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Thursday, February 28, 2013

HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE 2

How are we to live in these days when people are lovers of pleasure rather than God?
Last week I noted that In these days we must live prayerfully. God’s people must pray as we have never prayed before.

In conjunction with our prayers God’s people are also to live purposefully in these days. These days are too urgent for God’s people to live selfishly, carelessly or foolishly.

Are you praying for God’s purpose and direction in your life? Are you asking Him to help you live consistently with the purposes that He has already revealed to us, to you? If we love God rather than pleasure we must serve Him rather than our own comfort, success, honor or recognition.

Friday, February 22, 2013

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE IN THESE DAYS - 1

My recent daily devotions have focused on Paul’s second letter to Timothy. In this book we find eerie descriptions of the “last days.” Chapter 3 begins by warning of difficult times in the last days. People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, disobedient to parent, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, implacable, slanderous, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than God. How do we face such days? Both Francis Schaeffer and Charles Colson wrote books whose titles come from this question as it was posed in Ezekiel 33:10.

If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them,

how should we then live?

In these days we must live prayerfully. God’s people must pray as we have never prayed before. It may not be too late to forestall God’s judgment. But even if it is, we must pray. Prayer is one of the hallmarks of the life of Daniel after God brought judgment upon his nation.

We need God to make changes in our own desires and actions. We need His hand in forgiving those who wrong us. We must pray against our own hard-heartedness. It is a good exercise to pray through 2 Timothy 3:1-5 asking for deliverance from each of these trends in our culture.



 

Friday, February 15, 2013

THE AMBITION OF PRAYER

Do you have a spiritual ambition? Many people do. Many people live to accomplish such laudable goals a growing a huge church, leading thousands of people to faith in Christ, impacting a nation for Christ or touching the entire world with the gospel. I do not wish to take away from these wonderful goals. I pray that God will bring such things about in the lives of people in our day who pray the prayer of Jabez. But a higher ambition than any of these is found in a prayer of David. I believe it must be the heart ambition of every believer in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 27:4 gives David’s prayer of spiritual ambition.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

and to inquire in his temple. [1]

I recommend that you memorize this verse and spend time meditating on what it means to “dwell in the house of the Lord.”

Let me suggest four wonderful facets of this ambition.

1.     In the house of the Lord we enjoy His protection.

2.     In the house of the Lord we enjoy His provision.

3.     In the house of the Lord we enjoy His Comfort.

4.     In the house of the Lord we enjoy His Communion.

All spiritual greatness begins with the driving ambition of intimacy with God.



[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Ps 27:4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PRAY EVERYWHERE 2

1 Timothy chapter 2 is a notable call to prayer. In verse 8 Paul said he desired that men should pray in every place.

Praying everywhere should reach to the ends of the earth. I cannot pray in every corner of the earth. I would have difficulty prayer walking in a Muslim village in North Africa. There are places in East and Central Asia that few of us will ever go. But I can be there in prayer as I pray for those God has sent. Joining the prayer team for a people group in West Africa might open my heart for God to send me there. But even if that is not God’s  plan I can pray there in the Spirit.

 

 

AM I ASKING?

 

By David Young

 

PSALM 2:7,8

 

I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.

 

It is hard to sit among those content with the comfortable mundane

And say out loud, “I am God-endowed with a mission to fulfill.”

It is a step of faith to stand unflinching and to all proclaim,

“I hear His call, despite it all. I know; I have been shown God’s will.

I have a vision of distant lands and people beyond the seas.”

He’s not forgotten His Only Begotten, and He’s shown His will to me.

 

He told me, too, “You are my son! Today I gave you heaven’s birth.

My precious one, to know I Am will be your inheritance and wealth.”

The Firstborn of many chosen brothers shares His holy worth.

Like the Father’s promised only Son, He holds me to Himself.

He is the Vine and I’m a branch on the heavenly family tree.

He’s not forgotten His Only Begotten, and He keeps His hold on me.

 

So will I ask for healing, wealth or some other selfish blessing?

For temporal toys and shallow joys, and maybe a nice vacation?

The ends of the earth are promised to me, given for my possessing.

He tells me, “You are mine; ask me for the distant teeming nations.”

They can be ours to know and love and tell as far as God can see.

He’s not forgotten His Only Begotten, and He will answer me.

 

Have I prayed for the Berbers and the Bora, the Jula, or the Han? 

Will I ask for Madagascar, Persia, or the isles of the Coral Sea?

I can seek Him for the nations, Africa, Asia and far beyond.

I can pray and preach and go out and teach as far as I will believe.

He’s not forgotten His Only Begotten, and He has promised me.