Tag Archives: faithful

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

The other day I received an email from Crossway.org.  It was a post by a man that I have never heard of but the post made quite an impression on me and I wanted to share it with you.  Here is some information on the author.

Donald S. Whitney (PhD, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa) is professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has written several books, including Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Don blogs regularly at BiblicalSpirituality.org.

So, I want to share his post with you because I believe we all could gain some insight from it.  I am just copying and pasting his blog (with his permission) below.  Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

by Donald S. Whitney
(This is a post on Crossway’s blog site.  Here is the link to the post)

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

Consider the Direction of Your Life

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
  8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

  1. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?
  2. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?
  3. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?
  4. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
  5. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?
  6. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
  7. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
  8. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?
  9. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
  10. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?
  11. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
  12. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
  13. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?
  14. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?
  15. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
  16. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
  17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?
  18. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
  19. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?
  20. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?
  21. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace—in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc.—where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

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Thank you, Don, for providing us some very good and wise words to begin this new year with.

 

His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Again

Here I am again, posting His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Again and I beg your indulgence to re-post a previous post.  This is probably one of my favorites and I know it’s one of my dad’s favorites.  I was telling a girlfriend about it the other day and that morning that I saw all this unfold, it was incredible.  God is so good and He shows me examples of His goodness and His humor every day.

When I am not writing a post for my Prayer series, I will either deviate to writing something that is appropriate for the day or post a previous post and this is one of those times I am going to post a previous one that was well liked.

In this post His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Again, I remind us that God will always provide for our needs.  We just have to have faith and believe.  He loves all of us so much and likewise loves the creatures of His world.  This story is a wonderful example of provision and warning… read on and see what I mean.

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I have seen a prime example of His Eye Is On The Sparrow  and I wish I had had a camera at my fingertips that morning.

A few weeks ago I am standing at the kitchen sink watching my House Sparrow bird house because we have a clutch of 3 babies waiting to fly away.  They still have about His Eye Is On The Sparrow - Againa week left but I look at them every day to keep up with the progress.  Momma and Daddy Sparrow are busy feeding and flying… that seems to be all they ever do… they must get exhausted.  One arrives with bugs in its mouth and the other hops out of the nest hole and takes off… the one with the bugs sticks its head in and out of the hole feeding the loud, hungry babies.  Every year we have been here (which was 5 years on May 2, 2014) we have had at least 2 nests of babies.  Last year we had four nests of babies in that same house throughout the summer months.  I am looking forward to more this year as well.  This is our first clutch this season.

Anyway, I was standing there just looking out and a Mockingbird caught my eye.  His Eye Is On The Sparrow - AgainHe chased a bug of some sort and had landed in the street just at the end of our driveway with it in his beak.  He put the bug down for just a split second and all of a sudden I saw a House Sparrow swoop in and grab that bug and take off into the shrubs across the street.  What drama!  The Mockingbird looked so stunned and surprised!  That little sparrow waHis Eye Is On The Sparrow - Agains moving so fast I bet the Mockingbird didn’t even see him swoop in and snatch that bug right out from under his beak!  All he knew was that his bug was gone!  In an instant!  This was a priceless drama that morning in a “day in the life of God’s Kingdom” that unfolded right before my eyes!  I so wish I had captured it on video!

Now there are several trails of thought I could go down here.  One is you better guard what you have with all you have or someone will come and steal it in a blink of an eye… another is “survival of the fittest” and another “only the strong survive” … but I choose to go down another trail of thought because when it happened right before my eyes … God said… “Here’s another topic to write about”, “I provide for the Sparrows and I will provide for you!”  Oh My Goodness!  I loved it!  God speaks to me in the greatest times!  You may actually have already determined which trail of thought that I might be going down now.  And you would be right if you guessed “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” trail of thought.  I love that song.  It has been one of my favorite songs for many years. His Eye Is On The Sparrow - Again

Here are my thoughts on this subject.  God provides!  Simple as that.  God provides for His children!  You may have to work at it but the provision is there.  Being a Christian does not mean we sit back on our laurels, haunches or backsides and have God dole out the “goods”.  God told us in His Word that He will provide for His own.  However, we must do our part!  In God’s Word – Matthew 6:26-27 it says 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?”  and Philippians 4:19 says “19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”   I also found a wonderful website Bible.org and this particular page from that website talks about some various names of God.  Here is an excerpt from that site:

“The Revelation of the Name Jehovah-JirehGenesis 22:12-14. The meaning of this name is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac’s place. For us it is whatever we need.” 

I love that about Ggod-provides-for-his-peopleod!  He sees and He provides!  God is never late… God is always on time in His provision.  We just have to step out in faith and know that He is God and we are not!  Why would He have brought you this far to let you go?  He wouldn’t!  He loves you!  He cares for you!  He will always be there for you!  If He provides for the birds of the air, how much more precious are you to Him!  Remember you are His beloved!

I know and understand how hard it is to step out in trust, and I also know that God will provide for your every need.  Not your every “want” but “need”.  Read the scriptures over again.  Let them sink deep into your soul and realize God Loves You!  He sent His son to earth to walk among us and to be our example.  Then He lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins and rose on the 3rd day just for you!  You, me and the rest of the world!  For Us!  He love you so much!  After all, He calls you His beloved.

The 1st video I am including is one of Larnelle Harris singing His Eye Is On The Sparrow at a Gaither Tent Revival.  After he sings Bill Gaither talks with Cliff Barrows and he recalls a Billy Graham Crusade where this wonderful lady sang the same song. The 2nd video that I have included here is that precious soul that is in the presence of Jesus now… Ethel Waters.  She sang at Billy Graham Crusades and this particular video is one of her singing at one.  Sit back and see how much she loves Jesus and knows her God loves her and watches over her!  Enjoy!

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INFORMATION UPDATE

In visiting with a friend today, that has recently subscribed to this blog, I realized that many of you never go to the “Home” page of this blog.  This is an Information Update for this site and hopefully you will understand a little better what to do, where to go for various things and how I put it all together to share with you.

When you get my email post, and you click the link in the email, you are taken directly to the post for the day and bypass the home page, which is a normal thing to happen.  However, if you are new to the site, you may not realize some of the information I include on the Home page.  So, here is the link to the Home page and then you can read the information about the various aspects of the whole site.

I started this blog before Easter 2014.  It went online Thursday, the day before Good Friday.  It has grown and been modified here and there along the way to be what you see today.  There are many posts from before and you can search by category or name. Or you can just click on one of BLESSINGS 6the pictures of the “Top Posts” listed on the left side and read it that way.  I categorize each of my posts and you can search for “prayer”, “love”, “friendship”, etc.  I have been blessed immeasurably by sharing this blog with you and at all times I pray you are blessed as well.   If you ever have any trouble finding something you want or if there is a problem with the website, please, please let me know.  You can click on the “Contact” form at the top of any page you are on.  Leave me a message and I can then fix any problem or help you find something.

I have been in the process of a series about “Prayer” lately.  God has me on this path for now and from time to time I deviate and post something relevant to the day or just re-post a favorite from before.  Either way, you will get the message God wants me to share with you at the time He wants to share it.  I pray about every post and every re-post.  I listen for God’s guidance before I post anything.  He is my Guide.  For example, tonight I sat down to write my next post in the series about Prayer – which was going to be on Joseph – you know the one with the coat of many colors.  So I began to study, research and read scripture to find a message in it for me to share.  I kept getting side tracked and running down rabbit trails and down foxholes … until I stopped and just sat here thinking about the conversation I had this afternoon with my friend about my website.  I had that all too familiar feeling that I needed to share something here.  God speaks to me in the silence sometimes and sometimes He has to get a little louder with me… can any of you relate? He is so faithful!  He always speaks to my heart and guides me.

So that is how I have always been with God and sharing messages and posts on this blog.  I hear from God in a way that is hard to explain.  He guides me as to what to type and share with you.  He guides me in my picture selections and music and videos as well.  So, it is a well rounded message that I tryGOD'S WORD to bring to you from scripture, text, other articles sometimes, pictures, and music and videos.  And always based on scripture, because I believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

So, when this gal sits down to write something to share with you wonderful folks, it is done with great thought and a lot of prayer and ongoing conversation with God while I am writing.  I love writing this blog.  I love sharing God’s Word and how it has touched my heart and relates to my life in thgod_speaksis day and time. All scripture can be relevant to our lives today.  We just have to ask God to reveal what He wants us to know and ask Him for knowledge and wisdom.  He will grant it!  He has for me.

How I got my start is first listening to God’s Word on my phone via my Bible App.  It’s free and oh so wonderful!  It opened a whole new world for me.  I have been around and read the Bible all my life but when I began to listen to the stories, it came to life!  It was incredible.  Then I began to share with a group of ladies, via email, some daily devotionals.  That blossomed into the blog that you see today.  God has been so faithful with His love for me and helping me put this blog site together and share with you almost every day.  I look forward to each day to see what God is going to reveal to me that day to share with you.

So now you know the hisLife with Godtory and the rest of the story.  I do love to share and I am glad you have chosen to read my blog.  I do pray you are blessed each time you read.  If you ever want to share, please scroll all the way down past the signature of the blog and you can post a comment.  You can remain anonymous or not.  Your choice.

Thank you again for taking the time to read my story.  Check out my Bio page at the top also under the Hope page tab.

Always remember, God loves you and always calls you His beloved!

Below is a audio play list of some of my favorite songs (in no particular order) I have included in my posts along the way.  They all carry a special message and one that was relevant to that particular post.  Just click each one to listen.  Enjoy!

 

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PRAYER – THE GOD OF JACOB

I am going to explain in this first paragraph why I will be skipping a lot of Jacob’s early life.  I know you may be wondering why I would skip so much of Jacob’s life.  I have left out namely his meeting Rachel and marrying Leah and Rachel and having children and getting back together with his brother Esau, etc. because I am trying to stay focused on “prayer” in these posts since this series is on Prayer. There simply were not many mentions of any prayer in the chapters telling about the life and times of Jacob and Esau. Some of the story line is quite sad and unsettling, and some is confusing and mostly nothing was mentioned about prayer to God in any of it. So, I am searching the scriptures to find the “conversation” time with God – the prayer time. That is what I really want to talk about. So with that said, I hope it sheds a little light on why I have skipped and will skip things from time to time. Someday, I hope to be able to go back and do more on those stories, but for now, I am compelled to stick with prayer. God has impressed upon my heart to impress upon your hearts how important it is and how it gets His attention. He loves to have conversations with His children.

I am going to pick up Jacob’s story at Genesis 35. This is after a lot of things have happened to Jacob, after many lies and deceitful times among him and his relative Laban (Rachel’s father, and Jacob’s mother’s (Rebekah) brother). Rebekah has died and Isaac is very old and about to die as well. The family has just come through a very disturbing time with Jacob’s daughter Dinah, who had been defiled by the Canaanites. After all was settled – somewhat – God speaks to Jacob. This is a very important inPicture3itiation of conversation from God to Jacob. Let’s see the scripture:

Genesis 35:1-4

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”

And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

If you remember in my last post – regarding Jacob, I talked about Jacob’s trip to Harem. He came to a certain place and decided to spend the night there. He had a dream about a ladder with angels going up and down on it and God standing at the top of the ladder and told him that He would be with Jacob and that he would provide for him (paraphrased, of course).  The following scripture is from the previous post “ISAAC, REBEKAH AND TWINS“.

Genesis 28:15

15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel;[a] but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

OK, back to this current post.  God visits Jacob once again after the disturbance with Dinah. God calls him back to the area where Jacob made his vow to God – Bethel.

How many times has this happened to us? We have some epiphany with God (definition of epiphany – an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure) and vow to Him that we will be changed and live differently. The saying “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” comes into play here. We, as human beings created by God Almighty, long to have that “God space” in our hearts and spirits filled with God. Sundown_in_mountain_top However, we as finite human beings are so weak when life begins to enter in and the “mountain top” experience that we had with God wanes into the everyday drudgery of life. Oh, how I can relate! We all should be able to relate to some degree with Jacob. He had this wonderful experience with God and then life happened. God is still God though. God called Jacob back, just as He does us. He loves us so much, He will never let us go. God calls … “Come back to me, where you were with Me and you loved Me with all your heart.” God is such a good God. He is so faithful and patient with us, His beloved children.

So God calls Jacob back to Bethel to “dwell” there. He didn’t want him to just visit and renew the vow. He wanted him to bring his whole family animagesd dwell there with Him. Jacob hears God’s call and answers with his whole heart, telling his family to put away (do away with) the foreign gods…. See how far Jacob had allowed his family to get from God? Foreign gods? This is Jacob!? Yes, he is only human and life happened. He is renewed with this new calling from God and answers with vigor! His house responds and they go through a ceremony of cleansing.

The scripture says that Jacob took the foreign gods and gold earrings and “hid” them under a tree. It is suggested by one of the commentaries that I read that this was probably a place unknown to the family that gave them up, so they would not go and get them again.

Genesis 35:4

So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

When God finds us, do we have “foreign gods” that have taken our attention away from Him? When he calls us unto Himself, do we get rid of them and forget about them or do we just put them on the shelf for “safe keeping”? God calls us to be pure and holy as He is holy.

1 Peter 1:15-16

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

This song by Tom McCain is very good.  I think we can all relate to the message in this song.

The Song – Holiness – Tom McCain

We must let go of things that draw our attention away from Him and cling to Him and His righteousness instead. He will not let us stay where we are. He wants us to grow and grow with Him. We have to let go of the “foreign gods” totally. We cannot keep them in one hand while reaching for God with our other hand.

When they -finally arrived at Bethel, God appeared to Jacob again. This time God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. God saw Jacob’s change of heart and wanted to establish a new life for Jacob and his family – in fulfilling the promise made to Abram (Abraham). Genesis-35-10-And-God-said-to-him-Your-name-is-Jacob-Your-name-shall-no-longer-be-called-Jacob-But-Israel-shall-be-your-nameThis was a reminder for Jacob that God was with him. Jacob’s name meant supplant(er) – (definition – to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery) and his new name – Israel meant “having power with God” (See this website for information of God changing his name – gotquestions.org).

Genesis 35:9-15

Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. 11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. 200px-Jacobs_Vision_and_Gods_Promise14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.

So God has appeared once again to Jacob and they have renewed this vow and God changes his name. Now Jacob has “power with God” and the covenant begins to unfold.

The vow we have made with God can be renewed at any time. We just have to call upon the name of The Lord and He is there. He will answer us in our time of struggle or rejoicing. He longs to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much and calls you His beloved.

The Video – Our God Is An Awesome God – Carman

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PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND GOD

In this next couple of posts, I will explore the wonderful conversation that Abraham and God have regarding the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. There is so much rich prayer time in this dialogue that I want to spend a couple of days on it. I found this wonderful video that shows the actual sites of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, there were actual cities and they were actually destroyed by “fire and brimstone”. You have to see the video. It is about 27 minutes long, but so worth the time to watch. I want to post this first about the cities and the destruction of them with this video before I get too deep into Abraham and God’s conversation. The reason behind this is to show you the actual result of God’s wrath and judgment. Here is the initial scripture that sets up the scene.  This scripture is God deciding to tell Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and why He is going to share with Abraham.  wrath-of-God

Genesis 18:16-21

16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”abraham-sodom-300x243

Now, God Himself didn’t have to “go down” to the cities to know. He knew exactly what was going on. I believe he used these words so Abraham might understand. He was sending His angels to go down to the cities to see the debase, immoral, horribly evil things that were going on in the cities. Then we learn later, they were also there to save Lot and his family.

So this conversation is quite interesting. It is initiated by God and Abraham feels quite comfortable in approaching Him with his many questions. I will get into the conversation tomorrow. However, this initial prayer initiated by God is so wonderful. God considers Abraham a friend and talks out the reasons He will share this with “His friend”.

God loves His people so much and yet does not allow evil to continue among them.  He will take out the evil in mankind when it reaches a point of total and complete wickedness and depravity.  Thank God that He sent His son Jesus to save us from ourselves!  Mankind can becJESUSome so wicked, as today’s society is quickly becoming, that they are simply past the point of redemption.  God is watching and waiting.  I believe there will come a day when the earth will see and feel the wrath of God, as did Sodom and Gomorrah.  In that day, those that know Jesus and His saving power of Grace and Mercy will not taste the wrath that is to come.  Those that have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, unfortunately, will experience the full wrath of God.  God loves you and wants you to experience His love and mercy and not His wrath.  That is why He sent Jesus 2,000 years ago.  If you don’t know Him as your personal Savior, here is a link to Bible.org for a simple plan of salvation.  This will guide you into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and you too can experience His Love, Grace and Mercy.  God loves you so much, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

The video is very good and needs to be seen prior to my next post. Again, it is the result of the Righteous and Just God that cannot allow this kind of evil to exist forever.  It is done very tastefully and shows the land and explains what you are looking at. Please take the time to watch.

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PRAYER – ABRAM PART 7

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when I sat down to write tonight. After all, I am writing about Abraham!! How in the world can I possibly relay information about Abram (Abraham)? I mean, he’s ABRAHAM! I read some commentaries on Genesis 15:1-6 and it is all so wonderful and overwhelming at the same time. Then… in the flurry of reading and feeling overwhelmed, I remembered… pray… I stopped, knelt and prayed. I was still and listened. God spoke to me in the stillness. He reminded me that I am not a Theologian … I am not a Professor of Divinity… I am a woman that knows how to listen and write what God wants to share to whomever will read… AND… this is not a blog about all the theology stuff… this series is on “Prayer” and the importance of Prayer. I burst into tears and felt such a relief. I had gotten myself all worked up about sharing all the details and ins and outs of “The Covenant” and “Abraham” that I just got overwhelmed and lost sight of the simple fact that PRAYER IS VITAL TO A CHRISTIAN’S WALK WITH THE LORD. Someday, maybe I will be up to the task of “The Covenant” but at this time, I will remain true to this series and in this post, at least, talk about the “Prayer Time” (conversation) that Abram and God had. Thank you for reading all of that. I needed to write that so you would know where I am coming from. It is definitely a journey. Every day, sometimes moment by moment, is a wonderful adventure!

In my last post I spoke about fear. The fear expressed in the first 6 verses of Genesis 15. Let’s look at it again.

Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if ystar gazing-milkyway2ou are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Remember Abram just had won a great battle. He met Melchizedek along the way home and was blessed in that way. The king of Sodom even recognized Abram’s success in his victory in the battle over the other kings. You would think that Abram would be “steppin’ high” (forgive me Abraham for the slang), however, Abram must have felt some sadness and fear of the future. God comes to him and speaks to his heart. God says “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Then Abram really tells God what is bothering him. Yes, he realizes that God has given him much and promises him much, but without a true successor what is all the success? Then God opens up and reassures Abram once again and even more so. God didn’t chastise Abram for being real with Him. He just let him talk and then He reassures him that there will be a successor come from him. Then after God reassured him again, he believed. Abram believed after all of this conversation (prayer time) with God. God said enough and just the right thing to help Abram believe.

Genesis 1:6And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Abraham_praying_C-434

God, Himself, considered Abram’s belief as righteousness.

How many times are we afraid, concerned, worried, upset or any other emotion you can think of, and it seems to grip us in such a way that we cannot consider all the past that God has brought us through nor can we see the hope for the future? I know I have done this. I have to stop and tell God my fears, concerns, worries, etc. and wait for Him to respond. He will, He always does. I count on hearing from Him when I talk to Him or when I am still before Him. It is a feeling that is very hard to describe. It is exhilarating and awe inspiring at the same time. It excites and brings a healthy fear of Who He really is. He is the Maker of everything, yet He knows my name and wants to reassure me that He is aware of all that is going on. I cannot help but think that there are many folks out there that want to hear… long to hear from God but are afraid to call out to Him.

Maybe, unlike Abram, you don’t know how to call on God. You can be as real as you want to be with God. Maybe you have never known what to say if you should callGodIsLove out to God. Remember He is God and deserves the utmost respect and honor when you do call out to Him. Prayer is just simply a conversation with God. If you know how to carry on a conversation with someone, then you can pray to God – converse with Him. He may be the Creator but He also knows every detail of your life. That may seem like a threatening thing, however, He loves you and cares about what happens to you. He wants an intimate relationship with you. He sent His son, Jesus, to be our example on the earth. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the Cross for our sins, and rose on the third day – HE CONQUERED DEATH! For us! He Lives!

I am a sinner saved by grace and God’s great mercy! I know He loves me and always has and always will. I will live with Him in Heaven one day – for eternity. If you haven’t met this Jesus that died for you, you can know Him today. Here is a link to a simple Plan of Salvation. Click here and read how to put your trust in the One who died for you. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you and calls you His beloved.amazing-grace1

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

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PRAYER – ABRAM PART 6

Finally, I am back on track with Abram and God’s prayer time. The last post that was about Abram was the encounter with Melchizedek. That was quite an interesting time for Abram. If you read my two posts those two days, you read two different opinions who Melchizedek was. It really doesn’t make any difference who he was except that he was of God. I just thought it interesting, the two sermons and information about him. So, onward to the next encounter Abram has with God and their prayer time.

Genesis 15 is replete with conversation with Abram and God. This is the scriptures where God makes a covenant with Abram. Let’s read the first part of that scripture.

Genesis 15:1-6

 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, aabraham_stars721x597nd count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

There is so much to talk about just in these first 6 verses. I wish I had all day to study and research and write about the wonders of the scriptures. However, I do not, at this time, and so I must use the resources that I do have in the time God has given me to do so, in hopes that one day I will be able to sit and read and study His Word like never before. God’s timing is perfect and I have come to trust this. So with that said, I would like to include some of Ray Steadman’s sermon “Faith Conquering Fear” on these verses. He has some interesting things, again, to say about them. Again, I have not done any more research at this time on these scriptures. He is usually the first one I go to for understanding. He is easy to understand and writes beautifully. I urge you to read his sermon sometime. Here is some of the things he says about these first 6 verses.

“The opening paragraph of Genesis 15 strikingly illustrates for us what is commonly called in Bible study, the law of first occurrence. By this is meant that the first time a word or phrase is used in the Bible, it is used in such a way or in such a contest as to highlight the basic meaning of it throughout the rest of Scripture. Four such phrases appear in this paragraph for the first time in the Bible, though they are repeated many, many times afterward.”  (From Ray Steadman’s website Raysteadman.org)01 1N 15.18 Covenant Abaraham

“… in the very first line, “the word of the Lord came”? The recurrence of this phrase many times afterward in Scripture emphasizes the God-breathed character of the Bible. The word of the Lord came to many men, just as it came to Abram, and they wrote as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit, and then actually sat down and studied their own writings to learn what God had said, (1 Peter 1:10-12 RSV). The second phrase is the word that came to Abram, “Fear not!” How often this is God’s word to man, throughout this book. The third phrase is, “I am your shield.” In a thousand wonderful variations, we find this thought repeated frequently: God is our refuge and our strength; God is a tower of refuge; God is an overshadowing rock; blessed is he that hides under the shadow of the Almighty. This is the first intimation of this character of God in Scripture. And then there is that familiar word in the last verse, “And he believed the Lord; and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” The fires of the Reformation were lit from that ringing phrase!”

Abram was a very fortunate and blessed man. He was known as a friend of God. This is the beginning of the scriptures where God makes a covenant with Abram and these first 6 verses sets up the scene. There is much prayer (conversation) back and forth between God and Abram. Abram felt completely comfortable with God to speak to him about his fears. 00023023_hGod reassures him and then some.

God reassures us as well when we are fearful of things in our life.  He wants to reassure us that He is in control of all happenings and will take us through all of the journey.  The journey may have twists and turns and what we want to happen may not happen as quickly as we want it to, but if we are a child of the King, we must wait and trust Him for His provision in His time.  He is righteous and just and will not forget His promises to us.  He loves us and calls us His beloved.

Have you talked to God today?  Have you told Him the things you are fearful of?  Have you heard His reassuring voice in your heart and spirit?  Trust Him.  He is faithful!  He will do what He has promised.

I will continue this topic in my next post, however.  There is a ton of things more to cover in these first 6 verses and I hope to begin to do that tonight.  I love this song by Casting Crowns.  It reminds me of who I am.  I am His!  I am a child of THE KING!

The Song – Who Am I – Casting Crowns

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PRAYER – PART VIII

Yesterday we ended the post talking about Enoch and how he walked with God and was taken and was no more. God took him up and he didn’t die. And as I said yesterday, there were only 2 men in the Bible that did not die, Enoch and Elijah. The reason that the Bible states that Enoch was taken was that he walked with God. He was apparently a very godly man and God took him to be with Him.

Also, Enoch had a son named Methuselah. This man had a son named Lamech. Now, yesterday we also talked about how it might be a bit confusing here because there were two Enochs and two Lamechs. These each came from the two separate lines of genealogy. Cain, that killed Abel and then Seth, his brother was born later to Adam and Eve. Now Cain’s line was the ungodly line and Seth’s was the godly line. The ones I am talking about here, Enoch and Lamech, are from Seth’s line. The godly ones. The reason I bring up Lamech is because one of his sons is Noah. Yep, I think there is only one Noah, at this time, anyway.  (SIDE NOTE:  I wrote a post about “The Birdie and Noah” some time back and here is the link if you would like to read that post.  OK, onward to this post..)

Now Noah was another very godly man. His family consisted of his wife and three sons. They apparently were very godly and walked in the ways of God. The next thing we see in the Bible is the degeneration of mankind to where it grieves God that He even made man. However, there is a ray of hope. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 6:5-8

Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Noah Pleases God

This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walke220px-Noah_(Grigoriants'_coll.)d with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Which brings me to the next discussion about prayer. The next account you read in the Bible is when God tells Noah about the ark and how to build it. This is a major prayer time. God gives Noah dimensions and exact measurements for building the ark. Telling him about the animals and that He – God – will call them to come to Noah so they can be placed in the ark because God is going to destroy the earth with a flood of water.900-5504

Now keep in mind, that it had NEVER rained before. So this concept was foreign to Noah and his family. However, the key to this particular part of this post is this scripture…

Genesis 6:22

22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Ok, let’s stop here for a little bit. Now here is a man of 600 years of age. He has these three sons and they have wives and then there is Noah’s wife. God tells him that He is going to destroy the earth because man has become so wicked. Also, He wants Noah to make a boat – a huge boat – big enough to house 2 of every animal, bird and living creature (and then some) … well, let’s just look at scripture:

Genesis 6:13-22

13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. images17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”

22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.noe_potopa_biblia_noah_mcconnell_1965

Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him…. EVERYTHING! That says a lot about Noah. This account of God speaking to Noah is quite a big “prayer” – conversation. This one is initiated by God and Noah responds.

Oh that we could be so responsive when God calls on us to do something. I know, in my past, I have not responded at times when God has called out to me. I have brushed it off as … “Oh, that is just my imagination talking.” Or, I just ignored it as if I didn’t hear it. Either is disrespectful and totally unacceptable. The God of all creation called my name. He deserved a response. Even if I didn’t want to do what He was asking me to do, He deserved a response from me of some sort. Life with GodNonetheless, I didn’t respond at that time, but I am now! That is one of the reasons you are reading this blog. I have said “Yes! I will tell others what You share with me to tell them, God! YES!” God is wanting a response from you too. He would love to hear from you. He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved.

I am going to end this post here. Tomorrow I will talk about the prayers Noah had on the ark and a very famous dove.  The song I am including is a very moving song that speaks to God’s Word. God’s Word is true, just and pure. In Isaiah 55:11 it says… 11 ”So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.God’s Word will accomplish what It sets out to do! It is eternal!

The Song – This is My Word – Singing Men of North Central Texas

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