prayer warriors…

I believe that the most powerful thing we can do for anyone is pray for them.  It can be done anywhere at anytime. We cannot fight the christian battle in our own power.  We must pray continually.

Without God’s peace, we will not win the spiritual battle.  We, as christians, are to have a ministry of peace to people who are afraid and we are to be armed with His Word.  I also believe that the Word of God is the most dreaded tool used to fight the enemy and we are to use our weapon which is the Bible.

People today don’t want to believe in the devil anymore.  Even people who say they are Christians don’t  believe in the reality of Satan.  But the Bible says that he is alive and well on planet earth destroying the work of Christ wherever he can. 

Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

EEEK!! Aren’t you glad that we can’t see these wicked demonic forces?  How creepy would that be?  But we shouldn’t be morbidly occupied with the subject of demonism NOR should we live in FEAR of demons.  We have the armor of God!  Ephesians 6:13-17 tells us to put on the armor of God.  The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.

I enjoy walking and praying at the same time.  I love getting outside and seeing all the beauty that is around me and it makes me start off my time praising Him for His creation!  Plus it helps to keep me on my toes and not to ‘wander off’ while I’m praying.  Can you imagine if you are talking to a friend and then you just wander off during the middle of a conversation?  Well, I imagine that that is what God has felt like in many of my prayers.  I’m awesome at falling asleep in the middle of my “conversation” with Him.  In fact I am probably a pro.  But……then again…..how sweet is it to fall asleep talking to Jesus?  Hmm?

I am not skilled in many areas….but I do know how to talk to my God.  I know that He hears me and He loves me and wants the best for His children.  You might be discouraged about your own prayer life but I believe that Satan likes to convince you that you’ve blown it and you should just stop praying.  But I say, PERSEVERE!  Start today and survive out there on that battlefield!!!!

the power of sin…

This devotional is from Lifeway…..and I found it to be spot on….

Read Ahead: Proverbs 14:8-12
Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright. Proverbs 14:9, HCSB
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to underestimate the power of sin. We don’t like to admit when we sin, because then we have to make amends for it or change our behavior. So we rationalize that we haven’t really sinned at all.
First, we find a better name for it. Sin sounds so old-fashioned. So harsh. Let’s call it a “mistake” or a “habit” or a “lapse in judgment.” That sounds better.

Next, we build a case to explain why we did it. “Everyone else was doing it.” “I didn’t think anyone would get hurt.” “It wasn’t my fault.”

Finally, we de-emphasize the fallout. “People are too uptight these days.” “They need to stop being so sensitive.”
It comes down to a control issue. We don’t like being told what to do. We want the freedom to make our own choices. But we fail to understand one thing: We don’t control sin. Sin controls us.
Sin is any attitude or behavior that goes against God’s desires. He wants us to be free from the guilt, shame, and consequences of sin. But as long as we refuse to take sin seriously, we’ll never experience life the way God desires.
Don’t be afraid to see sin for what it is. Don’t allow a distorted view of sin to rob you of the life God intends for you. Ask God to tell you how you can make amends.
What sins in your life need to be exposed for what they are?
Read Up: Romans 6:16-23, Galatians 6:7-8
This devotional is courtesy of TQ.

grace…

Grace… This is the subject for our church for the next year. But whenever I hear it said away from church, I think of the principal on Ferris Buellers Day off, screaming for , “Graaaaace!”, his secretary.  But that’s not the grace we’re talking about today….

We have all heard of grace.  We sing about it, we write poems about it, we even name our churches and our children after grace!  But even after all that—grace is not very well understood and often not believed.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves’ it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

That verse teaches that our salvation has nothing to do with our works…..its a gift.  You can’t do anything to make God love your any more, and you can’t do anything to make him love you any less.

Larry Crabb says, “Only two things have ever changed the human soul:  the fall and grace.the power of Satan and the power of God.  And God is infinitely more powerful.  Nothing is stronger than grace.  Satan doesn’t have any and God is defined by it.”

Most of us tend to think that we’re not so bad.  It’s easy to think that way, especially when you consider how many murderers and rapists are running around in the world.  We’re certainly not as bad as they are, are we?  And we hope that God thinks the same way we do.  Although…….I doubt if very many christians would say that we deserve to go to heaven on our own merit.  We know too much theology to say that and we have listened to too many sermons to know that good works will not give us a free pass.

But the Bible says that apart from grace, every one of us is spiritually dead and in rebellion against God!  We are not worthy of God’s grace, or heaven….but we are worthy of hell!!  Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous works are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

What the? Those are some pretty hard words there!  We tend to think pretty good of ourselves.  We take pride in our scientific achievements, we have a high standard of living, our material wealth…..the list goes on and on!  We are the best of the best………or so we think.

Whittaker Chambers said, “Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness.” We desperately need God’s grace because we are not as good as we think we are, in fact, I imagine that we are much worse …than we dare to admit.

But God gives us so many second chances.  I think that is grace.  How many times did you hear about the gospel before you received the Lord?  He doesn’t give up.  Again, I think that is grace.  He pursues us and lavishes His forgiving love on us, even when we have totally blown it.

Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”

Nothing you have ever done … or ever could do…can contribute in the least to your salvation.  It’s not Christ plus your good works…..it is faith in Christ, period.

God’s grace gives us peace and fills us with joy!  It’s the motive for living the christian life!

Grace found us, grace will keep us and grace will never let us go.  And this gives me strength.