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A Lesson on Prayer from James

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I have been studying James this month. James 4: 1-3 gives us a lesson in pray. In verse 2 he says we don’t have because we don’t ask. We want and want. But the problem is quiet simple; we have left God out of the picture. When we leave out God the self takes over and problems arise. Jesus taught us to deny self in order to be His disciple (Mark 8:34). That doesn't mean we aren't to ask God for things we want but as I continue I think we get a better idea between what we want and what God wants for us.

In verse 3 James says we ask but we don’t receive because we ask in the wrong way. We want to spend it on our own desires for pleasure. Asking does not mean we are going to get. Many times we pray God will bless and guide and bring to fruition our plans. But, they are our plans. We get a false confidence from saying, “we prayed about it” and then we move forward w/o really being open to the fact that God may have an alternative plan. When we prayed all we were looking for was His sanction of our desires, not His will.

Matthew 7:7 says, 7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

John 14:14, 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Without a doubt we have a God who is willing and wanting to give us the desires of our hearts, but those hearts must be pure, God would do us no favor by adhering to our selfishness. We must learn to ask according to His will and that motive requires us to carefully suppress and turn from the lingering selfishness that is in our prayers. Look back at John 14:14 – now read the verse before it: 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

Verse 13 of John 14 I think is the key. We want glory to be brought to our Father. So, will I stop asking for things I want? Probably not. But, I will remember to ask "if it be Your will." Then I will pray for the wisdom to discern His will from my will.

(Some informtion is taken from "Explore the Bible" Adult Commentary - Summer 2009. LifeWay Adults)


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Many years ago in the lower end of our property, Daddy dug a pond. As years have passed trees, grass, and briars have grown up around the pond. Getting to it is a “sticky” situation. Because of the overgrowth / undergrowth the sun rarely illuminates the water. The small stream that once drained into the pond is all but non-existent. The water is dark, milky and covered in “pond scum”. What fish are in the pond do not effectively reproduce and remain small because of the lack of nutrients in the water. As a result of not tending the area, the water in the pond has stagnated. Webster defines stagnation as, “not flowing in a current or stream, not advancing or developing.”

Sometimes spiritually we become like Daddy’s pond. We stagnate. We neglect to tend to our spiritual needs. We fail to get the nutrients we need. We don’t advance or develop our spiritual life. It is not that we don’t care. I care about the pond and the fish. But, it will take a lot of time to clean up around the pond. I am too tired in the afternoons and too busy on the weekends to get involved in this chore. It may cost a lot to do this.

Refresh, as defined by Webster is “to restore strength and animation to”. How can we “flow (animate) in a current or stream”?

Worshipping, growing and serving are how we can flow (animate) in the current. Without this we become like stagnated water. Yes it takes time and I may have to cut out some of my other activities that clutter my time and oh yeah, it will cost – time and money. But, the rewards are great. We have a renewing of our mind and spirit. We advance and develop in the Christian life.

© “Janet’s Take On Things”

I am Blessed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everyday that I am able to get out-of-bed, get dressed, grab a bite to eat, and head out-the-door to go to work is a blessing. So many people are suffering in this world. They have sickness and disabilities that prohibit them from being able to get out-of-bed and etc. They may have a feeding tube and unable to eat on their own - they may not can work or they may have lost their jobs. I am praying for you. By the grace of God, go I.

More Than This

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It has been a while since I wrote. I began my new job April 6 after working for over 25 years as a rehabilitation counselor in a community based non-profit organization. Non-profit is the operative word. I never cease to be amazed at how God works. His Word tells us that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours - that we can't understand Him. I believe that. However, I also believe that the only hope we have in this world is to believe in God.

My pastor and another person were talking just he other night about someone who had died and the funeral had been that day. I began to listen and soon I chimed in. We mourn the loss of our loved ones because we will miss them. They are home. We are aliens/strangers in this world. It is not our home. Our home is in heaven with our Lord Jesus. When we leave this earth we are going home. Guess what? Once we are home we will never have to leave again. Amen That is our hope. If this is all their is then we are indeed pitiful.

And So Begins the New Book

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Five weeks ago a book in my life ended with the closing of the Center and my having to retire before I was ready. I saw this coming so in December 2008 I began to pray about what God would have me do. I never seemed to be really stressed about my future. There has never been a time that a door has closed and God has not opened another. This time I really didn't know what to expect. Oh, I had some desires for future employment but I just didn't know what God had in mind for me. Out-of-the-blue a position at my church opened. The deadline for the application was March 30. After praying I turned in my application/resume on March 29. On March 31, I received a call for an interview. As soon as I walked in to the interview I knew the job was mine if I wanted it. It is part-time which is perfect. When I was told the salary range I was a little concerned but knowing this was where God had put me I accepted. On Wednesday - April 1 I received a call and was told that I would be paid at the top of the salary range because of my experience. Again, God came through - He is faithful as always. So, April 6 I will begin a new book. I will become the Ministry Assistant to the Minister of Assimilation at my church. I am excited. I have not done this particular ministry before so that makes it even more exciting. But, I cannot stress enough that this is not of my doing. It is all about God and allowing Him to position me for ministry in this area. "To God be the glory - great things He has done". It all goes to Him. Now with this new book beginning in my life - lets see where it leads.

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