Prayers of the Bible: The Model Prayer

I thought I would switch gears a bit and discuss something many of us fall short of:  Prayer.  As you look through the Bible, there are many prayers.  Some are short, some are long.  All are heart-felt and sincere (except for one that I can remember where the Pharisee is praying that he is not like the sinner before him who is praying with sincerity…that is a good lesson for another time).  If you have never watched the movie, The War Room,” you should.  Powerful movie.  Be sure to get the DVD and watch the bonus features.  They provide a lot of insight and lessons from the movie.  One thing I remember from one of these is that every church need to be ‘a praying church,’ not just a church that prays.  Prayer should be a center activity in our lives and in our churches.  Paul says, “pray without ceasing.”  Whatever you are going through, good or bad, pray about it.  If someone around you needs prayer, be an intercessor for that person.  Seek out who needs prayer and pray for them.

So, what is prayer and how do we pray?  I think there are many ways to pray.  Sometimes it is just a short sentence praying for someone or something going on.  Other times it is thanking God for all His goodness and remembering who He is.  It may be confessing a sin or struggle you may have or asking for healing or comforting for yourself or someone you know.  It is simply talking with God.  What do you think?  Do you have any experience in your prayer life you would like to share?  Prayers answered?  Frustrations?  Questions?  Please comment. Continue reading “Prayers of the Bible: The Model Prayer”

Guilt and Forgiveness

In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite.  Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy.  We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it.  In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too.  Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt.  Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”

Forgive You, Forgive Me

I was thinking about talking about forgiveness and as I was the line from the movie, Jerry Maguire, “Help Me Help you!” kept coming into my head.  That is sort of where this title came from.  In order to forgive others, I think one must learn how to forgive one’s self.  And, when being forgiven, one must learn to forgive.  “Help me Help you.”  God has shown us mercy through His Son, who loved us so much that He gave His life in order that we may be forgiven.  Nothing we do can earn forgiveness, it is God’s act of love.  We don’t deserve His forgiveness, but He forgives us anyways.  We just need to accept it.  In the same way, those who have hurt us do not deserve forgiveness but if we remember what Jesus did on the cross, we can forgive them too. Continue reading “Forgive You, Forgive Me”

Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental

There is a lot of talk about being tolerant in today’s society.  What does that mean? When Jesus said, “Judge not” what odes that mean?  And what is the context of it?  As Christians, we are to love all people.  Does that mean to accept what they are doing even if we know biblically it is wrong?  How do we talk to that person without being judgemental?  What does it mean when someone says, “love the sinner, hate the sin?”  Why is this offensive to some people?  Where do we draw the line between being self-righteous, judgemental, or “fruit inspectors” and being tolerant and compromising?

I had a person talk to me about churches and she was looking for a good church that isn’t “holier than thou” as she put it.  We both agreed that God is a loving God and we are saved by grace.  She talked about tolerance.  I mentioned that some churches are too tolerant (and compromising) and do not want to teach about sin.  We parted ways when she asked me my stance on gay marriage.  She said churches should be tolerant and welcome all people.  I agreed we are to welcome all people, including homosexuals.  But, we are also to teach the truth and Romans 1 is very clear on this subject.  She told me that I almost convinced her to come to my church until we talked about gay marriage.

So, how do we handle these touchy issues?  Most people will quote Matthew 7:1 to basically tell Christians to mind their own business.  I think many times they are right.  We are also to share God’s word.  I believe we must show God’s truth (we must teach and learn all of scripture, not just the part we are comfortable with), but our attitude must be in a loving manner but without compromising our faith and belief. Continue reading “Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental”

Grace and Legalism

These two words are talked about a lot these days:  grace and legalism.  Many churches are one extreme of the other.  Many people are.  Where do we draw the line between the two?  The Bible is clear we are saved by grace and not by works.  It is also clear that we are to obey God’s commands.  We show that we love God by how we live.  Our lives reflect our salvation and that Christ is in us.  To me, that is the difference.  Some people treat grace as a “get out of jail free” card.  But if you really are saved and Christ is in you, would you not want to live for Him?  On the other hand, salvation is not about rules and regulations, it is about the heart. Continue reading “Grace and Legalism”