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Monthly Archives : August 2019

Blessed Life …… Jeremiah 17:7 …. August 11, 2019

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. Jeremiah 17:7 ESV

In a world so infiltrated with the curse of sin, it is hard at times to see the many blessings with which God has blessed us. Satan’s desire is to destroy the joy that comes from these blessings, and in doing so, he destroys the strength that joy brings to the Christian. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b ESV It is spiritual warfare, and the battle ground is the mind which Satan desires to control. Make no mistake, spiritual warfare is real and at times can be overwhelming, but we have promises as Christians on which to stand…… He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4b ESV……. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33b ESV….. for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13: 5b ESV There are many more promises / blessings on which to stand, but the question is this: Are you going to believe the lies of Satan or the truth and reality of God’s blessings? Believing and knowing does not always mean you will feel warm fuzzies inside, but believing produces a confidence and peace that only comes from believing. Let us look at past blessings, present blessing, and future blessings that only God has, does, and will provide for us.

PAST BLESSINGS:
We should never make the mistake of living in past blessings, but we also should not forget them. Remembering is important, but it is not a place for you to dwell. The reason it is important to remember past blessings is to praise God for the great things he has done. The people of Israel were delivered from Egypt by the hand of God, and God told them to move to the land in which he had promised them. The blessing of freedom they experienced was accomplished by the working of God, yet God did not free them to stay where they were. Had they not been obedient and left the land, I believe they would have ended up back in slavery. Remembering past blessings should increase the confidence we have in God to move forward in our walk and not to set up camp. Living in the past will make you a slave to the past.

PRESENT BLESSINGS:
God’s salvation by which we are saved / redeemed is a blessing, for we know that we have been redeemed by God though His Son Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Ephesians 1:3 ESV. (Read verses 4-14 to understand the full impact of this blessing) This blessing and all its benefits are not based upon any present circumstance you may find yourself in but rather upon the word of God. The world interprets blessings as a life with good health, being prosperous, and with few problems. I would agree these things are blessings, but they are only temporal blessings, whereas the salvation we have in Christ is eternal. When you focus on the temporal blessings, you will never totally grasp the blessings you have in Christ as a Christian.

FUTURE BLESSINGS:
No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV Only the Spirit of God could give insight to what is coming. For the Christian it is not humanly understood. I have often heard the statement concerning someone who has passed away, “They are in a better place,” and this is true if they knew Jesus as their Savior. However, in a better place is not what I think the future blessing to be. I believe the future blessing will be to look upon the face of God the Father and bow down to worship the one who saved me from my sins. When my faith has been made sight, and to live in the presence of my God, Creator, Redeemer, and Friend, is the true blessing of the future.

LIVING ON PURPOSE IN BLESSINGS:
As a Christian we know what we have been saved from, how we are to live, and where we are going…. past…present…future. To live in biblical blessings, one needs to read God’s promises /blessings from the Bible. Make it a goal this week to take your Bible and find as many promises and blessings as you can that we have as followers of God. Perhaps you might even want to make your theme song for this week, “CountYour Blessings”

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Learning to Pray …… August 4, 2019

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name.” Luke 11: 1-2 ESV

Have you ever wondered what words Jesus spoke when praying to His Father? His prayers obviously were purposeful and powerful, as his disciples asked him to teach them to pray. They understood there was something that happened in prayer that influenced a person’s life in relationship to God. Think of all the miracles Jesus has done…. He walked on water, gave sight to the blind, made it possible for the crippled to walk, gave a deaf person the ability to hear, and even told a dead man to wake up. Yet there is no request for teaching them how to do miracles, but how to pray. Jesus would often go to a secluded place and spend time in prayer with his Father. Prayer is relational and built on love for the Father. When Jesus honored the request of His disciples, he said, “When you pray say: “Father, hallowed be your name.” Luke 11:2 ESV Father is the key word here. To call and recognize God as Father is not just a title but it signifies that you know him on a much different level. Also it is important to remember that His name is Holy.

FATHER:
Prayer is understandably a communication to and from God. But to pray to God as Father is to know him personally as your God. It is not simply knowing about him…. it is knowing Him! How have we come to know God as Father? It is through Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV….. Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9b ESV We can understand who God is and the character of God through His Son Jesus, but to know Him as our Father is only because we have believed in His Son Jesus and the salvation that we have in Him alone. We know him as Father not because we were conceived by the the Holy Spirit like Jesus was, but rather we have been born again by the Spirit of God with a spiritual adoption, being sealed by the blood of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. So when we pray to him as Father, he hears us differently than he hears the world, and general prayers people pray. As an earthly father, I hear the words differently from my own children than I hear from other children. Obviously it is because they are my children; and therefore, we have a special relationship which is only present between me and my child.

JESUS’S PRAYERS:
Remember the question above, “Have you ever wondered what words Jesus spoke when praying to his Father?” One thing I believe for sure, because of scripture, is this- His words are not empty or
meaningless for the sake of anyone who might be listening. (Matthew 6:5-7) Listed below are prayers, places, and the way he prayed.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35 ESV

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. Matthew 14:23 ESV

After healing the leper, large crowds came…. But he would withdraw to a desolate place and pray. Luke 5:16 ESV

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 ESV

Now about eight days after these saying he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. Luke 9:28-29 ESV

Jesus prayed to His Father just before he was to start down the path of events leading to his crucifixion. This prayer was for his followers and all who would believe in Him…. All of John Chapter 17

Jesus, being in agony, prayed in the garden asking his Father if it could be possible for this cup (referring to the coming crucifixion) to pass from him. In fact he asked his father three times. (Matthew 26 39-44) Knowing his Father’s will, he said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Mark 22:42 ESV

HOLY IS YOUR NAME:
The third of the ten commandments states, You shall not take the name of the Lord in Vain. Exodus 20:7 ESV God’s name is precious and the very speaking of his name for the Christian should hold a place of honor, reverence, and praise. Many songs have been written that give honor and praise to his name, but in no place should His name be more revered than the heart of the Believer. Worship, praise, and honor should only begin to describe how we view God’s Holy name. David writes in Psalm 8:1 ESV, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! There are many other Psalms which makes reference to praising the name of the Lord, ( Psalms 7:17… 18:49 … 30:4 … 66:2 … 66:4 … 69:30 … 92:1 … 99:3 …113:1 … 135:3 … 148:5 &13 … 149:3) just to reference a few. May just the whisper of
His name cause a spirit of worship to spring forth in the heart of every Christian.

APPLICATION:
When seeking to spend time alone in prayer with God, may it always begin with the acknowledgment of your relationship with Him and His precious name. When you pray, use one of the Psalms written by
David to begin your prayer time with God. Find a special place where you can spend time with God.
Jesus often retreated to the mountains to be alone….. Find your mountain place and visit it often in prayer with God.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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