Entry #018 Getting a Multifaceted Revelation on the Bible Through Prayer
It is good to read the bible on some regular basis. It is even better to study it. We can study the bible literally, physically, spiritually, prophetically, and analytically. Every account, story, letter and lyric has a multitude of significance. The only way we can glean what we need from the scriptures is through prayer. Having no ability to fully understand its complexity on our own, we need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and reveal to us what we need to know. We search the scriptures for in them we think you we have eternal life, but all of the scriptures testify of and point toward the Messiah. Therefore, seeking Jesus in the bible will give us the greatest revelations. We should study the word of God to show ourselves approved, so we won’t be ashamed but can rightly divide the word of truth. Jesus is the Word, the Way, the Truth, the Light and Grace. So trying to understand the bible required divine intervention. We cannot read it like we read a novel or a magazine. God’s word is life to all the hear it, so we must treat is as such. We first need to decide whether we will believe it in its totality, and whether we will accept it as the inspired Word of God. Next, we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal in it what we need to learn and know. Then we need to find a trusted spiritual teacher to mentor us and guide us in our study. Finally, we have to make the decision to agree with God, accept His word, and live the abundant life He has planned for us. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path if we choose to use it. The Bible can help us in every area of our lives, and is as relevant today as it was many years ago when it was written. God continues to inspire great songs, sermons, movies and books today. But those God- inspired creations have their root in His Word. So we can have joy in diving into the best-selling book on the planet, containing the greatest story ever told; the gospel of salvation and justification by faith through grace.
Entry #017 Standing in Awe of God’s Goodness in Prayer
In our society the media widely publicize negative things that happen every day. Harden criminals are elevated to superstar status because of the public’s appetite for murder, mayhem, and debauchery. Public enemies and repeat offenders can make millions off of a book deals, movies, and/or TV series. We hear about death and degradation so much each day that we have become desensitized to the real plight of human suffering. Young people think it is funny to shoot, rob or assault someone, and even boastfully post it online. People do not value their own lives, and therefore cannot value the lives of others. Being kind and generous is seen as naivety and weakness. Society expects us to get all we can, and to can all we get, even at the expense of others. Conversely, God is doing awesome things for His people daily that we are neither aware of nor grateful for. He provides divine protection, healing and covering for us so much until it becomes common place. We often take His grace, mercy, favor and love for granted, because it is so abundant in our lives. God wants us to experience the abundance of His goodness every day, but He longs for us to appreciate Him. God wants us to enjoy the gifts He gives, but not forget to reverence the Giver. We need to long for opportunities to relish in His presence and stand amazed and thankful for His presents. When we take the time to reflect on and recognize the great things God’s has done for us, we won’t fall so easily into despair when life is rough. Developing an attitude of gratitude and reverential fear toward God shields us from the enemy’s demonic attacks. When we are in the posture to contemplating God’s goodness and mediating on His awesome greatness, we won’t be so easily beset by the trials of life. God wants us to bless His name so that He can bless us. And He doesn’t simply bless us for our own enjoyment; God blesses us to be a blessing to others. When we magnify His wondrous works in the earth we invoke His presence where there is fullness of joy. For God inhabits the praises of His people. Everything God does, have done and will do is for us. From His redemptive plan of salvation, to His resurrection that justifies us, to His daily miracles and provisions, our Heavenly Father does it all because He so loves us. He takes pleasure in blessing and communing with His people. If we would began to discover the length, depth, height, and breadth of God’s love for us we would continually praise and worship Him. So standing in awe of God’s goodness in prayer is deliberately recognizing that if we had ten thousand tongues we could not praise God enough.
Entry #016 Praying to be Effective vs. Impressive
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. When we, who are the righteousness of God, earnestly seek God in prayer, we can expect to receive our petitions. Something is effective when it produces an intended or expected result. It is valid or adequate to accomplish a purpose, and functionally prepared and available for service. In our society of “keeping up with the Jones”, people work hard to impress others. They want to appear to be successful, prosperous, happy and wealthy to people who could really care less. We sometimes want people to see us as upstanding and virtuous, to hide our personality and character flaws. We often want people to support and admire us in attempts to disguise an emptiness that only God can fill. But being impressive to others has little effect on our destiny, and has nothing to do with how God see us. There is nothing we can do to impress God. He created us, and already knew us before the foundation of the world. God’s unconditional love for us remains regardless of whether the world finds us noteworthy or not. People’s opinion of us is fickle; one day they love us, the next day they want to crucify us. Our opinion of ourselves can even change from day to day, moment to moment, and from situation to situation. So we cannot rely on the temporal futility of being impressive. It is far better to seek to be effective over the long haul. God doesn’t bless us so that we can impress other people. He wants us to enjoy our blessings, but more importantly, He wants us to be a blessing. The only opinions that count are how God sees us, and how we see ourselves. When we become believers, God see us as His beloved, and gives us the gift of His righteousness. Therefore we must see ourselves as saved, healed, blessed, delivered, redeemed, and as the righteousness of God. Satan tries to trick us into seeking to be impressive to give us a false sense of security and self-worth, only to have us be let down and disillusioned later on. We do not gain our value as believers from any impressive works. We solely rely on the grace of God for everything we need. If God can use us for His glory to positively affect His kingdom, then we are effective believers. And if we see ourselves as redeemed children of the King, we can live the effective life God intended for us.
Entry #015 Praying to be Planted in lieu of being Buried
Burial is a ritual that involves placing the dead in the ground, and covering them with the dust of the earth. It is an indication that the loved one whom has passed will never be seen in that bodily form on earth again. The process of planting is very similar to being buried. To plant a seed, we must also hollow out the earth, and cover the seed with the dirt. The main difference between being buried and being planted is the expectation. We expect a planted seed to take root, grow, mature, become something bigger, and be fruitful and to multiply after a period of time. Jesus was crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb, because He intended to rise again in three days. Thus, He turned the expectation of burial on its head. His burial was necessary to do battle with the powers of darkness, and to stripe Satan of all the power and authority he stole from mankind. Jesus’s resurrection is indicative of the completed work of the sacrifice He made and the freedom He regained for us. Therefore we no longer have to be buried by the bondage of sin and shame. When we become believers, we are resurrected with the life and power of Jesus Christ. We are crucified with Christ; nevertheless we live because He lives inside of us. In order to continue to learn and grow we should be planted at a true local church and in the word of God. To become a mature believer, we must develop a prayer life, and take time regularity to study God’s Word. Living in a fast paced society, it is easy to be buried by responsibilities, ambitions, concerns and issues. But if we are rooted and grounded in our purpose, destiny and in the promises of God, we will blossom like the tree planted by the rivers of water bringing forth much seasonal fruit. Being planted is not always a pleasant experience; sometimes it feels like being buried. But if we trust God’s plan and stay in faith, we will reap the harvest of fruitfulness. We don’t want to be planted in an unfruitful environment, however. When the surroundings are unnecessarily difficult or hostile, we may not need to dig our heels in to stay there. Sometimes God has to dig us up and replant us somewhere else. We need to ask God to lead us to a place where we can be most productive. Other times He may give us the grace to stay planted in a barren place for a season to demonstrate His power and glory.Either way, we cannot go wrong when we following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus rose from the dead so that we don’t have to be buried. He wants to plant us in fertile soil so that we can grow and become more and more like Him.