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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Pray like it matters


Dr. Moody Stuart, a great praying man of a past generation, once drew up a set of rules to guide him in his prayers. Among these rules is this one: "Pray till you pray." The difference between praying till you quit and praying till you pray is illustrated by the American evangelist John Wesley Lee. He often likened a season of prayer to a church service, and insisted that many of us close the meeting before the service is over.

He confessed that once he arose too soon from a prayer session and started down the street to take care of some pressing business. He had only gone a short distance when an inner voice reproached him. "Son," the voice seemed to say, "did you not pronounce the benediction before the meeting was ended?" He understood, and at once hurried back to the place of prayer where he tarried till the burden lifted and the blessing came down.



The habit of breaking off our prayers before we have truly prayed is as common as it is unfortunate. Often the last ten minutes may mean more to us than the first half hour, because we must spend a long time getting into the proper mood to pray effectively. We may need to struggle with our thoughts to draw them in from where they have been scattered through the multitude of distractions that result from the task of living in a disordered world.

Here, as elsewhere in spiritual matters, we must be sure to distinguish the ideal from the real. Ideally we should be living moment-by-moment in a state of such perfect union with God that no special preparation is necessary.

But actually there are few who can honestly say that this is their experience. Candor will compel most of us to admit that we often experience a struggle before we can escape from the emotional alienation and sense of unreality that sometimes settle over us as a sort of prevailing mood.

Jesus and His earliest followers prayed like it was important. We pray like it is inconvenient or inconsequential. Prayer was their priority. It is our postscript. We plan more than we pray. They prayed more than they planned. We gather to minister to one another. They gathered to minister to the Lord in prayer and fasting. Our focus is earthly, horizontal. Theirs was heavenly, vertical. They were wise enough to "pray the price." All of this is why a book entitled Pray Like It Matters was written by Steve Gaines for our blessing. You can check a great book about prayer (a 12-week study course on Biblical prayer) >>>here<<<


Conclusion:

Whatever a dreamy idealism may say, we are forced to deal with things down on the level of practical reality. If when we come to prayer our hearts feel dull and unspiritual, we should not try to argue ourselves out of it. Rather, we should admit it frankly and pray our way through. Some Christians smile at the thought of "praying through," but something of the same idea is found in the writings of practically every great praying saint from Daniel to the present day.

We cannot afford to stop praying till we have actually prayed

Does God Answer Prayers? and a book on Prayer


 

Introduction:

I suppose there has been no word on Christians' lips so frequently at this time as the word "prayer," and there is not one in this hall who has not thought often, during the last forty-eight hours, of the importance of prayer.

During everyday lives, they are a great many not only thinking about it, but talking about it. When there is a special interest and awakening in the community on the subject of religion, then it is that a great many skeptics and infidels, and a great many mere nominal professors of Christianity - we will not judge them - begin talking against "prayer."

They say, "The author of the world doesn't change His plans because of these prayers. The world goes right on. You cannot move God to change His mind or His doings." You hear this on every side. These young converts hear it. I have no doubt that many are staggered by it, and when you kneel down you say, `Is it a fact that God answers prayer? Is there anything in it?'

I think it would do us good in the week of prayer to take the word "prayer," and run through the Bible tracing it out. Read about nothing else. I think you would be perfectly amazed if you took up the word "prayer," and counted the cases in the Bible where people are recorded as praying, and God answering their prayers.



Many people think it is only the perfectly righteous and pure individuals that pray.

But you remember who it was who prayed in this fashion, "Lord remember me when Thou come into Thy Kingdom."

Even Christ answered the dying thief's prayer!

Luke 23:42-43 New King James Version (NKJV)Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”




We cannot but notice that every man of God spoken of in the Bible was a man of prayer. We as Christians have therefore very good authority and encouragement for asking God to hear your prayers, and for praying on behalf of others, as we are daily requested to do.


Number (1): God wants us to pray

Look at the 6th verse of the 4th chapter of Philippians:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

"Be careful for nothing, but in everything" - mark that - "by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." He doesn't say He will answer all, but He says, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." He tells us to make our wants known; to make our requests known to Him by prayer and supplication. It is right to come and make our requests known. He has told us to come and pray for the conversion of souls.




Number (2): God can answer life changing prayers

It is said by many people that God does not do anything supernatural in answer to prayer; that the God of nature moves right on and never changes His decrees. Read the first six verses of the 20th chapter of 2nd Kings, and see - "In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death: and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah, the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David, thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold I will heal thee; on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord, and I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the King of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake."

Was not that a direct answer to prayer? Hezekiah was only praying for his own life; we are come together to pray for the life of others, and not their temporal but their eternal welfare. He was not praying for Christ's sake as we now do, but we can come to-day and ask God to save the souls of men for Christ's sake, not only for our sake, but for the sake of the beloved Son. He loves to honor that Son, and to see Christ honored. We can come now and ask Him to save souls, that it might bring glory and honor to the Son of His bosom, and glory and honor to the Son He delights to honor. "I will," He says to Hezekiah, "defend the city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake." That is only one instance.


Number (3): God answers our prayers for others

Look also at Daniel praying. It was his prayers that took the Jews back to Jerusalem. It was his prayers that turned Nebuchadnezzar to the God of Israel, and brought Gabriel down from heaven to tell him he was greatly beloved. He had power with God.

See also how God answered Jacob's prayers and Isaac's prayers. All through the Bible we have records of the answers to prayers. It would be terrible to think that God did not delight to answer prayer.

Turn to the 20th chapter of 2nd Chronicles. There we read that the Moabites, the Ammonites, and others coming against Jehoshaphat, he was afraid, "and set himself to seek the Lord," and that afterwards Judah "gathered themselves together to ask help of the Lord." That is what we want - to seek the Lord not only here in the public assembly, but alone. If you have got an unconverted friend, and are anxious that he should be saved, go and tell it privately to Jesus, and if a blessing does not come, like Jehoshaphat, spend a few days in fasting, and prayer, and humiliation.

"If when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence (for Thy name is in this house), and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then Thou wilt hear and help."

Conclusion:

When we go into the streets, and see the terrible wickedness, and blasphemy, and drunkenness that is in them, it seems dark, but I look up and think that God can repel those dark waves of sin and iniquity. Let us pray that God will bless this land of Scotland, bless and save all the people in it. It would be a great thing for us, but very little for God. May God give us faith!

As promised, a good book on prayer:

“Prayer has been the theme of prophets, apostles and of all good people in all ages of the world...”


Where God has worked, the people have prayed. Hannah pleaded for a son and received Samuel. Elijah called on God and saw fire come down. Paul and Silas prayed and the prison shook.

Why do some prayers move mountains and others, barely stones? In Prevailing Prayer, one of the greatest evangelists of all time explains the elements of biblical, powerful prayer. A treasure trove of stories and illustrations, it will renew your desire to pray and guide you in best practices.

For those who wonder where the power is, who long to see new spiritual depths, who need reminding that God can change a life, Prevailing Prayer is inspiration to pray humbly and often—to seek by prayer to “move the Arm that moves the world.”

There are certain books everyone should read Moody Classics

You can add this book into your personal library now! and click >>>here<<<

God bless.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Will Jesus forgive my sins?


Will Jesus forgive my sins?
Will God forgive my sins?

To answer the question “will Jesus forgive my sins?” first, we have to understand that people asks these questions not because they don’t know the answer to the question primarily but rather sometimes they are not sure if they are forgiven or not… I’ll try my best to write out an answer for you if you can be patient reading through this blog post.

In this article, we’ll be seeing an elaborate explanation to your question and see the following:

  1. Character of God
  2. The Depravity & Condemnation of Man
  3. The Great Dilemma
  4. God’s Action
  5. Motivated by love
  6. The Cross of Christ
  7. The Resurrection
  8. Faith defined
  9. Will God / Jesus forgive my sins?
  10. The Basis of Genuine Assurance
  11. Test of Biblical assurance


(1) The Character of God

The first question you should be asking is: “Why do I need to ask Jesus to forgive me?”

This brings us to the focus of some of the many characters of God.

The Holiness of God
“Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor.”
(Habakkuk 1:13)

In God, there is no imperfection; there is neither sin nor anything evil. He is separated from all things that are not perfect and nothing is equal to Him.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
(Isaiah 59:2)

What separates us from God is our sin. Because of sin, mankind has been separated from God and we have no more fellowship with Him as Adam and Eve once had with God Himself in the Garden of Eden.



The Justice of God
For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.
(Psalm 11:7)

God is also Just. What does that mean? He upholds Justice. He is righteous. He is a Good and a Holy God.

But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.
(Isaiah 5:16)

God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.
(Psalm 7:11-12)

Imagine a Good Judge in court Judging with Justice and Righteousness the cases presented to Him. A Good Judge will not turn a blind eye to injustice or evil, He is not bought with mere gold or money to pardon evil-doers. He does not sweep wicked deeds under the rug and pretends not to see it later on. He is a Good and a Just God; and His justice must be satisfied.

(2) The Depravity & Condemnation of Man

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
(Romans 3:23)

God’s standard for Himself is perfection. No sin can ever enter Heaven and come before Him. Ask yourself there questions:

Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever stolen anything? Big or small – doesn’t matter – ever steal?
Have you ever hated anybody that you wished for them to die?
Have you ever see another woman/man and lusted over them in your heart?

The Bible call these things sin, it is wicked and against God’s Commandment or God’s Standards. To be compared to God’s Standards, it is impossible for any human being to actually achieve total holiness and not ever sin in their whole life since birth. Even children would learn how to lie without anyone telling them how. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment
(Isaiah 64:6)

Previously, I was a Buddhist before I converted to be a Believer of Christ
If you got the time, you can read my testimony >>here<<

Man then creates activities/ good works/ religious rituals to somehow please God. Thinking that doing ‘certain-good-works’ would then appease God’s Heart. Imagining themselves giving to the poor, doing good things to other people and/or helping an old lady cross the road would merit themselves to enter Heaven and tipping the scale of their previous evil doings or sins. Having a self-righteous mind that keeping certain rituals would cleanse sin away from themselves or even believing such things like Karma; there is a giant scale that weighs good deeds and evil deeds of a person in Heaven… and to enter heaven the good deeds must outweigh the evil deeds. To God – All these “…righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6)


 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ACCURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.
(Galatians 3:10)

To actually be right-with-God is to keep ALL His commandments and break none of them. Considering that even when you are a child, you already had the tendency to commit sin… This feat is impossible.

(3) The Great Dilemma

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
(Proverbs 17:15)

The great dilemma is this – if God is Just… He cannot forgive you. He must be a God who upholds Justice and must Judge the wicked. As I have mentioned earlier, He can’t turn a blind eye to the sins we have committed sweep it under a rug pretending it never happened. It is against His Word and His Character.

Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?
(Genesis 18:25)

Shall not God deal justly?

So, back to your question – Can Jesus forgive my sins? Let us continue with this article. Where is our hope to attain Salvation from the Lord?

(4) God's Action

While maintaining His holiness and justice, the Bible also affirms that God is love, and that in love He has responded to the plight of man.

(5) Motivated by Love

God is love. By this the love of God is manifested in us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 John 4:8-10)

God sees our need to be saved. We were without hope in this world but God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ… The Lord Jesus Christ…

(6) The Cross of Christ

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:23-26)

Imagine being in a court and facing the Good Judge before you… God declares the verdict “GUILTY” and suddenly a Man comes and intervenes. He takes your place of punishment and took it upon Himself all the scourging and the punishment of your sin… He was Judged in your place… The Lord Jesus Christ was crushed, punished and experienced the full force of God’s Wrath towards sin… yours and mine upon the cross. God’s Justice was satisfied and he “…would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” It’s not that our sin disappeared to nowhere, our sin was punished… Jesus became sin for us and was crushed for it. We who are saved are justified when we put our faith in Jesus.

(7) The Resurrection

He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
(Romans 4:25)

The resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ proves that in Him there was no sin; and also proved Jesus to be Who He said He was.

(8) Man's Response

Repentance begins with a recognition and confession that what God says about us is true that we have sinned.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.
(Psalm 51:3-4)

A genuine recognition of our sinfulness and guilt will also lead to genuine sorrow, shame and even hatred for what we have done.

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
(Romans 7:15)

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death?
(Romans 7:24)

Apparent sincerity of confession alone is never definite evidence of genuine repentance. It must be accompanied by a turning away from sin.

Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil.
(Isaiah 1:16)

therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
(Matthew 3:10)

(9) Faith Defined

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)

and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
(Romans 4:21)

(8) Faith Based on The Promises of God

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved
(Acts 16:31)

Simply believe in The Lord Jesus Christ. Have faith in what he has done for your life.

(9) Example of a Believer

worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh
(Philippians 3:3)

(10) The Basis of Genuine Assurance

True conversion: A true Christian is a new creation and will live a life that reflects God's radical work of re-creation in his/her life.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
(Matthew 7:16)

Assurance is based upon self-examination in the light of Scripture. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
(1 John 5:13)

(11) Test of Biblical Assurance

How would you know if you’re saved? I would not know truly by looking at your picture… Who knows what’s in your heart of hearts or even your deepest thoughts. You would have assurance and good signs will follow you as you walk with Jesus day by day by day.

  • 1 John 1:5-7 (Walking in the Light)
  • 1 John 1:8-10 (Confession of Sin)
  • 1 John 2:3-4 (Obedience)
  • 1 John 2:9-11 (Love for the Brethren)
  • 1 John 2:15-17 (Hatred for the World)
  • 1 John 2:24-25(Perseverance in Doctrine)
  • 1 John 3:10 (Righteousness)
  • 1 John 4:13 (Spirit's Testimony)
  • Hebrews 12:5-8 (Discipline)


Will Jesus forgive your sins?

Yes. Believe in Him. Believe in the Good News of what He has done for you on the cross… and why…

For He has risen from the dead and now He is reaching out to you

How about you reach out to Him now?

If you are already a Christian, maybe you want to know more about "How to grow as a Christian?" just click >>here<< to know more about growing as a believer.