Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pray for those who persecute you

"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust." (Matthew 5: 44 - 45)

I have found from experience that the best way to deal with people who are very unkind to me is prayer.  First, I go to the Lord with the hurt.  Then I start praying for them.  Depending on how deep the hurt is, this prayer can be just one time or as long as a few days to a few years.  I have actually prayed everyday for three people who ganged against me for a couple of years.  I did not even know when I stopped praying for them.  But the hurt was healed completely by God along the way.  It was then that  I noticed that the so-called "great hurt" was  necessary so that God can move me to another level of His plan for my life.

"But Joseph replied to them: “Do not fear. Can I take the place of God?
Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people." ( Genesis 50: 19 - 20)

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose."  (Romans 8: 28)

Friday, February 22, 2013

I have prayed that your faith may not fail

"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”  (Luke 22: 31 - 32)

If Christ has prayed for me, then it is accomplished.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, your faith will not be shaken by whatever distress: health, family, money, job, tools, food.  This is because I have prayed especially for you.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God."  (2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4)

Jesus Christ is the Advocate and High Priest of His people

"The valiant one whose steps are guided by the LORD,
who will delight in his way,
May stumble, but he will never fall,
for the LORD holds his hand." (Psalm 37: 23 - 24)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

For everyone who asks receives

"For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."  (Matthew 7: 8)

Matthew 7:8 is a universal promise open to anyone who prays, seeks and knocks.  The Church teaches that prayer is infallible.  In other words, God commits Himself always and everywhere to fulfill His promise.  There are though, a few conditions that common sense dictates:  The one who prays must pray with faith and what he asks, seeks or knocks will be according to common sense.  Prayer is one of God's greatest gift to man.  Prayer is like the most advanced universal smartphone that holds the key to every door.

What do we ask for in prayer? We ask, "Give us today our daily bread."  (Matthew 6: 11)  The daily bread represents all our needs, spiritual and material. These are needs for pardon, peace, power, purpose, presence, protection and provision.

Thank you Father for giving us the consolation of the truth in your word today.  I need to hear this word here and now. It has brought already much joy and hope to my soul.  This morning, I stood before you Father and prayed with confidence for my daily bread.  As the day unfolds, I watch and wait to see how you fulfill them.  In the meantime, let me experience the foretaste of answered prayer in peace and joyful expectation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Continuous joy is the gift of the redeemed

"Then all who trust in you will be glad
and forever shout for joy.
You will protect them and those will rejoice in you
who love your name." (Psalm 5: 12)

In some translations of the above scripture, the word "joy" is mentioned three times.  When I read it, it reminded me of the popular Christmas tone: "Joy, Joy, Joy......"
Continuous joy is the gift of the redeemed.  A joyful spirit is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I share below part of the commentary of above scripture from John Gills Exposition where joy is used several times:
"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice
Who trust not in themselves, in their own hearts, in their righteousness, or riches, or strength; but in the name, righteousness, and strength of the Lord: who betake themselves to him, and put all their confidence in him: let them rejoice in the salvation of the Lord, and in hope of eternal glory and happiness;
let them even shout for joy:
not only rejoice inwardly, but express their joy externally, with their voices, and in the loudest manner; and that always, the matter and foundation of a believer's joy always continues; and so does the grace itself: though it is not always in exercise, yet it is an everlasting joy; and with it the redeemed of the Lord will come to Zion, and no man will be able to take away their joy. Which distinguishes it from the triumphing of the wicked, and the joy of the hypocrite, which is but for a moment;"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Give us today our daily bread

"Give us today our daily bread."  (Matthew 6: 11)

Father, your Son gave us the great prayer,  Our Father.  I wonder how many times  this prayer is said everyday by people all over the world.  I would imagine a couple of billions of times.   I know that I say it at least twenty times a day.  The more I say this prayer, the more I come to love and to depend on it.  This prayer is part of the Gospel of today that is read everywhere in the world.

As I seek to understand more your plan for providing my needs, I am struck by this verse more than in the past.  "Give us today our daily bread."  (Matthew 6: 11)  I know that you hear prayers.  I know too that your word is true and infallible.  Help me to trust you completely for the provision of my needs.  Help me also to understand that "Man does not live on bread alone."  (Matthew 4: 4).  Your mighty and loving providence knows what we need and provides them as needed.  Thank you Father.

Monday, February 18, 2013

When did I see you hungry?

"Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me."  (Matthew 25: 44 - 45)

Lord, lead me, guide me and use me to minister to the hungry, thirsty, sick and imprisoned this Lent.  You know well that without your help, I can do absolutely nothing.  Use me and may all the glory come to you.  Amen!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Man does not live on food alone

" He said in reply, “It is written:
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4)

Jesus said in reply to Satan asking Him to turn stones into bread, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."  

Satan attacked Jesus at His time of weakness.  Jesus had just finished a successful 40-day retreat in the desert during which He fasted day and night.  He was very hungry and could have easily accepted the rationalizations of Satan.  "The fast is over. God does not expect you to die of hunger now. You need food to sustain you to walk back to town."  Jesus knowing the character of Satan, the father of lies and of all deceptions suspected his motives and countered with  a sure word of God: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." 
What does this word of God mean?

God is the provident Father.  He controls the pathways of life.  He is the source of every good gift.  Therefore:

  • Man does not live on bread alone..
  • Man does not live on Money alone...
  • Man does not live on Job alone....
  • Man does not live on Family alone...

There are many ways God suspects His man. He provides for man by every word that comes from His mouth.

Faith gives us access to God's promise of Pardon, Peace, Power, Purpose, Presence, Protection and Provision.

In the Temptation in the Desert, Jesus gave us an example of trusting God in temptation.