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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

teach me to pray

 

 

Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer word for word. I don’t remember ever attending a church where it wasn’t recited on a regular basis. Over the years, it became rote and meaningless. This was not the way Jesus intended it to be. Jesus never intended this passage to be a prayer in and of itself. He gave it as an outline to use as a guide in your prayer life. To recite the Lord’s Prayer in the mechanical way that we have become accustomed to does not do it justice and we learn nothing from it. There are 5 parts to this outline:

The first 2 parts are all about God and His will:

1. Praise and WorshipOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We acknowledge who God is to us by praying, Our Father in heaven. This establishes our relationship with God. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com the definition of hallowed is holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. This tells us that God’s name is holy, sacred, and to be revered. We don’t have to use these exact words in our prayers, but we do have to give praise and spend a moment in worship of our heavenly Father. Jesus put this part of the prayer first, because it is the most important part. To give praise and worship to our God is the most important thing.

2. God’s WillYour kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are to pray for God’s will in ALL things. I know how easy it is to slip into self-satisfying prayers, or prayers that push our own agendas instead of God’s. Jesus lived His life doing God’s will, seeking God’s will and obeying God’s commands. We need to do the same. It is okay for us to want things, but God knows what is best for us and we need to seek His will in ALL things.

In these days of unrest and evilness, it is important for us to be in prayer that God’s kingdom will come and we will live as God intended, in peace and harmony with each other. There is an urgency and we need to pray for an end to injustice, oppression, and hate. We need to be in prayer that all people will know God’s heart and that this world will be transformed by the love of God.

The last 3 parts are about us and what we need:

3.Our Daily Bread– Give us today our daily bread. Jesus is telling us to pray only for what we need today. This is consistent with God’s command not to worry about tomorrow, as found in Matthew 6:34.

For Ourselves- What needs do you have TODAY? Don’t waste your time on worrying about tomorrow, focus your prayer on your immediate needs for today.

For Others- What needs do family and friends have TODAY? If you know someone or a situation that needs immediate prayer than pray for that person or situation. I’m sure that Jesus prayed for the disciples and God wants us to pray for each other and events in our lives.

4. Forgiveness– And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. If there is anything on your heart that you need to confess and ask forgiveness for, then you better do it. Nothing keeps us separated from God more than unconfessed sin. Confession is good for the soul! So is forgiving others when they have wronged you. I admit that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. It is hard for me to forgive people who have hurt me. Sometimes the words, “I forgive you” is said between clenched teeth and God has to give me an attitude adjustment. We have to forgive others. Hanging on to the hurts of the past will only hurt us in the future. Let it go, give it to God and live the life you were meant to live. 

5. Temptation and Evil- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This is so important and Jesus knew how much we would need protection from Satan. Temptations hit us from every side and we need to be prepared. We can not face them alone. Only with God, can we face down temptations, before they take us down. This part of the passage shows just how much God loves us. He knows that there is no way in the natural realm, that we will ever be able to face the evil one on our own. He will deliver us, if we ask Him to. 

Remember that Jesus intended this passage to be an outline to guide us in our own prayer time. Expand on each part as God leads and see where God will take you in your prayer life. Prayer is how we communicate with God and He has shown us how to do that in His Word. Our journey in prayer is an ongoing process and always evolving, so don’t give up. Keep pressing in and God will bless you abundantly!

 

 

 

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all things in Christ

Philippians 4:13

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Since childhood, I have beaten myself over the head with negative self-talk. I have had a myriad of excuses why I wouldn’t be able to accomplish something:

I am not talented enough

I am not pretty enough

I am not smart enough

I don’t have enough money

I am to socially awkward

I can give a long list of why something won’t work, but rarely will I list reasons why something could work. Can you relate?

My 14 year old, Talon loves this verse. Any time, he hears someone say why something won’t work out, he quotes this scripture.

It is a great reminder. On our own, we can do nothing. With Jesus as our partner, we can do all things.

Is your dream to be a medical missionary? What’s stopping you?

Is your dream to become an auto mechanic? What do you need to do to make it work?

Is your dream to make a living as a writer? Then start writing.

Instead of listing why something WON’T work, make a list of why something WILL work.

Make a list of the steps that you will need to take to make your dream a reality.

What step can you take right now to push you in that direction?

Take 15 minutes every day to take some action to propel you forward in achieving your dreams.

Repeat to yourself: I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!

Negative self-talk is a tactic of Satan to get us to doubt ourselves and God. When we doubt, we don’t move forward in God’s will. When we live our lives in doubt, we will never get anywhere. Don’t allow yourself to live like this. Don’t let Satan win. Have faith!

You CAN do ALL things!

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separated from His love

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is powerful! To know that there is NOTHING in heaven or on earth that can ever separate us from the love of God. Once we make that decision to follow Jesus, we are His for good!

When I first saw each of my children in the hospital, I immediately knew that there would be nothing they could ever do that would keep me from loving them unconditionally. Our loving Father feels the same way about each one of us. Believe it or not, He loves us even MORE than we could ever imagine loving our own children. Have you counted the hairs on your child’s head? Well, God has every hair counted on your head! He knows what your future holds and what mistakes you will make, He knows that most (99.9%) of us will commit some pretty big sins in our lives and He is saying that it doesn’t matter! Of course, He would rather us not sin, but since that’s not likely, He accepts us and loves us as we are.

Nothing in all of creation can keep us from His love! Romans 8:35 says that trouble or hardship or persecution or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword can’t keep us from the love of Christ.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I read these words. I have a daddy that will never turn me away because of sin. I am His child forever! So are you!

Meditate on this passage and when Satan tries to discourage you with His lies, keep telling yourself that absolutely nothing will ever separate you from God’s love. NOTHING!!! God’s love is unconditional and forever. It will never change. I feel the love of my heavenly Father. Do you?

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redeemed and forgiven

Colossians 1:13,14

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

According to http://www.dictionary.reference.com redemption is the purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom.

I love this! Without Jesus we are ALL lost, but God purchased us back by giving His one and only Son as a ransom for our lives. Did He have to? Absolutely not. He did it because He loves us. He allowed His Son Jesus to die a horrific death on the cross, because it was the only way for us to have eternal life with Him. He wanted us that much!

In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We have all sinned against others and against God. Others may not be so quick to forgive us our failings, but God always will, when you approach Him with a sincere heart. It doesn’t matter what you or I have done, God will always forgive. Not only does He forgive, He wipes the slate clean! The sin is gone forever, giving us a chance to learn from our mistakes and start over.

If you are in a place where you believe that God will never forgive your sins, if you believe that your sins are to bad for God to forgive, you are buying into the lies of Satan. God has more love for you than you will ever be able to imagine. When you approach Him in repentance, He will listen. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His comforting arms and welcome you home.

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St. Nick

 

 

I really starting thinking about Saint Nicholas, when my son Ty, recently asked me if Santa Claus was real. Ty had just turned 12 the day before and I could tell that he really wanted the truth. I hesitated for a brief moment, not wanting to see my youngest child grow up, but decided to tell him the truth, which brought up the subject of Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas was born around AD 270 in Patara, Lycia, in Asia Minor. He was born and raised by christian parents, who modeled for him lives surrendered to God.

Nicholas lived a life centered on Jesus. He cared for those in need and worked to bring justice in his sphere of influence. When Nicholas was a young man, his parents died, leaving him a wealthy young man. Instead of blowing the inheritance on himself, he chose to use the money to glorify God and help those in need. There are many legends of his generosity.

In AD 300, at the age of 30 he was made a Bishop in the town of Myra, in Asia Minor (the town is now known as Demre, Turkey). This was the time of persecution of the church and Bishop Nicholas, being an outspoken christian was tortured, arrested, and imprisoned with other Christians. He was eventually released when the christian Constantine came to power.

He was said to have been present in the council of Nicaea, in AD 325. He was said to have destroyed pagan temples, leaving evil spirits howling before him. Saint Nicholas was known for his generous heart and his unwavering support of those who were struggling with the injustice of the world.

Bishop Nicholas died in AD 343, but his legacy continues:

Saint Nicholas is the original Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas is known for sneaking coins into the shoes of children as they slept. To honor this gift giving Saint, December 6th has become Saint Nicholas day, to celebrate the day of his birth. Parents in many European countries still observe Saint Nicholas day, by placing small gifts, chocolates and other sweets in the shoes of their children on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day.

Over time, this tradition has evolved into the legend of Santa Claus and has become the focus of the Christmas season.

Santa Claus is about commercialism of the season. Saint Nicholas was all about Jesus and he would want our focus at this time of the year to be on Jesus and giving to those in need.

I shared the story of Saint Nicholas with Ty, along with the most important gift we have all been given, the gift of eternal life with God, when we receive the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Jesus gave us the most important gift we will ever be given: His life. It is all about Jesus and that is the way Saint Nicholas would have wanted it.

In this Christmas season, remember Jesus and make that decision to accept Him into your heart. I am here to walk you through this most important decision you will ever make.

I obtained the information on Saint Nicholas from http://www.stnicholascenter.org.

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Armor of God

 

 

As Christians, we are soldiers in a spiritual war. It is important for us to put on our spiritual armor every morning to prepare for the attacks of the enemy throughout our day. Satan is real and he will stop at nothing to separate us from our heavenly Father. This is his mission. Believe me, he doesn’t let the busyness of daily life keep him from carrying out his mission. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to the Devil. Stay alert and sober minded. Put on the Armor of God every morning as you dress:

1. The Belt of Truth- Jesus is our role model in living a Christ-centered life. Walk in the truth of Jesus.

2. The Breastplate of Righteousness- Do what is right in ALL things. Listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. He is our conscience, sent by God to lead us in doing what is right. If we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will know what is right.

3. The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace- Walk in peace, living in the peace that God brings into our lives, no matter what the circumstances. Walk out peace, taking peace to the world, so that others may have that peace that you have found. We are to be mediators in the world, bringing peace wherever we go.

4. The Shield of Faith- Protect your heart. Believe that God is real. Believe that God wants nothing but the best for you. He is everywhere, but we must choose to believe.

5. The Helmet of Salvation- Protect your mind. Jesus died to save us from eternal life in Hell. Don’t fall for the lies of the devil. Believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world.

6. The Sword of the Spirit- Dig into the Bible. Immerse yourself in God’s Word, so that you will be able to be victorious in the spiritual battles that we all face. Don’t let Satan win. Hide God’s Word in your heart. Be prepared!

This has been a wonderful journey for me. I have learned the importance in preparing daily for the spiritual battles that I face. We never know when Satan will strike, I want to be prepared. I invite you to walk with me as I make a habit of putting on my spiritual armor every morning as I dress. If you have any creative ways of doing this, I would love for you to share them with me.

If you need prayer, encouragement, spiritual support, contact me. I am here for you always! Remember my friend, that God loves you and so do I!

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Armor of God

 

According to Dictionary.com, Salvation is:  1. the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm: 2. a person or thing that is the means of preserving from harm.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When a soldier goes into war, they wear a helmet to protect their head from injury. As a christian, we need to put on the helmet of salvation every morning to protect our minds from the lies of Satan. Satan is the great deceiver and wants nothing more than for you to believe that you are worthless, that you will never amount to anything, that no one loves you, that you are unimportant, that you are bad, and that you are hopeless. Satan plants these lies in our minds to keep us from believing in the mercy and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The definition of salvation tells us that it is an act of preserving from harm. It is also, a person or thing that is the means of preserving from harm. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. What can be more harmful than death? Who is that person who preserves us from harm? What is that thing that keeps us from dying in our sin? Romans 6:23 tells us that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our salvation is Jesus. Jesus and only Jesus keeps us from dying in our sin. He is the ONLY one that can give us ETERNAL LIFE!

When you put on that helmet of salvation in the morning, you are putting on the identity of Christ. Not that we will EVER be Christ, but can become Christ-like in our daily lives. Satan lies, but Jesus is truth (John 8:32). When you dig into the Bible and the truth of Jesus starts to penetrate your mind, you will realize that you ARE worthy! You WILL amount to something! Jesus loves you! You ARE important to God! You are good! You are HOPEFUL! This is the truth of Jesus.

Put on the helmet of salvation. Know that Jesus loves you so much that He died for your sins. He loves you so much that He wants you to have eternal life with Him. Jesus loves you so much that He does not want you to die in your sin. He gave His life for you! He gave His life so that YOU may live. Jesus is our salvation. Believe in Him and you will have eternal life (John 3:16).

Put on the helmet of salvation. Know who you are in Christ. Let go of the lies of the enemy. You are AMAZING because JESUS says so!

If you are searching for the truth. If you are seeking a relationship with Jesus. If you have been torn down by the lies of Satan and you are ready to break free, contact me. I would love to get to know you and pray with you. Jesus loves you, my friend. I am here to help you in whatever way I can.

God loves you and so do I!

 

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