Archive for the ‘prayer’ category

Living Like An Atheist?

September 12, 2017

ChristianPics.co

Ravi Zacharias is a well-known speaker on faith, culture and philosophy. He travels around the world, rubbing shoulders with the intellectual elite. He wasn’t always the intellectual sort. He wasn’t always a man faith. He called himself an atheist growing up.

In an interview, when he was pressed on that point, he said, “Atheism is a strong word. I was living like an atheist.”

 How many of us live like an atheist?

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If/When God Sends Us Difficulties

July 10, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 86547374 Copyright: Johan-jk

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people….”[1]

We like to view God as a Great Benevolent Giver in the sky. We want Him to pour out good gifts to us and make our lives easy for us, and we are disappointed, disillusioned and discouraged when we don’t experience the generosity we imagine and want from God.

God is benevolent for sure, but He is much more than that. He doesn’t just want to give us good things; He wants to give us Himself. In fact, he doesn’t just want to give us Himself, He wants to pour Himself out into and through us to bless others as He desires to bless us.

But, this ultimate desire and purpose of God to bless us takes on a different form than we would like at times. God’s activity in our lives doesn’t always feel like a blessing.

In this verse from 2 Chronicles 7, we learn that God, Himself, may cause difficult things to happen, or simply allow them to happen, in our lives. But why? And what can we do about it?

We need to read the second half of the verse and consider the context in which it was written for a more complete picture.

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Asking, Seeking and Knocking Like Jesus

February 27, 2017
depositphotos Image ID: 30835131 Copyright: kevron2002

depositphotos Image ID: 30835131 Copyright: kevron2002

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend[1] will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence[2] he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell 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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent[3]; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:5-13)

Reading through Luke recently this passage impressed me in a way that hadn’t occurred to me previously. We often remember things out of context, but context is important and provides insight, and sometimes even changes what we think we know of the verse, standing alone.

It seems that the ask, seek and knock passage is often remembered for the proposition that God, our heavenly Father, will give us the good things for which we ask, seek and knock[4] because a natural father doesn’t withhold good things for his children. But that isn’t the central point of the passage.

This passage is beautifully laid out in a progression of intimacy that I had not seen before.

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The Making of New Wine Skins

January 24, 2017

Ravi Zacharias says that “the desire of God is to prepare the wine skins for the pouring of the new wine”. He says this in a two-part interview in which he focuses on the question “Has Christianity Failed You?”

We are the wine skins God desires to prepare. When we are born again (from above), we are born of the Spirit.[1] Paul says we become new creations: “the old has passed away; behold the new has come”.[2]

Jesus says we need new wine skins to contain the new wine (of the Spirit).[3]

We often have a very anthropomorphic view of God. Many of us come to God through our own desires, wants and needs. That isn’t wrong. Jesus invites us to come. He invites us to seek, to knock and to ask. He tells us that a good father will not give his child a stone when his child asks for a fish. God expects us to come to him for our needs and even our desires.

However we can’t remain in that posture and grow into the kingdom of God. We can’t remain in the position of asking God only for our own wants and needs and grow in newness of life. We need to transition and mature into the new wine skin God desires us to be.

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Open Apology to My Children and Wife

October 13, 2015
Symmes Chapel in the Blue Ridge Mountains, SC

Symmes Chapel in the Blue Ridge Mountains, SC by Dave Allen Photography

The wages of sin is death. We all know that. But, who has not sinned? I am painfully aware of my own sin, yet I continue to fall into sin, wretched man that I am.

I have prayed to God for His forgiveness, as all of my sin is ultimately sin against God, and I know that God forgives me. He placed all of the sin of mankind on the shoulders of His son and allowed Him to be crucified, sacrificed for – sacrificed for me. God shed his glory and became man to take on my sin and the sin of the world gladly to rescue us from ourselves

I do not deserve it, yet I know He freely offers me that forgiveness, and I dare not reject such a sacrifice.

At the same time, I am keenly aware that the sin I have committed, the sin that has affected me, does not affect me alone.

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Deliver Us From Evil

August 2, 2015

Lewes_Guy_Fawkes_Night_Celebrations_(2)_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1570186


“Deliver[i] us from evil[ii]” (Matt. 6:13) Is how the prayer Jesus taught us to pray aptly ends. Aptly because God’s end goal is deliverance of His children from evil, and not just deliverance from evil, but deliverance to God and His purpose.

Literally, this phrase in the original text means “draw us to Yourself (our Deliverer) and, thereby, deliver us from the pain and misery of evil”. God does not simply seek to deliver us from our troubles caused by the sin that entangles us: He delivers us to Himself for His divine purpose. (more…)


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