For Times Like These, Just Say Lord Please

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As an abiding Christian, know that a prayer of supplication is often what’s needed for a particular situation.  If you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, develop a fervent prayer habit.  Pray, don’t despair.  Look up and keep your head up; be hopeful and remember who your refuge is.  For times like these, just say Lord please

Do you remember how Paul acted when he was jailed?  He didn’t fret, he kept praying and praising!  In his ‘midnight hour situation’, his prayers were indeed answered (Acts 16:25-34 NIV).  For times like these, just say Lord please.  Paul and Silas did; you can too!  

  •  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”   Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b KJV
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV

While it’s important to pray, to keep a line of communication with the Lord, keep three more things in mind too:

  • Be willing to be an Angel for someone else. Through you, yes though you, God may answer another’s prayers.
  • You often in life need to give to get.  You may get a prayer answered from someone you’ve given nothing to. To someone you perhaps don’t even know.  Perhaps in fact from someone who dislikes you, but who God moves to position you for a victory nonetheless.  
  • My Pastor and First Lady (Dr. Rev James A. and Brenda Webster) are celebrating this week 33 years leading my church, Oak Ridge First Baptist Church.  God, Family, and Church are -in that order- Pastor Webster believes the proper priorities of an abiding Christian.  It’s hard to put God first if you don’t prayer regularly, right?

So what does a child of God need to do in uncertain times like these?  It’s simple: Ask, seek, and knock.  Just say Lord please

   Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way


Photo credit:  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

Midnight Hour Situations: You’re Blessed, Blessed, Blessed

Fred Hammond & Radical For Christ | “We’re Blessed”

  • Spoken fervently by a Woman in the group (beg. at 5 1/2 min. mark in video below):

Acts Chapter 16 and verse 25.   The Bible says:  “Then at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison doors were shaken . . . and immediately everyone bands were loosed”

All we really want you to know tonight is when you find yourself in a midnight hour and if you haven’t then maybe you will . . . there are 2 principles that will guarantee your success.

Number one, pray.  Why?  Because the Bible [in James 5] says: “That the prayers of the righteous man availeth much.”

When you get up off your knees, and you believe that [as stated in Ephesians 3] He is able to do exceeding abundantly, according to all that you ask of Him, according to the power that’s already working in you, then [Number two] you lift your hands and give Him praise. Why?

Because He dwells, He dwells, in the midst of your praise.   Now I’m gonna need some loud mouths and some sanctified hands to lift your voice and say:  He dwells in my praise!

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Acts 16:25-26 NKJV

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?  O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.  But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

Christians: Think of Others First (Scripture)

The way to God


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2: 3-4 (NIV)


But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Romans 2: 8 (NIV)


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.

Galatians 5: 22-23 (NIV)


Sunset with Cross

66 Assurance Way


Photo credits: iStock

Christians: Be a ‘For Real’ Worshipper

Sunset with Cross


Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

John 4:21-24 (NIV)


Just as important to a Real Christian as having Proper Priorities is their regularly engaging in Proper Worship.

  • Not all worship by saved children of God is real or proper.  Real Worshippers are informed and transformed, they aren’t simply conformed.
  • They are Christian Disciples, not just diligent churchgoers.

Unlike the Praise that such faithful Christians offer to the Lord, Worship is a public, group-oriented aspect of one’s Christian life.   It is church based.   As a member of a church that the Holy Spirit has guided them to, Real Christians avoid being passive, unengaged Pew Parkers.

They, after getting settled into a new church, are constructively engaged in at least one ministry.   They are tithers as well.  Lastly, those who are real worshippers ‘put on the full armor of God’.   Written by Paul, the scripture in Ephesians 6 captures so well what those who are living a Real Christian life are all about.


 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)


Worship which is proper, which is ‘in spirit and in truth’, is critical to every abiding Christian’s Walk.   During one’s life, you’ll be in Spiritual Warfare from time to time.   Having God’s full armor will allow you to endure and walk with Confidence!

  • Strive to be a fully-armored, Real Worshipper.

Grace, mercy, and Peace to you.

   66 Assurance Way


Photo Credits: iStock

Inner Strength through God’s Spirit (Scripture)

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I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.

Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.   And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

Ephesians 3: 13 – 16 (NLT)


66 Assurance Way

 Photo Credit: Art4TheGlryOfGod/flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Are You Wearing God’s Armor? (Fighting the War)


I got joy in my soul
God is in control
I got Satan on my trail
But I’m singing all is well.
He’s attacking everyday
But I’m watching while I pray
No matter the attack
I won’t turn back.
This means war, this means war.
This means war, this means war.

Lyrics from “War”, Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  

Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV


Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

 

Being an Exceptional Spiritual Quarterback

15279885950_de3b5c3e2e_bWith Jesus as your model, you can be a God-pleasing Christian.  What does it take to do so?   Hearing two sports radio hosts muse about 3 football quarterbacks, I began thinking about what makes for an exceptional Christian Quarterback.   Needless to say, the benefits of being a Champion for Christ far exceed anything the NFL offers!


Weapons and Protection

Last Fall, I heard a Sports Radio Host comment on the early-season woes of Tom Brady (New England Patriots).   An effective football Quarterback needs, he stated,  two things: “Weapons and Protection”.  I smiled when I heard this.  The first thing that ran through my mind was this: Abiding Christians have both these things!  To even play this ‘position’, you need these two things.

  • Putting on ‘the full armor of God’ gives a Christian protection.

  • For those Christians, who use the Bible as their Playbook for Christian Living, the word serves as a very effective Weapon.   God’s word is a sword when one is on the battlefield for the Lord.

  • The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe“. (Proverbs 18:10)


 Accuracy and Maturity

On a second, recent Sports Radio Show, while musing about the potential of the 2 most recent Heisman Trophy winners, the radio host stated that he evaluates NCAA Quarterbacks on two things: “Accuracy and Maturity”.  In the eyes of many, the off-the-field vice (a lack of maturity) of one of the NCAA football players offset his arguably superior playing record (accuracy).

I see being an exceptional Christian Quarterback to be, in large part, a function of one’s level of sanctification.   Put another way, in one’s Christian Life, how a person responds to the Red and Green ‘traffic lights’  of life separates those who are indeed Spiritually Accurate and Mature.

  • Accuracy is about the ability to respond to ‘Red Lights’ – i.e. to Avoid the ungodly things which are clearly off-limits. (The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, for example, clearly address Must Avoid behaviors).

  • Maturity is about being able to regularly do the ‘Green Light’ things.  Think about the ‘fruit of the spirit’ attributes described by Paul in the New Testament.  It’s only with Spiritual Growth that one becomes mature.  In short, optimal maturation demands full sanctification.   Exhibiting patience, self-control, and love in all situations is easier said than done for most Christians.


Spiritual Quarterbacking for Christians

  • Are you ready to play?

PROTECTION is about your attire and attitude


WEAPONS is about your actions. Are they ‘in the spirit’ and anointed?

  • Your application of the Word (Holy Bible) will allow you to have the spiritual might to win in a tough spiritual fight.
  • The Book of Proverbs offers 31 Chapters of Biblical wisdom that, if demonstrated in your life, will allow you to be an able spiritual warfare fighter!
  • Your understanding of who God (Isaiah 45:1-7) and Jesus (John 14:1-6) are.   If you have a close relationship with the Lord, the words you read in your Bible are more likely to be acted upon with conviction.

ACCURACY is about your ability to avoid ‘red light’ behaviors

  • Exodus 20 and Romans 7 speak to commandments (things a Christian should never do) and Winning over Sin (through the eyes of Paul).
  • Isaiah 30:1-15 (avoid being obstinate to God’s will)

MATURITY is about your ability to work towards affection-based sanctification and being a ‘fruit of the spirit’ Christian.

  1. 3 Steps of Sanctification (John MacArthur): Cognition, conviction, and affection.
  2. Perfect Faith? (prior post – Aim for full faith instead)
  3. A post that speaks to this very well: “If I Could Only be Perfect … ” (Christianity Today)
  4. What is Faith? (prior post)
  5. Faith: Read and meditate on the entire 11th Chapter of Hebrews.  That chapter begins: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of things not seen“.
  6. Growing Spiritually (prior post, 4 stages of Spiritual Growth)
  7. Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) qualities: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

So, as you watch the 2015 NFL draft later this month, know that God has long ago drafted you to be a Soldier on his Spiritual Battlefield.

  • You ARE part of the Master Plan of a Sovereign, Gracious God

  • You ARE ‘more than a conqueror’!

  • You ARE ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and will be kept safe

Let the Bible, the Playbook for Christian Living, guide your steps.  

Those who are spiritually mature and accurate can say they are exceptional Christian Quarterbacks.   When the game begins, you’ll be well-equipped and on the field.   However, those who live life without the proper attire, attitude, or affection (for the will of God) will be relegated to the Lord’s ‘practice squad’ instead.    Grace, mercy, and peace to you.

 


 Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

Photo credit:

  • Russell Wilson (a Super Bowl-winning, NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, who happens to be a Christian too) – Keith Allison/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)