Today’s Daily Light
The Value of Prayer (written by an international missionary…was reading of his ministry and loved what he wrote about prayer…)
If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy.
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12
It seems our worth is measured by what we accomplish and can be quantitatively measured. While there is nothing wrong with trying to be productive, Jesus shows us there is high value in sacrificing our lives in that which doesn’t always show an immediate and tangible response.
There is value in spending time “…in prayer to God.”
An example of this in Jesus’ life is when just before He chose twelve apostles, He spent the entire night in prayer. He did this often. Luke says that Jesus “frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray.” Luke 5:16
One of the lessons we learn from this is that Jesus would sacrifice time and energy, even time preaching and healing (which He was sent by God to do) so He couldpray. If He did, so should we.
Finding time to pray will be difficult if we don’t place a high value on it, but if we follow the life and example of Jesus we’ll find time to pray. Or better said, we’ll make time to pray. Consider Jesus’ life.
If we read the Gospels we’ll find that Jesus’ life wasn’t just busy, it was intense. There were often people crowding around Him, always talking to Him, always demanding His time and attention.
This is why in order for Jesus to be alone, He often would have to “go up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. Prayer requires sacrifice. But what isthe value of prayer? Why pray?
A pursuit of prayer allows us to seek, to find and be able to commune with God. Listen to the prophet Isaiah express this. He said, “At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently.” Isaiah 26:9
Note that Isaiah says, “my spirit within me seeks You diligently.” It’s what Paul calls our “inner man” that is strengthened when we pray.
David shows us that when we are emotionally, physically, and spiritually weak and weary the only place we should go to find the spiritual water to quench our thirsty soul is to God in prayer.
David said in Psalm 63:1 “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
If we take the time and effort, we’ll discover that God has placed in each of us a spiritual hunger and desire that our lives would have eternal worth and meaning.
What we are all looking for in life is only found in a personal relationship with God. Even if we obtain all our life goals, and accomplish all we set out to do, what value is there in all that when we die?
But a pursuit of God in prayer can take us to the place where we realize that only through repentance of our sin and drawing near to God can we find the peace and purpose we all seek. Prayer will take us to such as place, praying through Jesus as our mediator is the road to get us there.
“Father please, help us to live lives of prayer.”
Today’s Daily Light
How To Overcome the World.
1 John 5:1-5, 19-20 NIV John wrote to us…
1-5 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
19-20 “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has give us understanding, ‘so that’ we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.’
Just looking out of my window as the sun came up this morning…the birds beginning to come to the feeder…the beauty of trees, of nature…the quiet of my home…the smell of coffee….kind of hard to grasp that the ‘world’ out there is under the control of evil. But I know it is….just turn on your t.v….read the newspaper…and kaboom…back to reality 101. We live in a fallen world which is under the control of the dark side. The total objective of the dark side and its evil leader is to ‘blind’ the world to the reality of the truth of God…of the truth of Jesus the Savior. The dark sides hates anything related to the truth of God. It’s sole purpose is to keep the people in the world in blindness and deception and running on the hamster wheels that come in all shapes and sizes that the dark side has in its arsenal…and such hamster wheels are designed per each individual person…simply to create an illusion of forward movement, activity, busy-ness…to keep us doing anything and everything that keeps us from seeing the light of truth which is only found in the Word of God which are his instructions for how we should live…how we should function in this fallen system as children of God who have been called out of this world system and into His eternal kingdom.
I don’t wish to throw out so many big thoughts here this morning…..so let me bare down and focus a bit….. The only way we can overcome the pull and suck of the power of the dark side and its system (the world)…is to be regenerated and transformed into the image of Christ. We do that through re-birth ‘in’ Christ… We put our faith in Jesus as the Savior..and we become born into the family of God. We then have God’s spirit come to live inside us and it is ‘He’..the Spirit of God, that transforms us and gives us the power to overcome the pull and suck of the world. Even though we immediately gain eternal life and will ultimately have eternal victory…. we still can get stuck in this quagmire world system…because… when we become a believer in Christ Jesus…the dark side goes to work double time to try to keep us from transforming into the image of our glorious Savior. But Jesus has already won the battle for us and He promises that if we will obey His commands and abide in Him that we will produce fruit and overcome. ‘
So go…overcome! Christ the Savior is yours! Amen
Today’s Daily Light
Jesus the Savior is ‘Love’
God is Love
We Must Be ‘Love’
1 John, chapter 4:7-17 “Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and is love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in and God, and God in Him. In this way, love is made complete…”
Soooo…John tells us that the essence of God’s nature….the essence of who and what He is…is LOVE. It is because of God’s love that He gave us Jesus ‘so that’ we might live through Him/Jesus… ‘so that’ this same God-love might be in us… ‘so that’ we can pass this love on and around to the world around us… ‘so that’ we can learn to have this same God-love be the main energy and life and light that leads and motivates and guides us into all of our activities. God designed it ‘so that’ His love, through the life of Jesus inside us, is reproduced inside us ‘so that’ we can love the world…love others…and in this way…the love of God that goes out/comes from God…and is born in us…goes out to others….and thus God’s love is made complete…. the true ‘circle of love’…
Father…help me to search myself everyday to see if your love is alive and at work in me motivating and energizing me to love others. Help me to see that ‘if’ I am ‘in’ Jesus, Your son, then I do have your love in me because you are love…and so if you are love and Jesus is love…I will be love. And that is ‘how’ the world will know that I belong to you…if I love like you love. Help me to see this more and more this Christmas season. Amen