Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Thing You Lack

Mark 10:17-21 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

One thing that our Friday night small group Bible study agrees on, is that our pride is an on-going battle this side of heaven. How craft-fully the Devil tempts, how coercively the spiritually-blind world influences, and how masterfully the sinful flesh, from the fall in the Garden, plays upon our desires to lure each of us away from the righteous and fruitful will and ways of our Lord God, whom truly provides and we truly depend. The physical flesh feeds on experiences and so easily self-deceived. We are blind until our blindness is revealed by God in spiritual discernment, then everything changes. Jesus was telling this “rich, young Ruler and us, that the kingdom of God requires our first allegiance and before anything and everything else, we must give up all the “substitute gods” that we worship. Our heavenly Father is not going to alter His first commandment; “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). This is not a matter of “do” right, but a matter of “be” right before God. Know our Lord God, crucify the sinful nature and walk in His Spirit (Galatians 16 7 24-25). God is love and teaches His children to run this race wisely by His holy and perfect will and way, so we may experience life abundantly, lacking nothing..

Ephesians 5:15 “Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.”

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

God Said It

Psalm 33:4For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth.

I remember listening to a taped online Sermon by Pastor Tracy at my dad’s church on the saying “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Pastor’s point was that the truth is, though, that “God said it and that settles it”, regardless of whether or not I choose to believe it. It’s essential to realize that it is us who needs to align our will with the will of God, revealed through the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, the Word of God. There is such an effort toward secular-humanist distortion of biblical truth today, against the original intent of the Lord, that we need to search the Scriptures to see what God said about these issues and let His word settle it for us in our life. We can believe it because our Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe, is omniscient, sovereign and faithful.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Not to take anything away from the Christian belief, either form, however, is quite an expression of faith! That's the kind of faith that everyone should have when it comes to God's Word. If we desire to please God, then we must believe His Word. It is truth!

Hebrews 11:6 states, And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

How is your faith in the words of Scripture? ‘God said it, that settles it, so I believe it.’ It’s easy to say, but living it out is the important and more difficult part.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, March 25, 2012

True Worship

John 4:23-24 “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Our Friday evening small group Bible Study is delving into the subject of “Worship” in order to learn more about the character of God and how to improve our giving our Maker glory, honor and veneration, the greatest love and respect in adoration, in genuine and intimate relationship … for who He is. Mankind was made for worship. There’s a hunger, a quest for the spiritual, because God is Spirit. Worship is the Hebrew word “shachah”, which means to prostrate oneself or to bow down. Webster’s Dictionary defines worship as “the act of paying reverence to God. In the Old Testament, “shachah” is the common term used for coming before God in worship to honor Him. The English word means to look at someone’s “worth-ship”; their character and position (aka “Are they worthy?”). To worship God is to respect and honor Him for who He is.

Genesis 22:1-18 is the account of God testing (the Father of Nations) Abraham. In verse 5, we find the first use of the word “worship” in the Bible: “And Abraham said to his young men (servants), “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” Asked by God to sacrifice (the son of promise) Isaac, Abraham was faithful and did not deny the Lord, as verse 8 reveals Abraham’s trust in God’s provision: Isaac asked, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”

When Abraham bound and laid Isaac on the alter, then took his knife to slay his son, the Angel of the Lord called to him in verse 12 and said: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” The word “fear” is the Hebrew word “yare”. In this context it means to have reverence towards God, to trust Him, to respect Him. It does not mean to be afraid of Him. God is reverenced when a person respects Him for who He is. A Believer’s fear of God is seen when he or she walks in God’s ways and loves and serves Him in absolute obedience. The Lord goes on to tell Abraham of the blessings that He will bestow upon him and concludes in verse 18 by saying:In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” This is the first time that the word "obey" is used in the Word of God. Obedience to God is the evidence of true faith and worship. The way we live (or walk through this life) relates to our worship in spirit and in truth. About 2000 years ago, another Father offered His only Son, out of His loving grace, as an atoning sacrifice. We were supposed to die for our sins, but Jesus died in our place. Is not God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) worthy of our worship?

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finish Strong

Luke 12:48 “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

On my vacation last month, I read the book by Christian Professional athlete Tim Tebow, titled “Through My Eyes”. Though football created the platform and spotlight on him, Jesus Christ is the foundation on which his life is built and he gives all the honor and glory to his Creator, Lord and Savior. Here is one portion Tim wrote that demonstrates that Christian character, ethic and attitude in his life:

“I’ve heard that scripture (Luke 12:24) since I was a young boy. There’s a spiritual aspect to that, of course, which we read about in the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The basic lesson of the parabol for me is that if God gave us specific talents (abilities), He wants us to go out there and double them. I think part of that is to go out there and continue to work – regardless of whether anyone is watching. This isn’t about when we’re out there with cameras rolling and pointed in our faces. I may say I’m playing for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. True. But it’s not just that. It’s about being dedicated and playing hard because I honestly believe that God receives joy when He sees me doing that with the skills he blessed me with. When you, too, do that, He sees you living the life He has given you and loving and respecting the abilities He’s given you by working as hard as you possibly can to improve them. I believe God made me for a purpose. I always thought since God gave these gifts to me, my role in that exchange was to play as hard as I could and continue giving Him the honor and glory for it. To me that would be the very best way of thanking Him for the ability. If I didn’t work as hard as I could, then I think it would be a little bit like saying, “God thanks for giving me this ability, but I don’t really care about it. I’m going to do something else, and I’m not going to work quite as hard.”

1 Corinthians 9:23-26 “I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly.”

“As you can guess, my view leads to constantly evaluating my performance and the performances of those I count on. As a leader, I needed to be in front and set an example. As a Christian, I needed to lead in a manner that was pleasing to Christ. This ethic can lead to conflict if those around me do not agree. Part of leadership is understanding those we are trying to lead – what makes them tick, what will help them share the vision. To me, our Christian witness matters, and it’s what people see when they are watching us. When we think we can do less than our best, when we think others are not watching, we’re cheating ourselves and the God who created us. To me, the best example for being tough and bold and being a Christian is, of course, demonstrated by my Savior Jesus Christ. It’s important to stand behind what you believe in. My parents challenged me to win rewards in heaven and to compete for those, so God will say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” Whatever you do, do it with all your heart. The message to us in living life was always about simply doing the right thing, That honored God. As great as that is, how much greater it will feel when we get to heaven and Jesus opens up His arms, gives us a big hug, and says, “Atta boy. Great job. You finished. I love you.” Have an impact on this world and on the lives of others around you. How much more so in life to finish strong? For yourself. For the world. For others. For the God who created you.”

Tim Tebow

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Finish strong. Victory in Christ,


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Prayer for Protection

Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

As our Friday evening small group Bible study came to the final elements of “Prayer”, we tackled the problem of “evil” in the world. In today’s society, the concept of deliverance may seem a little odd and rarely used in prayer. Have you ever heard people say that “evil” is a strong word, and should be avoided. I’ve even heard someone say that there really aren’t any “evil” people; they are just “confused”. You can call it something nicer, but evil is pure sin. In this age of tolerance and moral relativism we may have lost sight of what Jesus prayed for us: “keep them from the evil one” in John 17:15. No matter how strong that we may think that we are or as much as any of us wishes that it wasn’t true, evil is real, there is wickedness in the world and we need to seek Divine deliverance from temptation and for protection from the evil that exists in this world. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We may be told that everything is just a mind-over-matter or power of positive thinking issue, but spiritual evil requires Divine protection because the flesh is weak. It’s not about how big we are, but how big is our God. It’s not about depending on ourselves, but depending upon God.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

Though we pray for a hedge of protection, the Lord may allow temptations, not for our failure, but for our endurance and growth under His protection. It is unreasonable to think that all evil will be kept from us. In Jesus’ prayer for us in John 16:33 & 17: 14-19, he confirms this. As our Lord was a light hated by darkness, so are we in this world of sin and unbelief. Also, the Devil is real and called the “Tempter” (Matt. 4:3 & 1 Thessalonians 5:3), and if he tempted Jesus, then he’ll tempt us also. The enemy of our soul, Satan, hates us and has a terrible plan for our life, because Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." We need to take the devil, the god-rejecting world system and our own fleshly desires seriously because we know that the fallen sin nature of the flesh in every person is easily tempted this side of heaven, so we must live and walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16-25. As Paul tells us in Romans 12:21,“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

1 Chronicles 4:10 “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.”

I remember in the Bruce Wilkinson book and Bible Study of the Prayer of Jabez (above) stated that in the “that you would keep me from harm” portion of that prayer, we need to thank the Lord for the hedge of protection that He places around us, for the evil that we never see, which God keeps from us and we are never aware. I had never thought of that before and humbling to realize. Our protection comes from knowing and crying out to the one true God, our heavenly Father, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, that we have a restored personal relationship with because of the atoning redemption by our Savior Jesus Christ. He promised to be with us always. Only one question remains: Do you pray?

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Center of the Bible

John 17:17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Lately, I received this e-mail …

Did you know:

Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?

  1. Psalm 117, before Psalm 118 is the shortest chapter in the Bible?

  2. Psalm 119, after Psalm 118 is the longest chapter in the Bible?

  3. The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after Psalm 118?

  4. If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters?

  5. 1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 is the middle verse of the entire Bible?

Should the central verse not have an important message? "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." - Psalm 118:8

Over the years, I’ve read or hear a few studies on special number, verse or word sequences within the Bible. I’ve always thought that this was interesting that the books of the bible were written without chapter or verses, (they were added later), so where was the middle then? Not to mention in written in Hebrew & Greek, not English, so how many words are in those versions? Here's the important it. The Bible is not just a book written by men thousands of years ago (as those in unbelief claim), but is “the Book” (which is the actual definition of the word Bible) written by God– the very Word of God, penned by the Holy Spirit, through inspired men. I have not checked into the authenticity of which book, chapter and verse is the exact center of the Bible, but one thing is for sure: The Bible is about the promised Messiah of God, the Son of God sacrificed as an atonement of inequity, the Redeemer of sinful mankind, the free gift by the mercy & grace of the Creator of the Universe unto forgiveness, salvation, restoration and eternal life is given through the Savior of the world; it is about Jesus Christ. And though many controversial issues seem to be majoring on minor points and knit-picking the negotiable in biblical interpretation and maters, this verse : Psalm 118:8 nails the central issue.

John 3:16, Acts 4:12, Romans 6:23 confirm that it is in the Lord that we need to trust and take refuge; not in worldly and sinful mankind. What verse is exactly in the center of the Bible? I’m not sure of that, but infinitely more important, I know who is my Lord and Savior, who I trust and take refuge in. Who is in the center of our life? Jesus. Holy Scripture verses like John 3:16, Acts 4:12, Romans 6:23 affirm this. And in the center, just to the left or a little to the right, Psalm 118:8 is a great verse from the Word of God. Let’s always remember to keep the main thing, the main thing.

2 Timothy 3:15 "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Prayer Confession

Matthew 6:12, 14-15 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (KJV)

Our small group home Bible Study group has found this lesson on the elements of prayer to be a great blessing in our authentic personal relationship with our heavenly Father, in seeing the intent of drawing closer in heart and conversation with our Creator God. It made total sense that our prayer requests could not expect an answer when they aren’t in line with the will of God or if our motivations are selfish. God forbid, when we do not have our priorities or position right before God, we can egotistically vision the Lord from the prospective of a child on Santa’s lap or a Genie in a bottle that we rub to grant our wishes. In
Luke 11:9-13 Jesus tells us to ask, seek & knock in prayer, because the Lord desires our conversation, for our benefit and growth in the “right” and “positive” direction – His path. To walk in the Spirit, with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-26)

Hebrews 12:9-10 “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”

An equally important element that impacts the effectiveness of our prayers is the dealing with our Sin in relationship to forgiveness. We must always remember and never forget that the Father God’s purpose is not to punish His children, but to restore them when they fall back to an upright position before Him. Jesus makes this clear in
John 3:16-17. We understand that when money is owed, there is a debt to pay it back. We also can understand that when someone has wronged us, which we feel that they owe us an apology and/or some restitution for the injury or offense. But do we translate that into the debt that each of us owe for the wrongs that we have committed, and continue to commit, against our just and holy God in our sin. How big of a debt do we owe? Romans 3:21-24 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:22-23 “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Our God of love offers salvation via redemption, forgiveness via repentance, justification via atonement, restoration via accepting the free gift, but starts with confession and profession. The Greek word “
homologia” literally means “to say the same thing about our violations of God’s law and will as God says about them.” That sin is sin and that sin is “wrong”. In short it means admit we are wrong. All have sinned; all need forgiveness. In as much as God forgives us who sin against Him, He expects us to forgive those who sin against us. In the parabol of “the Unforgiving Servant” (in Matthew18:23-35), Jesus uses an illustration of the incredible debt that God forgives us, while we show no forgiveness to those who owe us so little in comparison. All of need to examine our hearts to check the alignment with the Lord’s, confess the marks that we miss, knock, seek, ask for forgiveness for our trespasses’, takes the steps to amend, correct and get harboring sin out of our heart. God said in Genesis 4:7You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” God takes the issue of sin and forgiveness seriously. We come to our heavenly Father to pray on the basis of His forgiveness extended to us through Jesus. He wants our hearts to be “right” that He may bless us. Extending forgiveness to others frees our heart from the sin nature attached to unforgiveness. Confession in prayer is the key that unlocks the door to our heart.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Matthew 5:14-16You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot not be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before man, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

There has been a lot of talk and attention about former National Championship Florida Gators Heisman Trophy winner and current starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos Tim Tewbow, as both an on-the-field player and prayer. Mr. Tewbow’s acknowledgement of His faith and praise of His personal Lord & Savior Jesus Christ has gained national attention as much as his amazing turning around of the football team’s record this last season, and his one knee on-field praying (known as “Tebowing”) has become a world image. This all, not without both encouragement by Believers and Seekers, and opposition from those of Unbelief, spiritual blindness and ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To Tim’s credit, he humbly lets his Christian beliefs and life speak for himself, because in a country where Freedom of Religion is a Constitutional Right, there is no Freedom from Religion and he can freely exercise and express his faith with an honest enthusiasm and an authentic conviction for the God that made and sustains him, the Lord that died for his sins that he may have eternal life in heaven and the Holy Spirit that indwells his heart that leads his steps daily by the Holy Word of God.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Tim states in his memoir book “Through My Eyes”, that Matthew 28: 19-20 “was a real and integral verse within the life of our family. Even more than that, it was a way of life for our family.” He was born into a Missionary family that witnesses for Christ naturally … not as what they do, as much as who they are. Loving God and loving others. Tim’s father established an orphanage in the Philippines called “Uncle Dick’s Home” and he takes regular Mission trips there to bring the gospel message. He writes of how he talks about the gospel to school children there, saying: “the word “gospel” means “good news". So I’ll ask, “Do you like good news? The good news is that God loves you! He loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die for you. He made you special and wants to have a personal relationship with you and give you eternal life. But our biggest problem is that we have sinned. Because God is a Holy God, He can never have fellowship with sin. Sin makes a wall between us and God. Because Jesus had no sin He could die on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead, He has the power to forgive your sins, make you His Child, and give you a home in heaven. That is the best news you could ever hear. You can’t earn the free gift of eternal life, and you can’t pay for the free gift of eternal life, you can only receive it as a gift, by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone. I invite you to pray with me: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need a Savior. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I open the door of my heart and ask you to come in. save me now, Jesus. Thank you that God is my Father and I am His child. Thank you that I have a home in heaven, and I will come and live with you some day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Personally it is so exciting to have the privilege to share this good news with other people. I know that God is the one who changes hearts, but I am always eager to try and plant seed.”

Sharing the good news of the gospel is simply planting seeds in the hearts of those who do not know the Lord, about God’s free gift of forgiveness of sins, salvation from hell and eternal life in heaven through repentance and faith in the Savior. Jonathon Edwards writes: “Witnesses of the truth are not those who simply declare an opinion that something is true. Proper witnesses are those who can and do testify that they have seen the truth of the thing that they assert.” The gospel message is the gospel truth of the way to salvation, but our personal stories of what the Lord has done in our life is a eyewitness account that the world needs to hear from each of us.

Tebow goes on to write, “Something that I haven’t always grasped but which in the last few years I have come to understand in my own life and which burns in my heart for others to also recognize and realize: we all have stories to share. We all have life experiences that can bless the lives of others. Whoever we are. Wherever we find ourselves. Whatever we are involved in, no matter our age or station in life. Stories that, when shared with others, can make a positive difference in the world. I hope that you see that my story’s true focus is on God and on those eternal values that He holds before us as beacons and benchmarks, to help us live lives of abundance that will ultimately glorify Him, while also lifting and bettering the lives of His children everywhere. God challenges us to change the world. And to do this, He asks us to change it one life at a time." Share your faith, living it out in Christian witness. Don’t just bring the message, but be the message. Let’s all start “Tebowing” (aka bring the light of Christ) to a lost and dying world that needs Jesus.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Prayers of Petition & Supplication

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious of nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Our small group Bible Study group has enjoyed this lesson on “Prayer” and the wonderful interaction of the individuals, with life experiences that brings priceless understanding in application to the Scriptures by situations, circumstances and issues faced over time. We are seeing the importance of taking and presenting our cares and requests to the Lord in prayer for self and others, as He desires, is an essential key to the abundant life of the Christian. A.W. Tozer (Pursuit of God) writes that God is always present at every point in space, but our trouble is knowing that He is here. The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same thing. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. But He is manifest when and as we are aware of His presence, for a prayer life radiant with the light of His face. Let’s talk!

Luke 11:9-10 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives’ and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be open.” 1 John 5:14-15This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”

Are we asking? Are we seeking? Are we knocking? The will of our Sovereign God is the same for all. So it is the imperfect Christian experience that can forget and be distracted from asking, seeking, knocking according to his holy will and receiving. A.W. Tozer also suggests that we need to be spiritually open to heaven, with a spiritual receptivity which urges us Godward. A spiritual awareness which cultivates an inward longing to ask, seek and knock in alignment with the will of God and His heavenly vision, in a lifelong habit of spiritual response. Far too often, we are just sitting around and hoping on our own, rather than seeking His face and taking it to the Lord in Prayer. Psalm 27:7-8 “Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says to you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Abide in the Lord!

Supplication means “to ask for favor, or mercy, or grace.” NFL Quarter back & Christian Tim Tebow writes in his book Through My Eyes: ”Since my parents raised me to pray about anything that’s on my heart. I pray … even if some of those things are trivial in the overall scheme of things.” (1) Thank God for parents that teach their children to pray for what’s on their hearts. (2)Whatever is on our hearts, the Lord wants us to take it to Him in prayer, so make your requests known to God. It is His will that we pray. He wants to hear from His children. 1John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Your Lord God, Father in heaven, knows our heart and what requests of yours are in accordance and aligned with His perfect will, so we should always add, “Not my will, but thy will be done” knowing that He will either answer (1) yes, (2) later, or (3) I have something better in mind, my child.

James 4:2-3You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not have because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” The Lord understands the temptations and desires of the flesh and fallen heart. Sometimes, we are like a kid in a candy store that the parent has to tell “No”. Psalm 119:1-8 tells us that we can know God’s will by knowing His Word. As we study His Word, His Word abides in us and we begin to really know how to pray to our Father. And surely, sometimes the Lord has other plans for us and others, so things don’t always turn out like we ask. And we have to trust Him. Still, we should never be afraid to ask. Of course, our petitions & supplication need to always be in accordance with God’s Word, Will & Way, and not the sinful world. James 4:4-5 “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

The closer that we grow to our heavenly Father, the more intimately we will know His will, His ways, and His love for us. God answers prayer because we pray, because hears our prayers and we know the Father’s will. God is waiting to spend time with you and me. Let’s talk to Him.

In Christ, Brian

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spiritual Understanding

Psalm 119:7-18 “I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. How can a young man keep his ways pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I mediate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your Word. Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your Word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

Vacation time means more than just rest and relaxation, more than down -time and escaping the daily grind, traveling, visiting or exploring, celebration, adventure or entertainment; it is also a time for experiencing the Lord and renewing of the mind and spirit. As I cruise down the west coast of Baja California, once again I make the time to take the time to spiritually sit at the feet of the Father in loving relationship to learn, grow and mature as a child of God. Picking back up American Pastor and theologian Jonathon Edwards great book “Religious Affections”, I read today on the gift of spiritual understanding that develops a spiritual flavor and taste in the life of the Christian itself.

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day & night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do proposes.”

Edwards writes: To understand the Scriptures rightly is to understand what is in the Scriptures and to know its immediate intent. It is not the creation of a new meaning. When the mind is enlightened spiritually and rightly to understand the Scriptures, it is in order to see the Scriptures what was not seen before because of blindness. It is not to make a new meaning out of Scripture, as if one could make a new Scripture. To understand the Scriptures spiritually is to have the eyes of the mind open, to behold the wonderful, spiritual excellence of the glorious things contained in its meaning. This, ever since it was written, has always been contained in it. Such spiritual vision is able to see divine perfections, the excellence and sufficiency of Christ, and the way of salvation. It is able to see the spiritual glory of the precepts and the promises of the Scriptures which were always in the Bible, but were not seen before, but are now seen.

John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

In Christ and in the Word, Brian