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Do You Have An Eternal View?

Do you have a long term, eternal view when praying for others?

Do you have a long term view when sharing the gospel?

Seems like because we life in an instant society, with fast food, high speed Internet and drive up cleaners.  Instant oatmeal, microwaves and prepared meals have taken much of the work out of meal preparation.  But what effect has that had on our Christian life?  Do we expect microwave conversions? Instant acceptance of the Gospel?

I was reminded of this recently when I was discouraged about some fervent prayers I have been praying for years.  Seems there has been no change in the situations. :(  But then I was convicted that I had the wrong time frame view.  I wanted answers right away, I mean honestly I’ve waited years isn’t that enough?  But then these prayers aren’t the sort that have a definite deadline to them.  It isn’t like I was praying for a certain amount of money by the end of the month for a large bill.  These were more along the salvation for others line.  But that is an eternal goal!

See while it might make things easier for me and definitely would make them happier and improve their lives, the real goal is salvation.  Not just a commitment card but true lasting, eternal salvation.



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Praying For Our Children

If your prayers for your children were the deciding factor in their salvation have you prayed enough?

Psalms 66:19-20 (ESV)
19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Proverbs 15:29 (ESV) The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Matthew 21:22 (ESV) And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

1 Peter 3:12 (ESV) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Notice also the verses that qualify the prayers answered as being those of the righteous.  So are we praying enough and living righteous enough for the Lord to answer our prayers for our children?

Thank goodness that our children’s salvation is not dependent on us but on the Lord.



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The Value of Interceding

Genesis 18:23-32 (ESV)

23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Abraham interceded for the city of Sodom.  Abraham knew that Lot and his family lived in Sodom and so he asked the Lord to not destroy Sodom for the sake of the righteous.  In Genesis 19, we aren’t really told much about Lot’s family but we do know Lot had a wife, two daughters at home and sons-in-laws.  There is much speculation as to how many Lots family actually included total.  Early Jewish scholars say there were actually some married sons and daughters.  That actually sounds reasonable because of what Abraham said.  See if I was going to rescue a family I know I wouldn’t send a car that only would hold four for a family of ten.  Abraham stopped at 10 because he truly expected there to be 10 righteous in Sodom due to the family of Lot.  Turns out we are only told of one righteous in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7).

Genesis 19:17-22 (ESV)

17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords.
19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die.
20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!”
21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken.
22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

The residents of Zoar were preserved purely through the actions of Lot.  Lot begged to be allowed to reside in Zoar and because of that Zoar was preserved.

Genesis 20:1-3; 17-18  (ESV)

1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar.
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.
18 For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Abraham interceded for Abimelech and his household and the Lord opened the wombs of all the women.

We may never know what the value of our intercession for another person or even city is but we can be sure that the Lord does listen to the petitions of His own.




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Do You Sigh And Groan Over All the Abominations?

This is an interesting passage especially in light of the passage in 2 Peter 2:7-9.

Have you groaned and lamented to the Lord enough so that you are marked by the Lord?

Do you cry out for lost sinners?

Or are your tears for yourself and for your own?

When was the last time you cried out to the Lord for lost sinners?

Ezekiel 9:3-6 (ESV)

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist.
4 And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
5 And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity.
6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house.

2 Peter 2:7-9 (ESV)

7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

Psalms 119:136 (ESV) My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.


Matthew Henry Commentary

Ezekiel 9:1-4
Now observe, 1. The distinguishing character of this remnant that is to be saved. They are such as sigh and cry, sigh in themselves, as men in pain and distress, cry to God in prayer, as men in earnest, because of all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem. It was not only the idolatries they were guilty of, but all their other enormities, that were abominations to God. These pious few had witnessed against those abominations and had done what they could in their places to suppress them; but, finding all their attempts for the reformation of manners fruitless, they sat down, and sighed, and cried, wept in secret, and complained to God, because of the dishonour done to his name by their wickedness and the ruin it was bringing upon their church and nation. Note, It is not enough that we do not delight in the sins of others, and that we have not fellowship with them, but we must mourn for them, and lay them to heart; we must grieve for that which we cannot help, as those that hate sin for its own sake, and have a tender concern for the souls of others, as David (Psalms 119:136), and Lot, who vexed his righteous soul with the wicked conversation of his neighbours. The abominations committed in Jerusalem are to be in a special manner lamented, because they are in a particular manner offensive to God. 2. The distinguishing care taken of them. Orders are given to find those all out that are of such a pious public spirit: “Go through the midst of the city in quest of them, and though they are ever so much dispersed, and ever so closely hid from the fury of their persecutors, yet see that you discover them, and set a mark upon their foreheads,” (1.) To signify that God owns them for his, and he will confess them another day. A work of grace in the soul is to God a mark upon the forehead, which he will acknowledge as his mark, and by which he knows those that are his.
(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

While we can easily stand in judgment of the sinners in our midst, do you pray and lament for them?

If your salvation from judgment was dependent on your sighs, groans, prayers and tears for the lost and the glory of God, would you be saved?



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Joni Eareckson Tada

I remember when I was a young teen going to see the movie about Joni Eareckson called Joni.  This was the biography of Joni Eareckson up until that time.  It covered her accident and rehabilitation.  By the end of the movie Joni had started painting with her mouth.

Most every Christian in the United States, even many countries around the world, has heard of Joni and her ministry of encouragement and practical help to the disabled and those with disabilities.  Her Joni and Friends provides wheelchairs for the needy all around the world.

On Wednesday June 22, 2010,  Joni announced that she had cancer and would be having surgery on June 28th.

You have heard me often say that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, and although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me – even if it is from His left hand (better from His left hand, than no hand at all, right?!). Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope, and strengthen our witness to others…

Especially at Joni and Friends. We’ve always prized the ministry God has given Joni and Friends to people facing a variety of disabilities; everything from autism to Alzheimer’s, from spina bifida to spinal cord injury. For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer… now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability. … more


If you aren’t familiar with her story get the book and read it:

Joni: An Unforgettable Story.


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Hyper-Calvinism and Prayer

Conrad Mbewe at the True Church Conference made a very succinct comment concerning the subtle forms of hyper-Calvinism when it comes to us loving sinners.

Conrad Mbewe make the point that one way to spot hyper-Calvinism in the church is to look at it’s PRAYER MEETING. He pointed out that any church which claims to be evangelistic but has a dead prayer meeting is hyper-Calvinistic. Likewise he said that any preacher who claims to have evangelistic preaching who’s prayer closet is empty is a hyper-Calvinist.

From Julius at Constrained By Grace

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Prayer For Boldness

In Acts, Peter and John were imprisoned for preaching in the name of Christ. Upon being released from prison with this charge “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18) what did they do? Pray for boldness!

Acts 4:24-31
24 … “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,  “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28  to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
   ESV

When was the last time you prayed for boldness?



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Whom Are You Relying On?

 “When we rely upon organization,

we get what organization can do;

when we rely upon education,

we get what education can do;

when we rely upon eloquence,

we get what eloquence can do,

and so on. Nor am I disposed to undervalue

any of these things in their proper place,

but when we rely upon prayer,

we get what God can do.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A.C. Dixon

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