VIDEO Prayer in the Father’s Hearing

Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” —John 11:41

 

When the Son of God prays, He is mindful and consciously aware of only His Father. God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God has been formed in me (see Galatians 4:19) the Father will always hear my prayers. But I must see to it that the Son of God is exhibited in my human flesh. “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19), that is, your body is the Bethlehem of God’s Son. Is the Son of God being given His opportunity to work in me? Is the direct simplicity of His life being worked out in me exactly as it was worked out in His life while here on earth? When I come into contact with the everyday occurrences of life as an ordinary human being, is the prayer of God’s eternal Son to His Father being prayed in me? Jesus says, “In that day you will ask in My name…” (John 16:26). What day does He mean? He is referring to the day when the Holy Spirit has come to me and made me one with my Lord.

Is the Lord Jesus Christ being abundantly satisfied by your life, or are you exhibiting a walk of spiritual pride before Him? Never let your common sense become so prominent and forceful that it pushes the Son of God to one side. Common sense is a gift that God gave to our human nature— but common sense is not the gift of His Son. Supernatural sense is the gift of His Son, and we should never put our common sense on the throne. The Son always recognizes and identifies with the Father, but common sense has never yet done so and never will. Our ordinary abilities will never worship God unless they are transformed by the indwelling Son of God. We must make sure that our human flesh is kept in perfect submission to Him, allowing Him to work through it moment by moment. Are we living at such a level of human dependence upon Jesus Christ that His life is being exhibited moment by moment in us?

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”?  Disciples Indeed, 389 L


John 11:33-12:11 – Skip Heitzig

 

His Death Brought Life

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

 

During her ministry to men incarcerated in South Africa’s most violent prison, Joanna Flanders-Thomas witnessed the power of Christ to transform hearts. In Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey describes her experience: “Joanna started visiting prisoners daily, bringing them a simple gospel message of forgiveness and reconciliation. She earned their trust, got them to talk about their abusive childhoods, and showed them a better way of resolving conflicts. The year before her visits began, the prison recorded 279 acts of violence against inmates and guards; the next year there were two.”

The apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). While we may not always see that newness expressed as dramatically as Flanders-Thomas did, the gospel’s power to transform is the greatest hope-providing force in the universe. New creations. What an amazing thought! The death of Jesus launches us on a journey of becoming like Him—a journey that will culminate when we see Him face-to-face (see 1 John 3:1–3).

As believers in Jesus we celebrate our life as new creations. Yet we must never lose sight of what that cost Christ. His death brings us life. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

How has Jesus’ transforming work been evidenced in your life? What areas of your life are still in need of that “new creation” impact?

Loving Father, thank You that, because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I am a new creation. Forgive me for the times I return to the old things that need to pass away.

Sunday Reflection: The Difficulty of Peacemaking

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Moments after teaching the Beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained how His followers were to begin the work of making peace: Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, love and greet people who aren’t like you (Matt. 5:44-47). But sometimes even offering a simple greeting to someone you don’t usually speak to can feel daunting.

There are many examples from Jesus’ own life where making peace was difficult because the people He was trying to love responded with ridicule or even hostility. (See Mark 2:6-7; Luke 7:34; John 8:48.) There were even moments when His own family didn’t believe Him (John 7:5). Yet He overcame these experiences and offered reconciliation—with both God and one another—to all humankind. And as our awareness of the grace and strength offered to us grows, so will our desire to cultivate peace around us.

Think about it

• What are some new ways you can begin the work of making peace in your daily life?

• Can you think of an experience when making or seeking peace was difficult? How did you respond?

Humanity’s First Job Given

“God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

This verse is often called the dominion mandate and is repeated and amplified in Genesis 9:1-7. The purpose is clear: accept the responsibility to bring into subjection all of Earth’s systems and creatures, effectively managing its resources, growing and expanding until the earth is filled with the fruits of that labor.

Humanity’s first job description: When God made the garden “eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8) and placed Adam there, Adam was to “dress [serve] and keep [guard]” that special and lavishly designed estate (Genesis 2:8-15) in the unique role as initial occupant but more broadly as God’s steward for Earth. There were no instructions on how to serve and guard, only the general “orders” from the Owner to the steward.

Humanity’s implied responsibility: Since there were no instructions about the functioning systems of Earth, Adam had to first learn about the earth’s systems and processes (science), and then organize and utilize the discoveries in productive ways to help others and honor the Creator (technology).

The information about those practical inventions and products of technology had to then be accurately disseminated to everyone through business, education, communication, transportation, etc.

And finally, both the information and inventions had to be received so that the divine evaluation (“very good”) was detailed in works of music, art, and literature, glorifying and praising God for all He had done in creating and making all things.

The ongoing responsibility is still in effect in us “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). HMM III

Our Desperate Personal Search

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

—Matthew 5:16

 

The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search throughout his lifetime. He does not really know where he has been. He does not really know what he is doing here and now. He does not know where he is going.

The sad commentary is that he is doing it all on borrowed time and borrowed money and borrowed strength—and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! It boils down to the bewildered confession of many that “we have lost God somewhere along the way.”…

Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave—reflecting only his own sinfulness.

Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that man, made with a soul to worship and praise and sing to God’s glory, now sulks silently in his cave. Love has gone from his heart. Light has gone from his mind. Having lost God, he blindly stumbles on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end.   WHT065-066

Lord, help me to be a light shining in this dark and gloomy cave. Let my light shine today to aid someone struggling blindly through this dark world. Amen.

 

For the Solitary Heart

Now to him that is of power to stablish you…to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

—Romans 16:25, 27

 

The man that will have God’s best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up.

God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed.

If this should seem to be an unduly individualistic approach to revival, let it be remembered that religion is personal before it can be social….

The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.

It is a matter for the solitary heart. SIZ015

It is certainly not speculative that God is able to manifest Himself most in the lives of those who passionately love Him (see John 14:21)….And He will do that. ROL091

 

Following Christ

Matthew 4:19

What is following Christ? It is not difficult to discover. Here a child can be on a level with the most learned divine. It simply means keeping His words and copying His example. Following means imitating. The children of Israel followed the pillar of cloud. They went in the same direction it went; they stopped when it stopped.

Now many make a common mistake with regard to following Christ, and it is a disastrous one. They think it means following Him to heaven, and that in the most comfortable way possible. Whereas the true idea, the idea which was taught by His example—and explained a thousands times over by His words—was that following Christ means following Him from heaven into a world of sin by paths of sorrow and suffering; indeed, just doing as He did. To be a Christian in reality is to be a Christ—man or Christ—woman.

Following Christ must mean having the same purpose. How is it possible without? How can the marksman hit the same mark if he does not take the same aim? How will a vessel reach New York if she does not steer for that port? How can a man follow Christ if he is not moved by the same purpose?

What was His purpose? The salvation of the world. Not the humiliation and suffering, and agony and death. These were only the means by which the end could be reached. He wanted to reach the dying millions, and by living a divine life before them, to make the salvation of all possible, to make the salvation of multitudes sure.

This was His purpose. To this every thought, and feeling, and effort was He offered up. His whole being was consecrated to its accomplishment.

Here is your pattern. What are you living for? What is the deep secret purpose that controls and fashions your existence? Let us watch and fashion ourselves with our divine Model.

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion

 

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