Tag Archives: righteousness

PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND GOD 2

My last post about Abraham and God was about the prayer that we see God initiating with Abraham. HSlide 1e decides to tell Abraham about the planned destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah based on the relationship that He has with him. Abraham is known as a “friend of God”. Let’s look at two scriptures that reference that.

2 Chronicles 20:7

Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?

James 2:23

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Have you ever thought about being called a “friend of God”? What an honor that is. In fact, if we do His will and live according to Jesus’ teachings, we are “friends of God”. Now that is not saying that we ever really attain the status of Abraham, Moses or any of those wonderful folks, however, they were just human beings like us. Ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things for God. We too are called to do extraordinary things for God in this day and age. Sometimes, just getting through a day is pretty extraordinary, right? Pastor Brad said today, if we call ourselves Christians and we claim the name of Jesus then we will have troubles. It goes with the territory. We do not have to let that destroy us though! Count it all joy because you have trouble because you preach or tell or stand up for God and/or Christ. We must not be afraid of the enemy! He has no power over us! We are a child of the Most High God!

We are children of the Most High God, however, to be able to have access to the wonderful, close communion with our Father one must spend time with Him. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Bask in His love, grace and mercy. Until this is done there will never be anything shared from Him as He did with Abraham. THE MOST HIGH GODAbraham spent time with God. I believe he spent daily time with God and communed with Him regularly. This is why God called him a friend and why God saw fit to include Abraham in the process of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Notice that Lot and his family were never mentioned in this dialogue. When the cities were destroyed, the scriptures do say that God remembered Abraham and spared Lot and his family.

Back to the conversation that Abraham and God are having… In his conversation with God, he pleads for mercy for Sodom and Gomorrah. The scripture tells us that he appeals to God and His mercy and simply asks God for mercy for Sodom. The scripture can speak for itself quite well. Let’s look at this wonderful dialogue with Abraham and God. This is one of my favorite conversations in the Bible because it shows the realness of Abraham and the self-assuredness that he has when he comes to ask God these questions. He is not prideful or arrogant, but realizes his place yet is “friends” with God and feels very comfortable talking and asking God these questions. Let’s look at the scripture.

Genesis 18:22-33

22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 So the Lord said, “Ifabam-pleads I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”

So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”

29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”

So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”

30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”

So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”

So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”

32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

Did you notice the humility that Abraham approaches the Lord with? He may be a “friend of God” but he is totally and completely respectful of God and Who He is! Abraham is very comfortable with God though. He is not approaching in fear and trembling. He seems very comfortable bAbraham-prays-Sodom-Cook-Communications-237x300ut respectful. Appealing to God’s mercy that he knows He has, knowing that God will never destroy the righteous with the wicked. I think it is interesting too that God ends the conversation. His last statement is final… “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” Then it was at this point that the Lord left Abraham and Abraham went home, knowing all that he possibly could do had been done. It was settled. There were not 10 righteous men in all of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot had a wife and 2 daughters. The sons-in-law were mentioned but they did not take Lot seriously so they were not saved. They perished with the rest of the wicked ones.

In reading Ray Steadman’s sermon on this topic “How Prayer Works”, I find many of his comments so intriguing but this one is most wonderful and I want to include it here because it is what I believe also. How Abraham was changed and even brought closer to God in this time of prayer with our Lord.

Abraham is never more like God than at the moment he is praying for Sodom. His prayer didpraying man not save the city, and it was never intended to do so, but it did make Abraham manifest in his own life the mercy and the compassion of God. This is why God asks us to pray, that we might take upon ourselves something of his own character.

In that great verse about prayer in Philippians 4:6 (RSV), Paul says, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” And what happens? God will do the thing you ask? No, that is not the promise. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7a RSV), which you cannot reason out, which you cannot explain, which no circumstance will permit you to understand, the peace that rests at the heart of God, “will possess your hearts and minds,” (Philippians 4:7b RSV). Circumstances will not be any different. You rise from prayer and find your mother-in-law just as nasty as ever, your boss just as unreasonable, your children just as irritating, your husband just as stubborn, your wife just as bossy. Ah, but you have the peace of God that passes all understanding, which keeps your heart and mind through any circumstance.”

Now these two angels that were sent to Sodom and Gomorrah to gather Lot and his family gathered them up and sent them out of the city. The rest of the story is told in Chapter 19 and it is quite interesting to read. The angels had a chore gathering Lot and his family, but once they set them on their way and Lot and his family were safe in their destination, the “fire and brimstone” began to fall and the cities were consumed with fire and totally destroyed,

The video I included in my last post was a very well done video. It was quite informative and one that every believer should watch. This story of these two cities being destroyed by “fire and brimstone” is a factual story with actual historical significance. I urge you to read the entire story and watch the video that I am including again, below.

There are two main themes in this post. One, if you want a close friendship with God, you must commune with Him. Walk and talk with Him daily. Secondly, if you want to be one of the “saved” ones at the end of time when God tells Jesus to go “get His children” and we celebrate everlasting life with Him in Heaven, you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and let Him be your example in life. Then you will not be consumed by the righteous, all consuming fire of God Almighty as Sodom and Gomorrah were. Here is a link to a simple Plan of Salvation. This will easily walk you through what it means to be a Christian and a Christ follower. He is Lord of our lives and this website will help you understand what that means.

Please listen to this song also, it tells about the day when the eastern sky will split open and a trumpet will sound and we, as Christians, will meet Jesus in the air! Jesus Returns to gather His children! Come quick Lord Jesus!

The Song – Midnight Cry – Clay Crosse

The Video – Sodom and Gomorrah

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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 – 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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THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (Part 7)

I ended yesterday’s post (here is the link to yesterday’s post if you missed it) talking about how humans – Christians – can find themselves in quite a predicament sometimes not knowing how we got so far from where we should be. We can find ourselves in a situation that we might not know how to “get out of” or away from. Believe me! I have been there personally. It happens and when it does, it is a sad situation. As I mentioned yesterday that the book I read recently – “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”, the author that was once a shepherd, tells about how sheep can find themselves in a similar type situation and that is called a “cast” or “cast down” sheep. They are completely and utterly helpless and will die if left in that predicament. One good thing is that when the Good Shepherd finds us in that predicament, 19 DORE THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON DETAIL AHe will welcome us home with open arms and will love us and show us great compassion when we reach out for Him – as the prodigal son did.   His father welcomed him home and celebrated his life!  Our Good Shepherd will do the same!  That is a comforting thought. Jesus loves His sheep and will search for that one lost one if necessary.  Restore them to the flock and celebrate his life! Shepherd and Sheep_0

Now, for today’s post. Today I will be talking about “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake”. Now what does that really mean? Well, first let me say human nature is this… we want to do things our way. We, more times than not, think we can do it best. I heard someone say one time that after exhausting all other resources to find an answer or advice on a particular thing they were facing, they then decided to ask God about it. God was last, not even 2nd or 3rd. Now this person admitted that they did not exclude God intentionally. They had not realized what they did until after the fact. We do this a lot, or at least I do, and I really don’t think I am the only one. Anyway, there isIsaiah 53.6 a good scripture that speaks to this.

Isaiah 53:66”All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

From what the author of that book said sheep will continually choose their own way to destruction if left to their own devices. As I have said before that the author said of sheep.. “Sheep do not “just take care of themselves” as some might suppose. They require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care.” He says that they must be moved constantly from one field and meadow to another to keep the land from being overgrazed. If left to their own devices, they will graze the field to the roots and destroy the entire area. Humans, left to our own devices, tend to be self-destructive as well.

Proverbs 14:12 and 16:2525 ”There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.8393660158_cca75032a4_z

The Lord – the Good Shepherd can help with that as well. He restores us – as we learned in yesterday’s post and then once we submit to His authority, He can lead us in the paths of righteousness. He can make all things new in our lives.

2 Corinthians 5:1717 ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

That can even relate back to one of the first posts of this series…where I talked about the “mark” of a Christian. Once we accept Jesus into our lives, we should be living for Him and not for ourselves. Folks should be able to see – even at a distance – that we are Christians. That brings to mind an old song we used to sing … “They will know w184999_540372432645030_1018910340_ne are Christians by our love”.  See below for a link to the Video.

If we want to follow our Good Shepherd, we must be submissive to Him. He knows us better than anyone. He loves us and wants the best for us. He can lead us in the paths of righteousness. I call Him Lord and The Lord is my Shepherd. Is He your Shepherd also?

The Video – They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love – Jars of Clay

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