Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 3

Prayer is a without a doubt commanded for every Christian, all the time, and for everyone and everything. In addition to general commands for Christians to pray all the time, for all people and for everything, there are also commands to pray about specific things. We are to pray to avoid temptation. Jesus commanded the apostles to pray lest they fall into temptation. Matthew 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Not only will prayer keep us from temptation, but not praying is a sin. Not to pray is the sin of disobedience to the plain and often repeated command of God! Lack of prayer is a sin. 1 Samuel 12:23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:  Samuel said it would be a sin against the LORD, for him not to pray for his people, the nation of Israel. As Christians we should pray because it is so strictly commanded in the scriptures. Could it actually be that all of our sins, mistakes and failures are a result of not praying. I believe that to be the case. Throughout the Bible the scriptures give an imperative command: Pray! Are we living a life of obedience in this matter of prayer? It's never to late to begin obeying the Lord. Pray and ask the Lord to forgive for your lack of prayer. We have a prayer hearing God and He wants to hear from you! Amen! Pray today!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 2

When King Solomon was put on the throne in Israel and was given the opportunity to pray and ask for anything. What did he ask for? What Solomon asked for should be what we all ask for because all of us need the same thing Solomon needed. Wisdom. Understanding. In our lives we need wisdom to live our lives just as Solomon needed wisdom in his life. Why pray? We should pray because there are certain things all of us need and the only way to get those things is throught prayer. It is my practice to daily pray for four things: wisdom, the ability to love the way God loves, God's protection on my life, and I pray for the power of God. Why pray? Pray because that is the only way to get wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. Now the only way to get wisdom is to pray. James 1:5 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Here is a great promise! God is willing to give wisdom, His wisdom, wisdom that is from above to any one who asks! That's why we pray. We all must have wisdom and the only way to get it, is to pray. Are you a mother, or father? Pray for wisdom. Are you a leader? Pray for wisdom. Are you a child? Pray for wisdom. Are you a witness for Christ? Pray for wisdom. Are you a Christian trying to live right in this evil world? Pray for wisdom. Why pray today? The answer is simply we can't do without pray.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Why Pray? - Part 1

There are some compelling reasons why as Christians we should pray. The first reason that of obedience. God has commanded us to pray! Consider the following verses: Luke 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing. Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Jesus taught that praying was a clear duty of man. Not only should we pray, we ought to pray all the time. Prayer is a constant directing of our hearts to God about everything we need and want so that our mind is constantly  in touch with the Lord. A Christian should literally pray about everything. Our hearts should be so in touch with God that during our busy day we have a desire to still kneel before His throne. Not only are we commanded to pray at all times, but for all men. 1 Timothy 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; And the Christians in Ephesus were commanded to pray for all saints and for Paul himself.  Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. So it is implied that we also should pray for all ministers particularly, as well as all the saints. Are you praying for your Pastor? Are you praying for your fellow church members?  Are you praying for those in authority? The scriptures are clear it is our duty as a Christian to pray! Why Pray?  The first reason is because it's a command and we must live a life of obedience to receive the blessing. There is no greater blessing then prayer itself!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Facing the Giants - IX

David was willing to stand for a cause. Are you willing to stand up for the cause of Christ? Why don't we sell out?  First, often it's because of fear. Sometimes it's because of past mistakes or our own weaknesses. One other reason why people don't sell out to God is because they don't realize that God has a great purpose for their lives.  1 Samuel 17:57,58  And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.  We wrap up our series on Facing the Giants with this thought. David's victory brought honor and glory to his father.  As David returned from slaying a Giant, he was escorted into the presence of Saul.  Saul's question is priceless!  Who is your Father? He asks. David answered by declaring the name of his father.  And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.  As a result of David's victory, his father Jesse was made known.  Friend, the same is true with us! When we overcome the Giants in our lives, we have the privilege of promoting our Heavenly Father. The slaying of our own Giants brings glory and honor to the Father in Heaven! Are you willing to stand for a cause? There is a whole lot at stake. Let God use you today to shine His glory throughout the land. May God strengthen you when you are Facing the Giants!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Facing the Giants - Part VIII

The Giants in our lives are a great opportunity for us to act on our faith and bring glory to God. Not only did David win a great victory with God's help, but he also was used of God to encourage those around him.  1 Samuel 17:51  Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. In our last devotion we talked about David's courage and bravery. Now after his victory we see the impact David's courage had on the men of Israel. David's actions instilled confidence and bravery to the rest of Israel. The men of Israel and Judah who before were fear stricken because of Goliath, now are on the attack. David was a great leader! He led by example and influenced those around him to be moved to action.  Now listen my fellow Christian someone is watching you. You are an example to someone! What those who are looking at you need is a faith filled servant. As you face the Giants in your life you are able to show others that God is sufficient. Your actions of bravery and courage can help your children, your friends, your fellow church members to be encouraged that they too can overcome the Giants in their lives.  We need leaders who will step out in faith and trust God to provide in order that others may strengthened to face the Giants too.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Facing the Giants - Part VII

1 Samuel 17:46-48  This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  Amazing! What Courage!  It said, "that David hasted, and ran" meet his challenge with bravery.  Notice again who David was trusting in, "This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand;"  David's faith was in God and His ability. David was confident the LORD was going to bring deliverance and use him to do so, "and I will smite thee."  In all of this we see David's main concern was not what people thought about himself. He realized that this battle was much more then David verses Goliath, it was about making God known to the world, "that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."  I wonder if we ever think about that when it comes to our Giants in our lives. Do we see the Giant as an obstacle or do we see it rather as an opportunity to make God known to others. When we face our Giants with faith and courage we testify to God's power, God's grace, and God's sufficiency in our lives. Let us change our outlook on problems, trials and battles; to viewing them has opportunities to showcase to the world how Great our God is.  After all we must remember that the battle is the LORD'S! 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Listen my friend, God will not put you into a situation that you are not able to overcome because He in whom nothing is impossible lives within you! And when you trust in the LORD to strengthen you to push through, He will clear the way. God is good! Face your Giant will courage and watch God move! And of course we know how the story ends. To God be the glory! 1 Samuel 17:49  And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  Today you too can likewise see a great victory in your life as your trust in the LORD to fight for you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Facing the Giants - Part VI

1 Samuel 17:42-45  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.  And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  So here we have Goliath the Philistine Giant ranting and raving about how he is going to feed David to the birds. Again, David cool, calm and collectively responds to the threat. David said "Goliath you may have a sword, a spear and a great shield, but I have something better than that. No not his sling shot! David said, "Goliath I have a weapon that you can't see. I have the Lord God of Israel!" You see David recognized that his greatest weapon was having the LORD on his side. Listen as we face the Giants in our lives, it's not out own resources (weapons) that are going to make the difference. It is all about our faith in God! It's not our wisdom, our strength,  or our strategy that gives us victory. It is God and God alone! Zechariah 4:6...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. What are we trusting in today? Our money, our intellect, our own will power? The only thing that we can trust in when it comes to facing the Giants in our lives is the Lord being on our side. Well I'm on the winning side, for I know who fights my battles!  Let Go and Let God fight your Giant today! Jesus Christ is still the all time undisputed heavy weight champion! He never fails!