFORT TO TAKE ONE DAY, AND SPEND IT WITH THOSE THAT YOU LOVE!!! The fact is, you HAVE the time. As the Nike commercial says, JUST DO IT!
It may be a day alone with your wife or husband. It may be a day with your children. It may be time with your father and/or mother. It may be a day with a grandparent, or an aunt, or an uncle. It may be a day with a close friend. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT GOD GIVES US PEOPLE TO INTIMATELY SHARE THIS BRIEF JOURNEY OF LIFE WITH. SADLY, THESE ARE OFTEN THE PEOPLE THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED THE MOST!!!
One thing I can guarantee you. EVERY person one day will die. Only God knows when that day is. When a person dies, they are not coming back, so we must NEVER neglect this brief time that we have together. IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD!!!
Listen, I understand the day to day reality of life. Work, deadlines, responsibilities, commitments. I UNDERSTAND ALL OF THAT. But let me ask you a question. If you get sick today, maybe serious enough that you have to go to the hospital for a day or two, what will happen? When you get out, get better, you catch up and keep moving forward at work, at school, in the various responsibilities and commitments that you have in your life.
Last year, I remember one VERY busy day. It was tightly scheduled as most every day is for me. But as I was driving back from a meeting, someone driving carelessly rear-ended my car. Thankfully, nobody was injured, but the entire process took close to 3 hours before I could get back to my office and resume my day. THE POINT IS, WE HAVE THE TIME IF WE WANT TO MAKE THE TIME!!!
Here is what I am advising you to do. TAKE ONE FULL DAY. FORGET WORK, FORGET SCHOOL, FORGET WHATEVER YOU WOULD NORMALLY DO THAT DAY AND SPEND IT WITH SOMEONE THAT YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT. Go take a drive somewhere, do something you both want to do, goof off, LEAVE THE CELL PHONE HOME!!!
Take one day and simply spend it with someone that you love. It won't destroy your career, it won't destroy your schooling, it won't make you irresponsible.
This life is very short. We only have a limited number of days to live. God gives us a few people that we love and are close to, to share this journey with. It is critical that we pick our spots and spend time with them. Trust me, one day they will be gone and you will wish they were here!!! So enjoy those people that God gives us to walk through this life with while we can!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I have preached too many funerals, I have been in too many hospital rooms over the last 20 years when people were wishing that they had more time to spend with those they love. WE TAKE TIME FOR GRANTED. WE TAKE THE PEOPLE WE ARE CLOSEST TO IN THIS LIFE FOR GRANTED. This is a chance for YOU to be in control, for YOU to take some of the precious time God has given you, to enjoy those that He has given you to share this life with.
I will be praying for you today. I pray that these words do not fall on deaf ears, or go unheeded. Life always has emergencies that make us change our normal daily schedule. SPENDING ONE DAY WITH SOMEONE THAT YOU LOVE WHO WILL BE GONE ONE DAY IS AN EMERGENCY!!! Don't take them, or the time God gives you for granted. When they are gone, it will be too late. So do it NOW!!!
We can say "I love you" very easy. However it takes time and effort to SHOW someone that you love them. TAKE THE TIME, MAKE THE EFFORT TODAY....THERE MAY NOT BE A TOMORROW!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:10 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I hear Christians arguing that the Bible, like the Constitution needs to be rewritten to reflect modern times. Is that true?
ANSWER: ABSOLUTELY NOT! The Truth of God's Word is timeless. It is not the Bible that needs to change to accommodate the culture, it is the culture that needs to change to accommodate the Bible!!! Just because a culture chooses to live in rebellion to God's Truth, does NOT mean God's Truth has changed. It is IMMUTABLE, NEVER CHANGING!
Today is a special day for me as I celebrate my 55th birthday. I never forget that tomorrow is promised to none of us and that each day is a gift from God. So I am most grateful for the Lord blessing me with these years of life, and am even more grateful that He allows me the honor of waking up each morning to serve Him. My hand is to the plough, I am not looking back, and am so excited each morning at what God is going to do in people's lives that day. I look forward to sharing the Truth of God's Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting in the world until He says my work is over and calls me home.
It is normal on your birthday to receive presents. You may get a new pair of shoes, some clothes, a watch, maybe a nice dinner out, or even something as extravagant as a new car. However, even though it is my birthday, I have a present for YOU today. It is better than new shoes, or new clothes, or a shiny watch. It is even better than a new car. My present to you today will actually add YEARS TO YOUR LIFE!
You see, I really do love you and care about you. I am so thankful for you being part of my life and I want you to be around for many years to come should Jesus tarry in His return. Even though it is God who will have the last word when our life is over, we can make the free will choices to do things that can literally shorten our days. So today, my present to you is how to live as long as you possibly can to enjoy this life and be a productive servant of our Lord until the moment He calls you home.
Over the past 162 months I have spoken many times on how our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and how we should do all that we can to keep our temples in the best shape possible. I have spoken often about how it is our responsibility to be in the best physical shape possible to be able to serve God to our best ability for as long as we possibly can.
Less than 10% of those reading this today exercise regularly or even try to eat the right foods. OVER 90% OF THOSE READING THIS TODAY ARE OVERWEIGHT AND THOSE EXTRA POUNDS ARE SHORTENING YOUR LIFE!!! Today I am going to help you lose weight. MORE IMPORTANTLY, KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF without spending thousands on joining a health club, buying machines, or becoming a slave to the latest pills or juices that will cost you $50 a month and NEVER do what they promise.
There are two elements required to lose weight. First is exercise. You MUST be on a disciplined exercise plan and be faithful to that plan to burn the calories necessary, not to mention the positive effects it has on your heart and muscles. Second is what you eat. There is NO way to lose weight, maintain your optimum weight, unless you are watching what you eat and drink. Sweets, soft drinks, alcohol, snack foods all have tons of calories that will put pounds on you. If you are doing lots of exercise, you can get away with eating some things that are not the best for you to be eating, but you must be aware of all that you eat and drink. I hate to be over simplistic, but the fact is, if you are exercising regularly and watching what you eat, you can and WILL lose weight and MAINTAIN your ideal weight.
Please let me add this VERY IMPORTANT fact. Everyone has their own ideal weight. Genetics DO play a factor in this, and how God created our bodies is an issue. There are some people who simply will carry more weight than others. There is NOTHING wrong with being what some may consider overweight. Nobody can be the media's definition of perfect, nor should we try. We have to use common sense and accept the fact that some people are simply created to carry more weight than others. The key is, are you where YOU need to be at for YOUR body???
>From the amount of emails that I get every day, I know that this is a major >issue for many of you. Here is the secret. It is a battle like any other >battle you fight in life. It is first a spiritual battle. The strength you >get to stick to your exercise routine, to eat the right things each day, do >NOT come from a pill or from yourself, IT HAS TO COME FROM GOD!!! You need >to take the time each morning and pray to God for the strength and >diligence to stick to your exercise plan and what you eat. IN YOUR OWN >STRENGTH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! People fail in their sincere efforts in this >area because they have left out the spiritual element to it.
FORGET THE $50 A MONTH PILL OR JUICE AND REPLACE IT WITH PRAYER! All that pill or juice does is remind you that this is a commitment that you have made. Period. Prayer will not only remind you, but strengthen you to stick to it and see victory!!!
I love you and care about you so much and am grateful to be able to give you this present today! I will be praying for you that God will inspire you to take action in this area of your life. HE IS SPEAKING TO YOU ABOUT ADDING YEARS TO YOUR LIFE! You don't need the latest pill or juice to lose weight. You need to exercise, watch what you eat, and PRAY! That is the special element. God will give you the strength and motivation to get victory over this area of your life. He will help you. Like in all things, when we are serious and ask God to help us, HE WILL!!! You will not only lose the weight you desire, but keep it off as long as you are willing to exercise, watch what you eat, and pray about this daily!
Losing weight and maintaining a certain weight is like every other battle we face. We must have a battle plan that we work faithfully each day, and that plan must include accountability to others and God. We aren't strong enough to get and maintain victory on our own. We need to have others in our life to hold us accountable and to keep us where we need to be in our day-to-day actions. I realize that this is an issue with many who are reading this right now. Know today that there is hope, there is victory waiting for you!
Exercise, pay attention to what you eat, have people in your life who will hold you accountable to your exercise routine and what you eat, and pray daily for God to give you the strength and resolve to stick to the plan. IT WILL ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE! This is an important issue because the better you feel, the better shape you are in, the more fit you are, the better you will be able to serve and glorify God with your life for many years to come!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:32 AM
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"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" Ephesians 5:25
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. " Ephesians 5:22
Have you been abused in your marriage? There is not a more difficult issue that I have to deal with every day than abuse. People are abused in many ways. Physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial are the most common forms of abuse and can happen at every stage of life. Children are abused. Teens are abused. Adults are abused. The elderly are abused. This is such a sweeping, widespread issue that so many face in their life I could do an entire month of Devotionals on just this one topic alone. I have dealt with abuse many times over the years. Just earlier in the year I dealt with the sexual abuse of children. However, today I want to focus strictly on those who are in an abusive marriage.
One of the dark secrets in the church is the amount of abuse that takes place in so many homes, from pastors and those in leadership down to the person in the pew. Remember, these are not homes of people who deny God's existence, reject the Bible as Truth, or have rejected the love of Christ. These are homes of people who do believe in God, do believe the Bible is Truth, and do believe in Jesus! These are also homes where one spouse is abusing the other, and in some cases, both spouses are abusing each other! To people on the outside, these may look like perfect marriages. Only the husband and wife know that there is a dark side to their marriage, abuse.
Let me say that this is why I implore people to take the TIME and the EFFORT to build a spiritual foundation to their marriage BEFORE they get married. Everyone is on their best behavior, says all the right things when they are dating. However, over time, you begin to know who the person you are planning to marry really is. It is very difficult to pray with someone, read the Word with someone, go to church with someone, find ways to serve the Lord with someone, talk about all of the key issues of your future life together, do this over a year or two, and all of a sudden after you take your wedding vows discover the person you married is an abuser.
Does that happen? Yes! People do change over time. When you add in the pressure of careers, children, the issues of life we all have to face along this journey, on top of what I have always said is the most difficult thing in the world, making two flesh become one in marriage, people do change. Abuse CAN enter into even the most Christ-centered marriage. The key is to deal with it IMMEDIATELY. Don't let abuse exist. Fight it right away. The very first time it occurs, deal with it! Otherwise, like all sin, it will only grow and get worse. ABUSE DOES NOT JUST GO AWAY OVER TIME, IT ONLY GETS WORSE OVER TIME!
Please understand that God NEVER intended you or anyone to be abused. If your husband or wife abuses you in any way, confront them immediately since they need professional and spiritual help. If the abusing spouse refuses to get help, do not be a hero! You are going to accomplish NOTHING by staying in an abusive marriage. Your very life could be at stake. Please listen to me carefully. I am NOT saying to run out and get a divorce. I am saying to separate yourself from your abusing spouse until they are willing to deal with their abuse and get professional and spiritual help.
Saying I'm sorry is NOT going to make everything better. Abusers are professional apologizers. They are masters at it. I don't doubt that they are sincere. So is the alcoholic who is hung over, feeling like it would be better to die and vowing to never drink again. Or the gambler who loses a huge bet saying he will never bet again. Until they are serious enough to seek out help, seek the Lord for the strength to live in freedom from their abusive ways, they are not going to change. Like any addiction, an abuser has to want to stop and then take the steps necessary professionally and spiritually to get victory over their abusive ways.
Only after time has passed and the abusive spouse has shown a track record of making changes in their life, should the abused spouse even think about moving back into the same home. What are they supposed to do in the meantime? Stand in the gap for their spouse. Pray for them to turn to the Lord and find His strength to turn from their abusive ways. Press into the Lord since they will need His strength and His presence to heal and move forward with their life. The biggest trap during this time is getting involved with someone else. Remember, you are still married! Did you really mean it when you made your vows to your spouse and to God, "For better or for worse?"
Now is the time to make your faith real, shun the wisdom of the world that says get divorced, find someone else, and move on. Take a stand for your marriage. God is NOT going to bless a relationship you get involved with outside of your marriage. As a matter of fact, it will only compound your problems. Remember, God will not and is not going to bless sin! We all come to those places in life when we have to put our faith to the test and really trust God. It is at those moments of our life that we find our faith, we learn how to depend on and trust in God with everything we have, and come to realize that the promises in the Bible really are for us and they are true! God will protect you, provide for you, care for you, love you, and keep you as you give yourself completely to Him!
I love you and care about you so much. This issue today only highlights again how critical it is to build a strong spiritual foundation with your future spouse over a period of time PRIOR to getting married. You can potentially save yourself so much pain and heartache if you do. Marriage is an incredible blessing from God, a wonderful journey through this life with the person God has given you to share it with. It should be the greatest relationship in your life outside of your relationship with Jesus Christ. To have this person you have committed the rest of your life to abuse you is so sad and tragic.
When we talk about the abuse issue, we normally think of physical and sexual abuse. However, the most common form of abuse in most Christian marriages is verbal, emotional, and financial. For you men and women who are currently abusing your spouse in any way, you know this is not how God has called you to treat your wife or husband. Out of the billions of people on this planet, this is the ONE PERSON God has given to you to share your life with. Why would you abuse that person in any way? God is speaking to you today. God is telling you today to get the help you need, professionally and spiritually. Being an abuser is no different than being an alcoholic, drug addict, or having any other bondage. You need God to set you free!
I will be praying for you today. Praying that the Holy Spirit will bring you under conviction and that you will fall on you knees today and ask God to forgive you. Then go get the help you need to find freedom from your abusive ways. I will also be praying for you wives and husbands who are being abused. I pray that God will watch over you and protect you, that He will give you the strength to stand up to your abusive spouse and hold them accountable for their abuse. That the Lord will help you to make whatever tough choices you have to make so that you are not living your life each day being abused. I will be praying for God to bring healing to your life, help you to forgive your spouse so that you can move forward.
In the end, this tragic issue like all boils down to Jesus. Those who live in rebellion to God and His Word, who have rejected Christ's love in their life, will never understand why you need to be saved and marry someone who is also saved They will never comprehend why it is so critical to build a spiritual foundation to your relationship PRIOR to getting married. They have bought the lies of this world that sex is a sport to play with whoever is willing. They wake up one morning, their lives are a mess, they have been abused in every way imaginable, and they can't understand why. For them, their only hope and answer is to know Jesus and allow Him to bring healing to their life and transform them into a new creature in Christ.
For those who know the Lord as their Savior, they have no excuse for not calling on His name. We all sin and do things we wish we didn't do. The key, however, is recognizing our sinful actions, repenting, and asking the Lord to forgive us. We need to remember that when we are weak, He is strong, and to call upon His strength to live a life pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. God does not desire anyone to abuse their spouse but to love them like He loves us. God does not desire that anyone lives in an abusive marriage, but one of peace and love with Christ at the center.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:37 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, this is troubling to me. Please explain what is meant by, "the road to heaven is narrow and few will find the way."
ANSWER: Sadly, despite the Gospel being available to all, most will choose to reject it. The biggest reason I see daily is because people don't want to be held accountable. The "narrow road" doesn't only pertain to Jesus being the ONLY way to be saved, but the Bible being the ONLY truth. Sadly, most choose to reject that Truth.
***SPECIAL MESSAGE TO BILL O'REILLY: Hey Bill, at least your buddy cult member Beck doesn't think he will become a "god" until he dies, unlike you, who thinks he is already "god" and your word on every situation is final. After documenting your flawed theology over the past 10 years (http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=5107), I have no dobut your upcoming book "Killing Jesus" will be full of your laughable theology stew made up of your liberal strain of Catholicism, new age beliefs, and personal made-up beliefs of what is right. Last night, your hubris, arrogance, and true feelings about Biblical Christians slipped out when discussing gay marriage you said the only argument against "marriage equality" was by "Bible thumpers!"
Now I am aware you have been part of the elite corporate journalistic world for your career, and by the grace of God you were at the right place at the right time when FOX News began (lest you think your ratings and millions you have been blessed with are all because of your greatness as I am sure you do), and that you love to be accepted by the rest of the media elite like Letterman, Walters, and those you are now working with on your books/movies. So it is no wonder that you like the rest in your small world view those who hold the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God representing Absolute Truth that it is, as small-minded," "backwards," "Bible thumpers."
Let me educate YOU. As someone who is supposed to understand the culture, the key component to our culture is God's plan for marriage between a man and woman who love and nurture the children from that marriage in the admonition of the Lord. ALL else is a PERVERSION of that perfect plan and the breakdown and PERVERSION of that perfect plan is why our society is in the spiritual abyss we find ourselves. As you are fond of calling those who act foolishly, you sir are the King of the Pinheads!
Communion. As we prepare to celebrate what is known as Maundy Thursday, the night of the last supper, I felt this was the perfect Devotional to share with you. Communion is that wonderful act of remembering the sacrifice Jesus made as He literally gave His life for the sins of all mankind. There has been much confusion and poor teaching about this wonderful time when a follower of Jesus Christ fulfills the command the Lord gave to His followers to remember Him by partaking of the bread and wine, re-enacting that moment He shared with His disciples in the Upper Room during the Last Supper.
When we're dealing with anything, our final authority in all matters is the Bible. The primary scripture that deals with communion is found in Paul's first letter to the Church of Corinth, in the 11th chapter. This passage refers back to the words of Jesus on the night of the Last Supper with His disciples. On that night, our Lord broke the bread and said, "This is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of Me." After dinner was over, Jesus took the cup and told His disciples, " This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." You see, Jesus knew what was about to happen. Jesus knew that in just a few hours He would be going to the cross to shed His precious blood and give His life as the one-time, perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.
What Jesus did that night was give all of those who would follow Him a way of remembering His finished work on the cross. This is Easter week. It's that time of year Believers worldwide will reflect on the great sacrifice Christ made for us. We remember the Last Supper. We remember that time in the Garden of Gethsemane where he would be betrayed by Judas. We remember his trial before Pontius Pilate. We remember how our Lord was beaten, scourged, mocked, spat upon, and eventually nailed to the cross where He hung and died. The fact is, we need to remember Christ's sacrifice for us more than just at Easter. That is the wonderful thing about communion. It allows us to take time and reflect, to remember the price Jesus paid for our salvation.
One of the controversies regarding communion is how often a Believer should participate in this act of remembrance. Jesus simply said to do it in remembrance of me, and even used the word "often." The Bible doesn't give us a specific time period, once a day, once a week, or once a month. It really becomes an issue each Believer needs to pray about and let the Holy Spirit guide you. Most churches have communion once a month. I know of some churches who observe communion every week. The Roman Catholic church celebrates communion at every mass. Again, there is no Biblical mandate how often to take communion. My personal belief is that every Believer should take communion at least once a month to never go too many days without remembering the price Christ paid for our salvation.
Another controversial issue surrounding communion is who is supposed to take communion. In most churches, everyone present is invited to take communion. That is WRONG! The Bible is very clear regarding who should and should not take communion. Communion is an act of remembrance for those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Communion is not something a nonbeliever should participate in. A nonbeliever has no relationship with Christ, so the observance of communion is a meaningless exercise to that person. The bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Christ have no special significance to a person who has not given their heart and life to the Lord.
I've had the honor of preaching many times over the years when communion was being served. I make it clear that communion is a time for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ to examine themselves, repent of their sins and ask God to forgive them of their sins before they partake of the bread and wine. One of the reasons I love communion is that it is the perfect opportunity to allow people who aren't Believers in Christ to accept the Lord as their Savior by faith. There's no better time to give people an invitation to know Jesus than at the time of communion. After making the decision to accept the Lord, they can then partake of the bread and wine and understand the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for them when He shed His blood and gave His life for their sins, so that they might be able to receive God's gift of everlasting life.
Let me share this with you. You don't have to be in church to take communion. I've taken communion dozen of times in my office. I get a cup with some grape juice to represent Christ's blood. I'll take some bread to represent His body. I sit down with my Bible and read some of those great passages in the Gospels about Christ's crucifixion, and I take communion. Listen, you don't need a pastor or priest to give you Communion. Communion is an act of remembrance for Believers in Jesus Christ. You don't need a pastor or priest to stick a wafer or piece of bread in your mouth. You don't need a pastor or priest to give you a cup of wine or grape juice. You can take communion at home, in your office, anywhere. It's an act of remembrance each follower of Christ was asked by our Lord to do to remember Him!
It is a time for those followers of Jesus Christ to remember the price He paid for our salvation, why we are able to be the recipients of God's gift of everlasting life. Yes, it's a great experience when you are with a body of Believers in a church and you walk up and the pastor gives you the bread and the cup. Yes, it's wonderful to be able to share that experience in a corporate setting with other Believers. But you can take communion anywhere, and you don't need a pastor or priest since this is a time for personal reflection. It's a time of remembrance. That is why you shouldn't go more than 30 days without taking communion since it a reminder of what our faith is all about. Jesus Christ went to the cross, gave His body as a one-time sacrifice and shed His blood for the remission of sins. That is something every Believer should never forget and taking communion often is important.
I love you and care about you so much. Communion is an act of remembrance every Believer should do on a regular basis. It is an act only Believers are to participate in. Not children. Not the unsaved person you brought to church. Believers! Communion is an act of remembrance. How can a nonbeliever remember something he or she doesn't believe in? Unfortunately most pastors absolutely miss this great opportunity to invite people to come to know Jesus before offering communion. There is no better opportunity in the world to invite someone to know Christ than at the time you are extending an invitation to communion. It gives you the perfect opportunity to explain WHY a person needs Jesus.
I pray today that you will not ever let more than 30 days pass without taking communion. I believe it is a very important part of our faith and spiritual journey. It is the foundation of what our faith is all about. I don't care if you have been saved 10 minutes or 80 years, all followers of Christ need to reflect and remember what our Lord did for us. Even more important, Christ TOLD US to do this "oft" in remembrance of Him. For the Christian, communion is a very holy, somber, special time of reflection both on our life and the sacrifice our Lord made for us. May you be strengthened and challenged each time you partake of the bread and wine, remembering that Jesus gave His very life for us, so how can we do anything less for Him?
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:04 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, after a recent disagreement, I was told by my spouse that he could go anywhere he wants, whenever he wants, see whoever he wants, stay as long as he wants, and make any decisions he wants without consulting me. Don't spouses owe each other that type of consideration and communication?
ANSWER: That is not a spouse, it is a dictator, and it is certainly NOT the way God designed marriage. A husband and wife are 100% equal, with different roles to play. Those who want to disregard the Bible point to passages about a wife being obedient. What they fail to mention, is that on the other side, the man is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. MARRIAGE IS A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP OF LOVE, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, NURTURING, BASED ON A SHARED FAITH IN CHRIST!
Without question, the number one problem in our society today is the breakdown of marriage and the family. God's Holy Institution of Marriage between a man and a woman for life is His perfect plan for a man and woman to become one and share this journey through life. A husband and wife having children and raising them in the admonition of the Lord is God's plan for the family. This plan was instituted in the Garden of Eden and has NEVER CHANGED throughout the generations. Regardless of how man has tried to redefine marriage, redefine what a family is, GOD'S DEFINITION HAS NEVER OR EVER WILL CHANGE!
The vast percentage of prayer requests we get each day are from people whose problems can be directly tied to issues in their marriage or family. For those who are single today, please hear my heart. I can never emphasize enough what a critical decision it is to get married and to whom you marry. This is a life-changing event and will not only involve you but your future children as well. Please, don't ever underestimate the importance of marriage and how it will affect the rest of your life and the lives of your future children.
"That is why you cannot ignore God's warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14, ?Do not be unequally yoked with a non-believer." Just saying they are saved is not enough. Do you actually see the fruit of their relationship with Christ in their daily life? Lastly, even if the person you are praying about marrying is a Christian and living their life for the Lord, you still need to take the time to build a spiritual foundation together and openly and honestly talk through all of the various issues of life. Through this process God will confirm to you both that this is part of His plan for your lives.
Also, this is a big reason why God designed sex FOR MARRIAGE ONLY! A natural by-product of sexual relations is a child. God never intended children to be raised by a mother alone. That is why sex outside of marriage is a sin and not part of His plan since it may result in having a child. It is God's plan for children to be raised by a mother and father who are committed to each other for life through marriage. There can never be a better environment for raising a child than by a mother and father who are surrendered to the Lord and to each other.
As devastating and life changing as divorce is on the parties involved, as devastating and life changing as having a child outside of marriage is on the woman, it is impossible to ever comprehend the damage done to the children involved in a divorce or those born outside of marriage. In the past 40 years as more and more marriages have ended in divorce, as more women are having children outside of marriage, the negative effect on society is impossible to ignore. I would be willing, based on the 40,000+ prayer requests we receive every day here at Liveprayer, to boldly say without hesitation that the current breakdown of our society can be directly linked to the breakdown of marriage and the family.
An incredible number of children are growing up today in single parent homes or homes where their natural parent is on their second, third, even fourth spouse. Many children are growing up in blended homes where they have brothers and sisters by numerous mothers and fathers. It is common for many children to grow up today in several different homes, during the week in one home and the weekends in another. Many children become pawns in hostile divorce cases where they are forced to choose one parent over another, in some cases being manipulated to lie about one parent, often being moved overnight from one home to another as different rulings come down from the courts. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are experienced by a growing number of children due to the fact they are living with adults who are not their natural mothers or fathers and the God-given natural love a mother and father have for their child simply doesn't exist.
You can only imagine the damage done to children who grow up in these types of environments. Sadly, we deal daily with children as young as 12, all the way through adults who have never been able to get beyond their tragic childhoods. The results are an alarming number of children who need professional help and are on some sort of daily medication for emotional and behavioral problems. You have children and adults who have never known real love in their life falling, instead, for the love this world promotes through sex.
You have so many children and young adults who have never matured socially and end up with self-esteem problems, never fitting in with others their own age. You have so many children and young adults who have so much pain in their life they look to the world's solution of escaping through drugs, alcohol, and food. The suicide rate of children and young adults is at an all time high. I could go on and on but I wish you could sit here in my office every day and read the stories of these children and young adults who live in great pain each day and have never known how wonderful this life can really be.
THE LARGER PROBLEM is that these children and young adults who have had their lives damaged are growing up and they are having children of their own. Since they have no idea what God's plan for marriage and family is, they will now be bringing another generation of children into this world living in ungodly environments who are damaged like they are, and this cycle will simply continue with more and more people living their lives totally void of God and without any understanding of Christ, His love, or God's Word. These people are also the prime targets for the cults and false religions of the world who aggressively market themselves as the answer to these people who are desperately looking for hope in their life, when the only true hope there is, is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I love you and care about you so much. The purpose of this message today is three fold. First, as a warning to those who are not married how serious and life changing that decision will be, and how it will not only affect the rest of your life, but the life of those children you will bring into this world. The second is to hopefully open the eyes of those adults who may be thinking about getting a divorce, and ask that you pray about humbling yourself before the Lord and asking Him to bring healing and restoration to your marriage, not just for your sake but for the sake of your children. Lastly, as a word of encouragement to you moms and dads who have gone through the pain of being divorced, to you moms who have had children outside of marriage and to the children and young adults who are currently growing up in homes without their natural mother and/or father.
For those who have been through the pain of being divorced, let me assure you that the Lord loves you and wants to help you heal. For those women who have had a child or children outside of marriage, I pray that you will find the Lord's forgiveness in His promise to you in 1 John 1:9. God still has much for you to do with the rest of your life as well as many blessings for you to enjoy. If you are now married, God has given you a second chance to do it His way. Realize that you have made a lifetime commitment to your spouse and that if you will honor your vows to each other and to God, He will richly bless your both for many years to come. For those who are still single, I will pray today that in His perfect timing, He will bring into your life a Godly man or woman to share the rest of your journey with in His Holy Institution of Marriage.
If you have children, please don't underestimate what they have lived through. They need your love and attention and nurturing now more than ever. The number one ministry you will ever have in your life is to your children. Raise them in the admonition of the Lord, pray with them every night before they go to bed, make sure they are in church. Laying a foundation of faith in their life will not only sustain them for the rest of their days on this earth but will help them to find the hope and strength to overcome whatever they have had to experience already in their young lives. God is a God of healing and He can bring healing to your children.
Also, know that God will make you adequate. If for this season you are not in God's plan for the family, know that He will help you and meet your every need. I realize that it is not easy, but the Lord will give you wisdom, favor, encouragement, as you raise your child or children. Find your hope in the Lord each day and look to Him for direction and provision, He will not let you down. Know that I am praying for you and will stand with you as you raise your children for the glory of God!
Let me close with a word of hope and encouragement for you children and young adults that may be growing up with only one parent or in some sort of blended home. First of all, God loves you very much. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICES YOUR PARENTS HAVE MADE. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Life can be very difficult at times, and sadly, you have found that out at a very young age but never doubt that Christ loves you so much and has a plan and purpose for your life. If you will take time each day to pray to Jesus, read the Bible, get to church each Sunday, and follow Christ, He will give you the strength to get through whatever you are facing in your life. I pray today that you will turn to Him and find His peace and joy in your life. Jesus is your hope and your answer
HE LOVES YOU! YOU ARE SPECIAL!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:29 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I'm not sure if a loved one has ask our Lord to be his Lord and Savior. Would it be ok if I prayed to our Lord to be his Lord and Savior? Does the Lord need to hear it from each individual?
ANSWER: Unfortunately there is no such thing as "salvation by proxy." Just because your parents, a spouse, a friend are saved, can't make someone else saved. That is a choice each person has to make for themselves. All you can do is share the Gospel with this person, explain why they need a personal relationship with Jesus by faith, and encourage them to make that decision. In the end however, it is up to each individual to make the profession of faith for themselves.
Fifty years ago, if you wanted to preach the Gospel on TV or radio, if you wanted to create Christian music, if you wanted to write a Christian book, if you wanted to make a film with a Christian message, you did so through the existing media outlets of the day that everyone else used. There was no such thing as Christian TV or radio, Christian record labels, Christian publishers, or Christian film companies. There was simply the existing media vehicles that everyone used to reach the people of the day.
Sadly, over these past 50 years we have created a Christian subculture of TV stations and networks, radio stations and networks, record labels, publishers, and film studios. Regardless of what their stated goals are, the reality is that those in the Christian subculture market to and target people who are already Christians. Preaching to the choir has become a several billion dollar a year industry, and the allure of big money has caused those who have the message this lost and hurting world desperately needs, to simply package, market, and sell that message to those who already are part of the family of God.
The effect of this has been that the "salt" and the "light" have been removed from the marketplace, and we have left the lost masses to satan. It is like what sadly happens in many major metropolitan areas where a church that has been in the inner city for decades decides to move to the suburbs where more affluent people live, build a new million dollar building, and abandon the very people that need that church the most. The void left by that church leaving is quickly filled by the drug dealers, the pimps, the scam artists, and those who can now operate without any competition from God to destroy the lives of the people in that area.
We have done the same thing over these past 50 years by abandoning the secular media to create our own Christian media fiefdoms, so all that the hurting and lost masses get 24/7 are the lies of satan. We left secular TV that is now overrun by "The Housewives of Wherever," the garbage on MTV, and programming that promotes perverted lifestyles, sexual sin, and mocks God, Jesus and the Bible! We left secular radio that is now taken over by political talkers, Howard Stern and the shock jocks of the day, and music of every kind that glorifies a people in complete rebellion to God and His Word.
We left the secular record labels to the artists of the world, but amazingly in recent years those same secular labels have now bought most of the major Christian labels so that they could make the hundreds of millions of dollars to be gained by selling Christian music to other Christians. We left the secular book and magazine publishers, so that now all they produce are books and magazines that promote the world's view of living in rebellion to God and the truth. Major Hollywood movie studios that used to turn out wonderful family-friendly movies in addition to Biblical classics like the "Ten Commandments" and "Jesus of Nazareth" to name a few, now mostly turn out violent, sex-laced movies that glorify every sin known to man.
My friend, unless I am not reading my Bible correctly, the Great Commission doesn't say to "separate yourself from the world and preach to each other," but it says to go out into the world and make disciples of ALL men! Jesus didn't take His disciples and keep to themselves, He went TO the people of His day who were hurting and looking for hope and sent His disciples out to spread the Good News. Paul didn't help start churches and then sit back and simply preach to those who were saved, but he continued to go out and preach the Gospel to the lost of the world of his day.
Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)
Now more than ever this world needs to hear the TRUTH of God's Word. Now more than ever this world needs the people of God to be the "salt" and "light" God has called us to be. Now more than ever this lost and hurting world needs the one and only answer there is . . . JESUS CHRIST! If we, the people who know Christ as our Savior, won't take His hope and love to this world that needs Him so desperately, WHO WILL???
I love you and care about you so much. I want to encourage you today in your daily life to be that "salt" and "light" God has called you to be. It is no accident you live where you do, work or go to school where you do, recreate where you do, shop where you do, or any of your other activities during the course of the day. God is always bringing people into your life that are hurting and lost, who are simply looking for hope. These are people who are never going to church, never going to read a Bible, never going to watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio or music, or read Christian books or magazines.
YOU ARE THEIR ONLY CONNECTION TO GOD!
I want to challenge you that God has placed you where you are for this season for a PURPOSE. Part of that purpose is to be a witness for Him. Never forget that I tell you often your greatest witness for the Lord is not what you say, but how you live your life each day. People notice! You are His ambassador. As a son or daughter of the Lord, God has commanded you to share your faith in Christ with those you meet along your journey. Your most effective witness to others will always be what Jesus has done in your life. People are hungry for the Truth, looking for answers, and searching for hope. YOU possess the truth they want, have the answers they seek, and can give them the hope they need. I pray that you will boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth and the life" and that nobody comes to the Father except through Him!
Please be praying with me for God to raise up men and women that are not ashamed of the Gospel, that have a vision to reach the lost and hurting masses with the message of Christ who will stand with me and those in the Liveprayer family. Men and women of God, who instead of simply becoming part of the current Christian subculture that preaches to the choir, will have a hunger to take the message of Christ through the same secular media vehicles the world uses every day to lie to people and destroy their lives.
We need more people who will follow the lead of Liveprayer and take the message of Christ to the masses on secular TV. Not the same old recycled preaching/teaching programs, the never ending beg-a-thons so the top people can buy new jets and a 5th mansion, but programming that will attract a secular audience and bring them the Truth of God's Word and lead people to faith in Christ. We need Christian music artists who will create music that can reach the masses through secular radio stations and record labels. We need authors who will write for a secular audience that can be published by the major publishing houses of the day and marketed to the world at large. We need movie makers that will use Hollywood as a vehicle to create God-honoring films that can bring Truth and the hope of Christ into people's lives.
Will it be easy? NO WAY! Since we have abandoned the secular media for so many decades now, getting back in will be very difficult. BUT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!
That is why the Liveprayer TV program has never and never will air on Christian networks, so it can be done. There are wonderful Christian musicians that are taking their music that glorifies Christ and the Word directly to the lost and hurting. Great authors who are writing books that can compete with any of the secular books on the market. People like my friend Ted Baehr of Movieguide that are working tirelessly to help get great movies made and distributed through the same channels Hollywood is currently using.
IT CAN BE DONE AND IT MUST BE DONE, BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO!
For too long we have abandoned our culture and have taken the Truth out of the marketplace because it was more comfortable and profitable to tell and sell the Truth to those who already knew it. That is NOT Biblical. As we are in the last days, now more than ever we are living in a world that desperately needs that Truth, desperately needs the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. May we rise up and use the secular media that is in place to reach the masses worldwide, and bring those lost and hurting masses the Truth found in God's Word, and everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:43 AM
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***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, during a recent 60 Minutes program interview with Sheryl Sandberg (CEO of Facebook), she used the words G.D. I was very dismayed and have sent an email to 60 Minutes expressing my disappointment that they did not bleep those words. I tolerate more than I should of bad language, but using the Lord's name in vain is extremely offensive to me. It is a shame we can't even watch the news without having to hear that.
ANSWER: Sadly, there is no longer a fear of God. The use of the Lord's name in vain, the glorification of perverting God's plan for marriage and the family, the acceptance of infanticide, ALL demonstrate the sad spiritual state of our nation. More important, these are the issues that unless reversed, will bring God's wrath and punishment on our nation!
I'll never forget sitting in my office a decade ago when I heard the sad news that Paul Johnson, the American worker kidnapped in Saudi Arabia who was brutally murdered by having his head cut off. Unlike the brutal beheading of American Nicholas Berg several weeks prior, there was no video of the savage killing, but there were pictures and they were already circulating fast and furious on the Internet.
Earlier that week, I forced myself to watch and even worse, listen to the beheading of Berg. That Friday I forced myself to view the photographs of Johnson. You have to realize that I am a person who NEVER goes to movies where there is lots of blood, guts, and killing. I detest those movies. But these incidents were not movies, they were real life. I wanted to never forget that there is a very real enemy out there who has the very real goal of destroying this nation and seeing all of its people dead.
As horrible as it was to watch the events of 9/11 unfold, it happened in New York City, far away from 95% of the nation. 12 years later, those memories have faded and the enormity of that moment are all but forgotten. Since we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, never before have we had such extensive coverage of any war in our history. But the fact is, these wars are being fought half way around the globe and have no real impact on the daily lives of the vast majority of people in this country.
Let me remind you of this important fact. There are incredible numbers of people throughout the world who HATE the United States and all that it stands for, hate the people of this great nation, and have, as their goal in life, the destruction of this country and the death of everyone who lives here. That is the reality of this world we are living in. We can never take this war on terrorism lightly or do everything we possibly can to protect ourselves from a very real enemy who would love to wipe this nation, and all of its people, off the face of the globe.
THERE IS A PRICE FOR FREEDOM!
Beheading is not a new way to kill someone. In today's Scripture, we read of the beheading of John the Baptist. What did he do? Shared the truth of God's Word. As a matter of fact, if you study church history, you will see that in was routine for Christians to be killed for their faith. I would suggest that you read, Foxe's Book of Martyrs. You will read how the apostles and many of God's choice servants throughout the years were brutally killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. It has not been uncommon for those who follow Jesus to be tortured and killed as they took the Gospel to different parts of the world.
Even today, in 2013 there are many places in the world where people are killed for their faith in Christ. That is why I laugh when people in the United States claim to be persecuted for their faith. While we struggle to get up on Sunday morning, put on nice clothes, drive our cars to multi-million dollar state-of-the-art luxurious churches, there are brothers and sisters in Christ in parts of the world today that are imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and killed for proclaiming Jesus Christ as their Lord!
THERE IS A PRICE FOR FAITH!
Let me wake you up today with a scenario, one that is not as far fetched as you may think. In the Old Testament, when God unleashed His judgment on the children of Israel, it was often done by allowing their enemies to invade their land and take them captive. We see this form of judgment on Israel many times for their rebellion to God. I have shared with you, in the past, that this nation is not only due, but OVERDUE, for God's judgment because of our rebellion to Him.
Now, imagine if God allowed one of the enemies of the United State to invade our land and take us captive. I know you are saying it could never happen. After all, we are the greatest power on the planet. We have the greatest armies, the greatest weapons, a tremendous nuclear capacity. You don?t have to be a history major to realize there have been many great nations over the course of human history, and at their height, I am sure ALL of them said the same thing. Where are those great nations today? Only a fool does not learn from history.
I wonder what would happen if God allowed a Muslim nation to invade and successfully take over the United States. I can guarantee you that the first thing on its list will be to ban Christianity. All of the churches will be burned to the ground and those who claim Christ will immediately be imprisoned, and ultimately killed. It would actually be interesting to see how many people would still stand for Christ under such a scenario. If people have such a hard time just going to church on Sunday, have to be almost forced to serve God in some small way, are they actually going to die for Jesus???
Let me ask you a question that only you can answer. Think about it before you do. If you were taken prisoner, and told you can denounce Christ and be free, otherwise you will have your head cut off, what would you do?
I love you and care about you so much. The good news is that we know how the story ends. GOD WINS! For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, we have the assurance of everlasting life. Jesus said in Luke 12:4, "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more." For the Christian, evil men can kill your body because of your faith, but your everlasting soul belongs to the Lord! THAT is why those great men and women of God throughout the ages had no fear of losing their life for the Gospel. They knew they would be spending eternity with their Lord after this brief journey was over no mater how it ended.
I will be praying for you today. We can never lose sight that we live in a sin-filled and lost world, full of people who have chosen to live their lives in rebellion to the God of the Bible. God has blessed us with a great nation that has great freedoms. It is because of those freedoms that we have the ability to share our faith in Christ with people here as well as with those around the world. We can never take that freedom for granted, and have to make the most of each day. We never know if we will have these same freedoms tomorrow.
Pray today for those who pay the price for our freedom, and pray today for those today who pay the price for our faith!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at: bkeller@liveprayer.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
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