Saturday, December 30, 2006

My prayer discovery

Lately a few verses concerning prayer have been on my mind and I thought I would share them with you! :)

Philippians 4:6~
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

Romans 14:23b~
"... for whatever is not from faith is sin."

Now thinking about those verses, let's start with the first one. "Be anxious for nothing." What are we to be worried about? Nothing! But in prayer, with thanksgiving (thanking God for Who He is and what He does and what He is going to do) we are to let our requests be made known to Him. We are to tell Him what we want. We are to be open with Him because He knows what our prayer and request is going to be even before we pray it (Matthew 6:8), so why try to hide something? :) But then we take a look at our second verse and we realize that, yes, we are to make our requests known to God, but if we can't pray for something in total faith, we shouldn't be praying for it! If we cannot go boldly before Christ and ask Him for something in complete faith, knowing that it isn't something God wants, we have no reason to pray for it, for then it becomes sin! So let us ask ourselves before we pray, "Can I ask God for this in total, complete faith?" And if the answer is yes, "Let your request be made known to God." If there is any doubt, even the slightest hint of a doubt that you can't pray for it in faith, then don't! Let us remember if we can pray for something in faith, with no doubting, with thanksgiving, then God will be pleased.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Keep Christ in Christmas

Hello everyone. I hope you are having, or have had, a wonderful, Christ-centered Christmas! But as we open gifts and give gifts away let us not get caught up in the moment of a happy, fuzzy, warm feeling! Let us stop and remember what truly happened at Christmas. Jesus came to earth! Why? To die and provide a way for us to be forgiven and to spend eternity worshiping and praising Him! Let us not focus on what we got or what people will think of what you got them, but let us thank Christ for coming to earth to save us in our hell-bound state. I often think of what it was like for Mary to look at her baby and know that it was God! Every time she looked at her child she looked at the face of God! Every time she picked Him up and hugged Him close, she hugged the Son of God! What a thought! I wonder if Mary ever thought of what Jesus would do. As she held Him close, as she laid Him down to sleep, did she know that one day He would be beaten, scourged, mocked, and killed for her? Did she ever think about what He could actually do? He was the Son of God (and still is). He made her. Did she know the things her baby would do? Did she think of His Godness moment by moment? Can you imagine all of God's Godness packed into a little baby body? :) What a thought! Jesus never stopped being God, even in His new born body. As a newborn who was unable to do anything but lay there, all of His Godness was still there! This song has become one of my new favorite Christmas songs. Think about the words! The things Jesus did. Whether Mary knew or not, Jesus still did all these things and more!

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy
Has come to make you new;
This Child that you delivered
Will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know that your Baby Boy
Has walked where Angels trod?
When you kiss your Little Baby,
You kiss the Face of God!

Oh, Mary, did you know?
Oh, Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear,
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb!

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy
Will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Heaven's Perfect Lamb?
This sleeping Child you're holding
Is the Great I Am!

~Mark Lowry

Have a wonderful Christmas and don't forget the greatest gift anyone can ever give was already given, Jesus Christ! Don't leave Him out of your Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

You know better than I

I had to share this song with you, it is one that I sing over and over in my head at night, thinking about the words and praying them as I sing!

You Know Better Than I

1) I thought I did what's right,
I thought I had the answers.
I thought I chose the surest road,
But that road brought me here.
So I put up a fight,
And told You how to help me.
Now just as I have given up,
The truth is coming clear.

c) You know better than I,
You know the way.
I've let go the need to know why,
For You know better than I.

2) If this has been a test,
I cannot see the reason.
But maybe knowing I don't know,
Is part of getting through.
I try to do what's best,
And faith has made it easy,
To see the best thing I can do,
Is put my trust in You.

last c) For You know better than I,
You know the way.
I've let go the need to know why.
I'll take what answers You supply.
You know better than I.

From the movie, "Joseph, King of Dreams."

Do you see why I sing it in my head? :) How many of us can truly say, "I've let go the need to know why, I'll take what answers You supply"? Can we truly let go when situation after situation comes into our lives and we don't understand? Can we truly take whatever answers God supplies? There are times in our lives when trials come and we don't know why, but do we ever think that maybe God doesn't want us to know why so that we may learn to more fully lean upon Him for all things. Even the things that confuse us? Even the things that we understand perfectly? Maybe God is waiting for us to say, "I don't know Lord. I can't do this on my own." Because, truth be told, we can't! Apart from God we can do what ... nothing! We must lean fully on Christ for everything! May we be able to say, wholeheartedly, "You know better than I. I've let go the need to know why. I'll take what answers You supply. For You know better than I"!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another read, don't sing!

Recently we had our Harvest Banquet at church. It was an amazing time of fellowship and praise! We sang songs, had special music, gave testimonies and a man from church told us the things God has taught him over the years. During the singing we sang a song I had never heard before. Some of you may know it, some may not. But as I've said before, (in a previous post) read the words, don't sing along and just mindlessly read through it. Think about what the words mean and apply it to your life!

Thanks to God for My Redeemer

Thanks to God for my Redeemer, thanks for all thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory, thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy spring-time, thanks for dark and dreary fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten, thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that thou hast answered, thanks for what thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered, thanks for all thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain and thanks for pleasure, thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure, thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside, thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for homes and thanks for fireside, thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow, thanks for heavenly peace with thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow, thanks through all eternity.

~August L. Storm

Think about those words! Thanks for what thou does deny?! Thanks for prayer that thou has answered?! Can we be thankful for all that God brings into our lives, and also the things He doesn't bring into our lives? I'm not going to make this a long post, I simply want you to think about the words and apply them to your lives! Let us be thankful to God for all!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Be separate!

I've recently been looking over other people's blogs and websites and I have to say I was greatly unsettled at what I've seen in different blogs. Blogs of people who claim to be Christians but when I went there I couldn't tell. They dragged Christ's name and reputation through the mud! It greatly disturbed me, thus, I'm writing a post. :) The Bible says, "Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord...' " (2 Corinthians 6:17). 2 Corinthians 6:11-18 is talking about being holy, how to become holy, and it says in verse 17, as you've just read, to "come out from among them and be separate." Come out from among them. Think of it this way. You are in a house filled with people, it's time to leave, so what do you do? You come out of the house, you leave them behind, you walk away, you come out from among them! We are called to leave the world behind, to come out from among the world. It also says "be separate." For my own sake I looked up "separate" in the dictionary. Separate: "1. To set or keep apart; divide; disunite." We are to "set or keep apart" ourselves from the world. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword" (Matthew 10:34). Jesus did not come to unite all people, make peace with people and to be everybody's friend. He came to separate His people from the world, to be the world's enemy. And if Jesus did thus, then we should as well! We are to separate ourselves from the world, the people and the things in the world. "Do not love the world of the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him" (1 John 2:15). If you didn't get it before, it's crystal clear there. We cannot love God and the world. "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24). Think about it! What do you prize most, the things of the world: friendships, money, being cool, being in the "in" crowd, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, etc.? Or Christ and what He loves: Himself, His word, His glory, His honor, and His name, etc.! We don't live to protect our own reputation, as Christians, we live to protect Christ's name and reputation! Don't drag His name through the mud! Be separate!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Giving up

As of late, the Lord as been showing me things I need to give to Him. Things I need to let go of. And I won't try to lie and tell you it's been easy and a joy to give what I treasure. It has been hard, painful and at times I sit in a daze wondering why I must give what I love. But as I read through my quote book a couple quotes have been such a comfort to me!

"When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love Him. If I can say yes to that question, can't I say yes to pleasing Him? Can I say yes even if it means a sacrifice?"
~Elisabeth Elliot, "Passion and Purity"

"...but let me give to Him not what I value least, but what I prize and delight in most."
~Elizabeth Prentiss, "Stepping Heavenward"

"If God, like a father, denies us what we want now it is in order to give us some far better thing later on. The will of God, we can rest assured, is invariably a better thing."
~Elisabeth Elliot

Now read, and reread those. I have! :) If I can say yes to loving Him, can I say yes to sacrifice? Yes! Do I say yes and give Him the things I almost love? No, let me give Him my best. Be it a treasure, be it a talent, be it a desire, be it the things I can't control. Let me give Him all! And if He denies us something, let us thank Him for His wisdom. For His kindness in allowing us not to have all that we want, but for teaching us to lean and be all satisfied in Him. Let us willingly give Him anything in loving obedience! Let us offer to Him not what we almost prize, what we almost value, but those things which we love the most! And not just the things that we love the most but everything! And if He denies us something we want, let us love Him all the more and find true joy, delight and pleasure in Christ alone!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Content in any state?

Over the last few days I watched my family get sick and come down with the flu knowing full well the I would probably end up with it. Did I want to get sick? Not really. So I prayed. I prayed that God would help me get through the days, to help those who were sick and that He would give me the grace and strength to make it through the day when He allowed me to get sick. And I was so amazed, although I shouldn't have been (because God does answers our prayers), that I was able to be content with my sickness. Did I enjoy it? No! :) But I wasn't complaining, I wasn't wishing not to be sick (well, I didn't want the pain but I wasn't trying to complain). As I was lying on the couch a verse came to my mind and has stuck with me.

Philippians 4:11b~
"... for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

In whatever state? In sickness? Yes! In health? Yes! In trials? Yes! In hardships? Yes! In uncertainty? Yes! In anything? Yes! What a joy it is to be content in whatever state the Lord puts us in. Something else that came to my mind a while back and has stuck with me. We know that the Lord can make us content, but we also know it is so hard to be content. But we forget, if we ask the Lord to make us content, and He makes us content, then we will be content! Did you get that? :) If the Lord makes us content then we won't be worried about this, or we won't be wondering about that. We will be content! Isn't that an encouragement? Not matter what the state, trial or situation we're in, if we ask the Lord to make us content (and we truly want to be) and He makes us content, then we will be content! We won't be worried, we won't be anxious, we won't be wondering. We can rest content in His able hands!