Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Is there anything quite so lovely, delicate, and resilient in the wind as Sweet Peas?? (okay spider webs are quite fascinating too...) The Lord has definitely created some incredible and wonderful and tender things for us to marvel at... and for which to worship Him. :)
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
I came upon Holy Experience and her post today is striking such a chord in my soul. Bong. I also struggle with living in a home of sinful and redeemed people. Clang. I also get frazzled by daily dinner plans and lost wallets, lost keys, lost shoes, lost purses, lost cell phones, lost.... you get the picture. Ding. I cling to the cross of Christ, trusting His blood to make all clean. Dong. There is nothing that captures my heart like hymns being sung by a family at peace - that includes the family of God gathering corporately. (BTW, why is it that there is something so special about sharing in music by the joining of voices?)
So take a peek at Ann's post and let me know what chords are ringing in your heart.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
-Chistians cannot grow unless their lives are characterized by praise.
-Proud people don’t praise God- they are too consumed with themselves.
-Praising God gives Him glory.
-According to the Bible, praise involves three elements:
-naming God’s attributes
-naming God’s works
NAMING GOD’S ATTRIBUTES
-Scriptures powerfully and extensively reveals the character of God enabling us to praise HIm better.
-It is a good habit just to review God’s character when you pray and remember that He is a God of infinite love, glory, grace, majesty, mercy, and wisdom. He is invincible!
NAMING GOD’S WORKS
-God’s attributes are manifest in His works.
-The psalms are filled with the record of the great things God has done.
-Whenever we have a problem we don’t know how to solve, we should praise God for His wisdom and might, as demonstrated in biblical history.
-As we recite the many things God has done, we affirm HIs worthiness.
-Praise bolsters confidence in God because He has proven Himself trustworthy in the past.
-Naming the attributes and works of God easily leads to thanking Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do.
-At the heart of all praise is thanksgiving.
-Thanksgiving is the antidote to worry.
-God’s providence- which is His sovereign overruling and arranging of all of life’s contingencies into a divine plan for the blessing of believers - should cause us to be thankful for anything that happens in our lives.
-Because God actually uses all difficulties for our good, there is nothing we cannot thank Him for.
-Give every situation over to God’s sovereign control, trusting Him because you know His history of wisdom and power and you understand His promise to supply all your needs (Phil.4:19).
-Nothing about you escapes Him (Ps.139:3)
-You know He cares about you (1Pet.5:7), and He has the power to overcome every difficulty (Ps.62:11)
-But He uses suffering to perfect you to be like Christ (Phil.1:6), and His power and understanding are infinite (Ps.147:5).
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
-Without doubt the most important element in prayer is confession of sin.
-”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”(1John 1:9)
-The original Greek words express continual confession as an essential characteristic of true holiness.
-The forgiveness and cleansing are continual. As the Christian continually confesses, God continually grants pardon and purification.
-But the daily forgiveness Jesus taught us to pray for is a familial forgiveness. It is the remedy for God’s fatherly displeasure when we sin (Heb.12:5-11)
-the forgiveness we seek in our daily walk is not pardon from an angry Judge, but mercy from a grieved Father.
-So the primary feature of confession is agreeing with God that we are helplessly guilty. In fact, the Greek word for confession is homologeo, which literally means “say the same”.
-Confessing our sins therefore means acknowledging that God’s perspective of our transgressions is correct.
-You have not honestly confessed your sins until you have longed to be rid of them.
THE PURPOSE OF CONFESSION
-Confession is a healthy beginning for prayer because it provides a reminder that we do not deserve anything God gives us. A materialistic perspective on prayer gets eliminated when we go before God with the brokenness and the contrite heart of people who confess their sins.
-In Isaiah 66:2 the Lord says, “On this one will I look; on him who is poor and contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
-When any believer confesses his sin, God can chasten (discipline) him without being though of as unfair.
A RIGHT VIEW OF SIN
-First, a right view of sin is the recognition that sin deserves judgment.
-A right view of sin also recognizes an urgent need for cleansing.
-Another crucial part of having a right view of sin is accepting full responsibility for it.
-When we take personal responsibility for our sin, we will advance toward spiritual maturity.
-A right view of sin also recognizes that we sin because it is in our nature to do so.
A RIGHT VIEW OF GOD
-God is not concerned with external behavior but with the thoughts and motives of our hearts.
-David recognized God’s holiness.
-David also referred to God’s authority over sin: “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. “(Ps.51:7)
-David also recognized God’s compassion: “Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.”(Ps.51:8)
-Finally, David understood God’s mercy: “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities” (Ps.51:9)
A RIGHT VIEW OF SELF
-David understood that he needed to turn from his sin and live a godly life for 3 reasons
-For the sake of sinners
-To glorify God
-For the sake of saints
-Only when we are in a right relationship with God can we intercede for others.
- I think of prayer as living in continual God-consciousness, in which everything we see and experience becomes a kind of prayer, lived in deep awareness of and surrender to our heavenly Father. Whatever happens, there is a Godward response.
-When you pray for something, keep at it until you have an answer.
-If such a reluctant and sinful friend will honor persistence, how much more will our holy, loving, sympathetic heavenly Father respond to us?
-If we don’t get an immediate answer to our request, or if events don’t turn out exactly or as quickly as we hoped they would, our Lord’s word to us is to not lose heart (Luke 18:1)
-God longs to respond to His chosen children who are persistent in prayer - even though He often, for good reasons, makes us wait longer than we wish.
-We can never, by our persistence, force God to do what we want against His will; but we do need to demonstrate to Him a heart of compassion and the genuineness of a concerned and caring soul.
-Several times Jesus told the disciples to “watch and pray” (Matt 26:41; Mark 13:33; 14:38; Luke 21:36)
-We cannot pray intelligently unless we are alert to what is going on around us.
-We need to keep our eyes open- to be alert to the spiritual needs of others.
-We are to be looking outward, not inward.
-through God’s answers to specific prayers we clearly see Him put His love and power on display.
-If we are not alert to the specific problems and needs of others, we can’t pray about them specifically and earnestly. But when we do, we can watch for God’s answer, rejoice in it when it comes, and then offer Him our thankful praise.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do” (John 14:13)
- “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14)
- To understand the meaning of prayer in Jesus’ name, we need to understand how the word “name” is used in the Bible. In Scripture, the name of God embodies all that He is.
- So when Christ commands us to pray in His name, He wants us to pray consistent with who He is- His person His will, and His purposes.
- So how do we know the will of Christ? Scripture gives us “the mind of Christ” in a very large measure (1 Cor.2:16)
- But the fact is many times we don’t know His specific will on an issue. At that pont we simply need to ask God for His will to be done (Matt.6:10)
ASK IN FAITH:
- If you don’t believe God’s promises, the Bible says you make Him a liar (1 John 5:10). As Christians, we dishonor God when we doubt Him.
- The Psalms will build your knowledge of God’s person; the Law reveals His righteous character; and the historical books recount how He displayed His power on behalf of His people. That is the right foundation on which to build your faith. As your faith grows stronger, you can proceed with life in peace even before God answers each specific prayer, because you will believe that He is going to answer in His own time for your good and His glory.
ASK IN THE SPIRIT:
- Offer prayers that are consistent with the Spirit’s prayers so that you are committed only to God’s will.
- Praying in the Spirit is the same as praying in the name of Christ- praying in a manner consistent with who HIe is and what His will is.
- As our lives are filled with the Spirit, as we walk in obedience to Him, and as we are constantly communing with God, the Spirit of God will govern our thoughts so that our prayers will be in harmony with Him.
ASK FROM A PURE HEART:
- What James is saying (in James 5:16) is that if you expect God to answer your prayers, you must be committed to living a righteous life.
- “Whatever we ask and receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John3:22)
- “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18)
- “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15)
Friday, January 22, 2010
- it is His design that the prayer of His people should be the means by which He is frequently moved to act.
- “The effectve fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”(James 5:16)
- The Bible details at least 5 reasons we ought to pray:
- PRAYER IS COMMANDED
- IT IS A SIN NOT TO PRAY
- PRAYER GIVES GLORY TO GOD
- PRAYER ALIGNS US WITH GOD'S PURPOSES
- PRAYER RESULTS IN ANSWERS
- He (Samuel) acknowledged his responsibility to pray for them because he understood that prayer is a duty, and the neglect of prayer is therefore a sin.
- God doesn’t answer our prayers for our benefit only; He answers them primarilyfor His own pleasure and glory.
- Our attitude should be, “How can I get involved in praying for as much as I possibly can so that I often see God display His divine power, mercy, grace, love, and all His other attributes?”
- So pray that God will manifest Himself in your life and the lives of those you pray for so that He may be glorified in you.
- In other words, the primary issue in prayer is not obtaining what you want but allowing God to display His glory.
- When you begin to seek God’s purposes in your prayers, your heart will be aligned with His will. That’s when you will really begin to see your prayers fulfilled.
- God answers prayers and that alone should be reason enough to pray.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- when we go to God in prayer. And not just access, but unlimited divine resources- more than enough for our needs- freely available from a loving heavenly Father.
- He longs to have us with Him, telling Him all the issues of our hearts, casting all our cares on Him because He cares for us.
- Psalm 61:1-2 says, "Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed."
- A call to the duty of prayer will not overcome spiritual indifference, because prayer is an internal compulsion born out of a love for and dependence on our heavenly Father. Lack of prayer doesn't mean merely that we are disobedient; it is also an indicator that our love for God has grown cold.
- "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me." (Ps.50:15)
- Let the truth of Scripture shape your thinking and feed your appetites and then you will know how to pray according to the will of God
- Prayer must come from an obedient heart.