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.