Monday, February 28, 2011

Find Something Good To "Like" And Affirm Someone

So many people spend their lives on the edge of heavy discouragement, or even on the other side of that ugly line. I sure don't want anyone there for a second, do you?

Life is short and yes, that is really no place for people to be short or long term.

By faith, we can do something about it, and God equips us as well as encourages us to become part of the solution regarding this. Use what He said to help.

Do you already know some Scriptures that specifically address this situation? It's fun to do a study on this and there are many passages available. Please do pray, let the Holy Spirit guide you to some of em, and then look for someone down around you to affirm in the love of Christ today. Hey, you probably won't have to look too far.

"Don't be discouraged, child of God, by what you cannot do; just give the Lord your very best—It's all He asks of you." ~Sper

"She has done what she could." ~Mark 14:8

Speak clean and edifyingly (new word here..) and build up the believers until they are strong and telling others from a sense of powerful joy! Live clean - they need you to every day!

Remember the words of the God-called Psalmist who said, "I have not kept this Good News hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness" (Ps. 40:10).

If the person you meet isn't sure about where they stand in their relationship with God, then choose not to be afraid and tell em in a simple, straightforward way.. in a fresh but sound sort of way about Jesus Christ. He is the One we love and need to talk about.

You know...tell em about how He lived, what He did on the cross, what He said (those prophesies will faithfully come to pass as so many already have), what He expects of us, and about His super delightful future plan for all who will come to Him on His terms. Ask God to use you to help em gain an assurance of their salvation from the Word. 

Use what you've got for Jesus. Do what you can daily and God will give you more. Yes, determine now to do what He enables you to do, expecting God to anoint all your efforts. When you give your all believer, God can make your little bit a whole lot for His others!

Besides it's so awesome.. unbeatable ..to see others catch fire for the Lord and then see em go global in His Name too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How Quickly Fleeting Is This Life!

A really smart Psalmist once penned this prayer, "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are number—how fleeting my life is" (Ps. 39:4).

Not a bad request huh. Not at all lame to keep in mind if you think about it. Have you ever met anyone in our fast-paced, Western, contemporary, Hollywood-influenced-culture..where outward beauty and acceptance are so rad-important today.. who really didn't have any desire to gain a clue about prolonging their youth or their life?

Longer with more pleasure involved ..even biggy-sized if you will.. with anything these days, that's what always seems to be considered better to many people now. But that's not necessarily the case every time.

Don't get me wrong, I would never encourage anyone to think about shortening the gift of their life. No way. I'm not saying that shorter is always better either.

What I am saying is this.. I used to think that as an American I had a right to long life, health, and happiness, but now I realize that I don't have that right. In fact it would be pride for me to think these were due me.

Thank God for health today. I am so grateful!

But listen; here is what God wants you and me to understand. He alone has an appointed day for your entry into this life and your exit out of this life—yes, your birth and your death. Yikes, who even wants to think about that right now ..mid-stream?

"Given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it.. look at it and really see it.. try it on.. live it.. exhaust it.. and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it." ~ Erma Bombeck

"The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation." ~ Corrie ten Boom

"Only one life to live, which will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." 
~ Author Unknown

I personally don't desire a short life, but I would much rather live a shorter full and purposeful life that actually glorified the God that made me, than a longer life minus knowing my wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ. How about you?

I often think about a hero named, David Brainerd, who was a missionary to the American Indians in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. He was born in Connecticut in 1718, and he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-nine. He gave his all for serving the Lord and God did answer his prayer regarding the duration and quality of impact. Yes, David lived a full and fruitful life unto the glory of the Lord and He will now live forever! Nothing, no nothing beats that! You've gotta check out his writings sometime. David will indeed inspire you to be 100% given over to God and His worldwide evangelistic plan. You won't ever regret it! I sure don't. 

Yes, I would rather live a life in-touch upwards that helped disconnected people outwards also get in-touch. That's what I would call an exciting soul-winning life! We all can trust the Lord for this kinda lifestyle. Other than that I want to worship God and also help believers better worship and serve Him. This doesn't mean we can't enjoy the simple things of life minus singing. We can even worship God without singing to Him. But let's pray together that God will give us a heart towards Him primarily, and then towards others who also need Him today—so that our brief time here will count for eternity!

If you aren't too sure about where you stand with God right now, but you want to be sure. Then good. If you are open to hanging a 180 degree u-turn, eternal security in Jesus is available for you now ..at no extra charge or charge!

Would ya like to have a part in impacting history?

Are you too proud, busy, distracted, or independent to pray lately?

Don't be. 

Believer, ya gotta know deep in your "knower" that prayer to God through Jesus Christ positively affects the flow of history…yes, and it impacts those in it whom God dearly loves! 

Simple as that.

For sure, us prayin’ alone or all together ..biblically.. can mightily impact history forever, even if some of what we request obtains an answer in the negative.

Would you like to be a part of impacting history?

“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them!” ~E.M. Bounds

Hey, it’s God who knows best and goes to work to bring about change for good, not us. “Speakin’ it into existence” as many preachers insist that we do like we are the boss of it all, that ain’t really our biz. It’s His biz cuz He is sovereign and we can’t ever take that from Him. I’m not talkin’ about Word-faith blab it and grab it type of strangeness when I speak of prayer here. But God has simply wired His people and His world for His power if you will, and He wants us to regularly call on His Name whole-heartedly to flip the switch ..that needs flipping.

“Non-praying is lawlessness, discord, anarchy.” ~E.M. Bounds

Our passionate fervent prayers literally move the heart of the Lord. That’s still true!

The Bible tells us that "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (Jam. 5:16). Sure, think about Elijah a normal human at that time, prayin’ against.. and then for rain (vv. 17-18). The change in the heavens happened. Why? Well, because God wanted it to happen and guided Elijah in prayer.

Are there sins that you need to confess.. that hinder your prayers? Are there directives from the Lord that He’s still waiting on you to do? Have you given up on prayer completely? Hey, it’s too early for that! Look at the world headed south around you. You have a part to play ..so to speak.   

We mighty wrestle or struggle with this whole concept of prayer too much and make it more complicated than it really is. The Bible doesn't do that. Keep it as simple and God does in His Word. When you call a loved one on the weekend, do you make it all complicated? Naww, I doubt it. You know you keep it pretty simple, even when you talk about hard issues. It really ain’t a religious practice, this thing called prayer, though many religious people can regularly "say their prayers." God thought of praying before stiff religious folk did - it for His kids. So don't "say your prayers," just go pray to Him in your natural voice that He gave to you. 

We, as His beloved children, might at times run out the door in the morning to get doing, doing, doing stuff ..and totally forget our important time alone with Jesus in prayer. Who hasn’t done that? But we can do better and re-prioritize today.   

Sometimes our prayer time might seem uber-rushed, frustrating (maybe because we are demanding our way or throwing a fit to try and manipulate God like we are His Lord [that's laughable]..) or we are too hurried to listen to His Word when praying (even though His mouth still works).. so we just get it over with at times, so we can get on to other fun things that we "feel" are better. They aren't better, and praying in faith is still the true priority for all believers.

I really don’t think that Mr. Lu-Cifer ..you know, the devil and his creepy buds - those fallen angels.. get too troubled or panicky inside when most believers visit a church, but I do think his (and their) ugly knobby knees shake radically together and tremble when we saints (as the Bible calls us..) stop all the secondary periphery stuff and get down to prayin’ right ..the way we were meant to pray. Don't you also believe that?

You of course know that ministering, witnessing, reaping people into the Kingdom for Christ, and seeing Him change things long term that need changing; that’s all just the easy outflow of time spent with Jesus in prayer. You also know that when preachers and Christians start to get carnal, mean, puffed up, and spiritually weird—that’s just the easy results of time spent away from Jesus and biblical prayer. So what do we do? Let’s get back to look at prayer in God’s love letter, the Bible, and get to praying. He will strengthen us again!

Do you have even one relative or friend left, who doesn’t yet know Jesus in a personal way, and hey, if they were to suddenly drop on the ground and turn stiff and cold today (pardon my form of bluntness..), they’d split Hell wide open? If so, your prayer assignment as a believer ain’t complete.

Do you currently need to see some change happen and you feel it already should have ..yesterday? Been there. How are you going about getting serious with God to ask Him to intervene? When we get back to applying Bible principles even in the area of prayer, we will start to see Bible results.

“We can do nothing without prayer. All things can be done by importunate prayer. It surmounts or removes all obstacles, overcomes every resisting force and gains its ends in the face of invincible hindrances.” ~E.M. Bounds

Do you remember when Jeremiah was locked away in the court of that dingy prison? What a miserable spot to hang out at. Well, that’s where God commanded him, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33:3, nkjv). Did Jeremiah stay in that horrible place? Nope. : )

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wait and pray only when you feel worthy? Not!!!

Ever ..like.. feel not "worthy" enough to come before a holy God in prayer.. cuz perhaps you use to live like a dirty wild bore or a snorting hound dog ..as I unfortunately did for so many years (and I'm not at all proud of it)?

If you did, cheer up because Christ Himself is way worthy and His blood also makes us totally, not partly, clean before the Father..even if you did or didn't quite live like a wild bore or gruesome hound dog.

I love what the Bible says of Jesus near the end of the Book, "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God" (Rev. 5:10). Huh, kings, priests.. what's that all about? Hey, if these words don't jump start your prayer life and help you want to freely pray and sing, then maybe these following Scriptures will do hit the spot to get you over the hump into worship. Please meditate upon or memorize and pray about God's encouragement here:

"His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And He did this because He wanted to! Now all praise to God for His wonderful kindness to us and His favor that He has poured out upon us because we belong to His dearly loved Son" (Eph. 1:5-6, tlb).

Child of God, you are already beloved and favored in His eyes! And God's powerful adopting grace will always be so much bigger and kinder than your fickle human feelings and doubts, yes, even through times where He might seem kinda silent or hidden.

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of His death for us. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting Him" (Heb. 10:19-21, nlt). I love how God doesn't say with "hearts fully trusting ourselves" here, don't you.

 

I guess you kind of know by now that I enjoy fellowship. And I love to talk about the Lord with people that are open to this too. I love to talk about (and do) honest worship, non-pushy discipleship, and tactful joyous evangelism, but I never ever want to be insensitive or cavalier about it and do this in such a way that I put a heavy on people ..or even slightly pressure anyone to do more than their gentle, loving, Good Shepherd is actually leading them to do.

 

Do I ever personally need to receive some motivation and inspiration to do the basics, you know from a fired-up brother or a sister in the Lord? Sure I do, and I like the blessing that follows as I go apply the Word with Christ's lead.

 

Honestly, I think I could possibly do more at times or accomplish more, but it's really about what Jesus already accomplished. I enter His rest, and He gets all the glory. I'm really far from good at this Christian life and witnessing, but learning is still fun to me. Yes, I have a whole lot of fun as a Christian and I really don't want to live for fun or hearing applause because I accomplished so much. I'm an ordinary dude and haven't accomplished much, but I still have goals.

 

Listen up, my doing and your doing, all of our past good deeds or avoiding past temptations IS NOT going to make us worthy to approach the Lord in prayer. Only those dripping blood stains of Jesus that ran down His splintery weather worn cross is what has made us worthy. That's where He did it and won for you and me.  

 

He alone is the Lord of the harvest and He is glad to use us in this privileged noble task, and yes it starts with believing prayer. The devil has lies to work with to try to stop us, to keep us from our knees. If he can only keep us out of the prayer closet due to our bad feelings, doubts, self condemnation, false guilt or due to adverse circumstances, then he knows how we will lack what we need dunamis power-wise when it's time to confidently tell the whole nine yards of the Gospel.

 

So often, we hear about what we "should do," "ought to do" are "supposed to do for God" and I hope that I am not guilty of coming off to you like God's love for you is according to how much you do for Him. I sure hope not. Please forgive me if I've ever shoved, cracked the whip, or given you this impression. But as you journey through the entire Bible, the emphasis of the Word that you will notice is not so much on what we are "supposed to do for the Lord as we spread the Gospel" but rather it's on Jesus Christ and what God has already done for us.

 

We work from salvation, not for it. We fight the good fight of faith from His victory at the cross, not for it. We serve from God already being pleased with us in Christ, not in order to become acceptable or pleasing. Believer, you won't ever be more acceptable to the Father than you are right now. Sure there will be times to humble yourself, confess and forsake when you or I blow it, though we will do our best to avoid sinning. I guess this touches on the question for you to ask yourself: Are you serving in order to have God be pleased with you (hey, that means drudgery), or are you joyfully obeying and praying, because you know deep in your knower that He is already overjoyed with you following Him due to His strong grace?
 
Are you not yet in Christ but want to be? Good, click here 

A Wing or a Weight?

Believer, is there anything keeping you from a intimate, open-hearted, up-close n candid friendship type of relationship with God through His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ? Have you over time become distracted or unwittingly taken on an idol of some sort and now you need to chuck it aside? Is there anything prohibiting you from becoming the worshiper dash disciple-maker dash tactful fisher of individuals, that God wants to make you to become? Is there anything that you have recently been prioritizing ahead of it all.. even before your quiet time alone with the Lord in prayer, in fellowship, and Bible reading (vertical listening)?

If so, no matter what that person, place, or thing might be in your life, you just gotta count it as a loss in order to grow again spiritually ..as God intends for you. Yes, this is what Paul did back in his day. Go ahead and ask God and yourself if this specific habit I enjoy, or whatever it is, is a helpful wing or a hindering weight pulling you down?

The Apostle Paul said, "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…" (Phil. 3:7-8).

Are these beers really for me—are they helping me gain insight, discernment, and maturity? There was a time when I personally had to answer saying, "I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him" (Phil. 3:9, niv). Biblical Christianity has a lot to do with self denial so pray about it.

The writer of Hebrews once challenged us with these great words that we should never ever forget: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us" (12:1). What he didn't say was, "that I have set before myself" or "let us strip off every wing" or aid or discipline or friendship that really helps me to grow up in the Lord. No, no!

So ask yourself.. is this person or this thing edifying, inspiring, and motivating me towards righteous holy living? Is it building me up spiritually or is it de-edifying and tearing me down..or even worse perhaps.. oppressing and abusing me? Hey, if it's a boyfriend or girlfriend doing that to you, then just break up and ditch em. Find help quickly! Life is too short for that jive. We must love God more than everyone else! In fact our love for anyone else (and we are to love people wisely..) should be like hate in comparison to our far greater love for God.

God doesn't want anyone abused or injured, not even in a marriage arraignment, though He is very much for helping people to make their marriages work out. Yes, He still hates divorce and can help to fix your whacked marriage relationship if you'll only turn to Him with all your heart. Please seek Him all-out in His Word and do prayerfully seek out godly counsel. The Lord will be the One to show you all that is a wing in your Christian experience, or even a weight that you might even call an offense or a stumbling block, so that you can quickly shed it and advance more quickly in Him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Great Bait? Joy!

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength." ~ Nehemiah 8:10

Got strength today? Christian, after having genuine love from the Lord inside of you, Joy in Jesus Christ is ..in my opinion.. the best bait for going fishing for people. Wouldn’t you agree?

Go check out what the Bible has to say about Joy! Check out how all the effective witnesses in the New Testament had the Joy of Jesus.

When I was lost as a bulldog off the leach and I ran into some of those so called, “born agains” that friends had warned me about, it was the joy that they had …and that I lacked… that made me inquire. It was their strong joy made me want to hear what they had to say. And they all pointed to Christ as the reason for their joy.

Carnal Christians, lukewarm Christians, nominal Christians, compromising and worldly Christians—they all lack exuberant joy. But sold out believers who have ditched their idols are the ones who are filled with Christ’s joy that’s unspeakable. It’s just hard to explain, but that doesn’t mean that their circumstances are always peachy. They go through trials too, but keep on shining brightly for the Lord.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (nkjv). Yeah, that was his heart and that’s God’s heart. He wants to bless you today and make you a blessing!

Now you already know that Joy is radically different than mere happiness. Lots of people in the world get happy from time to time.. like after they go shopping. Happiness is an American's inalienable right to pursue many would think. But It seems to depend more on ones circumstances—on things or people or feelings.

But real Joy in Jesus is independent of everything except our connection with the true God and guess what… any and everyone you know can have a vital joy-filled relationship with Him.

What’s joy defined? Well, it’s defined as peaceful dancing inside!

Jesus explained it to His disciples this way saying, "I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (Jn. 15:11, NIV).

Are you immersed in a love relationship with God today? Are you born of the Spirit and connected with Jesus and the heavenly Father? If you are your private life and public witness will be marked by obedience based on love and by overflowing joy!

Yes, JOY in Jesus!

Joy in abiding, joy in seeking, joy in living the life, and joy in telling. O yes, in obeying Him! I’m talking about a Joy that’s complete, satisfying. Need to meet Christ for the first time, so you can experience His joy for the first time? No prob! Read more at: facebook.com/shareJesus

The best bait? JOY! @kurtwvs

Friday, February 11, 2011

I wanna know Jesus even more than making Him known!


Why are we the way we are ..and doing what we do? 

Sometimes people ask us about all this. It's a good question. 

What's our main passion and purpose for running this race that God has set before each one of us? 

Isn't it to know Jesus Christ well and then to make Him well known? Sure it is ..in that order. 

The Apostle Paul (a fisher of men and women, boys and girls) sure felt this way inside. And he properly set His priorities saying, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.." (Phil. 3:10). 

Hey gang, I personally like doing, doing, doing ..and earning, earning, earning, but grace is free and there's a rest to enter into in Christ. Are you taking the time to step aside and pray? Do you still thirst for this time with Him. Is Jesus still the delight of your heart, mind and soul? Personal worship and intimacy with Christ must come first. 

Missionary Paul basically explained that this was what mattered to him most, yes, above all else and guess what... it should really matter to us as well. Be encouraged to do your first ministry before you do other ministries. I've always said this because it's so important. What a joy to be with, to pray earnestly, to seek, to wait on and hear..just to bless the Lord's heart for who He is! After that we can pray for others and go tell em huh.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Now ain't the time to quit askin'. It's too soon for that.

Ask, ask, ask wisely! Don't stop now. In our very connected world, whether you need a weather forecast for the mountains ski slopes or driving directions to an upscale or downscale restaurant in downtown Manhattan, the answer may be just a call away. We oughta ask and receive ..with Jesus and then others in mind.

Let's keep doing that with God. No request is too great or too small to bring to God. All we need is simply a sincere desire to follow God's direction and faith that His way is best. Because Jesus "gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty," and we can ask for wisdom in faith without doubting (Jam. 1:5-6 phill). Please keep asking God for all you need!

"My Lord Jesus is ever with me along life's hyper busy way; I'll ask of Him specifically and then trust completely for guidance etcetera.. day by day." ~kVs

"We can't presume to know what's best when we begin to pray; so we must ask, 'What honors God?' Then seek His will and way." ~Sper

You've undoubtedly gotten on your cell phone with friends or family lately and even asked for some things.. when was the last time you called up your best Friend—the Lord?

"If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." ~John 14:14

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways." ~Isaiah 55:8

Do you enjoy stepping aside from all the craziness to pray to the Lord for a time.. and even to hear from Him according to His Word, or do you quickly get bored and distracted away to other things before you are done with it.. feelin' that beyond a few sentences uttered upwards, it's all just waste of your time? Why let the devil win in making you think it's worthless to call on your loving Lord? When was the last time you prayed earnestly about your prayer life? Even that part of your Christian experience can be a subject for prayer.

Hey, getting' a hold of the Lord via prayer—that's your primary social network and it really satisfies more than all others! Sometimes when I get alone with Him my flesh just rudely interrupts me saying, "Ok, this is like.. so enough already.. and you are getting nowhere, Kurt. Stop. Think about all the things that you asked for and then gotten something else or nothing. It's cuz God doesn't care." 

What a lie and so many of us swallow it. Perhaps you've been there before too.  

But I'm glad if I simply ignore the protests of my flesh and of the enemy, if I just temporarily ignore the rings of the telephone that come in with precise timing, yes ignore all the distractions of Mr LuCifer who hates it when I pray, and ignore the light physical hunger pangs and inner growling of my stomach etc ..and just keep on asking and listening until I've prayed through (yeah, 'til I've connected in worship and intercession ..until the Holy Spirit says that I'm through).  

Are you barely scratching by financially ..or worse than that? Need a job? Do you currently need healing and keep waiting for this to happen ..until you feel real discouraged like God is all out mad at ya and loves to cause pain by ignoring you? The enemy sure wants us all to believe that jive.. that God now hates us, is real mad, and we are now cursed forever when it comes to prayer or receiving from Him. Yes, Satan wants you to turn to other things and people to have your needs met. He doesn't really care where you turn, just as long as it's not to Jesus.

When was the last time that you asked the Lord to touch and heal you (not saying that God will always physically heal everyone who asks for this while they are still down here on earth, but He will indeed heal some people and He has good reasons for everything He does)?

When was the last time you asked God in faith for the provisions that you need? When was the last time you received specific direction for your life? When was the last time you asked God for His kind guidance and direction? When was the last time that you led someone to the Lord? Well, when was the last time that you ask God to use you in this way?

Why pray to God through Jesus Christ? So glad you asked.
Cuz God still loves you deeply, wants to bless you, and said to.
Cuz we all were designed for this most important ministry (Yes, your first ministry priority is to Him not to others).
Cuz its God's appointed way for us to gain what we need. (Ye have not because ye ask not. Yes, He is your Source for all that you need every single day, so ask biblically. If you feel like the Lord is gleefully punishing you like a mean dad, or no longer loves you at all, has forgot your name or where you live.. or feel that you've received 10,000+ "No" answers from Him while living with that incessant silence and you no longer have any motivation inside to pray anymore, then keep asking).
Cuz it's the excellent way for us to overcome: fear, anxiety, doubt, inner emptiness, the creepy world system (that's ordering you to live for pleasure and yourself), the demands of your old nature, all wicked slimy spirits of darkness, and persistent worry. (It's been said, "When your knees keep shaking together, kneel down on em").
Cuz there's a certain inner loneliness that won't go away without doing so.
Cuz we all need true fulfillment, a purpose bigger than ourselves, a clear world-changing vision from God with appropriate tasks attached ..otherwise we'll do nothin' but dream and the vision will turn out worthless. We each have a part to play so to speak!
Cuz we must hear from the Lord and make the right decisions instead of merely thinking we will (You are now.. the sum total of all the decisions that you've made up to this point. Yes, we all make our decisions and then our decisions make us).
Cuz it's how we grow, how we glorify God, and how we advance spiritually, instead of shrinking back and getting weaker.
Cuz we are made ready for Christ's appearing doing this. Are you ready for the Rapture of the Church that will happen soon? Look at Jerusalem today and what's going on in the Middle East and gains some holy fear of God if you need to.  
The Bible says, "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (Jam. 4:2-3, nkjv).
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." ~James 1:5
"When with expectancy we pray according to God's will, we'll see Him working in our lives His purpose to fulfill."  ~Sper
I say that we miss on asking amiss and then ask God with right motives ..in faith so that we will glorify the Lord today.

What is prayer? You know, it's hearing from and talking to the one living God through the Jesus of the Bible. You can pray silently, out-loud, real loud, on your knees, standing up, with eyes open or closed, with arms up or down, in church, or at home, or in the locker room at school - physical posture and location doesn't matter at all with God! Would you like to restart or perhaps even start a prayer life

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Keep on prayin' even if you haven't seen the results yet. You'll be glad you did.

Just went out on a walk on the ice with my great wife who stayed home from the office today. The two dogs that were pushing for this, love it out there. I only fell down once, off a curb. Laughing out loud. Kinda funny. The temperature is in the teens out there. Windy too. Our older son up in North Dakota said on the phone that he only wished the temperature would climb up into the teens. Hey, don't go out there. Yes, as the whole city here (Dallas) is literally shut down just days before the Super Bowl starts..due to an ice storm..here's a few very basic quick devotional ideas on prayer that are aimed to motivate you (and me) onto the knees. Liney wants me to paint a painting and I will soon. 

Hope that you and your family are safe, but I figure if people are at home when they were scheduled to be at work etc, they will have more time on their hands to stop and simply commune with God. Can you think of anything better to do with your extra time?  

Our duty as believers is to start with prayer directed to God in Jesus Name.. rather than with verbally witnessing or "doing" other things in Jesus Name. We do-ers really can't be reminded of this too often. I confess that doing too much ..even if it's good stuff.. is probably my biggest temptation each week and I'm not really such a "good person." Being still before my Lord to hear from Him is not.

Our duty as Spirit-born Christians is to live in such close intimate contact with the Lord that we closely follow His moment by moment lead, His good example, His principles, His teaching.. yes, so closely that we may have His mind about all the issues that we face each day. As we silently ..in public or verbally in private (yes, for what listening unbeliever likes to see spooky believers who always have to show off how spiritually they are by some supposed audible vertical conversation they carry on each day with God, who visits them as He would visit no other human).. ask questions of the Lord and candidly share our hearts with Christ, He is only pleased to lead us and be our closest Friend. This "relationship thing" really doesn't have to come off as supernatural-hurkey-jerky-religious as many people like to make it appear, for whatever the reason. Prayer and obedience isn't at all about impressing other people to gain a loyal audience. The Pharisees of old were all about that jive and it bugged Jesus.

It's really to be about blessing one other Person.

"…men always ought to pray and not lose heart." ~ Luke 18:1

"We struggle with prayer. We forget to pray, our prayers are hurried. I'm praying that this is the day prayer becomes a priority for all of us. Jesus hanging out with frustrated Martha: You're missing the best one thing. Stop in the stillness, enjoy Me and the truth I'm here to give you.. like ur sis is enjoying my teaching. Mary has her priorities straight (Luke 10:42). Prayer impacts the flow of history. God has wired His world for power, but He calls on us to flip the switch. Satan tries to keep us from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we pray." ~ Max Lucado

Anyways, tools can impede if we let em do that. Lots of stuff can get in the way of prayer, if we let it. People are on God's heart today, so I would say that the fallible, weak tools such as technology and others material things that we've learned to depend upon in our fast pace lifestyles.. yes, that we must deal with daily ..are only important to the extent as to which they are there for helping your family, your friends, and other people in your life.

For example; if you have a commitment to be at your job punctually so that you can provide and pay your rent or electric bills, then your car or other transportation is important for that purpose. Duh! Yes important, but still secondary. How we use the tools that God gives us is indeed important to God.  

Too often we believers get distracted putting secondary things like tools before God or before other people. Sometimes we even put God's church or uber-business at church ahead of God. It's such sin! Too often we put other Christians, ministers, or people ahead of our time with God. What do you sometimes put ahead of your relationship with God..your kids?

In the mornings do you like to check-in to see what your social network peeps are doing first, before checking in with the God who gave you those friends? If you look at the stats on this, many do this.

Too often we believers shirk the most important ministry that we have—worship of God—by substituting "doing" for prayer. But think about it, believing biblical prayer ..to praise the Lord, or even prayers for our lost loved ones.. that's is the only thing that has no drawbacks with it, because this is what keeps our relationship completely open with God. Prayer is dealing with the most important relationship we have. Seek ye first, means exactly that..seek ye first (see Matt. 6:33).

"Love your enemies ..and pray for those who.. persecute you." ~ Matthew 5:44

"Lord, help us not respond in kind to those who hate and turn from You; Instead, help us to love and pray that someday they'll accept what's true." ~ Sper

What we must avoid in our prayer time, is praying for someone really messed-up to be simply "patched up" if you will. Why would a temporal fix help them when eternity will soon break-in upon their experience? Why would we wanna try to reform their bad habit that is repulsive to us, before we simply seek to lead them to Jesus? It bugs me that 95% of born again Christians have still never led another person into righteousness.   

We must pray that we will truly forgive those short-sighted fools who have literally burned us and our friends. We need to completely pray em through into contact with the very life of God themselves. Why would God want us to pray n pray about Him putting a Band-Aid on a man lacking people skills or called a jerk by many ..who has cancer?

We are to pray that sinners will come to repentance and be saved. God cleans up those He saves—that's what He does with us too. No one has to get themselves cleaned up to come to God, and God doesn't first clean up people before He catches em.

Sanctification is of the Lord, but first people must get right with God by turning and faith. Think of the number of unbelieving people that God has brought across our paths, only to see us try to help them with periphery little areas regarding their bad habits ..and then see us drop them! Sinners sin because they are sinners and that's why we pray for them. There is a root Problem that needs to be addressed more. They need a new nature inside from a new birth that is free. When we pray on the basis of redemption instead of on other secondary reasons, God then creates something that He can create in no other way than through prayer. Be encouraged to keep blessing the Lord in worship and in praying for others. ~ F4S