Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, My Father,
In their book, The Rest of the Gospel, Dan Stone and David Gregory have a chapter entitled, The Holy but. Now this may seem a strange title for this chapter, but I can tell you personally that it has changed my perspective on God’s truth and my daily circumstances in a mighty way over the last few years. You see, we all live after the but. For example, we may say, Well, I know God loves me, but it does not seem like it. Everything is falling apart. I know God is my sufficiency, but I do not really have what I need. This kind of mindset produces a way of thinking and living that will keep a Christian in bondage, dread, and fear.
Jesus was overwhelmed by what He was about to undergo on the cross as He prayed in the Garden. Slowly read the Scripture again and notice what he prays before and after the but. When we place God’s truth and promises after the but rather than before the but, we experience peace and victory as the Holy Spirit moves us from fear unto faith in the midst of our circumstances. For example, you begin to say, I feel awfully weak in this, but God is my strength. I am in pain, but God is my sufficiency. Satan does not mind if you use God talk as long as it is before the but. But, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:23-24, we have been given the mind of Christ. May you begin to invite the Holy Spirit to increasingly enable you to walk the Holy but bridge to new life and victory in Jesus.
Broken, Open, and Set to Blaze
Luke 24:30-32 And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread
I invite you to sit down with the Holy Spirit today and read of the time Jesus came alongside two pilgrims as they walked with heavy hearts, the seven mile stretch of road from Jerusalem to their hometown of Emmaus, Luke 24:13-35. It is a wonderful and life-changing event, not only for our lives as Christians, but in the way we look at celebrating Holy Communion. After having read Luke’s narrative, consider for your own life, the following three truths when Jesus was invited to their home as evening approached on that Resurrection Sunday.
First, Jesus took the initiative of breaking the bread and serving them
in their own home. Secondly, it was not until the bread was broken, that their eyes were opened and they recognized and understood that the Jesus they thought still dead, was alive and speaking to them! Thirdly, After Jesus vanished from their sight, they talked of how their hearts were set ablaze by Jesus who had been sharing the Living Word regarding Himself, as they walked along together on the road.
Hear the Good News! Jesus loves you, yes you! He took the initiative as demonstrated on the Cross. Paul speaks of having the eyes of our hearts opened to God’s marvelous grace and our wonderful inheritance in Him in Ephesians, Chapter One. And, when we come to Christ in our brokenness, surrendered unto Him in faith to the promises of His teachings, His Word, our hearts will burn and we will not be able to do anything less, than to tell others about Him! Luke 24:33-35. The Body and the Blood of the New Covenant, Our Savior!
Cornelius on Prayer
He prayed to God regularly Acts 10:2
In his book, Draw the Circle, Pastor Mark Batterson, reminds us of a Gentile by the name of Cornelius and of his prayer life as recorded in Acts, Chapter Ten, in the New Testament. You may be wondering who Cornelius is, but I can assure you how a read through of his account will both fascinate you and encourage your prayer life at the same time. And in doing so, you will discover how God brought Cornelius together with the apostle Peter as they were praying simultaneously from their respective locations in Caesarea and Joppa.
But here is the thing. If you want to know of the life and the faith of this man through whom God opened the door to all Gentiles to receive faith in Jesus Christ, including you and me, you need only know of five words, He prayed to God regularly! It is true! God can change the course of history through one man or woman who has a heart after His through prayer!
Before Peter traveled to Cornelius and his home through Divine intervention, the only followers of Christ were of the Jewish sect.
Thank God today, for a man who prayed regularly named Cornelius.
May we offer God no less from the burning within our hearts to know His heart. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16
Thankful for the willingness of Cornelius and the boldness of Peter to cross the threshold to where Jew and Gentile meet!
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Recently I learned of the name and the function of the cluster of nerve cells located at the base of the human brain stem. This cluster of cells is called the reticular system or RAS, for short. Its function is to monitor our environment. In other words, you and I are bombarded daily with countless stimuli vying for our attention, and it is the job of the RAS to determine what gets noticed and what goes unnoticed. For example, Nancy and I purchased a Subaru automobile last year. Before we purchased it, we had really never noticed a Subaru on the road, but since our purchase, we see them all the time! What happened is this. Our RAS, categorized the Subaru as important and relevant to our lives, and now we are more aware of them.
Likewise, when we attend constantly to prayer and keep alert in it, like the reference Paul is using of the watchmen who stood post on the city walls in Old Testament days, we will begin to see things first from God’s perspective. The watchmen of old had a vantage point. They could see things before others see them such as an approaching enemy army, or those coming to trade items which would benefit the occupants of the city. When we pray we notice things that God is doing, when we do not pray, we are less likely to see what God is doing all around us, every day. RAS praying moves us beyond the five senses to because to the operation of the Holy Spirit. Deduction and logic can only go so far, for the Holy Spirit enables us to see the invisible and hear the inaudible. May we be First Class Noticers!
The Day the Wall Came Tumbling Down
Joshua 6:5 And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the rams horn, and when you hear th
When I was in High School I made some spending money one summer by helping to put insulation in a private home that someone from my hometown church was building. And in doing so, I was privilege to see the process of wall construction from frame to finished product.
Ancient Jericho was a highly fortified city, which was determined to keep the people of the Lord out upon their entrance into the Promised Land. But God had a plan, and that plan was very specific. Joshua, his warriors, and seven priests were to follow a specific plan and a specific lineup which included marching around the circumference of the city once a day for six days, and then, seven times on the seventh day with the Ark of the Covenant in view. And then, the Bible says, the last time around on the seventh day, the seven priests were to blow from the rams horns and all the people were to shout with a great shout and the walls of Jericho did historically came tumbling down!
Do you know someone who has been constructing what would seem an impenetrable wall around himself or herself for many years? The wall of fear, or depression, insecurity or an addiction that has kept them in bondage? The Bible says you can circle that person in prayer for the wall to come down.
And don’t be surprised if God calls you to pray and obey something the world would consider crazy, like circling a building seven times, for when God is in it, God is in it! Read Joshua 5:13 through the Sixth Chapter and invite the Holy Spirit to help you start circling. Pastor Mark Batterson has said that prayer is difference between the best we can do and the best God can do.