Sometimes A Good Father Says “No”

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 26 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more.  — Deut. 3:24-26 NLT

Deut 3:24-26 ISV

From a human viewpoint, if anyone deserved to enter the Promised Land, it was Moses. When God told Moses to speak to the rock to cause water to flow out, Moses in his anger, struck the rock.  Compared to all of the foolishness of the tribes of Israel, this seems like a small thing to us.  But God views things and events from a totally different perspective.  Whatever His reasons were, God’s answer to Moses’s prayer was “No”.  God gave Paul the same answer when Paul asked God to remove “the thorn in his flesh”.  We are not sure what the “thorn” was nor exactly why God said “No”, but Paul was assured that he needed the “thorn” to keep him humble.  In both cases, God heard the prayer and answered.  Not the answer the men wanted to hear, but He answered.  The prayers that we humans refer to as “unanswered” are the ones when God gives us an answer we don’t want to hear or when we don’t agree with His answer.  Neither Moses nor Paul rebelled against God because of His answer.  They accepted the answer as God’s will and continued to be God’s servants.  God did not “owe” Moses and Paul anything for their obedience. He owes us nothing and will never be indebted to us.  We, on the other hand, owe Him everything and will always be indebted to Him.  He blesses us simply because He loves us and it gives Him great joy to bless His children.  The good works that we do are to show God’s love to others and to show our obedience to God.  
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. — Luke 6:35, 36 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-30-2018

Believe and Speak In Faith

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28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”  29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone. — Mark 7:28-30 NLT

Hearing the words that Jesus had just spoken to her, it would have been understandable if this woman would have just crawled out of the room and left without receiving anything from Jesus.  But instead she suffered the humiliation and showed great humility by humbling herself before Jesus.  She told Jesus, I am not asking for the best, your leftovers will be more than sufficient to fulfill my needs.  Because of her humble response, Jesus answered her request and healed her daughter.  Is there a request in our lives that Jesus hasn’t fulfilled?   Is it possible that our “unanswered” prayers only appear to be unanswered because we refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord?   Is it possible that God can’t say “yes” because we refuse to say “yes” to His request?  Is it possible that we will only accept our preconceived notion as the answer and we miss what God is trying to do in our lives?  In this instance, Jesus first said “no” (which is an answer) but then because of her humbleness and persistence, He said “yes”.  God always answers every prayer, just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean He didn’t hear and answer us.  We need to be like the Phoenician woman, we need to be persistent but humble.  If we give God a good answer, He will give us a good answer.
 
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6, 7 NLT

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

Post 10-21-2018

“Your Will Be Done”

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42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. — Luke 22:42, 43 NLT

As we read about all the miracles that Jesus performed while He was here on earth we sometimes forget and need to be reminded that He, like us, was fully human.  He did all of His works as a man, not as God.  He even told us that He could do nothing in and of Himself but that He could only do the works of the Father.(John 5:19).  We are told by the writer of Hebrews that even though Jesus was the Son of God, He still offered prayers and pleadings to the One who could rescue Him from death (Hebrews 5:8).  Jesus knew and understood His mission because He had been in on the planning session that occurred before the foundations of the earth were laid. But in the flesh, He was not looking forward to the experience of being separated from His Father for the first and only time in His life.  Separated because when He took our sins upon Himself, the Father could not look at Him or comfort Him in any way.  While Jesus was in the flesh as a man, God sent Moses and Elijah to talk with Him about His death on the Cross (Mount of Transfiguration, Luke 9:31).  As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, God sent an angel to strengthen Him.  What we need to realize is that God does the same thing for us.  If we listen carefully and heed His words, we will find that there is nothing that happens to us that He has not carefully prepared us to bear.
Jesus lived every day knowing the cruel death that awaited Him on the cross.  Yet, He set His face toward Jerusalem and never turned back. Do we live every day prepared to die for what we know is true?  If we do, then we can die prepared to live forever and that knowledge should remove any fear of death that we have.

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

Post 10-05-2018

Time Well Spent

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9  “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.​  
 — Matt. 6:9-13 NIV

The most often used excuse (not a reason) that we hear from Christians when questioned about prayer and Bible study is “I just don’t have the time”. God foresaw this and gave us a prayer that can be spoken in less than 20 seconds. It includes 3 things that every prayer should include.  It starts with adoration and acknowledging to whom we are speaking.  God is our Father and we agree that He is holy (hallowed) and that we are waiting for Him to come back and establish His kingdom here on earth..  That is adoration and we always let Him know that we love and adore Him.  It includes confession; “forgive us our debts”,  we acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness.  It includes supplication or asking God to provide something for us   Our daily bread is not just physical food but it includes everything that we need to live a godly life today.  We ask for direction as we start our day. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”.  Twenty seconds for that prayer leaves you ten seconds to offer up thanksgiving for all that God has done for you up until this very second.


34  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. — 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
 
Less than 30 seconds and you have covered all the bases.

A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication or asking

The other 30 seconds?  Listen for that whisper!  It’s God’s turn to speak and He doesn’t need time to think about it, He already has the answer.
If you make a habit of doing this every morning, you will be surprised at how quickly you will want to pray longer and stronger.
Time spent with Jesus is never wasted.
This is a beginning.  My prayer is that it will lead you into a deeper, closer walk with God.

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

Post 09-05-2018

Three Minutes!

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10  Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11  Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.
12  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. 
 — Psalm 60:10-12 NIV

God had temporarily rejected the nation of Israel because of their continued disobedience and refusal to repent.  His rejection of Israel was not total nor permanent because of His covenant to them.  As Christians we can be sure that God will always have a remnant of believers to carry on His work.  However, God has made no covenant with our nation that requires Him to allow it to stand.  It has stood for over two hundred years because of God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion and disobedience. It appears to us that God has rejected us, but it is we who have rejected Him. We, just as Israel, have turned from God to our own wisdom and to humans to help.  Human wisdom and human help is worthless. But, it is not too late for us, if we, as a nation, will repent and turn back to God. Let us commit, together, to spend three minutes a day praying that our nation will repent, so that God can continue to show us His mercy.  Three minutes; one minute praising God for Who He is, one minute thanking God for what He has done, and one minute petitioning God not to withdraw His mercies.

 

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-08-2018

God Faithfully Answers Our Prayers

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But he must ask in faith, without any doubts, for the one who has doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6 ISV
 
God has promised to provide our every need and He is always faithful to fulfill His promise. He provides for us spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. When we pray as Jesus taught us to pray; “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done” and truly believe that He will answer us, He always does. He responds to our faith in Him.  

 
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them,“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. — Matt. 9:28-30
We need to pray for wisdom, especially for wisdom in how to pray and for what things and people we should pray about. Praying is one of the simplest and yet, one of the hardest things, a Christian does.  It can be as simple as Peter’s prayer, “Lord, save me” or it can be as long as is necessary, such as the prayer that Jesus prayed for us in John 17.  Regardless of length or what words are used, the important thing is that we be serious and believe that God will do what we are asking. We cannot waver in our faith that He will do what we ask.

 

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. — John 13, 14

Prayer requires a lot of patience since we can pray for the right things and we don’t immediately see answers.  God has a plan and a purpose and a time for each phase of His plan to be implemented. We must trust that He knows best and continue to believe. We must be careful to watch for the answer because it may come in a totally different way than we were expecting. Just remember, God is always faithful and He always answers our prayers.  It may take years, just as it did for Abraham and Joseph, but He always does what He said He would do, He is “I AM”, past, present and future.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-26-2018

We Are Loved and Necessary

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22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. – 1 Cor. 12:22 NLT
Some of us feel that others are better qualified to do the work that God has gifted us to do.  There may be others who are better educated and better speakers than we are in the body and they might be able to do a “better” job from a human viewpoint. But there is no one who can be as effective as the person that God has called to do the job. Our churches, the body of Christ, are decreasing because we, the “called” are unwilling to tithe our time as well as our finances. The only way that we can show God and those around us that we truly love the Lord is to step up and do our part. Our part might be to mourn and pray because the body is suffering.  If that is your calling, then do it with fervency and passion. Be an Epaphras.

 

12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured— Col. 4:12 NIV

Then when victory comes, and it will. we can all rejoice together as one body!

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

Post 03-31-2018