Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

What did Jesus impress upon his followers to encourage them to pray?

Our Father, who is in heaven . . .

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

 Matthew 7:9-11 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

 Luke 11:2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name.”

Luke 12:32  “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

“He (Jesus) would have us see that the secret of . . . prayer is to have the heart filled with the father love of God.  It is not enough for us to know that God is a father; he would have us come under the full impression of what the name implies.  We must take the best earthly father we know; we must think of the tenderness and love with which he regards the request of his child, the love an joy with thich he grants every reasonable desire.  We must then . . . consider how . . . he sees us come to him an gives us what we ask aright.”

(Andrew Murray quoted in Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus, written by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson)


Hard “Candy” Sayings of Jesus

Hard sayings of Jesus

Have you noticed that some of Jesus’s sayings are like hard candy?  They’re not like choclate, which you can let melt in your mouth, swallow, and it’s gone–a momentary pleasure.  With a hard candy, if you try to take it in too fast, you’re likely headed for the dentist chair or the Heimlich Maneuver.  Many of Jesus’s sayings are like that.  You work on them, you work into them, and you work through them, and only then are you rewarded with layer after layer of increasing sweetness  (King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, Tim Keller).

Below are two sayings that are easy enough to grasp.  However, when read together they aren’t as easy to swollow. 

John 7:28 ESV, “You know me, and you know where I come from? . . . .  He who sent me . . .you do not know.

John 14:4 ESV, “If you would have known me, you would have known my Father also.”

How well do you know Jesus?

Speak Up

I talk too much.  I talk too much in meetings.  My sermons are often too long.   I talk to much to my kids.  Son, do this!  Boy, do that.  Watching home movies, like listening to yourself teach, is a humbling experience.  In the background I can her   hear myself “parenting” my children to death,ugh!!!  Heavenly Father, help me.

In my Bible reading recently, I was thinking about occasions in which  God’s word would urge us to speak up.  Here are some instances that immediately came to mind.

  1. When someone justifies themselves at God’s expense (Job 32).
  2. When we have not confessed present sin(Psalm 32:3-5).
  3. When someone asks about the hope that they see in our lives (1 Peter 3:15).
  4. When we are sick and need of prayer (James 5:14).
  5. When we wake up to begin a new day (Heb. 3:13).
  6. When false teaching/teacher is  a little too close for comfort (Jude 3).

This is just a start, are there other instances in which we should speak up?

Words of Hope to the Humble

Good and upright is the LORD;

therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.

All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.

Who is the man who fears the LORD?

 Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.”

                                                                        Psalm 25:8-12, ESV

Three Difficulties of Matthew 19

Bets and I read Matthew 19 together last night.  I had not noticed before, but there are three difficulties in chapter 19.

1.  According to Jesus, it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus said in vs. 23, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.”

2.  According to Jesus, it is difficult for some to accept His teaching on marriage and divorce.  Jesus said in vs. 11, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.”

3. According to Jesus, it shouldn’t be so difficult for the children to come to Him.  Jesus said to the disciples in vs. 14, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Adam’s Sin & Adam’s Sons

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”  Romans 5:12, ESV

Gen. 6:5 “…all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.”

Gen. 6:8 “Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.”

Gen. 6:14 “Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.”

Gen. 6:17 “Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.”

Adam’s one sin in Genesis chapter 3 had far-reaching effects upon his sons in Genesis chapter 5.  A sober reminder for a father of four.

Suffering in Silence

When our friends endure great suffering, it might be an occasion for a great silence.  One might say, “A friend is unnoticeably present in the midst of suffering.”

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place,….  And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was great.”                      Job 2:11,13