Sunday, December 18, 2011

PRAYER

These are notes from a good sermon I heard in 2005 by M. Pickup:

PRAYER

Matthew 6: 5-15 records how Jesus taught his disciples to pray.  This does not apply to us because we are not praying to start with.  Why not?
  • Don't know how
  • Too busy
  • Have given up.  "It doesn't do any good" (we think) "God doesn't answer."
This sermon is about the basic concept of prayer and our responsibility to pray ---  we MUST be a praying person to be a disciple of Jesus.

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?
  • It is a command of God.  
                 Rom. 12:12  "... continuing steadfastly in prayer..."
                 Col. 4:2  "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving..."
                 I Thess. 5: 17-18  "... pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
                 "without ceasing" =  Pray on a regular basis; prayer should be a constant part of your day and life.  Don't allow yourself to become so busy or despondent that you don't pray.

  • It is an honor & privilege.
                 Psalm 34:15-19   "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.  The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
                 Heb. 4:16  "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
                 Rom. 5  (as a struggling Christian, He will listen to you)

OUR PRAYER LIFE:

  • Regular, planned occasions.
  • Short spontaneous prayers.  (example Nehemiah's prayer in Neh. chapters 1 &2, esp. 2:4)
  • In times of trial and temptation.
Because God is there listening to us and we're that important to Him.

WHEN WE DON'T PRAY:

  • We show ingratitude.
                  Col. 4:2  "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving..."
All these things we take for granted are gifts (we are not owed them) and we ignore the Giver when we do not pray.
                  Luke 17:15-18  (Jesus healed 10 lepers, but only one, a Samaritan, returned to thank Him.)

  • We show a lack of concern about others.
                   Eph. 1:16 ;    6:18-20    "... do  not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers..."  "...supplication for all the saints...."  (Paul was concerned about other people.)

WE NEED PRAYER:

None of us is so powerful and self-sufficient that we can get through this life without God.  We desperately need God.
                   Paul needed to pray (Eph 1:16)
                   Jesus needed to pray, and we as His disciples are not above Him (Matt. 10:24)

This is not a light issue.
This is a major issue.
We cannot dismiss this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible

The complete title of this book is "An Examination of the Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible" by John W. Haley, M.A.  It was first published in 1875, and re-published in 1951.


In chapter 1, Haley begins with this quote from "Life of Christ" by Neander:


"God reveals Himself in His Word, as He does in His works.  In both we see a self-revealing, self-concealing God, who makes Himself known only to those who earnestly seek Him; in both we find stimulants to faith and occasions for unbelief; in both we find contradictions, whose higher harmony is hidden, except from him who gives up his whole mind in reverence; in both, in a word, it is a law of revelation that the heart of man should be tested in receiving it; and that in the spiritual life, as well as in the bodily, man must eat his bread in the sweat of his brow."



Here is the Table of Contents:



There are 473 pages with an index of scriptures in the back.  Lots of meat to get into.

Let me say I have not read this book cover to cover!  I use it occasionally when I run across something in my reading or study that is puzzling, to just look up a particular passage.


I will close this post with a final quote from Haley towards the end of his Preface:


"Moreover, I may be allowed to say that the more thoroughly I have investigated the subject the more clearly have I seen the flimsy and disingenuous character of the objections alleged by infidels.  

And, whether or not my labors shall result in inducing a similar belief in the minds of my readers, I cannot but avow, as the issue of my investigations, the profound conviction that every difficulty and discrepancy in the scriptures is, and will yet be seen to be, capable of a fair and reasonable solution."










Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Letter to the Christian Newly Born

When my mother passed away about 10 years ago, I found this old letter in her keepsake box.  She was baptized in 1931 by a preacher named Flavil Hall.  This is the letter he wrote to her after her baptism:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BAPTISM - Exhaustively

One way I study the Bible is to look up all the references on a certain topic.  Here is a list of every passage in the New Testament which deals with baptism, which I found by using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  I have arranged the passages in a way that makes sense to me, and which fits onto a single sheet of 8-1/2 x 11 paper, front & back, folded in half.  Feel free to copy it if you wish.









Note:  I found the information on the "Not Sent to Baptize" passage in Nichol's Pocket Bible Encyclopedia.