Saturday, May 7, 2016, 8:15 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Full Release.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 15:30-33 (ESV). I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Strive Together in Prayer We need to be praying for one another. We live in troubled times. Many people are opposed to Jesus Christ and to his gospel of salvation, even among those who claim to believe in Jesus, and even within what is commonly regarded as the church. Persecution of Christians is rising to a new height. In America, where such persecution has not, of yet, been to the level of that in other nations, we are beginning to see an increase in such persecution, and a global political campaign targeted against evangelical Christians - against those who hold to the teachings of Jesus and those teachings of his NT apostles - in order to discredit or to destroy us and our witness for Jesus Christ. We are being tagged as hateful, bigoted, intolerant and as extremists who must be silenced and/or reprogrammed. So, we need to be praying for one another for strength and courage to stand on the Word of God and to not compromise our faith and convictions. We need to pray for one another for boldness in our testimonies for Jesus Christ and for Spirit-empowered witnessing in sharing the full gospel message with those who do not know Jesus, or with those who profess to know him, but who never have had a heart transformation of the Spirit of God. We need to not back down or to shrink back from sharing the full gospel message with as many as possible before the Lord Jesus returns to earth to judge and to take his bride to be with him. And, we need not fear any or all opposition to us sharing the gospel, or be afraid of what humans may do to us, for our God is with us, and nothing can touch us but what God allows it, he allows it for a purpose, and he will carry us through it to the end. Delivered from Unbelievers God does not promise us that we will not be persecuted or hated for the sake of his name. In fact, he promises us that we will be hated and mistreated as he was treated, and because we trust in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives. So, God is not always going to deliver us from persecution, but he can deliver us through difficult times, and he may physically deliver (free) us out of situations where we are being persecuted and mistreated. Yet, whether physically delivered or not, we can hold to the promise that he will be with us, that he will never abandon us, and that he will see us through to the end. Not only that, but he will be glorified through our lives, and he will work his will both in our hearts and in the lives of those whose lives we touch. There are many ways in which we can be delivered from unbelievers – from those who oppose the gospel and who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. God may move us away from places where we are being strongly opposed, and he may take us to another place where there will be at least some people who will listen and who will respond with acceptance to the gospel message; who will come to know Jesus, who will desire him and his word, and who will want to learn more about him. He may also take us (carry us) through these times of testing and will use these times to strengthen us in our faith and to teach us perseverance. As well, he may use such persecution against the saints of God to advance the gospel so that many more people will believe on Jesus Christ before he returns. Acceptable Service We also need to pray for one another that, as we share the gospel, people will respond to God’s great salvation with faith given to them by God, and that they will trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. As well, we need to pray for one another to be filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God in ministering to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the saints of God wherever God sends us. And, that God will give us much fruit for our labors of love, and that we will have a spiritual harvest of righteousness in other people’s lives. We need prayer, too, for sensitive spirits to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and that we will live Spirit-empowered lives free from selfish desires, and that we would be full of the love of God in caring for the needs of others. As I read this passage of scripture last evening before I went to bed, God used it in my life to encourage my heart. Back in February of this year the Lord had me up one night until about 4:00 a.m. He was challenging my heart. He asked me if I would be willing to leave all this – house, children and grandchildren – behind me, and if I would go wherever he sent me. I said, “Yes, I will!” I slept about 3 hours, then he woke me. When I got up, my husband informed me that he was feeling led to retire this year and to move back to Ohio to take care of his parents. Since then, his mother has passed away, but he still has his father and step-mom to help. As I prayed about this, the Lord clearly said “Go,” so we began making our plans then to move back to Ohio. We have been gone from Ohio for 34 years. We have a house to sell here. We have a buyer, and we are scheduled to close on our house very soon and to make this move. Yet, there has been a glitch in the process, which, in the natural, could alter our plans. So, I committed this a matter to prayer. The Lord Jesus has continually encouraged me to trust him, and to believe him to move mountains, so that is where we are; where I am. I am walking by faith and not by sight, because time is short and we still don’t have word that this is going to happen. Yet, the Lord continues to encourage me that he has a spiritual harvest of righteousness for me in Ohio, so I am stepping out in faith, believing him to work it all out according to his plans and purposes. He encouraged my heart, through this passage, that he was taking me away from here, and that he is going to use me in people’s lives in Ohio, and that, although there will be persecution, as well, that God is going to supply some level of spiritual encouragement. So, I would covet your prayers for us that God will make the way for us to have our house sold so that we can leave all this behind us and go with God where he is sending us, and that when we get there that there will be a spiritual harvest of righteousness in people’s lives and that we will be encouraged by them, as well. I ask that you pray this believing God to do what only God can do; that he will make a way where there seems to be no way. Full Release / An Original Work / April 15, 2012 Walking daily with my Savior brings me joy. Loving Father; precious Jesus; He’s my Savior and my Lord. Gently leads me; follow Him. I’ve invited Him within. Now abiding in His presence, oh, what peace. From my self-life He has brought me, By His mercy, full release. Hope and comfort, peace and safety Jesus brings When I daily bow before Him; Obey freely; do His will. Follow Him where’er He leads. Listen to Him; His words heed. Now obeying his words fully, oh, what love That He gives me through salvation, By His Spirit, from above. Loving Father; precious Jesus, He’s my friend. With my Savior, by His Spirit, I will endure to the end. Share the gospel, tell what’s true. Witness daily; His will do. Tell the world of how their Savior bled and died. On a cruel cross He suffered So that we might be alive.