“Pray without ceasing" is the simple, direct message of 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Talking with God, not just to him, is vital to our walk with the Lord.
Could you imagine not conversing with your spouse all day or week? No, of course not. However, many of us do just that with the Almighty, in whom we live, move and have our being.
We must include him in everything in our lives. He wants to be there, and is already, really, but we should acknowledge him. When in trouble, pray first, then act; when blessed, pray first, then bless others.
In any situation, pray first!
"Call upon God's name; make known his deeds among the peoples!" shouts Psalm 105:1. Serving the Lord and witnessing of his greatness, mercy and love are the work of every Christian.
A fine Dutch theologian once said, "There is no area of life over which Jesus Christ does not say, 'Mine.'" Very true; he is Alpha and Omega, first and last, as well as the author of salvation.
I've seen the Lord in my media work, college teaching & administration, diversity efforts and many other arenas aside from my pastoral activities. Every realm of wisdom, knowledge, creativity and relationship owes its existence to him.
Bring God with you to a concert, in your housekeeping, at your school and in your business. The living Christ is for everyone and people need we believers to testify of him so they can know him, too.
God hears us even when the words haven't gotten past our lips. “Before they call, I will answer; and while they’re still speaking, I will hear,” says Isaiah 65:24.
Have you ever gotten an answer from the Lord to a prayer that was still in your mouth? I have. The Lord knows our every thought, emotion, word and deed. Nothing escapes him. We can't surprise God.
This verse also shows he's ready to respond anytime; we needn't wait long for him to get back to us. The Almighty's timing is perfect, judgment just, word fitting.
Claim this passage for your own today!
Here's a salute to all the saints gathering in St. Louis this week at the Church of God in Christ's 110th Holy Convocation. I've been to the event several times and always come away inspired by the great preaching, singing, praying and faithful from across America and the world.
One of the most magnificent moments is the Sunday morning service in the local stadium. Tens of thousands of COGIC believers fill most every available seat to praise and worship the Lord. We take communion together and hear the Word of God, literal and figurative food and drink.
If you're near the Gateway City this week, head to America's Center and take part in the Holy Convocation. You won't regret it!
My prayers go out today to Greater San Antonio in the senseless murders of over two dozen Sunday in the worst mass shooting in a church in U.S. history.
Make no mistake, friend; this is not really about guns. (In fact, the murderer had firearms illegally, so gun laws don't come into play.) Cars, knives, bombs and many other devices are being used in mass killings, too.
This is about a profound lack of respect for each other (James 3:8-10). I hear extreme political, spiritual and social rhetoric daily volleyed between/among sides in media and people constantly accusing others falsely and not listening to each other.
I'm not going to debate who's most at fault. Those from all colors, genders and politics have problems in these regards.
Note that hate crimes also are rising very significantly against Christians and Jews. We're in a spiritual battle. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds," 2 Corinthians 10:4 says. We must pray, listen, discuss & love or we'll destroy ourselves.
Do you have any idea of the power you have when you pray out of a relationship with God? "Elijah was a man with a nature as our own. He prayed, and it did not rain for 3 1/2 years. He prayed again, and the heavens yielded forth rain and the earth its fruit," reveals James 5:17-18, one of my favorite passages in the Bible.
Look back at 1 Kings 17:1. Elijah comes out of nowhere and declares before the king that there will not be dew or rain "except at my word." The long drought ensued. Then, at the beginning of the next chapter, God tells his prophet that it's time for the dry spell to end, and Elijah dutifully takes God at his promise and water comes from nowhere to defeat the Lord's adversaries and end the blockage of the skies.
The first time, the prophet acted on a biblical promise from 1 Kings 8:35. The second time, it was an instruction special to Elijah and his situation.
Learn to hear God's directions to you through his Bible and Spirit. The Lord will supply illumination of Scripture and the Holy Ghost will guide you into all truth.
"Life is hard and then you die" is an old saying portraying the world's fatalism. The cliche doesn't give a person a whole lot of hope.
Scripture goes to the contrary. "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," reads Jeremiah 29:11.
He was speaking then to a people in captivity who had been downtrodden and broken. But he kept his promise to them that they would see a brighter day.
If you're in difficulty, realize God is on your side. Haven't given your life to him? Know that if you do, he will bless you to overcome your problems. That is real and true hope, of an everlasting destiny in Christ Jesus.
The Lord's Word is perfect. ”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” teaches 2 Timothy 3:16. Remember that the Greek here says literally "God-breathed." The Lord doesn't speak any errors - just truth. If we disagree with the Word, the Bible is right and we're wrong.
Not only will God instruct us through Scripture, he will supply what's needed in our situations. "There are many plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s counsel will stand," Proverbs 19:21.
We're to study to show ourselves approved, but we also must ultimately yield all we find out to God. Nothing against his will is going to prosper in the end.
We are to make sure to check our plans with the Word; if all lines up, we're ready. If not, it's back to the drawing board.
“Only Noah and those with him in the ark remained alive,” says Genesis 7:23. The world was filled with violence, the thoughts of man "evil continually." God's horror at this caused him to wash creation clean with the Flood.
Jesus says in Matthew 24:38-39 that "as in the days before the Flood ... so will the coming of the Son of Man be." News stories generally report the opposite of what's happening, false accusations fill the air everywhere, and almost daily there are mass shootings.
As we hurtle toward fulfilling Christ's prophecy, remember this: "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Leave behind the lies, accept God's forgiveness, and follow Jesus. There's no other way to be delivered in this world or that to come.
If you are ready to think about pursuing a relationship with the Lord, then click to my page, "Know Christ."
"The Father himself loves you because you have loved me,” Jesus says in John 16:27. Most Christian literature focuses on Christ. That makes sense, in that he is human and people more easily resonate with him than the other two in the Godhead.
I think, too, that a bit of trepidation comes over us particularly with the idea of the Father, whom no one has seen fully at any time and lived, as opposed to the Holy Spirit, our advocate. But this verse tells us the Great I AM is for us just as much as the other pair.
The Father is awesome, mystical and unparalleled, yet he adores those who receive his Son. Ask him what you will in Jesus' name, and he will hear you. You have a friend in the Father.
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by the Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., our senior editor, marketer & minister, Copyr., All Rts. Res.