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March 15, 2017, 11:12 AM

Just Pray!


“Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying is hard.  That is why most Christians don’t do it.  Or at least why most Christians don’t do it enough.  It is difficult to spend time on your knees talking to a God that we cannot see without our minds wondering, or the devil distracting us with a dresser that we see out of the corner of our eye that needs dusted.  

But God says that it is His will that we pray.  So pray!  Christian, make an effort to obey God’s will for your life.  The following are some tips to help you in your prayer life.

1.  Set aside a specific time - If you don’t plan for it, you are not planning on doing it.

2.  Find a quiet place to pray.  The Bible talks about a prayer closet and it also says we aught not to pray to be seen.  The devil wants to prevent you or distract you.  Limit the chances for distraction.  That being said, the Bible says we are to pray without ceasing.  That means that aught not be afraid to pray in public or with our eyes open while driving or just walking down the road.  We can pray in our hearts and minds anytime and don’t let a lack of specific time prevent you from praying.  

3.  Pour out your heart to God. Just talk to him.  He knows what is on your mind and in your heart anyway so you might as well be honest.  The Bible says that when we don’t even know what or how to pray that the H.S. intercedes on our behalf.  That being said...

4.  Praise Him in your prayers.  Rejoice in the fact that you can pray and He does hear you and can act on your prayers.  Give thanks that He is in control.    Pray for more than just the physical.  Pray for wisdom and patience.  Pray for God to meet your spiritual needs as much as you pray for Him to meet the physical.  

5.  Pray for forgiveness of sin when you sin and for others who are not saved to be saved and have their sins forgiven.  

6.  Pray for others.  Your spouse, parents, children, co-workers, church members, and PASTOR!  Pray for your community and nation.  Pray for the world.

7.  Pray with others.  Although we aught to get alone to pray primarily, it also helps to invite others to pray with us.  Our spouse, children, or friends are just a few that we could involve.    

8.  Ask God to help you and He will.  Ask that He give you a desire and He will.  

This is just a start.  Although it seems daunting to pray for a long period of time, when you get started and realize all you have to pray for, you realize that its not as difficult as you might think.  

Recently I led our church to spend the entire second half of the church service in prayer.  It was approx. 35 minutes!  But we prayed for 3 minutes at a time, and each segment focused on one topic.  At the end of 3 minutes I gave them the new topic and continued for 10 total topics.  Before we realized it, the 35 minutes had passed.  

Never worry that your prayer is not long enough or pretty enough.  Charles Spurgeon was a famous preacher that once said:

“...True prayer is measured by weight, not by length.  A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.”

The bottom line is that we are instructed to pray.  Find a way.  Turn to God and call on His Holy name.  

No matter what your need, He is the only one that can really meet the need.




March 14, 2017, 1:27 PM

The Problem with Problems


“The righteous cry, and the LORD hearth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17

We don’t like problems.  The problem with problems is that we typically try to avoid them.  Trying to avoid a problem often leads us into another problem.  Either we can’t avoid the problem we were trying get away from or, getting away from one problem has led us into another.  

There is an old African proverb that says: “Instead of asking God to take away a problem, ask Him for a stronger back and broader shoulders.”

Most of us ask God to eliminate or clear out the traffic of our lives instead of relying on God to help us navigate the speed bumps and pitfalls of life.  Everyone likes to cruise in the fast lane of life, but while cruising through life we often miss what God is trying to tell us.  

Perhaps we need to change our point of view when it comes to problems.  Instead of avoiding problems perhaps we should see them as an opportunity to see God at work, directing us through and overcoming the problem.  

Jesus never seemed to try to avoid problems.  Problems were opportunities to display the power and glory of God.  Sick, lame, or blind?  No problem!  Dead? Seems like a big problem, but not to Jesus, just ask Lazarus or Jairus’ daughter!  

Running from your problems does not make you stronger nor does it make you closer in your walk with God.  But, embracing the problem and overcoming it by the strength of the Lord increases your faith and brings glory to God.  

The Next time you find yourself face to face with a problem, hurdle, trial, or fear, pray that God would help you overcome it in a way that will bring glory to Him and increase your faith while drawing you closer to Christ.  

It is only then that you will really learn...There is no problem with problems.




March 9, 2017, 11:09 AM

Let Go To Go Forward

Sometimes God has to take something away before He can give you something better.  
Sometimes God has to remove one thing to give you another He has promised.  
Such is the case in Joshua chapter 1. 
Moses had to die so that Joshua could lead the Nation of Israel into the promised land to conquer it and possess it. Moses was 120 and would not have been the best General or leader of an army at that age. Joshua was half that age and had led Israel's armies for 40 years in the wilderness.  
Moses was not permitted to enter the promised land because of his disobedience in striking a rock instead of speaking to it. Israel could not have entered the land of promise until Moses was gone.  
God has so much better for you than you can possibly imagine for yourself. Learn to let go and let God have his way in your life.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  Joshua 1:9 

Let go so that you can go forward for God and with God. 

You will never regret it.




March 6, 2017, 3:46 PM

Share the WORD!

In case you haven’t noticed…social media is a mess these days. 

Most people like to talk.  

Most people like to share their opinion.  

Most people like for others to confirm that their view is a right one and then they feel validated by others agreeing with them.  

Most people are afraid of taking a real stand unless they can stand with others.  They are afraid of what others might say or think about the stand they take.

Most people think that what they say or post on social media will change the mind of others…for most people, it doesn’t

Don’t be like most people.  

I’m not saying don’t share a word with others.  What I am saying is that instead of getting caught up in the cacophony of noise in the world and on social media, share a Word that matters.  

Share God’s Word.  

When you share God’s Word with others you don’t have to talk…you let the Word of God do the talking for you. 

When you share God’s Word you are not sharing your opinion…you are sharing truth, because the Bible is truth.  

When you share God’s Word you don’t need for anyone to confirm you are right or validate your words.  Because the Word of God needs no validation.  

When you stand on God’s Word you don’t have to worry about whether you will have others stand with you, because you are standing with God and that is all that really matters.  

When you share God’s Word you don’t have to worry about whether you have changed anybody’s mind or opinion because that is not your job.  God tasks the Holy Spirit with speaking to the heart.  Yes we aught to demonstrate loving kindness so that people are willing to listen, but our job is share the Word with their ears so that God can work on the heart.  

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

The World wants even the “Church Crowd” to focus on a social gospel of love and tolerance.  And, we certainly are to love, and patience and tolerance for all mankind regardless of whether they are willing to listen or not.  But, there is only one Gospel that we are to teach and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. - Galations 1:9

So, share a word but be sure and when you do in love and kindness, share THE WORD!




March 2, 2017, 11:54 AM

The Beauty of the Psalms!

The men who wrote the Psalms of the Bible were inspired to write them for a purpose.  There was purpose for them at that time, and there is a purpose for all who who would hear or read these Psalms, for all time.  

Why standest thou afar off, O LORD?  Why widest thou thyself in times of trouble? - Psalms 10:1

Those who wrote the Psalms showed a broad range of human emotion.  They were enduring difficult situations, fears and many questions.  Many psalms deal with similar difficulties, fears, and questions that we deal with today.  

The psalms prove out that there is nothing wrong with voicing our worst fears and questions to God.  He already knows what is in our heart and desires that we share those fears and struggles with Him.  Even when those fears are about Him:  Where are you God?  Why is this happening?  Why aren’t you doing anything?  Don’t be afraid to express your fears and struggles to God, He can take it.  

But, while it is okay to express your frustrations and questions to God, it is even more important that we voice back to God His promises to us.  

The truth, even when we don’t see it, is that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  The Truth is that God is doing something, even when we don’t see or feel it.  

Sometimes when it seems like He is silent, He is doing the most important work of drawing us closer to Himself.  

Our faith must rest on the unshakeable promises of God, not the fickleness of our feelings, the limited nature of our understanding, or even the platitudes of man.  It is God who is our rock and our fortress.

When we hold on to God’s promises and let His Word brace our hearts and trump our fears then we can know He is developing in us the kind of faith that will give us freedom from fear and confidence to face the world.  

When your emotions tell you that God has left you, it’s time to quote back to God His promises to never forsake you.  

God’s promises are always greater than Satan’s lies.  Realizing this will allow your faith to leap into action!

It is then that we can read and understand the beauty of the Psalms.  

 


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