Friday, July 23, 2010

Victory Rests With God

Do your best, prepare for the worst-
then trust God to bring victory.

There are people who are believing God for answers to prayers but do not want to act. God expects us to play some part in receiving from Him. One of such ways is in planning or preparing for what we want to receive.

God still performs miracles and does supernatural things. Yet, our preparedness counts. One searching for a job needs to get his credentials and prepare for tests and interviews. One who is ill may need to see a doctor and take medication (whether drugs or the word of God). One who wants to ace his exams would have to study. One who wants to start a business may have to carry out a market survey. Some level of planning and preparedness is needed.

With all our preparedness and readiness, we can trust God to bring the victory. However, we must seek Him and trust Him for our success in whatever we set out to do. When success is obtained, we must give God all the glory. Our concern as we prepare must be to make God our friend, involve Him in our plans, and secure His favour.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for in You I have the victory. Lord, as I wait on You for answers to my prayers, show me areas where I can prepare. May I not make my plans without You. I will do my best, prepare for the worst, but trust You to bring victory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Actions and Motives

"...I can guarantee that unless you live a life that has God’s approval and do it more faithfully than the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven..."

The characteristic of a follower of Christ is not that he does good things, but that he is good in his motives, having been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to place within anyone who would let Him a new heredity that would have a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees.

The words of Jesus today implies, “If you are My follower, you must be right not only in your actions, but also in your motives.” Your motives need to be so pure that your Loving Father can see nothing to rebuke. But then who can stand in the eternal light of God and have nothing for Him to rebuke? Only the Son of God. Jesus Christ claims that through His redemption. He can place within anyone His own nature and make that person as pure and as simple as a child. The purity that God demands is impossible unless one can be remade within, and that is exactly what Jesus did for us through His redemption.

No one can make himself pure by obeying laws. By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour, you have become a new creature with a new heredity. You become righteous because of Him. You have His teachings and the Holy Spirit, who brings to your remembrance all things, to work on your motives and aspirations. Simply put, you are not righteous because of your deeds but because of what Jesus did for you through His redemption. Making a mistake or falling into sin, does not take your away your new heredity and righteousness in Christ.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Thank You for this priviledge. Thank You that it is not by my works that I am called righteous, but by the amazing redemption Jesus Christ got for me. May I always be conscious of my motives in all that I do. May I take out time to reflect on the things I do and aspire to be. I pray that You align my motives with Your will. May I continue to live in the truth and realization that I am Your righteousness in Christ Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Will That Matters

“Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”

These heartfelt words of Jesus were uttered before His betrayal and arrest. He had gone with His disciples to the olive grove called Gethsemane. When He felt deeply troubled and distressed, to the extent that His soul was crushed with grief to the point of death, He went aside to speak to His Father. In His words, He points out that everything is possible for God. God could reduce the time He had to wait. God could make Him hardened to the emotions He was going through. And Jesus could have decided not to go ahead with the plan of His Father because of the pain, grief, sorrow and distress He was going through. Yet He submitted to the will of God. Otherwise what would have become of me and you?

Your heart may be troubled, filled with sorrow and uncertainty about your future, but as you walk with God and desire to be fruitful in Him, it has to be Him who leads the way. It has to be Him who opens doors for you. It has to be His will and not yours. It is hard to not be anxious. But your Loving Father is always working in our lives. With any situation that you are going through, as long as you submit to His will, He will strengthen you in His word, and teach you important virtues such as love, kindness, patience, persistence, and trust. With God, you do not need to insist on your way. It is better to trust Him and wait on Him, knowing that He has a plan and a purpose for your life. It is important to seek God and know His will in every situation to enable you stand in authority when you are being attacked by the enemy, and not accept such as "the will of God".

Have you ever stood before God and demanded your own way on something? Have you ever come to the point of blackmailing Him (so to speak) when He has not come through for you? The pattern of the Christian life that Jesus Christ demonstrated for us is one of submission to God our Father. He enjoyed unadulterated and uninterrupted peace in His relationship with God, for He learned obedience through His sufferings. Rather than turning His heart away from God in angry defiance and demandingness, He submitted to the One who loved Him. What will you do?

Prayer: My Loving Father, there are times when I may wonder about my future. Today I realize that You are good, that You have a plan and purpose for my life, and that You use waiting periods to prepare me for whatever it is that You will for my life. Lord let me never want what I want, but always look to You and pray that Your will be done in my life. I thank You for all You are doing in and through me, and I ask You, Father, to help me in every area of my life, that it would be pleasing and glorifiying to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Forgiveness And Prayer

"...But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too."

Jesus Christ said these words to His disciples when He was assuring them that they can pray for anything, and if they believe that they have received it, it will be theirs.This shows the importance of forgiveness in receiving answers to our prayers. Again, we all want God to forgive us our sins. Forgiving those who have wronged us is a good step towards obtaining the pardon of our own sins.

When we are at prayer, we must remember to pray for others, particularly for our enemies, and those that have wronged us. We cannot pray sincerely that God would do them good, if we bear malice to them, bear a grudge, meditate revenge, speak and wish them ill. We should forgive them sincerely from our heart, and where possible reach out to them to be reconciled with them.

May an unforgiving spirit not hinder answers to our prayers. May unforgiveness not prevent us from receiving forgiveness from God. If there is anyone you know who may have wronged you, or who you have wronged, and you are habouring an unforgiving spirit towards that person, take out time to be reconciled with the person in the best way you can.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for the assurance that I can pray for anything and if I believe that I have received it, it will be mine. Lord, You also said that if I am praying and I hold a grudge against anyone, I should forgive that person. Father Lord, I pray You search my heart and reveal to me anyone whom I am holding a grudge against. I pray, Father, for grace and ability to forgive that person sincerely. I pray that the person's heart will also be receptive towards me, that we may be reconciled. May unforgiveness not come in between my receiving answers to prayers. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Wait Not In Vain

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.

A farmer becomes satisfied when he reaps a harvest; and a physician only closes a case when he examines the effect of the medicine he prescribes and he believes it has worked. As Christians, we need to demonstrate that much care regarding the effect of our labor in prayer. We should not neglect to look for the answers to what we have asked.

Every prayer of the Christian, whether for temporal or spiritual blessings, will be fully answered if it meets certain biblical requirements. It must be prayed in faith and in accordance with God's will. It must rely on God's promise, be offered up in the name of Jesus Christ, and be prayed under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

God always hears and answers the prayers of His children. His answer may not not always be as we expect. He answers our prayer not only to reveal His own glory but also to provide for the Christian's spiritual and eternal welfare. Since we see in Scripture that Jesus Christ never rejected even a single petitioner who came to Him, we can believe that no prayer made in His name will be in vain.

If it seems the answers to your prayers are being delayed, still wait upon God and submit to Him. The wait will not be in vain. No one would answer your prayer in such a satisfying way, like your Loving Father will. Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith; they also give us opportunities to honor God through our steadfast confidence in Him even when facing the apparent denial of our request.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for the assurance that my prayers prayed according to Your will are not in vain. Thank You that I can continue to hope and wait because You are faithful and true to Your promises. You are not bound by time. You are not limited in power. If it seems that the answers to my prayers are being delayed, my soul will continue to wait upon You and I will submit to You, Father, for my hope and expectation are from You. In Jesus Name, Amen.