Praying in 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At Bethlehem Baptist Church, it is time to focus on prayer and more specifically the personal prayer life of each person. This is a topic I greatly enjoy and I look forward to the messages that John Piper gives during this time.

I recently listened to the message: "Put in the Fire For the Sake of Prayer". I came away from this message with this:

"1) Set aside a time and a place to pray each day - and do not leave this to chance. The devil defeats most praying before it happens because we didn't make a plan.

2) Combine your praying with reading the Bible. Take what you're reading and turn it into prayer.

3) Pray in concentric circles (i.e. begin praying for yourself, then your family, then your co-workers, your church, the global Church, lost sinners worldwide, politicians, etc. etc.) Include the basics of the Lord's prayer as you pray for each circle."

I also came away with these points:
  • Do not let good things keep you or distract you from prayer.
  • Recognize there is room for improvement in my prayer life.
  • Improvement is needed- God's glory is at stake.
  • Prayer is a weapon, tool, and a huge essential of my life as a Christian, I must not let satan keep me from it!
This year, I want to stop focusing on my weaknesses and begin focusing on becoming a praying person dedicated to God. Yes, fruitfulness is important; but fruit without heartfelt dedication is worthless. Prayerfulness must come first, or my fruit is rotten!
2009- A year for prayer!

Living Coram Deo

Monday, December 29, 2008

-Chapter Two-

All about "God, My Heart, and Media", this chapter holds its fair share of issues. Craig Cabaniss speaks clearly when he challenges Christians to take discernment seriously in all areas of their lives. 

This chapter specifically deals with visible media: magazines, TV, internet, movies, theatre, and even person to person communication. Christians must consistently and actively hold everything to the Word of God in order to determine wether it pleases God. 

This life long task is not done legalistically, because it is not rooted in a desire to gain or earn God's favor. Rather, it is done in love with a desire to have more of God and live like it. The grace God bestows upon salvation is the source that lives on and manifests itself in God-pleasing lifestyles. 

I came away from this chapter with one broad thing:

I need to take time to evaluate both the quality and the quantity of my media involvement. 

I leave you with one quote from the text:

"Watching coram Deo leads to acting coram Deo." 

The Word

Sunday, December 28, 2008

-Chapter One-

C.J. Mahaney encourages and instructs Christians to take the Bible as a whole and make it the standard by which they live by. The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is meant to be the instruction manual for God's people. Cutting sections out of the Bible, or pasting new ones in, is absolutely unacceptable and leads only to wasted lives. 

The danger of "editing" the perfect Word of God is decline. God desires for His people to enjoy life, but He does not desire for them to waste their lives. He wants them to follow the words of Jesus in Mark 10:45:

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..."

God placed man here not so He could serve them, but so that they could serve Him. That service is not only purposeful, it is joyful, fulfilling, and desirable. 

I finished this chapter with three thoughts: 

I need to be careful not to cut and paste to make my own Bible.

 I need to be in the Word daily, that I may know the Truth and discern that which is not true.

I need to live out the concepts the Lord is teaching me.

Life As Usual?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reading "Worldliness - Resisting the Seduction of A Fallen World" has already been quite a challenge. The reading itself is very enjoyable- it's the digesting that has proven to touch more than my mind! 

I have come to realize a serious, honest, in-depth self-evaluation is absolutely necessary right now. I am far from what most would consider worldly, but I have my faults. This book has begun to do just what I hoped it would, that is, point out practical ways that I can more consistently do whatever I do for the glory of God. 

According to contributor and editor, C.J. Mahaney, worldliness is simply "the love for this fallen world" (p.27). He goes onto quote Joel Beeke who said:

"The goal of worldly people, is to move forward rather than upward, to live horizontally rather than vertically. They seek after outward prosperity rather than holiness. They burst with selfish desires rather than heartfelt supplications. If they do not deny God, they ignore and forget Him, or else they use Him only for their selfish ends. human nature without God." 

The content of this book is a testimony to the fact that God builds precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little in the lives of His people. 

Check out the book! It's more than a good read, it uses Scripture to equip saints for a truly abundantly good life! 

A Beginning

Friday, December 26, 2008

I have enjoyed so many blogs for so long, that I have decided to enter into this myself.

I plan to keep my posts short and sweet. They will mostly be about what the Lord is teaching and showing me as well as where He is taking me. 

Pray for me as I seek to glorify the Lord with all areas of my life, including this blog.