VIDEO Confidence in Prayer, Defeating Evil with Prayer

Confidence in Prayer

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

The country music star Vince Gill once gave a small concert in a high school gymnasium. While he was onstage performing, a small girl made her way up onto the stage where she ran over to her daddy—Vince Gill—who scooped her up in his arms.

That little girl was not intimidated by her father’s fame, the bright lights, or the adoring crowd. She had every confidence that she was more important to her father than anything else. And she was right! That earthly illustration helps us understand the words of Hebrews 4:16—we are exhorted to come boldly, with confidence, to God’s throne of grace in prayer to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” It might be easy to be intimidated by the glory of God. But He is our Father who welcomes us, His children, into His presence.

If there is a need you’re reluctant to ask God to meet, go into His presence with confidence. His mercy and grace are there for the asking.

God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility to pray, but rather makes it possible for us to pray with confidence. Jerry Bridges


Dr. Jack Hayford: Defeating Evil with Prayer

The Best Strategy for Life

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. Ecclesiastes 4:12

As we watched my daughter’s basketball game from the bleachers, I heard the coach utter a single word to the girls on the court: “Doubles.” Immediately, their defensive strategy shifted from one-on-one to two of their players teaming against their tallest ball-holding opponent. They were successful in thwarting her efforts to shoot and score, eventually taking the ball down the court to their own basket.

When Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, grapples with the toils and frustrations of the world, he too acknowledges that having a companion in our labors yields “a good return” (4:9). While a person battling alone “may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (v. 12). A friend nearby can help us up when we fall down (v. 10).

Solomon’s words encourage us to share our journey with others so we don’t face the trials of life alone. For some of us, that requires a level of vulnerability we’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Others of us crave that kind of intimacy and struggle to find friends with whom to share it. Whatever the case, we mustn’t give up in the effort.

Solomon and basketball coaches agree: having teammates around us is the best strategy for facing the struggles that loom large on the court and in life. Lord, thank You for the people You put in our lives to encourage and support us.

By Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

Who has helped you through a difficult time? Who could use your support and encouragement? How will you help them?

God gives us friends to help face life’s battles.

Walk in God’s Ways

Psalm 81:10-16

Most of us realize there’s no guarantee that life will be pleasant and easy. But when disappointment or hardship comes, we are often more preoccupied with finding a way out than with understanding how God is moving in our situation. One danger of this approach is that we might not recognize if we’ve gotten off course.

The Lord wants us to know His ways so that we can walk in them. Yet like Israel, we fail to listen to Him and instead plot our own course through life. As a result, we experience unnecessary suffering—a high price for disobedience. We should remember that though walking in God’s ways may lead us through painful valleys, His grace is always there to strengthen our faith and bring comfort and encouragement. But we forgo such mercies if we rebel and go our own way.

So consider whether your life is aligned with the Lord’s ways or aligned with your own. He always leads us in holiness, wisdom, faith, and obedience. But our ways are a result of convenience, self-interest, self-advancement, and human reasoning. The Lord’s path is always the best, and ours is usually costly.

No matter where you find yourself today, God is calling out to you, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). The imagery is that of a baby bird with its beak stretched wide to receive the food its parent brings. The Lord wants to feed you with His Word so you can learn His ways. Are you open to receiving it? More importantly, are you willing to obey it?

Sit at the Right Hand of God

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1)

The 110th Psalm is one of the most significant of the so-called Messianic Psalms, prophesying of Christ a thousand years before He came. Its very first verse should completely settle the question as to whether or not the Old Testament teaches that there is only one person in the Godhead since it recounts an actual conversation between at least two Persons of the Godhead. This first verse is quoted, in whole or in part, at least five times in the New Testament and was even used by Christ Himself (Matthew 22:41-46) to prove His own deity.

Two of the Hebrew names for God are used: “Jehovah said unto Adonai. . . .” The name Jehovah is used again in verses 2-4, and Adonai in verse 5. God, in the person of Adonai, has gone to Earth on a divine mission to save His people but has been repudiated by His enemies on Earth. Accordingly, God, in the person of Jehovah, invites Him back to heaven for a time, where He will be at His right hand until it is time for Him to return to Earth to rule, striking through all opposing “kings in the day of his wrath” (v. 5).

In this coming “day of thy power” (v. 3), “thy people shall be willing.” The word here is actually the word for “free will offerings.” They will be as priests offering their own lives to Him as freewill offerings when they finally recognize Him as their Messiah/King and eternal High Priest (v. 4).

Now, although this prophecy applies specifically to the second coming and the future conversion of Israel, there is a beautiful secondary application used in Scripture for His people right now. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). HMM

A Shell Here and a Shell There

 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

—John 1:14

None of us can approach a serious study and consideration of the eternal nature and person of Jesus Christ without sensing and confessing our complete inadequacy in the face of the divine revelation….

Now, I have said all of this because my best faith and my loftiest expectation do not allow me to believe that I can do justice to a text that begins: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) and concludes: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (1:18).

This is what we will attempt to do: we will walk along the broad seashore of God and pick up a shell here and a shell there, holding each up to the light to admire its beauty. While we may ultimately have a small store of shells to take with us, they can but remind us of the truth and the fact that there stretches the vastness of the seashore around the great lips of the oceans—and that still buried there is far more than we can ever hope to find or see!   CES009, 011

Lord, I glory in the shells I’m looking at this morningand revel in the vastness of the seashore around me! Amen.

 

Also walk in the Spirit

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.—Galatians 5:25.

He that followetb me shall not walk in darkness.—John 8:12.

 

No, my dear Lord, in following Thee,

Not in the dark, uncertainly,

This foot obedient moves,

T’is with a Brother and a King,

Who many to His yoke will bring;

Who ever lives and ever loves.

John Gambold.

 

If we are so led by the Spirit, where we go, and what we do, is of comparatively little moment; we may be forced by the circumstances of our life into surroundings that seem full of peril, but if God sent us there, such surroundings can do us no harm, though they may dull our feeling of happiness. Only let us remember that if, by God’s mercy, we are free agents, and can choose our own way of life, then it is simple mockery to talk of aspirations for the higher life, if we deliberately indulge our lower nature, by living in an atmosphere of worldliness, or by doing something which is, perhaps, quite innocent for others, but consciously works us harm.

George H. Wilkinson.

 

No one who has not tried it would believe how many difficulties are cleared out of a man’s road by the simple act of trying to follow Christ.

Alexander MacLaren.

 

Trust Does Mean Joy

“For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” Ps. 33:21

The root of faith produces the flower of heart-joy. We may not at the first rejoice, but it comes in due time. We trust the Lord when we are sad, and in due season He so answers our confidence that our faith turns to fruition and we rejoice in the Lord. Doubt breeds distress, but trust means joy in the long run.

The assurance expressed by the Psalmist in this verse is really a promise held out in the hands of holy confidence. Oh for grace to appropriate it. If we do not rejoice at this moment, yet we shall do so, as surely as David’s God is our God.

Let us meditate upon the Lord’s holy name, that we may trust Him the better and rejoice the more readily. He is in character holy, just, true, gracious, faithful and unchanging. Is not such a God to be trusted? He is all-wise, almighty, and everywhere present; can we not cheerfully rely upon Him? Yes, we will do so at once, and do so without reserve. Jehovah-Jireh will provide, Jehovah-Shalom will send peace, Jehovah-Tsidkenu will justify, Jehovah-Shammah will be for ever near, and in Jehovah-Nissi we will conquer every foe. They that know thy name will trust thee; and they that trust thee will rejoice in thee, O Lord.