1.25.2006

1.25.06

-For your sake and the sake of those we are praying for, if possible,
think about your request tonight and what you would like us to pray
for. This is going to allow you to understand what really needs to be
prayed for in the issue. Also, it allows more time for others to share
and to pray.

-As always, don't worry about how you might sound or if you don't
think you pray as well as someone else. I think it very much delights
our Father to hear different kinds of prayers from different
personalities and points of view and postures of heart. All our prayers
should sound pretty different from one another. I'm personally
challenged by the way that my good friends Jim Mullins, Adam Prather
and David Pettit pray, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be in a room
full of people exactly like them for an hour praying. It'd be like
hearing the same person over and over. There is a difference between
learning from someone and trying to be them. Learn from godly men and
women who pray well, but don't try to be them.

-Also remember to rest in Christ in prayer. He is your High Priest. He
is the one who purifies your conscience and makes you to appear before
God. Meditate on Hebrews 8 and 9 in regards to this. In Hebrews 9 it
says "For if the sprinkling of a defiled person with the blood of goats
and calves, and with the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies for the
purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who,
through the eternal Spirit offered himself to God without blemish,
purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
Brothers and sisters - meditate tonight on the utter uselessness of
your words and voice in prayer to bring you before the presence of God!
Rest in your High Priest in prayer!

Lastly I want to leave you with this thought from Jude. May this be on
your mind tomorrow morning:

"Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling, and to set you
before His glory without blemish, with unspeakable joy; to the only
wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty and might and authority,
even now and forever. Amen"

1.10.2006

1.10.06

Today I was reading in a little book by George Müller about prayer. For introduction purposes, Müller was a native of Prussia who founded many orphanages. He did this, without once asking for money from people, to show that God is faithful if you wait on him. He did not have the gift of faith (as he adamantly insisted). Rather, he saw promises in Scripture, loved the Lord and His glory, and trusted what He said. The result was God meeting every need in ways that could not have been imagined.

Müller wanted to be an example to people, by the grace of God, to show that God is trustworthy. It grieved him that so many brothers and sisters lived the way they did simply because they did not trust God in prayer. They thought that somehow God was different from than in the Bible and that he really wouldn't help them in these "modern" times. But Müller was resolved to show that "He does not forsake, even in our day, those who rely upon him."

In considering undertaking the task of founding orphanages, he saw a very big opportunity, and a very big trial before him - especially in refusing to ask for money and having none himself. But I found great encouragement in what he said in regards to how we pray and receive answer for prayer. He says, "I felt bound to be the servant of the church of God in the same way through which I had obtained mercy: namely, in being able to take God by His Word and to rely upon it." In other words, we pray and receive answers in a like manner as to being saved - resting on God alone. It is his mercy and grace alone - not our eloquent words, not our structured prayers, not our prayer meetings, not us getting out of bed early in the morning or anything in ourselves. Just as we rest in salvation on the Cross of Christ, so we rest in and come in prayer before the throne with the Cross of Christ.

George also reminds us to be constantly praying for an increase in faith. It is a good gift that comes down from the Father (James 1:17). He gives some directives, along with prayer, that will aid you –

1. Regularly read and meditate on the Word of God. “For, through reading the Word of God, and especially through meditation on the Word of God, the believe becomes more acquainted with the nature and character of God…Therefore, in poverty, affliction of body, bereavement in his family, difficulty in his service, or lack of employment, he will rest upon the ability og God to help him, because he has not only learned from God’s Word that He is of almighty power and infinite wisdom, but he has also seen instance upon instance in the Holy Scriptures in which His almighty power and infinite wisdom have been actually exercised in helping and delivering His people.”

2. Strive to keep yourself from sin and have a clean conscience. “How can I possibly continue to ask with faith in God concerning anything if I am habitually grieving Him and seeking to detract from the glory and honor of Him in whom I profess to trust, and upon Him whom I profess to depend?

3. Lastly, do not shrink from opportunities where your faith will be put to the test and you will be stretched. Know that God will never lay on you more than you can bear (1 Cor 10:13). Everything, especially trials of faith, are given to benefit you. Remember the hymn, “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, my grace all-sufficient shall by thy supply. The flames shall not harm thee, I only desire thy droves [longings] to consume and thy gold to refine.” Müller reminds us, “Wherever God has given faith, it has been given, among other reasons, for the very purpose of being tried.”

There's more, but for sake of time, I'll just recommend the book - "Release the Power of Prayer" by George Müller.

12.05.2005

12.5.05

This is great.

11.17.2005

11.17.05

So I've been checking out some of Justin Taylor's posts on emergent and emerging church (there is a difference). For those interested (*ahem*cough*) here is an interesting and clarifying article.

11.14.2005

So...

There are a lot of pixels being killed over this whole issue of Reformed-Charismatic Christianity ("pneumatic Christianity") and cessationism. From what I have read (blog-wise) there is a lot (from the cessationist camp) about the abuses of the charismatic-pentecostal world. I'm a charismatic (think CJ Mahaney)... and I would like to say - of course there are abuses. There have been since Corinth. There will be until Jesus comes back.

However, there have always been abuses on the doctrinally-dry, hollow, religious formality of the reformed camp since its inception.

Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are shrinking, falling into doctrinal errors, dealing with false brothers and other issues. So are the cessationist, reformed churches.

Is one worse than the other? I think not.

Rather than starting with naming federal heads of each movement and then playing the ad Hominem game, let us go for this view:

"...this to me is the crux of the whole interpretation of the New Testament at this point, it is the key point. Do not start thinking about phenomena; I will come to that later. That is the fatal mistake that people make. They start with phenomena, they have their prejudices and they take up their lines and their points and the New Testament teaching is entirely forgotten. No, we must start with the teaching of the Scripture" (Lloyd-Jones, Martin. Joy Unspeakable. Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1984. p. 21).

So how about, as the good Doctor has recommended, we square with the Bible on the issue. No more "Hey-I-just-wanted-to-point-out-....-that's-all" or, "Well-there-was-this-one-cessationist/charismatic-who-did/said-..." potshots.

I do want to say that there are blogs that will take Scripture to this issue with good form. I commend them for it and take their views seriously. That said, there still seems to be a weight towards pointing out abuses and uses of some unfair biases.

Skipping all the errors made in practice on each side, let’s be pursuing the biblical basis for each position with fair definitions and terms.

Ex nihilo

Actually, Ex Google. Thanks Scotty B. I'm in.