Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Worthy of Praise and Prayer – Part 1 “Bought with a Price”

As people of God, we need to be engaged, not just be involved.  When we’re engaged, we can see things from God’s eternal perspective. Prayer engages our lives and aligns our heart with God’s heart. Prayer changes our perspective so that we can see God working in our life to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Jerry Leachman was chaplain for the Washington Redskins for over 13 years. He’s also in charge of an influential prayer breakfast in Washington, DC. Recently Jerry was asked to speak at every school in the Ivy League about his perspective on faith, character and values. According to Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” Jerry’s prayer life is an example of the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in 1 Timothy 3:1-3: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, For kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior.” Jerry observes that on the day of Pentecost, the miracle of Acts Chapter 2, was not that the apostles spoke in unknown languages, but that those in the audience received the Pentecostal “gift of hearing.” For even though the apostles were “uneducated and ignorant men”, who did not know other languages, each person heard from the apostles in his own language, the wonderful works of God. This should be our prayer:  “God grant us the Pentecostal gift of hearing … that we may hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ and that we may know Him and the power of the resurrection.”

Revelation 5 describes the scroll that was sealed with seven seals. An angel crying with a loud voice said, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”  No one could open the scroll. According to Roman law, only the heir could open the will; the scroll of the title to God’s creation. According to verse 5, “see the Lion of the tribe of Judah who is able to open the scroll of the seven seals.” And behold, I saw a lamb (as in Isaiah 53), encircled with the seven spirits of God. The twenty four elders fell down before the lamb. They held golden bowls of incense, of the prayers of the saints. They sang a new song, “you purchased men for God, making them servants and priests for God to serve men upon the earth.” Then I heard the voice of many angels, ten thousands of ten thousands encircling the throne declaring “worthy is the lamb to receive power and glory.” And every creature was saying, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the  throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Then the elders fell on the ground and worshiped Him.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, God said that we were bought with a price. Upon the new birth, we changed teams. We became a new creation. According to 1 Corinthians 6:14, by his own power God raised Jesus from the dead and he will also raise us up who have been born of his Spirit. He who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in the Spirit. Therefore flee from sexual immoralitySince we are joined together in the body of Christ, we should not join ourselves with the “harlots” and harlotry of this world. All sins other than fornication and adultery are committed outside of a man’s body. Know ye not that ye are the temple of the holy spirit?  Ye were bought with a price; therefore honor God with your bodies.”

We shall stop here and pick up Michael’s message on the next post tomorrow.

In Christ, Brian

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