“BLACK AND BLUE”

Merry Friday by Parris

Have you ever felt like your prayers are making God black and blue by their pounding?

Jesus quoted a parable about the unrighteous judge that said, “He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’ LUKE 18:1

Jesus the great mediator is always about his business as the minister of the sanctuary. He ever lives to make intercession for us. Our prayers rise like incense and are not forgotten or in vain.

There is a story in Pilgrim’s Progress where Christian stays at the Porter’s house and it says; “the next day they took him and led him into the armory, where they showed him all manner of weapons which their Lord had provided for pilgrims; as sword, shield, helmet, breast-plate, all-prayer, and shoes that would not wear out.” Eph. 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” As a pilgrim we can take “ALL PRAYER” AND POUND AWAY AT HEAVEN’S DOOR. EVEN IF GOD TURNS BLACK AND BLUE FROM OUR POUNDING, HE DOESN’T TURN A DEAF EAR.

My friend pray always — with all prayer — Matthew Henry says; “With unwearied importunity renewing our petitions till they be granted, and supplication for all saints. We must pray with all kinds of prayer, public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favors received. And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. It is ‘the panoply of God,’ therefore we are to be endued with it, not by exercises in our own strength, but by dependence on Him. We shall never put on the armor of light unless in silence we draw near to Him who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Communion with Christ, and only communion with Christ, receives from Him the life which enables us to repel the diseases of our spirits. If we go forth into the world of struggle from the secret place of the Most High, ‘no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper,’ and we shall be more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

All prayer is our voice that gets us through all our circumstances!

GODS MOUTHPIECE

MERRY FRIDAY BY PARRIS-

“Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?” (Job 6:26)

The Lord has really been speaking to me about what kind of voice we are to this world? All through this year and beyond I truly want to stay a mouthpiece or a trumpeter for my Father. Are we just another voice in the wind as the book of Job describes? Are you still singing the “old song” of this world? Yelling at the tv, traffic, our bosses like everybody else? And let’s not forget our kids, and even our pets? I shudder looking back raising my kids and the frustration that grew within me at times. If only I could have put the apron over my head like Susannah Wesley did and lift my voice to God instead of my circumstances! Thank God my kids laugh when we talk of those days! But in 1994 at a young age of 37 the Lord arrested me and took me down into the ocean of his love and begin a slow reboot and rebuild in my life. Today I find myself still walking out that touch in my life. I want to open my mouth wide so he will fill it.

I love the story of Blind Bartimeus—”And blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” Mark 10:46-52.

Spurgeon elegantly says, “Me thinks we hear his shout. It is not to be imitated; no artist could throw into an utterance such vehemence or such emotion as this man would cast into it.—”Thou Son of David, have mercy on me ” Every word would tell, every syllable would suggest an argument, there would be the very strength, and might, and blood, and sinew of that man’s life cast into it; he would be like Jacob wrestling with the angel, and every word would be a band to grasp him that he might not go. “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” The gate of heaven is to be opened only in one way, by the very earnest use of the knocker of prayer. Thou canst not have thine eyes opened until thy mouth is opened. Open thy mouth in prayer, and he shall open thine eyes to see; so shalt thou find joy and gladness. It is the burning lava of the soul that hath a furnace within—a very volcano of grief and sorrow—it is that burning lava of prayer that finds its way to God.”

Yes the Master Jesus stops and looks our way! Let your mouth become a burning lava of prayer flowing to the throne room of God. For we know “The kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” Cold prayers never win God’s ear. Draw your bow with your full strength if you would send your arrow up as high as Heaven. Go ahead and blow that trumpet!

“Infusing Grace”

by Parris Bailey

MERRY WEDNESDAY!

I believe we will spend the rest of our lives and the angels too, contemplating the wonders of salvation. How a person could be going one way and then change into another man by Christ’s efficacious grace is just supernatural. When we read the conversion of Paul on the Damascus Road we realize just how suddenly salvation can come. His conversion wasn’t gradual but immediate. One can say repentance is a sovereign gift of God in ones life. Jonathan Edwards quotes; “They are in themselves filthy, vile creatures and see themselves to be so. They have an excellence and a glory in them because they have Christ dwelling in them…. Tis some thing of God. This holy heavenly spark is put into the soul in conversion, and God maintains it there. All the power of hell cannot put it out…. Though it be small … ’tis a powerful thing. It has influence on the heart to govern that, and brings forth holy fruits in the life, and won’t cease to prevail ’til it has consumed all the corruption that is left in the heart and ’til it has turned the whole soul, as it were, into a pure, holy and heavenly flame. The principle, once born, grows: In conversion this spiritual principle begins again to be restored, though it be but in an imperfect degree . . . gets more and more powerful”.

When infused grace comes into our lives everything changes. Our understanding becomes enlightened whereas before we walked in darkness having no conviction or understanding of the reality of spiritual things. There was no ability to be free from the bondage of sin or have freedom from guilt. Jonathan Edwards when writing on grace said, ‘In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some, and we do the rest. But God does all and we do all. God produces all, and we act all. For that is what he produces: our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are, in this respect, wholly passive and wholly active.’ Edward believed that Nature cannot change nature; only super-nature can.

Piper when talking about grace he uses the term irresistible grace in which he defines ‘More specifically irresistible grace refers to the sovereign work of God to overcome the rebellion of our heart and bring us to faith in Christ so that we can be saved.’ It does one well to remember just how rebellious we were and hellbent on sin. Piper is not saying that God forces us to believe against our will, but we have a way of being persuaded. This is the beautiful work of redemption upon a fallen man of which the world wonders. Once we were blinded but now we see. Grace becomes infused within our hearts and regeneration occurs.

“Life is in the quickening Spirit.” WA Criswell RC Sproul says, “To be “born again” is to experience a second genesis. It is a new beginning, a fresh start in life. When something is started, we say that it is generated. If it is started again, it is regenerated. The Greek verb geniauo that is translated as “generate” means “to be,” “to become,” or “to happen.” Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is a change. It is a radical change into a new kind of being.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE?

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”—Revelation 14:1-3.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE? Has anyone asked you that question? Maybe you were getting over a cold, or like me mumble or reach for words? But the real question to ask is “where is your spiritual voice?” I believe throughout our lives our prophetic voice has been taken away or attempted to be taken. Like a fresh horse out of the gate running for the finish line our legs begin to give way. Our voice fades, loses its strength and grows silent, dreams fade and our echo is no longer heard.

At our last women retreat while another speaker was sharing I was brought back to a very painful time in my life. It was the day I gave up my baby at 15 years old. But this time In the open vision I saw a hand reaching over my throat and attempting to strangle me. Then it seemed I was transported to one shameful moment to the next with the same hand over my throat. Next I saw scriptures began to wrap around each of those times I was being suffocated. In 1974 Dick Mills spoke over me as a young wife at Gods Army with the verse “songs in the night”. Then “for such a time as this” came the day at the kitchen sink as a young mother of 3 boys when the voice of suicide and despair came. “Breakthrough-enlarge the place of your tent came at yet another crossroad. Our voice is taken through depression, despair and offenses as we grow silent in our praise, silent in our intercession, silent in our prophecy. We are to become bearers of the voice of joy uniting with the voice of the bridegroom in us. The god of this world wants our silence! I also saw that when I get angry with people my voice of intercession was taken.

Jonathan Edwards said, “The work of the saints in heaven doth very much consist in praising God. The saints in heaven are employed; they are not idle; they have there much to do: they have a work before them that will fill up eternity.”

Want your voice back? Labor to praise, labor to prophecy and labor to join the voice of others in prayer! The sound of many waters is about us! The sound of heaven wants to give vent through us!

I want my voice to be heard here and in heaven. Our voice is our song.

WHEN THE FULLNESS OF TIME COMES!

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

“The extension of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.” Is. 8:8

I can’t imagine four hundred silent years between the testaments in which the world saw no light, or no voice. Adam no longer walked in the garden, Moses had lost the shine, David no longer danced, and the glory took up its wings and left the temple. Occasionally God would appear but he would not linger. Tozer exclaimed “The eyes of fallen, sinful men were no longer able to endure the radiant majesty and glory of deity. This deep dark yawning mystery was wrought and accomplished without any compromise.” The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Gods eternal time clock was ticking.

On the Eve of Christmas we find ourselves yet again in the fullness of time. The world was a swirl opening up to receive the Christ that was to be born. Many of us have read Mary’s response to the angelic visit. She gave space for the visitation. Trappe remarks; “She made room for him, enlarged her thoughts of him and throws wide open the everlasting doors, that the King of glory my come in! My spirit rejoices and dances in God, for God is the matter and ground of my joy. The appointed time of the Father, who does all things in number, weight and measure, never comes too soon, neither stays he too long.”

Each response of Mary’s echoes prophecies from of old. She was drawing from the deep wells she had steeped herself in all throughout her life. Immanuel’s Land was cresting. Trappe says, “She had by much reading made her bosom Christ’s library” and compared her hunger as a “hunted hart brays after the water brooks, she breathes and brays after the brooks with utmost desire. This spiritual appetite and affections arises from a deep and due sense and feeling of our want of Christ, whole Christ and there is an absolute necessity of every drop of his blood.” The fullness of time comes to give us the true bread of life, the heavenly manna, the rock flowing with honey, a fountain of living water, that revives us over and over again. Let’s go and be a part of the miracle at that manger this eve of Christmas. He will meet us again and again.

“If Christ does not rule us, a mob of tyrants will. Our own passions, our own evil habits, all the fascinating sins around us. They soon cease to seem helpers, and become tyrants”. McClarens

BRIGHT MORNING STAR

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS- “O HOLY NIGHT DIVINE WHEN THE STARS WERE BRIGHTLY SHINING”

“I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” Rev. 22:16

We’ve all felt it; the thick darkness of the night. When one was in their unrenewed state; they could look forever and feel the dark, disordered and the deluded. Night was a hopeless, lifeless, breathless blanket all meant to smother. But then the kindness of our savior appeared and dispelled the night! O night divine! For He is the morning star! The star that announces to the night that light is approaching! Christ comes to put to an end to our endless night! Our Aijeleth Shahar! (star of the morning in Ps.22) The morning star always shines brightest when the darkness is about to dissipate and the day is about to break. He comes as “the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings”. He comes as the herald of the Dawn. He becomes our Star and our Sun in the spiritual sky. “He comes to usher in the unclouded and eternal glories of the everlasting kingdom.”

(Clark) O how divine the night becomes when the day star appears! Star shine in the darkness when there is no other light to cheer us and they serve to regulate our seasons. Christ becomes our guide in the storms of night! “He is the revelator of great unseen realities being the harbinger of the day!” (Gill) This star charts our course early as well as late all the days of our lives. It is the light to see with when we are faced with blindness, our guide when the way is hindered. “He will be the eternal pledge and joy of a life that will be for ever young, of energies that will accumulate without end, of a service before the throne that will always deepen in its ardor and its triumph, of discoveries in the knowledge of the Eternal which will carry the experience of the blessed from glory to glory in a succession that cannot close.”( Moule)

And if that isn’t enough He becomes a flood of light upon us. In the Bible Illustrator it says; “His lustre cannot now be withdrawn, nor can men refuse to open their eyes to its presence. He is the Morning Star of all humanity, the brightest light that has ever dawned upon the world — that guides us onwards to the eternal day. He abides a steady, ever-shining light. All others are flickering torches, throwing a momentary and misleading glare, then waning and dying out.” O NIGHT DIVINE!

Enjoy the Advent Season when all around us is His light!

INCANDESCENT

MERRY MONDAY ADVENT SEASON by Parris

 

“The people that is sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those sitting in a region and shadow of death — light arose to them.” Matt. 4:16

Did you ever wonder why the scripture said “those that sit in darkness”? Makes one think it’s saying “to those that habitually make it their lifestyle”. It was 46 years ago on my Christmas break in my sophomore year that the light of Christ began to dispel the darkness that I was sitting in. How great was that darkness! Nine months later I found myself born again, married and off to bible school! Christ comes small in our lives like the babe in the manger born in a obscure village but little do we realize how big he gets in us! The star is still speaking to so many today that there is hope for you, freedom for you and forgiveness. Advent is upon us beckoning us to draw near-for he always comes. John Calvin said every human being is “formed to be a spectator of the created world and given eyes that he might be led to its author …. to cast our eyes upon the very beautiful fabric of the world in which God wishes to be seen by us. When those, who lay in darkness, are said to have seen a great light, a change so sudden and remarkable is intended to enlarge our views of the greatness of the divine salvation.”

Expositor Bible says; “Heavenly light, heavenly power, heavenly healing-these are the weapons of the new warfare: these the regalia of the new kingdom. No stinting now of the heavenly power; it flows in streams of blessing. It is daybreak on the shores of Galilee. The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings.”

Take this advent season all in! Christ comes he always comes!

 

 

 

INCANDESCENT

 

The people that sat in darkness saw a great light-Resplendent!

 

In the vivid lifeless damp night came lustrous hope dancing-Effulgent!

 

Stretching through eternity flaming prophecy became ripe for beholding-Forceful!

 

Incandescent splendor overcame the ache erupting- Divine intervention!

 

They saw, they felt, they were changed- Bedazzled!

 

Shining Ears awakened to the song, glowing eyes reflecting the shine -Splendid!

 

Blazing Bethlehem star hangs in the sky pointing-Radiant!

 

Wherever the beam shone that night the shepherds saw a new world-Florescent!

 

Wise men ardent in their journey looked for another -Glowing!

 

Incandescent from the manger is a child found – SON OF GOD!

 

parris bailey

THE DOG WOMAN

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Matt.15:27

We’ve all read the story of when Christ didn’t respond to the Syrophonecian women, and when he did, it wasn’t very nice. Even the disciples were put off by her making a scene and just wanted Jesus to fix it. Make it all go away Lord please! Somehow women and hollering go together I suppose! We know there are two types of people in this world. The sick and the not so sick, as Mary’s Song says, “The hungry he hath filled with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away,” Lk 1:53. And if you have ever been in the “sick group” things can get just a little desperate. I like to call it “living in the world of the miraculous” when anything can happen.

This woman had quite an ear to the latest news at her village of hope and was desperate to find it. I am not sure just how many townsfolk knew of the condition of her little daughter. Imagine day after day being hit, punched, cursed at with a dark force inside your child. She was desperate and she just heard of a way out. Christ the son of David was coming to her town.

When she meets Christ he “answers her not a word”; and she cried all the more. If you read the passage at first she is crying for her daughter then she cries “Lord help me”-the more she looked at him the more she realized this was about her. His sharp reply was yet another push away. He will not give the food that is meant for the children to the dogs. What I love about this woman is that she is undaunted. The Bible even says, she followed him into the house. You know she could feel it in the atmosphere-hope swirling, love pouring down. The moment was for here and for now. She has learned as Jacob to wrestle for the blessing. She had heard to much about him and wasn’t giving up. Did she catch the twinkle in Christ’s eye or the gentle tone? Christ was creating a web that would entangle herself and take her faith captive! He was chasing her faith down developing it to its fullness. She takes the sword out of Christ’s hands and catches him with his own words. He was calling her a “little puppy” and thats when she caught it. The outside dogs were never allowed in but the children at the table always fed the little pups. She wasn’t asking for the children’s food but knew a crumb was amply enough to take care her of situation.

“Great is your faith”, Christ said. Let’s have great faith!

WITHERED

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

Mark 3:5

“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”

The story of the man with the withered hand always gets to me. I believe it speaks of the spiritual atmosphere we find ourselves in. Sometimes things just dry up and we lose the ability to help ourselves. Your faith withers, prayers cease and you even lose your joy. Again what a story for us! Without the power of God in our lives on a daily basis we will find ourselves in a hopeless world! Christ needs to come breathe life into the dead soul.

Matthew Henry says; “He commands us to stretch forth our hands, to improve our natural powers, and do as well as we can; to stretch them out in prayer to God, to stretch them out to lay hold on Christ by faith, to stretch them out in holy endeavors. Now this man could not stretch forth his withered hand of himself, any more than the impotent man could arise and carry his bed, or Lazarus come forth out of his grave; yet Christ bid him do it. God’s commands to us to do the duty which of ourselves we are not able to do are no more absurd or unjust, than this command to the man with the withered hand, to stretch it forth; for with the command, there is a promise of grace which is given by the word.”

Did you hear that? With the command there is the promise of grace! He enables us to reach forth, stretch out and grab a hold on the anchor that will save our soul! Lord I believe, help my unbelief!

What is it that you have found yourself backing away from? Are you weary, discouraged or offended? Tired of reaching out the hand of faith? Lets read what McClaren say’s about that;

“But let us not miss the parable of the restoration of the maimed and shrunken powers of the soul, which the manner of the miracle gives. Whatever we try to do because Jesus bids us, He will give us strength to do, however impossible to our unaided powers it is. In the act of stretching out the hand, ability to stretch it forth is bestowed, power returns to atrophied muscles, stiffened joints are suppled, the blood runs in full measure through the veins. So it is ever. Power to obey attends on the desire and effort to obey.”

STRETCH FORTH THY HAND!

“YOU ARE RAVING MAD!”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

“As Paul thus made his defense, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, “You are raving mad, Paul; and great learning is driving you mad.” Acts 26:24

I’m sure it has happened to you at some point, you were sharing your faith and you were rudely interrupted with a bunch of name calling. Congratulations my friend, You have just been inducted into the “raving mad” club. Keep speaking up my friend and don’t be disobedient to your heavenly vision, for someone needs to hear it. The prophets of the Old Testament were stigmatized; people were against them: “Wherefore came this mad fellow unto thee”. 2 Ki. 9:11. When Christ was on earth, everything he did drove the religious mad. Acts 4:13 says, “they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” The apostles, who were fishermen, were despised because they had no learning; Paul; a university-man and a Pharisee, is despised as having too much learning, more learning than did him good. The New Translation says in Hebrews 11: 38,“They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.” Paul was compelled to share his heavenly vision to the “powers that be”. His life was revolutionized, he saw into the unseen while those of the earth only saw the seen. Matthew Henry said of Festus, “Much learning hath made thee mad, thou hast cracked thy brains with studying. This he speaks, not so much in anger, as in scorn and contempt. He did not understand what Paul said; it was above his capacity, it was all a riddle to him, and therefore he imputes it all to a heated imagination.”

There is so much mystery involved in redemption! Paul was once one who used to swear and curse, killing Christians, and is now talking of the heavenly vision! All it takes is one moment for the dear ear to open. Who will hear the voice of wisdom calling in the streets?! Can we undo the riddle to mankind? Would to God we could open the portal to let others see what we see, feel what we feel! We cannot reason men into eternity but we can certainly share “the heavenly vision” but you will be treated like you are “raving mad”.