Monday, July 5, 2021

Time to Speak Truth in Love

As of this 4th of July weekend, I feel strongly that the time has come to speak truth in love and not hold back. I don't feel that I am supposed to push my beliefs on others but I know I can't worry about whether my convictions are received or rejected. If I believe God is leading me to speak on something concerning our nation, the church, or governments I am going to share it.

I am putting "The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley" on pause for now. I will be posting other videos from time to time.

I believe we need a sure word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19). God's Spirit is speaking to the present time and to things to come. I will be sharing insights from prophetic voices God has raised up in our generation. America has strayed from our Judeo-Christian foundation established by our Founding Fathers. It is not a political issue we face but a clash of two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." Ps 33:12 "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34 America must return to what is right in God's sight.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Day Eight-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

We continue to look and listen to the Charles Wesley hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain. Wesley wrote this as one of the two hymns which followed his conversion in a home next to Aldersgate Street in London. This was three days prior to his brother John's conversion at a Society meeting on Aldersgate Street. The focus of this hymn is the free grace from God who emptied Himself of all but love and became a human and died for Adam's loss race. The original title of the hymn was Free Grace

The music ministry of Stuart Townend is featured in the Worship Video at the end of this Wednesday video.



Experiencing Revival Through a Hymn

 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Day Seven-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

As we continue looking at the hymn And Can It Be by Charles Wesley we focus today on the freedom found in Christ. In stanza four Charles utilizes several images to describe how freedom comes, one from Scripture and another from a popular romance novel. He uses the prison event with Peter's deliverance and a popular saying from Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope.

      Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
      Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
      Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
      I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
      My chains fell off, my heart was free;
      I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

God's eye diffused a life quickening ray and brought new life to an imprisoned spirit bound by sin. The prison dungeon was bright with the flame. The chains were gone and the heart was now free. This is a powerful stanza of freedom!



Monday, April 26, 2021

Day Six-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

Today we look at one of Charles Wesley's first hymns written following his conversion at the home of John Bray, a poor mechanic. The hymn was originally named Free Grace but became known as And Can It Be That I Should Gain. The experience which occurred at the Bray home is a direct act of God. As Charles was suffering from pleurisy he heard a voice which said, "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise, and believe, and thou shalt be healed of all thy infirmities." Bray's sister was commanded in a dream to speak these words. Charles heard them and got out of bed. Opening his Bible he turned to and read Psalm 40:3 and Isaiah 40:1. Both Scriptures spoke about a new song of praise to God and comforting the people of God. In his journal he wrote, "I have found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in the hope of love in Christ." He continued to be convicted that it was by faith we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). Out of this experience of the voice, reading the Scripture, and his conviction Charles wrote these first words of the hymn.

      And can it be that I should gain
      An interest in the Savior's blood!
      Died he for me? who caused his pain!
      For me? who him to death pursued?
      Amazing love! How can it be
      That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 



Friday, April 23, 2021

Day Five-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley was the youngest of eighteen children born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley in 1707. I find it interesting that the original hymn written by him, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing had eighteen stanzas. Most churches only sing six or seven of these stanzas. The entire eighteen stanzas tell the story of Charles' conversion. I tell this story in the attached video of Day 5 of The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley. Next week beginning April 26th we will visit the hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain.



Thursday, April 22, 2021

Day Four-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley was a poet and wrote more than 6,500 poems that became hymns beginning in the Eighteenth Century. Wesley was a master at using words to describe his own spiritual experiences. His use of oxymorons is very effective in this stanza of O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.

     Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ; 

     Ye blind, behold your Savior come; And leap, ye lame, for joy.

A deaf person cannot hear him. A mute person cannot praise. A blind person cannot see the Savior. Someone that is lame cannot leap for joy. Wesley is saying when Jesus speaks new life breaks forth to those who believe. In Christ, the deaf hear, the mute praises, the blind see, and the lame leap! Jesus makes all things new.



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Day Three-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley was the eighteenth child born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley in England in 1707. Samuel was a rector in the Church of England and each day Susanna spent personal time with each child. Charles, like his brother John, went to Oxford. It was there that they formed a discipleship group for accountability and nurture. It was nicknamed, The Holy Club. All of the hymns penned by Charles reflected the love of God he learned through his mother.

Today we look at the fifth stanza of O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing which was written in May 1739 to commemorate his conversion. The original hymn had eighteen stanzas. The fifth stanza emphasizes how new life is found in listening to the voice of the Redeemer. The broken-hearted rejoice and the poor believe.



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Day Two-The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

This week is the 48th anniversary of my call into the ministry. I was twenty-three years of age and had returned home from serving in Vietnam two years before. Our Methodist church was having its spring revival and on the last night, I heard the call of God in my spirit. I responded during the singing of the invitational hymn and knelt at the altar. The evangelist knelt across from me and prayed with me. He said that he could see me preaching the Gospel before a very large outdoor crowd. This was a word of prophecy that happened many times during these forty-eight years.

I can relate to the ministry of Charles and John Wesley, the founders of the Methodist movement of the 18th Century. Both were evangelists who preached and sang. Although I am not traveling at this present time I am still sharing the Gospel through social media. Today I share the second day in the video series, The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley



Monday, April 19, 2021

The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley

Today the new video series, The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley, began on YouTube and my Facebook page. Go to Bill Phares on both YouTube and Facebook. Each weekday, Monday through Friday, I will take a fresh, as well as a historic look at the hymns written by Charles Wesley. The theology of Charles and his brother John were clearly a critical foundation for the Methodist movement of the 18th Century in Britain and later in America. This theology was the message both desired to impart in the more than 7,000 hymns written by the Wesley brothers. Both were ordained Anglican clergy and traveled across Britain sharing the Gospel through preaching and hymn-singing. The Methodist movement was instrumental in the spiritual Great Awakening in Britain. There is no doubt that the hymns of Charles Wesley were equally as vital as the preaching in this revival. 

Each day the video will feature a different style of singing and playing Charles Wesley's hymns. Some will be traditional and others contemporary. The use of piano, organ, guitar and other instrumental instruments will be featured.

I will also be posting the day's video here on my blog. I trust that this series will be a blessing in your spiritual journey and that these timeless and treasured hymns of the Church will enrich your faith. I believe the Body of Christ is about to experience renewal and a revival of the beloved hymns of the Church. Their message still rings true in this modern time. 



    

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Harvesting Quickly and Over Time



Here are pictures of the same blueberry plant.  These pictures reveal the creative power of God that has occurred in the last 19 days. Last night I sowed $1,100 of the stimulus check I received. In the last 19 hours, I have already reaped $103 on that investment. The principle is the same. What we sow is what we will reap. The only difference is one investment is agricultural and the other is financial. "God gives the increase." 1 Corinthians 3:7. Sometimes our harvest comes quickly and others take longer but they both come.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Some Seeds Fell on Fertile Soil

 And as he sowed...

"Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" (Matthew 13:8) One tomato seed can produce a plant that can yield 50 pounds of tomatoes. A tomato has 150-300 seeds. This is definitely a hundred times more than the planted seed! When we sow financially into good ministries the return will always be more than our seed sown.



Saturday, March 13, 2021

And as He Sowed

 And as he sowed...

This is the first of my daily thoughts from my new hobby of gardening. The introductory phrase comes from Luke 8:5, “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up."

My ultimate purpose for sowing seeds is to reap a harvest of vegetables and fruit. What reason would anyone want to sow and never reap? Why spend the time preparing the soil and sowing seeds if no harvest was expected? I truly am expecting to gather fresh vegetables and fruit this summer! I have a vision of a bountiful harvest in my mind and therefore I am sowing my seed. Jesus said, "A sower went out to sow his seed..."

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Confession of a Recovering Perfectionist

This post is being written and shared to hopefully help anyone who may have struggled with perfectionism, and or, being a Father-pleaser. I am a Hospice Chaplain and every day I listen to dying persons share their life stories. Some share the positive moments that have carried them throughout their life and others relate the hurtful and negative experiences that have wounded them. The majority of these wounds are still painful, even as these persons are facing their own death. As a result of being an active listener, I, in turn, do my own life review on a regular basis, almost daily! I rehearse my own positive and negative experiences that I know have helped to shape who I am today.

Until about twenty years ago I was a certified perfectionist. This definition was so true of me: a person's striving for flawlessness and setting high-performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations. I expected things to be a certain standard and I was disappointed when it fell short. I began to change slowly as I started accepting the truth that everyone and every situation is different, with different expectations and outcomes. I learned that I was not always right or that my opinions were the only way. I admit that I still have a measure of it but I purposely fight the desire to view life from a perfectionist mindset.
Another personality trait I have struggled with throughout much of my life has been being a Father-pleaser. From my earliest memory, I wanted to please my natural father. I desperately desired to please him and for him to be proud of me. I desired to not make mistakes and to have Daddy's approval. The reality is that I made many mistakes and often disappointed him. My problem is that I tried to earn his approval.
How often this is true of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our efforts to please God and to earn His approval describe a frustrating and defeating lifestyle. Nothing that we can do will ever prove adequate to obtain God's acceptance and pleasure with us. These efforts will always fall short of perfection. I am so glad I am learning each day that I can never please God by what I do or don't do but that He loves and accepts me just because God loves me. God's love is unconditional!
When we can learn to accept ourselves as recipients of this amazing grace of our Heavenly Father then we can begin to live in new freedom. We recognize that even with our imperfections God continues to love us. We are free to please Him from grateful hearts. Our response to His graciousness is life-changing. Even when we make mistakes God continues to love us. I attempt to convey this truth with dying patients, in hopes that this revelation will free them from feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. How much more can each of us walk each day in this blessing!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Endure Hardship

Hardship can mean a lack of comfort and deprivation. Some of you are often deprived of sleep. In turn, this becomes a hardship. Paul said, You, therefore, therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3.

When I was a soldier in combat I averaged only 2 hours of sleep a night. I was deprived of sleep and when I went on R&R I slept the first two days and nights without waking up. My body had been deprived and had suffered. Hardship comes in different forms but a mature Christian, like a good soldier, develops endurance during hard times. According to the Bible, hard times may come to our country in the future. Now is the time to develop endurance before it arrives!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Suffering Has Come to America


God speaks to us in many different ways. One of the ways I have learned to hear the Lord is through my Christian friends that I trust. Dreams and visions are also biblical. During the 70s I was privileged to receive solid teaching from anointed Bible teachers such as Derek Prince, Kenneth E. Hagin, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Bob Mumford, Lester Sumrall, Bob Jones, and Ken Sumrall. I learned about the principles of faith, who we are "in Christ," spiritual warfare, healing, and the power of the blood of Jesus. Two of the biblical doctrines not taught or understood during that time were suffering and persecution. We knew that Christians were suffering and being persecuted for their faith in Communist countries but here in America, we emphasized God's blessings. There is nothing unbiblical about being blessed by God but suffering and persecution are also biblical. Both are important Bible doctrines. A study of the Apostle Paul clearly reveals the power of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. Hello America and hello American believers! Suffering is staring us in the face. I heard from God this morning through a dear friend in Christ, Joy Samford. Joy sent me a video of Devin Wallace referring to her dream from the Lord. In the dream, the Lord was revealing to her how suffering is now ahead for the people of God in America. Actually, suffering has already begun.
I immediately made a short video about suffering and quoted 2 Corinthians 1:5. For the more we suffer for Christ the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. I felt a stirring in my spirit that one of my assignments now is to bring short teachings about suffering and the role it plays in a Christian's life. I have been teaching for the past year about our need to prepare for difficult days ahead but God wants me to also teach about preparing for suffering and hardship in America. I keep hearing this verse in my spirit, Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

I believe the Lord would have me post a short video about suffering and hardship each day for the rest of January. I don't have a congregation in a building but I feel God has given me a small congregation through social media. Pray for me as I prepare these teachings and I will be praying for those who will hear.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Prophetic Word

 


There will be people used by God in 2021 that thought that their days of influence were over. Some will be used in the new government of our nation and a prophetic wisdom mantle will be placed on their shoulders. Government leaders will seek your counsel and you will see new paths of direction even before they materialize. The new government will be built upon the integrity of God's Word. Words of God will flow profusely from Washington, DC to state capitals, and then will trickle down to towns in every state. No longer will the Bible be muzzled in this land. The coming great awakening of the eyes of Americans in January will make way for the Great Awakening of the Holy Spirit.

Do not be surprised if your debt is eliminated during this year. Watch as our present currency is overhauled and becomes valuable again. It will become more than a promissory note on printed paper. The Bible described the cancellation of all debt as the Jubilee Year. Not only was it a year when debts were forgiven, but the mercies of God were also particularly manifested. In 2021 the currency of Heaven will be mercy on our nation! Imagine a nation where we owed no man anything but to love one another. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8