“DEATH WITHOUT STING” 3/20/2017 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2017/03/18/death-without-sting/

 

DEATH WITHOUT STING

Image result for picture 1 Cor 15:55   Bible

“To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.”  William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

Today we’re attending another funeral.  This makes the third one this year – one a month. I’m certain this won’t be the last one.  It seems to be a natural part of the aging process. It makes me wonder why some die so young and others suffer through much pain to finally fall into the slumber of eternal rest.  Why wasn’t it me? or  why did this young person have to die? He was just beginning his life. Death can seem so unfair – so incomprehensible – so final.

All those thoughts gnaw away at us who remain behind.  Death for the Christian isn’t like that.  When we can see joy on the face of a bereaved Christian – there is no sting.  When we can see hope and contentment through constant tears – there is no bite.  For those who know that life doesn’t end with death there is only victory.  Of course there will be pain because we naturally miss those who go before us.  Tears won’t stop because we believe in eternal life.  Those are human feelings and even our Savior, Jesus experienced grief.

We do, however, have peace in knowig that death isn’t final for those who believe that Jesus redeemed us and we are guaranteed a place in heaven because of that. Christ died to make that happen.  God in his infinite mercy made that happen.  The Holy Spirit is our Comforter and gives us the courage and confidence to move on.

Death is the result of sin.  Unfortunately “sin” is a word not being used much today.  No one likes to hear they are doomed to hell if they don’t repent and believe that Jesus has paid the price.  It has to do with taking responsibility for our actions – not an easy concept for many to understand, but when you know you need forgiveness for your actions and that Christ has willingly done that at no cost to you, death means eternal life.

We’ll say goodbye to another friend today, but we know we’ll see him again.  What confidence that thought gives to us and to those who knew this man. Death cannot restrain us anymore.  To live for us is Jesus – to die is gain for us.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you are fearful of your own death…it just might be because you are not a Christian graced by God with salvation… Being 100% sure you’re going to heaven, will give you supernatural peace through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit… Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how Gods grace is received to become a Christian in Gods eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…    http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“Saved by grace through faith alone” 3/19/2017 Written by Patricia Nowlin Smith for “Beholding Him Ministries”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Patricia Nowlin Smith for “Beholding Him Ministries”  @  https://beholdinghimministries.org/

Original post @  https://beholdinghimministries.org/2017/02/19/saved-by-grace-through-faith-alone/

Saved by grace through faith alone

ephesians2-8-9

Before continuing in the Ten Commandments, I feel compelled to once again declare this truth, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

Just want to be sure that there is no misunderstanding regarding salvation based on work. It can not happen. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible so two other verses are below:

Galatians 2:16, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

Romans 3:20, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

So thankful that Jesus paid it all and salvation is not by being good. If salvation is by being good, it begs the question that I have heard preached and taught many times before…”if salvation is by being good, how good is good enough? Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

The law proves to us that all our self-righteousness acts are an empty and dirty offering before a Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect God. The law reveals our need for a Savior. There is no way that we could ever be good enough for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” Romans 3:23-25

Matthew 5:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 I am reminded of the old hymn, “What can wash away my sin?” in Gos­pel Mu­sic,
by Will­iam Doane and Ro­bert Low­ry (New York: Big­low & Main, 1876)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

hebrew-9-22

Hebrews 9:12 http://www.fivefoldministryireland.com:

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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“Be Careful” 3/18/2017 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional                                                         Image result for picture 1 Cor 10:12

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original site  @  http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-march14-2017?ecid=ACsprvurjaoZ2aVUxhrDjEiiU-t4uHpK9UpsGqs0-PZTpcxyXnhVNtJzOgJel19mF7OJpD3Xjkmw&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=44872672&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-877C7-zSqNqn-zA6de4QxBOrKuteHlNx2Cnwc_Umf4zvyulybeCKieBTJHvpxVeV4mRk_Bwywt1D1gNwQRqH3JUocDIAFpn-8uDxFjCXs_yKgTkkE&_hsmi=44872672

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL MARCH 14, 2017

Be Careful

Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12

It is a curious fact that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, “I have great faith–I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall.” “I have fervent love,” says another. “I can stand; there is no danger of my going astray.” He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountainhead or else the stream will soon be dry. If a continuous supply of oil does not come to the lamp, even though it may burn brightly today, it will smoke tomorrow, and noxious will be its scent.

Pay attention that you do not glory in your graces, but let all your glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only in this way can you be kept from falling. Be much more diligent in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be full of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. Live in such a way that men may recognize that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” may it be your happiness to hear Him say, “You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and henceforth there is laid up for you the crown of righteousness that doesn’t fade.”

Keep on, Christian, with care and caution! Go on, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, “Uphold me according to Your promise.”1 He alone is able “to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”2

1) Psalm 119:116
2) Jude 1:24

 

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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“Let Your Light Shine” 3/17/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @ www.Godsmanforever.com

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

      “Let Your Light Shine”    

                        Image result for picture mat5:16 bible

 

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @  www.Godsmanforever.com

         (Revised from 5/09/2014)

Proverbs 4:18-19But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble. (NKJV)

The opening scripture was penned by the wise Solomon, the son of David…  David (who slew the 9 ft 9 in giant Goliath – 1 Samuel 17), wrote half of the Book of Psalms…    Solomon wrote half of the Book of Proverbs…and we can learn much from both Solomon, and his father David’s writing… Here is a link for this entire short (but important) chapter 4 of Proverbs …  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=prov4%3A1-35&version=NKJV;KJV

Envision Solomon’s thinking in this opening scripture, as Solomon was using the light of the sun…from the earliest light of dawn, until the maximum brightness of a noon day sun…to represent the life of the new believer who is living for the Lord…as they are being conformed more and more into the image of Christ…Romans 8:29

When we are first saved by God’s grace, and become believers by obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ [see 1) below], Christ comes to dwell within us…Colossians 1:27-28…  Jesus called Himself the light of the world, in…John 8:12…and tells us that those who follow Him, will go from walking in darkness, to having the light of life…

As Christians grow in spiritual wisdom and maturity, the light of Christ living within them should become brighter and brighter…  The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), should be growing and maturing over a lifelong process known as “progressive sanctification”… [see 2) below]

There are many things that will contribute to the new believers spiritual development… I believe that spending time reading God’s Word, the Bible…along with the establishment of a devoted prayer life (Philippians 4:6-7)…must become an everyday important part of a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ…  Jesus told us this, in…

John 8:31-32Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)

Abiding in Jesus’ Word, means the true disciple of Christ understands, obeys, and practices Jesus’ teachings…that can best be learned by habitually spending time reading, digesting (Matthew 4:4), and then putting into practice what Jesus and His Word reveals as the inerrant truth God wants all of His children to follow…

But along with spending time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer…I believe finding the right church, with the right church doctrine [see 3) below], that focuses upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, is also an essential part in the spiritual growth of the Christian, who truly wants to live a Christ centered life…

Jesus, in the very beginning of His public ministry, gave His “Sermon on the Mount” teaching (Matthew 5:1 to 7:29)…where He tells us this, in…

Matthew 5:6…   Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (NKJV)

If you’re a Christian, do you “hunger and thirst” to learn more about the Lord ??   Are you growing closer to God, in total submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit…which God has given to every believer as a lifelong live-in Helper ?? (John 14:26)

Jesus’ half brother James gives us this instructional scripture, in…

James 4:7-8Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)

God will bless those who are walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), in sweet fellowship with Him, as a Spirit filled Christian…Ephesians 5:18-20…   But to be practically righteous in God’s eyes on a mostly continuous basis…the Christian must live a life of constant, true repentance with godly sorrow for their sins…  These sins must be confessed and turned from, through a prayer similar to what the apostle John penned, in…

1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)

Jesus calls all of His children to be the light and the salt of the earth…Matthew 5:13-16…   Jesus instructs us to be visible beacons of light for those around us to see, in…

Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV)

If you are a professed child of God…are you living for the Lord in a way that will shine the light of Christ on those around you still living in darkness ??  Do you share your personal testimony and/or the gospel of Christ at every opportunity that God gives you ??  Do you know the love of Christ which passes mortal knowledge ?? (Ephesians 3:16-20)   Do you have a fullness of joy, because Christ’s joy fills your heart ?? (John 15:11)

And finally…are you free from anxiety, fear, and stress because you are filled with the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding ??   The apostle Paul pens this, in…

Philippians 4:6-7Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

This supernatural God given love, joy, and peace are the first 3 of the 9 fruit of the Spirit which God gives to ALL of His redeemed children… I’m here to tell you that by submitting your life to Christ [see 1) below]…and then keeping Christ first in your life, as you become a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ…it is absolutely possible to experience God’s richest and most abundant blessings, that you have to experience to believe !!

Heavenly Father, I pray that Your living and powerful Word will open the eyes of anyone in need of understanding and applying the truth of Your Word to their lives…  I pray for hearts and lives to be changed by You for an eternity, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

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“What is A Disciple of Jesus Christ” 3/16/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie   http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                           Image result for picture John 8:31-32

  “What is A Disciple of Jesus Christ”

                          Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @   www.Godsmanforever.com

                                           (Revised from 11/18/2013)

 Luke 14:25-27Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)

All Christians are believers…but all believers don’t become consistent disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ.  To become a true disciple of Christ…one has to take everything else that is important in their life…and place Jesus Christ at the forefront of their lives, as they walk with Christ with the fullness of the Holy Spirit…Galatians 5:16

In the opening scripture this idea of having to hate everyone that is most important in our lives, to become a disciple of Christ, is not Jesus’ literal meaning.  True Disciples of Christ are to love the Lord so very much…that even their love for those most important around them seems like hate in comparison…Matthew 10:37

Having to sell everything that you own and picking up the cross and following Jesus, in order to become a disciple of Christ, is also a misguided concept…possibly believed because of this scripture recorded when Jesus was counseling the “Rich Young Ruler”, in…Matthew 19:16-22…and…Mark 10:17-22…  Here is the pertinent scripture, in…

Mark 10:21:22Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  (NKJV)

The “Rich Young Ruler”…went away sorrowful, because his money meant more to him than entering the kingdom of heaven.  This was a foolish temporal decision by the young man, which would eventually invoke eternal damnation.  Jesus wasn’t saying that giving up all of one’s wealth, nor the act of giving it all to the poor, was a requirement for salvation.  Jesus was saying that picking up the cross and following Him had to be most important (Matthew 6:24), along with denying oneself, in order to become His disciple.  We see this very clearly in the following scripture, in…

Mark 9:34-35…  When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  (NKJV)

Jesus also tells us this, in describing a disciple…as penned by the Apostle John, in…

John 8:31-32Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (NKJV)

Abiding in Jesus’ Word, means the true disciple understands, obeys, and practices Jesus’ teachings that can best be learned by habitually spending time reading, digesting (Matthew 4:4), and then putting into practice what Jesus’ and His Word reveals as the inerrant truth God wants all of us to understand and obey.

Jesus reveals this truth on how to get into heaven, in… John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NKJV)   The “way is through understanding and obedience to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… (See link at the bottom for more on God’s grace)  The “truth”, as spoken by Jesus above, is found in the Word of God; and it will set the sinner free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin…John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)  And the “life that Jesus speaks about, is eternal life in heaven with His Father.

Here is one more most important trait of a true disciple of Jesus Christ…again, penned by the Apostle John, and spoken by Jesus, in…

John 13:34-35A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (NKJV)

Jesus gave us His 2 most important commandments in…Matthew 22:36-40…first, to love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, and soul…and second, to love those around us as we love ourselves. (Here is the link for this scripture, where Jesus tells us in verse 40, that if we can obey these 2 commandments…everything else will fall into place in our lives. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat22%3A36-40&version=NKJV;KJV )

I am here to tell you, as living proof through my own deficiency…that we as mere mortals in our own strength, can in no way love someone who is screaming in our face !!  It wasn’t until I gave back total control of my life to the Holy Spirit…that I, through the Holy Spirit’s supernatural power and strength…will have any chance of loving those around me (even in difficult situations), the way Jesus loves us.  This ability to love even our enemies, and to be able to bless those that curse you (Matthew 5:43-44)…is to me, absolute proof that a Christian is a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

When the Christian is Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), they have confessed, repented, and turned from all sins (1 John 1:9), and are walking in sweet fellowship with the Lord.  It is His power, and His love that enable the Christian to face any situation in life, and still possess a calm and composed spirit.

Is it easy to be a devoted disciple of Christ ??   No one ever said it would be easy.  But the blessings of absolute peace beyond our mortal understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), and the fullness of joy (John 15:11) the Lord will provide those who follow Him through obedience to His commandments, and who abide in His love…goes beyond anything we could ever experience without (as the Apostle Paul puts it) being filled with the fullness of God, when he penned this, in…

Ephesians 3:19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  (NKJV)

And those true disciples of Jesus Christ have God’s promise through the full power of the Holy Spirit, they will be able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, in…

Ephesians 3:20…   Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  (NKJV)

For an excellent audio description of  “What is a Disciple ?”, done by Francis Chan…here is a link found at www.multiplymovement.com under “Material” (Listen to Session), that includes 7 questions we can ask ourselves to see how we stack up to what makes a true disciple of Christ…   https://s3.amazonaws.com/multiply/audiobook/p1-s1.mp3

Heavenly Father, I pray Father that everyone reading these words would be able to experience the filling of the Holy Spirit in their own lives…and the “Amazing Grace” that this brings into the life of the believer.  May Your grace and Your mercy abound in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ, bruce

P.S. Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

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“What is the definition of marriage?” 3/15/2017 Written by Michael for “Altruistico”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Image result for Picture marriage Bible

Written by Michael for “Altruistico”  @  https://altruistico.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://altruistico.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/what-is-the-definition-of-marriage/

 

       What is the definition of marriage?

In Genesis chapter 2, God declares it is not good for Adam (the first man) to live alone. All the animals are there, but none of them are a suitable partner for Adam. God, therefore, in a special act of creation, makes a woman. Just a few verses later, the woman is called “his wife” (Genesis 2:25). Eden was the scene of the first marriage, ordained by God Himself. The author of Genesis then records the standard by which all future marriages are defined: “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

This passage of Scripture gives several points for understanding God’s design for marriage. First, marriage involves a man and a woman. The Hebrew word for “wife” is gender-specific; it cannot mean anything other than “a woman.” There is no passage in Scripture that mentions a marriage involving anything other than a man and a woman. It is impossible for a family to form or human reproduction to take place asexually. Since God ordained sex to only take place between a married couple, it follows that God’s design is for the family unit to be formed when a man and woman come together in a sexual relationship and have children.

The second principle from Genesis 2 about God’s design for marriage is that marriage is intended to last for a lifetime. Verse 24 says the two become “one flesh.” Eve was taken from Adam’s side, and so she was literally one flesh with Adam. Her very substance was formed from Adam instead of from the ground. Every marriage thereafter is intended to reflect the unity shared by Adam and Eve. Because their bond was “in the flesh,” they were together forever. There was no escape clause written into the first marriage that allowed for the two to separate. That is to say that God designed marriage for life. When a man and a woman make a commitment to marry, they “become one flesh,” and that is why they say, “Till death do us part.”

A third principle from this passage about God’s design for marriage is monogamy. The Hebrew words for “man” and “wife” are singular and do not allow for multiple wives. Even though some people in Scripture did have multiple wives, it is clear from the creation account that God’s design for marriage was one man and one woman. Jesus emphasized this principle when He appealed to the Genesis account to counter the idea of easy divorce (Matthew 19:4—6).

It should come as no surprise that the world desires to change what God has instituted. “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7). Though the world is attempting to provide their own definitions for what they call “marriage,” the Bible still stands. The clear definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.

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Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=Picture+marriage+Bible&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFgO7-39bSAhUBgCYKHU9IBXEQsAQIVg&biw=1272&bih=869&dpr=1#imgrc=o_rW1deOrLkPGM

 

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“Three Phases of Prayer” 3/14/2017 Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM” @    http://servinggrace.com

Original post @  https://servinggrace.com/2017/03/10/three-phases-of-prayer/

Three Phases of Prayer

                        By Patrick Hawthorne

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And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.  Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Luke 11:5-10 NKJV)

In Luke 11:1, a disciple comes to Jesus and asks, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  In verse 5 Jesus uses the example of a not-so-good-a-friend who reluctantly honors a friend’s midnight petition in order to not be bothered.  Many have assumed that because Jesus uses this example that He is instructing us to badger God until we get what we want.  If that is how you have read this, please read it again.  Jesus is actually making a contrast between a not-so-good friend who reluctantly answers a request versus God’s eagerness to answer prayer.  Furthermore, Jesus is showing that there is a key to getting our prayers answered.  The key is to understand the three phases known as, “Asking, Seeking, and Knocking.” (Verses 9-10).

Asking (Infancy Phase):  As babes in Christ, we do not know much more than how to ask.  A baby cannot be expected to know where to find the milk; they simply know to ask for the milk.  The infancy stage is the beginning of our learning and is never to be despised.  This is the stage where we begin to learn to ask that we may receive.  It is in this stage where we also learn that we don’t always get what we want.  For example, if a baby were to ask for a butcher knife, would it be wise for the parent to honor that request?

Seeking (Adolescent Phase):  As we mature in our walk with Christ Jesus, we are to move from the infancy phase of simply asking to the phase of seeking.  In the seeking phase we are becoming more mature, more intelligent with our thoughts and prayer.  In this phase we are to still ask, yet to ask according to God’s Word.  We are to seek out the answer.  It is in this phase that we learn, “If you abide in Me and My Word abides in you, ask what you desire and it will be done for you (John 15:6). It is by seeking that we learn and grow further.  It is by seeking that we know that we can have the petitions we ask for because we know that they are according to God’s Word…according to God’s will for us.

Knocking (Adult Phase):  This is the phase where doors are opened for us.  We are living in phases 1 through 3; they are intermingled.  We know that we are to ask, we have sought the will of God according to His Word, and now we are to be persistent and not give up.   The knocking phase is the worship phase which is the highest form of prayer.  This is the phase where we hold fast to our confession made in faith.  This is the phase where we stand and when we have done all, we continue to stand.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, His response was to point out that  prayer is a process that must be learned and developed through a relationship with the Father.  How can a navigator learn to navigate if he is not first willing to learn how to use a compass or read the stars?  Prayer is the most powerful tool available to the Christian.  Yet, unless we learn to use this tool correctly, it will not achieve its desired results.  Be blessed.

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