With Christ in the School of Prayer – Andrew Murray / Full Christian Audio Book
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
One of the first prayers I learned as a little boy was “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .” It was a prayer I learned from my parents, and I taught it to my son and daughter when they were little. As a child, I found great comfort in placing myself in God’s hands with those words before I fell asleep.
There’s a similar prayer neatly tucked away in the “prayer book” of the Bible, the Psalms. Some biblical scholars suggest that the phrase “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5) was a “bedtime” prayer taught to children in Jesus’s day.
You may recognize that prayer as Jesus’s final cry from the cross. But Jesus added one more word to it: Father (Luke 23:46). By praying that word in the moments before His death, Jesus demonstrated His intimate relationship with the Father and pointed believers toward their home with Him (John 14:3).
Jesus died on the cross so we could live in the wonder of a relationship with God as our heavenly Father. How comforting it is to know that because of Jesus’s sacrificial love for us, we can rest in God’s care as His children! We can close our eyes without fear because our Father watches over us and has promised to wake us up to life with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
Lord Jesus, I receive the gift of forgiveness You offer me through the cross. Help me to turn from my sins and follow You, all the way home.
A bright new morning awaits us in Jesus.
In Luke’s account of Christ’s death, we see several dramatic events. A seemingly inexplicable darkness was present over the entire earth—not just over Jerusalem where the crucifixion took place (vv. 44–45). Inside the temple in Jerusalem the curtain that separated worshipers from the holy of holies was torn in two, symbolizing that through Christ our access to God has been opened (v. 45). After Christ died, a Roman soldier who had participated in His execution declared, “Surely this was a righteous man” (v. 47). And others watching lamented and beat their breasts (v. 48).
The witness in the sky, within the temple, and by people at the foot of the cross demonstrate that this was no ordinary death. It was the death of the loving God-Man who shed His blood to redeem all who would believe in Him.
For further study, see The Passion of Christ at discoveryseries.org/q0210.
We’re all familiar with Jesus’ last instructions to His followers: Matthew 28:19 says to make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the next verse contains a second aspect of the directive: “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” The Great Commission is usually associated with world evangelism, but baptism and obedience to Christ are also important because they are outward signs of a disciple’s inward faith.
In today’s passage, Paul explains the reason for proclaiming Christ and admonishing and teaching believers: “That we may present every man complete in Christ” (Col. 1:28). To simply lead someone to salvation without teaching him God’s Word is equivalent to leaving a newborn baby to fend for himself. Salvation begins the lifelong process of learning obedience and growing into spiritual maturity.
Furthermore, we can’t limit the task of teaching to pastors and missionaries any more than we can say that they alone are called to evangelize the lost. The entire church is given the assignment of making disciples and teaching them to obey the Lord. Instead of simply sitting in church services, Sunday schools, and Bible studies to soak up more truth for our own benefit, let’s pass on to others what we have learned.
Teaching isn’t the exclusive role of those who stand at podiums in front of large groups. It’s something that can be done one-on-one over coffee. Think about all that you have learned since you were saved. What can you share with someone else that will help him or her grow in Christ?
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Timothy 3:1)
There has always been some confusion about the biblical term “the last days.” Many times the phrase is associated with the Great Tribulation period. Some commentaries appear to relate the era to the final days just before the Lord returns to put an end to the universe.
It does appear, however, that the “last days” began officially at Pentecost when the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 was fulfilled and verified by Peter in his sermon recorded in Acts 2:14-21. That same Peter reaffirmed that the Lord Jesus “was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20). And, just so there could not be any doubt, the apostle John said simply, “Little children, it is the last time” (1 John 2:18).
Paul’s warning to Timothy was that these last days will be filled with “perilous times.” The Greek term translated “perilous” is chalepos. Its basic meaning is “stress” or “fierce,” coming from a root word meaning to “reduce strength.” Other Bible versions translate the term as “dangerous” or “difficult” times. The word could well be understood as “strength-sapping pressure.”
The “times” that will be perilous are “seasons” or “periods” that will characterize these “last days.” The verses that follow our text contain a list of the kinds of “peril” that will “stress” those who would live godly lives. This warning is not unique. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
No wonder we are told: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). HMM III
After Peter and John had healed the lame man, they preached the gospel in the courts of the temple.
Acts 4:3, 4
Quesnel says, “Truth may be oppressed, but it cannot be suppressed; the preacher may be bound, but not the word.”
How Peter glories in the name of Jesus; how he brandishes it in the face of the foe! Almighty power lies in it, and blessed is he who has made it his trust.
The sun might as easily leave off shining as good men desist from speaking of Jesus.
Acts 4:29, 30
Thus psalms and prayers were presented to the Lord by the united church, and the work went on triumphantly. We, too, have equal cause for adoration, for the Lord of Hosts is with us, working for the glory of his Son.
That ye may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:10)
Any belief that does not command the daily walk of the one who holds it is not a real belief: it is a pseudo-belief only!
I think it might shock some of us profoundly if we were suddenly brought face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fores of practical living. How many professing Christians boast in the Lord but watch carefully that they never get caught fully depending on Him? Pseudo-faith always arranges a way out to serve in case God “fails.”
What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians prepared to trust God as completely now as they must do at the last day! For each of us, the time is surely coming when we shall all have nothing but God! To the men of pseudo-faith, that is a terrifying thought!
For true faith, it is either God or total collapse, and not since Adam first stood up on the earth has God failed anyone who trusted Him! We can prove our faith by our committal to it—and in no other way!
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Ps. 30:5
A moment under our Father’s anger seems very long, and yet it is but a moment after all. If we grieve His Spirit we cannot look for His smile; but He is a God ready to pardon, and He soon puts aside all remembrance of our faults. When we faint and are ready to die because of His frown, His favor puts new life into us.
This verse has another note of the semi- quaver kind. Our weeping night soon turns into joyous day. Brevity is the mark of mercy in the hour of the chastisement of believers. The Lord loves not to use the rod on His chosen; He gives a blow or two, and all is Over; yea, and the life and the joy, which follow the anger and the weeping, more than make amends for the salutary sorrow.
Come, my heart, begin thy hallelujahs! Weep not all through the night, but wipe thine eyes in anticipation of the morning. These tears are dews which mean us as much good as the sunbeams of the morrow. Tears clear the eyes for the sight of God in His grace; and make the vision of His favor more precious. A night of sorrow supplies those shades of the pictures by which the highlights are brought out with distinctness. All is well.