Archive for May, 2012

Bring Your Children to God before Woe-Need

May 31, 2012

As we continue to peer into prayer, I bit off two verses today thinking that this would be very quick. I have spent nearly an hour and have not written a word. I will admit that I am writing not out of completeness of reflection but at the beginning of it.

The text de jour is Matthew 19:13-15. The text says, 13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

Like I said, I have spent a lot of time looking into this verse beginning to reflect. In my inquiry, I read what Matthew Henry had to say. This is where the title of the post originated. Here is what he said, “It is a good thing when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring our children to him, before we are driven to him (as we say) by woe-need; not only to visit him when we are in trouble, but to address ourselves to him in a sense of our general dependence on him, and of the benefit we expect by him, this is pleasing to him.”

The point is that the disciples did not understand the value that children carried in the kingdom of God. When they debated about who will be the greatest in the kingdom, they still did not get it after he told them in Matthew 18He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heavenTherefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Matthew 19:13-15, the central message is that children are important to Jesus. We should not only feel the freedom but the obligation to bring our children to him for blessing.

Notice, there is not mention of any one being sick needing to be healed of physical challenges anywhere in the chapter. The point of this text thus far is that we need to show our dependence on God for blessing our children. During that time, the laying on hands connoted a blessing – a blessing of goodness bestowed. Think about the patriarchs of the faith who laid their hands on their children or servants to bless them not heal them. Also let us not forget that this is the second reference Jesus uses to say that the kingdom belongs to those who is like a child. What is distinctive about a child? They believe what their parents or adults communicate to them. They are trusting at one’s word. This is what Jesus affirms about the faith it takes for us to see/enter the kingdom of God – simple yet redeeming faith.

The term ‘woe need’ conveys a deep and despairing need. The people who brought their children to Jesus wanted a general blessing of their children as any parent would. Well, you have it hear from Jesus himself. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Physically, Jesus is not hear anymore to place his actual hands on your children or mine, but he sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Let us bring our children to Jesus in prayer, so they can come to Him. Better yet, let your children pray to Jesus as they have the faith needed to bring about an inclusion in the kingdom of God – Bring Your Children to God before Woe-Need.

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The Perfect Storm

May 30, 2012

We have seen books and movies titled The Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm is a 2000 dramatic disaster film adapted from the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger about the crew of the Andrea Gail that got caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. With a poor catch and desperate for money, Captain Billy Tyne convinces the Andrea Gail crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. They head out past their usual fishing grounds, leaving a developing thunderstorm behind them. They get caught in the storm and the crew dies.

Christ’s disciples faced The Perfect Storm well before this book and movie were written. Ironically in Matthew 14, the disciples had just seen Jesus feed at least 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

We see a number of themes surface in this text. After Jesus had fed the 5000, Jesus went to go pray rather than sticking around to be lauded by the people for the miracle he had just performed. In John 6:15, we know the people wanted to make Jesus king which also ironic because He is the King of Kings, but I digress.  We have been exploring the Word about prayer. In the middle of this passage, we see Jesus as a man of prayer in verse 23. We also see that Jesus sent them on ahead of himself knowing full well that they would face the The Perfect Storm in verses 22 & 24.

I deem it The Perfect Storm because this experience was orchestrated by the Lord Jesus Himself. We know in Matthew 8 that the disciples faced another “storm”; however, Jesus was in the boat with them, but He was asleep. There, they woke in up in a panic. He responded saying, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” The Perfect Storm is about circumstances God allows in order to grow us up; that is to strengthen our faith in Him. Notice in the first “storm” Jesus was in the boat but asleep.

In Matthew 14, Jesus sent the disciples on ahead of Him. In this account, Jesus is not in the boat with the disciple, and again they face the “storm”. While He is not in the boat, Jesus has not abandoned them. He was praying. I am sure that He was praying for His disciples. As in the first account, Jesus comes to the rescue in the midst of the storm. The issue is not that He will rescue us each time, but that Jesus orchestrates circumstances to increase our faith and He never leaves nor forsakes us. He is there with His people for now He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

Hebrews 7 “22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

We will have storms in our lives. The outcome is not the most important aspect of the matter, but our trust in the triune God is the ultimate goal of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether in the Sea of Galilee or in the sea of life, Jesus prays for us and our preservation. We know that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest

May 29, 2012

In Matthew 9, the Word of God says, “35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (NKJV)

The gospel means good news. What is the good news that Jesus was preaching? The gospel of Jesus Christ is His account of who He is and what He accomplished for you. Why is it called good news? It is good news because it is an answer to a problem, so what is the problem? The problem is sin. Listen to Romans 3.

10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Sin separates us from God ravishing us from experiencing the full extent of His love and peace. Jesus came to reunite man with God. God created man to have complete intimacy with Him, but because of sin, man cannot relate to God as he was created. Romans 4 tells us that “God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” This is the heart of the gospel. We are unrighteous and separated from God? How can someone unrighteous be considered righteous? Romans 5 goes on to say, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”

If you don’t know the truth about Jesus and follow that truth, you do not stand in grace, in peace nor justified before God. This is why Jesus told us to pray that God would send out laborers into the harvest field. Unsaved souls are the harvest. We just need to tell people they are harassed and helpless without Jesus. Pray and labor.

God Knows Your Prayer Before You Ask

May 27, 2012

In Isaiah 55:6, God tells us to “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” For the believer has always be invited by God to be in His presence. There He wants us to bring our concerns to Him for His help. God is sitting on ready to hear us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 (NKJV) below

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Jesus does not need support, but to further substantiate what He said in verse 8 above, let us remember what Daniel said the angel Gabriel told him in Daniel 9.

22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.

Once more, for the believer who has confessed his/her sin, God not only hears your prayer, but delights in responding to you. Listen again to Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” That verse refers to the promise of the relationship we will have when God makes all things new.  Matthew Henry says “These are high expressions of God’s readiness to hear prayer; and this appears much more in the grace of the gospel than it did under the law; we owe the comfort of it to the mediation of Christ as our advocate with the Father and are obliged in gratitude to give a ready ear to God’s calls.”

God knows what we are going to pray before we pray, so be sure to humble yourself and confess your sins to be heard.

You Want Me to Pray for What?

May 25, 2012

I am not sure about you, but sometimes the things God asks us to do seem so bizarre. They are so strange because “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you…” (Romans 8:5-9).

In view of this text, the question we have to ask about ourselves and others is “who controls our mind, the Spirit or the sinful nature.” If we have surrendered our wills to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we are expected and required to live by the Word of God. What does the Word of God say about who God wants us to pray? In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus tells us one dimension of who we should pray that makes us ask You Want Me to Pray for What?

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

First, we already saw that God’s ways are contrary to our ways in Romans 8:5-9. Isaiah 55:9 also says ““As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  That contrast is magnified in Matthew 5:43-45. In verse 44, Jesus says, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Once more, I says You Want Me to Pray for What? That’s right, God said for us to pray for those who persecute me. Persecute (diōkōmeans to harass, trouble, mistreat, suffer persecution on account of something. That something is Christ and His cause. Because I know Him and am supposed to make Him known through the way I live, Jesus asks me to pray for those who persecute me.

Remember Romans 8, there is no way I could do this by being controlled by the sinful nature. Paul says “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Because of the Spirit of God living in me, I am able to, Yes, pray for those who persecute me.

You too may be asking You Want Me to Pray for What? Now, we know what God has not only asked us to do but given us, through the Spirit, the ability to do it. PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU.

Daniel’s Pattern in Prayer

May 24, 2012

In the post What We Should Pray For – A Broken Spirit and A Contrite Heart, the spirit of humility and godly sorrow was identified as the characteristics that God desires the most. Isaiah 66:2 tells us

2 Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.

   “This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word.

We see this same spirit surface in Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9. In Daniel’s prayer, the familiar pattern prayed by so many men of God surfaces again. First, he praises God for who He is while highlighting God’s faithfulness. He then begins to methodically confess his sin and the sin of the Israelites. This ebb and flow continues until Daniel presents his requests. Here is how Daniel present his request.

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

Notice, the request to respond is not because of anything about Daniel or the Israelites but of God’s sake, for His Name. Essentially, Daniel is asking God to honor Himself despite the failures of His people. This is exactly the sober and humble state in which we should approach the LORD God. We give ourselves too much credit. We deserve none. Just as Daniel repeatedly outlined the sin of the Israelites, we should be intimately acquainted with our sin, but in most cases, we are too proud to understand the depth of our sins. We don’t understand how corrupt we are.

When we truly are contrite and broken over our sin which we confess to God, God responds. Listen to what Daniel (“God is my judge”) and Gabriel (“mighty one of God” or “God is mighty”) said resulted out of that confession and acknowledgement.

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill — 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:

Daniel says while the prayer was still coming out of his mouth God responded by sending the man he had seen in an earlier vision. This Gabriel is really the angel Gabriel who is mentioned four times in Scripture (Daniel 8:169:21Luke 1:1926). Gabriel says, As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given…”. The answer was given when Daniel demonstrated a broken spirit and contrite heart as he confessed his sin and the Israelites’ sin while praising God for His godliness.

There is much for us to learn about this. Even in my assertion, I am sinning because my focus was on getting what I want in prayer not on honoring God for being holy and righteous while we are utterly sinful. I only prove that God is holy and I am not. Nevertheless, God desires for us to follow Daniel’s Pattern in Prayer.

What Daniel Prayed For

May 23, 2012

Sorry I did not write yesterday. I had been up all night. I fell asleep slightly after five o’clock, so I was pressed to get the writing in before had to go to the place that God uses to pay my internet service bill, feed my family and all other sustenance issues. Nevertheless, I am back this morning to talk about What Daniel Prayed For.

By now, I am sure that you have read  Daniel 6. If not, stop and read it. It does not matter what I say; it only matters what the Word of God says. “… Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:16-18). “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”Luke 11:27-29. Yesterday, I had a person to share with that I needed to cover myself in prayer as the battle is against powers and principalities of the dark side. He talked about me commanding angels. I listened and offered a little retort, but I understand that I must rely on God and His Word. There are many promises of protection in the Word of God, but I offer Psalm 91 as one for you to study. We find there that God promises to aid us even in the midst of hardships. When the psalmist says ” no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.”, he is clearly not saying nothing bad or harmful will not happen to you. The emphasis is on where we place our faith or trust in adverse times. In Psalm 91:9, the condition of God’s protection is given: If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord, who is my refuge, then …”

We see that dynamic in full effect in Daniel 6.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.

The decree was that anyone found to pray or to petitions any god or man within thirty days except the king would be thrown into the den of lions. From verse 10 above, we see that Daniel prayed to Jehovah as he always had done. He got caught up honoring his God in prayer. Men tried to use that against him. Despite the agony of the decision to throw Daniel in the lion’s den, the king had to honor his decree. His hope was in Daniel’s God – Jehovah. Listen to the words of the king in verse 16 – “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” NIV1984 or “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” NJKV. Either rendering conveys that the king was no longer in control, but he relied on the power of the God of Daniel.

We know this because the king stayed up that night abstaining from food and entertainment. The king fasted in hope that Jehovah would rescue Daniel. The king’s hope, as well as Daniel’s, was answered in the manner they desired. Listen to the Word of God.

20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever!22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trustedin his God.

 While God does not obligate Himself to save every faithful and unfaulty person, He does so here. Daniel told the king that God sent his angel, just as He says in Psalm 91:11, who shut the mouths of the lions. God did this because he was innocent and had not done wrong before the king. Our problem is that in most cases we are not innocent nor can it be said that we had done no wrong before the ruling authority. If we can, we can rest assured that God will protect us; even if harm comes to us, we will be saved spiritually. If we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, our spirits can never be separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
What Daniel Prayed For is what we pray for – protection and rescuing. Remember, we must stay in line with God by trusting, relying and obeying Him. He will deliver us when we call as King Darius intimated in his prayer :
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

Am I Faithful nor Faulty?

May 21, 2012

As I began reading a very familiar text for the post today on prayer, the Spirit redirected me within the first few verses of the chapter. I had just prayed for a spirit of excellence to reside in me, so I thought it was prudent to listen to the compulsion – the recurring thought within in a minute. What was the recurring thought? Are you going to merely wonder at Daniel’s distinction or are you willing to distinguish yourself with me by looking at how this text applies to your life?

With that, I knew that I had to focus on Am I Faithful or Faulty as that was the question that leaped off the pages in the first five verses of Daniel 6. Depending on the version (KJV, NIV1984 or NASB), there are different words that surface in these first few verses. If you click the link above, all three will appear, but my writing today, I want to use the KJV.

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

There are many themes that surface in these first few verses. Themes such as preferential treatment, malice and envy of onlookers (haters) and others. For me, God challenged me with the character of Daniel. Let’s look at what his enemies or at least those who were out to get him had to say about him. In verse five, they say “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” Why? Here is God’s testimony about Daniel – “but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.”

Daniel had no fault that they could find because he was faithful. Wow. The word for faithful is Aramaic – ‘aman (am·an’) which is also translated as trustworthy. Dictionary.com defines trustworthy as deserving of trust  or confidence; dependable; reliable. Trust is defined as reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person. The king and the people knew that Daniel was a man of integrity who demonstrated the ability and reliability of carrying out his responsibilities. I must admit. I am truly challenged by what is said about Daniel. I know that I have a long ways to go.

I will become more resolute in my efforts to be Faithful nor Faulty. I must consistently do what I am asked to do when I am asked in excellence. If you know me, there is no way for me to do that. I must depend on the LORD God to help me. Recognizing that I am not completely faithful, but I am completely faulty evidences how much I have to grow but more importantly how doomed I am without Christ contending for me. It is reflected in this song we sing at church which is one of my favorites. It is by William Williams – Why Should I Fear.

My soul, thou art emerged in sin,
So deep that none can trace;
Look to the ransom God decreed
To clear the guilty race.

Had I the guilt of all the world,
He’s able to forgive:
Why should I fear? The debt is paid.
If only I believe.

The atonement once made on the tree,
Can balance many more
Than all the sins of Adam’s race,
If numbered over and over.

He paid the mighty sum and died
For sinners yet unborn;
From men, the works of his own hands,
He suffered shame and scorn.

Be blessed today. Follow Jesus to Faithfulness and Faultlessness.

My soul, thou art immerg’d in sin,
So deep that none can trace;
Look to the ransom GOD decreed
To clear the guilty race.

The atonement once made on the tree,
Can balance many more
Than all the sins of Adam’s race,
If number’d o’er and o’er.

He paid the mighty sum and died
For sinners yet unborn;
From men, the works of his own hands,
He suffer’d shame and scorn.

Had I the guilt of all the world,
He’s able to forgive:
Why should I fear? The debt is paid.
If only I believe.

A Word from the LORD God

May 19, 2012

As we have gone from passage to passage, we have seen man pray, and God answer. Some times in life, God gives us an answer to something that we may not have prayed. He wants us or someone else to know something. This is the case in Ezekiel 33.

In Ezekiel 33, we find Ezekiel after he has come off his journey as a judge. As you know, God established judges among the Israelites to provide His insight and judgement on the peoples around the Israelites in efforts to guide them to Himself. After returning, he now returns to the children of his people, and receives further instructions what to say to them. Matthew Henry tells us that “He must let them know what office he was in among them as a prophet, that he was a watchman, and had received a charge concerning them, for which he was accountable, Ezek. 33:1-9. The substance of this we had before, Ezek. 3:17 . He must let them know upon what terms they stand with God, that they are upon their trial, upon their good behaviour, that if a wicked man repent he shall not perish, but that if a righteous man apostatize he shall perish, Ezek. 33:10-20. Here is a particular message sent to those who yet remained in the land of Israel, and (which is very strange) grew secure there, and confident that they should take root there again, to tell them that their hopes would fail them because they persisted in their sins, Ezek. 33:21-29. Here is a rebuke to those who personally attended Ezekiel’s ministry, but were not sincere in their professions of devotion,Ezek. 33:30-33.

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month on the fifth day, a man who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen! ” 22 Now the evening before the man arrived, the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he opened my mouth before the man came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer silent.

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ 25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? 26 You rely on your sword, you do detestable things, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?’

27 “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. 28 I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.’

30 “As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

33 “When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them. ”

We see here that God is always speaking to us to lead us to Himself. God wants intimacy with us; yet, we continue to pursue other people or things in order to fulfill us. Those people or those things cannot meet the needs in our lives that God reserved for Him alone to meet. I want you to hear A Word from the LORD God. In relation to God, you can “know that I am the Lord” by practicing what He says and experiencing the benefit of obedience, or you can, “with their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.” These are the people whom God will bring about judgement now to show them who He is. Which will you choose?

Oh, There He Is

May 17, 2012

In the posts Yes child, I am still here, Hey God, Are You There? Ah Yeah and Hey God, Are You There?, I submitted that we go through difficult times in our lives either because of poor decisions on our part or by God’s ordained purpose. Both are designed to have us to rely upon our loving faithful God who desires to gain glory for Himself. Remember John 9:1-3:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi,who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”      “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,”said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

Whether of our own sinful will or of God’s ordaining, God wants to display His work in our lives. Okay, since I know that the LORD God is here, the incidents of the events of my day were designed to allow Him to display His work in my life. First, God did display some things. I had an opportunity to speak with a guardian of a young man whose living in through disheartening family circumstances; yet, that young man gets on his knees every night to speak to God after reading his Word. Despite that, that same young man cursed a teacher two days ago. In fact, she said, “He cussed me out like he was my pimp”. In that meeting, it was revealed that student’s mother is highly suspected of prostituting herself to feed a drug habit. How ironic that the teacher would use that description without knowing the student’s circumstances.

There were a number of personnel matters that surfaced that were highly deflating. God just kept me calm. He awakened me early this morning and told me to write. He did not promise that He would change the circumstances. He simply said write your thoughts and compose your response to those who impact and influence decisions. Regardless of the consequences, I just did what He told me to do. Now, I want to emulate what Nehemiah did. I want to rebuild what has been torn down. I will pray to God.

“O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of your educators. I confess the sins we educators, including myself, have committed against you.  We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Darron, saying, ‘“But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 “I am your servant and your administrator, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

I was an administrator to the king.

From Nehemiah 1 and Isaiah 41

God will glorify Himself in the manner in which He desires. I, as well as you, simply need to be obedient remembering that He is Here. You may ask where is He? To that I say, Oh, There He Isright in the midst of our circumstance. God says “The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” I look forward to that journey. For He is in the beginning, the middle and the end. Be encouraged.