The Sermon on the Mount is all about the kingdom-righteousness that Jesus creates in the lives of His people. In Matthew 6:5-14, He teaches us how members of His kingdom should pray. What lessons can we glean about prayer from this section? Let’s take a look.Continue reading “Nine Lessons on Prayer from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6:5-14)”
The Power of Prayer
Prayer is a vital aspect of the Christian life and one of the highest privileges of God’s children. But it can be difficult! How then, are we to pray? And how can we persevere in prayer? By remembering the power of prayer. This power is found in the One to whom we pray. It resides the throne room of heaven, where God our Father sits eager to hear and answer the prayers of His people.
This evening we will be continuing our series Mere Evangelism. For the last few weeks we have been talking about the practice of evangelism: how to communicate the gospel, use imagery, handle objections, and expect opposition. Tonight we are going to discuss one of the vital organs to this body of evangelistic living: prayer.
Without prayer, our evangelism will be plagued by self-dependence, a deadly disease which weakens and kills any effort to serve God. Yet it is not only necessary for evangelism, but for all of Christian living. Someone once asked Charles Spurgeon which was more important, Bible-reading or prayer, to which he responded, “which is more important, breathing out or breathing in?” Prayer is an essential component to any life of faith, any relationship with God, and subsequently, any attempt to do something for God. We must pray.
But prayer is very difficult. Though it should be natural to us to speak to our heavenly Father, we all struggle with when, how, how often, or how long to pray. We need constant encouragement to remain faithful in this spiritual discipline, and we are given such encouragement in the Scriptures! I want to consider several of those tonight with you and look at prayer from a birds eye view and then take a specific look at how it applies to evangelism. We will look at four aspects of prayer: The privilege of prayer, the pain of prayer, the power of prayer, and the practice of prayer.Continue reading “The Power of Prayer”
Praying for New Believers
When Paul hears of new believers, he immediately prays, and continues to pray, for two things:
1. That they would be filled with the knowledge of God.
2. That they would be strengthened with power.
He prays for these two things so that they may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, bear fruit in their work, and have endurance in their faith. (Colossians 1:9-14).
Let us pray the same for each other, for those who have recently come to faith, and for those who have been walking with Jesus for years. May we all be filled with the knowledge of God and strengthened with His power, so that we may walk in a manner worthy of Him, bear fruit in our works, and have endurance in our faith!
Seven Ways to Get More Out of Sunday Sermons
For centuries, Christians have considered the preaching of God’s Word to be one of the primary means of grace. In other words, it is one of the main things God uses not only to save, but to grow and sanctify His people. Does the way we view, prepare for, and listen to preaching reflect this truth? If we really believe that preaching is one of the primary tools God uses to fashion, guide, and grow us, what practices regarding sermon-listening should we develop? I’d like to offer seven.Continue reading “Seven Ways to Get More Out of Sunday Sermons”
“From the Study to the Pulpit,” A Review of Allan Moseley’s 8-Step Method to Preaching and Teaching the Old Testament
Introduction and Purpose
Allan Moseley’s From the Study to the Pulpit seeks to provide a comprehensive methodology for preaching and teaching the Old Testament. In the opening pages of his book, Moseley quotes Haddon Robinson on the need for such a method, “Clear, relevant biblical exposition does not take place Sunday by Sunday by either intuition or accident. Good expositors have methods for their study” (14). Moseley successfully provides anyone teaching the Old Testament with a such a method. This method aims to challenge readers to grow in exegetical proficiency while also providing a simple, usable process that they can use right away. The author succeeds in this task, blessing the reader with trustworthy manual backed by decades of teaching and preaching the Old Testament. If followed, Moseley’s method is sure to facilitate clear, relevant, and biblical teaching that pleases God and faithfully represents His Word.
Continue reading ““From the Study to the Pulpit,” A Review of Allan Moseley’s 8-Step Method to Preaching and Teaching the Old Testament”
Putting on the Armor, Chuck Lawless
Before reading Putting on the Armor, I must confess that I often viewed the “armor of God” passage in Ephesians 6 as somewhat irrelevant. In a way, I knew it was probably important, but it seemed to be no more than a descriptive metaphor for walking with God, something I could easily skim over and get the point. I remember hearing a small handful of sermons or talks on the subject that seemed to trivialize the description of the armor. These talks of “praying on the armor” or “which piece of the armor are you missing?” trivialized the concepts of the passage so much that it had a negative effect on how I viewed the relevance of the verses. Dr. Lawless’ book has changed my view on the concept of the “armor” by providing me with an accurate view of the passage as a whole, helping me understand each individual piece of armor, and walking me through how to “wear” the armor in everyday life.
God’s Honor in Our Dependency
“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” – Ezra 8:22-23
Prayer: Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon 4:7-6:3. An allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon, depicting Jesus as our groom, highlighting our role as his bride, and the implications on our prayer lives.
Coming to the Blood of Jesus -Spurgeon
“and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” – Hebrews 12:24
Reader, have you come to the blood of sprinkling? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience, but have you come to the blood of Jesus?
The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came–the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! Continue reading “Coming to the Blood of Jesus -Spurgeon”
My Gentle Wife & God’s Chisel
“…let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:4
My wife is a quiet and gentle woman; I am not a quiet and gentle man. I want to be. I pray daily to be…but I am constantly acting in pride, selfishness, and harshness. I grieve these sins, because I know they grieve my Master. But thank goodness, my God has given me an amazing wife-a daily reminder, and frequent conviction, to pursue gentleness, and to be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen. Continue reading “My Gentle Wife & God’s Chisel”