Questions for Today, What will be Your Answer?

One thing I’ve noticed about favorite verses. Some are ones you cling to as a life line for a lifetime, others are tailored to specific seasons of our lives. All are good and remind us that God’s Word will always sustain and encourage us in our walk with Him.

Today’s verse comes from my friend Patty. She chose Proverbs 4:20-22. and I added verse 23. I chose the New Living Translation.

My child, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
    Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
    and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life
.

These verses call for us to look into God’s Word diligently and listen to His directions for living. We are to meditate upon them and let them sink deep into our hearts. The promise is that in doing so, we will find life and healing for our whole body- heart, mind, and soul. We are admonished to guard, hold fast, protect, our hearts for where our hearts lead us determines our life’s direction. Jesus taught this same principle in Matthew 6:20-21  “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The questions for us today are: Am I listening to God when I pray, worship and read His Word? Acts 16:14 gives the story and attitude of Lydia. Is this you? “One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. She was open to God and was ready to listen and respond. Am I listening with a heart that is ready to respond to what God has for me?

Am I letting His Word penetrate my life and guide my actions and words? Psalm 119:9 and 11 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” God’s Word needs to be internalized to help us live and think biblically.

Am I praying and studying God’s Word with the expectation of healing and guidance? Psalm 143:1 “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. and James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Am I praying like Paul for the things Christ has for me, Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,”

Am I taking steps daily to guard my heart? Philippians 4:6-7 tells us how “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Pray with a thankful heart and submit to Him. He will guard your heart. I love the promise in 2 Timothy 1:14 “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

This is our blessed assurance: we do not have to do all of these things in our own power and strength. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Check your power source. Recharge with prayer and the Word. Then ‘just do it!’ for the Lord!! He is always with you and will guide your steps.

Linda

#3 Practicing Devotion to God- Pray

prayerThe third practical way to experience love and commitment to God is to PRAY.  The Bible is filled with people talking, communing, listening and responding to God in prayer.  Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah to conceive as she was barren, Hannah prayed rejoicing as God gave her a son to love,  David prayed for protection and guidance as he fled from Saul, Solomon prayed for wisdom to rule the people, Nehemiah prayed for the restoration of Jerusalem,  Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish, Jesus prayed many times to commune with His father while here on Earth, the Apostles prayed for guidance in presenting the gospel and encouraged all believer to pray constantly.  These are just a few examples of the who, when and why people prayed.

We often think of prayer as me talking and God listening.  All of the above knew that God was accessible in prayer and that He would answer with guidance, hope, love and compassion.  In Psalm 16: verses 7, 11 David reveals how he feels about prayer.  I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;  in the night also my heart instructs me.”  ” You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;  at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”    David received God’s guidance and counsel as God laid on his heart what he should do.  God revealed the right pathway in life to him. 

 Jesus instructed us on prayer in Matthew 6: 5-13He told us what not to do in verse 5,7-8 and then what to do in verses 6, 9-13.  Do Not “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.    Do “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”   Pray then like this:

lords-prayer“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.”

Prayer is personal as you alone can speak with Almighty God and lay your concerns, hopes, dreams and desires before Him.  As you learn to trust Him, He will reveal His will and desires to you.  Psalm 37:3,4 are some of my favorite verses and I pray and claim them often.  “Trust in the Lord and do good;  dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.Take delight in the Lord,  and he will give you the desires of your heart.”   

Psalm-37-4Talk with God, trust Him with the desires of your heart, keep on doing good and be safe in His arms.

Linda

Are you sure God is listening?

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have access to God in prayer.  The Bible is filled with believers’ prayers to God.  David, Job, Solomon, Daniel and the list goes on and on as they called upon God and were assured that He heard their prayers.  Jesus prayed and was heard by the Father and, he often sought a solitary place to spend time with His Father to gain strength and commune with Him.  Since Jesus died on the cross, believers have an internal connection through the Holy Spirit with Him.  Here are a few scripture for you to meditate upon today as you consider your prayer life and connection to Him.

Ephesians 2:13, 17-18 ”  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”   His Holy Spirit brings us near to Him, thank you Jesus!

ephesains 3 12Ephesian 3:12 “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”  We can seek Him boldly with confidence because of Jesus, thank you Jesus!

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  We can come before Him knowing He will treat us with grace and mercy, thank you Jesus!

Hebrews-7-25Hebrews 7:25 “ Therefore he is able to save completely, those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  I can know that I am whole in Him and I am humbled by the truth that Jesus prays for me, thank you Jesus!

James 4:8a “Come near to God and he will come near to you. ”  Access to God is made possible by Jesus as His Holy Spirit helps draw us closer to Him, thank you Jesus!

Come-near-to-God-James-4-8-free-printable-thumb-I pray these verses assure you that as a believer you have access to God in prayer, can approach Him with confidence, know that Jesus will intercede for you before the Father and that He desires that we come and draw near to Him.  Pray boldly with confidence, Jesus is with you.

Linda

Suggestion:  pray today with confidence, assurance and hope that God will hear your prayers and draw near to you!  Then, live like you believe it!