Hear, O peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple.Micah 1:2(NASB)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)
There are many ways in our Christian life where we have to get adjusted to the will of the Lord. The will of the Lord is not always an easy thing for our flesh; and so very often, we have to have a real battle to get adjusted to the will of the Lord on some particular matter; and prayer is the time in which that adjustment has to be done. It is just possible that some of us are having a battle over the will of God on something. Well, this is the time to get through with that issue. Our prayer times give us the great opportunity of getting right into line with the will of God on all matters....
True prayer is the prayer of confession and humiliation! True prayer is the time of absolute committal and surrender and submission to the Lord! True prayer is the time for getting right into line with the will of God on all matters! Now these three things, we could call negative things. Of course they are not negative when we have to face them, they are very positive matters. But when we come to the fourth thing, we move over a bit to another side; and I am sure that this first time of prayer in the case of Paul was a time of deep worship. What does worship come out from? What is it that leads us to worship? What is the true nature and spirit of worship? Is it not a deep unspeakable gratitude for the grace of God? We only worship in the measure in which we appreciate the grace of God.... You remember that a favorite way to Paul of opening his letters was with three words: "Grace, mercy, and peace, be unto you." That was the foundation of everything for Paul. Wonderful grace, grace that could never be explained; boundless mercy; and peace with God. That was surely the consciousness of this man during his prayer. It was the prayer of deep worship for the grace of God, and that must have a place in all true prayer.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.
For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. § Whatever things were written before were writ- ten for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? § Rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.
Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it. § The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. § Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You … I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. § Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. § As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.
We are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. § Nor handling the word of God deceitfully.
Hath made us alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:5).
The Father has placed us in His very heart, and He intends for our heart to find its place there.
"Think of the fast embrace with which I find myself held, right to the heart of my Father, when I discern my position in His Beloved Son. Grace, absolute sovereign grace, has set me there - to show its exceeding riches throughout time and eternity. What could effort of mine have done in this matter? What can failure of mine undo?" -F.W.G.
"The first action of the Spirit in the soul for growth is to assure you of the Father's love for you, and then you are not thinking about yourself or your own state, but of Him; though no doubt you will be greatly exercised as to how you are answering to that love. Now you know you have a living bond with the Lord Jesus, you are linked with Him in spirit, and a new interest altogether is awakened in your heart; it is with Him you are occupied." -J.B.S.
"If I have lost the world and its things, what have I gained? I have a Person, and the love of that Person for my heart. And when I think of who that Person is, and how He has brought divine love to me, and how He draws my heart to Himself in an ineffable scene of divine affections, I begin to taste divine satisfaction."
"The Lord Jesus by His death has undertaken to remove all my unsuitability. And by that death I am entitled to be with the Father and the Son as one set free from all that attached to me as a child of fallen Adam. It is a love which has removed for its own satisfaction everything that I am morally as of the race of Adam, so that I might be free in the presence of that love." -C.A.C.
"Hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
“Yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Romans 6:13-22
I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot atone for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I can not make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. Have I faith in what Jesus Christ has done? He has made a perfect Atonement, am I in the habit of constantly realizing it? The great need is not to do things, but to believe things. The Redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the great act of God which He has performed through Christ, and I have to build my faith upon it. If I construct my faith on my experience, I produce that most unscriptural type, an isolated life, my eyes fixed on my own whiteness. Beware of the piety that has no pre-supposition in the Atonement of the Lord. It is of no use for anything but a sequestered life; it is useless to God and a nuisance to man. Measure every type of experience by our Lord Himself. We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the pre-supposition of the Atonement.
The Atonement of Jesus has to work out in practical, unobtrusive ways in my life. Every time I obey, absolute Deity is on my side, so that the grace of God and natural obedience coincide. Obedience means that I have banked everything on the Atonement, and my obedience is met immediately by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.
Beware of the piety that denies the natural life, it is a fraud. Continually bring yourself to the bar of the Atonement and ask- where is the discernment of the Atonement in this thing, and in that?
So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were travelling with the Lord Jesus, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.
Many long years had passed from the day that the young Jesus was lost in the temple. Many silent years rolled by from that memorable day when Jesus returned home to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph, his parents, and lived in humble obedience to them. But as Jesus grew into manhood, in that little town of Nazareth, there was another youth that was maturing into the office to which he had been born – John the Baptist.
John had been called, before his conception, to be the forerunner of God’s Messiah. John was called as a voice in the wilderness – to proclaim forth the kingdom of God. John was anointed to call the people of Israel to repent – to return to their Lord God. John was to proclaim: Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29.
We know that John the Baptist and Jesus were relatives for we read that their mothers were cousins – one was from the house of Judah and one of the lineage of Levi. John was of the priestly line while Jesus of Nazareth was of the house of king David. Both were called of God and filled with the Spirit. Both grew-up in relative obscurity. Both John and Jesus had godly mothers that taught their sons the things of God. Both Elizabeth and Mary must have pondered the futures of their unique offspring.
What secrets must have been exchanged and what joy must have filled both hearts as they talked together of the 2 visitations of the angel Gabriel, to tell the good news. When John emerged onto the world stage, he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare ye theread more
Watch therefore and pray always
Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
The literal translation of this verse in Luke begins:-“watch ye, then – in every season..” And the verse continues :- “praying…” Jesus sets an incredibly high standard – watching in every season and praying. Paul also sets a seemingly unreachable goal – pray without ceasing.
To watch in every season and pray without ceasing seems an unrealistic request, and yet we find both Christ and Paul giving believers a seemingly impossible task, but the physical action must be transliterated into a spiritual behaviour. Am I to be continually gazing out of the window or be forever crouched on my knees? Am I to neglect the daily duties of life or adopt the attitude of some pious monk?
Not at all. But the injunction is to keep Christ as the pivotal point of all life. We are to pray continuously in the spirit and to be always watchful in spirit and truth. Spiritual watching and spiritual praying are two sides of the same spiritual coin. The Pharisees and religious leaders failed to understand the ‘spirit’ of the Law. They became entangled in their attempts to perform the spiritual in the physical,` They tried to carry out the letter of the command rather than the godly principle.
We too must grasp the spirit of Christ’s earnest entreaties to watch and pray. We too must be unceasingly spiritual alert maintaining an unbroken attitude of heart. We are to clothe ourselves with a temperament of anticipated watchfulness. We are to develop a perspective of ceaseless prayerfulness. We are to watch and pray in spirit and in truth, at all times and without ceasing.
For what purpose are we implored to carry out this magnificent task….? Often it’s in the context of Christ’s return. We are to be spiritually ready for His return. Often it’s connected with Satan’s attacks and we must be spiritually equipped. We are to be ready: for we do not know the day or the time that ourread more