Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Prayers of the Old Testament

Fascinating information on the "Jewish Traditions of Prayer" in Giving Ourselves to Prayer. Here are two of the "Questions for Further Thought or Discussion" which I found insightful.
"Select a prayer from the Pentateuch*, Psalms, and the Prophets**. Compare and contrast their content and style."

"Describe how each style can be used effectively in discipling believers in the Christian expression of prayer."
*The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Old Testament.
**The Prophets are the books from Isaiah through the end of Old Testament.

I've posted a couple more quotes from this chapter at my other blog Grow2Sow

Monday, March 23, 2009

What I'm Reading...

I've posted quotes from the books I'm currently reading on my website. Lord willing, I'll update these quotes as I read. Check out today's quotes on What I'm Reading at the Grow2Sow Consulting website.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fear Death?

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!
Man's greatest curse and fear is death. There is nothing man can do to avoid it. It is the wages of sin. (Romans 6:23)

Jesus - God - became a man. In doing so, He took on the curse of man. Yet, Jesus - the man - was without sin. The only way someone receives wages is by earning or completing a service. 

When someone accepts the offer of Jesus, that person is ultimately saying "I surrender my wages - what I've earned - to Jesus." In this, the person exchanges his life for the life of Jesus. He has a sinless life and therefore death cannot keep him - even though He was obedient to it as a man.

Therefore, if Jesus has accepted the wages we earned and we have surrendered our earnings (our life) to Christ, then death cannot keep us either. Wages are only paid once.

So, if I want to keep the life of sin - living as I desire/choose rather than following/obeying Christ (living his life), then I will collect the wages earned by my life.
Luke 9:23-24 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself (give up his earned wages of sin) and take up his cross daily (die to self daily - continue to redirect his wages to Christ) and follow me (obedient to death - accept the wages of sin are death and someone must take those earned wages). For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
If I deny myself - resist living according to my desires and understanding of circumstances, give up control of what I am able to control by my choices - AND exchange my wages for the life of Jesus, THEN death - which I am not able to control with my life - will not be upheld in the court of God's justice.

There is a final day of judgement when God's justice will prevail. For now, man dies. Jesus was the first fruit of the justice to come. Jesus died - being obedient to death for the sins of man. But, because his own life was without sin, justice ruled in his favor and his life was restored. He - as a sinless man and as Creator of all things - had the means to control death.

Stay in control of your life and you cannot control death. Give up control of your life to Christ and gain control of death. 

I guess the question really comes down to what do you want to fear - death or God?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

God will rescue me?

"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 1:8
It is easy to get pumped up about God saying "don't be afraid, for I am with you" but the "and will rescue you" makes me a little nervous. Verse 19 justifies my discomfort with God's message: "they will fight against you."

I like to motivate others to get out of their comfort zone but I'm beginning to think I'd rather not stray too far from it myself. The adventure part sounds great. The fight part doesn't. I guess it's like exercise. The idea of regular exercise sounds wonderful. The reality of pushing myself to do it is another story.

The plans I had for this God-given dream were for smooth sailing. The reality feels more like trying to push a boulder uphill. Not sure I'm even trying to push. I'm pretty much just looking at about three boulders wondering why God doesn't just pick them up and move them for me. Did I mention I'm a bit lazy in this comfort zone?

How about you? Do you have a God-given dream that is not as easy as you expected it to be? Here's the hope:
"They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 1:19
Still don't know what to do? Let's try this, shall we?
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. ~ Psalm 37:3-4, 7
Wow. The 2009 Christian Writers' Market Guide I ordered yesterday is already here. That came faster than I expected. Now to dwell in it with the Lord. I guess I'll pick up that boulder.

I submit, Lord. My desire is to delight in you, not in what I do. The fight is in your hands. I will not be afraid because you are with me and will rescue me.

March 8, 2011
I just saw on my stat report that someone from Kuwait came to this page. Made me realize how differently the title "God will rescue me?" might be read. My apologies to those who come to this post with much heavier and darker circumstances than a "comfort zone." Regardless of what type of "zone" we are in, God's word is true. Jesus is risen from the dead. 

2 Peter 2:4-9 (New International Version)
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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