VIDEO Prayer That Moves God

Feb 28, 2017

Dr. Charles Stanley

Prayer is seriously powerful business. So often, though, we treat it as a perfunctory task to be checked off our daily to-do list. How can we shift our attitudes from boredom and obligation to joy and expectation? The Lord always inclines His ear to His children. Learn the foundational principles of effective prayer, and how to confidently approach God with our petitions and requests.

Advertisements

The Debt Eraser

The Debt Eraser

 

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

I blinked back tears as I reviewed my medical bill. Considering my husband’s severe cut in salary after a lengthy unemployment, even paying half of the balance would require years of small monthly installments. I prayed before calling the doctor’s office to explain our situation and request a payment plan.

After leaving me on hold for a short time, the receptionist informed me the doctor had zeroed out our account.

Our greatest debt, caused by sin, is erased by our greater God.

I sobbed a thank you. The generous gift overwhelmed me with gratitude. Hanging up the phone, I praised God. I considered saving the bill, not as a reminder of what I used to owe but as a reminder of what God had done.

My physician’s choice to pardon my debt brought to mind God’s choice to forgive the insurmountable debt of my sins. Scripture assures us God is “compassionate and gracious” and “abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). He “does not treat us as our sins deserve” (v. 10). He removes our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (v. 12), when we repent and accept Christ as our Savior. His sacrifice erases the debt we once owed. Completely.

Once forgiven, we aren’t defined by or limited by our past debt. In response to the Lord’s extravagant gift, we can acknowledge all He’s done. Offering our devoted worship and grateful affection, we can live for Him and share Him with others.

Thank You for erasing our debt completely when we place our confidence in You, Lord.

Our greatest debt, caused by sin, is erased by our greater God.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

Psalm 103:13–14 is an example of the Bible’s characterization of God as a powerful, protective father (see Psalm 68:5; Isaiah 63:8). When Jesus came, He emphasized this idea, teaching His disciples to pray to God as Father (Matthew 6:9; 18:19). Remembering that God loves us like a father is a powerful reminder of His unconditional love. No matter how many mistakes their children make, good parents never stop loving them. And when children stray into danger, loving parents are willing to do anything to bring them safely home.

Jesus taught us that God feels the same about us (see Luke 15:11–32). ​

When humankind walked away from Him, God was willing to pay the ultimate price to restore us into His family, enduring the weight of all our sin (Ephesians 1:7). Because of Jesus, believers need never doubt that they are God’s children (Romans 8:14–17).

How does remembering that God is your Father encourage you?

Monica Brands

Always Be Careful

Ephesians 4:1-7, Ephesians 4:14-16

Do you know for sure that what you believe has a rock-solid foundation? Far too many people of various faiths have been swayed by a leader with a charismatic personality—someone who is eloquent, persuasive, and smooth. Be careful! The Christian’s beliefs are to be grounded in what God teaches, so make certain yours are based on more than simply the ideas of an impressive communicator.

Paul warned his protégé Timothy to beware false doctrine and those who teach only what their listeners want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3). But how can we hope to recognize error unless we know the truth of God’s Word and can use it as a measuring stick?

Knowing the teachings of Scripture not only helps guard against being deceived by false doctrine but also protects you from intimidation by those who might attack your faith. Therefore, examine what you believe and why. Doing so will …

1. Prevent you from being misled.
2. Protect you from fear and intimidation.
3. Prepare you to answer questions from those honestly seeking truth.
4. Enable you to be persuasive in presenting what you believe.
5. Deepen your personal relationship with God.

By regularly spending time in God’s Word, you develop a biblical filter through which all new information passes. That filter in your mind enables you to distinguish between what’s false and what’s true. If that is firmly established in your mind and heart, you’ll be able to identify God’s truth.

If by Any Means

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:11)

The usage of this seemingly insignificant phrase, “if by any means” (Greek ei pos), follows a significant order of development in the New Testament. Occurring only four times, it is used to express the urgency of an object sought and the background needs and means for its attainment.

The context of the first occurrence is the presumed need for physical comfort and security. “Because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter” (Acts 27:12). This particular goal, however, was never attained.

The second is a more noble object, that of reaching an area of spiritual ministry. “Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,” Paul said. “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you . . . that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift” (Romans 1:9-11).

The next occurrence speaks in even greater urgency, the object being the conversion of Paul’s Jewish brethren. “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. . . . If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Romans 11:13-14).

The final occurrence is in today’s verse, speaking of the supreme importance of a Christ-centered life: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). By all means, therefore, we should, like Paul, seek to live for Christ, minister to others, and win souls for Him. HMM

Ye cannot serve God and mammon

2 Kings 17:1-7, 12-18, 24-29, 33

2 Kings 17:1, 2

Though best of all the kings of Israel, he was bad; and though bad, he was the best. God takes care to give men their due, and say all in their favour that can be said.

2 Kings 17:3, 4

Egypt was the rival power to Assyria, and the petty kings were first on one side and then on the other, as they hoped to gain advantage.

2 Kings 17:6

This was the close of the guilty career of the kingdom of Israel.

2 Kings 17:24

Thus the land was peopled by a motley company collected from several conquered nations. This was a part of the policy of the Assyrian monarch, in order to keep the nations his slaves.

2 Kings 17:25

Still has God some champions left: lions prove loyal if men are traitors.

2 Kings 17:26, 27

They imagined that there was a deity for each country, and that Israel’s god must be appeased.

2 Kings 17:28, 29

And this mongrel religion is fashionable still: men try to serve God and Mammon, but in vain. God will have no rival, he will be all or nothing. May God deliver us from this Samaritan mixture. Amen.

 

Benefits of His Grace

But now in Christ Jesus… ye are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12)

Only a believing Christian can testify, “I am a sinner—saved by the grace of God!” But that is not the whole story. All that we have is cut of His grace. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, is the open channel through whom God moves to provide all the benefits He gives, both to saints and to sinners—yes, even to sinners!

Even though you may still be unconverted and going your own way, you have received much out of the ocean of His fullness. You have received the pulsing life that beats in your bosom.

You have received the brilliant mind and the brain without which you could not function. You have received a memory that strings the events you cherish as a jeweler strings pearls into a necklace.

When we say to an unbelieving man, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” we are actually saying to him: “Believe on the One who sustains you and upholds you and who has given you life. Believe in the One who pities you and spares you and keeps you. Believe on the One out of whom you came!”

 

Purity of Heart and Life

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8

Purity, even purity of heart, is the main thing to be aimed at. We need to be made clean within through the Spirit and the Word, and then we shall be clean without by consecration and obedience. There is a close connection between the affections and the understanding: if we love evil, we cannot understand that which is good. If the heart is foul, the eye will be dim. How can those men see a holy God who love unholy things?

What a privilege it is to see God here! A glimpse of Him is Heaven below! In Christ Jesus the pure in heart behold the Father. We see Him, His truth, His love, His purpose, His sovereignty, His covenant character, yea, we see Himself in Christ. But this is Only apprehended as sin is kept out of the heart. Only those who aim at godliness can cry, “Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord.” The desire of Moses, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory,” can only be fulfilled in us as we purify ourselves from all iniquity. We shall “see him as he is”; and “every one that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” The enjoyment of present fellowship and the hope of the beatific vision are urgent motives for purity of heart and life. Lord, make us pure in heart, that we may see Thee!

 

%d bloggers like this: