- Pray that I love my wife like Christ loved the Church. Is this even possible? Some say, “Depending on the Wife.” Doesn’t God love me no matter how I treat him? OUCH!! So me loving my wife has nothing to do with how easy she is to love. In fact I need this prayer no matter who my wife is because unselfish agape love for her is not going to be natural and it must come from God!
- My prayers are for her holiness! Is her Holiness dependent on my prayers and my love? I hope not because I am so unworthy. My prayers for her need to be important, and they need to be steady. My prayer for her needs to be consistent. Here is a good question, Do I pray more for her or more for me? Is the focus of my prayers on her more often than they are on me??
- My prayers cleanse her. When we pray for her she can be cleansed and what a responsibility that is for a husband. Her being cleansed is my responsibility? What a hard thing to comprehend! I need to pray Gods word into her life! This is going to be easy, find a scripture that apply to your wife and what she needs and pray that verse over her!! I specifically prayed for my wife over and over again, and what I prayed happened. I was amazed even though I should not have been.
- Pray that I can GIVE (paradidōmi) myself to her. This is a verb in the Greek and had several meanings. They are self explanatory: To give into the hands (of another). This means that what I want is out of my hands. To give over into (one’s) power or use. I give to her what is most important to me, another impossible task. To deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death. This means that I take these for her. Any Judgement I take for my wife. Any condemnation I take, and torment I take for her. I willingly give up my DESIRES to give her the DESIRES of her heart. I take for her the punishment of her decisions, isn’t this what Christ did for me? Paul says to love her like Christ loved us!
I pray for the body to live in praise and worship of our Father God. I think the church has lost the meaning of praise, and the fullness of praise.
Praise is music, and we can certainly praise Father God with Song. But, the problem is praise should be more than music. Praise is prayer, praise is Giving, praise is service, praise is spiritual and takes away from the flesh, praise is fasting, and praise is sacrifice.
Imagine all these factors of praise as a spoke on a wheel, and if one spoke is longer that other spokes on a wheel what kind of wheel do you have?
When Music becomes the main “spoke” of our worship wheel then our worship wheel cannot move correctly. A wheel that has a spoke too long gets stuck on the area of worship that is too long. Can you ride a bike with a wheel that is not a perfect circle? If you did it would be a bumpy ride! If one spoke is too big you couldn’t go anywhere.
True praise is balance, not just music. Praise is service to the less fortunate. Praise is sacrifice, can you imagine giving even one paycheck to a worthy cause? Praise is fasting once a week, NO FOOD for 24 hours, or 48 hours. Praise is nailing our flesh on the cross, DAILY. Jesus says, “if you do not die to self daily you are not worthy to be my disciple.” My praise should be balanced and not oblong with a lot of music, and no sacrifice!!
Please don’t get me wrong, Praise and worship that Misty Edwards, Kim Smith and others teach and do is awesome, but there is more to our praise than music. Hebrews 13:15-16 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Look through the verses before the THEREFOR and you will see the balance of praise and worship of God that this chapter teaches.
From verse 1 to 25 there are at least 18 ways to bring the sacrifice of praise!! Praise the Father for giving his son. Praise the Son for willingly dying on the cross. Praise the Holy Spirit for desiring to give us ALL of him to our spirits!
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
* Sin deceives us, it has an incredible power to mask what is really going on in my heart. * Sin causes selfishness, and so Jesus is telling us that we have to stop being deceived by sin. Take up your cross daily and follow me!
* As a Christian I constantly hear my spirit say, “That is not right” immediately followed by the flesh, “That won’t hurt you.” The spirit is telling me one thing about what I am doing, and the flesh tells me the exact opposite. The spirit is telling me the right thing, and the flesh is telling me what it wants and will deceive to get it!
* My flesh is worried that my spirit is going to take away from it something it desperately loves, Like food in a fast. So the flesh fights hard, and with the help of Satan, wins a lot of battles. Then Jesus comes and says “you must turn from your selfish ways” because he understands this constant battle. He understands because John 1:14 says: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jesus became flesh so he could understand the battle we go through. He experienced, IN THE FLESH, what we experience and so he KNOWS and can understand our temptations!!
Romans 7:15-16 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
* Paul is being facetious here, he knows what is going on here. What he doesn’t understand is that he is saved, and yet his body still wants to sin! He understands, he doesn’t understand, the dilemma we all find ourselves in as a Christian.
Romans 7:18-20 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
* For a Christian, this battle will go on and on. When we beat the battle for lust, then we are tempted with food. When we win the battle with food then we tempted with luxury. We defeat luxury the flesh moves to entertainment. The flesh is relentless and never gives up. So we are constantly in battle and it is the Spirit versus the flesh! Jesus says take up your cross and follow me, Paul is telling us that we have the passions of the flesh and we need to nail them to the cross, and that is very hard to do!
In summary Romans 8:4-5 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
Mark 8:34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”If you try to hang on to your life (Flesh), you will lose it. But if you give up your life (the flesh) for my sake, you will save it. Why does Jesus assume that everyone is selfish? Because he knows all things. But Here is the best verse of them all: Romans 7:24-25 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
* This is the prayer!! Christ help my Spirit to rule over my Flesh. Give me the power to overcome my flesh.
We are in a battle, and the battle comes to us. The battle is the Enemy, Satan and his Devils, against Parents. My first prayer is that Parents understand that Satan wants to destroy their family, their children.
Ephesians 6:12 makes this clear; For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. I think that Parents need to know this about the enemy. He does not attack fair and nothing is off-limits. He will bring Chaos to a family and it is God that holds him as bay. This is why the prayers of the Father are so important!! The Father sets the spiritual tone of the family!!
In Job we see Satan tell God that “He has a hedge protecting Job” and the insinuation is this, “I have tried to attack Job, his family and his possession and your protection keeps me from harming him.” Ephesians 6, Job 1, John 10:10 and 1 Peter 5:8-9 all tell us that we need to be on the look out for the enemy.
Not only is the battle going to be brought to the family, but it is the strength of the family that will be challenged. What I mean by that is the “Flesh” is Satan’s number one tool to destroy the family. If the Father and Mother have a hard time dealing with the flesh the children will struggle as well. This is a very important reality.
Parents need to pray for their children to notice how they deal with the flesh. The children WILL FOLLOW the lead that is demonstrated before them by their parents on a daily basis.
If you want Children to be righteous, live righteously in front of them!
If you want Children to be Holy, Live Holy in from of them.
If you want praying children, be the example. If you want them to dig into the word, show them HOW IMPORTANT GOD’S WORD IS TO YOU!!!!
Do you want compassion and attentiveness from your Children? Be compassionate and attentive to them.
Do you want GOD to be real to them, then he needs to be real to you first!!
These things you can pray over your children everyday. What you live in front of your children will be passed on because they will know what is important to you. They know where your heart is, and that is actually a scarey thought! They see more than you think, and your devotion, prayers and fasting for them will reap rewards long after the bank account is empty!
Pray Deuteronomy 6:5-6 over your children. Tell them by your actions that; “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.” Tell them by your actions that God loves them, LIVE verses 7-9 in front of them. Start by memorizing them!
This way when the lion comes seeking whom he may devour he sees a STRONG family. Lions go after weakness. Lions search for the sick. Lions look for the easy prey. Don’t allow your family, starting at the marriage bond, to be easy prey!!! PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!
** PROVERBS 31!!! This is a long post, but God wants the world to know what his thoughts are on this Chapter!
V. 8-9 says Speak up for those who have no voice,for the justice of all who are CRUSHED! Speak up, judge righteously,and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.
– How are these two verses put into the context of Proverbs 31? They appear to be out of place, they just just pop up out of nowhere.
Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, is trying to give Solomon wisdom. She is telling him that as a ruler he needs to protect those who cannot defend themselves. I think it is inferred here that the Government and leaders of the community are responsible for the well being of the helpless in society. Protect the unwanted. Maybe Solomon asked God for wisdom because his Mom was so wise.
A “drunk” leadership (Verses 4-7) has a tendency to forget the children, the defenseless, the helpless and the oppressed. We saw this happen in March-June 2017 in the South Carolina legislature. Senator Hugh Leatherman runs the road construction in South Carolina. He is “drunk” with power. He is “drunk” with money. He will personally benefit from this tax increase.
The Personhood Bill will end abortion in South Carolina and ultimately in this country. All the focus of the 2017 legislative session went to Senator Hugh Leatherman and his being bent on passing a tax increase that benefits him and burdens the taxpayer. Those being slaughtered in this state were not protected because Senator Leatherman was too “drunk” with money and power to notice that legislation to protect the innocent unborn children was sacrificed. His choice was to personally benefit at the expense of the unborn.
Proverbs 31 is wisdom from Solomon and what he has experienced. So you have verses 1-7 talking about a good leader, verses 8-9 talk about protection of innocent children, and finally 10-31 talk about what a “good” wife looks like.
Is this chapter were 3 different thoughts just mixed in together? I use to think that V. 8-9 were just put in for the prolife movement God knew was coming. As I study this chapter I think I got it all wrong. There are 3 groups here and they are all connected, Rulers, Groups of people that are destroyed, and Mothers. All three of these groups are heavily involved in Abortion. 1) Rulers are the first group mentioned because they hold the power of death in their hand. Rulers are told to keep their thoughts pure. They are told not to allow their decisions to be influenced by distorted thinking.
2) The groups of people that are destroyed and crushed by society because they have no power. They have NO VOICE! The helpless are at the mercy of society. The value that this group has in this world is ZERO. The value this group has to God cannot be measured. * A high percentage of abortions are done because the baby has Down Syndrome. * 80 % of abortions are done because they are inconvenient to the mother and father.
3) Moms! These verses teach that a stable household comes from a stable mother. These verses teach that a Godly woman puts her family before herself, starting with her husband and then her children. Women who have abortions put themselves before the husband and family.
Speak out – Who is being told to speak out? In verse 8-9 we see Speak out but there appears to be no one attached to it. * Not the oppressed are not being addressed, they have no voice in the decisions that are being made regarding their life. * Not those who are mute. This command cannot be to the mute because they have no voice. These people have no way to argue or have no a way to form words, at least the babies in 2017 who are in the womb. When this was written the mute were the ones who had no political voice; these were the slaves, the poor, the sick and the diseased.
Who is the Speak out for the ones being CRUSHED?
* Solomon spends 21 verses on his Mom. Mothers who are virtuous are those who need to speak out. * Anyone who sees the destruction is to speak out. * Rulers need to speak out. * Pastors and Churches need to speak out!!!!
The church needs to hear the message of this chapter. Solomon did not hear the message, and God appeared to him twice, and still he did not listen. Verse 3 says: Don’t spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings.
* King Solomon was obsessed with women. 1 Kings 11:1 – His Mom said don’t spend time with women. His Mom knew what would bring the wisest man in the world down.
* He took women from the surrounding pagan nations of which God had clearly warned Israel, “You must not marry them; they’ll seduce you into infatuations with their gods.” Solomon fell in love with them anyway, refusing to give them up. V. 2-3 – Solomon knew these women would destroy him, BUT he did not listen!!
* And they did seduce him away from God. – What seduces us away from God! What gods of this world do I allow to draw me away from God? What is my flesh so involved in that it draws my Spirit away from God? Pray that the Holy Spirit will show you what seduces you away from him.
* As Solomon grew older, his wives beguiled him with their alien gods and he became unfaithful—he didn’t stay true to his God as his father David had done. – Staying true to God. He says to speak out for the rescue of the crushed.
Proverbs 24:11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;save them as they stagger to their death.
Proverbs 24:12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.He who guards your soul knows you knew.He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Pray that the Church starts to rescue and speak out!!
Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
The “endless treasures” here is the same word as riches. “Ploutos” which is abundance of external possessions, fulness, abundance and plenitude. Paul is telling the gentiles that there is an abundance of riches because of their relationship with Christ. This abundance is not money in the flesh but a money or an abundance in the Spirit.
A couple of verses earlier he made this statement. Ephesians 3:6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
I think this is similar to what Jesus was saying to the woman at the well. He says to her “Drink of the water I give you and you will never thirst.” Jesus was not talking about the physical water, but of the spiritual water. God uses riches in this same way, he says ENDLESS riches available to us. These riches are far more valuable than money.
Both Jesus and Paul clearly teach us that there are two different worlds. A world where money is valuable, but what money can give us is just temporary. Another world where the riches are never ending, I will always be able to ast my crowns before the throne of God. The physical world when you spend money it runs out. In the Spiritual world the money never runs out!
The rich man in Hell looks up to Abraham and says “Just one Drop” that is how valuable water was to him. The rich man did not accept the water that Jesus offered to the woman at the well. He did not understand the value of the water Jesus offered to the woman at the well, until after he died.
Endless riches in Christ for all of us who believe is what Paul is teaching. We would think that a million dollars here on earth is more valuable than leading one lost soul to Christ. The difference is, I have no way to take a million dollars to heaven, but the souls of my 3 children, and my 5 Grandchildren??? I can take all of those with me.
Can you see the difference?? Focus and pray on what we will have in Heaven and not what riches we gain here on earth.
I have been trying to read through James for the past month. I seem to have a hard time getting past verse 9 in the first chapter.
We live in a country where the emphasis is on money. We are infected with a culture where the measure of a man is his bank account. Even now I bet you are saying, “Well Mark you can’t live without money!” I wonder sometimes if the culture I live in determines my thinking or worse my faith? Didn’t God drop food out of heaven, and didn’t water flow from a rock? Is he a God that can’t do that today? Does MY God have limits? Of Course not!
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.
James is saying here “Wisdom is more important than money!” James is telling us to not be divided in our loyalty, and then he brings up money. These verses bring context to our lives, that is “The World” verses “Our faith in God.” This battle has our money caught right in the middle!
So what does James mean by poor believers having something to boast about? Now you see why I am stuck in this first chapter. I have been looking into my own life and I see a battle between the things of this world, and my relationship with God.
Boast about being poor in a country where we normally boast about being rich! Don’t we all do this? Don’t we all look at a rich person and say, “I would love to be in that place!” I would love to not be in a place where I need every single paycheck just to survive. I can also see that being in that place could reduce MY need to trust in God.
I am beginning to understand this scripture more everyday, MY need is beyond MY ability to meet. I am being forced to trust in God. As Christians in America this is not where we want to be, having to depend on God for meeting my needs. We would much rather rely on ourselves than on God but when we do we may take away the honor God has for us!!
When food fell from heaven, and water was gushing from a rock, who were the people crying to? Did God put them in that position on purpose? See how these verses can bring up so many questions! My pray is slowly turning to God give me wisdom, I would rather have you than the pleasures of this world. (P.S. a little mana from heaven wouldn’t hurt)
I have a need to pray with a clean heart. So when I pray I must examine my heart. What are my heart’s desires? What is my heart dwelling on, and what does it yearn for from day to day? Can I see my heart moving, or adorning something, or someone, or any earthly entertainment that divides my heart? In other words, is my mind guiding my heart to have affection for something on this earth other than God?
Psalm 66:17-18 For I cried out to him for help,praising him as I spoke.18) If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,the Lord would not have listened. – NLT 18) If I had regard for wickedness in my heart,The Lord will not have hear; – NASV 18) If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; – NIV
So the Psalmist here is crying out to God. God heard his prayer because he did not allow his heart to be divided. When we pray the condition of our heart is very important. Luke 8:14 describes a divided heart like this: “The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.”
There is a difference about committing sin and allowing sin to have a place in our heart. We are going to sin, but we can make up our mind that sin will have no place in our hearts. Our prayers coming from a clean heart will be heard by God.
Psalm 66:19-20 But God did listen!He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
Our heart should be what Jesus describes in Luke 8:15 which says: “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” This heart is heard by God because it does not hold on to the things of this world. Am I saying that God does not hear my heart if it is divided by earthly desires and pleasures? I am not saying it, I did not write Luke 8:4-15!
What place does this world have in your heart? Every day when we are praying to God ask his Holy Spirit to reveal any unclean motives, actions or IDOLS we hold on to with our hearts. First thing out of my heart when I pray should be, God reveal to me my IDOLS, God reveal to me what gets in the way of praying to you!!
Don’t allow sin to hinder your prayers, go to the Father with a clean heart!
How often do I pray to ask God for the wisdom to understand this world from his eyes?
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
A lost person can never see things the way I can. Even though I can see things differently than the lost, too often my flesh gets in the way. Heaven and earth compete for our attention. To begin with there is the reality of heaven. And Paul sums it up well, “Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
On earth Christ is an afterthought, even in my own mind at times. There are too many times here in this world when I do not place Jesus where he needs to be, thank you God for Grace. When the “world” takes over my thoughts I need to ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of Heaven, the place where, “Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
Paul tells us to think about the things of heaven, and not the things of earth. I need to be on alert about what I think about, Pray to see heaven, and earth the way you do God. I need to pray for God to help me examine my life, my thoughts and what “earthly things” could become an IDOL in my life!
Paul reminds us that we died to this life. Then he goes on and says “my real life is hidden.” So if “my real life is hidden” another prayer should be “God help me find my Real Life while I am here on earth.” My flesh is going to drift away from the life God has planned out for me, Jeremiah 29:11 AND Psalm 40:5.
So when we we find our life in Christ, and it is revealed to the world, THEN we share in the Glory of Jesus Christ!! Our following Colossians 3:1-5 means that we will share in his Glory, and there are other scriptures that talk about this as well. Look them up and read them because sharing the Glory with an almighty God is better than anything this world has to offer, Praise be to our saviour Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 5:1; Romans 8:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; and 1 Peter 5:10)
When we start to see things the way God does we will not see “idols” take up space in our hearts the way they use to. So earnestly praying to see “heaven and earth” through the eyes of God may change our focus, and help us to share in the Glory of God!!
Fasting is powerful. Why is this not taught in our churches? Satan doesn’t want it taught because of the power fasting has. Prayer and fasting should be done together, and often!
Fasting is worship because it puts Romans 12:1 into practice. If you refuse to fast you are refusing to worship.
a) Fasting is a way to live by the spirit. It is physically unnatural to deny the flesh food. When we fast we can recognize the flesh. This is important because we need to learn how the flesh moves us. We need to learn the “voice” of the flesh!
b) Fasting causes us to focus and place our attention on God.
c) Fasting puts the flesh behind the spirit, and they constantly fight each other (Romans Chapter 7). The flesh is the number one weapon satan uses against us.
d) Jesus says “When you fast,” so it is a command. Matthew 6:16-17. “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,”
e) The rewards when we fast are all in heaven, we should never let anyone know when we fast. The only acception to this is for accountability. It is easier to fast when you have a person that holds you accountable. Not just one person but may be several people, and this way we can encourage them to fast as well. Matthew 6:17-18: says: “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
f) Fasting is a way to seek after God. Isaiah 58:2a says: They seek me day after day and delight to know my ways. Fasting helps us to know his ways.
g) Fasting causes God to answer us. Isaiah 58:9 says: “At that time, when you call, the LORD will answer; when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’ – When we fast we cause God to say “Here I am!!” When we fast we cause God to answer! Is the converse the same? When we don’t fast God doesn’t say “Here I am?” When we don’t fast does this mean he will not answer?
h) Some demons respond only when we fast. Mark 9:28-29 says: And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it (The Demon) out?” So He said to them, “This kind of demon can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” – How are we going to get rid of powerful demons if we never fast?
i) Fasting gives us strength to rebuild. Isaiah 58:12 says: “Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live.”
Fasting regularly is a part of a mature Christians life. When should we fast? When God puts it on your heart. I was going to the fridge one morning and as I put my hand on the handle God moved in my Spirit, “Fast today.” I had my heart set on a nice breakfast, lunch and dinner. God revealed later that day why I needed to fast.
We fast because God wants to move in our lives. We can fast for things that God put on our hearts. We fast when there are needs in our lives. We fast when we want to tear down demonic strongholds like abortion, idolatry, racial unrest. You should read Isaiah 58 and then fast.
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Fasting is a call to action!! Fasting is faith at work!!