Pot Of Prayer

I will go to the altar of God, to God who is my joy and happiness. PSALM 43:4

Let’s say a stress stirrer comes your way. The doctor decides you need an operation. She detects a lump and thinks it best that you have it removed. So there you are, walking out of her office. You’ve just been handed this cup of anxiety. What are you going to do with it? You can place it in one of two pots.

You can dump your bad news in the vat of worry and pull out the spoon. Turn on the fire.

Stew on it. Stir it. Mope for a while. Brood for a time. Won’t be long before you’ll have a delightful pot of pessimism.

How about a different idea? The pot of prayer. Before the door of the doctor’s office closes, give the problem to God. “I receive your lordship. Nothing comes to me that hasn’t passed through you.” In addition, stir in a healthy helping of gratitude.

Your part is prayer and gratitude.

God’s part? Peace and protection.


Experiencing Inner Peace

Luke 8:22-25

Jesus promised to give us His peace (John 14:27)—the kind that enabled Him to sleep through a fierce storm. Without it, we’d be like the disciples, who felt helpless and afraid. With it, we will experience inner calmness in the midst of life’s turmoil.

To access the peace of the Lord, we must meet certain conditions. The first requirement is to receive Jesus as our personal Savior. Before salvation, we were by nature opposed to God. But our redemption changed that. The Bible says we now have peace with Him (Rom. 5:10) and are members of His family, instead of His enemies. Fear of death—a major reason that we lack peace—evaporates as we comprehend the glorious truth that we will spend eternity in heaven with Him.

Believing in God’s sovereignty is a second condition for having a tranquil heart. In this troubled world, personal safety is a major concern. To combat fear, we must trust that God controls all things. Knowing that He is in charge will protect us from anxiety and give us peace.

The third thing we must do is understand that God knows our needs and has promised to meet each one (Phil. 4:19). He is a loving Father who delights in giving good gifts to His children. We may not receive all we want, but He’ll give us whatever is necessary to fulfill His purpose for us.

Once we have received Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit will remind us that our future is secure, and our loving, sovereign God will see to it that we have everything we need.

Occupied Territory

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

In our ongoing struggle for both survival and victory in this world, we do well to recognize that we are in enemy territory. While it is true that our Captain created the world—indeed, “all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3)—and sacrificed His life to redeem it and will reign over it for eternity, it is also true that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19), occupied by “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) who is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).

The fact that we are surrounded by such darkness should come as no surprise, for before we were rescued by His grace, we too were part of the darkness—indeed, we had to be called out of it. John the Baptist came “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79). Furthermore, as Christ taught, “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

This confrontation overshadows mere human conflict, however, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). But, praise God, we have been called “out of darkness into his marvellous light” as described in our text. Although we may be still in the world, our King has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). JDM

Know that He was manifested to take away our sins

And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.—1 John 3:5.
They that sin are enemies to their own life.—Tobit 12:10.

TO choose sin is to reject Christ; to be ashamed, for fear of man, to do what Christ commands, is to deny Christ; to do, for fear of man, what Christ forbids, what is it but, with Pilate, to condemn Christ? For a Christian to be guilty of willful deadly sin, what is it, but to crucify Christ afresh, and put Him to an open shame? Do what ye know to be pleasing to God, and avoid, by the grace of God, what ye know will displease Him, and God will enliven your penitence, and enlarge your faith, and brighten your hopes, and kindle your love. Only be very diligent, not knowingly to do anything, which displeases God; be very diligent not to tamper with your conscience and do what you suspect may displease God. EDWARD B. PUSEY.

We can never cling to a besetting sin with one hand, and grasp Jesus Christ with the other. Until thou art content to reckon thyself dead indeed to every known form of sin, whether thou thinkest it small or great, thou never canst follow Jesus. WM. HAY M.H. AITKEN.

I mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us. Isaiah 43:7

He brought me up … out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. — The Son of God … loved me, and gave himself for me. — He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? — God commendeth love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died us.

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. — Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 40:2. Galatians 2:20. Romans 8:32. Romans 5:8. 2 Corinthians 1:22. Ephesians 1:14. Ephesians 2:4-6.

Fear not; for I have redeemed thee

Fear not; for I have redeemed thee. Isaiah 43:1

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. — For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel. — I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. — With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause. — My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 54:4,5 Isaiah 44:22. 1 Peter 1:19. Jeremiah 50:34. John 10:29. Galatians 1:3-5.