In my devotion time today (2 KIngs 9 ff) The overwhelming lesson is from God’s relationship with the Kings through the prophets. We know of and are very greatful today for God’s mercy and grace through Jesus. But even so we still, in many ways, reap what we sew. The “good kings” were blessed by God and the “bad kings” recieved His punishment.
As church leaders we need His blessing and direction as much or even more than other Christians. We need to learn to trust Him COMPLETELY. We need to diligently seek His face. His direction and leadership. Even though faith is a gift from God. (“He gives to every man a measure of faith.”} we need to develop a strong faith that sees God working in our everyday life.
I know you , like me, want to hear our Father’s “well done good and faithful servant.” and bear much fruit.
Together, seeking to bear much fruit for our Master, Larry
Finished 1 Samual starting 2 Samual in my daily devotions. This is the record of the beginning of the transition between Saul & David. I notice David’s high regard for God’s annointed.
Makes me think of the balance between accepting church leaders as a fellow soldier of the cross and the proper respect of one called of God for special Christian service. We preachers have saught to be accepted as a fellow Christian, yet I believe that effort has some times backfired till we’re like the old comedian Rodney Dangerdield, “I don’t get no respect.”
It is a balance. Even the New Testament challenges us to “respect our elders.”
It is not impossible to have both. We should always have a special respect for the things of God. David did.
I Samuel 7:2-15 is a wonderful text I title “Don’t Stop Calling Out to God” The people asked Samuel not to stop because they were threatened by a terrible enemy. Samuel was a man of faith, hope and definitely a man of prayer. He didn’t stop and what a blessing as God answered and gave miraculous victory.
The heart of a Church Encouragement Services Seminar is the “Revival of Prayer.” Three texts are emphasized. Proverbs 3:5,6 “acknowledge me in all of your ways and I will direct your paths. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me and I will answer you. and James 4:2 “You have not because you ask not.
This application is especially to Seminar churches but also to all Churches, Don’t Stop Calling Out to God!
I was blessed by being asked again to be the guest preacher. On my prayer walk this morning I asked the Lord what He wanted me to preach and before the end of the walk the thought came to my mind that we Christians need help in entering the name of Jesus into our conversations more often. I discover that often in Christian fellowship the name of Jesus is left out. Now I’m not saying that His name needs to enter every conversation. However it seems that His name is almost never brought up. I think I’m going to preach on that. (Confession: I don’t mention His name as often as I should.)
My texts will be those familiar Scriptures, “If I be lifted up” and “confess me before men”.
Then the practical applications will include:
Holy Spirit remind us to speak more often of Jesus. Help us to not be embarrassed, Strengthen our faith (Remember that without faith it is impossible to please God.) to SEE Jesus working in our lives and create testimonies of Jesus that we need to share. We should be able to share situations where: Jesus helped us not to worry, Jesus answered our prayer for a physical, material or spiritual need. I know I’m going to Heaven because of Jesus. Jesus means so much to me because . . . Jesus gave me peace when I . . .
Anyway that’s where I am right now. What I end up preaching God only knows. I do know that we need to talk of Jesus more.
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Together, seeking to bear much fruit for our Master, Larry
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to talk to God face to face? Like Moses and God at the burning bush? or Moses and God on the mountain? Moses could confidently say that God told me (such and such) and not only believe it , but state it confidently, and others didn’t doubt the claim that he had really talked to God.
If we try to claim that we have talked with God today or say that God told me (such and such) we would most likely have some raised eyebrows, scoffing and doubt. But wait a minute. Let’s consider something that I am calling the secret of a personal relationship with God.
First let’s consider a couple of Biblical truths and facts that apply to Christians today:
(1) The power of the Word of God. Hebrews 4: 12 NLTSE ”for the Word of God is alive and powerful It is sharper than the sharpest two edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
(2) Hebrews 11:6 NLTSE “And it is impossible to please God without faith.”
I’m sure we agree to the truth of these two Scriptures. (1) the Bible IS powerful (This assumes that you accept the doctrine that the Bible is the Word of God.) and (2) We must practice our faith to please God.
Now let me make my application to the secret of having a personal relationship with God. And more directly, hearing God speak to us and being able to confidently say God told me (such and such.)
This is how this works. When I read the Scripture to “love your enemies” by faith I believe and freely state that God told me to love my enemies. When I read in the Scripture, “Seek first the Kingdom of God” by faith I believe and freely state that God told me seek first His Kingdom. Or when I read in the Scripture to, “Walk by faith and not by sight) I believe and freely state that God told me to do just that.
There is another level of this kind of relationship that believes by faith that every good thought that comes into your mind is from God. But that is something else altogether.
This is such a blessing to me Not only in my personal relationship to God, but in my teaching and preaching as well. It makes all the difference in the world when we with confidence in the Bible, through our faith, state that God told me!
What a jump in our personal relationship with God when we come to the place where we believe that (THROUGH SCRIPTURE) God is talking to us personally.
NOW IT’S NO SECRET!
I was reading from Leviticus this morning. It was the part where if you sinned unknowingly and then you realized it, how to make things right again with God.
It made me think of repentance and confession of sins as a Christian. I am fully aware that this is usually done in the privacy of our personal devotion life. 1 John 1:9,10 “if we confess our sins (as Christians) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
As the church I think each congregation needs to do this once in a while. We have to be careful or some one could easily be embarrassed. However, we could still do it. (1) The sermon would be on the subject and then (2) an opportunity in silence where you stand or come to the front and the preacher and elders lead some general prayers on behalf of the flock.
Confessing sins like: neglecting the commands of God or doing things God asked us not to do.
Prayers for the sick are needful and important. However, I find that most churches pray only those kinds of prayers.
Once again the four basic kinds of prayer. Adoration Confession Thanksgiving & Supplication – ACTS.
– seeking together to bear much fruit for our Master, Larry
Comments are encouraged and welcome.