Posts belonging to Category Christian Success



God is Our Strength…

God is our strengthPaul writes, Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. 

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (by the living Word of God). For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

AMEN!!!

*** Please pray with me for the healing of my dear friend Mary Stephens from “Right From The Heart Ministries”, Thank you! ***

Successful as a christian

What is being successful? How can we be successful? Isn’t that what all of us want? Don’t we all want to be happy and satisfied with what we reached in our lives? Yes we do! We want to be successful, happy and satisfied. But what does God say at this particular matter?

In Proverbs 16:3 the Bible says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” So basically you are saying we can do anything praise God for it and he will make it work? No I’m saying that if we commit our works to the Lord they will be established. Let me elaborate. Would you commit the work of Da Vinci to Obama? No You would not because they are Da Vinci’s works and Obama is totally unrelated to that. Well That’s how it is with committing your works to the Lord. You cannot commit something to the Lord if he would disagree with it.

How then would it make us successful in this world? It is not to make us successful in this world. As the earlier quoted verse says we commit our works to the Lord. We no longer do them for this world. We commit them to the LORD and not to this WORLD! So God shows us if it is successful. God doesn’t ask us if this qualifying or if this is successful in this world. It is not that if this world finds it successful that will satisfy my need of being successful. I read a book by Scott McKnight* that made a point out of happiness being fulfilled through being blessed. Right now I’m saying. Being successful is your work being blessed. In the sermon on the mount Jesus explains us who are blessed. Throughout the Bible he does explain us that being successful is following Him. Committing out work unto the Lord as it was His.

Hopefully this will make us all realize that we are not necessary to find recognition of our works by our friends and family. It is necessary to find recognition with God. If we can commit our works unto him we are successful. If we are successful in God’s eyes in whose are we not?

*Scott McKnight’s book titled “The Jesus Creed for Students”

Our Time on Earth…

Our Time on EarthA person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, Ecclesiastes 2:24-26a

Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city. Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:19-20

It is because of him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

.. so that, just as sin reigned in death (eternal separation from God), so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

Therefore, there is now no condemnation (punishment) for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

AMEN!!!

Victory in Christ Jesus

Victory in Christ JesusSee what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him (Jesus)Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (face to face). 1 John 3:1-2

And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20b-21

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood (our human bodies) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep (die), but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:50-54

AMEN!!!

New Year

For some people year 2014 was filled suffering and loss. A year to forget. A year of sleepless nights, divorce and evictions. A year when their minds and outlook on life were in dark places. Jesus don’t want you to stay in dark places. Why? He wants you to have an abundance life, a hope and a future. Don’t sit there wishing the year 2015 away. You must seek His kingdom and all things shall be added unto you. You must spend time with Him in prayer and reading of the word. He has placed wise counsel around you, people who are willing to pray for you and to bring light in your dark world. Their experiences will support and guide you as you are an overcomer in Jesus. Jesus has overcome the world.
As we enter into the year 2015, we must remember who we are. We are children our the living God and we more than conquerors in Christ. Let us transform our minds and focus it on godly thoughts and fixed our eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Don’t give up on your dreams. If they didn’t happen last year, they will happen this year. Don’t let fear have a foot hole in your life. Be bold and strong in the lord. If you are alive then God has a plan for you.

A waitress’ question about my marriage

We do things we enjoy together

We do things we enjoy together

I took my wife out to eat recently. When our waitress found out we were celebrating our anniversary, she asked what was the secret to our staying together for so long.  We talked about little things, like we each had our own tube of toothpaste so it didn’t matter whether one of us squeezed from the middle or from the bottom.  I also told her I didn’t care which way the toilet paper roll faced.  (Maybe that’s because we don’t have a cat.)

 

The main reason my wife and I have had a wonderful marriage is our relationship with God.  Because God is love and His Holy Spirit indwells us, then as long as we are right with Him, His love fills us and we are right with each other.

 

I think that is the reason we are both “low maintenance.”  I don’t need to have my way in everything. My wife doesn’t have to have expensive gifts for Valentines Day, her birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas.  The Bible says, “Let nothing be done through selfish motives or self-esteem, but in humbleness of mind let everyone consider others better than themselves. No one should look only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).  I keep her interests in mind.

 

Similarly, I don’t have to win arguments. I work to avoid them.  The Bible teaches, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Winning an argument does nothing except tear at a marriage.  In the log run, it’s like winning the battle, but losing the war.  Sure, that means I have to swallow my pride or just walk away or just agree not to talk about a subject or agree to disagree and drop it, but my marriage is more important to me than winning an argument.

 

I do what I can to please my wife, to give her a sense of love, safety, and fulfillment.  The Bible shows us, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband”(Ephesians 5:25-33).

 

I don’t spend all of my free time watching sports.  She doesn’t spend all of her free time shopping. We do the things we enjoy together.  If we do an activity that one of us doesn’t enjoy or stresses the other one out, we don’t do it again.

 

Knowing the Bible says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender”    (Proverbs 22:7), we paid off our house and car and stay out of debt.  If we can’t afford something we want, we do without it. If we do need to borrow for something big (like a car), we find the best interest rate and pay off the loan as quickly as possible.  We are frugal.  We price compare when shopping.  We don’t have to have the store brands.  We don’t need the latest electronic gizmo or the expensive entertainment packages or trendiest clothes.  We typically only eat out once a week.  We have nice things, but we don’t sacrifice for stuff that will just wear out and have to be thrown away.  Money problems is one of the biggest factors that lead to divorce.  We keep our marriage healthy by keeping our finances healthy.

 

That doesn’t mean that I never take the lead or that I do everything she wants or suggests.  God has given me another responsibility which I take very seriously, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Ephesians 5:23).  I listen to her advice and her suggestions, but I make the final decision based upon my experiences and the wisdom God has given me.

 

If I do find myself in an uncomfortable situation with my wife, I immediately pray and ask God to help me work through it.

 

I pray for my wife every day.

 

If you need Godly marriage counsel, I recommend the book Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat. If you need help with your marriage, surrender all areas of your life to God.

Forgive

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. (Colossians 3:13KJV)

Forbearing means showing patient and unruffled self-control and restraint under adversity; slow to retaliate or express resentment.ᶦ

Forgiving means providing absolution.²

Life is not fair when family fight against family but in all the fighting the scriptures tell us to show patience and restrain our resentment but to provide absolution to others. We need to provide a way out as the Lord did for us.

In the scriptures Jesus teaches us about the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant:

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21-35)

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” Mark 11:26)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

We want to be right about everything even if we hurt others in the process. When we are convicted we still want to fight because it is the world’s way. But, we are not of this world the word says with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2) The word says Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2Timothy 2:22-26)

Jesus Christ lay down His life for us in love. We did not know Him personally but without hesitation He walked down a long and winding road to die on a cross made out of wood for us. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross. (1Peter 2:24a) Jesus Christ did this for us so we could be that debtor who needed to be given an absolution. Why would Jesus do this? So that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1Peter 2:24b) The old plan of the law wasn’t working so God devised a new plan and Jesus Christ was born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7) This was the plan all along to forgive our sinful desires because we can’t forgive ourselves without Jesus Christ shred blood on a cross made with man hands. We needed a Savior to come and save us from our evil desires that were going to be disastrous and a bitter end to our existence. God’s love for His people outweighed any other plan but to send His Son for our sins.

We do not live under the law but we who call Jesus Abba, Father are forgiven. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5: 13-15) Don’t think because you have asked Jesus Christ into your life that you have a free pass to continue in your sin. The Lord has scriptures all over the Bible that talk of luke-warm Christians. ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.’ (Revelation 3:16) “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  ”Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.… (Matthew 7:18-20) We are the tree that is planted in Christ who grows good fruit and we will be known by our fruit.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21) For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:13-15) If you have not put to death your flesh and its desires you are not being led by the Spirit but are under the law. The Lord does not want us chained to the law but to be free as adopted sons to the King. Once you taste victory in Christ Jesus you will not want to live like a dead man but to live for Christ. Throw off the old man and live for Jesus Christ as a forgiven son of the Most High God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26) This is what it looks like to walk in the Spirit: Love is patient, love is kind. (1Corinthians 13:4) Peace I leave with you (John14:27), forbearing one another (Colossians 3:13), showing kindness (2Samuel 2:6), full of goodness (Romans 15:14), true faith (3John 1:3), gentleness of tongue (Proverbs 15:4), and maintain your self-control (Acts 19:36).

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1John 1:8-10)

What are the wages of sin? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

So, you see life without Jesus Christ is no life at all; it is death. But, if you ask for forgiveness in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7)

“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Thank you Father that you love us enough to send your son to be our deposit on a payment so that we can live free of sin. Thank you Jesus Christ that with this free gift you have given me a way out of my sins and all I have to do is say “Father, forgive me.”

Father, I pray for your people who are called by your name that they will turn back to you and be forgiven. I pray that you will keep watch over us and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (Acts 20:28) The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Let us lack no good thing in you. Provide your provisions each and every day Lord Jesus. Makes me lie down in green pastures, make me thirst and hungry for your word, make me have a relationship with my Father God so that you can lead me beside the quiet waters and restore my soul. Guide me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Guide me to church, guide me through the word, guide me to that right occupation, and guide me to a deeper knowledge of you. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Thank you, Lord through my relationship with you and the word, I am not alone you will never leave me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You prepare table in front of my unbelieving friends, family, and co-workers… You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.

 

ᶦhttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/forbearing
²http://www.thefreedictionary.com/forgiving

The Savior of All People…

The SaviorI, even I, am the Lord (Jesus), and apart from me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

And I will appoint him (Jesus) to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. Psalm 89:27-29

(Isaiah was written 800 years before Jesus) A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lordmake straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”  Matthew 3:1-3

Paul writes, This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-11

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

AMEN!!!

Press On to Win the Prize…

Press onYou have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4

Paul writes, We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:14-15, 7:21-25a

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-15

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away (getting old), yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (Jesus), since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

AMEN!!!

God doesn’t do things in a vacuum

One of life’s difficult experiences is to work for a boss who makes decisions in a vacuum. By that I mean that (s)he will make a decision without knowing all of the facts. Or, (s)he may put together a team to analyze all available data and recommend a course of action only to ignore the team and make the decision himself/herself – even while the team is still deliberating.

Another trait this type of boss tends to have is a lack of communication skills. He or she makes a decision and then doesn’t tell everyone who needs to know. So employees waste time, energy, and resources working on something that they have not been told is no longer supposed to happen.

This is a frustrating work environment, especially for those employees who are of the “make it happen” mentality. It is also a path to corporate failure.

Making decisions in a vacuum or failing to communicate decisions works in small shops, but as an organization grows, so does the need for decisions to be made and communicated in a quality manner. Otherwise, the organization will suffer and may find itself floundering as employees become less eager to make things happen or to expend mental energy on projects because, “The boss will just do what (s)he wants to anyway,” and, “I’m not doing anything with this because the boss will just change his/her mind again without telling me.”

The Bible paints a different picture of God. Amos recorded, “Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” And Micah writes, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you, but to behave justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

God wants you to know the important things for success in life. That is why He has given us the Bible. There He records the things we should do because they will make us better humans and the things we should not do because they are harmful to ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The most important things He tells us in the Bible is how to please Him and how we can have eternal life. He doesn’t change His mind about these matters and He hasn’t hidden them from us, but they are plainly evident in His word.

What we need to do is communicate with God by reading the Bible over and over again and ask God to grant us understanding.

The Way

God may seem like He is distant, but His thoughts can be known by reading the Bible

The Lord Almighty…

The Lord AlmightyWhen I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:1-4

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Isaiah 40:13-15

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed (happy) are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:14-15

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; Psalm 62:8, 11-12a

AMEN!!!

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Over the years the real meaning of Christmas has lost it’s focus especially in Western societies.
The real meaning of Christmas is buried under a rumble of excessive drinking and eating and not least of all retail shopping. People will increase their credit cards and borrowing levels to purchase expensive gifts they cannot afford for love ones. Why? Parents feel pressured to buy the latest electronic gifts for their children because every parents are buying them for their children. If they refused to buy the newest gadgets they will be viewed as stingy and their children will feel embarrassed by their peer group. Parents will feel that their children are missing out even when they put themselves in huge debt.
Not only has the real meaning of Christmas changed, the word Christmas has changed too. Nowadays, some people have taken Christ out of Christmas and Christ has been replaced for the letter X. For some the word Christmas has been changed to the word Xmas. Xmas is a poor substitute for Christmas. Here, X has no value. It’s a way of reducing the significance of Christ in the Christmas activities and downplaying the real meaning of Christmas.
The real meaning of Christmas is summed up in the book of Isaiah.
In Isaiah chapter 9: 6 For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “wonderful,” “Counsellor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,”
“The Prince of Peace.” 7 His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it!

A.G. Douglas is the author of a ebook called, ‘Your Change is Coming’ which is freely available to download from smashword.com.

The Lord’s prayer-God is omniscient

IN Matthew 6:8, Jesus Christ informs us that before we think, ponder, and ask anything, God the Father KNOWS our needs. The idea of the Father knowing our needs before speaks of omniscience. The point is manipulating appearances, prayers, and giving in attempt to get God to answer or bless us would not work. Now let us approach the first part of prayer in Matthew 6:9.

“OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME” (verse 9)
Jesus Christ wants his audience to approach God as Father. The term Father is not a name, but a title. It means SOURCE. Christ wants them to direct their prayers to the Father in heaven. God the Father has established His throne in heaven and Jesus Christ directs prayers upward. In the world, Jesus always directs His prayers to heaven. So, He is teaching people to imitate Him. The Source is in heaven.
Then, Jesus Christ informs us to worship, honor, and adore the NAME of our heavenly Father. The Greek transliteration of the word NAME is called ANOMA. It means Character or Authority. The Father has ultimate authority; that is why Jesus instructs us to pray toward heaven to the Father. Then, the character of God has to do with the nature or essence. Some of the divine characters are omniscient, omnipotent, just, kind, love, etc. I want to argue that Matthew 6:8 gives the context for the type of attribute Jesus is emphasizing here in the term NAME. In verse 8, it indicates that God the Father is OMNISCIENT because He knows what our needs are before we think, ponder, and ask. It follows that Jesus wants us to honor and glorify the NAME or Omniscience of the Father in verse 9. There is nothing wrong with glorifying all the attributes of the Father. But the context of the chapter seems to point to the omniscience of the Father. Jesus is instructing us to direct our prayers to the Father in heaven, how the Father deserves to be honor because He is omniscient over all of our prayers. This is comforting and encouraging because we do not need to impress or gain praises from others when we pray. We need to know when we attribute the glory to the Father in our private prayers; we would be rewarded before God.
Next time, we will discuss the second part of the prayer in Matthew 6:10. Please, remember, the Father is in heaven for reason and we need to continue to exalt the name or omniscient of the Father.

The Lord’s Prayer-Introduction 2

The Lord’s Prayer is found in two books: Matthew and Luke. The prayer is singular, but the prayer was given in two contexts or settings. Let us focus on the first context in Matthew Chapter 6. Jesus Christ in previous chapter was sharing with the multitude and teaching them. Then, in chapter 6, He warns his audience about wrong attitudes, motives or ways of giving or praying. Since the focus on this series is prayer, Jesus Christ lists dangerous things we should not do when we pray and the right actions to take when we pray (Matthew 6:5-8). Things not to do are praying to get attention from others and using repetitive phrases. These people think that by engaging in these behaviors, they are able to manipulate or twist the hand of God to grant them success to prayers. On the other hand, Jesus Christ admonishes us that we should pray privately and commune with our God. It is not necessary for us to manipulate our prayers in attempt to get something from God because God knows what we need before we ask. In other words, God is giving insights to believers that the triune God is omniscient and it is not necessary in trying to inform God using repetitive words. From this, we learn that prayer is not depend on how impressive our words are or based on self-righteousness egotistical attitudes. Prayer is grace-driven embedded in the attitude of being humble before omnipotent, omniscient, and majestic character of God. It is true that human beings can manipulate each other, but we are serving triune God who cannot be manipulated.

Now we move to the next setting or environment in which Jesus Christ repeated the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:1. In this setting, there was no major audience. It was Jesus Christ and His disciples spending quality time together. Jesus Christ had just completed his personal prayer. Interestingly, He was consistent with his own teachings about privately spending time with our heavenly Father. He did not try to impress His disciples with heavenly driven words. There was a disciple who asked Jesus Christ about teaching all the disciples to pray. The twelve disciples were around when Jesus Christ introduced the Lord’s Prayer to the multitude. They might have thought that by asking Jesus Christ to teach them to pray, Jesus Christ would teach them different prayer. This idea is possible because the question pose to Jesus referred to John the Baptist and his disciples. The disciples of Jesus wanted Jesus to fulfill the same responsibility as John. For example, they argued John taught his disciples to pray, so they wanted Jesus Christ to do the same thing for them. But Jesus had already taught them the prayer in another setting with many people. Maybe, they were expecting something different.

The next time, we will look at parts of the prayer one at a time. Let Us Pray.

THE LORD’S PRAYER SERIES (Matthew 6:5-14; Luke 11:1-13)

Introduction (Matthew 6:5-7; Luke 11:1)

Prayer was essential and beneficial for Jesus Christ. Likewise, since we are representatives or ambassadors of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, prayer is vital, advantageous, and healthy for our bodies, spirit and soul. What is prayer? It has to do with communication and communion between an individual and God. Christians do affirm the premise that prayer is two-way street and not one directional communication.

What is two-way prayer communication? It is clear from scripture that our prayers should be directed toward the throne of the heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. For example, when Jesus Christ prayed, he looked up and directed his prayers to our heavenly Father. So, as we express our thoughts, emotions, feelings, concepts, and requests to God, we are fulfilling one-way communication toward God. In my Christian walk, I have heard how people adamantly convey that after I pray, I must and should stay silent and wait to hear from God. The idea behind waiting before God, according to them, means that I have to wait to hear audible voice of God. As we share and finish our responsibility of communicating with God, how does God fulfill “responsibility” in communicating with us? The answer to this question consists of two elements. First, God has already spoken to us via the Old Testament. In addition, God ultimately has communicated with us by way of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Interestingly, from Genesis to Malachi, we have varieties of God’s voice demonstrated in the past. Matter of fact, after the death of Malachi, God stopped communicating with human beings for 400 hundred years. People prayed and prayed, but God did not communicate with his people in extraordinary ways. I think it is because people expected God to continuously communicate, through signs and wonders, with them every day. For 400 hundred years, people were asking God to speak to them. God is infinitely genius; God had already spoken to people through the writings from Genesis to Malachi. There were so many wisdoms, teachings, laws, answers, and communicating responses to prayers.

In the New Testament, God began to lay the ultimate way of communicating with us, which is through Jesus Christ. It is important to indicate that people whom God spoke to were imperfect men and women possessing human sinful nature. But, God the Father speaks to us today through Jesus (the human being) Christ (divine being) possessing no sinful nature and demonstrating the character and nature of the triune God. Jesus Christ embodies God-Man. He lived, walked, spoke and gave us the New Testament by giving His words and voices to apostles of Christianity. Everybody who came after Jesus Christ and His apostles with contrary voices or words were liars and deceivers. These examinations are footnotes to what follows next.

The Bible is inspired by God, specifically, by the Holy Spirit. As we grow in our relationship with our heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, we grow in our understanding of the inspired words of God. Becoming stronger Christians mean that we are learning as much about the quality and biblical teachings of Jesus Christ from the Old and New Testaments. As we communicate with God and are silent, the inspired words of Bible answer, direct, comfort, rebuke, instruct, encourage, build, strengthen, transform, conform, etc. God’s words from the Bible can become audible voices in our minds and souls. Therefore, we can say that God speak to us audibly through His words in the Bible and we gain understanding by right interpretation of scriptures.