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Thursday night we began our fellowship meeting. As promised, I am posting a synopsis of the messages. The meeting has been good, God has been with us, for that we are thankful. It would be all in vain with out his presence.

 Thursday night:

 Who will go to America? Who will stand up against and for America? Who will be strong and share the gospel with all those they meet? Who will go? Brother, why not you?

 The Bible exports us to pray for those in the office positions, in leadership that they may know and govern with the truth. In I Timothy 2:1-4 it says “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

 This country was founded on freedom of religion. If we don’t take advantage of our freedom we will loose it. The way our country is going, sure you can believe and worship however you want, but leave it inside the worship place. God is no longer allowed in the schools, work place, or even on the streets. If we let this continue to happen, we will soon not be able to truly worship freely.

 In Romans chapter 1 verses 19-32 we find a description of the world we live in.

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

 The world shows no shame over sin. If they can have no shame over something that is very shameful, we should have all boldness when it comes to sharing the truth to all those around us. In all things we need to be ready to give account to the hope we have with in us. We need to be careful and diligent to pass the truth onto all those that will listen in every generation.

 What are you doing to spread the truth to the lost and dying world we call home?

Have you ever found yourself in a “dungeon of despair” overcome with the guilt and shame of committing some deed? I’m not talking about committing sin, but maybe you acted with out thinking or said something out of turn or with out wisdom. Perhaps it was a something done in your youth or just yesterday. Even after receiving forgiveness for our sins, we all have found ourselves locked away at one time or another. In fact, many times we lock ourselves away, never forgiving ourselves for what was done, even if we have been forgiven by others. If we are constantly locking ourselves away, we cannot fully live for God. In fact, not only do we diminish our relationship with God and those around us, we damage our effectiveness on those around us.

In her book, Keeping a Princess Heart, Nicole Johnson refers to three gold keys as truths that are helpful to remember in order to unlock the doors that may hold us in the dungeon of despair. And even though her book is focused on women, men listen up; I believe these thoughts can be helpful for all of us.

1st Gold Key: “You have been recognized. Your crimes were enough to put you in the dungeon, but you are not forgotten there. The King has thrown open the door and stepped in to find you. The scolding bridle of shame and guilt has been broken and destroyed. You are loved. Your worth is not determined by your deeds; it is granted by your Father. Your guilt is cleansed by forgiveness. The chains of envy can be melted away by gratitude. Your heart can be free, able to grow strong once again.” -NJ

Psalms 18:4-20: The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. KJV

God doesn’t forget about us, he hears our cry from deep in the dungeon we have put ourselves in and he will help us unlock the doors.

2nd Gold Key: “You are loved. No act of injustice ever done to you has the right to destroy you. Only those things you do in response or the acts you commit against others or yourself can shrink your heart and make it small. Open your self to love! The golden key of adoration will fit the lock of the most cynical heart.” – NJ

Romans 8:35-39:  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. KJV

God loves us and NOTHING but ourselves can separate us from his love. As long as we keep him first there will be no separation between us and God.

3rd Gold Key: “All will be well. We have a promise that the King is working things out in the world that we can’t see. We will cry now, we will not understand it all, we may think we’ll never make it through the storm – but he promises he will never leave us or forsake us. He helps us go to sleep at night with a stronger sense of the power of good and an understanding that he is protecting us from evil. He hasn’t assured us that we will always get our way; he has promised that he is the Way. And in his way, despite our suffering, we can safely trust that all will be well.” – NJ

Romans 8:26-28: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV

Hebrews 13:5-6:  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. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. KJV

God hears our cry and has a plan to work good into every situation. He has promised that all things work together for good, even if the ingredients are not positive. In all of this, he has promised to be by our side through everything.

We can take these three keys, recognition, love and assurance of a positive outcome, to unlock the doors of the dungeon that we have banished our self to. Once the door is open and God leads us out into the light, then he can begin to use us, even in the midst of the trial, to draw souls to him and be an encouragement to those around us.

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