Pastor’s Pen

Scorpions, Eggs and Shameless Audacious Prayer

Hello Church Family: Have you ever asked God for things that you have never received? Are you mad that you have never received what you have asked of Him? Have you ever said, “I asked God for this or that and I did not get it so I stopped asking.”
 
Jesus wants us to clearly understand from Luke 11, that to pray the way our Heavenly Father wants us to pray is to pray with shameless persistence! Jesus teaches that to be a person of prayer is to be one who perseveres in asking, perseveres in seeking and perseveres in knocking. We must accept that the Bible teaches that often God gives us what we need only after a long season of shameless persistent prayer. This does not mean that He is uncaring or insensitive to our wants, needs or desires. Instead, we know that whenever He decides to give us whatever we have been asking from Him it is because He loves us and His desire is always to give us good gifts at the best time for us to have them. We can be certain that our loving Heavenly Father only gives His children what is good for us and many times what is good for us is the time spent in shameless, persistent asking, seeking and knocking. God does respond to shameless, persisting prayer. In fact, Scripture is clear that many times we have not received this or that is because we did not persist in prayer like He calls us to do so (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8).

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Temptation Contingency Plan – Do you have one?

“Contingency plan,” government and businesses all seem to have one today. A contingency plan is a plan devised during times of crisis and are often developed to explore and prepare for any event that, though unlikely, would have catastrophic consequences. I believe that as followers of Christ we are called to have a contingency plan against temptation and evil. Submitting to temptation and evil brings catastrophic consequences into our lives and relationships. We need a contingency plan for temptation and evil as it wages war against us. Life is a battle! It is a war! We are at war against our own sinful flesh, Satan, and the world is trying to pull us down. The Bible is clear. The Devil and demons are real and these invisible enemies want to destroy our lives as followers of the King. Sin and temptation are the evil kingly rulers desiring to de-throne the King of Kings from our hearts. Sin does not want to play a minor role in our lives, it wants to become the king of our hearts. Our mere willpower will leave us defeated and destroyed by these enemies. We cannot rest on any past success against certain sins. Daily we are tempted to do things that brings out the worst in us. Do you have a temptation contingency plan to do battle against these adversaries?

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God’s Mercy is Always Greater Than the Sin That We Bring Him

Hey Church Family: Do you struggle with sin? As believers we will continue to struggle with sin until the day we leave this earth which means that we are people who live in the need of forgiveness every moment of every day. We cannot go one day without needing God to forgive us and at the same time us needing to forgive someone or seeking to ask for forgiveness from those whom we have transgressed. We cannot make it in this world without giving and getting forgiveness. Our salvation is about forgiveness. For calls all of us as the family of God to display the exact proportion of forgiveness that has been distributed to us from our Heavenly Father. That is extreme forgiveness, radical forgiveness. There is not room for malice, bitterness, hostility or resentment.

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God Gives Good Gifts* (to those who ask)

Father, please give us this day our daily bread. Church family, this is such a simple prayer that we can speak quickly throughout the day without stopping and realizing that we are absolutely totally dependent upon God’s provision for everything in our lives. And you know, we love some food, specific foods. So much so, our American food culture has made us really picky. Did you know that there has been 102 different flavors of Doritos to keep us satisfied but maybe not totally satisfied? We can run from meeting to event to meeting while quickly grabbing the nearest snack from our box of 24 assorted snacks that we just purchased from the grocery store that had aisle after aisle filled with countless choices of other snacks to meet our hunger needs. And it is so very easy to fill our bellies with exactly the foods that we choose without a thought that this is my daily bread that God has provided for me today… perfectly. Everyday God rains down upon us all of our daily needs in the same way He rained down manna from heaven to His children, Israel, in the Wilderness. God loves to give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you to ask. He wants us to know, enjoy and rest in total dependence upon Him. Let’s take a moment and just look at our need for daily bread.

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The Battle Within: Father, Your Will Be Done vs. Let Me Do It My Way

Your will be done, Father, on this earth and in my life today. Church, please stop and think about all of the implications that come when praying that prayer. This is third petition in the Lord’s prayer. Each petition is building on the previous petition. Each petition is focusing more intensely on the heart of man. Whose will is naturally carried out in my kingdom? My will. My obedience to my will generally has a self-serving root because I see the reward of what my heart is actively pursuing and I want that reward to be realized. I have a tendency to reign as king in my kingdom for my own rewards. This means that I want to do things my way and not God’s way. And you and I know that doing things my way leads to earthly rewards that are short lived and very dull in life satisfaction. So, after praying the second petition, Your Kingdom come Father, the next obvious petition would be, please King Jesus rule and reign on Your throne in my heart while I lovingly submit to Your Kingship and Your will be done not mine.

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Father, Your Kingdom Come – A Prayer That Stops Riots

Father! Your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven! Yes, this is a prayer about the return of Christ, but that is not the only point of this great petition. This prayer can be realized today! This is the good news of the gospel. The Father’s Kingdom can be experienced in our hearts and the hearts of others today. This prayer can create absolute change today in all areas of our life. This prayer is not just about the second return of Christ, but it is also about asking our Father in heaven to reign now in our hearts. This petition is about asking the Father to reign in the hearts of men and women, our children, our family, our neighbors. Your Kingdom come Father. We are asking the Father to extend His Kingdom into the hearts of every person, city, tribe, and nation. We are asking the Father to extend His Kingdom on earth into the hearts of His human creation where He reigns as King.

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