Victory (11)

Here is a testimony and request for prayer from an expat believer in Qatar. Let's pray for Qatar this week, that the Lord will tear down the spiritual walls that keep the Qatari people from knowing Jesus!
The Walls Speak
As we drive through Qatar, tall walls are seen encompassing residential housing buildings often far away from the city. These tall walls remind us of the huge fortresses that used to protect these cities in the ancient past. The Arab Gulf is famous for many such fortresses that prevented enemies from entering their territory. It also built watch towers to look out for such enemies.
These tall, walled buildings often belong to Qatari families. They are close-knit families who would like to stay private and maintain their family bonds. In addition, tall walls of these homes have something beyond their physical structure. They picture the spiritual barriers that the enemy has erected, preventing the love of God to reach the hearts of the Qataris. We see these traps of the enemy every day and so want to see Qataris set free by God's love and truth.
The Bible speaks of a great wall that protected the city of Jericho. The enemy was defeated under the leadership of Joshua. The walls came down miraculously without physical effort. Rahab, the harlot, was also rescued from that city. This is a story of God's redemption and victory. No matter how huge the walls were, He could provide victory and redeem doomed lives.
There are lives like those of Rahab trapped in Qatar behind those walls. They need redemption and victory over the evil one. There is a great responsibility for those who know the truth to get behind those walls even if it is difficult and get the good news of salvation to those needy ones. As the Bible says "....The battle belongs to the Lord" (1 Samuel 17:47). Through our own effort, we are not able to be victorious over these barriers in Qatar.
Let us trust in the Lord just like Joshua and march around these walls having faith that the Lord will bring them down for us. The tall walls continue to speak to us and they need an answer. Will you be able to hear God's voice and march ahead with His message of love through your prayers?

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
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PTAP: Warriors in Prayer

Youth of Yemen
Pray for the young men of Yemen. Some, even as young as 15 years old have joined the militant religious gangs, fighting alongside of them. They should be in high school but their schools were destroyed or are used to house displaced people. Pray that the teenagers will return to their families. Pray against the temptation that young men face to join these groups. Pray for peace in this.

Battle Against Witchcraft
Please pray for a local friend who has been a victim of witchcraft for the past year. She has been tormented by another woman who has cast spells on her and her children. Now we have learned that a member of her own family has been practicing black magic in the home with frightening results. In addition, her involvement with believers has angered this family member and has caused this person to perform more black magic specifically against her and against the believers. They went to her home and prayed out loud to Jesus. She felt peace afterwards
This is a spiritual battle that rages on. Please pray for this friend's protection and ultimately her salvation in Jesus Christ, the only Power that can truly rescue her from darkness. And pray against the spiritual forces of darkness in her life. Pray that the Lord would have mercy and transfer her from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.
A Prayer Warrior
Ms C is a devoted Christian and prayer warrior. Recently, a believer was coming within her client-server role and she was asked to give some special attention to them by other believers that recognize her opportunity.  She along with other members of her small fellowship are dedicating hours in praying for the locals.  Ms C is going out of her way to take good care for a fellow believer, and prays for them in their time of need.  Ms C shared that over her years she has met 2 other believers, who revealed their faith to her. Ms C came to the region initially in order to provide for her family financially, but has since found that God has placed her in a unique position to influence others. The small fellowship she has been a part of has been a great encouragement to others in prayer reaching out to the locals. Please pray that more of the community of believers will also hear the call to bring God's Kingdom in their respective spheres of influence and that different communities will come together in unity and harmony for the Kingdom.
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PTAP: Taken Captive by the Devil

The devil has been taking people captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26) since the fall of man. The land and kingdoms of this earth are controlled by him (Matthew 4:8-9). As we think about advancing the Kingdom of God we know that there is a fight between two kingdoms. There are places in the Arabian Peninsula that have been controlled for years by the devil. Pray that the AP will be freed from the devil and his control. Pray that the hearts of AP Muslims would be freed from the hardness the devil places there, especially the hardness against knowing Jesus the Son of God and the full truths about Jesus. Pray for a growing movement among people who will seek Jesus to advance His great name in families, villages, towns and cities across the AP. The devil has been in control too long, we are seeking the God of all creation to have a great victory in the AP. 
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. "I will give it all to you," he said, "if you will kneel down and worship me." Matthew 4:8-9
What did Jesus respond? "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Matthew 4:10
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Dealing with the Devil

“We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.” (Mark Twain)


Our archenemy would love to make our life hell on earth. But when we hear the lion’s roar ringing in our ears, we can order him to get out of our face.


Struggling with sin will convince us that we need supernatural help if we’re ever going to vacate Satan’s death trap. We are a combination of opposites,a mixture of good and evil. Though we want to do right, our rotten nature distracts us from nobler pursuits. Relying on God, we can triumphantly march out of sin’s burdensome addiction with our head held high and a spring in our step.


Hell’s advertising blitz pressures us to invest in Nile stock. Fiendish voices try to convince us we need worldly resources. It’s all a terrible lie. We can find authentic satisfaction without compromise. With rivers of living water coursing through our heart, we discover the Lord is all we ever really need. In the desert’s inhospitable barrenness, we are not deserted. So we can worship God in the wilderness.


Exiting Egypt’s shadows, we bask in the sunlight of Truth. In contrast to earth’s dark depravity, we shine as sparkling diamonds. Tenaciously resisting the Devil,we walk as children of the Light.


“The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say, Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” (Exodus 7:16 NLT)


Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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The World Series and Beyond

“Play so that you may be serious.” (Anacharsis, c 600 B.C., quoted in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, 4th century B.C.)

On this day in 2004, after an 86 year wait, the Boston Red Sox finally captured a World Series trophy. Celebration was intense when success finally happened. Victory was sweet because it was a long time coming.

After last night’s game, with Madison Bumgarner pitching a shutout, the Royals’ hope of winning the World Series began to dim. The San Francisco Giants lead the series 3-2 against the Kansas City Royals.


People pay unbelievable prices for tickets to see these games. Intense emotion is evident on the faces of fans, alternating between agony and ecstasy as their favored team stumbles or shines.


Whatever happens, die-hard fans never quit cheering their beloved team. Holding signs that read “WE BELIEVE”, they persist in counting on their team’s ability to win, and they refuse to surrender to despair even when they lose a game. Next season they’ll do better, next time they’ll make the playoffs, next year they’ll win the World Series.


I recall hearing a story about a man strolling by a little league baseball field and having a conversation with the center fielder. “How’s it going, young fella?” he inquired. “Just fine, mister” the boy replied. “What’s the score?” the man asked. “It’s 14 to nothing” the youngster reported. “And it’s still just fine? How could that be?” the man asked. “It’s because,” the center fielder said, “we’re not up to bat yet!”


Sometimes it seems the score is “Evil 14, Good 0”. But beyond the numbers on the scoreboard, there’s an undying hope for an ultimate victory that will be sweet indeed—when Jesus gets up to bat.


“Next year in Jerusalem” is the true believer’s rallying cry of hope.


“Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT)


Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Read blog at http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized

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The World Cup Craze

      “I never thought we would be world champions. We have to be humble.” 

       (Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal forward, after his team’s 2-2 draw with the U.S. in the World Cup)


        The 2014 FIFA World Cup has captured the attention of millions around the world—putting work on hold, mesmerizing fans, raising enthusiasm to a fever pitch,and moving many to gamble on hopeful outcomes. Yesterday, despite chants of “USA…USA…” America’s premier soccer team experienced a heartbreaking loss to Belgium.  

        Is this sports phenomenon merely a diversion from workplace drudgery, providing temporary relief from daily responsibilities? Is it an extension of national pride,a patriotic contest for supposed superiority? Or does it serve as a substitutionary contest, giving spectators an opportunity to imagine they are the ones making the goals (or saving them)?


         There seems to be a human need to win vicariously, satisfied by victories of one’s favorite team. Life is difficult (as Scott Peck observed). We don’t always win life’s battles,no matter how hard we fight. So it’s good to celebrate our team’s success when they win a game; in the process we feel better for a while. Somehow we’re encouraged to face life’s daily frustrations energized by a small dose of exhilaration.


        I wonder if there might be something more profound going on in this global frenzy over soccer. Could there actually be (to use Jurgen Moltmann’s term) a theology of play? If so, what might it imply? Is there an innate, even God-given, human need for lightheartedness and game playing? Does the agony of defeat drive us to search for more meaningful and valuable enterprises?


        When the World Cup contest is over, and the final winner is announced, what difference will it make in our daily life? As exciting as sports victories are, spiritual victories are more crucial—and lasting. When we fully rely on God to enable us to win over worry, fear, greed, and other sins, triumphing is a real cause for wholehearted celebration.   


         “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 16:20;  1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT)


        Johnny R. Almond

        Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

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Devil's Food

Think the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it? There's a far better way.

“No one  can ask honestly or happily to be delivered from temptation unless he has

honestly and firmly determined to do the best he can to keep out of it.”

- John Ruskin


Is your future for sale? What would you eat in exchange for your soul?

You may be tempted to act impulsively to satisfy insistent appetites.

Stop to consider long-range effects before gobbling sinful morsels.

Old-world forbidden fruit tastes good, but has a bitter aftertaste.

Ordering from Satan’s menu is invariably asking for trouble.

With God’s help, Resist impulse buying in hell’s cafeteria.

Every temptation you resist will prove to be a victory.


Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew.

Esau ate and drank and went on about his business,

indifferent to the fact that he had given up his birthright.

Genesis 25:34 NLT


Johnny R. Almond

                Pastor, Colonial Beach Baptist Church, Virginia

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

Book available through local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.

Author’s blog

[This devotion based on/adapted from Day 16 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity]             

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Unlimited Power Source

Power outages can be very disruptive. But there's an Unlimited Power Source that never fails.

To whatever side you turn, you are forced to acknowledge your own ignorance and the boundless power of the Creator.”

- Voltaire


The anonymous hymn-writer speaks for all honest souls—“I am weak, but Thou art strong.”

By now you and I should have learned that we are morally weak, typically sinful, invariably limited.

Feeling the impact of being made of dust, we discover that much in our life is far beyond our pay grade.


On the other hand, our faith acknowledges that absolutely nothing is too difficult for Almighty God.

At His command, the universe snapped to attention and began its precision march through space and time.

The Creator of heaven and earth directs intergalactic traffic patterns so they intersect perfectly like clockwork.


If this day seems too hard for us to manage, God promises to  graciously provide response-ability.

If an intractable habit has us near the threshold of despair, God will provide victory as we trust and obey.

If tomorrow’s uncertain horizon makes us tremble, God reassures us that His promises will brighten the future.


“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

(Genesis 18:14 NLT)


Johnny R. Almond

                Pastor, Colonial Beach Baptist Church, Virginia


Book available through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.

[Devotion adapted from Day 13, Gentle Whispers from Eternity]


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As we witness prophetic events unfolding daily, we can attest without question, that the Church is in the last of the last days, the final hours before Christ returns for His spotless Bride. If there was ever a time when we, as Christians, need to safeguard our victory in Christ, it is today. The apostle Paul gives us the secret of securing our salvation in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

 The signs of the times are everywhere throughout the world—floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, wars, economic collapse, false prophets, terrorism—these global indicators are clear harbingers, signalling the end of the age. The spiritual battle is raging around us with greater intensity than ever. There is a great falling away, a spreading apostasy that is looming in the Church like dark clouds of deception as multitudes of careless, undiscerning christians succumb to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils that have infiltrated the House of God, openly defiling the Lord’s holy name and corrupting His Word. 1Timothy 4:1-2 heralds this sobering trumpet call- “Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”

 This is not a warning for the next generation—no, we are the final generation that is witnessing these exact Bible prophecies coming to pass before our very eyes! God, in His mercy, continues to send us “wake up call” after “wake up call” to shock us out of our slumber. All of these “breaking news” stories are occurring at an alarming and unprecedented acceleration. This should drive us to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling and for that reason, I have compiled this list of ten basic rules to safeguard your victory over the devil, who still walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Don’t get hung up over the word “rule” which simply means “explicit principles that govern conduct”. What I’m endeavouring to do as God’s watchman is assist you according to His Word as to how we are to conduct ourselves as overcomers in these last days of time. Some would call this list of ten rules legalism, but Jesus calls it freedom. “If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32)  Here they are:

 1. SPEND TIME IN THE WORD DAILY- “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2)

 2. STAY ACTIVE IN PRAYER- “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:16-17) 

 3. STAY IN COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT- “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) 

 4. KEEP A GUARD OVER YOUR HEART- “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) 

 5. LOVE YOUR ENEMIES-  “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Mathew 5:44) 

 6. FORGIVE OTHERS FOR ANY OFFENSE- “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25)

 7. STAY IN FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS- “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhort one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”  (Hebrews 10:25)

 8. TURN AWAY FROM YOUR SINS- “He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”
(Proverbs 28:13)

9. GIVE THANKS IN ALL THINGS- “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20)

10. PROTECT YOUR FIRST LOVE- “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4-5)

Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you daily to conduct your manner of living around these scriptural principles and then walk in your victorious freedom every day until Christ comes back for His overcoming Church! Sin shall not have dominion over you! God bless you!

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Too much has been said about freedom, deliverance, breaking free, breaking loose from the bondage and shackles of our past without the actual application of just doing it! So many Christians live such defeated lives that it would take me another book to dissect all the reasons; rhymes and horrible times we put ourselves through when we refuse to live in the Victory.

What Victory am I speaking about? This Victory is one we won when we took up residence at the Foot of the Cross. We then embraced its substitutionary atonement and subse accepted the Pardon which was paid for there, and is still valid almost 2000 years since!

Two verses today speak to this as we glance at the wonderful chapter of Romans 8 and see that verses 1 and 2 undergirds this foundational truth: "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death"!

How about that! Here are just the facts, ma'am"

No condemnation: we have been pardoned and declared not guilty BECAUSE we surrendered all at the Foot of the Cross.
- We are not just not guilty (even though the Charge against us was "WE SINNED AGAINST GOD") but now the Judge Who said we are still "not guilty"  then says..."and furthermore, you now belong to My Son, Who created the Heaven's and the Earth! Can you just imagine how that feels?! WE BELONG TO THE ETERNAL KING!
- AND not just that, but because we DO belong to this Eternal King of Glory, the Lord God Almighty, the Powerful Force Who created and controls the entire Universe just pulled our fat out of the fire and given us"ZOE"! That word ZOE is a powerful word. It is officially described as "GOD intimately sharing His gift of life with people, created each of us in His image". Then gave us all the capacity/power/supernatural strength to know His eternal life.

Therefore, in light of all this mind-boggling Grace to us from our Heavenly Father, we can now not only be free from the past sinfulness but can proactively live victoriously. This can only come about because we are safe and solidly in the knowledge of the Holy, Who has given us more than we deserve! So friend, if you're struggling today with some past acquaintance reminding you of things which God has already forgiven you or even your conscience being used to play tricks on you....if you're saturated with societal lunacy, which never seems to satisfy but more than ever pulls you down into a zone of fleshy dissatisfaction with your current physical environment and circumstance....well then, remember these same verses from Romans 8:1 and 2!

Father, in the Name of Jesus, please seal this encouragement from Your Holy Scriptures in our heart. Help us to learn to not just accept that You have forgiven us, through repentance and the sacrifice on the Cross, but to comprehend that we can now hold on to with this Truth and walk in peace, joy, contentment and righteousness. Father, knowing that You love me and everyone reading this, I pray for those who have not been told the Truth. I pray that if they have truly come to the saving personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior, that they will believe with every fiber of their being that "He whom the Son sets free - is FREE indeed"....and THAT FREEDOM is now theirs!  In the Strong and Powerful Name of Jesus, amen!
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This is a Devotion I'm sharing by way of one of my online buddies.... enjoy.

Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able

to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:10

Opposition comes; and it comes in many different ways. We must remember however that God is greater than any situation. He has given us our weapons of warfare. They are not your traditional weapons of war. We don't seek revenge we seek truth. We don't have to defend ourselves for we are covered in the blood of Jesus Christ and He is our righteousness, and our defense. The Holy Spirit fills us with the word of God and causes us to remember exactly what we need to do in the heat of battle. We love and strive for peace instead of hate and bitterness. Our faith protects us. Not one arrow shot in our direction is able to destroy us. The Holy Spirit comes into our battle with a flaming sword and cuts through the darkness and prevents the enemy from breaking through.

We don't need to summon great armies, ***for our prayers summon the greatest authority.***

Our salvation through Jesus Christ has placed us in an army that always wins. Not with guns, or words but with the truth of Jesus Christ dwelling within us. When our enemy comes at us with all that He has, we have no need to fear but only to run into the arms of Jesus. He exposes every scheme and tactic and renders them useless. With Jesus we will stand.

***NO weapon formed against us shall prosper.***

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