Seems Fitting At This Time

I’ve mentioned before that I listen to the Daily Audio Bible. It’s an awesome supplement to personal study and prayer. Brian Hardin is the creative man of God who implemented this vision, and the time spent listening as he reads the scriptures will be like water for your soul.

DAB has a large, international community of listeners and prayer warriors who tune in daily (or as often as possible) to hear Brian read through the bible each year. You will hear Old Testament passages 1st, followed by New Testament scripture, a Psalm and then a Proverb, all in chronological order, allowing you to build upon each previous day’s reading. The Holy Spirit will speak through this if you are willing to listenCheck it out when you have the chance.

I have the app on my phone, which is great when I’m driving in the car. One of the things I really enjoy is hearing the scripture read from different versions. This week, Brian is reading from The Voice, which is a beautifully expressive, easily understood version of an English-reader’s bible.

We in the USA have just come through a most exhausting, confounding and vitriolic election cycle, that thankfully is mostly finished, except for the actual transfer of power. Today’s reading out of James seemed a timely choice to share, so welcome to today’s post:

James 1:19-2:17:

1:19 Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. So walk out on your corrupt liaison with smut and depraved living, and humbly welcome the word of truth that will blossom like the seed of salvation planted in your souls.

Put the word into action. If you think hearing is what matters most, you are going to find you have been deceived. If some fail to do what God requires, it’s as if they forget the word as soon as they hear it. One minute they look in the mirror, and the next they forget who they are and what they look like. However, it is possible to open your eyes and take in the beautiful, perfect truth found in God’s law of liberty and live by it. If you pursue that path and actually do what God has commanded, then you will avoid the many distractions that lead to an amnesia of all true things and you will be blessed.

If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless. Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.

2:1 My brothers and sisters, I know you’ve heard this before, but stop playing favorites! Do not try to blend the genuine faith of our glorious Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, with your silly pretentiousness. If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.

My dear brothers and sisters, listen: God has picked the poor of this world to become unfathomably rich in faith and ultimately to inherit the Kingdom, which He has pledged to those who love Him. By favoring the rich, you have mocked the poor. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the rich who step on you while climbing the ladder of success? And isn’t it the rich who take advantage of you and drag you into court?  Aren’t they the ones mocking the noble name of our God, the One calling us?

mother-theresa

Mother Teresa

 

Remember His call, and live by the royal law found in Scripture: love others as you love yourself. You’ll be doing very well if you can get this down. But if you show favoritism—paying attention to those who can help you in some way, while ignoring those who seem to need all the help—you’ll be sinning and condemned by the law. For if a person could keep all of the laws and yet break just one; it would be like breaking them all. The same God who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also says, “Do not murder.” If you break either of these commands, you’re a lawbreaker, no matter how you look at it. So live your life in such a way that acknowledges that one day you will be judged. But the law that judges also gives freedom, although you can’t expect to be shown mercy if you refuse to show mercy. But hear this: mercy always wins against judgment! Thank God!

 Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith. Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you. It would be like seeing a brother or sister without any clothes out in the cold and begging for food, and saying, “Shalom, friend, you should get inside where it’s warm and eat something,” but doing nothing about his needs—leaving him cold and alone on the street. What good would your words alone do? The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it’s as good as dead.

Blessings and have a beautiful weekend ❤

The Prayer of One or the Prayer of Many

When I was reading in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, I was struck by a verse that hadn’t stood out to me before, which is verse 11:

“And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.” 2 Corinthians 1:11 New Living Translation

I am an advocate of prayer at all times and for all reasons. When anyone asks for my wisdom or advice regarding their situation, my first question is usually, “Have you asked God about it?” 

I know that God is faithful to speak to me and lead me when I ask for His help and wisdom. He has never failed to direct me or show me the right thing to do. I have learned to have faith in Him through the truth in His word and by seeking Him in my daily life.

The reality of God’s involvement in my life is tangible and evidenced by so many answered prayers. So when someone says something along the lines of, “I’m just one person…my prayers don’t count…”, I am quick to point to the word:

“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results…” James 5:19b NLT

This is  absolutely true. One person praying can make a difference. But I have been noticing something lately regarding the power of corporate prayer– especially in regards to praying for other believers:

When we as a body, as a group of believers, cry out earnestly for God’s help and intervention– and He in turn answers those prayers– the faith of everyone involved increases and God receives the glory! There are things we need to share and ask others to pray about. God wants to bless us all and see us grow in faith and in unity. Sometimes our answer depends on others joining their faith with ours and everyone crying out to God.

Think about Paul’s situation. He had been repeatedly arrested for preaching the good news about Christ. Christians were being persecuted and put to death for their beliefs. They were considered trouble makers and heretics from differing groups: traditional Jews, followers of pagan religions and an oppresive Roman government. When the Christians of Paul’s time heard about his imprisonment and impending death, it most certainly brought fear and anxiety for their own safety into question. Satan’s purpose in this was to stop the truth of Jesus from being preached, to shut the mouth of the Church, so to speak. It’s the same thing he tries to do today…

…but God.

Instead of the believers cowering in fear, they opened their mouths and prayed for Paul. The news of his escape and continuing missionary journey bolstered their faith in God and strengthened their foundation in Christ. There are so many instances in scripture of God’s people joining together in one accord and fervently praying for His will to be done and for His power to show forth. Check out these 3 when you have the time:

2 Chronicles 20:1-27

Acts 4:18-31

Acts 12:1-17 

There are ministers of the gospel in prison today who need our prayer support. The 1st one who comes to mind is Saeed Abedini, the Iranian American Christian being held in an Iranian jail. Please pray for him, his family and for other persecuted Christians who are suffering because of their faith in Jesus.

Pray for people you know who suffering with sickness and disease. Come together with other believers, crying out to God on their behalf. Our God is GOOD! He heals the sick and brokenhearted! Our church has been seeing an increase of people being declared “cancer-free” or recovering from heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses. The faith of many is being increased as we see God’s answers to our prayers.

My marriage was healed by God and I found Christ because God responded to the faithful prayers of my husband, and the other people he asked to pray for us. No godly prayer is unheard! No desperate plea is rejected.

If you need or want prayer for something, please post your request in the comments. We will pray for each other. And when He answers your prayer, we want to hear about that, too!

To God be the glory!

Believers praying together

Be One

 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”

 1 Corinthians 3:4-6 New Living Translation

It is time for us to come together as the Church, as the Body of Christ, as God meant for us to be.

It doesn’t matter if one is Catholic, Methodist, denominational, non-denominational, traditional or Charismatic…

You are either a follower of Christ or you are not.

It’s that simple. 

Jesus is the head of the Church, of His body. Lordship does not belong to any human man or woman. We have to learn to lay aside our differences and focus on what we have in common: Christ.

The Lord’s desire is that we, His followers, will be one (in unity), as He and the Father are one:

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me.

May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

John 17:20-23 NLT

We won’t agree on every little thing but we can agree on Truth. May our heart-cry for the church echo Paul’s words to the Ephesians:

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

“For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.”

Ephesians 4:1-6 NLT

Praying for the grace of God to bless each of us with the ability to walk these words out daily.

Blessings Church!

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