obedience in prayer

I came face to face with a monster of an 18 wheeler yesterday. It was on a mission of destruction headed straight for me. And I stood dumbfounded with the ultimate reality of my life.

Well, this 18 wheeler wasn’t in the form of a truck, but in the form of spoken word. Words from the pulpit yesterday morning that seared my soul and awakened my realization that my prayer life is not where it should be. As a congregation, we were encouraged to make an infinite prayer list to pray through weekly.
Ouch!
Oh, my prayer life is very active and alive. I love nothing more than just wrapping myself into the Lord throughout the day. We have the sweetest conversations, and He encourages me and moves me closer to His presence with each whisper in my ear.

But, I am guilty of not remembering all those from the uncountable prayer lists from Sunday school, discipleship, Wednesday night youth and prayer services and the countless other requests made.
My three favorite tangible objects in this world are God’s word, a pen and paper. So, just maybe, if I take this challenge, I will be more obedient to God’s calling to pray for others. There is something about writing things down, especially in ink, that make them more permanent. And, hopefully, more permanent on my heart.
I’ve started my prayer list……Now it’s your turn!

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18

Advertisements

Building Blocks

When my children were small, they loved building blocks. They would spend untold hours building towers, houses or just anything that popped into their mind. And, often,  those structures would be knocked down out of frustration. Frustration that it did not turn out like my child had hopes it would  turn out. 

Our lives are like those building blocks. The building blocks of out heart are often built up just to be knocked down. And we cry out in frustration to God and ask why would He put something in out heart for it to just get torn down.  But often we try to build too fast, too haphazard or too much at a time and those blocks get wobbly. But God’s timing is not ours. His timing provides a footing, a cornerstone and ultimate stability.  

Romans 5:3-4 reminds us that tribulation leads to perseverance and perseverance to character and character to hope.  I am eternally grateful for these words. They remind me that muscle has to tear down in order to build up stronger. 

So, when our life doesn’t look the way we expected, know that God builds on His perfect time and His perfect will. So we can covet the heartache while we wait; because the muscle that tears down will grow back stronger. 

When I walked into my house today after church, I was startled.  Startled that it was still messy and cluttered as before we left for church. We are in the middle of moving to another house, but my expectations of an orderly home has not deminished.  I had secretly hoped that someone, even a stranger, might have decided to come organize everything for me while we were out.  I was wrong.  But it did remind me of the pastor’s message today on Galatians 2:17-21.  In this passage, Peter was being disobedient and leading people back to living under the bondage of the law, instead of living free in the gift of grace.

Paul called Peter out!  And guess what?  God called me out!  God called me out for my attitude over my messy, cluttered house.  In seconds, Galatians 2:21 flooded my soul:

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.  Galatians 2:21

Ouch!  I had set God’s grace aside.  He gave me my home and all of that messy, cluttered stuff as well.  Most importantly, He gave me the perfect gift of salvation.  And this cluttered mess, could never compare to my mess before He saved me.

God, never let me set aside your grace for imperfect expectations I put on my life.  Your grace is sufficient…….Amen

eternal super glue

Typically, air conditioning vents are a Southern girl’s best friend; but not so much today.  My perception changed quickly when my leg decided to plow down into one during a remodel of our church’s parsonage.  So, after I super glued my leg back together, I considered how ungraceful I was now.  Where had my grace gone?

As physical therapist often teach, there is a “good” way to fall.  But, when you are caught totally off guard, it can only be “bad”!

Once I finished pouting, I thought about grace, not the perfectly poised ballerina grace, but God’s grace.  Much different from physical grace, God’s grace is eternal.  And when we fall, it may be bad but God’s grace will pick us up and cover our wounds.

You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.   Psalm 45:2

Unlike my Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance policy, God’s grace covers all my mishaps.  His blood was shed in the place of mine; and His blood has no co-pay.

I am so thankful for His eternal “super glue” in my life.  What is keeping you from experiencing God’s grace?

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

taste what is good

day 10

 

 

taste what is good

 

 

Jeremiah 15:16

16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

EXTRA READING: JEREMIAH 15

 

Consider  Think about the last time you immersed yourself in God’s word.  You may not have ever considered these words from the prophet Jeremiah until this day.  Jeremiah became one of the greatest prophets of OT times and his ministry was blessed because of his unrelenting desire to “eat up” God’s word.

Focus  Read all of chapter 15 of Jeremiah.  He is once again lamenting over his situation of the disobedience of God’s people.  He, however, is able to present his case to the Lord honestly because of his undying faithfulness and love of the Lord and HIS word. 

72 Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.  Psalm 119:72

Just as the Psalmist writes, Jeremiah took great delight in God’s word. He wrapped himself in it and completely devoured it and lived it. 

Where is your commitment to learning and living out God’s word? ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ask  Ask God to give you a desire for HIS word.

Apply  Take a moment right now to write a prayer to the Lord admitting your weaknesses in studying HIS word and ask HIM to give you a hunger to literally “eat” it up!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Amen

fearless evangelism

day 9

 

 

 

 

fearless evangelism

 

 

 

 

 

Luke 12:12

12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

EXTRA READING: LUKE 12

Consider  Think about what is keeping you from sharing God’s word with others. Is it fear? Is it because you are like so many that say” I don’t know enough about the bible? Or are you afraid of what they may ask you?

Focus  Many times people fear ridicule or persecution for sharing CHRIST. And that does happen. In Luke, he is telling us that the Lord will literally give us the words to say. Certainly, fear of persecution is very real, but the excuse of not knowing enough about the Bible is not. If we are diligently seeking after CHRIST and digging into HIS word, Luke 12:12 tells us that HE will intervene for us when we witness for HIM. HE stands in the gap. We will most likely never know everything contained in HIS word; but we can absorb as much as possible; and, even if we don’t have the answer, we can always search HIS word for it.  But God will always honor our witnessing effort if it glorifies HIM.

Ask  Ask yourself:  What is holding you back from witnessing and sharing your story of how CHRIST has changed your life with those you come in contact with everyday?  Now write that down and be completely honest with yourself._________________________________________________________________________________________________

Apply Close your eyes. Think about that day CHRIST saved you. Remember the burdens lifted and the joy that entered your heart. Now if CHRIST opens up a door for you to share that with someone today, don’t miss that opportunity. Certainly your actions reveal this to others, but CHRIST desires for our mouths to open and share words with those around us.

Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord… Acts 14:3

something special

day 8

 

 

something special

 

 

 

Titus 2:14

14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

EXTRA READING: TITUS 2

Consider On day 7, we saw where GOD created us and; even before that, HE had good works prepared beforehand for HIS children.  Now we are not saved by our works……..

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS mercy HE saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:5

If we are not saved by our works, then why do you think it is so imperative that we fulfill those things prepared especially for us?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The LORD could certainly fulfill everything HE wants without using us; but HE desires us and has plans specifically for our lives.

Focus What has GOD called you to do?______________________________________________________________________________________

Is there a particular something GOD is calling you to right now?_______________________________________________________________________________________

Are you being obedient to that call?________________

Titus 2:14 tells us that we should be  “zealous” for those things GOD leads us to do. Does that describe your attitude toward your calling?______________________________________________________________________________________Why or why not?_______________________________________________________________________________________

Ask If you do not know what God is leading you to do, ask Him to reveal those things to you.

Apply Try to always have a YES attitude toward what the LORD has for you to accomplish. If you ask earnestly, HE will show you and equip you to accomplish those things. And be ZEALOUS for them. HE was certainly zealous for you when HE died on the cross!

 

 

 

our marching orders

day 7

 

 

our marching orders

 

 

 

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

EXTRA READING: EPHESIANS 2

Consider Two reasons I love this verse:

  1. GOD thought about us even before we were born.
  2. HE already had every divine appointment (good work) prepared beforehand for me and for you .PROFOUND!

Focus Let’s break it down.

Who created us?_________.

For what were we created?_______________.

When were those good works prepared?______________.

Why?______________________.

Good job! The verb walk is a military term which literally means to put one foot in front of the other at a steady pace—a continuous action. What’s the problem with keeping this steady pace? Hindrances are constantly put in our way which distract, impede, slow down or, even, stop our steady pace in pursuing GOD’s very work HE has laid out for us. What do you think hinders your work for the LORD?______________________________________.

Read James 2:26

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

Just as walking is an action, living out our faith requires action as well.  These things will not save us; but they are the evidence that we are a child of the Most High.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Sometimes we just miss opportunity after opportunity because we are not focused on seeking HIS will and asking for HIM to show us what HE has for us each and every day. In other words, we lack communication with the Lord.

Ask Ask GOD to reveal to you each day what He has for you.

Apply  Be aware, focused and available today for whatever HE has for you.  Be ready to say, “YES, LORD!”.

 

Rise!

“Your brother will rise again. ” John 11:23

How long have I been in there? I imagine was his first thought.  Wow! Four days? No wander those folks are running away!

I’m certain the stinch was unbearable at that point. Yes,Lazarus had been in there four days bound in clothe and mourned by many.

But as Lazarus was told “come forth!”, by Jesus, I can just imagine his thoughts as each grave clothe dropped to the ground……he must have said to himself “there goes that sin…. forgiven'”There’s another sin ….washed away.” And ,as the grave clothes around his eyes fell, I can’t help but to believe that Lazarus had true sight for the first time ever!  He surely saw God’s glory even brighter than before!

The glory of God was shown to all. Lazarus rose that day to a new life!

God does that! He raises us out of the grave of our sin and unbinds us from bondage! With each tearing away of bondage, we RISE!

a molded missionary

 

day 6

 

a molded missionary

 

 

Isaiah 54:16

16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.

EXTRA READING: RE-VISIT ISAIAH 54

Consider Reflect on the first verse. Now consider what it means to be an instrument.__________________________________________________________________________________

Focus  Israel throughout time has turned away from God and turned back, time after time. The Lord says in vs. 8 “But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you.” This is not just words for Israel, they are for us as well. Like an instrument, we are molded and made worthy to fulfill the work God has poured out before us. He knows how the “spoiler” can tempt us. What does it say about the “spoiler”?____________________________________________________________________________________He created the spoiler and He will destroy the spoiler. But God refines us. Like blowing on coals in a fire, He molds us and makes us into His instrument. We are His missionaries to fulfill His purpose.

Ask  Ask God to forgive you for any unfaithfulness in your life that may be hindering your work for the Lord. Ask Him to blow the coals into your life and to spark a fire to consume your life to serve Him.

Apply 

“Every Christian is a missionary or they are an imposture.”     C.S. lewis

Which one are you?________________________________________________________________________________________