Intercession: the action of Intervening on Behalf of Others: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

When we try to rush ahead of God’s timing and His guidance, we will end up making a lot of mistakes. We need to humble ourselves under God’s guidance, realizing that He truly knows best. When we do so, we will reach the right points in our life at the right time. It’s all about trusting Him.

Doubt is normal. It was there in Paul’s time and it exists today. Maybe it is more prevalent today than it was in Paul’s time because there are so many people trying to discourage people from belief in God. The pagans of Paul’s time believed in gods, they just didn’t all know God. Today many claim that there is no God. They believe that scientists will soon be able to explain everything about how the world was created and answer any other question we might have. See, no need for God! And if there is no God then no heaven and no resurrection. If this is true then why bother depriving ourselves of all the pleasures we can get just because Christianity says love of God and of others should come first. But, there were too many people who witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. Too many people who were willing to die for the sake of Jesus and his teaching. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t die for a lie. And I doubt that they would either. So, as Paul says, since Jesus rose from the dead, we need to pay attention to what he said and to the promise that one day we too would rise if only we remain faithful. Doubt? Okay, but in the end, trust and belief.

According to Lionel Swain, of St. Edmund’s College, Ware, St. Paul believed intercession to be one of the most important aspects of faith and praying life, as praying for others is a recurring theme in his works. Prayer acts as a way for St. Paul to acknowledge God’s power. Intercessory prayer also acts as a way for the Apostle to “share in … the Father’s redemptive love”. Paul believed that prayer transformed the person doing the praying, as much as the one being prayed for, which creates a stronger bond between him and God.

Prof. Dr Johannes van Oort, Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Church History and Church Polity of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, adds that, in addition to praying for wisdom, the early church was very much involved with different charismas, one of which being healing. Praying for other people’s illnesses was another way that intercessory prayer was important in the early church, as healing was a sign of “the power of God’s Kingdom”. This gift of healing is specifically mentioned, among the other charismata, as a sign of being a true Christian by Irenaeus of Lyons in his text, Against Heresies.

Saints[edit source]

Intercession of the saints is a doctrine held by the Eastern OrthodoxOriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches that saints may be asked to intercede (or pray) for others. The doctrine of requesting intercession from saints can be found in Christian writings from the 3rd century AD, such as from Origen and Clement of Alexandria.

Main article: Prayer for the dead

The dead

In addition to praying for each other in life, early Christians would pray for those who had died. There is no unequivocal evidence that Christians began to pray for the dead before the third century AD. G. F. Hamilton argues that the earliest example of Church prayer on behalf of dead Christians are found in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (350 AD). Rather than pray for the departed in regular church services on Sunday, these early Christians would hold special commemorative occasions during the week. There was a sharp distinction drawn between remembering and praying on behalf of the dead, and those who were the “‘faithfully’ departed”, where Christians would only pray for those who had died as believers. The First Epistle of Clement (95 AD) contains a prayer which, while mainly for protection for the living, also includes the dead. Even quite early, a distinction was drawn between those who had died as Christians, and those who had died as unbelievers. In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (155 AD), Polycarp is killed and his bones are taken by fellow Christians and a shrine is set up to him, where they may remember his martyrdom. In contrast, the “Apology of Aristides” shows how those who were not Christians were grieved for, while the dead faithful were rejoiced over.  

Theological perspective: In an article in Theological Studies, Catholic theologian Patricia A. Sullivan warns that saints should not be built up in a way that brings down God. Saint Augustine had famously said that we pray not to instruct God but to get our will in line with God’s. Sullivan warns away from the dictionary meanings of “intercession” as “intervention, mediation, arbitration, negotiation”, all of which sound like we are dealing with a hostile or unfriendly God, whom we need to manipulate to get what we need. Such is not the meaning of the hapax legomenon in the New Testament of the word for intercession. Sullivan goes on:

When we ask a saint to intercede for us, what is happening at a deeper level is that we are taking refuge in the all-enfolding community of the redeemed, approaching God thru saintly symbols of Christ’s victory and of our hope. Saints want always what God wants, what is best for us whether we pray for it or not. They are in a perpetual attitude of praise for God’s love and care, to which we join ourselves, praying, more precisely, with them rather than to them. The value of our petitions is that they turn us in confidence toward the God who loves us, allowing God’s work to be more effective in us, and thru us in others.

It would be anathema to ask God to try any harder to do good. By invocation of a saint “we take refuge in faith in the all-enfolding community of all the redeemed,” where “each is responsible for all”. They are “creative models of holiness”.

Islam

Main articles: Shafa’ah and Tawassul

Although the idea of intercession or mediation (Arabic: s̲h̲afāʿa) has historically played a very prominent role in Islamic thought, it is not universally accepted by all Muslims in the present day.

The Quran says that the pre-Islamic Arab pagan gods will not be able to intercede with God on behalf of humankind, and that “the guilty” (al-mujrimīn,) will not benefit from any intercession on the Day of Judgment. Other passages that deny the efficacy intercession include. Still others say that God is the only intercessor.

However, “intercession is mentioned in the Qurʾān with respect to angels praying for the believers and the Prophet praying for erring but repentant Muslims.” Furthermore, it became an orthodox Islamic doctrine or “cardinal belief” that “Muḥammad will intercede for all Muslims on the Day of Resurrection.” While this particular tenet practically remained unchallenged throughout Islamic history, the widespread Sunni and Shia practice of asking deceased prophets and saints for intercession by praying at their tombs have become contentious issues in the modern Islamic world, with all these different types of intercession often being labelled by Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims as a type of polytheism, in a manner akin to the attitude of many Protestants towards the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practice of saint-intercession. In prophetic sayings there is intercession of martyrs for “seventy relatives” in the Hereafter.

Some religions claim that praying for somebody who is sick can have positive effects on the health of the person being prayed for.

Meta-studies of the literature in the field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is “no discernible effect” while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes” but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.

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Does Jesus really want us to believe that our enemies are our parents, children, family or friends? Somehow, I don’t think so! It is really about priorities. Have you ever chosen to watch a sports program when your child wanted to talk to you? What about not sitting at the table for meals because a special game is on? We are called on to make choices all the time. We can choose God, or we can choose other. Is that late night party worth missing church? We can talk all we want about being too busy, but the truth is that we find the time for what we want to do. I love to read, knit, spend time with my friends and I hate doing the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, but it all needs to be done. I would rather pick up a good book than exercise. I can say that I am “too busy” to do the things I don’t enjoy doing, but the truth is, I choose to spend my time in other ways. The same is true about putting God first. A friend that is always put last doesn’t remain a friend for long. When it comes to God, we know he will never desert us, but what about our turning our backs on him? We know what we must do – put God first and then everything else falls into place. Even carrying the crosses each of us must bear in life is easier because we know we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes we may have to disappoint a child or friend because we choose to do the right thing, but that is the price of being a disciple of Jesus.

We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour His Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

Do Catholics worship Mary?

No, Catholics only worship the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It would, in fact, be sinful to worship Mary. Theologians call divine worship latria, or the adoration due only to God.

However, in English the word worship is equivocal. In Britain it is often used of high personages, with the meaning of revering or honoring them due to the dignity of their office. David gave such honor to Saul, for example, because God had placed him as king over Israel. Such “worship” is derivative, sourced in the Father, as St. Paul taught (Eph. 3:14-15), analogous to that which the Decalogue commanded for parents (Ex. 12:20; Dt. 5:16).

Unfortunately, the English word “worship” doesn’t convey the subtlety of the Latin used by the Church, and in the United States is reserved for God. The Church’s theological term is dulia, from the Latin word for service. It is the reverence and respect owed to all the faithful servants of God (Mt. 24:21-23), the angels and saints whom God Himself honors with crowns of glory (Prov. 16:31; 1 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet 5:4; Rev 4:4). We honor them and, in turn, join with them in honoring God, the source of all holiness (Rev. 4:9-11).

Yet, Mary is not just any other saint. She is the Theotokos, the God-bearer, or Mother of God (Luke 1:43; Council of Ephesus, “Against Nestorius”). She is the true Ark of the Covenant who carried the Word Himself, the Bread of Heaven, and the Good Shepherd (Heb. 9:3-5; Rev. 11:19-12:1). The Archangel told her that she was “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), and Elizabeth, moved by the Holy Spirit, called her “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42).

For all these reasons and more, the Church renders to Mary an honor that is greater than is given to all the saints and angels, termed hyperdulia, or the greatest honor. Yet, it is not still that adoration, latria, which we give to God alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Text of Magna Carta;

JOHN, by the greace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and court of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Bublin, William Marshal bishop of Bath and Glastonbury,

Will Freedom Survive?
by James Robison

Several recent decisions by the Supreme Court have helped restore the foundational freedoms that made the United States, though far from perfect, the greatest nation on earth. Yet we must realize that there is no real freedom apart from God and the acceptance of personal responsibility. There can be no effective government without responsible citizens living under moral order. If we do not live under control with the freedom Jesus offered to all captives, we can never hope for our society to support and maintain the principles that enable freedom. 

With an understanding of the importance of personal freedom, we may rightly ask the question, “What about national freedom?” It is my firm opinion we are in danger of losing it, along with the opportunity it offers. It is my prayer that all believers will learn that we must live to protect what others died to provide

We are in the process of forfeiting the freedom our founders established – a freedom built on moral absolutes and a strong, but limited, government. Enemies of faith and true freedom don’t even want to acknowledge the supernatural power that influenced America’s birth or the importance of God, faith, family, and the principles necessary for freedom. They stand hell-bent in opposition to undeniable, absolute, transforming truth.

It’s time for people who understand the value of faith and freedom and its foundation to stand together like a mighty army – an undeniable spiritual force. We must reclaim the land of promise birthed through faith, prayer, and personal sacrifice to bless the American people and the nations of the world. Our freedom can only be preserved with the same determination, diligence, and supernatural unity Jesus prayed for and freedom’s champions understand.

The framers of the Constitution knew that the true liberty they offered demanded responsible citizens. Benjamin Franklin was asked if the meeting in Philadelphia had created a monarchy or a republic. Franklin answered, “A republic – if you can keep it.” Franklin, along with the other founders, knew that in order for liberty to be maintained, it would have to be supported by principled statesmen who were actively engaged in the task of governing themselves, encouraging all citizens to hold fast to truths espoused in the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams, our second president, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We are on the verge of losing freedom’s blessings as morality is under assault. Sadly, the church has not fully understood the importance of living under the control of God with the powerful spirit of God providing the strength for us to not only enjoy the privileges and possibilities of freedom, but also to protect them.

Jesus commissioned His followers to share the truth that sets people free and keeps them free. He said, “When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.”

Ronald Reagan observed, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

I do not want to be found among those who will be asked what we were doing when freedom died. By the grace of God, with His help and the help of those who share common concerns and with Christians of conviction, I will not be indifferent and allow freedom to die on my watch. I will continue to pray, preach, and openly call for a return to God-given principles.

America’s founders believed they were on a journey similar to that of Israel’s exodus from Egypt to God’s Promised Land. Moses was their hero. His farewell address delivered on Mount Nebo references the choices God offers those desiring true freedom. Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked these words the night before he was assassinated in 1968, and Ronald Reagan repeated them while standing at the base of the Statue of Liberty celebrating our nation’s birthday in 1986:

“See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and adversity. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep his commandments. But if you turn away, you will certainly perish. You shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Jordan to enter. I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse, choose life that you and your offspring shall live.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

The life being offered was a life of freedom, fullness and fruitfulness. God has granted us both the privilege and responsibility of being overseers, good stewards of all that He had entrusted to our care. You can be the guardians, the gate keepers, the restorers of the foundation and the wall builders maintaining our precious liberty. Let not your hearts be troubled. Keep the faith. Fight the fight as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ with the whole armor of God and the sword of the Spirit, don’t bend and don’t bow before the godless influences of this world and you will not be crushed and enslaved by the powers in this present world!

When God rules in individual lives, sound principles will prevail in our land.  Leaders will no longer be chosen because of personality, party affiliation, or skillful communication. They will be chosen because of their commitment to God-given principles necessary for the survival of true freedom.

I am praying to God and appealing to caring people to help restore America and freedom. It will not be easy, but together, and with God’s help, it can be done. This is the greatest hour for people of faith to become a guiding light.

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Open it!

I am sharing ‘The God’s Testament with you: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

God’s miraculous deliverance of Daniel from the lions in the lions’ den where he had been cast for worshipping the true God opened Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes to whose God was God. And he even issued a decree that all men in his vast kingdom give homage to the God of Daniel. Daniel’s faith and refusal to cease his regular daily devotions had resulted in the knowledge of God being spread throughout the land.

This verse tells us that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” If we love God, then we live in obedience. The “all things” refers to the providence of God and all the things that relate to Him: His Holy Spirit, His love and mercy, His truths, etc. All of these things come together for our good if we love God and show that we do by our behavior. But it’s not only required that we love God, but that we are called according to His purpose. This refers to the purpose that God has set before us. He calls us to a specific purpose in this life. As long as we are obedient to this purpose, to His call, then all of His resources come together for our good. This is a very encouraging scripture to let us know that, if we follow the will of God, everything will be okay with us. More than okay, actually. They will be “good,” because God is on our side.

Jesus tells us that the golden rule sums up the law and the prophets. Jesus is also telling us that we shouldn’t try to take the easy way out. From the time a two or three year old figures out that disobeying mom or dad brings punishment, he also figures out ways of trying to get away with it. The child will lie or hide or blame a sibling or the family pet! Unless this behavior is caught and the children learn that they can’t get away with it, they will continue this pattern. It can be very tempting to take the easy way out. This is not what we are called to do. We are called to take the narrow path, doing the right thing. We all get upset when we hear about hit and run accidents, but it’s hard to own up to something if you think you won’t be caught, especially when it could be expensive We choose the easy or the narrow path just about every day. Some decisions are easy, some are not. Do you waste time on the phone or on a computer searching websites or playing games when you should be working? See, what I mean? Students today are told they need computers for research that will enhance their learning, but some take advantage and their research trying to find papers that they can claim as their own. Jesus knew us well, and has given us fair warning. We should listen.

We need to be on the lookout for those who would lead people away from God by pretending that they are leading them to God. We have seen this happen several times in very public and tragic ways, but it can happen in less public ways as well. The world was horrified when they learned of the mass murder/suicide of over 900 people, one third of them minors in Guyana in 1978, and again of the destruction of the compound in Waco, Texas where over 70 people died. Both of these tragedies occurred because the leaders of the cult claimed to either be a god or be God’s messenger or Messiah. There have been many other cults operating with less destructive results. Preying on loners or immigrants, the leaders promise security here and eternal life if only you follow them. They don’t say that you are following God, but you are following them because they are the only ones who know the way! By their fruits you will know them. These people ask blind obedience, work to separate people from their families and friends, and often demand a certain percentage of income. This doesn’t sound like Jesus to me. Paul never demanded obedience to himself, in fact, he said just the opposite to the Corinthians. John the Baptist said that he wasn’t the one and pointed to Jesus. We have been warned by Jesus to look at those who claim to be prophets carefully and judge by their fruits. If they are more interested in leading us to themselves instead of to Jesus, we must beware.

Again we have a prophet spreading God’s message of love, begging the people to admit their wrongdoing, and sincerely repent and turn back to him. When you read the Old Testament, you start to wonder if they will ever learn. I wonder what historians one hundred years from now will say about us and our behavior. Will they read the New Testament and find remnants of Christian groups and compare their behavior with the Bible, and find us worthy of the name? I’m not so sure. Not only is there a lot of what I consider very un-Christian behavior by individuals but also by Christian groups towards one another. Perhaps we should reread Joel and the messages given by some of the other prophets and take these messages to heart. God wants us to turn to him. He wants us to take responsibility for our actions, and ask forgiveness so that he can forgive and renew us. God isn’t looking for grandiose exhibitions of repentance, but a sincerity of heart. It’s how much we are willing to change our behavior. It’s how welcoming we will be to the stranger, how much we are willing to help others to grow in their faith as well as how willing we are to grow in our own.

Let us not, O Lord, underestimate what you can do in us and through us. We do not know all of your purposes for us, but we know that nothing is too hard for you to do. We pray for the steadfastness of soul to continue to pursue knowing you even in the face of resistance and the faith to believe that your Word planted deep in us can strengthen us for even the most difficult tasks. Amen.

TOP 99 Favorite Bible Verses That Every Christian Should Know By Heart

Okay, over the past 6 months many of you AMAZING Christians that read my blog have contacted me and informed me of your favorite books of the Bible, Bible prayers, and today I’d like to share with you the 99 bible verses that have been shared with me the most! I’m certain that a few […]

TOP 99 Favorite Bible Verses That Every Christian Should Know By Heart

The Fathers Glory! Lord, may You always be glorified. Help me to reveal Your glory in all that I do, so that not only Your glory, but the glory of the Father is made known to the world. Amen.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

When Paul preached at Thessalonica, many believed and came to Christ. This included a number of Greeks and a number of prominent and influential women. The Greeks would have had a completely different religion, believing in multiple gods, and yet they believed. Paul himself said that he was not a good preacher. It seems unlikely that these Greek men and women would believe, and yet they did. Maybe you’ve wanted to try something for God but it seems impossible. God works in miracles and all things are possible through Him. Give it some thought and prayer, and then have courage.

In His final hours, Jesus asks His Father to allow the world to see His glory. Not because of who He is, but because of who God is. His glory is God’s glory. He asks that God allows His glory to be revealed through the sacrifice of His son, who will shortly give His life for the lost. He asks God’s glory to be revealed so that everyone will know the incredible nature of the sacrifice, and experience hope for a new life.

Once I was working with a group of teenagers and had given them a project where they needed to make a picture to illustrate one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they needed to work on it in teams. One of the teams had a young man who never wanted to get involved, didn’t contribute to the class and was not particularly liked by the other kids. This day, however, his artistic ability made him the hero of the team! The team came up with such a wonderful poster that the both his attitude and that of the class towards him changed for the rest of the year. It’s easy to miss something of value that’s right in front of our eyes. Peter is talking to the chief priests and scribes about their ignorance of Jesus’ true nature and mission. We may also overlook someone who could be a leader if we looked more closely at the individual and didn’t judge on appearance. I’ve become a fan of applying for jobs online as long as they don’t ask for a picture. Of course there will always be a face to face interview before the final hiring, but at least competent people won’t be overlooked because the picture doesn’t match the image the boss had in mind. Not that long ago, women were told they weren’t capable of doing many jobs they now have – doctors, mechanics, military personnel, etc. And men were seldom hired to teach young children. Just as the Jewish leaders were blinded by their own preconceived ideas, we can be too if we’re not careful.

Heavenly Father, I want to serve You. Lay on my heart how You want me to serve You. I will go where You want me to go. Stay where You want me to stay, and speak what You tell me to say. Lord, give me confirmation and then courage. Things may seem unlikely or impossible, but I know all things are possible with You. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. I will follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

True Soulmate In Life, His Name Is God the Holy Spirit!

THe Holy Spirit also know. I truly pay this thank You letter will show my gratitude for Your payers to save me from myself and keeping me in our Fathers saving grace. I know I have messed up alot in the past night years after Chris shot me. I have taken everything that happened out on others who had nothing to do with what happened to me. I have known the Lord, but not like I should of. Maybe I did but, never listened to Him. Your love for me keep me a livethe night I was shot. I thank You for keeping alive. I am sorry for letting You down as well. Nine years I did nothing but waste it on getting high and treating John like crap for the last 6 years, and yet he stayed.

Love is not a feeling it’s an action word. Father God thank You for showing me that Chris really treated me like crap. He lies, beat me, cheated and amost killed me. I grieved him thinking I loved him. I do love him. But, Lord Jesus I have to let him go. With letting him go the pain of what happened will go as well. I do feel bad for not getting your ashes as the funeral home. You don’t deserve that, but I would of been left as well. But, did’t want that for me. I am sorry for that. Chris, i am letting go.

Father God thank You for bring John Zakrzewski in to my life. I remember him setting across from me at dinner at the mission. Once I seen him I wanted to get to know him. Father God in Jesus name thank You for allowing John into my life. Holy Spirit thank You for being so gracious of Your patience and love with John and I. Six years and going on a 100 years. Holy Spirit You are my true Soulmate. Father God when You in Genesis 2:24- That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one flesh. There is no paper saying we have to be married, but if you put us together is it Your Covenant that’s more important than that of a piece of paper. I believe Your Word says it all. Two become one. There is our soul which is one, that belongs to You, our Lord Jesus, Your Living and Your Holy Spirit Who lives in us is our Soulmate. Thank You, Father God in Jesus name Amen

I truly love John the way I love You Lord. You are first in our heart. There is no one but You. No other God nor will there ever be. This world may fade away but Your Word lasts forever.

I am thinking of John right now. I can remember him always bring things home to me when he worked at Life Bridge. John didn’t not knowing for my drug abuse for about 6 months into our ralationship. He didn’t like it. But, December 2015, I was put in the hospital because I had a miscariage. I had a hysterectomy, and only one ovary left found out my tube grew back. That devastated John and I both. I don’t ever think John and I ever reallyh grieved the lose of that baby. It’s a what if question? Lord, I miss John and yes I am all over the place with our marriage. for everything i have doen to John he has never walked out on me. Because the first words out fo his mouth is he loves me. Lord thank You for a man who does fear You and I didn’t even see it until now. Father God thank You in Jesus name for hearing our prayers in Jesus name.

Lord, I thank You for Your Spirit, who intercedes for me in my time of need. When I don’t know what to pray or how to pray, Your Spirit steps in and takes my petition directly to You. I am not left floundering for words and praying ineffectively. Your Spirit knows what I need and makes sure that my petition reaches You. Amen.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. 5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; 6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Moses is giving the Israelites his final teaching and advice before they enter the Promised Land. He is reminding them of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on them from the time he rescued them from Egypt. Moses knows he will not be entering the Promised Land with them because he has displeased God. He also knows that it is important for them to remember these blessings so that they might remain faithful to the commandments. We know from reading Scripture that the Israelites did forget, did disobey, did not remain faithful to the commandments. Jesus commented that the Pharisees of his day obeyed the human laws more than God’s laws. What of us today? Do we keep the commandments? I have mentioned before, that many of us consider the commandments “suggestions” or commandments for only the time in which they were given. But think of the discord caused by dishonesty, greed and abuse of authority. Moses’ advice to the Israelites is just as true today as it was millennia ago. Following God’s law is just as important now as it was then. As we proceed through Lent, let us read again Moses’ address to the people in Deuteronomy.

This is not an easy commandment to live up to for any man. Any comparison to Jesus is one that we can never live up to, but should always be our goal. Love your wives as Jesus loved the church. She will certainly be a lucky woman!

Lord in Heaven, Jesus Christ, I am so lucky to be a member of your holy family. My only wish in this prayer is that I can create a family in your image, and love each member as you have loved me. Amen.

When we’re going through storms of life, hurricanes of emotion, and waves of wallowing, we need faith in God’s power in order to stay calm. God can still the storms and hush the hurricanes in our lives if we trust him and pour out our hearts to him.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our human vocabularies are vast. Most adults know 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Avid readers probably know substantially more. That’s a lot of words! But even with those vast vocabularies, there are moments when words elude us. Sometimes this happens when we pray. Sometimes our need is so great that we cannot find the words to express it in our own language. That is when the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He searches our hearts and our minds and sees what we need. He translates that need directly to God, in a language that only God understands. In a sense, the Holy Spirit becomes a “code talker.” His transmission by-passes our human brain and his code–the “wordless groans”–is unintelligible to the Adversary. In this way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to help ourselves.

If we hang our hopes only on this temporary world, we are pitiful this world is full of disappointments. We are bound to be let down time and again when we place our hope only in this world that we live in. Everything on this earth will come to an end. Nothing here lasts. There has to be something more. Something greater than what we know in the here and now. Something that endures. There waits for us a hope greater than anything we know on this earth and that is the hope we find in Christ and in our place with Him in eternity. His resurrection has paved the way for our own. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we set our hopes on the world beyond this one.

Today, Christianity is divided. I’m not necessarily speaking about denominational differences because as long as a denomination is accurately presenting Jesus’ message of the Good News, there is no problem. The problem comes when people who call themselves “Christian” preach and teach a false gospel. Just as there were Jewish leaders who tried to challenge Jesus in his own time because they didn’t like what he was teaching, there are people today who don’t want to follow the totality of his message. We learn from Paul that there is “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, One Lord of All.” If this is true, then why do we consider one baptism more valid than another? If the Lord is Lord of all, then why do some claim to belong more to the Lord than others?

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises them for their divisions saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos,” etc. Paul reminds them that if they were baptized into Christ, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter who led you to Christ, it’s more important that we came to him. Let us work together to help end a spirit of division among all of us who are blessed to be baptized into Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Lord, I know You have a plan for my life. Before I was even born, You knew me and made a plan for me. Help me follow Your plan and not my own. When I stray from the path You intended, help me to find my way back. When I am stubborn and want to have my own way, remind me of why Your way is best. Shut doors that I have no business walking through and open doors for me that You would have me enter. Thank You for taking care of me and setting me on a solid path for my life. Amen.

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Man is a fickle creature. It is not unusual for him to flit from plan to plan. Never really having a destination and changing with the wind. We see it even with people who root for professional football. One year they will start out as huge fans of a particular team. By mid season, when that team is no longer winning, they will begin to root for another team which has more wins. We change our minds on a whim. When we make plans in our own hearts, they are very changeable. When one dream gets too hard for us, we chase after another. When that one dead ends, we are off to yet a third endeavor. So it is with man’s plans. God’s plans are different. When God has a plan for us, it is steady. He knows the beginning and ending, as well as every bump on the road in between. So many people have left the path ordained for them by God only to wander from dream to dream and then to finally end up the path God had intended for them from the beginning. How much time would save if we just did it God’s way from the beginning? How much pain would we spare ourselves if we didn’t give in to our fickle nature? God’s plan will always be the best plan.

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