“Prayer That Pleases Him”

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.  — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT

I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays.  I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer.  It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us.  Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”,  how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us.  His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best.  The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things.  What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection.  How much faith is required?  I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith.  God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do.  The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-08-2019

Joyful Songs of Praise from Jesus

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23   But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.  If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”   — Psalm 50-23 NLT
 

God tells us that giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Him. We are also told to offer a continual sacrifice of praise to God, to do good and to share with those in need.


15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.  — Hebrews 13:15, 16 NLT
We need to take time each day to praise God.  It not only pleases God, but it is uplifting to our spirits as well.  Praise and thanksgiving feed the spirit and the soul.  After we have read His Word and prayed, we still need to just rest in His arms and give Him glory for all that He does for us each day. Jesus loves to sing over us and He loves to hear us sing to Him.

17 For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”   — Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
 
A part of doing good to others is encouraging them and cheering them up.  Nothing can cheer us up like hearing a great song of praise.  Rest and let Jesus sing you a love song.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-24-2018

We Are Only the Messenger

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34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.—Acts 10:34-36 NIV

Just as Peter had to be shown that Gentiles were not “unclean” in the sight of God, we sometimes need to be taught that same lesson.   We are all “unclean” in the sense that we are sinful, but the reference here is whether or not we are worthy of consideration for the gospel. Peter was speaking about nations, but let’s bring that down to groups and even further, let’s bring it down to individuals. How many times have we felt the nudge to speak to someone about the message of Jesus Christ and we have not been obedient?  Have we not, in that instance, said “No, Lord, they are unclean.”?  Reread verse 36, it says “through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all”.  God has already decided that He wants everyone to hear the gospel.

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.–1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV

We need to pray that God will release us from the fear of rejection and failure, so that we can witness to those He puts in our path each day. It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the outcome, we are only responsible to God to be obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our success in witnessing is determined by our obedience, not by the final results. We obey, God takes care of the rest.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-10-2018

“NOW”

even-smaller-bug-light128 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. — John 8:28-30 NLT  (Read John 8:12-30)

The Pharisees and the ruling class were still trying to find a way to be rid of Jesus.  They were always trying to catch Jesus in some error or saying something that they could define as blasphemy.  This would allow them to take Him to the Romans and ask for the death penalty.  As Jesus taught the people,  His words had again infuriated the Jewish leaders with His claim about who He was.  In this passage, He not only tells them who He is, He also prophesies that He will die by being hung on a cross.  He also refers to Himself as “I  AM” in this translation.  The same way God had always referred to Himself in the Old Testament.  God and Jesus both referred to themselves in the present tense, never in the past and never in the future.  We say God was, God is and God will always be. They just say “I AM”.   They live in and refer to life in the present or the “now”.   We should follow their example and live our lives the same way.  As Mother Teresa once said:  “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”   Though Jesus knew that He would die on a cross in a few days, He did not let that deter Him from doing what our Father had sent Him to do.  We should not let regrets from yesterdays or worries and fears about tomorrow deter us from accomplishing God’s purpose and plan for us today.
Post 03-23-2016
 

God or Man?

even-smaller-bug-light112 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” — Matt. 9:12, 13 NLT

This statement by Jesus is in answer to the Pharisees who were complaining about Jesus and His disciples eating with sinners.  Jesus had just called Matthew to come and follow Him.  Matthew had  invited Jesus and His disciples to his home to have dinner with him and some other tax collecters and disreputable sinners.  The Pharisess had referred to the group as scum (verse 11).
Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not accept Him and His teachings because they thought they were righteous already.  W​ith w​ho​m​ do we spend our time outside the church building?  Do we, as the disciples of Jesus, spend all of our time with other Christians or do we seek the lost and minister to them?  Do we have a missionary mentality or is it “We four and no more”?  Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost.  ​Because He did that, He was rejected, offended, persecuted and eventually hung on a cross. ​ He commanded us to do the same and gave us the authoirty to do just that.  When we do that, we stand the chance of being rejected, offended and​ criticized for “eating with scum”?   ​Suffering these things puts us in the same group with Jesus ​and God is pleased with us.  Which is better, to live a lifestyle that pleases God and lay up eternal rewards or to live a lifestyle that pleases men gainng worldly rewards but losing our own souls?

20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:20,21 NLT

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