Outline of the Lord’s Prayer

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One thing I try to do on a daily basis is pray through the Lord’s prayer.  I don’t simply repeat the prayer and say, “Amen,” rather I use the words as a frame work for my prayer.  Below is an outline I have used in teaching on the Lord’s prayer.

Father in Heaven: 1st We approach God through a loving relationship as Children
Holy be Thy Name: 2nd Before we ask God for anything, we worship Him
Thy Kingdom come: 3rd We ask God for His Kingdom to be realized more fully until it is ultimately fulfilled in eternity.
Thy will be done: 4th we humbly bring our requests to God in accordance with His Devine will.
This Day our Daily: 5th we come before God and humbly ask for provisions for the day, knowing we will come to Him again tomorrow and ask, give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts: 6th We ask God’s forgiveness for our sins and forgive the sins of others
 Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  7th We ask for God’s help in keeping us from sin, and the attack of the enemy in ever aspect of our lives.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 8th We acknowledge that in all things, His is the kingdom and the power and the glory.  We ask God that we might live for His Kingdom, by His power, and to His glory!

Beyond Sunday Morning

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The old worship song says, “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Take me, break me, melt me, mold me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.” In Ephesians 4:11-14 the Apostle Paul said, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
We love to read Christian blogs, listen to Christian Radio, and hear inspiring messages at church. But there is so much more to the life God has called us to. God gave us all of these wonderful tools with these aims in mind. First, that we might be equipped for the work of ministry. Second, for the building up of the body of Christ, and third, that we might mature unto the fullness of Christ.
Spirit of the living God, won’t You fall fresh on us today? Take us, and if You must, break us, melt us, and mold us that we might be formed into the image of Christ! How I pray our relationship would move far beyond Sunday sermons, Christian books, radio, and blogs. I pray we would be transformed into the image of Your holy Son, Lord God! Forgive us I pray for the times we selfishly wanted all of Your blessings without desiring to bless others in return. May we go far beyond reading about You, hearing about You, and learning about You. May we boldly and sacrificially serve You! Holy Spirit how we need a fresh anointing from You! We are desperate for You! Our culture needs You! Your Church needs You! Come and have Your way in us I pray, in Jesus Name! Amen!

Guns, Guitars, and Glory

Skate park

If you know me well, you know I have a lot of hobbies. I mean a lot! I enjoy shooting guns, playing guitar, aquariums, boating, fishing, drawing, painting, carving, motorcycles and more. When I was a kid I rode a freestyle bike. I always wanted to ride in a skate park, but there wasn’t one in the town I grew up in. As a child I always wanted a minibike, (an off road motorcycle).
Most of us have what is called a, “Bucket List.” This is a list of things we would love to do before our time on earth here is done. As we age many of our childhood dreams die away. This has me wondering. Will there be Skate parks in Eternity? It sounds silly but I’m being serious. What about all of the things we love? Will grandma make quilts forever in the presence of God? Will there be mountains and snowboards, and skis?
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 84:10, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The psalmist was so enthralled with the presence of the Lord, there was nowhere else he would rather be.
Have you ever had a time of worship at church that was so amazing you didn’t want it to end? Have you ever been in the word and just couldn’t stop reading? Have you ever been praying or singing in the Spirit and you didn’t want quit? The manifest presence God is a beautiful, powerful thing!
Perhaps in eternity there will be skate parks, skis, and sail boats. If so no doubt they will be there for the glory of God. However, I have a picture in my mind of entering glory and seeing an empty skate park. I imagine passing the lake side and all of the boats are tied up to the docks, not a single one in use. I picture all of the things in this life that you and I desired so greatly just lying there unused. Then I imagine rounding the bend in the path, being drawn by the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard, and there before me is a clearing. In the clearing is the manifest presence of the Living God. There I fall to my knees before Him. Never before had I experienced such love, such a surge of power, such wonder, and excitement. It all becomes clear. Better is one day in the presence of the great and mighty Living God, than a thousand days elsewhere!
Father in Heaven, may I give You the Glory due Your most AWESOME, HOLY Name! Forgive me I pray for longing for what pales in comparison to Your most excellent presence. As I live the rest of my time on this earth. May I spend it in pursuit of You! In the matchless Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Decapitation in France Today!

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BBC NEWS PHOTO

The BBC is reporting today, “One person has been decapitated and another injured in the attack on a gas factory in south-eastern France.” The French media is reporting an Islamic flag was found on the scene. Authorities say one man is in custody.
As far back as recorded history mankind has done the unthinkable. The Apostle Paul said it this way in Romans 1:28, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
As we try to wrap our minds around the dreadful news we search for hope. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Colossi saying in Colossians 1:11-14, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his (God’s) glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
First Paul prays for the church asking God to strengthen them with all power, to help them endure with patience and joy. Today we need that same endurance and patience for the horrors we face in this world. We need the joy of the Lord to be our strength. Paul went on to say that God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
Father in Heave, how we need Your strength and power today to endure the trials and horrors we face in this life. Despite the chaos bring us Your peace. Despite the darkness bring Your great light. We pray today in Jesus Name, that more and more of this world would surrender to Your Lordship. We pray that more and more of the darkness of this world would be transferred to the Kingdom of Light. We ask this in Jesus Name! Amen!

How Firm a Foundation

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My niece, Briana, recently married the love of her life. They bought an old house built back in 1906. As I thought about that old house it occurred to me it had been built before the invention of the modern furnace, and air conditioning. The house is so old, in fact, that the walls were finished in horse hair plaster. I did some research and discovered that in 1906 93% of the roads in the U.S. were still dirt, and less than 100,000 families owned an automobile.
No doubt, if the walls could speak, they would have some amazing stories to tell. Just think of all of the families that must have lived there down through the generations. I imagine many great memories were celebrated in that home, births, and birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. I’m sure there must have been some hard times too, fights, financial hardships, sicknesses, and death.
I see a parallel between that old house and the new family who now own it. For a home or a marriage to last throughout the years they need the very same thing, a firm foundation.
I think of the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
It is interesting to me that both houses went through the same trials. No matter your foundation we are never granted immunity from challenges in life. The big difference is how you weather the storm. Will the storms of life cripple or destroy you, or after the rain falls, and the floods rise, and the winds blow and beat against you will be left standing, having been built on the Rock of Jesus Christ and His holy Word?
I’m reminded of the words of the old hymn, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! What more can He say than to you He hath said—To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?”

Father in Heaven, may our lives be built upon the Rock of Christ and Your holy Word. May we find refuge and strength to weather the storms of life through a firm foundation! I pray in the matchless Name of Jesus! Amen!

The, “Theory,” of Evolution

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For ages man has grappled with the question of the origin of the universe. Where did it all begin? One thing both Christians and non-Christians agree on is that Everything that has begun must have had an adequate cause. It is the simple law of cause and effect. If you see an effect in nature, there must have been a cause.  We could go all the way back to the question, “What is the original cause of the universe?” At some point it is imperative that at least one thing is eternal, without beginning. This eternal, whatever it is, can be the initial cause.
There are two greatly different answers to the question of the original cause. On one hand we have some who believe that eternal cosmic matter came together by random chance this reaction is called the big bang. The big bang is believed to be the seed of the entire universe. Carl Sagan, “The cosmos is all there is or was, or ever will be.” So according to Carl, In the beginning was the cosmos.

 

Internal Combustion Engine
Now the question is, dose science and reason point to this theory? There is an old argument that asks a simple question to the proponents of the big bang theory. It asks, if you had an internal combustion engine in your garage totally disassembled sitting in a box, what are the chances that over billions and billions of years the pieces came together by random chance and put the engine together correctly and made it run? The idea is ridiculous. But that is what some scientist would have you believe happened at the point of creation.

Letters in a Hat
Some will argue that if you put cards with letters of the alphabet into a hat and had someone draw out cards at random, eventually you would spell words even sentences. Eventually if given billions of years you could write an entire book.
This brings up another question, “What do the letters mean?” We could argue that letters don’t have meaning outside of the system of the language. A language is a complex code. We also know that DNA, the building blocks of life, is a complex code. The problem with your alphabet in the hat argument is that matter had to give rise to a code making system.  According to the book, In the beginning was information, “There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is any physical process, or material phenomenon known that can do this.”
The second law of thermodynamics

This law states that the universe is running down. Energy is becoming less and not more. Order gives way to chaos. The world is not self sustaining. This truth nullifies the theory that eternal cosmic matter came together to create a complex world of great order and complex code. The science it seams points away from the theory of eternal cosmic mater coming together in a big bang as the initial cause.

Creation Theory

Big bang theorists believe in eternal cosmic matter. Creationists believe in an eternal God. The Bible begins with those famous words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible does not open with a defense of the existence of God. It simply presupposes it. In the beginning before there was anything else there was God existing form eternity past. We see that same thing in a prayer of Moses is recorded in the psalms. Moses wrote, “Before the mountains were born you brought forth the earth and the world, everlasting to everlasting you are God,” (Ps. 90:2 NIV). The Hebrew word for, “Everlasting,” is a word that means, to the vanishing point. Moses was saying that from as far as you can go until you can go no further back, there You were God; and as far as you can go ahead until there is no further you can go, there you will be also. So Christians believe God is eternal and is the initial cause.

creation-vs-evolutionFather in Heaven, thank You for revealing Your wisdom, power, and glory through creation!  You set the stars in their place and You know them by name.  You are too wondrous to comprehend!  In Jesus Name I praise You.  Amen! 

The worst judgment?

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Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” In the Book of Romans the Apostle Paul teaches of the methods God uses when we reject His perfect will and opt instead for, “My kingdom come, and my will be done.” In Romans 1:4 Paul say, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.” He went on to say in verse 28, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” In short, when we say, “God I want my kingdom to come and my will be done,” God says, “OK.” Peter, a blogger from The Age to Come, said it well. Perhaps the greatest judgement that can befall us is to get exactly what we want apart from the Living God.
Father in Heaven, may we not be so foolish to believe the lie that our will is better for us than Your perfect will. In Jesus Name we pray, AMEN!

The Age To Come

Often I see articles, or words, by people who predict a great judgment to befall a country (it’s usually America…though other countries are available…).  But that got me thinking.  What do we mean by judgment?  Usually we are thinking of some kind of calamity – earthquake, storm, financial crash, etc.  Now, that’s not wrong, and we know from the Bible that such judgments do occur.

But, it seems to me that the very worst kind of judgment that God could bestow on a rebellious people is to say “Thy will be done”.  That is, to leave us alone with our desires, with our appetites and with our fears; to stand back and allow us to do what we want.  I can’t imagine a more terrifying judgment than that.

Sometimes I wonder if that is the very judgment that we now have had bestowed on us.

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