January 7, 2019
WHERE IS YOUR HEART TODAY? When Christ was asked to name the greatest commandment, He didn’t hesitate. He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:31). So, how can we check our hearts
January 8, 2017
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus discussed the sinful and wasteful human activity of worry. Clearly, worry is sinful because it is an expression of anxious doubting. And doubt is the opposite of faith. Three times in this sermon, Jesus said, “Do not worry.” Now, if He had said it once, it would be enough, but He said it three times! Worry isn’t just a bad habit. It’s a sin. Not only that, it’s useless. Worry is a wasted activity. Jesus asked if anyone could cause their body to grow “one cubit” (about 18 inches) by worrying. Of course, this is a ridiculous question. Worry doesn’t work, it doesn’t accomplish anything. It certainly can’t cause growth of even one inch, much less, “one cubit.” So, what can we do? Jesus said to “seek first” God’s kingdom and let the Lord care for you. In other words, give your worries to God, turn them into prayers. As the apostle Paul said, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Phil. 4:6 NLT).
January 8, 2016
Worry is a wasted activity. It is also a sin. For it begins with a lack of faith that doubts God’s protection and provision. Worry is like a puppy that won’t return its master’s slipper, gnawing and growling, it won’t let go of a shoe that it neither owns nor needs. Can you change your tomorrow with worry? Can you add one hour to your life by being anxious (Matt. 6:27)? Worry is anxious self-talk. Why not use the same effort to turn this inward dialogue upward? Turn your worries into prayers. Give the “shoe” back to the Master owns tomorrow.
January 7, 2015
That which is called the “Lord’s Prayer” might rightly be called the Lord’s teaching prayer or model prayer, for He gives it to us to teach us how to pray. Even the order of the prayer should be considered as we learn to pray. Notice He teaches us to begin with God’s Name and holiness, then moves to request God’s will to take place above our own requests. We tend always to rush to our daily worries, bringing our laundry lists to God before recognizing Him in worship and asking for His will before ours. We see prayer as getting what we want from God, rather than God getting His will with us. Who should be changed by coming into God’s throne room? Do we inform God of needs we have of which He is unaware? No. He knows our deepest needs before we do. Jesus teaches us to pray in order to seek God’s face before seeking His hand. Having seen His face, we may even find our deepest needs already met there. Have you learned to pray to get with God, to see His face, to hear His voice, to be the one who is changed? Have you learned to pray “Thy” Kingdom come prayers, instead of “my” kingdom come ones?
January 8, 2014
This is from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Focus on the eternal things of God and trust Him with your temporal earthly needs. When Jesus teaches us to stop worrying and start seeking God, He is giving us the proper focus for our internal voice. Stop the self-talk (worry) and start talking to God (prayer). It takes the same amount of energy to pray as it does to worry, except the first actually works. Turn your worries to prayers. Lift up your eyes and hearts and seek God’s kingdom!
January 7, 2013
What we have called the Lord’s Prayer would better be called His model prayer, for this prayer was given to teach His disciples how to pray. They had heard prayers at home, in the synagogue and in the temple, but they had never heard anyone pray like Jesus, so they begged, “Lord, teach us how to pray.” And so, He did. Starting with the most radical idea of all, that we might pray to God, calling Him “Father.” Jesus makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God as Abba, Father. Have you prayed to Him today?