Saturday, March 22, 2014

Resting in God's Faithfulness

"I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1st Corinthians 1:4-9

 
   When plans are frustrated or life just seems to fall apart in some way, it's not uncommon for people to wonder, Has God deserted me? Why hasn't He answered my prayers? Deuteronomy 7:9 offers encouragement with assurance of the Father's faithfulness: "Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments."
   Five attributes of God make this possible. First, He knows everything, including our needs, thoughts, frailties, and desires-past, present, and future. Next, the Lord is all-powerful, so nothing is too hard for Him. (Jeremiah 32:17). Then, He exists everywhere at once and is never beyond reach.
   In addition, our heavenly Father cannot lie. Everything that He says is true and 100 percent reliable.
   Lastly, God is unchanging. The world around us and our circumstances seem to be in a constant state of flux. And the Lord may even modify the way He chooses to interact with mankind in different generations. But His character is always the same. So when Scripture tells us that God is faithful, we can res confidently upon that promise.
   Circumstances often prove painful. But even when situations seem overwhelming, believers can trust that our sovereign Lord knows all, is in control, and lovingly works everything for His children's good. We can rest confidently, knowing that the unchanging God of all creation is taking care of us.
Stanley, Charles. In Touch. In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, GA. March 2014. page 53 for information or to order resources InTouch.org, PO Box 7900. Atlanta, GA. 30357-9979 or www.intouch.org.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pray on the full armor of God

 

 As followers of Jesus we're in a spiritual battle. Though the ultimate war has been won, Satan will do all he can to leave us discouraged, doubting, and defeated.
    But God has not left us defenseless. He has provided spiritual armor for this spiritual battle - including a key offensive weapon - the Sword of the Spirit - God's Word.
    How can we "put on" this armor God has provided?
    Here's a prayer, based on Paul's exhortation in Ephesians 6:10-18, that can help as we struggle, "not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (v. 12).
   



   Equip me, Lord:

  • With the belt of truth (v. 14). May your truth rule in my heart and be in my mind and on my lips today.
  • With the breastplate of righteousness (v. 14). Apart from You there is no righteousness, but through Jesus I have been "born again" and made righteous in Your sight. May I live as a righteous person.
  • With feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace (v. 15). May I reflect the Gospel in my words and actions, that through me, with my every encounter, others may be drawn one step closer to You.
  • With the shield of faith (v. 16). May I take You at Your word concerning promises about the present and future - promises of everlasting love, abundant life, and so much more.
  • With the helmet of salvation (v. 17). Remind me that nothing can separate me from Your love and that I've been saved by grace. In Your grace, help me to say "no" to all ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life (Titus 2:12, 13).
  • And with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (v. 17).May Your Holy Spirit reign in my life and bring to my mind just the right Bible verses to be in my heart and on my lips. May I be "filled with the Spirit" and ready with Scripture as You were, Jesus, when the devil tempted You.
  • Finally, keep me in an attitude of prayer (v. 18). Remind me to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions." Cause me to be alert and always praying for the saints; to be joyful and to give thanks in everything (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Adopted from The Pray! Prayer Journal by Dean Ridings. Used by permission of NavPress.
You can check out the rest of The Pray! Prayer Journal at navpress.com
Copy this discussion guide for your own use or share with your small group, or download a free PDF from online at my.navigators.org/d2go
copied from the Disciple! winter 2014, page 12, The Navigators, P.O. Box 6000, Colorado Springs, CO 80934