You can probably think of some prayers in the Bible that were only one sentence, can’t you? Add your favorite one in the comments, if you like. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus taught not to make long prayers in public in order to call attention to ourselves. Prayers can be short, and they can be effective prayers.
Have you made some one-line prayers? If so, what are some? Like Nehemiah (oops, I gave one away), in the heat of the moment, we can send up quick, lightning prayers.
A good idea might be to have a one-line prayer to think of during each day. Something to come back to, to look over, to review, to repeat. It’s never wrong to repeat a prayer, in sincerity and perseverance.
Sometimes the one-line prayer might reflect a phrase or verse in Scripture. These might even be the best ones.
Here’s one from Galatians 4.9:
Lord, I want to know you and to be known by you, so help me put my whole life in your hands and to love you with all my being. Amen.
Prayers and their forms can be varied, according to need and the moment, while always respecting the parameters of Scripture. Let us pray!
Y.T. stumbled upon a congregation’s website and looked at their “Ministries” list. It was quite telling. See if anything jumps out at you:
See anything missing?
#ministry #mission #websites
About half the congregational sites I’ve visited today do not offer an RSS feed. And not much is happening on them either, so an RSS feed wouldn’t do much good. Probably, most are using closed proprietary sites, which is sad. Several congregations I looked for have no domain of their own.
Remember: Some of your friends and possible contacts are on those sites, but not all. Don’t invest in what isn’t yours, in what others will manipulate.
Do something that everyone can access. Reach out to all, not to a select group. Be available to anyone who is searching.
#websites #RSS #outreach
Can you reduce your purpose statement, for your life, down to two words? Maybe if you already have one it might be a tad easier. But see if you can come up with one. Maybe make it an imperative. A verb and an object. That might be more doable. Make it specific, too.
Rule-keeping has acquired a bad name in religion. Probably, because man makes rules. And probably, because man rebels even at God’s rules. And possibly, too, because some have removed obedience from the gospel.
Whatever the reasons, and however many they are, it’s in Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.
And Scripture sees the keeping of rules as being dependent on God.
Revive me with your loyal love, that I might keep the rules you have revealed.
God is willing to constantly revive us. The author looks for it, expects it, desires it. His obedience depends upon it. As does ours.
Obedience is a condition to salvation and continued grace. But it also depends upon God’s power and finds in his loyal love motivation more than sufficient to revive the flagging soul.
#devotional #Psalms #obedience
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes denominational figures understand something that many brethren have missed. Here’s one case.
In a period of two days, however, I got news of four congregations that understand this principle. So there is a bit of good news. But what about the rest?
Clarence DeLoach is a brother well known in some circles. He lives in Cookeville TN. This note was shared just now in the Willow Ave. congregation’s bulletin:
Clarence DeLoach is now at the CRMC Rehab Center (Blue Roof) and improving.
No other details were given.
For him a prayer or two would not be unwelcome at the moment.
“There is no young person who is in such grave peril as the one who idealizes a violent man, and there is no society in as grave a position as the one that makes heroes out of its most violent members.”
—Stan Mitchell, The Wise Get Wiser, and the Foolish More Foolish, p. 11 (2002), commenting on Proverbs 3.31-32.
I’m working on an article and lesson with the above title, and am looking for points. I have several already, but maybe I’m missing something. How would you answer this question:
What makes a Christian different from the world?
I look forward to your replies.
#Christian #world #holiness
What do you consider to be the least useful book in the Bible? Might it be the same one as the least read? Is that the case for you?
This thought came to me this morning as I read 1 Chronicles 27, a chapter of four different lists of people who served during King David’s reign:
In contrast to the detail that the writer gives in the lists of the Levites, there is only a brief summary of David’s military and civil leaders. Each month 24,000 men were required to do one month’s military service. The twelve commanding officers (who took turns at commanding this fighting force, one month at a time) all belonged to David’s group of ‘mighty men’ (27:1-15; see 11:10-47). Three other lists name the leaders of Israel’s tribes (16-24), the officials who looked after the king’s farmlands (25-31), and the king’s close advisers (32-34). (BBC)
As part of my reading for today, I look for application to my life in Christ and service to God. One has to do more work to find such application here. But something can be found. How do you apply this chapter for spiritual benefit?
#Bible #1Chronicles #application
Psalm 42 was written by a Korahite, a temple singer, who in exile was kept from his duties among God’s people. He longs for the day when he can again participate in temple worship, perhaps even leading the procession to the holy place. He agonizes and questions his present suffering, but the great refrain of the psalm (vv. 5, 11) is to wait for God, to hope in him and give him thanks, for he is Savior.
It is noteworthy that the author does what he did best: he wrote a song and sang it. It wasn’t in the temple, but he used his talents to do what he could under the restrictions he was subjected to.
The psalm can have a good application to us who are used to serving the Lord in specific ways and with well-defined gifts. We may not be able to do that today, because of the social distancing. But we can still use the talents God gives us within our limitations. We may agonize and question, as the psalmist did, but he encourages us to wait for God and, in the meantime, do what is within our possibility.
#Psalms #limitations #gifts #restrictions #coronavirus
Today is 2020-04-09, in the 15th week of the year. We have 226 days remaining in 2020 (leap year, remember?), if the Lord permits the world to stand and if he allows us this time on earth.
Each year, each day brings us different challenges and opportunities. Let us not moan about those we do not have, but rather take advantage of those we are presented with.
What are we doing with our time? Do we use it well? Do we throw away the hours and minutes? Do we occupy ourselves with worthy goals and activities?
We have been put here on this earth to prepare for the Next Step. I want to take it. How about you?
#time #preparation #eternity
More books have come out of boxes for my library, after my move to the home office (still without a name). My copy of the first edition of the New International Version (1978) floated to the surface. The glue is dried and sections are all broken, but I still cling to this Bible. Here’s the copyright page: Continue reading
What does it mean to receive Christ? It means to receive his messengers who bring his Good News. The real ones, as distinguished from false teachers, bring a vigorous message of conversion. It means (1) hearing; (2) turning; (3) changing; (4) serving; and (5) waiting: Continue reading
While congregations across the world have cancelled their meetings because of the coronavirus, some still insist on gathering the saints together. Yesterday, we in Urbanova gathered a small number together, while experimenting for the first time with a live broadcast. Continue reading