Day 33: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 33: Marketing our faith has seemingly become the standard these days. One must have a spin to convince people to attend your particular church or event. This may catch the odd few, but what is the heart behind your mission? Is your mission to reach the lost or have the latest and greatest ministry? I wonder if Jesus was around today what his slogan for his ministry would be? Would he even have one?

 

16 March 15

DAY THIRTY-THREE

“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honour to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. (Matthew 7:6 MSG)

WWJD, P.U.S.H., Jesus Freak, Jesus take the wheel, I could list many other slogans that have come around through the years, but the question I have is do people flock to these because they were cute or because they lead people to Christ. I mean if Nike hadn’t taken “Just Do It” would that not fit our desire for unbelievers to come to Christ?

Now I am not saying the slogans above were wrong, but at some point, they were all over merchandised because someone somewhere knew there was money in these statements. Now, these slogans are just catch phrases that don’t carry much weight and are used by unbelievers as much as believers but thrown around flippant in humour or distaste.

We as believers need to focus on what the bible says, what Jesus taught us and following His call for us to make disciples. I see us teaching someone WWJD, but failing to take the time to show them in the scripture what Jesus actually did, expecting a new believer to just know. Not what we were called to do, we are called to make disciples, we are not supposed to lead them to Christ and walk away. We can’t teach them Pray Until Something Happens but not take the time to show them what the Holy word says about prayer and the examples of God answering prayer. How can we expect them to be a Jesus freak when we don’t show them what it means to love Jesus so much that you would be willing to die for Him?

Slogans work great for a season, but the word of God lasts forever. I don’t expect to see slogan t-shirts in heaven. So, don’t get caught up in the latest Christian slogan, focus on what God wrote for us. Just do it.

Dear Jesus, help us to focus on Your teaching and calling for us. To make disciples is our desire. It is to easy to be caught up in the next Christian hype, but Jesus we want Your kingdom to grow and that none shall perish. Help us to get that embedded into our hearts. Thank You for giving us a guide on how to live. Amen

Day 32: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 32: We become a people who will eat anything? Remember there was the group of confused people a few years back who we know use the phrase “drinking the kool-aid” or the reality shows that encouraged contestants to eat weird and gross food for money?  If you are told something should taste right over and over again you will start to think it really does taste good. If you were to truly take the time to understand what you’re digesting you may have second thoughts.

Of course, I am not really talking about food, but the reality is we have in general starting accepting things that really aren’t healthy for our world. Until we wake up and accept that the truth of Jesus love and sacrifice we can only expect it to get worse.

 

16 March 15

DAY THIRTY-TWO

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. (Matthew 5:6 MSG)

I mean who likes to eat, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good meal. We work hard preparing and cooking the best meals for our friends and family. We wouldn’t serve just anything, would we? Ever come to the table, sit down to what looks and smells amazing, but you have a hard time eating because you spent the afternoon eating junk food? You were busy all afternoon satisfying your body’s craving for sugar, not anticipating what was going to be on the table for supper.

This is what we do to ourselves every time we come into Gods presence. Whether it be on Sunday’s, small groups or your own devotional time. We fill our space between these times with sugary treats that provide enjoyment to our bodies and then when we come for substance that God provides we aren’t that hungry for His awesome meal that He has prepared.

Today’s challenge is to put down some of your “sugary treats” and start getting hungry for “God’s meal” that He has prepared for you. Don’t be satisfied for things that won’t satisfy.

Dear Jesus, grow a hunger in us for the food You provide. Show us that the things we feed ourselves though enjoyable in the moment may be poisoning us in the long run. Your food is pure and will give us the necessary energy and nourishment we need to survive each day. Thank you for this. Amen

Day 30: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 30: This is always going to be a problem with most third world Christians. We are bombarded daily with the “need” to have new stuff. When we have been programmed from birth to have the latest and greatest how can we expect to change?

 

14 March 16

DAY THIRTY

Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG)

We sure do have lots of stuff. And we seem to always want more. Why do we put ourselves into the I want more lifestyle? Why can’t we be satisfied with what we have, not looking for the latest cell phone, the newest car or the latest designer clothing?

God wants us to rely on Him to satisfy our need. Seems to easy when we are in control of our finances to say God is in control, but never ask him for direction.

Dear Jesus, help me to be satisfied with what I have, not focused on getting the latest and greatest. I really want You in control of my needs, help me to relinquish control. Amen

Day 28: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 28: It hurts each and every time I see a young person who walks away from the truth they learned in church. The reasons are not always known, I wonder what we are missing because this is a hit and miss phenomenon. I know this that it all resounds in the heart of the person. My brother and I are perfect examples, I stayed and followed Christ, he walked away. Keep trusting the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts so they may return to discover the truth and the love of Jesus.

 

12 March 15

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you. I’ll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I’ll send orders north and south: ‘Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.'” (Isaiah 43:5-7 MSG)

Today our prayer is that God will bring His children back. How many of us know if have children/family who grew up in church and are now living in a life away from God? You see it all the time. 90% of all teens in a youth program leave the church, even when they have had powerful experiences with God. How do we bring them back? What made them leave?

It isn’t easy to answer these questions, nor do I have all them. We as believers have to continue to get on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of these wayward children.

The same challenge I gave a group of men last night I give to you. Read and place this verse in all your prayers concerning restoration of loved ones

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.(Malachi 4:6 KJV)

Dear Jesus, I pray that this year will be the year that those who have walked away from you, those who grew up in the church, had loving parents who shared Your love with them, those who know the truth but for some reason run from it, that this will be the year You restore them to the faith. Bring our children home. Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, for through this You will be glorified. Amen

Day 27: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 27: A lot can happen in two years. We are seeing today that people in prominent positions find it very hard, to tell the truth. What makes it, even more, eye opening, is when they start to tell “the truth” and the story is more confusing than the lie. How can we trust those who we should be trusting? Jesus never lied to you. He loves you. God loves you, you can take that to the bank.

 

11 March 16

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN

“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming-it has, in fact, come-when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (John 4:23-24 MSG)

Are you engaging your spirit in the pursuit of truth? Discerning the motives being some movements and groups can be daunting. We don’t always know what motivates certain groups or individuals. On the outside, it may seem like a valid Christian organization or a harmless not for profit. But are you taking the time to ask God what He thinks about it first?

Truth is something we as humans crave. It seems that we so easily lie to each other. In the end, all we want is the truth. But once you have been lied to over and over the lies start sounding like truth. That is how people get caught up in cults or get pulled into scams. They just stopped pursuing truth long enough to be caught up in a fairy tale.

Don’t get caught in this trap. Pursuit truth. God wants to engage your spirit in truth through worship. Take some time to just praise God for who He is asking Him to continually reveal truth in the world.

Why then if we as humans crave the truth, desire it, when told about the love of Christ and what Jesus did for them do they get their backs up and put up walls against it? Like I wrote earlier, the world has been living a lie so long that the truth has been manipulated so much that it is now considered a lie. The enemy doesn’t want the world to see the truth so he has corrupted the worlds view of the truth.

Dear Jesus, the truth will set us free, as a believer I know this, but help me to realize that free people can free people. Help me to pursuit truth in my life so I will be able to show the truth in You to others. Please work on those around me who have a corrupted view of You, so when I talk to them about You they will see the truth of Christ though me and in a new light. Amen

Day 26: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 26: It sometimes blows my mind when I write these, a thought that has been running through my head comes to life in the scripture I read. Today I awoke to an FB notification that someone had commented on a link I had shared. It was an article about Gay pride, the responder to my post let me know his thoughts that the article was narrow-minded and the like. I write this not to go off on this topic but to connect that many people out there have opinions on so many issues. The facts are now so muddied that no matter what we say it won’t matter. Tolerance and freedom of expression have been lost in a world where everything can be true. The truth of it all is this, Sin corrupts and once corrupted it is impossible to return it to normal without Jesus.

 

11 March 16

DAY TWENTY-SIX

Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
Proverbs 12:23

If you’re like me you don’t have a Facebook full of just Christian believers, your friends are a mixed bag of both. Do you ever see a post by your non-believer friends that make you shake your head and wonder why would they believe that?

Maybe it is their latest post about LGBT rights or how some university is evil because of its views on the matter. Maybe it is their view on abortion or Dr. assisted suicide. Drinking to access or use of illegal drugs are flashing on my screen. What about attacking the government or her services? Or just plain using the Lords name in vain.

Did the author of Proverbs know FB was coming when he wrote this verse? If he didn’t then he had some good foresight. People write some very foolish things on here. And they throw their support behind some very silly and destructive things.

We as believers today, in this day and age, needed to be prudent in how we respond to such posts. Some days I would love to respond to all these types of post, but I don’t want to end up being the fool. We are living in the era where if we disagree with someone’s opinions we can be labelled intolerant, our beliefs in Christ has now been taken away and the value is gone in our society.

So, what should you do if you see something and you feel compelled to respond? Think first, don’t respond to quickly, at least not in anger or opposition. Pray to God for a loving response, get your facts straight, find a verse to add that defends your side of the argument. Going into battle without your sword will get you killed. If the Israelite’s had sent someone right away to attack Goliath when he first hurled an insult the story would have ended differently, but they were scared and didn’t know how to respond so they waited for God to answer for them.

The right word at the right time sent by the right person can be the blow to slay a giant.

Dear Jesus, help me to be prudent in all I do. When something of offence comes my way I as that you guide my tongue or my fingers. Give me the right word at the right time so I may slay a giant in Your name. Amen

Day 24: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 24: Pray remains an important aspect ion ever believers life. This is still something I am working at, and think it is something we almost always are working at. Keep talking to God, he is a good listener and will converse with you.

 

8 March 16

 DAY TWENTY-FOUR

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (Matthew 6:6 MSG)

Praying has always been a battle for my time. Taking time to pray and meet with God should be my heist priority but for some reasons something “more important” seems to take my time away.

Jesus gave the disciples some directions in Matthew 6:6, that if we just attempt, would improve our prayer lives drastically. To often we try to pray in a room with lots of distractions. They may not be TV or radio distractions but visual items that keep our mind unfocused. Maybe it’s the dining room where while trying to pray you glance over into the kitchen and see the pile of dirty dishes you meant to do, not you are focused on that. Lots of other examples I could give but I think you get the point.

Some of the best times I have had in prayer is when I found an almost empty place in the house and waited on the Lord, or sitting outside in the majesty of His creation, away from all distractions.

The other point I want to talk about is that it talks about the focus shifting. Even if the first ten minutes of personal prayer seem all over the place or wandering I encourage you to keep pressing in, Jesus said your focus will shift from you to God, just don’t give up until you feel Him close and you have had some time alone with your creator.

Dear Jesus, prayer is a hard thing for some, myself included. I ask today You will help me to take sometime alone with You everyday and focus on You so that I can connect with You and receive direction for my life. Amen

Day 22: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisisted

6 March 15

DAY TWENTY TWO

Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11 ASV)

Do you want to have a pure life? Do you want to be able resist the temptation of sin? Read Gods word. Meditate on in. Make it a priority in your life. One who has the word of God attached to their life is one who has a suit of armour on and can resist the enemy’s attacks.

Dear Jesus, do I have Your word fixed to my heart? If I don’t I ask You to motivate me to daily ready, study and affix Your word into my life. Let my life reflect you so I may take charge in the mission you have charged me with. I want to reach the lost, let me see them as you do. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 21: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 21: If in reading my works you haven’t already picked up on it; I believe that no marriage is hopeless. We need to be teaching our children as well as demonstrating to them through our marriages that it is worth fighting for. Never give up on your spouse, we fell out of love is not an excuse but a cop out. There are extreme cases, but outside of those, we need to work at our marriages to keep them alive and fresh.

 

5 March 15

 DAY TWENTY-ONE
Romans 8: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 5 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

How much should we love our wives? Ephesians 5:25 states just as much as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. How much does Christ love his church? Romans 8:38-39 tells us the love that Christ has for His Church.

Let that sink in for a minute. Do you love your wife that much? Wives do you feel that love?

Husbands if you feel that this kind of love is something you can’t offer, you are wrong. Marriage is not marrying the one you love but loving the one you married. Don’t stop working at your increasing the love for your wife.

Wives, if you feel unloved in your marriage, work on bringing love back. Do what ever it takes to rekindle your love, go on dates, turn the TV off, reconnect.

Together you can have this kind of love just like Christ has for the church. He doesn’t give up on the church, nor should you give up on your spouse.

Dear Jesus, we live our lives sometimes as fast-moving trains, we buzz past the problems and miss our stops. But God, we need help slowing down and rekindling the love that You want us to have for each other. The same love that You have for Your Church. Instill that in our hearts today. Amen