We have the privilege of listening into a personal conversation between Jesus and our Father. As we read through the prayer that Jesus is praying for His disciples, we get a little glimpse of His love and compassion for them. Jesus is not asking God to remove all the bumps, He is asking Him to keep them safe as they travel the rocky road. He is also asking our Father to teach them the truth. Jesus, as the oldest of all God’s children, is taking the responsibility of being sure that the family is being taken care of while He is separated from them. Of course, He knows that our Father is going to take good care of the disciples, but His compassion demands that He set the example for them to ask. Not only that, but He is paying in advance for their care by giving His life on the cross. Jesus is the perfect example of a servant, a brother, a friend and a Redeemer.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Lots of us often have trouble putting into words what we want to say to God in our prayer times. It helps me to think of it as a conversation that a small child would have with their parents. I can tell God anything that is on my heart in any respectful words that I choose and He will listen patiently. He desires that time of fellowship with us. He already knows what we want to ask and He already knows His answer. The purpose of the prayer is to let us know what He already knows. How does He do that, if we just put our list of “wants/needs” before Him and go our way? Remember prayer is not a speech, it is a conversation and God has something to say to you. He doesn’t need to think about it over night, He already has the answer.and understands it perfectly. Spend some time just marinating in His presence and God will reveal His answer in His own time. Lean on Jesus and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. — Psalm 86:11 NLT Psalm 86:8-13 NLT
Our purpose while we are here on earth is to honor and glorify God. As sinners, we had neither the knowledge, ability or desire to do that. It was only after we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior that we came to realize how weak and foolish we were. As Christians, our knowledge and ability are still limited. That is why we must daily call upon the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s ways. Our flesh will rebel, so we need the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome those desires and to change the desires of our hearts. He is waiting to guide us into all truth and to give us pure hearts that yearn for fellowship with Jesus. There is an old hymn with these words that we should make a daily prayer: “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it, Jesus, let it be.” Our hearts should long for Jesus more than anything else in this world. Any day spent without a conversation with Jesus is a dark, lonely and misspent day. Just as the sun rises in the east every morning to dispel the darkness, so must we allow the Son to arise in us each morning to dispel the darkness of evil that surrounds us. “Open wide the gates and let the King of glory come in”.
Jesus continues to have a conversation with the people present that day. They didn’t understand what He was saying because they were spiritually blind and deceived by satan. Lying, confusion and deception are all characteristics of the devil. Since the people there and we today were born in sin, we are easily misled and led astray. We are guilty of the same sins just as the father of all flesh, the devil, is guilty. Once the Holy Spirit calls us and we see the Light, then we can no longer use this as an excuse. When we are exposed to the truth of who Jesus really is, we always have to make a decision. Whether we accept or reject that truth will determine who our father will be. If we accept the truth of Jesus coming to earth to be our redeemer and His fulfilling that mission by dying on a cross, then our Father is God and we gladly listen and believe the words of Jesus. More than that, we should hunger and thirst after His words. We should hide them in our heart so that we will not sin against God. 10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.—Psalm 119:10-12 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.
Lots of us often have trouble putting into words what we want to say to God in our prayer times. It helps me to think of it as a conversation that a small child would have with their parents. I can tellGod anything that is on my heart in any respectful words that I choose and He will listen patiently. He desires that time of fellowship with us. He already knows what we want to ask and He already knows His answer. The purpose of the prayer is to let us know what He already knows. How does He do that, if we just put our list of “wants/needs” before Him and go our way? Remember prayer is not a speech, it is a conversation and God has something to say to you. He doesn’t need to think about it over night, He already has the answer.and understands it perfectly. Spend some time just marinating in His presence and God will reveal His answer in His own time. Lean on Jesus and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right. — Psalm 45:19 NKJV
Have you ever had one of those conversations or listened to a speech or a sermon and felt like something was missing? You know, the ones where we trust the person speaking and believe that what he/she said is the truth but it still felt like we were missing something. Sometimes the things that are not said can be as important and truthful as the things that are said. In this verse when we put it in context we see that God is reassuring the Jews that if they seek Him, it will not be in vain. He is using the negative to confirm that the times they found Him was when they sought Him with all of their hearts. Before and after this, He used the positive. Over and over, we are told of the blessings of seeking God with all of our hearts both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. We can be assured that if we seek Him diligently, believing that we will find Him, there are blessings and rewards for doing so.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. —
Acts 18:1-4 (NLT) 1 Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. 3 Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.
1 Corinthians 7: 20-24 (NLT)20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.
Somehow, we seem to have come to the conclusion that we have to be “called” into a special place to be ministers for Jesus Christ. And it is true that God does place a special calling on some people. He calls people to be apostles, preachers, teachers, evangelists, pastors, deacons and other positions. But it was never His plan that all of us should be called to those positions. It has always been His plan that each of us should be involved in full-time ministry wherever we are or whatever we are doing. How do we do that? Paul was a tentmaker and he continued to work at that trade for a time. He worked a regular job and preached and taught on the Sabbath. God tells all of us in the passage from 1 Corinthians to stay where we are and continue doing our regular work until He shows us something different to do. God has called some to be wage earners and workplace ministers. Pray this morning that God would show you how He is using you in your workplace. Every year, church attendance is dropping. Our society is to the point that God must have workplace ministers to show people the love of Jesus Christ.