Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Holy Spirit allows us to operate “in the Spirit” Ephesians 6:18

by the late Sumner Wemp

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" Ephesians 6:18. "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost" Jude 20.
"In the Spirit" As "walking in the Spirit" means walking in a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit, so "praying in the Spirit" means "praying" in a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. First, to "pray in the Spirit" you must be yielded to, depending on and "filled with the Holy Spirit," controlled by the Holy Spirit and "walking in the Spirit." Carnal Christians just cannot pray in the Spirit.
Haven't you heard people just "blabber" in prayer. They go on and on, so much carnal asking for earthly things, so little of praying for the things God tells us to pray for Matthew 6:7. Often people pray for just temporal things. There is very little thanksgiving but full of gimmie's. Matthew 6:8. Then you have heard people repeat clich├ęs they heard someone else pray. Years ago, it seemed the common thing to close your prayer was to pray, "lead, guide and direct." That is simply "vain repetition" and Jesus said "don't do it." Matthew 6:7.
God conscious When you pray in the Spirit you are far more conscious of God than those around you. Hannah was praying in the Spirit when she "poured out her soul before the Lord" 1 Samuel 1:17 and she got what she requested.
You have great liberty when you pray in the Spirit, for "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty" 2 Corinthians 3:17. In private prayer your heart becomes so full and prayer is just the overflow from your heart, as was Hannah's. (1 Samuel 2:1ff).
God hears "And God heard their groaning" Exodus 2:24. And praying in the Spirit, God not only hears but "God had respect unto them" Vs. 25. You will get your prayers answered. Remember, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" Psalm 66:18.
Oh, dear people, "the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought" Romans 8:26. We must bring the Holy Spirit into our prayer life and "pray in dependence on the Spirit" if we are going to have a really effectual prayer life.
MEMORIZE: "But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober (serious) and watch unto prayer"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013




Pastor Rick Jackson




1. Hard to Tame [v. 1]

2. Easy to Overreact [v. 2]

3. Just Right to Pray [v. 3]




1.  Life is Short [v. 4]

2.  Death is Sure [v. 5]

3.  Sin the Curse [v. 6]

4. But Christ the Cure [v. 7]



1. A Confession [v. 8]

2. Acknowledge Correction [v. 9-11]

3. A Contrite Heart [v. 12-13]

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Fresh Start

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals  
Genesis 35:2  "Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:"
What is the first word you think of when you see the word "Kodak"?  You think of film, correct?  I suppose you could say the Kodak owns the word film.  The problem is, no one owns film anymore!  Kodak was an iconic American company, but the thing for which it is famous is now, for the most part, obsolete in our world.  To grow in a new day, the thing which would hold a person or company back must be laid aside.  Ironically, for Kodak to move ahead in a new era, they had to abandon the film business.
In short, each day is a fresh start to a wise person.  You cannot serve God today and serve the world at the same time.  You must lose the one to gain the other.  What you choose determines what you lose.  A wise person proactively decides what to gain, and thereby what to lose.  Don't lose by default and gain by accident!
Bad things are sometimes easier to discard than good things.  The hardest things for you to give up are probably the things that are good and are your strengths.  You have to get rid of the old in order to gain the new!
On the way to Bethel, Jacob and his family put on new clothes and put away their idols.  Jacob got a new name, Israel, when he got to Bethel.  If he was going to follow God's leading in the future, he had to abandon his baggage from the past.  He needed a fresh start.
Thank God we serve a God of fresh starts!  Failure doesn't have to be fatal.  If you "blew it" yesterday, ask God for forgiveness and start fresh today.  Consider this a fresh start from God Almighty and make the most of it!

Prayer Requests:
- Ranch Regional Family Conference in Lubbock, TX, this weekend
Read more devotionals, listen to sermon audio, and read thought-provoking articles on our website!

Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Monday, February 25, 2013


2 SAMUEL 22                                  

Pastor Rick Jackson


4 times in this chapter [which is the first version of Psalm 18] David talks directly to the Lord and 4 times David talks to the people about the Lord. David, the master musician, makes a single song- a hymn, a psalm and a spiritual song which not only teaches and admonishes but also praises the Lord!



I. A SONG TO THE LORD [v. 1] note the importance of motives and lyrics.















Sunday, February 24, 2013


JEREMIAH 37:1-10                                           


Pastor Rick Jackson [inspired by Dr. J. Don Jennings]


Most of us realize the Devil is a deceiver and the world is often right in line with him but the closest deceiver to each and every one of us is … ourselves! We like to think we never deceive ourselves but if you think that you have just deceived yourself! God warned the Israelites in this passage of that very danger. They wouldn’t obey God’s Word [v.2] and yet they still wanted God’s help [v. 3] but God told them they were in danger of deceiving themselves [v. 9]. Let us see some very real ways we can deceive ourselves and, in so doing, avoid it!


We deceive ourselves when we:


I. BELIEVE THE HEART WON’T LIE [Jer. 17:9, 49:16]













Saturday, February 23, 2013

Question of the Week: Do we have proof that Jesus rose from the dead?

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February 23, 2013

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Q: Do we have proof that Jesus rose from the dead?

A: In the "prologue" to the book of Acts, Luke told Theophilus that Jesus "presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). The Greek word translated as "infallible proofs" is tekmeriois, a technical term from logic that refers to that which causes something "to be known in a convincing and decisive manner, proof."
So what are these infallible proofs of the Resurrection? Before answering that question, consider what it would take to convince you that someone was alive again after dying. Of course, the best evidence would be an opportunity to spend time with that person again—you could see him walk and talk, and you could eat with him. That's precisely what Luke is referring to here.
After being crucified, Jesus showed Himself alive by appearing to the disciples on several occasions. He walked with them, talked with them, and ate with them.
Read more about the "many infallible proofs" Scripture records for Jesus Christ's Resurrection.

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Dr. Baucham gives solid answers to common objections about Christ's deity, death, and Resurrection. His charge: We must preach a risen Christ unequivocally and tell the world that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—and that no one comes to the Father but by Him. Powerful!

News to Note Quick Look

The oft-evolved appendix: The appendix: useless vestige or valuable evolutionary innovation?
Freedom under fire: Federal government tips its hand: you have the freedom to be like others, but not necessarily the freedom to be different.
Homo erectus—the handyman: Homo erectus had style and design of their tools down to a science.
Leaving Lucy: This spring is your last chance to see Lucy in the United States before she returns to her homeland.
Epigenetic inheritance: A new discovery illustrates one way epigenetic alterations can be passed on to subsequent generations.

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Friday, February 22, 2013


Biblical ABC’s:    S is for – Season

Mrs. Rick Jackson


Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” 


The word SEASON is used 55 times in our English Bible, all but twice referring to a time or season.  What are we to learn about these “seasons”?  That’s what we’re going to see tonight, “to everything there is a season” or time.  Time is one thing that has been allotted to each of us equally the same – we have each been given a 24 hour day.  That translates to 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds.  It’s what we do with those 86,400 seconds that matters.




I.            A Season   (without God)


We’ll begin with looking at “a season.”  There is an interesting verse in the accounts of the kings after the reign of David in the book of 2 Chronicles which says, “Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.”


Turn with me to 2 Chronicles 15, and let’s begin reading at verse 1: “And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:    2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.          3 Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.                      4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.”


Here we find a time in the history of the children of Israel when they had forsaken their heritage.  They had forgotten their God.  God had not forgotten them.  And they were reminded of that very thing.  We all need that reminder.  God has not forgotten you.  Have you come to “a season” in your life when you feel you’ve been forsaken, that God has forgotten you?  Oh, dear one, God is and always has been, right beside you.  In your time of trouble, you need only to seek Him and call out to Him.  He is ever beside you.  I am reminded of what Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 7:7 & 8Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


Then there was an individual in the book of Acts who was without God.  Do you remember when Paul was imprisoned and awaiting his trip to Rome?  He had opportunity to witness to not only the guards who were watching him around the clock but also the different rulers who came to hear his case, some out of mere curiosity.  One of these was Felix.  We read in Acts 24:24 and 25, “And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.       25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”  Evidently, Felix was biding his time, waiting until the time was more “convenient.”  What do you suppose was holding him back from making his decision for Christ?  Was he embarrassed for the company he kept?  Did he have more questions about what he heard?  The Bible says, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” – 2 Corinthians 6:2


You know, a long season and a convenient season are too long to be without God.  It is important for us to be aware of a season in our life and those close to us.  There are others around us facing a season without God.  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


II.            Due Season (of blessings)


We next have what we find ten times in Scriptures, the due season, what I call, the “season of blessings.”  Galatians 6:9 tells us, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  We are told that if we continue on, if we don’t give up, we will receive the blessing! That is a wonderful promise!  This has been promised by the Lord from the very beginning.  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


Look with me at Leviticus 26:3 & 4, “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;              Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”  Again, it’s only a matter of doing right, following the Lord, and persevering, and then receiving the blessing!   This promise is repeated in Deuteronomy 11: 13 &14, And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,     That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.


It is not only that the Lord blesses us, but we can be a blessing to others, merely by taking care in what we say.  Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!  Similarly, Isaiah 50:4 says,The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”  We are reminded in James 3:2, For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”  So, to be in due season, to say the right thing at the right time, is truly a blessing! There are 86,400 seconds in every day – can we consciously use those seconds to say and do what is right?  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


III.            In Season (timing)


Have you given our beginning verse much thought yet?  Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  I’ve quoted it several times.  Let me quote it again, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  What does it mean, really?  There’s a time for everything, it says.  Who’s in charge of that time?


When Job was afflicted after he thought he had lived justly and confessed his sins regularly, and his friends came to him and accused him unjustly, Job entertained thoughts of asking God why he had been put through such agonies.  But the Lord came to Job and spoke to him in a whirlwind and in Job 38:31-33 we see the Lord ask Job the following:  Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?                Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?  Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”            Did Job have charge over when the stars appeared in the sky?  By whose order and timing did they appear?  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  What was the lesson Job was to learn?  The Lord is the One who had a “purpose under the heaven” for his life.  It wasn’t about what Job did or didn’t do, was it?  It was the purpose he had to fulfill in God’s plan.  He was to fulfill God’s timing, to be “in season!”


There’s a beautiful verse in Ezekiel 34:26 which says, “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”  That is the source of Daniel Whittle’s song, Showers of Blessing.

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.


Again, it is God who sends the showers in His season.  We cannot cause it to rain, we can only pray for it!  Jeremiah reminds us, Jeremiah 5:24 – “Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”

And what will all of that rain bring?  A harvest, right?  So, when we follow the Lord, keep His commandments, walk in His statutes, then Psalm 1:3 tells us, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


IV.            Night Season (of concern)


I want to pause for a moment and mention the season that many of us have uncomfortably experienced.  Too often, it has been expressed that when you become a Christian, you have no more troubles.  God does not promise a life without problems – sadly, we live in a sin-cursed world.   Job 30:17 says,My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.”  And in Psalm 22:2, “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.”  The night season is obviously our most vulnerable.  It is the time we feel most alone when our cares press upon us and we may mistakenly think as David did in this Psalm that God does not hear our cry.  Oh, we must remember He is ever near!  Jesus promises, in Matthew 28:20, “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”  Again, in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Although we must have the night season, the times of trial, we must never forget that we do not walk it alone.  We must not abuse those part of the 86,400 seconds that come in the night when we sigh and cry and fear that we are all alone.  1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”


V.            Salt Season (for flavor)


Finally, I told you there were two “season” verses that did not pertain to time.  They are the following:


Leviticus 2:13:And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.”

Mark 9:50:Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”


The one seasoning common all over the world is salt.  Why do we use it?  To bring out flavor in our foods.  It is an important component in cooking and adding flavor.  Jesus called it good.  God expressly commanded the Israelites to use it in their meat offerings – not to leave it out!  Seasoning is important!  Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, 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. 


It is important to be “in season” in order to be salt that has flavor.  We want to be used of God.  How can we do that?  To be prepared!  Paul put it this way to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  We find in 1 Peter 3:15 the admonition, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”  Again, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  That’s why we’re here, right?  We want to be salty!


Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”