If you could see clearly, we wouldn’t call this “the dark.” There are times in our lives when the truths we took for granted seem to be challenged and the God we thought we knew seems to have disappeared. If you (or someone you know) is bumbling about in the dark right now, please be encouraged by the following verses from God’s Word.
1. “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 145:13-14
2. “’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
3. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”...
As I taught the 4-week introduction to prayer this past August at Thompson Station Church, I had the privilege of entertaining some really great questions on prayer.
Is every conversation with the Lord considered a prayer? Or only when you say, "in Jesus' Name I pray?"
Every conversation with the Lord is considered a prayer! Prayer is communication with God. When you say, "in Jesus' Name I pray" those are merely words unless you understand their meaning. Some people use "in Jesus' Name I pray" as a sort of spiritual postage stamp to get their prayer to heaven. But in reality, to pray in the Name of Jesus is more about surrender than it is about sending.
When we pray in Jesus' Name we acknowledge that He is reason we get to enter the presence of God and make our request; and that we want to yield our petition to His wisdom and knowledge and power. God answers our prayers when we align them with His purposes and desires. Those simple words, "in Jesus' Name I...
1. Spiritual Warfare is real.
I Peter 4:12 says this, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as through some strange things were happening to you.”
If you are deceived into thinking that there might be a way to avoid the battle—you are seriously mistaken. When you chose to follow Jesus you became an enemy to the world and the prince of darkness targets you for attack. Jesus said it like this,
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19 NIV
Are there any “fiery ordeals among you?” There are among me! Since 2010
· I’ve fought cancer
So, you're ready to learn the secret to success. Before you read any further, I want to preface all that you're about to read with this declaration of my faith.
I believe in God as Creator and Ruler of the Universe.
I believe that God is our Source of Life.
I believe that God loves people.
I believe that sin separates people from God.
I believe God loves people so much that He perfectly crafted and completed a plan for people to be in personal relationship with Him.
I believe this plan was accomplished through the miraculous birth, sinless life, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection of God's Son, Jesus Christ.
I believe that people who accept their sin as rebellion against God, and genuinely repent of that rebellion are forgiven. Their forgiveness is made possible by their understanding and humble acceptance of Jesus' willingness to pay the penalty of sin--a debt we could not pay.
I believe that because Jesus rose from the dead, people who enter in to a personal...
This is perhaps the most practical book I've written. I don't know about you, but there's a little pool that I find myself in sometimes, the water's warm and a bit icky, but splashing about in it can be quite comforting.
It's the pity pool.
It's the place we go when somebody's done done us wrong.
It's the place we hide when our feelings are hurt.
Well, maybe hide isn't the best word for it, it's the place we sit as we shout to the world, "Look at me! Look how hard it is to be me!"
And while the pity pool is not all that bad--it's also not all that good. In fact, it's really a dead end and nobody wants to end up in that mess.
I wrote this book to help you get out of that pool. Taking Responsibility for the Choices We Make is about living this adventure we call life in a way that gives us the power to overcome.
In these pages I tell you exactly HOW you can maneuver yourself up and out of your mess. I...
You can argue with God and win.
In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you.”
And again in John 15:7 where He assured us that we can “ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
Jesus spoke these things to reassure us that God answers us when we pray and prayer works!
And I’m here to tell you how you can lay hold of these truths, experience their reality in your life and then turn around and say to the skeptics—I KNOW God answers prayer! He’s answered mine!
To argue with God and win, pray this way:
1. Identify what you are asking God to do and clearly state your request.
This might sound like a no-brainer to you, but if you stop and think about it, we sometimes think we’re asking for something when we’re really just beating around the bush!
When Jesus delivered miracles, He...
Shame and conviction have the same roots but different fruits. They are both rooted in sin that led to defeat, and perhaps a dose of humiliation.
Shame has Satan for a gardener.
Conviction has the Holy Spirit.
Shame’s gardener comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Conviction’s Gardner comes to give life more abundant.
If you let shame’s gardener tend to your garden, you will produce the fruit of hatred and self-loathing, despair, regret, impatience, harshness, wishy-washiness, and a life out of control. Your “crop” will spread like wildfire, and consume the plants surrounding it.
If you let conviction’s gardener tend to your garden, you will produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Your crop will nourish the soil and all your other plants will grow even more beautiful.
The fruit you produce will depend NOT on the root (any ol’ root will do), but on the one you allow to...
I John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
Psalm 107:28-30, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.”
Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So, here's the deal. Prayer works, I know this well.
How do I know? I know prayers work when they are answered, for the whole purpose of praying is for God to hear and answer! He tells us this over and over and over again in His Word.
But sometimes God makes us wait. Why is that?
This waiting is hard. Real...hard.
But, this might make your waiting a bit easier. Here are 8 reasons that God makes us wait. I compiled this list from a book I came across (that I highly recommend),The Promising God by Richard Bucher. Here you go:
1. God is moving pieces into place.
You don't necessarily know what pieces are necessary, but God does. When He works all things together for good, He is working "all things" even those things that you don't know about; those things that you've never thought of; those things that He knows because He's God.
2. You're not ready yet.
I know, this isn't good to know. But it's a reason that God might be making you wait. And, you possibly...
If you’re like most people, you’ve uttered a prayer or two.
“Oh God, please!!!! Get me out of this mess!”
Or, “Lord, we desperately need You to…”
And unless you are in the elite group of 16% of pastors who said they were satisfied with their prayer lives, you are most likely DIS-satisfied with the effectiveness of your prayers.
Don’t give in to despair, don’t give up, not just yet.
Just keep reading. I’m about to tell you how you can experience answers to your prayers. I’m going to tell you how you can know that ALL of God’s promises are true, even the most bodacious ones.
Aren’t you ready to experience answered prayers?!
If so, start by praying this:
LORD, I want to learn to pray. I want to experience Your power working in my life. I want to be a witness to Your intimate involvement in the details of my life. I want to be the kind of pray-er...