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Friday, November 30, 2012

Speaking in Indiana, Again!

This weekend we're back on the road, and once again, we're in Indiana.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 10:00 AM
Village Bible Church
Greenwood Community Center
100 Surina Way
Greenwood Indiana 46143
For more information contact:  Jeff Sievertson 812-447-0940

Lord willing, we will continue our series on prayer beginning this Sunday, with a study on the prayer life of Solomon. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel, adn if you are able to attend, we'd love to see you at the meetings. God bless.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stuck In The Middle With God!

Atheists on the left, Islamists on the right, here we are, stuck in the middle with God. If politics and adversity make strange bedfellows, I figure so does hatred. I’ve never felt more like a piñata in my entire life, and I was the kid that got beat up throughout Junior High for wearing pressed slacks to school.

Forces that could not be any further apart in their ideology or belief structure have found common ground in their hatred for Christians and Christianity. As those who still hold to the truth of Christ being the singular way, the singular truth, and the singular life, we are stuck in the middle, braced on both sides, and oddly silent as we are being squeezed with increasing pressure and growing indifference as to whether or not what is being said concerning our faith is hurtful, condescending, or outright untrue.

There are two segments of the population today concerning which you can still say the most awfully atrocious things, and get away with it without as much as a slap on the wrist.

It’s open season on Christians and overweight folk, and if one happens to be both a Christian and overweight like yours truly, well, then it’s a twofer.

What I find pitiable to the utmost is that allot of the people stuck in the middle, being buffeted on all sides by those whose hatred for Jesus is evident upon their countenance, still won’t muster the wherewithal to break ties with sin, repent, and truly get to know Jesus and the power of godliness as they ought.

They bear the name, they bear the title, but because of their duplicity, compromise and hypocrisy, they bear no power or authority.

As long as men behind pulpits continue to teach that compromise is an acceptable alternative to true and undefiled worship, as long as we are distracted from true commitment by the temporal and mundane, we will wallow in this pseudo-faith that neither sanctifies us nor matures us in Christ.

The one problem with the in-between is that the in-between does not exist. We can no more have one foot in the world and one foot in the church than we could serve both God and Mammon simultaneously.

Men either love God and hate the world, or they love the world and hate God. To pretend otherwise is to deceive ourselves into believing extra biblical heresies. Palatable as they might be, they are still heresies, and they are still extra biblical.

As I was sitting in our studio today getting ready to film some teachings, I couldn’t remember a time when I was more exhausted even though I’d done absolutely nothing to warrant the exhaustion.

As I began to think about it afterwards, I called some friends whom I know as men of God, and in conversation asked if they were feeling anything close to what I had been feeling. To the last they said they had been for the past few weeks, and the only conclusion we could come up with was that we are feeling in the spiritual what is soon to manifest in the physical.

I fear that while we’re waiting for transfers of wealth from the wicked to the righteous, the enemy is advancing stealthily and positioning himself whereby conflict between his acolytes and the children of God will become inevitable. There’s a marked difference between a big check and shackles, and depending on which you are expecting, you might be in for a rude awakening.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 26, 2012

You Are The Enemy!

For many years now there has been a misconception about communists, communism, or the more palatable socialism. Although it is widely believed that communists hate God, what they hate is the hope God gives.

What many fail to understand is that the communists of old, those who ruled my homeland for forty-five years, were by and large atheists, meaning they did not believe in the existence of any god, be it the Christian God, or the Hindu god.

Since one cannot hate what one does not believe exists, what the communists of old hated with a passion beyond human reason or understanding, was the hope God poured into the hearts of the faithful because it was a hope not tethered to the system or the government.

In order to rule a people completely, the aforementioned people must hope in nothing else but you. This is the underpinning of socialist thinking, and why everything that is a source of hope other than the motherland must be extinguished and utterly ground into the earth.

Since there is none who gives more hope than Christ, since there is no philosophy or religion that can match the unending stream of hope that is Jesus, in order for the system to reign supreme, they must do away with Christ, the memory of Him, and the hope He offers those who receive Him.

If you cling to your Bible, you are the enemy. If you place your hope in something other than the system, you are the enemy. If you will not compromise your character, morals, or beliefs for the sake of the scraps the system offers, you are the enemy, and the way you deal with an enemy within your own borders is to marginalize, demonize, and ultimately criminalize them and their activities.

To some, this might seem far-flung. A pessimistic diatribe of what could someday be, but those who have eyes to see realize this is not something afar off, something our children’s children might one day have to deal with, but is very near, and will find many unaware, unprepared, and willing to capitulate to the pressure.

We can either live with the illusion of a better tomorrow, or prepare for the reality of a somber one. As all choice is followed by consequence, depending on how we perceive our existence, the times we are living in, and the path upon which our nation is journeying, we will either determine, and purpose in our hearts to cling to Jesus no matter the cost, or be swept away by the wave of compromise.

So why talk about this? Why even contemplate the future if it seems so bleak and discomforting? Why not just take it as it comes and give it no further thought?

Because, if we do not prepare beforehand to be steadfast and unyielding, when the day comes we will find a justifiable excuse to bend, and betray our most sacred of convictions. If caught unaware and unprepared men find ways of justifying the most egregious of behaviors and this is what the enemy is counting on.

We go from one distraction to another, from one date to another, all the while putting off the most essential of things, such as being spiritually prepared for the worst of outcomes, while hoping and praying for the best of outcomes.

In the least, having read these words today, you will not be surprised when some time in the not too distant future the rhetoric against Christ, Christians, and Christianity will be ratcheted up to new heights, and the idea that doing away with a handful of undesirables for the greater good of humanity will become a mainstay and staple of those whose agenda is total dependency upon a system already showing signs of unsustainability.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

For the Tech Savvy


Neither myself, nor Joe, the brother who offered to publish the book on the Holy Spirit, considered the notion of profitability when discussing it.

Admittedly, the paperback book on Amazon is $18.85 but that's because it is print on demand, and over 550 pages.

Since I know money's tight for one and all, and I want as many as desire this book to have it, we've also made the Kindle version available on Amazon for $7.00.

Why $7.00 and not .99? Because there is a delivery charge the author or publisher pays, and the bigger the book, the more it costs to deliver it to your device.

And so, for the tech savvy among you who do own a Kindle, the book is now available in this format as well, and can be purchased by clicking on the following link:

The Holy Spirit Power Presence and Purpose

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will post a new article entitled 'You Are The Enemy' a lighthearted read for one and all. I pray you all had a happy Thanksgiving near those you love, and that your thankfulness for God's many blessings was well expressed. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Things I Learned Under Communism!

I was young when I left Romania. Not even ten, not really understanding what was happening, I was plucked from a life I knew and tossed into a world I could not begin to understand until much later in life.

Seeing what this nation is becoming, seeing the steps it is taking toward embracing what so many risked life and limb to escape, lately I’ve been thinking about my early years, trying hard to remember things I thought long forgotten, and piece together some sort of explanation as to why a nation would willingly capitulate its hard fought and hard won freedoms to embrace a system proven time and again to be a failure on a grand scale.

Make no mistake, we are swiftly nearing what can only be defined as socialism, and though some might revel in the idea of it, the reality of the thing is sinister, grisly, hopeless, and joyless.

Some things sound far better on paper than they are when implemented.

As I said, I write these lines as one who has lived through what America is becoming, and one whose parents and grandparents were permanently scarred by a system which willingly provides for its citizenry’s survival, but demands total submission, obedience and subservience in return.

Truth is, as long as you are willing to forfeit your individuality, dignity, faith, morals, and convictions, life in a socialist system is close to bearable.

One of the most profound things I learned even as a child is that most men fall in line long before being threatened with anything as untoward as violence. Neighbors, friends, and even folks we thought of as brothers or sisters, all merrily reported any ‘suspicious activity’ even if those performing said activities were their own spouses, children or parents.

If you are willing to conform, and don’t mind living in a police state, then the next couple years shouldn’t be all that traumatic for you.

The scales are tipped definitively when more than half the population of any given nation comes to realize that whether earned, taken, or freely received bread tastes the same and fills the belly just as readily.

‘Dignity doesn’t smooth over callouses or heal blisters, so why work when you don’t have to?’

Once we stopped teaching conviction, once we stopped teaching that one’s principles mattered, once we began to encourage one and all to take the easy way out rather than make a principled stand, our course was inevitable and our destination a foregone conclusion.

Freedom is like that longsuffering and faithful friend we take for granted, dismiss, and ignore until one day we come to realize they are no more. It is only when freedom is stripped from a nation that men begin to long for it once more, but by then it is too late, and the monster we thought we could control by force of will alone at long last bares its fangs and reveals its true self.

Nothing in this world is free but the love of God. Everything else has strings attached whether we see them at present or not.

There is one other thing I learned while under communism: that a man’s true self is revealed and his true character uncovered most readily during times of distress and turmoil. The few who stood, stood to their honor. The many who fell, fell to their shame.

Stand or fall, your true self will come to light in the coming days.

1 Corinthians 10:11-13, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages of have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-9, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and form the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distress. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for habitation. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 203

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Possessing a steadfast spirit goes beyond having the boldness to stand one’s ground against the enemy. When we possess a steadfast spirit, we are not swayed by new winds of doctrine and teaching as so many seem to be, but rather, we stand on the rock that is Christ, unmoved, unshaken, unperturbed and undistracted by the countless voices attempting to lead us astray.

It is because so few possess steadfastness that so many go from one doctrine to another ever searching but never finding what they are searching for.

We have the word of God as the final authority in matters concerning the spiritual, and when we are steadfast we defer to the Bible rather than to our denominations, and remain on the narrow path of faith regardless of how many voices would attempt to beguile us to the contrary.

Rather than learn to be dependent upon the guidance, inspiration and urging of the Holy Spirit as David had, we are taught by men who ought to know better that our opinions, feelings and preferences supersede the Holy Spirit’s leadings, and as such He can readily be ignored and marginalized.

David understood the importance of having the Spirit of God ever present in his life. He understood the importance of walking led by the Spirit and prayed in earnest that God would not remove His Spirit from him.

Psalm 51:11-13, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”

The presence of the Holy Spirit in his life was foremost on David’s mind and heart. He realized the one thing he could not live without, and so prayed that God would not take it from him. David knew he could live without his crown, his kingdom, his wealth, his accolades, his army and his reputation, but he could not live without the Holy Spirit, and so prayed this sobering prayer.

David also realizes what God desires of those who call themselves His children, and confirms the reality that bringing forth sacrifice would be a far easier task than walking in the will of God as He commands we do.

We can offer up tokens, we can offer up trinkets, we can offer up things men would prize and see as valuable, but as long as we do not offer up our hearts, as long as we do not offer up ourselves in our entirety, we fall short of doing what is pleasing in the sight of God.

I realize full well that those who would have your coin and your possessions far outnumber those who would have you surrender your heart to God, but the truth doesn’t always lie with the majority, nor does righteousness or wisdom for that matter.

Psalm 51:16-17, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.”

David had realized the futility of half measures when it came to the things of God. He realized that men of unclean hands bringing sacrifice before God was something He despised, but also that God would honor a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.

Imperfect as David might have been, he loved the Lord, he loved the house of the Lord, and he loved the way of the Lord. It is this burning love for God that must motivate us, drive us, and compel us to seek His will in all we do.

Although he had reached the heights of power, although there was not a man with more authority than him in the entire kingdom, David still humbled himself and acknowledged his need for God, His Holy Spirit, and his continued guidance.

Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation on You I wait all day.”

Pray for God’s revelation and you shall have it. Pray that He show you His ways, and He will. Pray that He teaches you His paths, and you will see Him illuminate the way, for He is a good and loving God whose desire is always a more sanctified you.

God’s promises remain ever true, and He promised that if we asked to be led in His truth and taught by Him, He would teach us and lead us.

Isaiah 30:21, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”

As David’s knowledge of God grew his trust and dependence upon God grew in equal proportion. The more of God we come to know, the more we come to realize just how fragile, powerless and small we really are, and how great, omnipotent and all-encompassing our God is.

When we come to know God, we do not spend less time in His presence but more, we do not desire less of Him, but more. Knowledge of God only fuels a desire for more of Him in our lives, and eventually we come to that place as David did so long ago, where we realize absent His presence in our lives and hearts it will be impossible for us to breathe one more breath.

We have learned much from the prayer of David, and my hope is that we apply what we have learned to our daily time of devotion and fellowship in the presence of God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 202

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

One of the most loving things God can do for us as His children, is convict us of our unintentional sins, because with each thing God convicts us of, we are that much closer to becoming that which God had intended us to be.

Within the pages of Scripture, God has been compared to a potter who molds the clay in the shape He desires, but who also places the molded clay into the furnace to make it strong and cause it to retain its shape.

Every time God convicts us of something, He is placing us into the furnace, not only forming us into the image He desires us to be, but making us stronger by removing impurities and uncleanness.

As with many a biblical precept and principle, we’ve twisted the notion of chastening within the modern day church, to the point that it is now an unwelcome and undesired event rather than the good and positive thing the Bible tells us it is.

It is for our own good that God convicts us. It is for our own good that God chastens us, and we must respond to His chastening and conviction with all requisite haste.

Acts 17:30-31, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Although God overlooks our times of ignorance, when an unintentional sin is revealed to us, when God makes it known whether through His word or through His servants, it is incumbent upon us to repent of it. We come before God with our prayers of repentance as David did, asking God to forgive all that would stand as a stumbling block between ourselves and His glory. We ask God for forgiveness, knowing He is faithful to forgive, knowing He is just to render to each according to His righteousness, and to mend the broken and contrite heart when it cries out to Him.

Another of David’s prayers which has been close to my heart since first reading the passage in the book of Psalms many years ago – and a prayer I often repeat myself during my time with the Lord – is for a closer and more profound spiritual walk with God.

David was wise enough to know that absent a clean heart and a steadfast spirit, one cannot have a true, lasting, vibrant and profound spiritual walk with God. As such, David’s prayer was not for the thing itself, but for the virtues which would facilitate the thing in his life.

David did not pray for a closer spiritual walk, he prayed for the steadfastness and clean heart which he knew would inevitably bring him closer to the Lord.

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Seeing as having a clean heart is of great import, what does having a clean heart entail?

Personally I believe a clean heart is a heart made clean by the blood of Christ, but also a heart which is sincere in all its doings, wherein what is in our heart and what is on our lips are one and the same thing.

If there is conflict between what is in our hearts and what is on our lips, if we think one thing and speak another, then our hearts are not clean.

A clean heart begins from within. It is something which cannot be taught, it is something for which no manual exists. It is a work between us and God, facilitated by our willingness to forego our own will and be wholly submitted to His authority.

Psalm 24:3-4, “Who may ascent into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

Who can stand in God’s holy place? The word of God is very specific as to the group of individuals who will ascend into the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place. By what David tells us via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we realize that it has nothing to do with one’s denomination, age, gender, or nationality, but with whether or not they have clean hands, a pure heart, have not lifted their soul to an idol, or sworn deceitfully.

Through Christ and His shed blood we are transformed into such individuals, we are renewed, born again, having pure hearts where once our hearts were evil, having clean hands where once our hands were stained.

As we follow this train of thought to its rightful conclusion, we also come to understand that though some might call themselves brothers or sisters, though some might call themselves believers, they are believers in name only because their hands have not been made clean, nor have their hearts been purified.

Countless souls today actively practice idolatry and lift up their souls to idols, all the while claiming to be faithful followers of Christ.

More could be said, but I will refrain, because we are studying the prayer life of David, and not all the idols idolatrous idolaters worship in our day and age.

The other thing David prayed for was a steadfast spirit.

In order to be steadfast, one needs some sort of trouble or difficulty, because the definition of steadfastness is loyalty in the face of said trouble or difficulty.

Men can claim to be steadfast, but until their season of trouble comes they are but mere blustering braggarts, going about inflating their own egos.

When we pray for a steadfast spirit, we are praying for God to give us the boldness, the courage, the forthrightness, and loyalty to withstand the attacks of the enemy, to hold our position and to stand our ground.

Pray for a steadfast spirit only once you’ve understood what it all entails, and are prepared to be on the frontline of the battle. A steadfast spirit implies that you will meet the enemy head on when others are fleeing, that you will stand your ground when others are retreating, and that you will advance the cause of the kingdom of God when others are about their own business.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good News and Bad News!

We have no more and no less than twenty-four hours in a given day. No matter how much we attempt to stretch time, unless God does for us as He did for Joshua, chances are, try as we might to manipulate, compartmentalize, and manage it a day will still have but twenty-four hours.

Because I cannot make time stand still, nor replicate myself, I am forced to juggle projects throughout the week, attempting to be faithful to every task I have undertaken thus far.

If the number of things I was juggling would stay unchanged, then there would be no need for this article because I could manage them well enough.

Those of you, who know me, know I don’t go chasing after more than what God has already put on my plate. I am as content with where God has me today as I was where He had me ten years ago. I have long since learned the invaluable lesson that it’s not about me, but about Him, and I will do anything He asks of me, regardless of how lowly some might deem it to be.

Although I didn’t go looking for more things to do, God has nevertheless opened a new avenue for our ministry, one He has compelled us to pursue.

Starting in January, we will be on no less than twelve radio stations throughout the United States, from Nebraska, to South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Since radio programs don’t record themselves, I will have to once again divvy up my time in such a way where it will be possible for me to record these programs. I’ve also been working on new ‘truth in a nutshell’ teachings, which we will be filming beginning this week.

The good news is that God is opening up new avenues for us to preach the Gospel. The bad news, especially for those of you who are daily readers of this blog, is that I will not be able to post with the frequency I’ve been posting, since these projects will be taking up a substantial chunk of my time.

I will do my best to be faithful in continuing with the series on prayer, as I do believe it is a worthwhile and necessary teaching for the Body of Christ especially in the days to come, but if I don’t post every day or even every other day, I hope you can understand the reason why.

I ask that you keep me, my family, and this ministry in your prayers, as I believe the Lord is about to increase our workload exponentially.

Since the times are what they are, I will be posting more thoughts on the current events we are seeing taking place all around us and the prophetic ramifications of said events as pertains to Bible prophecy.

One thing is certain: the times are upon us, and we would be wise to enter into this season prayed up, fasted up, and grounded in the truth of God’s holy word.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Belated Freeform Friday

This morning I woke up thinking about my grandmother. She passed away a couple years before my grandfather did, in fact, as a family we always assumed the loss of her quickened his own demise.

Even though my grandfather loved my grandmother dearly she was neither a lighthearted nor carefree spirit. Most individuals who got a chance to meet my grandmother would say she was a hard woman, and to an extent they were right, but if they had known of her childhood and how she grew up perhaps they would have understood where her mannerisms and overall demeanor stemmed from.

The reason I am mentioning my grandmother in today’s post, is because she is the only person who truly defined poverty for me, and at a young age to boot. No, she didn’t know she was defining poverty for me, in her mind she was just telling us stories of her childhood and how she grew up those awful years after the war.

Today I hear the term ‘poverty’ thrown about more often than ever before. From more people in America – the land of plenty – descending below the poverty line, to more people than ever before living in poverty, it seems the word itself has lost meaning for many people.

Poverty is not owning one flat screen instead of two, it is not owning one car per family instead of two, true poverty is eating dirt because there is nothing else to eat and you can’t stand to hear your stomach rumble anymore.

Whenever my grandmother would tell us how her and the other girls in the village would eat dirt and see an earthworm as a treat, she would get this haunted look in her eyes that to this day I cannot describe.

Am I trying to make a case for how great things are? No, I’m just trying to open your eyes to the reality that it will get much, much worse.

In this nation we have never known true poverty except perhaps during the great depression, but those who lived through such times are long gone, and we do not believe we will ever see such times again.

Even in a country such as my homeland where people suffered under the iron fist of communism for forty-five years, the younger generation no longer understands why their parents and grandparents always put away cheese, pickle vegetables, cure meats, and other things just so they have some food on hand for any eventuality.

They do not understand it, because even though times got hard, they never had to resort to eating dirt, or tree bark, or grass just to keep from starving.

So what’s the point of today’s post? Am I trying to scare you? Am I starting my own meals ready to eat company and told you this story as a way to drum up business? No. I just woke up thinking about my grandmother, and about the stories she told of when she was a little girl, and decided to share it with you so you might understand the true meaning of hunger, of need, of lack, and of poverty.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 16, 2012

PRAY FOR ISRAEL!

Nothing more need be said. Pray for Israel as you would for your own kin as their season of turmoil begins. God keep them and protect them.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taking the Day!

Today I'm driving my wife to the airport. She is returning to Romania, and I'm going to spend the monring with her because to be honest, I'm going to miss her, and I want to spend as much time as I can with her before she leaves. We will commence with our teachings tomorrow, but for today, no post other than to tell you there will be no post. God bless.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 201

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

As flawed a figure as David is, it is undeniable he is also a highly relatable figure. Because there is so much of David within the pages of Scripture, it is nigh near impossible not to find an aspect of David’s life with which we can relate.

David was not a man who was embarrassed to ask for God’s forgiveness when he stumbled. He was not one to attempt to blame it on someone else as Adam was wont to do, nor was he a man that skirted responsibility for his actions.

As such, one of David’s most often prayed prayers of petition was petitioning God for forgiveness.

Psalm 25:11, “For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.”

Psalm 25:18, “Look on my affliction, and my pain, and forgive all my sins.”

Whenever David asked God for forgiveness, he admitted his guilt before God. One does not ask to be forgiven if they haven’t done anything to be forgiven of. David knew of his own iniquity, he knew of his own sins, and when he prayed to God he did not attempt to minimize these things, or present himself before God as someone different than whom he was.

When we petition God for forgiveness, what we are doing is asking God to be spared punishment. Being aware of our own guilt, we must likewise be aware of the punishment we are deserving of, and in our petitions for forgiveness we are asking God to pardon, and not punish us as we would rightly deserve.

We serve a good God, a God who forgives when we ask for forgiveness, a God who pardons when we petition Him for a pardon. It is His good pleasure to forgive us, but we must repent and ask for forgiveness.

Isaiah 43:25-26, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case that you may be acquitted.”

Isaiah 44:22, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

This is God speaking to His own people. He is not speaking to the godless, to the heathen, to those who never knew Him, but to those who know Him and have transgressed, and sinned. It is to His own that God makes the generous offer of blotting out their transgressions and their sins, if they put Him in remembrance, and state their case before Him.

Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

David knew of God’s requirements when he came before Him asking for forgiveness. David knew that true repentance required the forsaking of one’s way, and a return to the Lord, who would then have mercy.

Just saying we’re sorry or asking for forgiveness in our prayers is not sufficient in and of itself. What God requires of us, is a turning, a forsaking of our wicked ways, and an embracing of righteousness and sanctification. God does not forgive just so we return to the mire from which He plucked us. He does not cleanse us, and give us white garments just so we get them muddy again, returning to our former thoughts, desires and lusts.

Not only does David pray that his iniquities and sins be forgiven him, he also prays to be forgiven of his secret faults and presumptuous sins.

Psalm 19:12-13, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.”

There are intentional, willful sins, transgressions men commit knowing full well exactly what they are doing, then there are unintentional sins, or sins committed through error. David repents and asks forgiveness for his intentional sins, but also for his unintentional sins.

Yes, the notion of unintentional sin is a Biblical one, and we find it within the pages of Scripture.

Leviticus 4:1-2, “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which out not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.”

The notion of unintentional sin is mentioned no less than six times within this chapter alone, and God was aware of this facet of human existence, and he included it in His Word.

There are many today within the household of faith who practice unintentional sin, because they are unaware that God considers what they are doing sinful. Ignorance of God’s word begets unintentional sin, and I’ve heard people saying ‘I didn’t know that was a sin,’ far too often within many a congregation.

The consequence of not defining what God considers sin, the consequence of not preaching against sin, is myriads of men and women who are sinning unintentionally because no one ever told them their practice was sinful.

When we clearly define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, what is sin and what isn’t sin, then at least we know we’ve done our part, and those who have heard our words have no excuse for not adhering to the Word of the living God.

It is neither loving nor tolerant to see someone calling themselves a believer, practicing what the Bible clearly defines as sinful, and not pointing it out to them.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 200

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

There are many prayers David prayed within the pages of the Bible which are worthy of introspection and discussion, so it has proven quite difficult isolating two or three prayers to delve into.

Since David was a man of prayer and a man dependent upon God, it is a worthwhile pursuit to understand what prayer meant to him. Yes, David prayed many prayers, but in the prayers we’ve discussed thus far, and the prayer we will discuss shortly, we come to understand what the act of prayer meant to David, and the value he placed upon it.

You can tell allot about a man’s relationship with God by how he values prayer. You can tell how strong or how weak one’s intimacy with the Father is, by how often they bend the knee, and come before God in fellowship.

No man ever stumbled because he prayed too much or too often or too long. No man ever stumbled because he spent too much time in fellowship with God or in God’s presence.

Men have stumbled, and continue to do so to this day because they neglect prayer, fellowship and intimacy with God, thereby allowing the enemy to worm his way into their hearts.

Thus far we have discussed David’s prayer of thanks to God for having blessed him, David’s prayer of repentance when he strayed, and now we will begin discussing David’s prayers of recognition regarding God’s sovereignty, as well as David’s prayers of petition toward God.

Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

When an individual comes to acknowledge that ‘the Lord is,’ their entire prayer life is transformed, as is the way in which they approach God.

Three simple words: ‘The Lord is’ yet the declaration these three words make are forceful and all encompassing.

What have I to fear if the Lord is? What have I to be concerned with if the Lord is?

What is the Lord to you? To David, the Lord was his light, his salvation, and the strength of his life. David knew in whom he trusted, and why he trusted in Him.

When David declares that ‘the Lord is,’ he isn’t merely acknowledging the existence of God. David’s declaration goes beyond mere knowledge of God’s existence, to the realm of intimate knowledge of His attributes, and those things for which He was directly responsible in David’s life.

David did not mistake what God had done for him with his own doings, or the doings of another. He did not take the credit for his strength or the light he possessed because he knew from whence they came.

Beholding the tenderness, love, and heartfelt emotion with which David prayed, we come to realize the deep knowledge he possessed of God and the ways of God.

Psalm 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”

David recognized the perpetual faithfulness of God. He knew God would not abandon him in difficult times, when his enemies surrounded him, when his friends abandoned him, or when his own parents forsook him.

Barring the requisite exceptions we can all agree that one’s mother and father are likely the last individuals to abandon you. Though friends, brothers, acquaintances and spouses might forsake you, your mother and father will stick it out.

David rests fully in the faithfulness of God, and the words of his prayer testify his absolute certainty that God will never abandon him.

Do we possess the same certainty as David did? Do we know to the depth of our heart that though our father and mother might forsake us the Lord will take care of us no matter what?

As children of God this must be an unshakeable reality in our hearts.

It matters not what we are going through, how many enemies we might have, how many legions of the enemy’s minions stand against us, the Lord will take care of us.

The knowledge that God is ever present, ready to step in and take care of me makes my journey light and carefree even during the most treacherous moments. I know He is there, I know He will take care, what more can I desire?

David honors God from the depth of his heart, and acknowledges his dependence upon him.

Oh, that we would learn to pray as David prayed, with sincerity and forthrightness giving glory to He who is worthy of glory.

Psalm 18:1-3, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God my strength, in whom I will trust. My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

If we take the time to diligently study the book of Psalms, we come to realize David has prayers of praise, prayers of worship, prayers of thanks, prayers of confession, prayers of repentance, and even prayers of petition.

With all the knowledge David possessed concerning God, we, today ought to possess a greater knowledge of Him still, for He was revealed to us in greater measure and far more vividly through the Son Jesus Christ.

There is no excuse or justification for why the prayer lives of most professing Christians today are largely nonexistent. There is no excuse or justification for why so many professing Christians have a superficial knowledge at best.

We can try to justify it to ourselves, and might even do a good enough job of appeasing and pacifying our conscience, but before God our excuses will not stand.

It’s not that God will not open; it’s that we never knocked. It’s not that God cannot be found; it’s that we never sought Him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 199

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Rather than waste our time and energy attempting to cover up and hide sin, it is far better to confess and repent that we may be forgiven. The Word of God tells us time and again that hiding or covering one’s sin is impossible. Either we believe the Word and stop attempting what it clearly tells us we can never accomplish, or by our very actions imply our doubt of God’s sovereign Scripture.

The Word of God remains ever true. Though men might like to change its meaning, render it irrelevant, deny the veracity of what it says, or do away with it altogether, the Word persists and subsists.

Even when men somehow talk themselves into believing they’ve successfully circumvented the Word of God and justified their absence of repentance, there will come a day when everything will be laid bare, and He who knows all, sees all, and hears all, will judge righteously and justly.

David knew the God he served enough to humble himself and repent. He recognized the authority of God, the power of God, and the justice of God, knowing that in His righteousness God did not judge preferentially.

Sin is ever lurking in the shadows. It is ever present throughout the lives of both wise men and fools, men of means and those of meager possessions, because sin does not care about the position or possessions of its prey as long as it is able to fell it.

Does the enemy take greater pleasure in bringing down one who is esteemed by his contemporaries as having been a man of principled righteousness? Perhaps, but sin itself has no such preferences. Although the enemy might revel at bringing down an officer in God’s army, sin itself is content with whatever prey gets caught up in its web, whether they are a general, an officer, or a foot soldier.

Because we know sin is an equal opportunity destroyer, and because we know the enemy focuses his attacks upon those he perceives as a greater threat, our duty is to be ever watchful, ever vigilant, and ever aware of the enemy’s ruthless and cunning tactics.

When it comes to sin in the lives of believers, there is a misconception I want to dispel because I have run across it on occasion, and each time it is bothersome to me.

When an individual is in continual, habitual, and unrepentant sin, and they are exposed for what they had done, it is not the devil attacking them as they would like their followers to believe, it is God exposing them, so they either repent or walk away from the office which they held.

I’ve been in meetings where sincere individuals would stand and ask for prayer for a certain televangelist or preacher caught in adultery or worse, and they would always send their plea for prayer with, ‘the devil’s really attacking our brother, we must pray for him.’

Sorry, no dice. Not going to happen. It’s not the devil attacking him, it is God exposing him, because men’s sins find them out and there is always an appointed time when God exposes them.

Psalm 90:8, “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.”

Those things men hide in their hearts, thinking no one knows about, are set before God in the light of His countenance. He knows, and David knew this truth better than most preachers, pastors, deacons and elders do today.

Men reach a certain position, they attain a certain office or title, then begin to think themselves beyond the reach of sin, beyond the tentacles of pride, of lust, of greed, and many other things which come peeking over the fence of our hearts to see if we are keeping watch.

The enemy revels in the notion of a believer who having succumbed to sin refuses to confess and repent of the sin. Perhaps it’s due to fear of what others might think of them if their sin is discovered, or the thought that they can get away with it this one time, but whatever the reason behind our absence of confession, as long as we are unrepentant, as long as we do not confess, the stain of sin will be evident.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The forgiveness of our sin, and the cleansing from all unrighteousness, is contingent on whether or not we confess. God is faithful; of this there is no doubt. Faithful as He is, God is also constrained by His righteousness, and His righteousness dictates that in order for an individual to be forgiven and cleansed from unrighteousness, they must first confess their sin.

David confessed his sin, and God forgave him. David poured out his heart to God, holding nothing back, and God extended grace to him.

Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

Because he found forgiveness in the sight of God, David now had peace. The hand of the Lord was no longer heavy upon him, nor was his vitality turned to the drought of summer any longer. David confessed, and the burden was lifted. David confessed, and the weight was gone from upon his heart, and where once there was desperation and hopelessness, there was now peace and joy.

David acknowledged his transgression. He confessed his sin, and did not attempt to hide his iniquity. He confessed his transgression to the Lord, and the Lord forgave the iniquity of his sin.

If someone followed a predetermined path and reached a predetermined destination, it is only logical to assume that if we follow the same path, we will likewise reach the same destination.

David confessed and was forgiven. May we learn from the life of David, and if there is anything pressing down upon us, sapping us of our peace and joy, may we confess it and receive forgiveness.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 198

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

There is no point in attempting to excuse sin in our lives, or to mitigate our responsibility and participation. God knows, and the only thing which compels Him to forgive the iniquity of our sins is to come before Him in humility, confess, and repent.

As children of God we should have an aversion to sin.

Some years ago I was sitting in a breakfast diner minding my own and enjoying an omelet, when two tables away from me someone started coughing loudly, and banging the table. I lifted my head and saw a middle aged couple, with breakfasts of their own in front of them, and what I assumed was the husband, was the one making the ruckus.

In no time the man started wheezing violently, his face turned bright red, and his female companion became distraught herself and stared screaming for someone to call an ambulance.

The man was still clinging to the table, barely breathing by the time the ambulance came, and in a distraught voice the woman informed the emergency medical technician of the severe peanut allergy the man suffered from.

The man almost died because he accidentally ingested something he was allergic to. We must view sin in much the same terms. Sin is not something God winks at, sweeps under the rug, or ignores in our lives. Sin kills. Sin is as deadly for a believer, as the crushed peanuts were in the batter of the waffle the man was eating before he had his attack.

When we minimize the destructive power of sin, we tend to flirt with it more than we ought. When we acknowledge how devastating it is for both individuals, families and communities alike, we stay away from it, and do our utmost to avoid it.

In his instruction for holy living to the church of Thessalonica, Paul simply says, ‘abstain from every form of evil.’

Simple, direct, and unequivocal! Paul doesn’t qualify his statement by saying some forms of evil are more acceptable than others, he does not say we should abstain on from certain kinds of evil, but from every form of evil.

Yes, we must abstain from every form of evil. To abstain is to restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something. It is making the conscious decision to say ‘no,’ when saying ‘yes,’ would be momentarily more pleasurable to the flesh.

A fleeting pleasure hides lifelong consequences. We see this reality play out time and again with every generation, yet rather than learn from the mistakes of those who came before them, every generation seems to be quickening its pace toward the edge of the precipice.

David’s sin did no go unpunished. Even though he confessed his transgression before God, there was still a price to be paid for the sin he committed. Though God may forgive the sinful act, He cannot do away with the direct result and consequences of our sin.

Another reason why some find the confessing of their sins to be a difficult matter is because when we stand before God and confess our transgressions, we must confess them in their entirety. We must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We cannot romanticize the transgression, and we cannot lessen our responsibility in the matter. We must be wholly honest and forthright with God, because He already knows the truth of it all.

We may be able to hide sin from men, but never from God. Even those who successfully hide their sins from others for a season are eventually found out, and this has happened on more than one occasion even within the church. David did not attempt to hide his sin from the Lord, or justify his sin before the Lord. He confessed, repented, and God honored his repentance.

Hebrews 4:13, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

If everyone who calls themselves a son or daughter of God would quote this verse upon waking, and upon going to sleep each night, there would be allot less sin within the house of God then there is presently.

The facts are grim. Seemingly, we are competing with the world in divorce rates, out of wedlock births, adultery, fornication, and every other thing God calls sin. It is because the truth of the aforementioned passage has not taken root in our hearts, and we view it only as theoretical rather than the absolute truth it is.

‘All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to who we must give account.’

Not only does God see all we do, we must give account for all we do. God is not playing games, even though we’ve been told He is. God does not make concessions nor does He negate His own justice. This is why Jesus had to die. This is why the Son of God had to hang on a cross, and expire before the mocking eyes of those of His time, because God cannot negate his own justice.

We were all guilty, fated to be eternally separated from God, until Jesus came and bought us. He redeemed us and reconciled us unto the Father, not so we might continue in sin, but that we might be born again to eternal life in Him.

Luke 12:2-3, “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

These were not the words of any ordinary man, but the words of Christ Jesus. No matter how well men might attempt to cover something, there is nothing covered that will not be revealed. No matter how well men might attempt to hide something, there is nothing hidden that will not be known.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 197

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Sin is the ruin of individuals, families, cities and nations. Wherever sin is given free reign, it corrupts, erodes, and destroys, for it is in its nature to do so. One cannot reason with sin, nor can one reach an armistice with it, because other than to destroy, sin has no desire or aspiration.

You cannot bribe sin, you cannot hide sin, all one can do is pluck sin from its roots, and toss into the fire.

Sinning less is not an option or a remedy. At best, sinning less is a lull, and at worst it is a self-delusion created to soothe the burdened conscience.

David did not try to excuse, justify, or shy away from the truth. ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’

This was both a declarative statement, and an admission of guilt. It was a full confession, without attempting to first strike a deal, or to get a more lenient punishment.

David was in the wrong, he knew he was in the wrong, and he confessed to being in the wrong. He had sinned, he knew he had sinned, and he realized trying to obfuscate the situation or mitigate his guilt would only stir the wrath of God.

Sin is ever lurking in the shadows; it is always watching, and waiting, hoping for an in, hoping for a moment of weakness, a temporary lapse in judgment, an instant of distraction wherein we are not watchful or weary.

David’s life shows us the need for vigilance, because we see even praying men can sin, even humble men can sin, even men after God’s own heart can sin, if they are not watchful and guarded in regards to their heart.

We are on a journey, and the final destination of this journey is glory. Along the way the hosts of hell will do everything in their power to distract us, cause us to veer off the path, or keep us from progressing any further. We begin this journey fully aware of the opposition we face, fully aware of our own limitations, but also fully confident in the knowledge that Jesus is with us every step of the way.

The devil does not fear me, he fears He who is in me. The devil does not fear you, he fears the Christ in you, and this knowledge must birth in us a true and lasting humility and dependency upon Him.

David knew better. We see it in his prayers, we see it in his devotion, but rather than pluck temptation from his heart, he allowed it to take root and grow until David rationalized both despising the commandment of the Lord, and doing evil in His sight.

Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”

David thought himself invincible. Somewhere along the way David stopped watching, and he stopped praying and once this occurred it was only a matter of time before sin felled him.

For a season David even pretended as though what he had done was acceptable, or justifiable, until the fateful day when the prophet of God came to challenge him. It was only after the prophet Nathan confronted him and opened his eyes to the reality of what he had done that David confesses his sin against the Lord.

If the children of God viewed sin as God Himself views sin, there would be allot less sin within the household of faith.

David sinned, and his entire trajectory changed. He was no longer on the path God had outlined for him. In essence, the entire purpose of sin is to keep you from reaching the destination God had in mind for you. When we sin, we deviate from the plan of God for our lives, and become our own worst enemies.

David saw where his doing evil in the sight of God was leading him. He realized he had lost his joy because of his sin, and rather than attempt to hide what he had done, he confessed his sin before the Lord.

For some the act of confessing one’s sins is difficult. Confessing our sins before God implies wrongdoing and failure on our part, and for many a soul admitting they were wrong is hard. As hard as confessing one’s sins and accepting responsibility for what we do, it is harder still to live with a sin of which we have not repented.

Psalm 32:3-5, “When I kept silent my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

The same man who stood before the Lord confessing his sin, now confesses how horrible it was not acknowledging his sin to God. His bones grew old, his vitality disappeared, and the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him, all because he did not confess his transgressions to the Lord.

It is a sad thing when we allow stubbornness and pride to dictate our spiritual decisions.

Countless souls talk themselves into believing that it’s easier to pretend and feign holiness, than to confess their transgressions before the Lord and truly be forgiven.

As is often the case, if we tell ourselves a lie often enough we start to believe it, and the men and women of which I speak have come to believe that all they really need to do is pretend well enough to enter heaven.

There is only one antidote to sin, there is only one thing men can do in order to alleviate the pain and hopelessness sin brings about in a life, and that is to repent. Acknowledge what God already knows, confess your transgression to the Lord, that He might forgive the iniquity of your sin.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Freeform Friday Week 20

Genesis 4:10, “And the Lord said, ‘What have you done?’”

So…that just happened. The elections have come and gone, and now shellshock is slowly giving way to anger and frustration for some.

I chose to stay out of the malaise, because knowing what we know of what the future holds, knowing that the persecution of the saints is forthcoming in this nation and that things will go from bad to worse, the outcome was discernible.

It was earlier this year that I and a handful of other brothers in Christ who were called to be watchmen sat around a table in Florida and talked about this very outcome.

The consensus was sobering, because now the true face of those we have elected into office will be seen by all. The masks are coming off, and the hateful rhetoric against God, the people of God, and anyone opposed to perversion and lawlessness will reach a fevered pitch.

The message is as the message was, as it has been for the past few years. Persecution is coming. Prepare yourselves and be steadfast in the Lord.

I am not one to be overly dramatic. It’s just not the way I was built. And so, I will not say we have seen the death of America due to the outcome of these elections, but we have seen the true heart, the true soul, and the true nature of this once great nation as it is today.

These are teachable moments for us as children of God, because many hoped for, and were certain of a different outcome based on what this nation was, and not what it has become.

It’s like people who post pictures of themselves from fifteen years ago, before the fifty extra pounds, loss of hair, and outbreak of a facial rash. Too many choose to believe they are living in the America of yesteryear, where God still meant something, and faith was still a priority, and morality was not something spoken of with disdain and derision.

If anything, I pray the past few days have shattered the illusion so many cling to of this being a Christian nation, and are come to realize that the judgment of God which is soon to descend is justified, warranted, and befitting.

As I wrote just a couple weeks ago, ‘we get the kind of leadership we deserve… no better, no worse’ and now we know exactly what that means.

From a personal perspective, the outcome of the election was irrelevant to me vis-à-vis the message I would continue to be speaking, because the message God has called me to speak is a timeless one, unaffected by either political processes or national elections. My calling is to preach Christ, and Him crucified, and this is the only true message that remains timeless, as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago.

Perhaps now we can return to what truly matters, namely our relationship, our fellowship, and our intimacy with God, having the wherewithal to understand the times we are living in, and prepare our spiritual man accordingly.

As the saying goes, ‘chin up, it’s all downhill from here.’

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Opportunity Presents Itself!

Since I am keenly aware that most everyone will be wholly focused on other things for the next couple days, e.g. the presidential elections toward which this nation has been trodding for a good while, I will not be posting any teachings, and will use this time to be with my wife, away from electronics, and hopefully get some quiet time.

Yes, an opporunity has presented itself, and not being one to let an opportunity go to waste, I will take advantage of the situation.

There are enough people weighing in on the elections, I've said all I'm going to say about it, and so, until either Thursday or Friday, may you be at peace in the knowledge that Jesus will still be on the throne regardless of who wins.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lord Teach Us To Pray! Part 196

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

David’s life was neither linear, nor in perpetual ascent. There were moments in David’s life wherein he allowed the flesh to overwhelm the spirit. Wherein he did not pray and seek the face of the Lord, but did as he desired.

Since we’ve discussed David’s first recorded prayer and his prayer after being told of the blessings God would bestow upon him and his household, I want to continue our discussion of David’s prayer life with a prayer he prayed after he was rebuked by the selfsame prophet who had previously come to tell David of God’s favor upon him.

David had strayed. He had allowed the lust of his eyes to dictate his actions, and had orchestrated the death of a man named Uriah in order to claim his widow Bathsheba. This was the low point of David’s walk, and the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David in order to rebuke him.

To aid in opening David’s eyes to the enormity of his sin, Nathan spoke a parable of a rich man and a poor man to him.

Both the rich man and the poor man lived in the same city, and while the rich man was exceedingly wealthy, the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished.

The poor man loved his lamb to the extent that it ate of his own food, drank from his own cup, and lay in his bosom.

As it happened, a traveler came to the rich man, and refusing to take from his own flock in order to prepare a meal for the traveler, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.

2 Samuel 12:5-6, “Then David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.’”

If Nathan would have come right out and accused David of being an adulterer, and one who plotted the murder of his own man, perhaps David would have attempted to justify his actions, or minimize his accountability in the matter.

Because Nathan started out with the parable of a nondescript, faceless, and unknown ‘rich man’ and described what David had done using the ewe lamb as an example, David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, though he did not know him, because his actions were inexcusable, despicable, and immoral.

2 Samuel 12:7-9, “Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if they had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.’”

Imagine someone telling you the story of a heartless individual, who was cruel, and merciless, and who did vile things. Then imagine, once the story is done, and you are thoroughly angered, the individual telling you the story delivers the punch line: ‘You are the man!’

If I were to venture a guess as to how David felt when he heard these four words, I would say he felt allot like one feels when they’re on a plane, and the plane hits an air pocket.

David’s stomach likely rose in his throat, and he felt as though he was falling, not sure if the fall would ever stop.

One instant he is ready to put the man in Nathan’s parable to death, the next instant he discovers he is the man of whom the prophet spoke.

Not only did Nathan reveal David’s sin to him, he also revealed why it was so egregious in the sight of God. God judged David’s sin on its face, but also in light of how much blessing God had bestowed upon him, and how much favor He had shown him throughout his life.

Although David did not strike the blow, but had Uriah – the man he is accused of killing – placed where the battle was thickest then instructed his men to withdraw, God still concluded it was David who killed him.

The words spoken by Nathan were harsh words to be sure, and through him God inquires of David why it was he chose to despise the commandments of the Lord, and do evil in His sight.

If this would have happened in our modern age, perhaps the answer to God’s query might have been, ‘because it felt good, because sin is relative, because the preacher told me I’m saved, sealed, and sanctified forever no matter what I do,’ but David’s answer was one of admission, confession, and taking responsibility for what he had done.

2 Samuel 12:13-14, “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’”

There is no sin without consequence, not the least of which is giving great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. We live neither in a bubble, nor in a vacuum. Men see us every day, they see our actions, they see our conduct, they see our lifestyle, and Lord forbid that we give them occasion to blaspheme as David did.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 195

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Knowledge is reciprocal in nature. I cannot know someone intimately without them knowing me as well. I cannot claim to know my wife, for example, without my wife also knowing me.

God knew David, but by the wording of his prayer we realize David likewise knew God. David begins to list the attributes of God, and glory in His majesty to such an extent, that we begin to realize the depth David had accumulated in God over the years.

Getting to know God is a progressive journey. One cannot wake up one morning and know God in the fullness of His majesty, but we can grow in God on a daily basis, and have the nature of God crystalize before us, becoming all the more vivid.

In his prayer David also acknowledges the tenderness of God’s heart, and His predisposition to blessing His servants.

‘For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.’

David realized it was not because he deserved it, but for God’s word’s sake, and according to His heart, He does these great things on his behalf. Even in the most dire of circumstances we must not forget God’s tender heart toward us.

‘Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.’”

When was the last time you glorified the Lord for His greatness like David? When was the last time you stood before God, with reverence and in awe, and said, ‘You are great Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God beside You.’

Do we only come before God when we have a need? Do we approach Him only when we have a problem, when we need a breakthrough, a healing, or a financial outpouring, or do we regularly bow before Him just to praise His name?

If men know when they are being taken advantage of, God knows as well. There are many calling themselves sons and daughters of God, whose only interaction with God comes about when they need something from Him.

Even though God’s heart is tender, even though according to His own heart He does great things for us, He doesn’t like being used, or taken advantage of.

David knew God as redeemer. As the one who had redeemed for Himself a people, and in his epic prayer, David also acknowledges the redemption of God, for himself as well as the people of Israel.

2 Samuel 7:23-24, “And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name – and to do for You great and awesome deeds for Your land – before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from the nations and their gods. For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God.”

David’s understanding of God’s intent, as well as God’s promises is second to none, and in his prayer he is able to articulate not only the majesty and greatness of God, but the plan of God for himself and the nation of Israel.

David declares unashamedly that the Lord is the God of the people. Given today’s attempts at making one’s faith as vague as possible, it is refreshing to read the words of David and realize his declaration left no room for wondering whether or not Israel was the people of God.

Not only does David declare that the Lord is Israel’s God, both unequivocally and unashamedly, he also declares the entire nation’s dependency upon God.

David acknowledges God as having been the one to have made His people, and he does not attempt to minimize God’s involvement or highlight his own contribution. All glory is given to God.

If we do not have power, it is because we have distanced ourselves from the source of power. If we do not have victory, it is because we trust in ourselves to obtain the victory rather than trust God to make us victorious.

David knew the smaller he became in his own eyes and the greater God became to him, the more the presence and guidance of God would be evident in his life as well as that of his nation.

When we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord as David did, it is God who lifts us up, and when God lifts us up we defer all glory and praise to Him, realizing it as His doing and not our own.

David praises God because he realizes in and of himself, he would still be shepherding his father’s sheep, unknown to anyone but those closest to him, a once simple boy who grew to be a simple man, from a family of little renown. He likewise realizes it is the Lord who will have to keep him standing lest he fall by the wayside. David knows that try as he might to continue his house, if the Lord does not intervene and work on his behalf, it will not be so. He has no illusions about his abilities, and lays it all at the Lord’s feet, petitioning Him to continue blessing his house as He promised.

2 Samuel 7:29, “Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

Acknowledge the blessing of God over your life, acknowledge that He alone has brought you thus far, and you will live under the shadow of His wing, kept safe in His embrace.

Although humility has become anathema in many a Christian circles, it is still something God honors, and when we humble ourselves before Him, He will raise us up to where He desires us to be.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 194

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Human arrogance and the pride of life must disappear like fog in the sunlight when we stand before God. One cannot know God, yet be arrogant before Him. One cannot know God, and retain pride in their individual accomplishments or aptitudes.

We cannot be in the presence of the one true God, and still see ourselves as great, because his greatness highlights our own insignificance.

When confronted with God’s holiness, we see our own unworthiness, and realize it is only by the blood of Christ that we are able to enter in, and be partakers of His holiness.

Matthew 8:5-8, “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.’”

In order to understand what had just taken place in this passage, we must first understand who this centurion was, and what his role was during the days of Jesus.

During the period of time Jesus walked the earth, the whole of Israel was under Roman rule. The Roman Empire had stretched itself far and wide, and the Romans of the day had autonomy as well as much power throughout the land.

The man who came to Jesus was a centurion. He was not just an enlisted man, nor was he someone of no renown. A centurion was in charge of a one hundred man garrison, someone respected within the construct of the Roman political system, and someone to whom others deferred.

The Romans of the time considered every other nationality or race beneath them, so for this centurion to say he was not worthy of Christ coming under his roof, meant a true humbling of the self, and the subjugation of the arrogance for which Romans as a people were known for.

I realize we like to think of ourselves as great and grand specimens of intelligence and wisdom, but in reality, God doesn’t need allot to work with to make something remarkable.

Yes, that stings, especially the pride we harbor in our hearts, but God didn’t test my IQ before calling me into the ministry, He didn’t put me through a physical to see if my heart could handle the strain, He didn’t ask to see my wardrobe to decide whether I had enough suits, He called and I answered.

A potter just needs clay. Even the most beautiful and prized pieces of art start out as lumps of clay. It’s not about the clay. Clay is clay. It’s about the proficiency of the potter, and what he can do with the lump of clay in his hands.

It’s not about my aptitude, my intelligence quotient, or my abilities as a public speaker; it’s about what God can do through me.

Because it is about God’s ability and not our own, all that is incumbent upon us to do is submit, and not resist the molding and chiseling of the Lord. The potter knows what the piece of clay will look like when he’s done with it, and God knows what you will look like when He’s done with you.

Even though the promise of something beautiful is ever present in the word of God, even though we know He is a good God who desires only our sanctification, we often find ourselves resisting His correction, His molding and His chiseling.

It is to our detriment when we allow pride to override humility, and when we allow arrogance to override obedience.

When we acknowledge our own limitations, we give God the glory for everything He does through us. If we are honest with ourselves we know where we end and He begins. We know the true measure of our wit and knowledge, we know the true measure of our strength and ability, and each time we see ourselves surpassing our own limitations, we must give God the glory, for it is He who is doing a work through us.

David was a man who knew his limitations, and acknowledged the blessing and grace of God over his life all of his days. David knew God knew him completely, so there was no pretense in David. David did not try to project an image contrary to who he really was; he didn’t try to seem more righteous than God knew him to be, because David acknowledged God’s intimate knowledge of him.

‘Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant.’

When we know God knows us, pride, arrogance and self, wither and die. One cannot maintain an attitude of arrogance and pride knowing that they are an open book in the sight of God. One cannot put the self upon a pedestal, when they realize God knows everything, from the moment we breathed our first breath, to the moment we will breathe our last.

God knows of our inconsistency, He knows of our doubt, He knows of our hardened heart, He knows of our indifference, He knows of our omissions, and only one who knows not God as they ought can still stand before Him shrouded in self.

Psalm 139:1-4, “O Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

God knows His servants. Not tangentially, or partially, but wholly, fully and completely. He knows you, He understands your thought, He comprehends your path, and is acquainted with all your ways.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Speaking in Indiana

This Friday we will be traveling to Indiana where I will be speaking for one night only.

The details are as follows:

Friday, November 2, 2012 7:00 PM
Comfort Suites North Pointe
404 North Pointe Blvd.
Elkhart Indiana
For more information contact: Gary Rogel 574-536-5681

If you are in the area, I hope to see you there. God bless.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.