Monday, July 25, 2016

PRAY FOR.....BOLDNESS

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)
The one True God of Heaven is merciful, loving, compassionate and accessible. He always was, is and will be to those who are called by His Name unto His special purposes.

Access to God is free and open 24/7, with the usual qualifier – you must be born-again. The very fact that the majority of western Christian are unaware of the access and authority we have as believers, testifies to weak church leadership. This does not change the facts on the ground. 

John 1:12 informs directly that "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name". In other words, when we believe, we receive. In addition, we not only receive but He gives us the right, the power, the dynamic authority to approach Him. On top of all of this, the Holy Spirit Who abides in those who believe and receive, shows us how to pray and interprets our weak words before sending them to Heaven.

Therefore, we above all, have the authority to pray for boldness in our prayers and daily lives and in all we do. Hebrews 4:16 encourages the following:
 -  We must be aware of our position, as Children of God. So now it is simple -come on in. This involves us being proactive in prayer. Reject passivity as most believers do, and just do something - walk forward. Brief and to the point.
 -  Then we are not only to take action, because of our relationship with God, but we can do so with confidence and yes, boldness. Boldness is NOT arrogance but is supreme confidence in the Supreme Judge and King of the Universe. The word "Confidence" is from the Latin "con-meaning with" and "fide-meaning Faith". When we are confident in our believe in God through Christ, we are exercising our Faith and doing so WITH Faith. This is the essence of Authentic Christianity.
 -  Next, if people only knew what the Throne of Grace was! Wow! Personal testimony informs my gratitude at the Grace God has freely extended to me ...and to all who believe. When we were dead in our sin, heading to eternal separation, it was God Who put His Spirit to work to draw me out so I could make a decision to follow Him. I did not do so on my own. Regeneration from death to live is so stunning. Even more so, we get to fall down at the Seat of ALL Love, Mercy, Compassion, Healing, Restoration, Reconciliation and more....all under the umbrella of Grace. This day, it will serve all Christians well to just let this sink in. The Throne of Grace - where the King of all Creation sits, is for the weak, humble at heart and the simple believers like us. What are we waiting for?
 -  Finally, why is this so crucial, as we pray for boldness and yes, loving kindness and the Hand of God? It is so, because this is the only place we CAN go. The Throne of Grace is where we find the Healing Hand of God, the Merciful Mighty Gaze and Magnanimity of the Messiah, the Loving Hands of the Lord....all open to us: rich or poor; sick or well; sinner or saint....and all we have to do is to take Him at His Word, walk up to His Heavenly Throne in humility and expectation and abide in His Truth. There is no greater thing. Amen.

Father in the Name of Jesus, seal these Truth in our hearts - that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us that we abide in the eternal realm with You. Father in my despair, when I was truly lost, You gave me the ability to choose You, because I had no idea how much I needed You. I repent of all my sins, I believe the Gospel as I did the first time and I surrender it all now at the Foot of the Cross and humble take up residence at the great Throne of Heaven, where You have given so much grace to do those who ask and believe and commit. Thank You, oh most kind and gracious Heavenly Father. Thank You Abba, that we have such access. Give us the more and more confidence in Your Word, Your Promises and give us the boldness we need to exercise our Knowledge of You, by walking, talking and drawing closer to You, every day of our temporary lives here on this earth, through Jesus Christ our Great God and King, in His Precious Name I pray, amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

PRAY FOR.....DISCERNMENT

7 On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” 2 Chronicles 1:7-10
If God were to offer you the opportunity to ask anything of Him and He would grant it, what would your request be?  The Lord Himself offered the same to King Solomon, who the Bible called the “wisest man in the world”. Solomon did something which most human beings would never do, but should. He asked for “BIYN” – the original word for “discernment”.

      When you think of all that people would ask for in today’s world: a million dollars; a new car; a house by the beach etc. etc….to ask for the ability to discern would be the last thing people in the 21st century would ask for. Yet as we mature as Christians, it is indeed the perfect request. The general dictionary definition of Discernment is basically this: insight based on an acute sense of judgment  and understanding. The Christian definition of discernment is a little more involved. It is the ability to not just THINK biblically, but to understand what the Scriptures are saying and apply it to daily life.

We pray for Wisdom and acquire it from God through His Spirit, Study of His Word and Prayer. The ability to take this wisdom and apply it with a certain degree of effectiveness, is discernment. Godly Discernment can only come from an intentional daily walk and pressing in to the Source of all Goodness, Power and Wisdom – Almighty God! It comes from practicing in our bodies and lives what 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 instructs us to do: “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil”.
This means:
-           -  Test all thingsi.e. using all our God-given wisdom, tested by experience, prayer and the Bible, to discern what is true and what is of God, when faced with a live situation or circumstance.
-           -  Hold fast what is good: i.e. once you and I have discerned the right course after testing all things,  we hold on to it. We camp there. We stay the course in the righteousness of Christ.
-           -  Abstain from every form of evili.e. this then becomes easy, because our holding fast to righteousness after solid discernment warns us off evil temptation and tight spots…and thus, all evil.

What an amazing thing God has done for us! He graciously imparts His Wisdom in any size dose as we can handle then as we pray through this wisdom and worship Him and ask, He gives us His “biyn” – discernment to “work out our salvation”, thereby living the wonderful Christian life to maximum effect!

Father,  we thank You are a good, good Father Who gives good things to all who ask with a repentant and clean heart. We know Your Wonderful Eyes travel to and fro across the entire earth in search of those same hearts who are loyal to You.  We pray right now that You search our hearts and cleanse us from all impurity that we may be found worthy to receive Your Holy Wisdom, the Oracles of Heaven which represent such an amazing benefit of belonging to You and the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank You for drawing us even closer that we may come into our own, discerning the times and the trials and tribulations that we may make decisions based on Godly principles, attitudes and applications completely reliant on Your Amazing Attributes, dear Heavenly Father. We are most grateful above all, for the Cross of Christ which has enabled us to be reconciled to You, so that any of this could even happen in the first place! Thank You, oh God, thank You to the highest and most glorious praise, in the Name of the One Who gave it all that we may be free to serve You – the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PRAY FOR.....WISDOM


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
Wisdom and common sense are at such a premium these days that they shine out loud when deployed in plain view of this foolish era. The wisdom of God is a  whole lot different from the wisdom of man and most times, the two shall never meet. We can buy all the self-help books in Barnes and Noble or even a Christian bookstore. We can study the false doctrine of eastern mysticism from the Chopras and the Oprahs, but if your wisdom and worldview are not based on the Word and Oracles of God as found in the bible, they are all meaningless and a chasing after the wind.

The lost nature of man equals no true and biblical wisdom.  True wisdom comes from God and we see from the half-brother of Jesus that all we have to do is ask of God and He gives freely! The first thing we should note when asking God for Wisdom is how it begins to manifest itself in us.  That is, the fear/reverence/living-in-awe of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.  Without the proper concept of WHO God really is and the awe and respect He is due, we are no matter than the majority of this rebellious world which shakes its collective fists at Him.

So knowing that the Fear of the Lord IS the doorway to being wise in the Ways of God, we must endeavor to know why!  The Scriptures  itself gives us the reason for needing wisdom: 
To perceive the words of understanding (Proverbs 1:2) 
-  To learn Godly self-discipline, so we can daily do what is right (Proverbs 1:3) 
-  To acquire insight into the things that mean the most in life: the basics; knowledge to provide for oneself and then to teach the next generation (Proverbs 1:4) 
-  To receive guidance from the Holy One, (via the Holy Spirit Who lives in those who are reborn in Christ),  in order to handle life’s challenges. (Proverbs 1:5)

Godly wisdom is the true knowledge of Heaven. He Who knew us from the Foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) is almost pleading with us to acquire His Wisdom. It is free and available to all who asks – in abundance! The Lord said in Proverbs 2:20-23 that His wisdom is clamoring for a home in His people. In fact, it shouts from the mountaintop of our hearts that “here I am, use me”! In Proverbs 2:23 God pleads “come listen to My counsel. I will share my heart with you and make you wise”.

LET US PRAY:  Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Kindness, Love and Compassion to us in that You found us in our sin and wandering in the wilderness of ignorance without a clue, yet in Your great mercy and long suffering, You have so freely offered the riches of Heaven – the knowledge of the Holy, the light of Eternity, the wellspring of Goodness – that we may be more like You. Lord, thank You. We cannot repay for this love You have given in the Oracles of God which You have shared with us. May we never lose sight of what we are yet to fully attain to, knowing that in this life, we will never come close to knowing the depths and heights and widths and lengths of the Ancient of Days and His great wisdom. Grant us the resolve to serve You, to remain humble and submitted before You and to never take our eyes of You – our Great God of Heaven, Who has given us life. We love, adore, worship, praise and obey You, to the Glory of Your Sovereign Name- the Name above all names – Jesus the Messiah. Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2016

PRAY FOR.....HUMILITY

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way (Psalm 25:9).
If there is one thing God hates, it is pride. In fact, it was pride which led to the downfall of the once great worship leader of heaven - Lucifer, who declared himself to be greater than God. (Read here to see how vile Lucifer's pride was). The opposite of pride is humility - real humility, not the false which which causes the religious to stand in the market place like the pharisees did. They looked the part, appeared to be holy and acted like they were fasting, but their hearts were full of religious pride and sin before God.

Humility which causes God to give grace (while He resists and rebukes the proud) is not just a freedom from arrogance and pride, but a genuine, conscious and intentional attitude which regards others as worthy of your service and mine. It is the kind of meekness like Jesus, Whose meekness could never be confused with weakness. He was, after all, the Son of God. We are, after all, if we are born again, sons and daughters of God. Our meekness and submission to the Will of God (love God first and love others) is BASED on this positional truth!

To be clearer, our firm and sealed position as joint heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven is what affords us the privilege and opportunity to be like our Lord, and to be completely grateful for our salvation by walking this thing called Life out as, Micah 6:8 instructs us! God says this, which applies to our point: "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

In this verse, we see the following:
- God has shown us what is good (our salvation and sealing via the Holy Spirit until the Day of Redemption or when we die and go to Him).

- Because of this fact, He requires something in return of all Christians: 
  1. Be fair with everyone in our dealings and to not take advantage of ANYONE.
  2. Love people and be compassionate towards them, as God is to us.
  3. Live a Christian life of surrender to Christ daily, in true humility.

This is an equation which gives life while summing up the Christian Journey. Most believers are somewhere along the scale of humility when converted from darkness to light. However, too many in the west use our wealthy churches and its ministries - from the vast and exciting world of Christian media and to parachurch ministry - use their position in Christ to not so much enrich themselves but as to become very turf-oriented, forgetting from whence cometh their gifting. So let us resolve to pray, no matter what our status in the Journey with Jesus, for humility and surrender as we begin each day, so that we may receive guidance, direction and blessing with a humble heart and soul. Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You gave Your Son as a ransom for many, that sinners - vile and unworthy though we are - could and would be saved if we believe the Gospel, repented of those sins and accept the finished work on the Cross for our salvation.  Help us to be more like Him oh Lord. To be like the Humble, suffering Savior Who gave Himself and served and loved and put others before Him, knowing all along that He was God, the Ancient of Days.

Help us to understand how blessed and fortunate we are as Your children, that we don't need to call down fire and judgment and hell from heaven on bad people, even though we may feel like it, but to remember at those times that we should be grateful that our names are written in Your Book of Eternal Life! Help us to put aside ALL encumbrances which clog our communication lines with you and could cause us to stumble that we may remain humble, like Your Servant Moses, whom You called the "most humble man ever on the earth". Lord, we love, adore, worship and magnify You and Your Name above all others and that includes, most certainly, ourselves. Help us to remember WHO You are so we can remember Whose we are and our lives will reflect this gratitude and truth, in the Mighty and Strong Name of Jesus, we pray, amen and amen and amen!!!

OTHER VERSES TO MEDITATE UPON TO GROW IN HUMILITY:

Matthew 18:1-4 “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

First Peter 5:5-6 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

NEW SERIES: "PRAY FOR....RIGHT ALIGNMENT WITH GOD"

A NEW SHORT SERIES ON PRAYER
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The most important relationship any human will ever have in this life is the one with God. I am not talking about the gods of your choosing, but the One True God of Heaven - Yahweh. Our heavenly Father has made this journey with Him even simpler and more intense, when He - Abba Father (Daddy) - sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth some 2000 years ago. 

This same Jesus, in the most important discourse in History on the Christian Life - the Sermon on the Mount said the following (Matthew 6:33) "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble". To get the full context of this verse, click here for the entire chapter of Matthew 6.

What the Lord is teaching us is this - our Faith is an intentional daily walk with Him which has to be recharged daily. We know from experience that several things occur during one 24 hour period which can alter the course of a life, change circumstances and even affect our worldview.  In life, we have more valley experiences than mountain top ones. Bad things are more apt to happen to a person, and especially a Christian, than good ones. Sometimes a good day is when things are status quo.

So God is calling for us to wake up each day with a certain mindset of overcoming those not so good days, when our vehicle of life is out of alignment. At those times we must fall back into zone coverage. That is, our relationship with God through Christ and its strength must be such that it can withstand incoming. This is the testing called for and it comes from recharging with Spiritual Food - a Holy Breakfast, if you will, when we wake up recharged physically.

But more than this, God is calling here in 2 Corinthians 13:5 for a testing the tensile strength of our relationship. This is why the Lord does not mind you and I asking Him questions, even in doubt. Because then, we can say to Him "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief". If more and more and us, search our hearts as Psalm 139:23-24 says "23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting"...and call for God to cleanse us and purify us and that the precious Supernatural Blood of Christ can make us clean as the wind-driven snow, we will pass this daily test with flying colors, and the rest of the day's events will pale, as we sail!

The steps here are really simple to a spiritual daily diagnosis - praising God for a new day and then checking to see if our heart, mind, body and soul are all pointed north to Him, by praying for the same, as indicated above. This gives us such comfort and rest in the promise, that we cannot help but say like Jeremiah shouted out in praise in Lamentations 3:22-25, the immortal words which became the great hymn of the Faith (Great is Thy Faithfulness): "22 Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

THE PRAYER OF MOSES - PART 10

16 Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your majesty to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:16-17)
We have come to the end of this amazing prayer from Moses, the humble man of God, the content which should lead us to dive headfirst into the Book of Ecclesiastes, to get the "rest of the story". 

With stress, distress and lack of redress increasingly unavailable even in western so-called civilized countries, what can the Righteous (born-again Christians) to do?  Sure the Righteous (or the Elect or authentic Christians, if you wish, can pray. However with the virtual non-existence of prayer meetings and even less prayer warriors in our churches, how does the good Christian life even look?

The Foundations are being destroyed on purpose by leaders in politics, the media, academia amidst passivity from the Church of Jesus Christ. None of this should be a surprise to anyone who reads the Bible. The spirit of Antichrist was in this world from the moment Christ won the Victory on the Cross of Calvary. Daily, we see the evidence of the destruction caused by the evil one – the prince and power of the Air. While he is literally on a short leash, the destruction his demonic forces have caused to mankind is causing great distress in the Body of Christ.

Oddly enough, this stress is heavier on Christians who live safe, productive and wealthy (by comparison) lives in the west, where the kind of persecution against Christians is not as vile, violent and intense.  In the persecuted lands, all our brothers and sisters in Christ have is complete Faith. Their Faith and Trust in the Lord Jesus as Master and Savior is what fuels them. Their very existence and eternity is fully dependent, moment by moment on this earth on Him.

Still, the human condition is universal, even in degree. Christians in the post-Christian west need the same or even greater measure of the Power and Presence of the Lord to live daily.  Verse 16 cries out for the Lord to give some kind of indication that He is with His people who are under duress, and that some sort of sign. We have to be careful here. Jesus criticized a “faithless generation, who only wanted signs and wonders”. There are certainly those.  However, coming from such a hero of the Faith like Moses, who requested to see the Lord’s Glory and God let Moses see His back as He went by, this is a valid request.

The Lord Jesus WILL reveal Himself to those to whom He will reveal Himself! All you  have to do is remain committed and sold out and surrendered to selflessly work in the piece of the Wall, which He placed before us.  I know that and several other ordinary people over time have had these experiences.

Verse 17 wraps up this amazing prayer from the heart, which every Christian should pray. Moses seeks the approval of the Lord which will power him to succeed in his life’s work.  Each woman of God should seek this. Each man or young person should do likewise. God says in return “show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15)” or  “I (God) have qualified you, now stay the course of Faith and remain committed to My Word and Me. He is also saying, “do not seek the approval of men and their systems but cut a straight path to the Gospel of Truth and Love and I will give you rest, success and all My Best. 

What a way to end up this amazing prayer.  The Blessings and Best of God are not dependent on the proportion of our work and faith to God as to whether are successful in this life or not. What remains constant and true over the millennia since this written is this: “God is no respecter of persons….and the rain falls evenly on the righteous and the unrighteous.” However remember, what He promises in Jeremiah 29:11-13: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart".

Sunday, June 26, 2016

THE PRAYER OF MOSES - PART 9

14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! 
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil....Psalm 90:14-15
The great hymn of the Faith “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is based on a short passage from the Book of Lamentations. This book of tears and regret over the Babylonian destruction of the once great city of Jerusalem had driven the great prophet Jeremiah to weeping and sadness over the condition of  his people.  This event had happened in the 6th century BC after the people of Jerusalem ignore and then persecuted the prophet of the Lord – Jeremiah – for preaching Truth. 

In Lamentations chapter 3,  Jeremiah spoke in graphic detail how God had punished the rebels in Jerusalem who had not just spurned Him, but worshipped pagan idols in the Temple itself. This descriptive passage goes on for 20 verses of Chapter 3, but then Jeremiah immediately switches to record the mercy of God, after He judges. He writes:
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

This is such an awesome illustration of our Great and Gracious Heavenly Father. Moses prayed in Psalm 90:14 and 15 above and Jeremiah shows magnificently what it looks like in real time. This is a great encouragement for us today, who sometimes feel under the gun. It is not secret God has, is and will continue to judge this world for sin and disobedience. We see it in the many natural disasters which claim many lives. The rain falls both in the righteous and unrighteous so many believers lose their lives in natural disasters. They are, however, ready to meet their Maker by virtue of their Faith.

However, here is a shocker- life is tough....and it is going to get even tougher as the years go by. Whether the report be medical, physical or financial, all people - regardless of Faith of Financial status -will be afflicted with the storms of life. This is where Moses is headed with the portion of the prayer in these verses. However he (Moses) is praying for the silver lining in these moments of Life when we find ourselves in the Valley of Despair.

Fortunately for us, God already thought of this when He gave us the entire Scripture! We are given the Oracles of God, the Manual for Daily Living (MDL) to get us through all of our days. Job, the Servant of God, who lived before or around the time of Abraham gives us the perfect response for those Times of Affliction here in Job 19:25-27:
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

So here it is right here- directly from God Himself, via His Word, the Bible:
1. From Psalm 90:14-15, we know life is going to through us some heavy stuff, that is some curve balls we will get hit with, where it hurts.
2. We know life is lived, for the most part in the valley. God gives us those mountaintop experiences so we can be reassured of His Presence and His Peace.
3. We know we, who are His through Salvation, can approach Him, in our affliction and cry out for Grace, Mercy and Compassion.
4. We know that even if the answer is no, to live is Christ and to die is gain- we are with Him forever, anyway.
5. We know we can turn to the Bible, His Inspired and Holy Word and say with confidence as Job did:
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him. (Job 13:15-16)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

THE PRAYER OF MOSES - PART 8

Return o LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. (Psalm 90:13)
This is an amazing prophetic prayer from Moses!  For the Lord to return, when this is written 3500 years ago for all people of all time, He had to have come in the first place! Jesus was not to be born, as a child, as prophesied in Micah 5:2 in the province of Bethlehem for 1500 years. Therefore the Holy Spirit was prophesying of the Lord’s birth and Second Coming, which we, in the 21st century still await!

Knowing this, should we Christians in the 21st Century pray for the immediate Great Appearing of the King of Kings – the Commander in Chief of the literal armies of Heaven and the Creator everything – Yahweh?  We should, we can and we surely do. However  none of this will hasten the Return of the Lord! This is a good reason to be so. First, the Second Coming will happen when it happens. Then secondly, when Jesus cuts through the Eastern Sky on the White  Horse, it is all over. There will be no mulligan. Anyone on earth who is not saved, born-again or a child of Christ will experience the Wrath of God. In fact, the only people left on earth will be those who are lost to eternity, as it will now be the official End of the Church age.

Revelation 19:11-20 tells only part of the story of what will occur when the Second Coming is obvious to everyone who is around the perishing world. The rest of it can be read here in Isaiah and can be watched in detail in this video teaching (see PLUMBLINE teaching below) on the real story behind the Second Coming and the Holy Spirit interviewing Jesus about the battle He will wage against the rulers and armies of the left behind world.

Moses anticipates the Second Coming God and prays for compassion. There is no more compassion than for the redeemed of the Lord to evangelize the lost. True compassion involves any and all attempts to share the Love of God, Who gave His Son – Yahweh – to be crucified on a Cross, to die for our sins, be buried and resurrected in victory to reign forever. This is love. This is mercy, grace and compassion. 

I say that because when the Lord returns in the near future, we who are saved/born-again and children of God into the Kingdom of Heaven, will already be with Him forever and ever. We would have received more than compassion. We would have already been the recipients of God’s Grace, Riches, Atonement, Compassion, and Eternal life through Christ. We have this now. All we need is to stay the course and persevere until the end. However what this one verse of anticipation and expectation SHOULD do is fire us up even more to preach the Gospel…AND at all times use words – His Words.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

THE PRAYER OF MOSES - PART 7

10 The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,  that we may gain a heart of wisdom.....(Psalm 90:10-12)
Any glance at the obituaries in any local newspaper would show its usual share of senior citizens who have passed on into eternity, after long productive lives. However, on an increasing basis, a disturbing trend has developed over the last two decades as more and more younger people are moving into eternity in their 20's, 30's and 40's. I have known some of them.

Judging from the brief synopsis of their lives and legacies,  the chief end of the younger set seems to be a whole lot of self-gratification and almost nothing of any eternal value. Most of them do not even have a Christian burial. They are mostly cremated now and "celebration of life" in taverns, restaurants or banquet halls are increasingly the norm. Their apparently main accomplishments in life seem to include things like "he was a loyal St. Louis Cardinals and NASCAR fan"....or "she loved pets and volunteered tirelessly at the local animal shelter"....or  so and so "loved family picnics, backyard barbecues and feeding ducks in the park".

What does all of this mean, in relation to what the Bible says in these verses (Psalm 90:10-12)? It most definitely shows us that the normal nice folks next door and down the street, while susceptible to the same uncertainties of life, which you and I possess, are oblivious to what the next stage of life holds for them.  As previously stated, mankind was created to live forever. The choice is up to the individual WHERE their eternity lies. By the time this current age expires, which it will, NOBODY could use the excuse before God that they never heard of God, Jesus or the plan of eternal salvation.

Before the great Flood in Genesis 6, of which there is ample evidence (Grand Canyon, rock formation etc), people lived hundreds of years. However, the sheer volume of water flooding the earth, altered the eco-systems to the point where, apart from Noah who lived a couple hundred years after the Flood subsided, the atmosphere (and God) only allowed a lifespan of around 120 or so years. Abraham lived 176 years before he went into Eternity. Moses was stronger at 120 when God took him, than most 40 year olds are today. The average lifespan in the 1800's was hardly 35-40 years yet today, due to excellent medical care, we can now live into our 80's and 90's.

In the long run, the numbers are not as important as our preparation to meet our Maker.  Additionally, the demands of modern life are such that hope is a premium. The cost of living and/or providing for a family leave many to wonder if "this is all there is".  When you parallel this to the increasing number of  "nones" (those with no religious or "faith") - they are correct - there is no Hope. There is no Hope because they refuse to see the evidence of God all around them in Creation and the still on-going proclamation of the Gospel from street corners and church pulpits. We can blame the culture, churches and conmen from Charles Darwin to Marx to the new Buddhist craze of "meditation" etc. But the fault, as we know from the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Who indwells Christians, that the problem is sin.

Sin faces the Wrath of God. The nice couple in the 40's who perished together in a motorcycle accident, as friendly and hard-working as they were in their community, will face eternal separation from God as much as the 70 year old pastor who was never born again, but faked his way through life with people thinking he was such a godly man!  The nice grandmother who volunteers in the small town library or the forty year old social worker who specializes in helping people access needed benefits for her hungry toddlers will face the anger of God one day, for rejecting the Gospel and staying at arms' length from the Everlasting Arms which wanted to hold and love them.

So given the fact that the majority of mankind, whether they perished when a bridge collapses in China or an earthquake kills 350 in Ecuador or another scaffold collapses outside a half-finished skyscraper in Seattle,  will have no standing before God, what can be done?

Verse 12 tells us "teach us to number our days".  The original word for "number" is the Hebrew word "manah". Basically, God is encouraging us through this portion of Moses' His Prophet's prayer to make every day of our lives count! Not just that, but we have the opportunity to approach God to ask Him HOW to make it happen. "Teach us" means "God, I have no clue how to do this, can you help me make something out of my life, to make a difference to someone else's life which can bring meaning both them and me, please? Teach me, oh God, how to do this thing called life. I feel so useless, in vain search of meaningful thoughts and actions and feel as if all I do is work, sleep, eat, watch TV, go to ball games and such. Help me oh, God."

This is guaranteed to work....but there is one catch. God does not hear the prayer of an unrighteous or unsaved person. This cry and appeal to Holy God only works if your life is found in Christ, your sins are forgiven and you are a real Christian, which Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

The second part of verse 12 is "that we may gain a heart of wisdom". The Wisdom of the knowledge of God implied here is "chokmah" or true wisdom, which starts with knowing God, fearing Him in the right way and wanting to seek and serve Him daily. This is what brings meaning to our lives - being wise in the Ways, Works and Wonders of God. Hence, this heart of wisdom can only come from knowing Him....and we know Him from knowing His Word - reading, studying and understanding the Scriptures. Verse 12 is calling us to come to God to ask for a realization of some of His Wisdom that we may be focused and disciplined in our approach to life.

This may seem easier to speak about than to put into practice. However, it is a common sense approach to these fleeting years on earth. It used to be when we were little kids that the summer months seemed to last forever. Now, even young people comment how fast the years are flying by. This can be compared to the last few sheets on a roll of paper towels where those last sheets of Bounty or whatever, fly right off the roll - then it's over.

Life is like this, for us as well as all mankind. The end of all things approaches quickly. Therefore, it is very wise to be prepared no matter how young or old, whether 17 or 70, to stand before God. The question is - how prepared are we?

(Photo Credit Here)