Unfinished

Philippians 1:6 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again.

 

 

Luke 4:4-12 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say,

‘It is not just bread that keeps people alive.’”

Then the devil took Jesus and in a moment of time showed him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said to him, “I will make you king over all these places. You will have power over them, and you will get all the glory. It has all been given to me. I can give it to anyone I want. I will give it all to you, if you will only worship me.”

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say,

‘You must worship the Lord your God.
    Serve only him.’”

Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and put him on a high place at the edge of the Temple area. He said to him, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 The Scriptures say,

‘God will command his angels
    to take care of you.’

11 It is also written,

‘Their hands will catch you
    so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.’”

12 Jesus answered, “But the Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”[a]

 

Satan tries to deter you from what GOd has planned for you.  You cannot let him get to you.  In this second part of the series Mandisa elaborates even further.  Her testimony and illustration is below:.

Here is the 2nd devotional from Mandisa.

Unfinished
Devotional by Mandisa
I beat myself up…a lot. I would never talk to anyone the way I speak to myself sometimes. Ask me what my best qualities are and it would take me a long time to compile a list. But ask me what I don’t like about myself and buckle up, because I can rattle off that list in 3.5 seconds flat! I know I’m not alone in that harmful habit. I believe it is time for the children of God to stop wallowing in shame and regret, and start living lives of freedom, power, and authority. We do that by taking those destructive thoughts captive, and making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
In Luke 4, Jesus was hounded by the devil in the wilderness. Rather than getting in a philosophical debate with Satan, each time Jesus was tempted, He simply spoke the Word of God and kept it moving.
“But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’ ” Luke 4:4 NLT
“Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’ ” Luke 4:8 NLT
“Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’ ” Luke 4:12 NLT
If it worked for Jesus, it works for me! Now when I hear those negative thoughts in my head, I am learning to respond with the truth of God’s Word.
When I sin and want to pull away from God in shame, after I repent, I’ll proclaim that, “I confess my sin and know that God is faithful to forgive and cleanse me. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those that belong to Christ Jesus, like me. I am more than a conqueror, and nothing can separate me from the love of God!” (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1, 37-39)
When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, I’ll declare that, “Because I look to God, I am radiant, and not covered in shame. I have a true beauty that goes beyond outward appearance, and shines from the inside out. My heart displays an unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (Psalm 34:5, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:3-4)
When I feel anxious and hopeless that I’ll ever overcome the struggles that I always seem to face, I’ll speak life by saying, “I celebrate the truth that God began a good work in me, and will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. I am not a mess. I am not a failure. I am not a mistake. I’m just unfinished.” (Philippians 1:6)
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Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for repairing the world.

It’s Holy Week, Holy Saturday in fact. Yesterday Jesus died at the cross of Calvary. Tomorrow he will ride and leave his tomb empty.

Tikkun Olam. This is all I can think of. Why is this lil old Christian girl citing Hebrew words?

Tikkun Olam began as a verb “to make straight” in the Hebrew scripture. Rabbis have used this phrase, this saying in their legal discussions in the Talmud.

I am currently moved and inspire to write about how Jesus came in to my life in order to Tikkun Olam me. He set me straight, he saved me, he repaired me when I was broken, weak and in need. Thank you ABBA Padre.

Kaballist followers referred to Tikkun Olam as a concept of cosmic repair in the Middle Ages.

Today, some use the term Tikkun Olam in reference to social activism – to heal the world.

The Hebrew verb TKN (Tikkun Olam) is only found four times in the Scripture. Which means to make straight, establish, arrange, or repair.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we see the verb TKN mentioned 3 out of the four times mentioned in scripture.

Before we get into those scripture let’s speak about the book of Ecclesiastes.

Purpose and Teaching:

The author of Ecclesiastes puts his powers of wisdom to work to examine the human experience and assess the human situation. His perspective is limited to what happens “under the sun” (as is that of all the wisdom teachers). He considers life as he has experienced and observed it between the horizons of birth and death — life within the boundaries of this visible world. His wisdom cannot penetrate beyond that last horizon; he can only observe the phenomenon of death and perceive the limits it places on human beings. Within the limits of human experience and observation, he is concerned to spell out what is “good” for people to do. And he represents a devout wisdom. Life in the world is under God — for all its enigmas. Hence what begins with “Meaningless! Meaningless!” (1:2) ends with “Remember your Creator” (12:1) and “Fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13).

With a wisdom matured by many years, he takes the measure of human beings, examining their limits and their lot. He has attempted to see what human wisdom can do (1:13,16-18; 7:24; 8:16), and he has discovered that human wisdom, even when it has its beginning in “the fear of the Lord” (Pr 1:7), has limits to its powers when it attempts to go it alone — limits that circumscribe its perspectives and relativize its counsel. Most significantly, it cannot find out the larger purposes of God or the ultimate meaning of human existence. With respect to these it can only pose questions.

Nevertheless, he does take a hard look at the human enterprise — an enterprise in which he himself has fully participated. He sees a busy, busy human ant hill in mad pursuit of many things, trying now this, now that, laboring away as if by dint of effort humans could master the world, lay bare its deepest secrets, change its fundamental structures, somehow burst through the bounds of human limitations, build for themselves enduring monuments, control their destiny, achieve a state of secure and lasting happiness — people laboring at life with an overblown conception of human powers and consequently pursuing unrealistic hopes and aspirations.

He takes a hard look and concludes that human life in this mode is “meaningless,” its efforts all futile.

What, then, does wisdom teach him?

1. Humans cannot by all their striving achieve anything of ultimate or enduring significance. Nothing appears to be going anywhere (1:5-11), and people cannot by all their efforts break out of this caged treadmill (1:2-4;2:1-11); they cannot fundamentally change anything (1:12-15;6:10;7:13). Hence they often toil foolishly (4:4,7-8;5:10-17;6:7-9). All their striving “under the sun” (1:3) after unreal goals leads only to disillusionment.

2. Wisdom is better than folly (2:13-14; 7:1-6,11-12,19; 8:1,5; 9:17-18; 10:1-3,12-15; 12:11) — it is God’s gift to those who please him (2:26). But it is unwarranted to expect too much even from such wisdom — to expect that human wisdom is capable of solving all problems (1:16-18) or of securing for itself enduring rewards or advantages (2:12-17;4:13-16;9:13-16).

3. Experience confronts humans with many apparent disharmonies and anomalies that wisdom cannot unravel. Of these the greatest of all is this: Human life comes to the same end as that of the animals — death (2:15; 3:16-17; 7:15; 8:14; 9:1-3; 10:5-7).

4. Although God made humankind upright, people have gone in search of many “schemes” (for getting ahead by taking advantage of others; see 7:29; cf. Ps 10:2; 36:4; 140:2). So even humans are a disappointment (7:24-29).

5. People cannot know or control what will come after them, or even what lies in the more immediate future; therefore all their efforts remain balanced on the razor’s edge of uncertainty (2:18;6:12;7:14;9:2).

6. God keeps humans in their place (3:16-22).

7. God has ordered all things (3:1-15;5:19;6:1-6;9:1), and a human being cannot change God’s appointments or fully understand them or anticipate them (3:1;7;11:1-6). But the world is not fundamentally chaotic or irrational. It is ordered by God, and it is for humans to accept matters as they are by God’s appointments, including their own limitations. Everything has its “time” and is good in its time (ch. 3).

Therefore wisdom counsels:

1. Accept the human state as it is shaped by God’s appointments and enjoy the life you have been given as fully as you can.

2. Don’t trouble yourself with unrealistic goals — know the measure of human capabilities.

3. Be prudent in all your ways — follow wisdom’s leading.

4. “Fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13), beginning already in your youth before the fleeting days of life’s enjoyments are gone and “the days of trouble” (12:1) come when the infirmities of advanced age vex you and hinder you from tasting, seeing and feeling the good things of life.

To sum up, Ecclesiastes provides instruction on how to live meaningfully, purposefully and joyfully within the theocratic arrangement — primarily by placing God at the center of one’s life, work and activities, by contentedly accepting one’s divinely appointed lot in life, and by reverently trusting in and obeying the Creator-King. Note particularly 2:24-26; 3:11-14,22; 5:18-20; 8:15; 9:7-10; 11:712:1; 12:9-14 (see also any pertinent notes on these passagoes link can be found in footnotes)

Outline of Ecclesiastes:

• Author (1:1)

• Theme: The meaninglessness of human efforts on earth apart from God (1:2)

• Introduction: The profitlessness of human toil to accumulate things in order to achieve happiness (1:3-11)

• Discourse, Part 1: In spite of life’s apparent enigmas and meaninglessness, it is to be enjoyed as a gift from God (1:12;11:6)

• Since human wisdom and endeavors are meaningless, people should enjoy their life and work and its fruits as gifts from God (1:12;6:9)

1. Introduction (1:12-18)

1. Human endeavors are meaningless (1:12-15)

2. Pursuing human wisdom is meaningless (1:16-18)

2. Seeking pleasure is meaningless (2:1-11)

3. Human wisdom is meaningless (2:12-17)

4. Toiling to accumulate things is meaningless (2:18;6:9)

1. Because people must leave the fruits of their labor to others (2:18-26)

2. Because all human efforts remain under the government of God’s sovereign appointments, which people cannot fully know and which all their toil cannot change (3:1;4:3)

3. Because there are things better for people than the envy, greed and amibition that motivate such toil (4:4-16)

4. Because the fruits of human labor can be lost, resulting in frustration (5:1;6:9)

• Since people cannot fully know what is best to do or what the future holds for them, they should enjoy now the life and work God has given them (6:10;11:6)

1. Introduction: What is predetermined by God is inalterable, and people cannot fully know what is best or what the future holds (6:10-12)

2. People cannot fully know what is best to do (chs. 78)

3. People cannot fully know what the future holds (9:1;11:6)

• Discourse, Part 2: Since old age and death will soon come, people should enjoy life in their youth, remembering that God will judge (11:7;12:7)

• People should enjoy their life on earth because their future after death is mysterious, and in that sense is meaningless for their present life (11:7-8)

• People should enjoy the fleeting joys of youth, but remember that God will judge (11:9-10)

• People should remember their Creator (and his gifts) in their youth, before the deteriorations of old age and the dissolution of the body come (12:1-7)

• Theme Repeated (12:8)

• Conclusion: Reverently trust in and obey God (12:9-14)

Now that we have an overview on Ecclesiastes, back to references of TKN:

Human endeavors are meaningless:

“What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.”

Ecclesiastes 1:15 NLT

The author has described that we humans do not have authority to fully make things right, make things new, or repair. We are limited.

“Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?”

Ecclesiastes 7:13 NLT

Who are we? Can we really fix something that God has made, created? Allowed to happen? God has his reasons for why things go the way they do. We have to accept what we cannot change, we have to accept in our limited abilities and capabilities of the flesh. We do not have the power God has. We do not have God’s abilities.

“Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.”

Ecclesiastes 12:9 NLT

We have to reverently trust and obey God.

““When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.”

Daniel 4:36 NLT

In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, Daniel interprets it and Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream came to pass., he then exalted and glorified the lords name. Nebuchadnezzar was restored, straightened and renewed. TKN.

Consider what God has done: Who can straighten [Takkan] what he has made crooked?”

In the book of Deuteronomy we see where the concept of Justice and moral duty to society originates:

“Let true justice prevail, so you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

Deuteronomy 16:20 NLT

In the book of Amos we find a Hebrew prophet who condemned Israel’s disregard to Widows, orphans and foreigners in his time. Here he uses this reference towards doing what is rightness, to denounce Evelin, to love what is good, to turn towards justice for all the living.

“Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.”

Amos 5:14-15, 24 NLT

Now that we have see. Peace, and setting things right or repairing with the Hebrew word Tikkun Olam, then came the concept of repairing the world peace. The Zohar, a book of Jewish mysticism, first appeared in Spain in the late thirteenth century. The author used tikkun olam to describe the cosmic benefits of when a Jew performs mitzvot.

A mitzvot is a commandment, referring to precepts and commandments commanded by God. According to the Torah there are 613 commandments. In the Bible we have 10.

Now back to the book Zohar, out of this book and cosmic benefits of following the commandments a new philosphy of thought emerged called kabbalah.

This new philosophy is birthed in the concept of how through the fall of Adam, the universe was “ruptured” in both the physical and spiritual realms.When a Jew carries out the mitzvot cosmic repairs are made in the invisible spiritual world. The benefits then “flow down” into the physical world and slowly repair the damage done on earth by the sin of Adam.

We know that through the fall of man in genesis, sin was born. Satan became the prince of this world. Willing and able to deter, destroy, manipulate all of God’s creation.

Kabbalist state with their philosophy of cosmic destruction due to the fall of man that God’s presence was scattered in the same way a clay pot is shattered and the shards scattered. These pieces were called “divine sparks.” Famed Kabbalist Isaac Luria (1534-1572) explained that the Jews were dispersed throughout the world in order to “elevate” these sparks and restore the unity of God’s presence.

As Christians we know that yes the fall of Adam and Eve birthed sin, yet the death of Jesus restore us, heals us, Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, not the physical world but spiritual world.

For centuries Jews waited the arrival of the messiah, so a new Jerusalem can be formed, Where their king can ride up and rule for all eternity. The prophecy has been mentioned throughout the scriptures of hour our savior would come, live, be mistreated, pay for our sins and ride back up. (Isaiah 53).

Jesus did just that. The spiritual world is saved. Jesus repairs our hearts. Jesus repairs our souls, Jesus repairs our mind, Jesus repairs where we will spend our eternity…. as long as we believe in him, follow him, trust in him.

“The fact is, it was our suffering he took on himself; he bore our pain. But we thought that God was punishing him, that God was beating him for something he did. But he was being punished for what we did. He was crushed because of our guilt. He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace. We were healed because of his pain.”

Isaiah 53:4-5 ERV

The phrase “tikkun olam” remains connected with human responsibility for fixing what is wrong with the world. It’s a trait that comes from within. People whom are passionate about fixing this world are invested in grassroot initiatives, working for the people, to stand up against anyone whom do not do right by the people. These people do community activism, work in social justice, some go into politics, go into health care, the legal system and even ministry, so that in the areas they believe and are passionate about they too can do right for the people. The problems of this world can be jeweled and mended if we all take the appropriate steps towards salvation. To love each other wholly they say the Bible reaches us. To respect one another as the Bible reaches us.

Jesus came to this world mend our hearts, save this world, to repair this world from the sin caused by the down fall of mankind. Jesus came by dying in our place for our wrongdoing, thereby wiping our slate clean and giving us shalom (peace)with God. Jesus is our Tikkun Olam, but what he comes to repair, is not this physical world but the spiritual world. Our battle is a spiritual battle. Our journey here on earth determines our spiritual journey.

Yet here we are today, Holy Saturday, and you are probably wondering where I am going with all of this.

When Jesus died at Calvary, his followers, his disciples were mourning, they felt broken, they were in pain. Some were probably questioning was this really the son of God? Some were probably questioning will he return? Some were just in pain. Loosing a friend, especially at a young age is never easy. They had to silently wait for what was to come next, while they mourned.

Put yourself in the place of Jesus ‘ disciples.

‘I just lost my teacher. I just lost my mentor. I just lost my friend. I just lost my best friend. I just lost my brother. I just lost my son, he was only 33.’

Let those words sink in for just a few seconds.

Have you ever lost a teacher you highly regarded and respected? A mentor who guided you? A close friend? Your best friend? Your brother or sister? Your son?

His disciples were in pain. Yes they believed his teachings. Yes they lived, breathed, witness and spoke of the miracles of Jesus, yet here, in this world, in this flesh, they were still in pain.

When someone dies, no matter how they die, at first it’s hard to accept that they are no longer with us in the flesh.

Recently I lost a dear friend. It was a freak accident in my eyes. In the eyes of the Lord, it was time. I do not need to know the why, the reason, no matter how much I question what did happen, how come he died, I have to accept that God has his reason, and his reason is not mine to know. Yet this death, hurt me, shook me to the core. This death shattered my home to a million pieces. This death caused pain we didn’t know exist. We lost a friend, a brother, a best friend, a teacher.

The pain was raw.

The pain was real.

The emotions were indescribable.

We have all lost someone.

Take these feelings and apply them to the disciples.

I was broken with my losses.

They too were broken.

We also become broken when we sin.

The day after the crucifixtuon of Christ , they too mourned. Their pain, their feelings were raw. Their anguish was real. They were broken. Despite their faith, despite knowing that the prophesy needed to be fulfilled, they were broken and in real pain, the same pain you and I feel when we loose a loved one.

Today, I can think of Tikkun Olam, Jesus repairing the spiritual world. Today in mourning, broken, in pain over the loss of our savior, channeling the pain the disciples must have felt today, I find hope, comfort and peace knowing tomorrow he will rise. Tomorrow he fulfills the prophesy. That tomorrow he proves that he is the messiah, that my sins have been forgiven, that he paid my debts. That I shall praise and worship his name because he has allowed me to have an opportunity to enter the gates of heaven. I have found the Golden Ticket…. my ticket is Jesus. He has repaired my world, he has repaired my spiritual battles, he has healed everything that was broken in me.

Jesus repairs. Jesus heals. Jesus mends. Jesus is my Tikkun Olam: he has repaired, straightened and healed me.

Thank you Lord for sending your only son to be our sacrificial lamb. Thank you for having him take my sins upon the cross. Thank you for allowing me salvation through your son. Lord this act has allowed us salvation. Allowed us a bridge and relationship with you. To be able to feel your spirit. To be touched by the Holy Spirit. To be loved and inspired by the Holy Spirit. To grow with you in our spiritual journey so we can join you when our time comes. Lord I know things will happen, temptations and test will come, the enemy will try to break me, but you have already repaired me. Today over two thousand years ago, the disciples mourned the passing of Jesus, tomorrow we shall rejoice and celebrate that we worship the one true living God. Amen

References:

https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v20-n03/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

http://bible.com/116/ecc.1.15.nlt

http://bible.com/116/ecc.7.13.nlt

http://bible.com/116/ecc.12.9.nlt

http://bible.com/116/dan.4.36.nlt

http://bible.com/116/deu.16.20.nlt

http://bible.com/116/amo.5.14-15,24.nlt

http://bible.com/406/isa.53.4-5.erv

https://www.biblestudytools.com/ecclesiastes/

While we were still sinners….

bible.com/406/rom.5.8.erv

Think about the ultimate sacrifice God has made for you. He sent his son, to pay for our sins, even before you and I were born. Jesus was our sacrificial lamb. He has redeemed us. He died so we too can join his father our lord one day in heaven. He died so we too can receive salvation.

He rose from the grave to fulfill a prophesy, a promise from God. To show God’s love, compassion and grace. To show that God wants all his children with him, saved in heaven. Not subject to be lost in the catacombs of hell, not to be destroyed by the enemy. The lord gave us free Will, we freely choose whether we want to accept him or not. Our choices determine if we can achieve salvation.

Jesus death at the cross of Calvary is not something to be taken lightly. His whole experience, the torment he had to undergo, the suffering, the beatings, the tears, the agony of his flesh, the name calling, the shouts, the hatred that many had towards him. He went through all this so we, you and I shouldn’t. He paid our debts, so when you make it to judgement day, you can go debt free. All you have to do is believe and accept our lord as your lord and savior.

All you have to do is start anew. Repent, believe, follow Jesus. Follow him with all your heart and soul.

Pray with me.

Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

If you decided to repeat this prayer and repent of your sins and receive Christ today, welcome to God’s family. You are now my brother or sister in Christ.

Now, there are a few things you need to know to grow closer to Christ. Build your relationship with God. As a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.

• Get baptized as Christ has commanded us.

• Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.

• Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.

• Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.

• Find a local church where you can worship God.

Good luck on your spiritual journey.

May God Bless you.

Our Father

 

One of the best things we have about learning to pray, is that there’s really no wrong way to pray. Again it’s a conversation with our Lord, our creator, our father. He sends his perfect son who teaches us how to pray.

In the third segment of this prayer devotional Plan White mentions that the way to pray is to our father. It is true, Jesus shows we do not need anyone to send a message to God. We got that direct connection with him. We don’t need a saint nor a messenger. We got God and he’s on call….ready and waiting on you.

Here is the last segment of White’s devotional. [The devotional plan is called ‘Teach Us To Pray’ by Rob White. Check it out here: ]

Devotional 3

Jesus tells his disciples that the way to pray is to our Father. And by Father, he doesn’t mean just another title, but a relationship. So the context in which we pray is the context of family, where we as children approach a loving father. I realise as I write that for some the word ‘father’ falls as a hollow thud, because your experience of earthly fatherhood was not a good one. However, apart from finding release from the grip of that limitation you can, I trust, at least recognise that there is such a thing as good fathering, and that if the Bible is right about God being a father, then he would be a perfect one.  Fatherhood means access. In other words, I’m invited. It also means acceptanceI’m welcomed. Furthermore, it means attentionI’m heard. Do you see how praying in the context of the child–Father relationship puts the whole thing on a different footing?

Maybe you’ve always wondered how other people manage to pray with purpose and passion. You’ve heard them, seen them, but your prayer life seems rather sterile in comparison. By praying aright, we can find that purpose and passion ourselves.  So here we have opened our hearts to our Father and renewed, as it were, the relationship with him.

When we pray, ‘Our Father in Heaven’, we are talking to one whose power operates from the ground up or the highest point of the heavens down. In other words, there is not one part of the universe we know (and that which we don’t know) that is outside of the involvement and influence of our Father. That must have great bearing on our faith as we pray, realizing that nothing is beyond our Father’s scope.

Notice that there are no singular personal pronouns in the prayer. It’s all ‘our’, ‘we’ and ‘us’. Many of us were brought up with a very individualistic view of faith and Scripture. It was all about me—that Jesus died for me, God has forgiven me, I’m bound for heaven, etc. When we read Scripture in the light of community, we realize that most of it is addressed to us corporately. Obviously that doesn’t take away from the personal, because the corporate is made up of individuals, but it should affect the way we believe, live and pray.

Associated scriptures:

Matthew 7:11 NLT:

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

 

 

Matthew 7:21 NLT:

““Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”

 

 

Matthew 18:19 NLT:

““I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.”

 

 

Father God I thank you for this three part devotional plan. I hope this cane be of a blessing to someone in need. I hope this can be a blessing to someone looking to seek a closer relationship with you. Amen.

Good Prayer

What makes a good prayer?

Some can recite our father without batting an eye. Many of us were taught the our father since we were in pre-school.

Some pray long, extensive loud.

Others have short prayers, straight to the point some would say.

I was taught the Acts prayer growing up.

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication.

We praise and worship our lord.

We confess our sins.

We give thanks for what we have.

We bring our requests for ourselves or others.

My sons have prayers vary.

Sometimes they say “thank you Jesus for this day, god bless xyz, amen.

Sometimes they are more detailed in their prayers.

Before meals they are very specific:

“Thank you Jesus for this food amen”.

Here is what Whites devotional plan has to say: [The devotional plan is called ‘Teach Us To Pray’ by Rob White. Check it out here: ]

Devotional 2:

Some could be thinking, ‘Hey, that’s good, it’s a short prayer so I can do that easily.’ Not so fast! Do we really think that Jesus taught us to pray with something that can be rattled through in a few seconds? The problem is that this prayer is well known to most of us, and is said or sung in many places with no further thought. It is often used like a kind of mantra. So it becomes fairly meaningless.

Here’s what Jesus was doing. The rabbis in Jesus’ day taught people ‘index praying’. You know what an index is—it appears, usually at the beginning of a book, giving chapter numbers and titles. Imagine using a large book for any study or work you’re doing and finding there’s no index. How would you find your way around? On the other hand, what if there were just an index and no substance to the book? The point of the index is to act as a pointer to the substance.

That’s exactly what index praying was all about. The rabbis would provide the points for prayer, like an index, and the people would fill in the substance—their own prayers. This is the method Jesus was teaching in this prayer. Can you now see the Lords Prayer is like that? And what an index of titles!

1. Worshiping the Father

2. God’s kingdom

3. God’s will/guidance

4. Our daily needs

5. Forgiveness/relationships

6. Spiritual warfare

I challenge you to find one subject, broadly speaking, that’s not covered in this prayer. No wonder Jesus taught it! Hopefully you can begin to see why it’s such a great prayer to pray and how it can help you in your prayer life.

Why is praying in this way so helpful?  Because we’re obviously praying according to God’s will— and that’s something with which I often struggled as I read the verse that says, ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears uswhatever we askwe know that we have what we asked of him.’ (1 John 5: 14–15). How could I be sure that what I was praying was according to his will? Surely I must have been praying according to his will if I was praying the prayer he gave.

Associated scriptures:

John 17:1-5 NLT:

“After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

 

 

Luke 11:2-4 NLT:

“Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation. ””

 

 

1 John 5:14-15 NLT:

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”

 

 

God thank you lord for showing us the way to connect with you and pray. Father we lift your name high for you are worthy of all the praise. Thank you lord for your love and mercy. Thank you for your words and teachings. Thank you for your guidance. Lord if I have offended anyone or sinned I come before you now for forgiveness. Lord I ask that those who wonder about prayers, whether if they are debating about if they praying enough, or praying the right way, lord I hope and pray that this series guides them. Lord our prayers are our way to connect with you. Our prayers are our way to check in with you. Our prayers are about praising you and giving thanks for everything you continue to do in our lives. Father God our prayers are also to intercede for ourselves and each other dear lord. Lord I know each need is different and every time we pray it’s because a different need is being addressed. No two prayers will ever be alike for no two days will ever be alike. Thank you again lord for all you do. Amen.

 

Desire, Discipline and Delight.

Romans 8:39 NLT

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

A few weeks ago my husband and I were asked to take over the children’s ministry. I must say it was rather a big surprise for us both to be considered yet felt a lot of joy to be able to do more work for God.

The past few weeks I have spent less time on my blogging and devotional materials because I have spent more time preparing for my lessons.

I am sorry for no updated messages or words of encouragement. I will try my best to incorporate some of my lessons here as well as put up as many devotionals as I can.

When we were introduced to the kids as their new teacher, the lesson for that specific day was prayer. Why do pray? Who do we pray for ? How do we pray? What do we pray about? And why is prayer important?

We saw how the kids engaged in this subject, asked questions, New the answers to some. It was a good preparation to what is to come.

We asked the teacher what were the kids doing as far as their lesson because we didn’t want to start something new if they had already began something else.

She said they just briefly scratched the surface of chapter 1 of Nehemiah.

A light bulb went off, we just finished the Nehemiah lesson in our adult Bible study. My husband is learning more about the Bible. This is perfect. We said we will continue Nehemiah. For two reasons. 1- we didn’t want to take the kids off course on something they just started. 2- the lessons of some of the things we learned were still fresh so we will be able to teach them efficiently.

Nehemiah is a man who prays often.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul reminds us all to pray without ceasing. No matter what we do, no matter where we are we are to never stop praying. Prayers are our open channel of communication with God. Prayers are very intimate. We pray for our loved ones, our friends, our leadership, our pastors, our work, the sick, the elderly, our struggles, our desires, we pray for forgiveness for our sins, we Thank the lord for our blessings and we keep it as real as possible. Prayer is our heart pouring out it’s wants, love, gratitude, desires, thanks and praise to the Lord. I don’t think there is anyone we ever get this intimate with. He knows it all, no one, absolutely no one knows us better than he does.

A few weeks before we started this journey to teach, I have been reading about prayer. Between our lessons, my devotional and additional help. Prayer has been in my mind.

I wanted to share this devotional I found in my bible app. It’s a three part devotional.

The devotional plan is called ‘Teach Us To Pray’ by Rob White. Check it out here:

So here is day 1 of White’s plan:

Prayer can be showy. You’ve probably been in prayer gatherings where someone prays a long prayer using flowery language. Prayer is not entertainment; it’s a time of fellowship with God.

I know you can pray anywhere but there is something about having a place where we pray regularly. As I grew in my new-found zeal for prayer I began to find myself really looking forward to my prayer times sensing I was really meeting with the Father. The room in which I prayed became synonymous with those times and I would go to the room expectant that I was going to meet with God. The result was that I approached my personal prayer times with faith.

Praying for a long time, using many words or repetition doesn’t mean we are more likely to get God’s attention. I really don’t know why we feel that God will hear us more clearly like that. This Scripture makes it clear that it’s not about words, length or repetition, because God knows anyway. It’s about quality—the right heart attitude, concentrating on what we’re doing, trying to live a life that doesn’t contradict our prayer life—not quantity.

Let me explain 3D praying to you. The three Ds stand for Desire, Discipline and Delight. First, and you cannot bypass this starting point, there needs to be Desire. Desire to be a person of prayer. Without that desire, nothing will ever change. You can’t force the desire, but you can ask God to plant that in you by his Spirit.

Second, it requires Discipline. Actually, you could double the D and make it daily discipline. This is the hard part, as you’ve probably already discovered. But I want to assure you that as you face the discipline it gets a lot easier; you’ll find the third D eases it considerably.

The third D is Delight. Yes, truly prayer has become a delight for me: spending time with the Father, opening up my life with its ups and downs, hearing what he has to say to me. What’s not to like! That means that I can look forward to praying; making my way towards the place where I usually pray I’m actually expectant that I’ll meet God during that time. What a change! It’s delightful.

Associated scriptures from the Plan:

Matthew 6:5-8 NLT:

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”

1 John 5:3 NLT:

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”

Luke 11:1 NLT:

“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.””

 

Mr. White mentions his 3ds of prayer, Desire, Discipline and Delight.

We have to desire this with all our might. We need to be disciplined in our prayers so that we are not rambling away. We need to take delight in praying to God. We need to want it, have that passion and fire for prayer, we need to be disciplined in our time with God but in what we speak to God about. We need to enjoy our time with God. It’s the most precious time of our time with him.

Father God I thank you for the wonderful blessings you have bestowed in my life. I know I am undeserving of these blessings, but you have blessed me none the less. You have shown me love, kindness, mercy and forgives. Lord I know many like myself have this passion and desire to spend more time with you in prayer. The person reading this might need your help in their desires. I am asking to intercede for them so they can desire praying with you. Discipline is an important factor in praying dear lord, we need to take our prayers with you seriously for this is very intimate as well. I am asking to intercede for those whom need more discipline in their prayers with you, may your words guide them with the discipline they need to pray with you. Lord I take delight in praying to you. I take delight in our time. This comes with both desire and discipline in ones prayer. May everyone found the delight passion and joy that prayer gives. Amen.

 

Happiness

The world is looking for happiness, yet they are looking for happiness in all the wrong places (wealth fame etc).

This was from a peice of a recent sermon by Pastor Hagee.

I was listening to his servie in my living room and this struck out.

He referenced Luke 12;15 [15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”]

We can easily get carried away with our possessions and our quest to happiness in life.

Trust me I know.

I tend to get so fixated on my “projects” that sometimes even though for those brief moments of joy, I get carried away and end up with a surplus of items.

I like to craft with my kids.

My kids have found an affinity to making things.

So what do I do, I buy a cricut.

I turn everything in to a project.

I want to make them everything.

home made cards, home made banners, home made party decors, home made holiday decor.

(I have spent and saved uniquivocally the same amount lol).

My kids have found an affinity in painting.

So what do I do, I order canvases galor, paint, stencils and paint brushes

So what do I have? An Art gallery in their bedroom preserving those few minutes of happiness in self reflection and creativity.

I like to read.

I like to read themetaically.

So what do i Have? a mountain pile of books to read, and a kindle/nook devices filled with books at my disposal to read.

I get lost in my books, I get transfixed in my books, I get happy reading.

Yet I have enough books to donate to a few libraries.

We are always looking for happiness… even in all the wrong places.

Our happiness should come from reading the word. Our happiness should come from our faith trust and love in God. Our happiness should come from praising God. Our happiness should come in praying. Our happiness should come from when our prayers our answered. Our happiness should come from the good deeds we do. Our happiness should come from God not the other places we use as temporary moments of happiness.

Father God I thank you for the sermon you had purposely allowed me to listen to. I know I to use books and other means to find temporary happiness. They are just that, temporary happiness. Nothing can bring me joy and happiness the way you do my lord. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for the never ending joy you give me. Amen.

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