Archive for the ‘prayer’ Tag

NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST

After trying to perfect myself

Through my own power

I’d become disconnected from Jesus

My Lord and Savior

I’m in ruins

I cannot heal myself

I hurt and bleed from the war

I’d put myself through

Facing Satan

With only my human defenses

Crushed on rocks below

 

My guilt became a burden

Until I came face to face

With Jesus

On Him I laid my burden

He bid us:

“Come to Me all you who

labor and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you

and learn from Me, for I am

gentle and lowly in heart, and

You will find rest for your souls,

for My yoke is easy and My

burden is light.”  (Matt. 11:28-30 NKJV)

 

Aim to rededicate ourselves to Jesus

Continuing to do the work

He has given us

Praying daily to God

To keep the tether tight

Between ourselves and Jesus Christ

Letting Him keep us safe

Heal us with His balm

For there is no other

Great Physician

Able to heal humanity

 

 

 

 

GLOWING

Our lives reflect a prayer
Filled with the Holy Spirit
Consecrated to You, O Lord
Reaching out to fill others vessels
With a love originating
Only from Your Essence

Glowing as a lamp
During sacred vigil
Each moment, holding You
In our hearts
No foreign thought intruding
Set only on doing Your will
Our claim to good works
Not owned by us
But attributed to the Holy Spirit
Residing within
Bound to us by Your love
Cementing us to each other
The Body of Christ

Heart with heart
Hand in hand
Being of one mind
That of Christ
Lives sanctified by Your grace
No longer sinful in Your eyes
When our lives have been changed
Choosing to honor your Law
After being baptized
Into Jesus’ death and resurrection

After we trumpet Your Gospel
To the entire world
We will remain on the Last Day
Standing firmly before You
Those still embracing sin
Having been destroyed
By the brightness of Your Coming

Sin having been swept away
We stand hand in hand
With one we converted to Your Ways
Our prayer answered
Our life’s work fulfilled

GIVING TIME TO OUR GOD

Upon arising
Before the hustle and bustle
Demands our attention
As first light shines
Upon delicate branches
After the morning star disappears
Spring flowers reach East
For light given by God
The Bible awaits us
And on our lips
Words of thanksgiving
To the Lord
Gently pierce morning silence
As we meditate on
Our Morning Star, Jesus
Our Savior and Friend
Who speaks to us
Through the Bible, His Word
Casting our fears aside
And in making this connection
Try giving God prayers of thanksgiving
As each day unfolds
With a spiritual sparkle

LOOK TO THE AUTHOR OF LOVE

Who is boxed in, frozen, unloved
One not willing to connect in prayer
To the Author of love
Not willing to share
God’s endowment of love
An empty soul
For lack of trust in God’s ways
A self-sufficient being
Not willing to allow God
To transform a heart of stone
Into a living, loving heart
One prone to share a smile
A word of encouragement
Willing to share wisdom
Gained by knowing God
Sharing love expressed by forgiveness
Even of an enemy
An act of pity, of godliness
Love expressed by sacrificial giving
To help the poor and the needy
The homeless and the fatherless
These are not acts one originates
From oneself alone, but only
Through a heart connection with God
The Author of love

OVERCOMING THE DEVIL’S WILES

We’re all in this worldly mess together. Evil lurks everywhere. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We all, at times, have thoughts critical of others enter our minds. Further, jealous feelings spring up in our hearts over others possessions or achievements. This is human nature. We easily find the thoughts and feelings too difficult to resist. We dwell on them and own them, thereby sinning. The devil tells us these are little sins; they don’t matter.

The word of God supplies a solution to resisting temptation: “Submit yourselves thereby to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7,8). Develop a relationship with Jesus and abide in Him daily. He will give you His strength, making it possible for you to obey God’s law, as Jesus, Himself, was able to do perfectly while on earth, being tempted in every manner as we are tempted. When we resist the devil through Christ’s power, the devil flees from us because he knows he has no chance of overwhelming us. Then we can turn those initially critical thoughts to an acceptance that none of us is perfect. Also, we’ll transform the germ of jealous feelings over someone’s possessions into happiness for them and we’ll turn jealous urges over someone’s achievements into admiration of them.

Jesus offers us a promise we can internalize: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). Many of us underestimate our ability to do what we are called to do by the Lord. That’s because we don’t recognize that the Lord will empower us if we believe in His ability to make marvelous things happen through us. We have to remember that we are His instruments and He is the Provider of success.

To work with the Lord requires a strong prayer life. We need to develop trust in Him to show us the way. He does this one step at a time. This is how God works when He is going to do something great. He doesn’t lay it all out ahead and let us agree or disagree that his plan will work for us, giving us a chance to bail. We need to trust Him one step at a time, in earnest prayer.

To have a relationship with God is imperative if we want to do His will. Only God can enable us to resist temptation. Only He can orchestrate His successes. Also, He is our only Friend who, if we seek Him in earnest prayer, always understands and can comfort.

God loves you. He is longing for you to tap into His strength, wisdom, and unconditional love. He wants you to have a full life. And being so endowed, you’ll be better able to introduce your family, friends, and even enemies to the love of your Lord and Savior.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

PERSEVERANCE REQUIRED

How many times lately, outside of church, have you spoken to others about your faith in God? For myself, I do not measure up in this area. Sure, I write this blog and have written a wonderful book, THE CASTING OF CROWNS, about relationships with God in the Last Days, for which I continue to seek out a traditional publisher. But witnessing in person rather than in writing is, I think, harder hitting.

I recently accepted a volunteer position at church as a greeter. I had forgotten how satisfying and rewarding contact with people can be even while stepping out of my comfort zone. And there is no other place I’d rather help people feel welcome. But that’s just a start.

What about neighbors, friends, and family? I’ve spoken to them in the past about God, but many of them rejected God’s truths as revealed in the Bible. Some of my neighbors don’t care to go to church at all. Their lifestyles don’t include reliance on God for their needs. All I can do is befriend them, reflect Christ’s image, and pray for them. Perhaps a crisis in their lives will drive them to God’s door. In the Bible, Jesus tells the church at Laodicea, prophetically the Last Days church, “Here I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him , and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). We need to encourage others to open the door and commune with Him.

What a marvelous relationship with Jesus will ensue. He is our Redeemer, bound to offer us, as sinners, with everything we need to overcome the power of Satan. Jesus promises: “To him who overcomes, I give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

There is nothing more rewarding than leading someone to Jesus. However, it requires patience and perseverance. Never stop praying for those relatives of yours who need Christ in order to overcome. Don’t be afraid to witness to others who need caring friends to introduce them to God’s unconditional love, that healing balm which produces a sense of purpose and the hope of salvation.

—Scripture quotaions taken from NIV Bible—

ARE YOU CONNECTED

Some days I consider my choice of daily activities as mine alone, to do as I please. What a lapse of judgement! Our lives are not ours alone, but God’s, who seeks to use us each day, as vessels carrying hope, mercy, love, and examples of faith in Him to those within our reach.

Our selfish carnal natures will prevent us from doing His work. When we fail to surrender our lives daily to Him, we are prone to wander off the narrow road leading to salvation. We stray within an arm’s length of the devil, Satan. On days we forget, neglect, or willfully turn away from abiding in Christ, we are susceptible to Satan’s seemingly innocuous schemes. Satan tricks us into thinking that acting on an idea in our head will free us from God’s constraints. At that point we’re blinded to the fact those constraints (God’s Law) were given to mankind to protect us from harm.

When we neglect our relationship with God we forget or are unaware we have no strength of ourselves to obey God’s Laws. We flounder. We sin. We may feel guilt. What we do at this point is crucial. Either we continue to fill our carnal desires, or we get down on our knees to God in sorrow for our sins that nailed our Savior to the Cross. We confess our transgressions to the Lord, sincerely repent of them, and humbly receive His forgiveness.

Again in favor with God, we offer Him praise and thanksgiving. Our next step is again crucial — abiding in Christ, for He is the true vine, sustaining us through hard times, giving us strength to obey His Law, and allowing us to bear much fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Indeed, Christ requires us to be connected with Him. This is best done by prayer, first thing in the morning, and then throughout the day, allowing us to commune with Him as we carry out God-approved and God-inspired activities. Certainly, we don’t think about God constantly, but He is the first one we will turn to for comfort and guidance, and to offer praise and thanksgiving, when we are God focused.

He is a mighty God. Get to know Him. Abide in Him. Follow His ways. You will be blessed and bless others in ways only God can enable you to do.

— Scripture quotation taken from NKJV —

A DAILY COMMITMENT

How do we get to know God? Some people read the Bible to get to know about God and stop there, not reflecting upon those scriptures. Others have occasion to listen to testimonials from individuals to learn about how God works in lives. Many of us listen to sermons by preachers to get a grasp of what God is about and to find out what He expects of us. Some people mistakenly think that through these methods they are getting to know God. All these methods focus on an intellectual knowledge of God and may touch our hearts a bit as well. But is this all God wants of us?

The Triune God of Christianity is a God of relationships. The Father loves the Son, Jesus, who demonstrated His total dependence on the Father through His prayer life while Jesus was on earth. Jesus told His disciples, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Jn 14:26). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit interact and are of one mind.

God longs to have an intimate relationship with each of us. Since God is perfect, there is no one better versed in relationships than He is. God longs to be our best Friend and wants only good for us. “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). God woos everyone continually. He seeks that love relationship with those He created in His own image.

God seeks love in the form of worship, obedience, and a growing relationship derived from a prayer life with Him. Our relationship with Him serves to guide us in the decisions we face, in our witnessing attempts, and in everything we do.

In order to let Him be our guide, we must totally surrender our lives to Him, making His priorities our priorities. We cannot please Him unless we do this. We maintain the strength to do His work through a daily relationship with Him. Of ourselves we are weak, but united with Him we can do the impossible. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Just as Jesus maintained a daily prayer relationship with the Father, giving Him strength to accomplish His mission, so we, too, through daily prayer will find refreshment and strength to do God’s will.

In doing His will we get to know God through our experiences. When we connect our obedience to His will with the richness present in powerful experiences in which He reveals Himself to us, we can be sure God is speaking to us.

Reflecting upon Scripture we read is an excellent way to allow God to speak to us and initiate a conversation with Him later during the day.

Prayer, experiences, and reflecting upon Scripture, then, are ways we can get to know God intimately. All we need to do is open up to Him. His arms are outstretched, ready to receive us and to reveal Himself to us.

— Bible quotations taken from NKJV Bible —

RELATIONSHIP — THE HEALING BALM

God can function as our wellspring of encouragement and love if we turn to Him while we’re down, discouraged, or hurting. But rather than seeking Him only when we’re in dire straits, God wants us to develop a daily, continuous, love relationship with Him. He has deemed this relationship the most important commitment of our lives. It honors Him and gives vitality to everything else we do.

He is our Abba Father, the One who can heal us when we feel hurt, unappreciated, or misunderstood. Then while supporting us emotionally He partners with us to do His work.

God wants to impart wisdom, courage, and truth to us through His Word. We learn of Him through pryerfully reading His Word. Ultimately, He seeks our love and cherishes our worship of Him, after teaching us how to love through our love relationship with Him.

Humans are inherently self-centered and selfish. God demonstrated His love for us by giving His Son as a sacrifice on the cruel cross of Calvary, thus giving us the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Through Jesus’ life, recorded in the Bible, He gives us an example of love born of selflessness. Jesus served people’s needs by healing physically, thus drawing people’s hearts close to Him. He healed spiritually as well, with teachings that were radically different from the legalistic teachings of the Pharisees, a group of Jewish leaders of the Law when Jesus was on earth. Jesus meant to bring truth and life to all.

Today we have access to Jesus’ teaching in the Bible. God intends for us to live extraordinary lives by reading and applying the Bible to our lives.

Everyday of Jesus’ life He depended on the strength He received from His Father through prayer. God means for us to carry on a dialogue with Him each day so that we can feel His love and encourgement, leading us to conquer sin. God’s love doesn’t waver, take sides, or ever fail. Whereas human love, even as wonderful as it is, at times is fraught with weaknesses: jealousy, smothering, selfishness, broken promises, and failure to love fully.

When we connect with God in prayer, He offers us a haven from worry and a place of peace. God’s love is the only perfect love. If we depend on His love, we will never be disappointed. Jesus invites us: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). NKJV

MOLDED VESSELS

Why do we look for and find fault with each other? Could it be because we, ourselves, are not in line with our heavenly Father’s plan for our lives? We have strayed. We don’t look to Him to guide us in our daily lives. Instead, our focus is on ourselves. We don’t have the love relationship with God that He longs to share with us. Consequently, we find fault with others, perhaps in an attempt to camouflage our own imperfections.

The Lord wants to give us a rich experience in life, stemming from an intimate relationship with Him, which transforms us into people who want to focus on doing His work.

Once we are joined with Him, He will lead us day by day to reach out to others in selfless love. Only He can mold us into vessels capable of doing His work. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Anything of value can only be done while abiding in the Lord.

We need to seek Him daily through prayer, Bible study, and in our life experiences. In the Bible, Moses relates God’s promise to the Israelites after their fall into idolatry: “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).

Seeking Him through prayer involves a heart connection. We connect to the Master of the universe through an intimate conversation with Him. By petitioning and praising Him we are enlightened, instructed, and blessed in His presence.

Bible study acquaints us with God’s character and His expectations of us. Nothing can replace the study of Holy Scripture for guidance and instruction.

When we seek God with our whole being, or soul, we experience Him fully in our lives. We come to know Him while abiding in Him.

Only the grace He extends to us allows us to view others as fellow wayfarers deserving of our love and encouragement. Yes, He can transform us, but we need to enter into that love relationship with Him first.

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