Friday, January 31, 2014

Wonder Working Power

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 12:14-13:16, Matthew 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25:16-22, & Proverbs 6:12-15


Exodus 12:21-23
21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.

Oh what power there is in the blood. This was a night when great destruction. It was a night that was going to be like no other. There was going to be a force go through the land that was unmatched by anything ever seen before. God didn’t want this force to affect His children. He had a plan to protect them. That plan was to protect them with blood.

As the death angel passed by it was limited where it could go & who it could harm. What was it that limited the death angel—the blood. The blood was a sign that screamed, “This one is mine”. The blood was a covering for those under its protection. The blood was what saved them.

This was one of the most awesome demonstrations of God’s power. He showed how He can deliver His people from bondage & even the hand of death. There is nothing that God can’t do for His people. This sent such a strong message to Israel. They needed to see how great God is. They needed to learn how awesome His power is. They needed to experience that He is mighty to save!

This event is written to point us to God’s plan for us. All things in the Old Testament direct us to God’s ultimate plan—CHRIST! Christ is the ultimate expression of what God can do for His people.
1.      He can fill you with His Spirit.
2.      He can speak to you.
3.      He can use you for His glory.
4.      He can work miracles through you by His Spirit.
5.      He can direct others to Himself through you.
6.      He can teach truth through you.
7.      He can raise you to life.

What is it that assures these things for us??? It is the same thing that assured safety & protection to Israel—THE BLOOD!!!

Hebrews 9:14

14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds[a] so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

The blood that flowed from Jesus has become the sacrifice that has been offered for each of us. Just as that blood on the first Passover protected God’s people, His blood protects us today. Jesus being our High Priest took His own blood to present it before the Father in the Holy of Holies & placed it on the mercy seat. It is by that offering that we stand in boldness & confidence forever more.

Hebrews 9:12

12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

1.      It is by His blood that we find freedom from guilt.

Hebrews 9:22

22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

2.      It is by His blood that we have a relationship with Him & Father.

Hebrews 10:19

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

3.      It is His blood that gives us life.

John 6:53

53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.

4.      His blood marks us as His children.

1 John 5:6-8

And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. So we have these three witnesses— the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree.

5.      His blood makes us overcomers.

Revelation 12:11

11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

6.      His blood sanctifies us.

Hebrews 13:11-12

11 Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood.

7.      His blood frees us from God’s wrath.

Romans 5:9

And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

I want to challenge you today to remind yourself of the power that is in the blood of Jesus. That power is MORE THAN ENOUGH to break EVERY chain. It is MORE THAN ENOUGH to protect you. It is MORE THAN ENOUGH to bring you victory. It is MORE THAN ENOUGH to give you peace. It is MORE THAN ENOUGH to give you life. Declare that powerful blood over you NOW. Plead that blood over your life & your family. Let that power flow through you as His power washes over you.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Less is More

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 10:1-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, & Proverbs 6:6-11

Matthew 20:24-28
24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

What does it take to make you important in the kingdom of God? We often desire to be noticed. In us all is the yearning to know that we have accomplished something important & of value. It was no different for the disciples.

Here we see 2 of the disciples who had sacrificed & left all to follow Jesus. Their mother wanted to see her sons succeed. They wanted to be honored. Their mother asked Jesus to put them in a place of honor in His kingdom. This, of course, caused the rest of the team to be angry that they would even consider asking for such special favoritism. The reality is that they wanted the same for themselves.

Power is a very intoxicating thing. It can bring out the very worse in people. As we grow in power we also tend to grow in pride. Pride is such devastating sin. It causes us to be separated from God’s grace.

James 4:6

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to live apart from God’s grace. There is no hope for me without His grace. I need His grace to empower me. I need His grace to enable me. It is at the throne of His grace that I find mercy. It is at the throne of His grace that I find strength in my time of weakness.

It is not wrong to have aspirations to be used of God in great measures. I can remember a day when I greatly desired to preach. It was all that I thought about. I can even remember the time when I started to desire to be a pastor. God put that in my heart. It was His will. It was good to desire this. It is not that we shouldn’t dream big in the Spirit, but we must stay small in our own eyes.

1 Timothy 3:1-6

This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.” So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.

We see again that Paul speaks directly to the idea that pride is a place where the enemy WILL destroy us. Listen to this verse:

Proverbs 3:34  (GNT)

34 He has no use for conceited people, but shows favor to those who are humble.

We know that we must stay in a place of humility in order to be used of God. The moment we become big in our own eyes we will fall just like King Saul. There was a day when he was small in his own eyes. He turned to God for guidance. He leaned on Him for direction. After a little success his heart changed. He became prideful & it led to his demise.

Jesus shares some very important truths that will keep us in a place of humility. It is why He taught this principal to the disciple this particular day. Let’s look at it again.

Matthew 20:26-28

26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

One of the best ways to stay humble is to serve people. Having the heart of servant is what makes you great in the kingdom. This is what catches the eye of Jesus. Are you willing to be a servant? The moment we start to think that we are too qualified or above certain things we find ourselves in pride. When we stay open to serve at the lowliest levels we stay humble.

Think about it, Jesus was telling others to do exactly what He did; give your life as a ransom for many. Jesus was walking humility. He was the greatest of the great & HE SERVED!

Where are you serving the people that God created? How are you using your gifts to minister to others? At what level are you willing to surrender your life & time to God to build His kingdom? If you want to go up you must go down. If you want to be great, you have to become less. Die so you can live. This is how we stay humble. Humility is how we stay in grace.


Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Will Lift My Hands & Pray

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 8:1-9:35, Matthew 19:13-30, Psalm 24:10, & Proverbs 6:1-5


Exodus 9:28-32
28 Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”
29 “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.”
31 (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. 32 But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.)

As I read this story I can’t help but notice the mercy of God & the place that Moses played in getting it to Pharaoh. I am moved by the mercy of God. It amazes me that God is so merciful to people when they are so far from Him. We somewhat expect God to be merciful to Christian, but Pharaoh was nothing near that. Yet we see the great mercy of God even being extended to him.

I am equally amazed at the willingness of Moses to pray for a man who was bringing great destruction on his people. Pharaoh opposed Moses, the people of God, & even God. He was trying to keep the people from going in a direction that would bring them to a place of worshipping God. He did everything in his power to hinder their move towards their Creator. Yet, Moses still saw the great need to pray for him. That is awesome.

I, much like many Christians, do not like the direction that our country is headed. I am disturbed at the rate in which I see leadership turning away from God & the bible. It doesn’t take a genius to see that God was a huge part of why our forefathers came to this country. They wanted to worship God. They were being hindered in their land so they decided to set out for a land in which God could be worshipped. These puritans fought & sacrificed to get to this great land, many dying along the way, many more once they arrived.

God blessed this land & this people because He had a plan for them. He rose up this great nation to serve a great purpose. Those things have not changed. We still have a God purpose & a God plan to fulfill. The problem is that many are forgetting what matters most—GOD!!!

I have to watch myself very closely to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap that many Christians have fallen in to. It is much easier to complain & grumble than it is to do what God desires from His church in this hour—PRAY!

I can get resentful & even bitter toward those in leadership. I can become angry & even rebellious towards the people that God has called me to pray for. I am learning that is not the BEST solution.

I am very impressed that Moses never lost compassion toward Pharaoh. He even knew that Pharaoh was not going to change, yet he showed compassion toward him & prayed for him. Moses interceded for a man who stood for the exact opposite as him. That is a man of God.

Matthew 5:13

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

One of the greatest purposes of salt is that it is a preserving agent. When used right, salt can keep things from spoiling. It can prevent things from going bad. This was a common use for salt in the days of Jesus. They would salt the fish & this would preserve them.

Jesus spoke of the church as salt. We are a preserving agent in the earth. We are here to keep the decay of sin from ruining lives. We forget that the primary way to do this is through prayer. We are good at standing up & declaring what we are against. It feels good to do that. We are not so good at doing the one thing that can change things—prayer.

I want to clarifying, I believe that we live in a day that we must take a bold stance for what is right. Our voice needs to be heard. But I also want to say that our voice needs to be heard in heaven as well. We should be more vocal in prayer than in any other area. There is an imbalance in many lives when it comes to this. They make a LOT of noise down here but little to no noise in the area of prayer. I tis no wonder that things are not changing.

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

This is God’s instruction to the church. I wonder if we have it backwards. We like to join groups, sign petitions, make noise, etc…  God is saying to make some noise, but make that noise FIRST in our prayer closets. Prayer must be the first thing to happen.

1.      Prayer is the proof that we have been humbled.

2.      Prayer leads us to seeking His face.

3.      Seeking His face leads us to repentance.

4.      Repentance must start in the house of the Lord.


These are time proved steps to revival, not the political methods that many are taking today. We have been distracted by the process of the world. We have forgotten the process of the Kingdom. Oh forgive us Father!

I want to challenge you today to spend the next 40 days praying for our leaders. Start with our president. Pray for God rich blessing in his life. Then, pray for our senators & congressmen. Next, pray for local leader: governors, mayors, police chief, etc…

1 Timothy 2:1-3

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior,


Ephesians 6:19-20

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Let’s make this a year where there is a TRUE REVIVAL OF PRAYER! That is what is needed most. It is the first step to a revival of souls. Open our eyes to see the power of prayer in JESUS NAME!

Pastor Richard Schlotter