Author: John Page 2 of 138

Blind Dates

Acts 8:26-31 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candance queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”

Acts 9:10-17 “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightiest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”

As American men were being sent to all corners of the world to serve their country in the midst of the global conflict of World War II, Chaplain Stewart Robinson wrote the following (from “Strength for Service”):

“There is more reason in our unanticipated movements and more preparation than we realize. Philip was sent on a ‘blind date.’ But the all-seeing eye of God was looking into the desert, and the man to meet Philip came. He was reading God’s word about the Saviour. The ground was prepared … So God uses us in many places.”

Maybe your 2022 didn’t turn out like you expected. Maybe God’s plans didn’t align with your plans, and you found yourself in an unexpected and seemingly undesirable desert. While there, maybe you were able to make an impact that was obvious at the time, or maybe you are still wondering about the purpose and meaning of it all as the calendar flips to 2023.

In the following chapter in Acts, Ananias is sent on a mission that also made no sense to him at the time. Just to make sure he was hearing the Lord’s calling properly, he asked again. But, like Philip, once he had his orders, he quickly and directly obeyed. And as with the eunuch, God had perfectly prepared Saul for the engagement.

We must remind ourselves that there is more reason in our unanticipated movements and more preparation than we realize. The all-seeing eye of God is always looking into the desert and perfectly preparing the way. The same happened in 2022 and the same will happen in 2023.

PLEASE PRAY FOR FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE IN ALL THE SITUATIONS THE LORD SENDS US IN THE NEW YEAR. We must be faithful for the blind-dates that God has prepared for us.

Happy Christmas

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Luke 2:10-14 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Please consider the following words from Queen Elizabeth II that closed out her final Christmas message last year:

“I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children. It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story. Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all. Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.

And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.

They teach us all a lesson, just as the Christmas story does, that in the birth of a child there is a new dawn with endless potential.

It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing: simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus — a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith. His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says, ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”

This Christmas, may your hearts be renewed with a joy of the simple things. May we have the chance to reminisce and see anew the wonder of this festive season through the eyes of a child. May we consider the new dawn and endless potential that comes through the birth of our Lord and Saviour.

His birth offers us all a new beginning. And as we consider the miraculous happenings in that little town of Bethlehem so many years ago, may we be reminded that the hopes and fears of all the years were met in Him that night.

PLEASE PRAY FOR A RENEWAL IN YOUR OWN HEART AND A REVIVAL IN THE SOUL OF OUR NATION THIS CHRISTMAS. And as our British friends would say, Happy Christmas to you!

God With A Face

Luke 2:8-14 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Pastor Frank Fagerburg recounted the following story in a devotion he wrote to soldiers fighting in the midst of World War II (from “Strength for Service”):

“A mother put her little daughter to bed, and turned out the light. The child anxiously asked, ‘But Mother, am I to be left alone, and in the dark too?’ ‘Yes, my dear,’ answered the mother, ‘but you know you have God with you all the time.’ The little girl replied, ‘Yes, I know that God is here, but I want someone who has a face.’”

Today, in the midst of the substantial challenges we face in our society and in our lives, we are looking for a hero who has a face. Humanity has been grasping throughout history for a personified answer to their problems. The fearful shepherds in Luke 2 were looking for the same. And, the angel brought them good tidings of great joy that was meant for them and for all people. It was Christ the Lord; God with a face!

Twentieth century Christian author John Phillips wrote the following: “The great mystery of the manger is that God was able to translate deity into humanity without discarding the deity or distorting the humanity.”

Thus, Christ was sent to us as God with a face – deity translated into humanity without discarding the former nor distorting the latter. In doing so, the Lord has shown us His good will, full of grace and truth.

And like the shepherds, the angels, and the heavenly hosts, we must recognize, share and celebrate the good news meant to bring all of humanity great joy. Like that little girl, we needed someone with a face – God delivered on Christmas Day!

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICANS TO FULLY RECOGNIZE THE PERFECT GIFT OF DIETY AND HUMANITY GIVEN TO US THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

Recalling the Reason for Our Hope

II Corinthians 2:18 “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Lamentations 3:21-26 “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

II Thessalonians 2:16-17 “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”

Titus 2:13-14 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Luke 2:10-11 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Likely, we are all relieved to finally emerge from the 2022 political season. For many, it is a time characterized by concern, anxiety, disappointment, divisiveness, and strife. And, though we are closing the books on the 2022 election, November 2024 is right around the corner and there is already jockeying for a favorable position in those upcoming races. Thus, we are plunged back into the same unsettling emotional cycle that we had hoped would be absent for a period of time. And, we don’t even get to enjoy a brief period of recovery and renewal.

It feels like we need a political cease fire for our own sanity as we grasp for relief from the plenteous sources of despair. But, that perspective neglects the proper Christian view, especially with the Christmas season upon us. Thus, now is the time to recalibrate.

We are to set our affection on things above. We are to look towards the things that are unseen. We are to have abundant hope because His compassions fail not. We are to grasp unto everlasting consolation and good hope through the grace of our Lord and Saviour. We are to fear not, and instead embrace great joy. We are to remember that Jesus is the blessed hope who has redeemed us from all iniquity.

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR LIVES TO BE FOCUSED ON THE HOPE THAT COMES THROUGH CHRIST ALONE. During this season, may we recall the reason for hope, and allow that truth to permeate our minds, hearts, and spirits throughout the calendar – regardless of whether or not it is an election year.

Replication and Multiplication

Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a 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.”

II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicket ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

II Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

The PLUS posts of these past several weeks have described the faithful intervention of Pastor Brad Wells and GraceWay Baptist Church (https://gracewaydc.com/) as they have made up the hedge and stood in the gap through weekly prayer at the Supreme Court for nearly seven years. But as you have been following along through these posts, I sincerely hope that it has not just been an exercise in observation. In reality, the intent has been to make it an exercise in replication and multiplication.

All Christians have a responsibility to be salt and light in our spheres of influence and realms of impact. We have been given the recipe for national revival in II Chronicles 7:14, and we need His people to start following it today. Unless you live in Washington DC, you don’t have the prayer venue of the Supreme Court that is available to you weekly. But, each of us has an institution of significance in our own community – a city hall, a county courthouse, a school, or a public library. And, we can meet there with a group of like-minded believers to pray weekly for our nation, our community, and our leaders.

As a result, we are merging the PLUS ministry (which still encourages individual Christians to pray daily for our nation and our leaders) and the Supreme Prayer ministry (which encourages Christians to pray together weekly at an institution of significance for our nation and our leaders). The new tract is shown below or can be found at http://prayatlunch.us/plus-tracts/.

How can someone implement Supreme Prayer?

  1. Set a regular time to meet together at an institution of significance in your community.
  2. Start your time together with a few songs of the faith.
  3. Solicit prayer requests from those who have joined you about our nation, your community, and your church – have someone pray for these as a group.
  4. Break up into smaller groups for follow-on prayer.
  5. All the while, be sensitive to those who may be watching who could use an invitation to church, an explanation of what is happening, or a presentation of the gospel.

AMERICAN CHRISTIAN, PLEASE IMPLEMENT THE SUPREME PRAYER MODEL WEEKLY IN YOUR COMMUNITY. It is a way for all of us to make up the hedge and stand in the gap. Use this concept as an exercise of replication and multiplication in your own community to help prompt a revival that can spread throughout our land.

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