Thursday, January 30, 2014
A woman is struggling in the icy waters of the north Atlantic. She is on the last of her strength when she sees a lifeboat from the sunken ship headed her way. When the boat is near enough they throw her a life saver. In wild desperation she grabs it and is saved. That is a parable of faith.
A woman who has had an issue of blood for twelve years sees Jesus and says to herself, “If I can only touch Him, I will be healed.” She sneaks up behind and touches the hem of His garment, and is immediately healed. Jesus stops the crowd and draws her out. “Woman,” He tells her, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” But at that time Jesus was hurrying to the house of a man whose daughter was at the point of death. Now people arrive from the house of the man saying they are too late. His daughter is dead. Jesus turns to the man saying, “Do not fear. Only believe.” Jesus is not telling him to have a positive attitude. He is telling him to trust Him.
Faith is the grasp of prayer. It is clinging to Jesus. The drowning woman was not saved by grasping at the water or the air. She could not hold to the sinking ship and be saved. She had to grab hold of the life preserver to keep from drowning. Jesus is the only life saver. Take hold of Him in faith.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
What is the need of this hour? What can we do who face the moral, spiritual and intellectual barbarism of the last days? How will we present the gospel to people who have lost all sense of the sacred? How do you argue with people who no longer understand the concept of truth? How do you win those who despise righteousness and hate us who call for repentance? How do we help people hunger for heaven who believe the highest good is immediate gratification?
The only solution to the crises we face in these days is to trust in a supernatural God, a God who does the impossible in response to our prayers, a God who uses the weak to do incredible things in impossible situations, a God who parts seas of unbelief, a God who delivers the oppressed from the addiction of sin, a God who raises the spiritually dead to walk in new life.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
In the beginnings of a year we often make plans for what we will do and where we wish to go in a year or a lifetime. But our own plans will not do. We need God’s plans. He alone knows the way of significance for your life. Last week I wrote to you about listening to God. This week I want to talk to you about obeying what God has told you.
It is foolish to ask God to reveal His plans to you, when you are showing yourself to be a poor manager of what He has already shown you. When you need a personal word from God, ask Him to remind you of what He has already told you. You may need God to change your heart or give you the courage and ability to obey what He has already shown you.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
At the beginnings of a year we often make and review plans for what we will do and where we wish to go in a year or a lifetime. This can be a worthy practice. And it will inform our prayers. But any plans will not do for a prayer warrior or a praying people. We need the right vision, the right purpose, the right plans. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “I know the plans I have for you.” It is crucial that we pray for God’s plans. Otherwise our prayers and plans will be misguided.
The first step to praying for God’s plans is listening to Him. Isaiah 55:3 reads, “Give ear and come to me. Hear me that your soul may live.” To hear God we must spend time in prayer and in His word. Sometimes we need to draw near to Him in silence. We need to meditate on His word and on His will as He has already revealed it. Are you listening to God?
Thursday, January 2, 2014
We are tip-toeing into a new year. You do not know what it will hold for you. God will surely bring great blessings into your life this year. Will you receive them? You will also certainly face great difficulty and heartache. In fact some of the greatest blessings may be wrapped in sorrow and pain. Will you see them? You will only be able to handle whatever happens as you pray and live in the perspective of faith.
Faith will open the insight of your prayers. Hebrews 11:2 tells us that we understand that the universe was created by the word of God so that what is seen is not made out of things that are visible. Will you pray and live in the awareness of the unseen hand of God?
Faith determines the objects of our petitions. Hebrews 11:10 says the patriarchs were seeking a city whose designer and builder is God. They were praying for what only God could do. Hebrews 11:25-26 show us that Moses was not seeking the pleasures of Egypt. He was looking for the real reward.
Faith will encourage the obedience of our prayers. Abraham obeyed when he was called, even though he did not know where he was going. (Heb.11:8)
Faith will strengthen the endurance of our prayers. Moses endured as seeing Him who is invisible. (Heb.11:27) Will you keep on praying when your eyes and logic cannot see what God is doing?