Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday's Fave Five #105

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:
1. My left eye (that had vitreous hemorrhage at the beginning of this month) is able to see again! Yeah! It's not normal yet; it still has tons of floaters but I thank God for any and every improvement. Praise Yahweh Rapha (The Lord Who Heals)! God always heals His children. He may heal us instantly or gradually or ultimately (in Heaven). He already heals our worst sickness of all: sin-sick soul.

2. Last Saturday, we 
attended the red carpet premiere of KUNG FU PANDA 3 at Cinemark Clackamas Town Center. It's Po awesome :)!    

3. Yesterday, I used my iPhone to video-record my 17 yo son's piano covers and we posted them on YouTube. If you like them, please leave comments for him on YouTube. I know he would be so encouraged.

4. Yesterday, I watched the free simulcast from Evangelicals for Life. You can also watch it today.

5. I just finished reading Devotions and Prayers of John Wesley. It's very good! Here's an example of his prayers: "Lift our affections to things above, that we may have perfect contentment in well-doing and patient suffering. Free us from the cares of this world, from all distrust of Thy good providence, from repining at anything that befalls us; and enable us in everything to give thanks, believing that all things are ordered wisely and shall work together for good. Amen."

BONUS: On my other blog, I'm having two terrific giveaways right now: 1. CD Giveaway: PASSION Salvation's Tide Is Rising (ends 1/24) and 2. DVD Giveaway: Captive (ends 1/31)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Strengthened with Power through His Spirit

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man." Ephesians 3:14-16 (NKJV)
Kneeling to pray signifies humble submission to God and His will. As I mentioned yesterday, our heart's attitude is more important than the outward posture. Yes, we can (and should) approach God/our Heavenly Father with boldness and confidence. At the same time, we must approach Him with reverence, awe, and humility.

Even though every human is created by God in His image, not everyone is His child. Only those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and have been born again by His Spirit are adopted into God's family as God's children and can call Him, "Abba Father". "The whole family" in this passage refers to every believer (whether Jews or Gentiles...they all are one in Christ, including those in Heaven and those still on earth). All believers share this family privilege of prayer. It's absolutely wonderful to be able to come to our Father anytime about anything, knowing that our Good Good Father who is loving, compassionate, all wise & powerful, cares so much about us and takes care of all our needs.

Paul prays for us that our inner being (the heart, the soul that lives forever, the new inward creation in Christ) may have spiritual strength/empowerment by the Holy Spirit, which in turn will lead to a deeper experience with Christ which enables us to comprehend His love and results in being filled unto all the fullness of God. "According to the riches of His glory"--shows the limitless, exceeding, abundant greatness & generosity of God's power/wealth/resources given to us the redeemed. "Since the Lord is infinitely rich in glory, let the saints get ready for a deluge! Why should we ask so little of so great a King?" (MacDonald) The Holy Spirit empowers and strengthens us to do God's will & God's work, to bear good fruit, to glorify God, to persevere to the end, to endure trials & suffering, to resist temptations, to make right & wise choices, to say no to flesh, to fear not & worry not, to speak the truth & share the Gospel regardless of what others think of us, and to live a life of faith & obedience. We definitely cannot do all this on our own strength. Since we have access to God's unlimited resources/spiritual wealth, we ought to walk and live out of them. We don't have to limp along as weak paupers. God is at work in us! "The power of Christ in you is greater than the pressure of troubles around you." (Unknown)
"You have . . .  a war to wage;  a race to run;  an enemy to watch;  a victory to gain.Your own strength is nothing. Even an angel's strength would not suffice you. You must be clothed with power from Heaven; you must be armed with God. I would not underrate your own weakness; and I cannot overrate the divine strength at your command.(George Mylne) 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kneel and Pray

"Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, 'Tabitha, get up.' She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up." (Acts 9:40)
Peter knelt down and prayed for Tabitha (Dorcas) who was dead. God answered Peter's prayer and raised her back to life. A miracle that led many to believe in the Lord! Kneeling down to pray is a posture of humble reverence towards God. We see this several times in Acts. "Then he (Stephen) fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.'" (Acts 7:60a) "When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed." (Acts 20:36) "When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray." (Acts 21:5)

More important than our outward posture is our heart's posture/attitude when we pray. We see the attitude contrast between the Pharisee and the tax collector when they went up to the temple to pray in a parable told by Jesus in Luke 18:10-14. "The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to Heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Our heart's posture towards God should be: complete surrender, utmost reverence, contrite repentance, utter dependence, deepest gratitude, humble obedience, undivided devotion, highest adoration, and total trust.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pray Without Anger or Disputing

"I want men everywhere to pray lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing." (1 Timothy 2:8)
Lifting up holy hands is a Hebrew way of praying and praising. "Holy" refers to "morally and spiritually clean". "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22) Prayer should be done with a pure heart and life without anger (wrath/resentment) and disputing (quarreling). "Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:20) "The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." (2 Timothy 2:24) "Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin." (Proverbs 17:19a)  Our anger and quarreling with others displease God and hinder our prayer/communion with God. The unity among the Body of Christ is important to God.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Every Day I Will Praise You

"I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name for ever and ever." (Psalm 145:1-2)
Psalm 145 is a psalm of praise. These first two verses show David's commitment to praise & exalt God/His Name every day of his life forever. May we do the same! How often do we express to God our appreciation and adoration? Praise God privately and publicly. Tell others what great things He has done for you and Who He is to you. "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom!" (Psalm 145:3) "Still my soul will sing Your praise unending ten thousand years and then forevermore."

How do we extol (hold high/esteem greatly) God's Name? Let's do everything to honor and glorify Him, not self. "Your Name and renown are the desire of our hearts." (Isaiah 26:8b)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

There Is None Like You, LORD!

"No one is like You, LORD; You are great, and Your Name is mighty in power. Who should not fear You, King of the nations? This is Your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like You." (Jeremiah 10:6-7)
These verses beautifully express the incomparability of God. He is the one and only true living God. There is no other. Idols are worthless; they cannot save us. We don't have to fear Satan as the equivalent opposing force of God, either. God has no equals. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Satan is not. He is merely a fallen angel (created being), already defeated at the cross. Our Lord is almighty! He is to be revered. He is King over all.

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