Saturday, July 3, 2010

A House Of Prayer

He said to them, "The Scripture says, My house shall be called a house of prayer..."

Jesus Christ had gone into the temple to find it is full of the hustle and bustle of people preparing for the Passover, with all the things for sale in this preparation [Matthew 21: 12-17]. For Jesus, it was not a temple, not a house of prayer, but a den of thieves. Jesus cleanses the temple of all forms of idolatory - He turns over the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of the dove-sellers; He would not let anybody bring more goods into the temple. Although no person is hurt, these images are those of real confrontation. It shows that God is passionate about cleansing the temple and making it a house of prayer.

For the temple to bear much fruit and fulfil its purpose, it has to be cleansed and restored back to what it was original intended for - a house of prayer. Today our bodies have become the temple of the Lord [1 Corinthians 3:16]. It is the desire of our Loving Father that we bear much fruit and fulfil our purposes. Should we find ourselves needing to bear much fruit, we need to look within and ask ourselves, "Is there some form of idolatry that we are practicing that we spend our time and energy on instead of the things that are truly spiritually fruitful? What is it that preoccupies us?"

Your Loving Father desires that you become a "house of prayer" for all people and all nations. Generally speaking, prayer is a means of communication with our heavenly Father. There is power in prayer. Prayer heals; prayer moves mountains; prayer builds and strengthens relationships; prayer creates things. Prayer nourishes our new nature, and causes our souls to flourish and prosper. Prayer eases the struggles in our lives. Your Loving Father wants you to pray, not only for yourself, but for all people and all nations.

Prayer: My Loving Father, it is indeed a privilege that I am Your temple. Thank You. As I align my heart with Yours, I accept to be a house of prayer. Father Lord, reveal to me any area of my life where I am living in idolatory or being preoccupied with things that are not spiritually fruitful. Reveal to me any area of my life that needs cleansing, that I may be prepared to do Your work. Place in me a desire to pray for others. Help me to be diligent and committed to being a house of prayer for people. By Your grace, may I look back at today, sometime in the future, and see how I have evolved into the house of prayer You have called me to be. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In All Humility

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven[Matthew 18:4, NIV]

God places a high premium on humility even though in many circles today it is seen as old fashioned and weak. We live in a society that promotes self projection by all means, encouraging people to utilize every rule in the book to establish their presence, market themselves and blow their own horns. On the contrary, humility in a person allows him to have strong self confidence in his abilities but prefer to honor and respect others above his desire for glory. It represents a secure person whose self worth is not based on other's recognition.

It is important as children of God to consciously give respect to others around us, especially to those from whom we expect nothing in return. Instead of constantly emphasizing personal expertise and success, humility will achieve results but dissociate itself from the glory that follows. Rather than say, 'Me first' in its intentions, humility will say 'you first my friend'. The humble person will be the first to step out to meet the need of the other. Humility leads the way to open mindedness that is willing to learn something new, as opposed to a prideful boastful mind that closes itself up in its purported perfection. Humility paves the way for forgiveness of others and a liberated mind. It taps into resources locked up in unlikely persons that pride would ignore.

In Romans 12:10, we are told to be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. Instead of seeking means to gather honor to oneself, the Lord advises us to prefer others in honor. This is a sign of humility and of love.

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, James 4:6. Without humility we cannot submit ourselves to God in appreciation of all He's done for us. The proud fellow therefore faces opposition and obstacles with every step forward, but to the humble person doors of grace and favor are open wide, prosperity and progress are attained effortlessly, still there will be no sentiments toward personal glory.

Prayer: Dear Lord God, I acknowledge myself as being human and subject to boastful emotions. Cleanse me of all tendency of pride and fill me with your humility that surpasses understanding. As I submit myself to your humility use me to reach out to hurting hearts and let me also receive your grace and reward to live a victorious life I pray in Jesus name.

Pray for someone today - Pray for job seekers, that God who gives us the power to make wealth will supply jobs to His children.

God's love and mine...

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - July 1 2010 - Psalms 31-36 (OT), Ephesians 1 (NT).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Drastic Measures Are Sometimes Needful

If your hand or your foot causes you to lose your faith, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life disabled or injured than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire.

There are certain areas of your life, especially in your walk with God, where drastic measures are needed. You may find out that being with someone causes you to continually sin. You may found out that listening to a particular piece of information may cause you to be pessimistic and make negative confessions. Situations like this need drastic measures.

Jesus Christ in His words teach us that anything that will cause us to lose our faith, we should cut off and throw away. You should be ready to part with something that seem dear to you if it causes you to sin. Nothing should be considered to dear to part with to enable you partake and continue living in the life God has planned for you. Some analogies to cutting off a hand are when Abraham left his native country, for fear of being ensnared in the idolatry of it, and when Moses left Pharoah’s court, for fear of being entangled in the sinful pleasures of it.

Just as drastic measures are needed to enable you enter life, drastic measures are needed when you need to lay hold of the things God has promised and given to you. Ask God to reveal to you what drastic measures you need to take today.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I know it is Your desire that no one perishes. I thank You for teaching me what I could do to ensure I enter life. Father, I pray that You help me identify those things in my life that need cutting off or throwing away, be it habits, people or sin. I pray that You strengthen me, as I obey You, to cut off those things that are not valuable to my life. Teach me what else I should do to lay hold of Your promises for me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Navigating Mountains

There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light
[Matthew 17:2, NIV]

Before now, Jesus spoke to His disciples representing obstacles as mountains. These mountains face a person with great challenges, obstructing normal progression to one's destination. A mountain can also be a stepping stone to your next level. The mountain before you may just be all you need to climb in order to see God's plan for your future.

Jesus took His three disciples and climbed up a mountain where their eyes were opened to the glory of God awaiting them. This same mountain at other times would be an obstacle along the journey. Circumventing a mountain in one's life could mean taking a longer route and causes delays and setbacks with lots of weariness. A mountain may therefore serve as a hindrance to one person but a stepping stone to another. Zech. 4:7 describes a mighty mountain which is a stumbling block to others become level ground to Zerubbabel for the glory of God.

Are you facing a problem and seeing it as an obstacle before you or are you seeing it as a solution to other problems. At times God permits situations around us to enlarge our vision. These things compel us to get closer to God in order to develop our spiritual muscle. By the time the mountain is overcome, we are better Christians than when we started. Ask God to turn the mountains in your life to stepping stones for your next level in Jesus name.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for your word today. For every mountain that stands before me, I declare it will not be my stumbling block in Jesus name. I pronounce that this mountain will be my stepping stone to the next level. This monatin will praise your name in my life Lord, and draw me closer to you, it will cause others to know you as God almighty in Jesus name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - June 29 1010 - Psalm 19-22 (OT), Galatians 5 (NT)

Pray for someone today - Pray for people who are going through a phase change in their lives. People who are stepping into an unknown level of their lives with great expectations and uncertainty. Let the glory of God go before them and make a way of peace and progress. This could be in the area of a new job, marraige, a new project, travelling to a new area, etc.

God's love and mine...

Monday, June 28, 2010

God's Sovereignty

The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.

These verses for today come from the parable of the workers in the vineyard [Matt 20:1-16]. Those who joined in to work towards the end of the day received the same reward as those who started work from the beginning of the day. This parable gives us insight into the heart of our Loving Father. It shows that God distributes His rewards by grace and sovereignty, and not of debt. Halleluyah!

Though your walk with God may be recent compared to your mentors or people you look up to, your time with God does not limit His love for you. It also does not prevent you from receiving from God as one who has walked with God for many more years. You can come anytime, boldly into His throne of grace, to speak to Him, to build your relationship with Him, and make your requests known to Him. Indeed there are benefits in a longer, consistent walk with God such as a deeper relationship, understanding of His ways and principles, knowing how best to approach Him for a request, and even knowing how to overcome temptation. But if you are still young in your walk with God, do not be discouraged but know that You are entitled to His love and blessings as any other child of His. God deals with you by grace and sovereignity.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You that You do not reward based on debts but by Your grace and Sovereignty. I thank You that for any stage I am in my walk with You, Your Love remains unconditional and Your arms are open wide to receive me. I pray Lord, for more of You in my life. I pray for a deeper understanding of You. I receive Your grace and sovereignty today. May I continue to reverence You for who You are. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Choosing To Follow God

...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me
[Matthew 16:24, NKJV]

God doesn't impose Himself on people, instead He gives everyone free will and plenty of room to choose whom they will serve. He however, pours out His unwavering love to us in forgiveness of our sins and in replacing our weaknesses with His strength. He turns His ear towards us to hear us when we call and promises to gather us to Himself, if we make up our minds to follow Him. God has proved time and again that His authority is unrivalled and His compassion unsearchable. To the one that decides to call Him 'Master', He gives a wide embrace.
To succeed in our walk with Him, we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross. To deny ourselves, we must say no to the strongest cravings of our nature, particularly of earthly ease, comfort, dignity or glory. We are to do instead what God requires of us at every moment. The weight of such sacrifice has never been light and it constitutes the cross we carry as we choose to follow God. The pain of sowing that seed, the grief of facing persecution for the sake of Christ, the energy required for self control over that sin is the cross we bear.

As we follow Jesus, we are to humble self to the background and make him our teacher. We are to obey His instructions and uphold His cause, although it leads us to heaven, by way of a cross. Jesus encourages everyone who decides to follow Him with a promise saying, '...whoever loses His life for my sake will find it'.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your encouragement today and accepting me into your household. As I carry my cross and follow you, I pray Lord give me strength and courage. For my sake Jesus, you carried your cross to victory, I receive strength from you. Every self indulgence I have preferred over you, I lay aside to your will. Be my master and let me be your humble servant to eternal victory in Jesus name, Amen.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - June 27 2010 - Psalm 9-11 (OT), Galatians 3 (NT).

Pray for someone today - Let's pray for Christians who carry heavy crosses for the sake of God's Kingdom, that they will get their life back here on earth and in heaven.