Lord’s Example of Prayer…..

The Lords prayer was intended to give us an example of the type of prayer that is pleasing to God and to show us that we have the awesome privilege of communicating with God.  It was not intended to be a prayer that repeats over and over in an attempt to talk to God to have our sins forgiven or to communicate with Him.  It was designed by a loving God to give us an example of His love for us as His sheep. Listen to some thoughts on how to make it meaningful to God and you.

Phil 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God.”

Lords Example of Prayer

“Our Father which art in heaven …”

“Yes?”

“Please.  I’m praying.”

“You called me.”

“Called you?  I didn’t call.  I’m praying.
Our Father which art in heaven …”

“There … you did it again.”

“Did what?”

“Called me.  You said, Our Father which art in heaven.  Here I am. I want to be your Father, if you will allow Me.
What’s on your mind?”

“But I didn’t mean anything by it.  I was, you know, just saying my
prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer.  It makes me feel good, doing my duty.”

“All right.   Go on.”

“Hallowed be thy name …”

“Hold it!   What do you mean by that?”

“By what?”

“By ‘hallowed be thy name’?”

“It means … it means … good grief!  I don’t know what it means. How should I know? It’s just a part of the prayer.  By the way, what does it mean?”

“It means honored … holy … wonderful.”

“Hey, that makes sense.  I never thought about what ‘hallowed’ meant before. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

“Do you really mean that?”

“Sure, why not?”

“What are you doing about it?”

“Doing?  Nothing, I guess!   I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.”

“Have I got control of you?”

“Well … I go to church.”

“That isn’t what I asked you.  What about your bad temper?
You’ve really got a problem there, you know.  And then there’s the way you spend your money …all on yourself.  And what about the kind of books you read? And most important, do you really know Me?”

“Stop picking on me!  I’m just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.”

I thought you were praying for my will to be done.  If that is to
happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it … like you, for example.”

“Oh, all right.  I guess I do have some hang-ups.  Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.”

“Yes, my child.”

“I haven’t thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things.  I would like to … you know … be really free.”

“Good … now we’re getting somewhere!  We’ll work together,
you and I. Some victories can truly be won.   I’m proud of you.”

“Lord, I need to finish up here.  This is taking a lot longer than it
usually does.  Give us this day, our daily bread.”

“You need to cut out the bread.  You’re overweight as it is.”

“Hey, wait a minute! Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.”

“Praying is a dangerous thing.  You could wind up changed, you know. That’s what I’m trying to get across to you.  You called me, and here I am.  It’s too late to stop now.  Keep praying.  I’m interested in the next part of your prayer… (pause).

Well … go on!”

“I’m scared to.”

“Scared?  Of what?”

“I know what You’ll say.”

“Try me and see.”

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”

“What about Ann?”

“See?  I knew it!  I knew you would bring her up!  Why Lord, she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family.  She never paid back the debt she owes me. I’ve sworn to get even with her!”

“What about your prayer?”

“I guess I didn’t mean it.”

“Well, at least you’re honest.  But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

“No, but I’ll feel better as soon as I get even.  Boy, have I got some
plans for that neighbor.  She’ll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.”

“You won’t feel any better.  You’ll feel worse.  Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are.  But I can change all that.”

“You can?  How?”

“Forgive Ann.   Then I’ll forgive you.  Then the hate and sin will be
Ann’s problem and not yours.  You will have settled your heart.
Some hurt and memory may remain, but you can forgive.”

“Oh, you’re right.  You always are.  And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you.  (pause)… (sigh). Alright!  Alright!  I forgive her!  Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it.  Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it.

Someway, somehow, show her the right way.”

“There now!   Wonderful!  How do you feel?”

“Hmmmm … well, not bad.    Not bad at all.  In fact, I feel pretty
great! You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight
for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.”

“You’re not through with your prayer.  Go on.”

“All right.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Good!  Good!   I’ll do that.  Just don’t put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted. Run from the temptations.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Don’t turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be
done and the house needs to be picked up.   Also, about the
time you spend having coffee with your friends … if you can’t
influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should

re-think the value of those friendships.  Another thing, your

neighbors and friends shouldn’t be your standard for keeping up
with. You must really want to flee, no bargaining.”

“I don’t understand the last part.”

“Sure you do.   You’ve done it a lot of times.  You get caught in a
bad situation.  You get into trouble and then you come running to me.
“Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you’ll never do it again.”

You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?”

“Yes and I’m ashamed, Lord.   I really am.”

“Which bargain are you remembering?”

“Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out.  I remember praying, ‘Oh God, if you spare us, I’ll never skip my devotions again.”

“I protected you, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?”

“I’m sorry, Lord.  I really am.  Up until now I thought that if I just
prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked.
I didn’t expect anything to happen like it did.”

“Go ahead and finish your prayer.”

“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”

“Do you know what would bring me glory?  What would really make me happy?”

“No, but I’d like to know. I now want to please you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life.   And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.”

“You just answered the question.”

“I did?”

“Yes.  The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me.  And I see that happening between us.  Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.”

“Lord, let’s see what you can make of me, okay?”

“Yes, let’s see.”

Mat 6:1-13 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD……

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men…”

HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?

A little girl, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and
said, “Mommy, the preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”

The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?”

The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are.
Is that true?”

“Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.

“He also said that God lives within us. Is that true, too?”

Again the mother replied, “Yes, He comes into us when we accept
Him as our Savior.”

“Well,” said the girl. “if God is bigger than us and he lives in us,
wouldn’t he show through?”

I like that little girl’s way of putting it. If God lives in us, then
there’s no way of keeping Him from “showing through”.

That’s the essence of Christian living-living in such a way that people
around will see God in our lives. He’ll show through.

A simple question for today: Is God “showing through” in your life?

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see
your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Truth for Christian Living – Where is it…..

2 Tim. 3:16a “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for…”

Truth for Christian Living

Libraries and bookstores are bursting with self-help books, most of which are products or byproducts of this world’s psychology industry. Requests for books to help with this or that problem abound, as if there is one special book, other than the Bible, that can do the trick. Self-help books promise way more than they supply. And without exception they attempt to make the reader believe someone other than the reader is at fault for the troubles of life. They treat symptoms and not the root cause typically called sin.

However, there is one book that supplies exactly what it promises.  The Bible is the book that reveals God’s Truth for Christian living.

2 Peter 1:3-4 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”

The Bible is the source of truth for our lives and our Christian living. God has given us His Word, which is the truth about Himself, the universe, and mankind. He has given us His truth concerning life and eternity. The Scriptures give us truth that reveals the way of salvation for sinners, the way of sanctification and spiritual growth for believers, and the hope of eternity with Jesus. As believers follow God’s truth, they find love, joy, and peace, as well as purpose and direction for serving God and one another.

If you are looking for truth about God, about yourself, about others, and about how to relate to one another, you will find that truth in the Bible. If you think you have found it elsewhere, be very skeptical unless it can be traced back to the Bible.  And without exception if a man developed philosophy differs from the word of God it cannot be from God! If it can be traced back to the scriptures then you have God’s truths. Check out every tradition and philosophy of mankind with God’s word. Those that do not come from His word regardless of how good they sound are dangerous and to be avoided and discarded.
 
Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

How do I know that scripture is from God?

2 Tim. 3:16a-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, furnished unto all good works.

How do I know that the books of scripture are not just the teachings of men?

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first thoroughly , that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Try reading THE one and only Good Book today………………

Salt and Light to our World….Conservative

Salt and Light to our World….Conservative

Our world hates the person who loves Jesus and does what He has planned for their lives. I wonder why that is?

2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

Part of living a godly life is to be “salt and light” to a lost world. To all believers or conservatives (born again) our Lord entrusts an awesome responsibility. So the question is, how is, how do our lives stack up to God’s expectations for us! And remember that being a ‘born again’ believer is not based on our worlds definition which is to have the name of Jesus in the church you attend and based on your good deeds and even your families religious tradition. It is based totally on Jesus sacrifice for our sins.

Gal 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

So, are you being salt and light today and what does that mean?

Luke 9:23 “And Jesus said unto them, if anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Me.”

When was the last time you denied yourself of some activity or worldly pleasure so you could perform a service for our Savior?

Isa 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way – walk in it’.”

Mat 5:13, 14 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing, but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the earth; a city that is set on hill cannot be hidden.”

Salt lovingly calls sin as it is sin when our world calls it a disease or your right or whatever. Light also lovingly shares the Gospel to a lost world even when the majority of lost folks tell you to keep it to yourself and who are you to claim your Way to heaven is the only Way. So rate yourself from 1 to 10 on how well you feel you are doing with being salt and light to a dark and sinful world.

How did you do? I think I can safely say that everyone of us has room for much improvement. Especially in our materialistic and morally decaying country that sees the conservative CHRISTian as narrow-minded and dangerous.

It’s an ugly world with plenty of room to be the salt. Salt seasons our world or calls out sin for what it is. And of course if you wish to bring error and sin to the world’s attention you will need to study God’s word so you know God’s truths and absolutes. Yes, there are still and always will be absolutes in our world. The enemy is doing a great job of trying to make everything including sin gray and ok. And review your own life prior to reviewing the lives of others. That requires we deny ourselves or plan to read and study and now we are back to that nasty denial thing again. But we need to understand the blessings of serving are both in this world and out of this world when we are home with Jesus.

So, when was the last time you seasoned your world?

So, let’s get going………..the fields are truly white and waiting for the harvest!

Heaven’s Surprise – Guess who…..

Rev 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Heaven’s Surprise – Guess who…..

I was shocked, bewildered and confused when I entered heaven’s door

Not by the beauty, nor the Lights, nor the décor

 

It was the people in Heaven that made me sputter and gasp.

The sinners, the cheaters, the liars and the trash.

 

There stood the kid from 2nd grade that stole my lunch money twice.

Next to him was my neighbor who never said anything nice.

 

Herb who I thought would be rotting in hell was sitting on cloud 9 doing quite well.

I asked Jesus, “What’s the deal, I’d love to hear your take” How’d all these sinners get up here must have been a mistake!

And why is everyone so quiet, so somber, please give me a clue. Jesus said, “It’s because they’re all in shock, they never thought they’d be seeing you!

The poem offers some humor and much truth. The truth is that we are all sinners, yes even believers. Fortunately for the believers our sins have been covered by Jesus blood so we are not accountable for them. TO GOD IS THE GLORY!

If you feel this morning that you are so much better than those around you then you are headed for trouble.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 Romans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Rev 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

 

The Ragman – The Price for my life…..

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that
we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him!”

THE RAGMAN – The Price for my life…..

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like
nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me
for.

Hush, child, hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man,
handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an
old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in
a clear, tenor voice; “Rags!” Ah, the air was foul and the first light
filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

“Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!”

“Now this is a wonder,” I thought to myself, for the man stood
six-feet-four, and His arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and
His eyes flashed intelligence. Could He find no better job than this, to
be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed Him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn’t
disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was
sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her
knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was
breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, He walked to the woman,
stepping around tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers. “Give me your rag,”
He said gently, “and I will give you another.”

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and He
laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She
blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as He began to pull the cart again, the Ragman did a
strange thing; He put her stained handkerchief to His own face; and then
He began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, His shoulders
shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

“This is a wonder,” I breathed to myself, and I followed the
sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

“Rags! Rags! New rags for old!”

In a little while, when the sky showed gray behind the roof tops
and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the
Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes
were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down
her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and He
drew a lovely bonnet from his cart. “Give me your rag,” He said, tracing
His own line on her cheek, “and I will give you mine”.

The child could only gaze at Him while He loosened the bandage,
removed it, and tied it to His own head. The bonnet He set on hers. And
I gasped at what I saw; for with the bandage went the wound! Against His
brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood – His own!

“Rags! Rags! I take old rags!” cried the sobbing, bleeding,
strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed
more and more to hurry.

“Are you going to work?” He asked a man who leaned against a
telephone pole. The man shook his head. The Ragman pressed him: “Do you
have a job?”

“Are you crazy?” sneered the other. He pulled away from the
pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket. He had no arm.

“So,” said the Ragman. “Give me your jacket, and I will give you
mine.”

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman – and I
trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman’s arm stayed in the sleeve, and
when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but
the Ragman had only one.

“Go to work,” he said

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army
blanket, an old man hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and
wrapped it around himself, but for the> drunk He left new cloths.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though He was
weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling His
cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again,
exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet He with terrible speed. On spider’s
legs He skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the
next, until He came to its limits, and then He rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow.
And yet I needed to see where He was going in such haste, perhaps to
know what drove Him so.

The little old Ragman – He came to a landfill. He came to the
garbage pits. And then I wanted to help Him in what He did, but I hung
back, hiding. He climbed a hill. Then He sighed. He lay down. He
pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones
with an army blanket. And He died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car
and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope – because I had come to
love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man,
and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know – how could I know? – that I slept through Friday
night and Saturday and its night, too. But then, on Sunday morning, I
was awakened by violence.

Light – pure, hard, demanding light – slammed against my sour
face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first
wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully,
a scar on His forehead, but alive!!!! And, besides that, healthy! There
was no sign of sorrow nor of age and all the rags that he had gathered
shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and, trembling for all that I had
seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame,
for I was a sorry figure next to Him. Then I took off all my clothes in
that place, and I said to Him with dear yearning in my
voice: “Dress me.”

He dressed me. My Lord, He put new rags on me, and I am a wonder
because of Him.

The Ragman, the Ragman, the (my) Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

 II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that
we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him!”

Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you…”

The Blood of Jesus is the Only Solution….

Psalm 55:23 “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

The Blood Of Jesus is the Only Solution…..

One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God
at her heart. She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord
and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol,
drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went
on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became
involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long
until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the
pastor’s son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding
plans. This is when the problems began. You see, about one half of the
church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable
for a pastor’s son.

The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they
decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and
tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The
young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up
about her past.

As she began to cry the pastor’s son stood to speak. He could
not bear the pain it was causing his wife-to-be. He began to speak and
his statement was this: “My fiancée’s past is not what is on trial here.
What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash
away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it
wash away sin or not?” The whole church began to weep as they realized
that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it
as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very
foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood
of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot
cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of
trouble. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! End
of case!!!

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission.”