14 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews.
— 1 Thessalonians 2:14 NLT
We can talk about a lot of different things and different “gods” and most people may not even pay attention to what we are saying. But when we talk about the Good News, which is “the very Word of God”, we will get some sort of reaction. The Name of Jesus is not neutral and when it is spoken, it requires that a decision be made by the hearer. No response or not accepting is still a decision. If we allow the Word to continue its work in us, we will be persecuted by the worldly factions. Since the Creator was persecuted, even to death, how can we, the creation, expect not to be persecuted?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. — Matt. 6:7 NLT
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.
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. — 1 Cor. 15:20 NLT
In this passage of Scripture, we find the reason that Christianity is different from all religions and philosophies of life. Every religion had a leader that lived and died. Most have books of the good works and good lives they lived here on earth. Some of the leaders claim to have had great visions and were given new scriptures to write. Some believe in life beyond the grave, some don’t. But Christianity is the only one that claims to have a risen Savior who is still alive today. That claim is the difference maker setting Christianity alone as the only one where we can have a daily relationship with our leader, our God, our Lord and our risen Savior. Christianity is the only belief system that allows you to be able to talk with the Author any time you want to. Though Jesus Himself never physically wrote any of the books of the Bible, He is the Spirit that breathed every word into existence. We must be kind and show love to those of other faiths and belief systems. But when it comes to the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we stand alone and we must stand firm at all times in all situations.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory. — Psalm 90:16 NLT
Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis. Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in. It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There are fightings on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6 Our kids and grandkids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want. First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you. Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy. Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us. Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience. Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshipping the only ture and living God. As Pastor Jack Graham says “YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us. Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids. First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you. Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need. All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.—1 Cor. 4:14-17 NIV
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul has not been trying to shame the Christians at Corinth, but rather his intention is to teach them as a Father would teach his children. He wants them to have a closer relationship with Christ and to do this, they are going to have to have a change of attitude. He tells them that although they may have legions of angels watching over them, they have only one Spiritual Father and that is himself. Spiritual parents are the people who prayed for us and brought us to repentance through the preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel. They have, as it were, birthed us into the Gospel. Then as our spiritual parents, they feel a great responsibility to teach us how to live a Holy lifestyle. So, Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate his lifestyle of humility and obedience. Paul has sent to them Timothy, who is his Spiritual son, to help them to stay on course. Paul is reminding them that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. Again, it is a message, not only to the Corinthians but to us today.
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”-– 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
God is waiting to show you the way.
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly Psalm 5:1-3 (NLT)
Anytime of any day is a good time to bring our requests before the Lord, He is always awake and waiting to hear from us. No, more than waiting, He is waiting expectantly wanting to hear from each of His children. Just as any good parent wants to talk with their children, God is the same way. We have such a great honor bestowed upon us to be called “the children of God”. We should never be hesitant to talk with Him about any subject that is on our mind. After all, He already knows what we are thinking, but He created us for companionship and worship. We should talk with Him daily. Morning is the best time to talk with God because our minds are not yet cluttered with all the worldly stuff. It is truly amazing how smooth a day goes when we start it with directions from our Father, our King, and our Friend. We have plans, but they might not be the same plans He has for us. His will be much higher and better than ours. Before you leave home today, spend some time with our best Friend.
Psalm 27:7,8, 14 (NLT) 7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!
God is waiting to show you the way.
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord
As Christians, we are bond servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. We serve Him because we love Him. Our prayers should not be a “to do” list for God. Good morning, God, here is what I need for You to do for me today. Got it? Good, I will talk to You again soon, maybe tomorrow. That is not prayer, my friend, that is what you might say to your employees, but not to God. Is He interested in your tiniest need? Yes, He is, but He is also the King of Kings. He deserves our respect. As this verse from Psalms says: “Come and talk with me”, not to me.
After you have talked, be silent and let God speak to you. He already knows your needs and He already knows His answer. He doesn’t need to think about it overnight. Just rest in His arms for a few minutes and God’s Holy Spirit will not only give you the answer but will help you understand the answer.
Post for 09/21