Each Day I Get a Breakdown by Category of the 40,000+ Prayer Requests We Receive

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(Matthew 6:25-33)

Each day I get a breakdown by category of the 40,000+ prayer requests we receive here at Liveprayer. The top three each day are always health, relationships, and finances. These three issues transcend age, race, nationality, and financial status. They are the common bond all men who live this life share. Everyone deals with health issues at some point in their life. Everyone deals with relationship issues at some point in their life. Everyone deals with financial issues at some point in their life. I have dealt often with the health and relationship challenges we all face, and today I want to focus on finances.

Money is a necessary part of living this in this world. We must have money to survive. The Bible has lots to say about money. I rarely recommend resources but for those struggling in this area of your life or simply looking to be better stewards of your money, I would look into getting anything written by Larry Burkett, a man God blessed with incredible wisdom to teach people what the Bible says about money and finances, and a dear friend Dave Ramsey, another man God has raised up in this day to teach people the Biblical truths regarding finances. Burkett went to be with the Lord recently, but his books are still very popular and available at any Christian bookstore as are Ramsey’s.

I want to focus today on where you are at right now financially. Many who read this are not having any problems with their finances, while others are struggling. Some people have been blessed with a tremendous abundance of resources and other people have virtually nothing. Regardless if you find yourself today with a surplus of money or without any at all, never forget that it is God who is your source and it is God who supplies your every need throughout this life. God knows and understands the basic necessities of life like food, shelter and clothing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The original Greek of this verse says that our number one goal in life must be to be a member of God’s Kingdom and be perfectly holy, in God’s sight, just as He is. WOW! That is powerful and puts in perfect perspective what our true goals in this life must be. To be a member of God’s Kingdom and be perfectly holy in God’s sight.

However, tying into today’s message on finances is an incredible truth from God’s Word found in this verse that many people miss and never connect. The end of Matthew 6:33 says, “…and all these things will be given to you as well.” What things? The necessities of life that were spoken about in the preceding verses, food, shelter, and clothing. What God is saying is that if you will seek Me, seek My Kingdom, seek My righteousness, I’m going to take care of your day to day necessities of life. God is saying to you today, “be about My business and I’ll be about your business.”

I love you and care about you so much. I want to encourage you and pray for you today. For those of you that God has blessed financially, never forget that to whom much is given, much is required. For those of you who are facing great financial obstacles in your life today, now is the time to make your faith real and trust that God will provide as He promised in His Word. Even if you don’t have great financial wealth, you are still accountable to God for what He does bring into your hands, so be faithful with what He provides.

Whatever we have in this life has been given to us by God and belongs to Him. We are simply stewards of what He has put into our care. I pray that you will seek the Lord and get His wisdom and discernment in how you can always be a good steward of the resources that He has entrusted to you. God wants to use you regardless of the amount of money you have to be a blessing to others. The Bible has much to say about the care of the poor. We immediately think of the poor as being those who have no money, but this also includes the spiritually poor, those people who are living without the hope and love of Christ in their life. Everyone can do something with what God has given you to be a blessing to those who are financially poor as well as those who are spiritually poor.

I want to pray for you right now , a prayer of blessing over your finances. “Father, I pray today for each person that is reading these words. You know exactly where they are at today financially. I pray that whatever they have today is multiplied many times over in the coming weeks and months. Bless them in the area of their finances Father so that they may not only care for their day to day needs of those they are responsible for, but so that they may feed the poor around the word, those who are materially poor as well as those who are spiritually poor. I pray today a prayer of BLESSING on the finances of the person reading these words. Whatever we have in this life comes from you and is yours Father. May we be faithful in managing what you have given to us. Multiply many times over what you have currently given to the person reading this word today and allow them to be a great blessing to the work of God throughout the world. I pray BLESSINGS over the finances of the person reading these words today for the glory of Almighty God. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!”

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I Respect Hillary Clinton and All Those Who Serve Our Nation in the State Dept.

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(John 3:16, 11:25, 12:46, 20:31)

I respect Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and all of those who serve our nation in the State Department. However, as they spend hours planning how to respond to the most recent events in North Korea, as they plan their diplomatic strategies to deal with the growing problem North Korea is to the Pacific Rim and the rest of the world, there is an answer to the North Korean problem that won’t involve diplomacy or needing other countries to intervene or military action. The answer to North Korea is JESUS.

Now hold on and hear me out. North Korea is a very unique situation. Except China, the rest of the countries around the world that we have concern over are all dominated by the false religion of Islam. They are a huge obstacle since the majority of the people have all been brainwashed since birth to follow that false religion of hate and death. North Korea, however, is technically an atheistic country. Kim Il Sung, the man recruited in 1945 by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to found the Communist North Korean state, stamped out Christianity and the traditional Buddhism and Shamanism. He installed in their place an ideology resembling a state religion, which rejects any outside influence and promotes hatred and distrust of outsiders.

That ideology, which preaches self-reliance, is known as Juche, of which Kim Il Sung is the central figure. The North Korean calendar actually begins with the year of his birth in 1912 and one of the tallest structures in Pyongyang is the Juche Tower, built in Juche 70, or 1982. Kim Jung-Il who took over as North Korea’s dictator after his father’s death, has only allowed one Catholic and a few protestant churches to exist, however, they are controlled 100% by the government. These are nothing like what we know of as a church and what is preached is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the gospel of Kim Jong-Il.

There are many of God’s bravest and boldest servants who literally give their lives to take Christ to the people of North Korea. However, such covert operations can only do so much and can only make a certain impact. They mostly help support the few thousand Christians who live in North Korea under that repressive government while still maintaining their faith in Christ. The North Korean people are brainwashed from birth that the government is the god of their life and who they are to pledge their very lives to. What you have is 23 million empty souls who have been lied to that the government is their only hope, 23 million empty souls who for the most part have never heard about Jesus and His love for them.

North Korea is RIPE for a spiritual revolution! The United States government through the State Department, the CIA, is involved in the political affairs of nations all over the world. Some of that involvement is purely diplomatic, while in other cases it is more overt. What I am proposing is that we take bold and aggressive action in using the resources of the United States to bring Christ to the people of North Korea. The only television the people have is the government run TV station. We override their satellite and broadcast the Gospel until hey shut down the government TV station. We do the same thing with the government radio station.

We use the military to drop Gospel tracts all over the country. We use the military to drop hundreds of thousands of tiny transistor radios all over North Korea that are set to a Christian message. We use the military to drop hundreds of thousands of Bibles throughout North Korea. We flood North Korea with the truth about their government, how they are barely staying alive in the year 2010 when most of the world enjoys tremendous freedom and prosperity. We not only bring the people of North Korea the truth of what their government has done to them, but we bring them the hope of Christ.

What can Kim do? He doesn’t have the ability to stop us. He certainly doesn’t have the ability to retaliate. Who is he going to cry to, the United Nations? The ACLU? Barry Lynn, satan’s tool who is the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State? Kim’s only real response can be to put his military on high alert and clamp down even harder on his people which will reinforce what they will be learning about their government. The answer for North Korea doesn’t lie in our diplomatic corps, or in military action, it lies in the pages of God’s Word!!!

I love you and care about you so much. My friend, there is a power greater than any nuclear device and that is the power of the Gospel. It is the power of the Gospel that will not only save those North Koreans who accept Christ as their Savior, but it is the power of the Gospel that can set those people free from the repressive government in Pyongyang. You have 23 million people who have never heard that Jesus loves them. You have 23 million people who have never heard that He died for their sins. You have 23 million people who have never been told how they can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Last summer and fall, I worked for many months on a plan to go preach in North Korea. This all came about from someone in the Liveprayer family who until the first of the year had a prominent position on the staff of New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson. After many conversations with this person on the Governor’s staff, as well as several people I was directed to talk to in the State Department, I came to realize that I would accomplish NOTHING by going to North Korea and end up simply being used by Kim for his propaganda purposes.

I’m still willing to go any time since it breaks my heart knowing so many people are not only living in such horrible conditions, but most of all that they have little or no access to the Truth of God’s Word. They are living without even knowing how much Jesus loves them. I believe that one day soon we will find a way to get the message of Christ’s love to the North Korean people. Jesus is the only answer and only hope for the people of North Korea, just like Jesus is the only answer and only hope for the people of this world, just like Jesus is the only answer and only hope for you and me!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

If You Do Not Have to Drive Tonight Please Don’t

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(Psalms 37:32)

If you do not have to drive tonight, please don’t! One of the things most of us do each day is drive a car. In our society, it is the way we get around to do all the things we have to do each day. Rarely do we think twice about driving. It is just part of our life and something we do almost instinctively. The Bible tells us that the enemy comes to “kill, steal, and destroy”. For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, the enemy can’t have your soul, but he can destroy your life and ability to serve God. He can also steal your peace and joy. He is also able to lay traps to kill you.

Let me say here that the Bible clearly teaches that
nothing..nothing..nothing.. happens to us apart from God allowing it to happen. Read the first chapters of Job and you will see clearly that it is God who is in total control. I am convinced from my years in ministry and from the Word of God, that there is no disease…no accident…not even a bullet that can take the life of one of God’s children until that person’s work here on earth is finished. It is God who will make that determination. Having said that, we are still responsible to be alert and to use the common sense the Lord gave us in our daily lives. That includes driving.

Driving our cars is such an instinctive thing we do, I doubt we ever really focus on the actual dangers we face when we get behind the wheel. First of all, seatbelts are a safety mechanism that have been proven to save lives. I don’t care if you are going across the country, or across the block..WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS!!!

Also, remember why you are driving. It is to get you from point A to point B. It is not to listen to the radio, it is not to put on make-up, it is not to eat and drink, and it is not to talk on the phone, NOT TO SEND TEXT MESSAGES! There is nothing wrong with listening to the radio or tape deck; however set it up before you actually start driving. Do your make-up at home, not in the car. Eat at home or at your destination, not in the car. Take a break from the phone in the car. SEND YOUR TEXT BEFORE YOU START DRIVING OR WAIT UNTIL YOU STOP!

Why do I say this? Simple. Any of these activities while driving takes away from your ability to fully concentrate on driving your car, and takes away from your ability to focus on what is happening around you. Even if you are the best driver in the world, the problem is that there are others on the road who may not be. Never forget. Every time you get in your car, you are putting your life in the hands of those other drivers. You are trusting them to drive safely and obey the rules. In all honesty, you often put more faith in strangers you have never met, than you do in God.

I love you, and care for you so much. This Devotional is not meant to scare you or to make you afraid to drive your car. Quite the opposite. It is intended to make you aware of one of the potential dangers you face each day, and to realize how important it is for you to be alert and focused every time you are driving. God has a wonderful plan for your life. We have a very real out there that would love to hurt us. That is why we can never take things for granted and must always remember that God is our protector and shield.

I will be praying for you today that as you drive, the Lord will be with you to guide you and protect you. We cannot always avoid accidents in life, and we often have no good answers why those things happen. Our responsibility, though, is to do our best not to be the cause of an accident by being careless or not paying attention. Driving is an important part of our life and can also be very dangerous. Concentrating and being fully aware of the responsibility we have each time we drive a car is of utmost importance to protecting your safety, as well as the safety of the other drivers you encounter on the road.

So many things we do in this life we take for granted and get so used to, we don’t even think about it. I pray that you will stay focused each day in all of the things you do. Especially remember how dangerous driving can be, and that it requires all of your attention. The way to live in victory each day is to follow Him and use the intelligence God blessed us with.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Today is a Special Day for Me as I Celebrate My 52nd Birthday

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(Luke 4:18)

Today is a special day for me as I celebrate my 52ND birthday. I never forget that tomorrow is promised to none of us and that each day is a gift from God. So I am most grateful for the Lord blessing me with these years of life, and am even more grateful that He allows me the honor of waking up each morning to serve Him. My hand is to the plough, I am not looking back, and am so excited each morning at what God is going to do in people’s lives that day. I look forward to sharing the Truth of God’s Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting in the world until He says my work is over and calls me home.

It is normal on your birthday to receive presents. You may get a new pair of shoes, some clothes, a watch, maybe a nice dinner out, or even something as extravagant as a new car. However, even though it is my birthday, I have a present for YOU today. It is better than new shoes, or new clothes, or a shiny watch. It is even better than a new car. My present to you today will actually add YEARS TO YOUR LIFE!

You see, I really do love you and care about you. I am so thankful for you being part of my life and I want you to be around for many years to come should Jesus tarry in His return. Even though it is God who will have the last word when our life is over, we can make the free will choices to do things that can literally shorten our days. So today, my present to you is how to live as long as you possibly can to enjoy this life and be a productive servant of our Lord until the moment He calls you home.

Over the past 126+ months I have spoken many times on how our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and how we should do all that we can to keep our temples in the best shape possible. I have spoken often about how it is our responsibility to be in the best physical shape possible to be able to serve God to our best ability for as long as we possibly can.

Less than 10% of those reading this today exercise regularly or even try to eat the right foods. OVER 90% OF THOSE READING THIS TODAY ARE OVERWEIGHT AND THOSE EXTRA POUNDS ARE SHORTENING YOUR LIFE!!! Today I am going to help you lose weight. MORE IMPORTANTLY, KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF without spending thousands on joining a health club, buying machines, or becoming a slave to the latest pills or juices that will cost you $50 a month and NEVER do what they promise.

There are two elements required to lose weight. First is exercise. You MUST be on a disciplined exercise plan and be faithful to that plan to burn the calories necessary, not to mention the positive effects it has on your heart and muscles. Second is what you eat. There is NO way to lose weight, maintain your optimum weight, unless you are watching what you eat and drink. Sweets, soft drinks, alcohol, snack foods all have tons of calories that will put pounds on you. If you are doing lots of exercise, you can get away with eating some things that are not the best for you to be eating, but you must be aware of all that you eat and drink. I hate to be over simplistic, but the fact is, if you are exercising regularly and watching what you eat, you can and WILL lose weight and MAINTAIN your ideal weight.

Please let me add this VERY IMPORTANT fact. Everyone has their own ideal weight. Genetics DO play a factor in this, and how God created our bodies is an issue. There are some people who simply will carry more weight than others. There is NOTHING wrong with being what some may consider overweight. Nobody can be the media’s definition of perfect, nor should we try. We have to use common sense and accept the fact that some people are simply created to carry more weight than others. The key is, are you where YOU need to be at for YOUR body???

From the amount of emails that I get every day, I know that this is a major issue for many of you. Here is the secret. It is a battle like any other battle you fight in life. It is first a spiritual battle. The strength you get to stick to your exercise routine, to eat the right things each day, do NOT come from a pill or from yourself, IT HAS TO COME FROM GOD!!! You need to take the time each morning and pray to God for the strength and diligence to stick to your exercise plan and what you eat. IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! People fail in their sincere efforts in this area because they have left out the spiritual element to it.

FORGET THE $50 A MONTH PILL OR JUICE AND REPLACE IT WITH PRAYER! All that pill or juice does is remind you that this is a commitment that you have made. Period. Prayer will not only remind you, but strengthen you to stick to it and see victory!!!

I love you and care about you so much and am grateful to be able to give you this present today! I will be praying for you that God will inspire you to take action in this area of your life. HE IS SPEAKING TO YOU ABOUT ADDING YEARS TO YOUR LIFE! You don’t need the latest pill or juice to lose weight. You need to exercise, watch what you eat, and PRAY! That is the special element. God will give you the strength and motivation to get victory over this area of your life. He will help you. Like in all things, when we are serious and ask God to help us, HE WILL!!! You will not only lose the weight you desire, but keep it off as long as you are willing to exercise, watch what you eat, and pray about this daily!

Losing weight and maintaining a certain weight is like every other battle we face. We must have a battle plan that we work faithfully each day, and that plan must include accountability to others and God. We aren’t strong enough to get and maintain victory on our own. We need to have others in our life to hold us accountable and to keep us where we need to be in our day-to-day actions. I realize that this is an issue with many who are reading this right now. Know today that there is hope, there is victory waiting for you!

Exercise, pay attention to what you eat, have people in your life who will hold you accountable to your exercise routine and what you eat, and pray daily for God to give you the strength and resolve to stick to the plan. IT WILL ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE! This is an important issue because the better you feel, the better shape you are in, the more fit you are, the better you will be able to serve and glorify God with your life for many years to come!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Destruction Caused when the Pastor of a Church or Christian Leader Falls

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(John 13:12-17; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:21)

One of the saddest things I deal with on a daily basis is the destruction caused when the Pastor of a church or Christian leader falls. Sadly, the destruction doesn’t stop with the lives of the Pastor or Christian leader, their family, the person they sinned with (in the case of adultery) and that person’s family. Like all sin, there is an incredible ripple effect and when a Pastor or Christian leader falls, those ripples are far reaching and affect the lives and faith of many, many people. On top of the damage done to the lives and faith of many people, there is tremendous, in some cases, irreparable damage done to the work of that particular church or ministry the Pastor or Christian leader was overseeing for God.

I wish I could tell you this morning that a Pastor or Christian leader falling is a rare and isolated event, but that is simply not the truth. Satan is VERY BUSY and we know from the very lips of Jesus his goal is to kill, steal, and destroy. If you think you are going to start a church or ministry that is going to do the work of God and satan is not going to bother you, you have obviously never read God’s Word. Never forget, the more you are doing for the Lord, the bigger a target you become. The more you are doing for the Lord, the more satan will set his sights on taking you out. The more you are doing for the Lord, the more prepared spiritually you better be since the battle we fight is NOT of flesh and blood but it is a spiritual one!

Think with me for a moment. If you were satan, would you spend your time and energy trying to take down one person who is witnessing to people, or would you spend your time and energy trying to take down the Pastor of a church with 2,000 members? If you were satan would you spend your time and energy going after a Believer who did little with his faith other than show up for church on Sunday morning, or would you be plotting to take out a Christian leader that was followed by millions of people. SATAN ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL TARGET PASTORS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS. He knows by taking down a Pastor or Christian leader he also wipes out many people who follow them in the process. It is like bowling, hit the head pin and watch all the pins behind fall down.

This is why I tell people all the time to stay focused on THE man and never A man. One of the major complaints of non-believers is that Christians are hypocrites. Those who don’t even know the great stories of the Bible, can tell you in great detail the stories of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and the preacher down the street who ran off with his secretary. It is one of the most common objections of someone who has rejected Christ and the truth of God’s Word. They say that they would be a Christian, but those who are Pastors and Christian leaders don’t act like a Christian should act. I am sure there were many in the first days of the church who said, “I would be a Christian, but look at what Peter did. This man who claimed to be a follower of Jesus denied him, not once, but THREE times!!”

They make a valid point. The fact is however, a Pastor or Christian leader is nothing more than a sinner who is saved by grace. Even though they are leaders, they are still frail, prone-to-sin creatures living in a sin-filled environment. That in no way excuses their sin, but it is the reality of who they are. By the way, a note for those non-believers that love to use this excuse for rejecting Christ in their life. God is not going to be interested that you rejected Jesus because of what someone else did. We are each going to be held accountable for our free will choice to accept or reject Christ in our hearts and lives.

A major part of the destruction when a Pastor or Christian leader falls is the damage it does to the person in the pew or those who follow that person’s ministry. Let me warn you today. One of the quickest ways to fall away from your faith is to put too much emphasis on a man or woman of God. God uses human instruments to plant the seeds of salvation. He uses human instruments to disciple us and help us grow in our faith. He uses human instruments to impact our spiritual lives. In a society that is prone to idolize others, such as entertainers, athletes, and successful people, we take that into our Christian lives as well. We place our Pastors and Christian leaders on pedestals they don’t belong on.

Let me stop for a moment and say something important. God does not share His glory with ANYONE. I realize that in the drive to amass numbers, in the drive to generate dollars, many Pastors and Christian leaders fall into the trap of ALLOWING people to idolize or worship them. Some actually encourage this. God does not share His glory with ANYONE. It is the responsibility of those Pastors and Christian leaders to always keep the focus on Christ, and never allow the people to worship them, but remind them they are only to worship Christ. THE TRUE PASTOR AND CHRISTIAN LEADER COMES TO SERVE, NOT BE SERVED!!!

We normally only see those God has called to be Pastors and raised up to lead ministries when they are “on,” when they are doing what God has called them to do. Because of that, we almost tend to forget they are human. These men and women walk in the same frail clay bodies as everyone else and are prone to the same weaknesses that every person is. Since we rarely see these Pastors or Christian leaders other than the times they are doing the Lord’s work, we lose sight that those moments are only a part of their life. They have lives outside of their work for the Lord. THEY ARE ONLY AS CLOSE TO GOD AS THEIR OWN PERSONAL DAILY WALK WITH THE LORD.

Because they are in the spotlight, when they fail, when they sin, it is made known to the public. Our first reaction is, “how can that be possible?” Nobody is immune to sin my friend. No matter who you are, your life flows from your personal relationship with Christ. A Pastor and Christian leader is only as close to God as his or her daily walk. Like anyone, if they neglect their daily time with the Lord, they get farther away from God and become an easy target for satan. Most Pastors and Christian leaders fall when things are going great. They lose their humility, they quit working as hard as they used to, they have more idle time, and they don’t stay as close to the Lord as they used to.

It is only possible to minister to others from your own personal walk with Christ. As you neglect that daily time with the Lord, you start to be disconnected. You may have some spiritual gasoline left in your tank, but eventually you will use that up. Those Pastors and Christian leaders who fall, fall because they have neglected to invest time with God one on one. Even more than most, a Pastor and Christian leader cannot afford to neglect their daily time with Christ.

The key point I want you to understand today is that you must keep focused on THE man, and not A man. Christ was the only one who did it perfect. My personal philosophy is to take the spiritual wisdom from other men and women of God, but never idolize them, never expect them to be more than the man or woman of flesh and blood they are, but realize that God has touched them in a special way and given them something that can benefit my spiritual life. I have always called it my spiritual filter.

Being in full-time ministry for the last 15 years, having preached in over 500 churches of every type of denomination, having spoken at hundreds of conventions, being involved for many years in the Christian t.v. world, I have had the unique opportunity to meet and know an incredible number of Pastors and Christian leaders of our day. However, no matter who the person is I always do two things. I always line up what they said with the Word of God. That is number one. I don’t care who the person is. If it is not in line with the Word of God, it is not something I want.

Second, I always look at the man or woman of God as an instrument God is using. I never expect them to be supernatural or anything other than a vessel God is using to bring spiritual truths into my life. The only person I ever idolized or tried to pattern my life after was Christ. I have always taken what I can from men and women of God and tried to use that to help me in my quest to be more like Christ each and every day.

I love you, and care about you so much. Today’s word is an important reminder to never get so focused on a man or woman of flesh and blood that you let it get in the way of your own personal walk with Christ. God has placed men and women of God in our lives to help teach us, show us the truths of His Word. However, no matter how close to the Lord they may be, the only one we should ever try to pattern our lives after is Jesus Christ because He is the only one who lived this life without sin. He is our example and the one each one of us should strive to be like.

I will be praying today for those Pastors and Christian leaders who have fallen from grace. Let me encourage you today, God is not done using your life. There are always consequences for our sins, and things will never be the way they used to be, but that does not mean God can’t use you. Look at Peter. The key is, Peter humbled himself before the Lord and allowed God to restore him to fellowship and service. I pray today that for those fallen Pastors and Christian leaders, they will follow the example of Peter.

I will also be praying today for those who are reading this who have had their faith shaken by a Pastor or Christian leader who fell. It is normal and okay to be upset, but never forget that your faith is in Jesus, not that Pastor or Christian leader. Of course, you have every right to expect them to live up to the standards God has set for those who lead His church. However, when a Pastor or Christian leader falls, don’t allow the enemy to destroy your faith just because of the failings of another person. Again, your faith is NOT in that Pastor or Christian leader but in JESUS CHRIST!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

When You Read God’s Word, You Read about Great Men of Faith

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(Genesis 1:27, 2:24, 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:17; 1 Kings 11:3; 1 Timothy 3:2,12)

When you read God’s Word, you read about great men of faith, men who lived their lives for God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Solomon. These men did great things for God and are used as examples of how to live a Godly life. These men were also richly blessed by God. However, they all had one glaring issue that cannot be ignored. They all had multiple wives! This fact often confuses people who are curious how these great men of God could be so blessed but living in blatant rebellion to God in this area of their life. The reality is, they forfeited many of the blessings they should have had because of this sin in their life.

The Bible is perfectly clear about God’s Holy Institution of Marriage. It is one man, with one woman, for one lifetime. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Julie. Or Adam and Eve, Julie, Cathy, and Susan. God’s plan for marriage was one man and one woman. In Genesis 2:24, God’s intention is clearly presented when He says, “They shall be one flesh.” In giving the qualifications for a king in Deuteronomy Chapter 17, Verse 17, God clearly states that the king was not to have multiple wives. In giving the qualifications for those who lead the church in 1 Timothy 3:2 and 12 and in Titus 1:6, the Bible states that these men are to have only one wife. This passage in the Greek is not only speaking of someone who has not been divorced, but makes it clear that having multiple wives disqualified someone to be in a leadership position.

You actually don’t have to get very far into human history to see God’s plan for marriage perverted. The first Biblical account of men taking multiple wives is recorded in Genesis 4:19 where a man named Lamech took two wives. Having multiple wives throughout history has always been a mark of nations, people groups, who lived their lives in rebellion to the God of the Bible.Sadly, some have tried to justify polygamy by pointing to men of God in the Bible like Abraham and others who had multiple wives. They are 100% wrong and there is NO WAY to justify polygamy by using the Bible.

Let me make sure you understand something perfectly clear. God never permitted at any time for men to have multiple wives. When we read about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Solomon, and others taking multiple wives, we also read about the consequences of this sin in their life. Don’t forget what I tell you often. Our obedience to God and His Word brings blessings, our rebellion to God and His Word brings consequences! There will ALWAYS be consequences when you choose to live in rebellion to God. Even great men of God like Abraham, like Solomon, were not immune to the consequences when they chose to sin against God.

One of the things I love about God’s Word is that it does not try to hide the failings of men who did great things for God in their lives. Look at David. His sin with Bathsheba could have been omitted, but God allowed his sin to be exposed to all of the generations through His Word. The consequences of Abraham’s sin in taking another wife are still being felt in the world today since the Jewish people are directly linked back to his son with Sarah, Isaac, and the Arab people directly linked back to his son with Hagar, Ishmael. When you read about Abraham having to send Hagar and her son away due to the conflict with Sara and Isaac, I am not sure we can begin to fully comprehend the human emotions of such a tragic event.

Then you have Solomon. As I shared with you the other day in speaking of Solomon and his summation of what this life is about in Ecclesiastes 12:13, I have carefully studied his life. Solomon is a very complex individual and a classic study of someone who gets so caught up in the success and allure of this world they forsake God. Solomon followed God since his youth, became the King of Israel, finished building the Temple of God in Jerusalem started by his father David. He is probably best known for his incredible wisdom. As you read about the life of Solomon you can see the hand and blessings of God upon him.

Despite having God’s favor and blessings, Solomon allowed the temporal things of this world to take priority over his commitment to God. Being allowed by God to gain victory over the enemies of Israel, Solomon took part in a custom of that day where the conquering king, Solomon, was given the daughter of the defeated king to be his wife. So Solomon not only began taking multiple wives (against God’s admonition in Deuteronomy 17:17), these were women from heathen nations that did not know or honor the God of Israel and brought their false gods with them into the marriage. Over time, Solomon ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines. (Personal observation: It is clear that by this time in his life, Solomon used up all of his wisdom, since having one wife is a full time commitment. 700? The thought makes my head hurt.)

One reason God says in His Word in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “do not be yoked together with unbelievers” is because of the negative influence your unbelieving spouse will have on your faith. Solomon was a great example of a man who knew, followed, and served God, but became influenced by the false gods and idols of his foreign wives. This is exactly why God told the children of Israel to not take “strange wives,” or wives from nations that worshiped false gods. At a time in his life when Solomon should have been enjoying the blessings of God, instead he was dealing with the consequences of his rebellion to God from having multiple and foreign wives. His life actually ends with little fanfare and rather sadly due to his sin. SIN ALWAYS COSTS, AND ALWAYS COSTS MORE THAN WE EXPECT TO PAY!

I love you and care about you so much. Not only is polygamy against the law in the United States, it has never been a practice of most in our culture. However, there are those who advocate having multiple wives, and there are other nations around the world in which it is an acceptable practice. Due to the fact we have some of the great men of God in the Bible who took multiple wives, I thought it was important to deal with this issue and insure you understood that this was never God’s plan for marriage and those who take multiple wives are clearly in rebellion to God and His Word.

I will be praying for you today. I want to specifically pray for those who are married today. Marriage is God’s Holy Institution. It is a wonderful gift from God and his plan for most people’s lives. It is one of the most difficult things in the world for two people to become one. But with the Lord at the center of your lives together, it can be the most incredible and special thing in your life other than your relationship with Christ. For those who are going through a problem in your marriage today, I will be praying for God to bring healing and restoration to you remarriage. For those who are not having problems, I will pray that you continue to be richly blessed in your marriage each day.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I was Richly Blessed in School to have Wonderful Teachers who Really Cared About Me

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(Malachi 3:3)

I was richly blessed in my elementary school years to have wonderful teachers who really cared about me. They were a big part of my life and like family. I have always thanked God for such wonderful, loving, caring people who gave of themselves to instill the basics into my life. It was a firm foundation that the rest of my academic life was built upon. In the third grade, I had a history teacher, Mrs. Wilson. You had to stay on your toes with Mrs. Wilson because she was famous for her pop quizzes. You never knew when, and usually when you least expected it. Often she would stop in the middle of a lesson, tell us to take out a piece of paper, and proceed to give us a pop quiz.

God does that to us also. Rarely a day goes by that at some point, He doesn’t tell us to take out a piece of paper and proceed to give us a pop quiz. The purpose and use of a pop quiz is to give us a measuring stick to see how we are progressing. Like Mrs. Wilson, God’s pop quizzes come at the most unexpected times, when we least expect it. We may wake up one morning and to our horror see that our alarm clock did not work and we are an hour late. Do we panic start running around frustrated? Or do we take a second, pray, and ask the Lord to help us be where we need to be, do all we need to do even though we are an hour late?

Often the pop quiz occurs in traffic. The thoughts of the day racing in our mind, in a hurry to get to our destination, and of course, someone not driving the way we think they should. Do we get angry, yell at them, shake our fist at them, call them names? Or do we rest in the fact God is guiding us to our destination in His time, not ours? The pop quiz may happen at school or work. We deal with people in our lives daily, classmates, coworkers. How do we handle the problems that always arise from these inter-personal relationships?

Of course, all through the day there are opportunities for the Lord to give us a pop quiz. With our finances, our spouse, our family members, decisions about romance, where to live, where to fellowship, how to serve Him, and on, and on, and on.

I often take a few minutes at night before going to bed, and replay the events of the day. What I did, what happened throughout the day. I try to reflect back and see how I did in relationship to actually living my faith. How did I handle the pop quizzes the Lord threw at me that day. This has proved to be a valuable tool for me in regard to my spiritual growth, as well as identifying areas of my life that I need to really work on. By doing this, I can see those areas that need attention. It also keeps me very close to the Lord, because you CANNOT pass the pop quizzes God gives us each day, and not be walking close with the Lord. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

It would be like someone who had virtually no knowledge of chemistry, walking into an advanced chemistry class and taking a test. This daily review also makes it very difficult for us to be living with sin in our life. We become aware of our sins, we repent of them, ask the Lord’s forgiveness, and work on keeping that sin out of our life in the future.

The 20-30 minutes you should spend at the start of every day in prayer and the Word, the 10-15 minutes you should spend with the Lord before you go to bed reflecting on that day, are the most productive minutes of the day. They will ultimately be the difference between living a victorious or defeated life. They are the difference between walking with Christ each day, or running from Him.

I love you and care about you very much. I want to see you getting an A+ on all of your pop quizzes the Lord throws you way each day. To do that however, requires work on your part. The only way I could do well on the pop quizzes Mrs. Wilson would give our class, was to study the material, and be prepared. That is what God is asking you to do as well. Study the material in His Word, and be prepared to put what you read into action in your daily life. The fact is, the pop quizzes God gives us are real life, with real consequences. Failing them in some cases can dramatically alter your life.

This is not a game, but very serious. Men and women in the armed services train diligently, because they know that the training they undertake one day can save their life as well as the lives of many others. As soldiers in God’s army, we need to take our training just as serious, because the eternal souls of many are at stake.

My prayer today is that you will start to really pay attention to those tests God gives you each and every day. They are a way for you to stay focused each day on Him, stay aware of the weak areas of your life, and keep you prepared for the real life spiritual battles we face each and every day. I have to admit, I was very challenged by the pop quizzes Mrs. Wilson gave our class. I made it a point to study hard, always be prepared so that I could do well on them. I try to do that today in my spiritual life, and challenge you to do the same. Never forget, our life is a series of tests, tests that help us in our spiritual growth, tests that help us to stay prepared for the work God has for us to do. Make sure you are ready for that next pop quiz God has for you

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2010, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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