Prayerful Meditation on The Scriptures

I personally enjoy Prayerful meditation on the Scriptures. The rewards are very real. It’s a channel used by the Holy Spirit to teach us deep lesson. Dwight Hill in his book ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’. offer five suggestions.

  1. Meditation on the Scriptures should not be viewed as a method or system, but as an attitude: Faith, openness, reverence, expectation, and supplication.

This people draw near to me with their wordsbut they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of traditions learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 nasb)

  1. Meditation can actually be quite difficult at times. Thus, we should not judge its value on how

Let me understand the teachings of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” (Psalm 119:27)

  1. It is only if we have a heart fixed on obeying God without reservation that a little effort goes a long way. When we are resisting Him through disobedience or compromise, no amount of effort can produce the desired result.

I have more understandingfor I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:100)

  1. In our pride, we don’t want to be beginners. In truth, we will never be anything but beginners. Given the challenge in learning to effectively utilize meditation for spiritual growth, we would do well to recognize the need for a mature mentor.

Whatever you have learned or receivedfrom me, or seen in me – put into practice.” (Philippians 4:9)

  1. Often, what first seemed easy and rewarding suddenly becomes utterly impossible. We struggle with inner confusion, coldness, and lack of confidence. We find concentration difficult. Our imagination and emotions wander – or run wild. We often feel dry and desolate. Repugnant fantasies buried deep within us take over. We totally lose interest in spiritual matters.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doFor what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 19)

So don’t give up, because God promises you that “the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday...” (Proverbs 4:18) (GW)

 

 

Why people grow weary and lose heart?

The little Greek word egkakeo describes a person who no longer is living life in step with the Holy Spirit. Instead, he has grown selfish and self-contained, exhibiting little concern for others.

Seven reasons:

  1. A failure to maintain a vital life of prayer — “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)
  2. A failure to keep in mind the privilege of our divine calling to minister — “Therefore, since through Gods mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)
  3. A failure to keep in mind the fact that we will share in Christ’s triumphant resurrection — “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presenceTherefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:14, 16a)
  4. A failure to keep in mind the immediate task of promoting believers’ spiritual welfare and the glory of God — “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:15, 16a)
  5. A failure to take the long view in reaping the fruit of our efforts — “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
  6. A failure to trust that God has a larger purpose when fellow believers suffer — “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” (Ephesians 3:13)
  7. A failure to press on in righteous living, even when you don’t feel like it — “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Questions:

  1. Do you still have that spring in your step?
  2. Do you still look forward to getting up in the morning and getting at it for God?
  3. Or did you allow a dry rot of self-centeredness set in?

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Inspire by John G Butler writing

On Becoming Like Jesus

 

During my devotional reading came across this devotion that I did found this very inspiring writing. The author is John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.


If we desire to be like Jesus Christ, then there are four of His characteristics we are to emulate:

1. Give up all our rights:

“Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God’s equal.”

Prayer: “Lord, I relinquish all my rights: To family. To finances. To recognition. To pleasure. To quietness. To health. To privacy. To be loved. To be treated with respect. To justice.

2. Become nothing:

“[He] stripped Himself of all privilege.”

Prayer: “Lord, I surrender my position. My status. My heritage. My career. My capabilities. My resources. My experience. My reputation. My education.

3. Become a servant:

[“He consented] to be a slave by nature and [be] born as a mortal man.”

Prayer: “Lord, I abdicate my desire to climb the social and economic scale. I renounce all my rights. I ask you to give me a heart to serve you and others on your terms, not mine. Lord, I love to be regarded by others as a servant; help me to be joyfully willing to be treated as a servant.

4. Surrender to His Lordship in total obedience:

And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dyingthe death of a common criminal.” (Philippians 2:5-8 – Phillips Translation)

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to obey you on your terms, not mine. Whatever the cost: Loss of health. Status. Finances. Family. As did Jesus, I pick up the cross you have assigned me, and by your grace I will carry it to the death. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Listening to God

Too often we think that prayer is telling God our “shopping list” of needs. I like what Stephen D. Eyre had to say “Turn your “to do” list over to the Lord.” Write down how you feel after you have done it. The prophet Habakkuk experience is very useful to understand that concept. In Habakkuk 2:1-3 we see that as a watchman the prophet stand at his guard post and waited to see what the LORD would say. In Psalm 32:8 we read a great promise God gave to David and us “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”  Do you expect Him to instruct you and guide you in life?

What should we do? (From Stephen D. Eyre book Drawing Close to God).[1]

1.To help you listen, make a list of questions and concerns you would like God to address.

2.Ask God what He thinks about your problem with ______.

3.Ask God what he wants you to do about ______.

4.Sit back and wait quietly to see what God will say.

Does it seem strange to actually listen for God to talk back? One more time,’ Do you expect Him to instruct you?’

John Powell writes:

The Lord … puts his ideas into my mind and especially his perspectives. He widens my vision, helps me to see what is really important in life, and to distinguish the really important from the unimportant …. He comes to me in the listening, receptive moments of prayer, and he transfuses his power into me.

A.W. Tozer said:

“What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.”

This goes back to Jesus’ invitation to enjoy a time (coffee) together (Rev.3:20).


[1] Stephen D. Eyre, Drawing Close to God: The Essentials of a Dynamic Quiet Time: a Lifeguide resource (DowersGrove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995).

Determination

Many young people have to leave home either for study, or work, or military life. For many it is a challenging time in their life, many new pressures are building up on their shoulders. History offers an interesting example of a young man that was force away from home. His own country lost a war and the enemy tactic was to expatriate young promising people to the enemy territory. This young man name was Daniel. We can learn some important lessons on how to survive in anew surrounding. Like many of today cities Babylon was a very wicked place to live. We can read in the Bible that Daniel determine in his heart what not to do. Away from Daniel familiar network into a new one came with many new temptations. Here is how Daniel manages the situation. He “determine” not to compromise with he knew to be evil.

Some year ago I read the life story of R. G. LeTourneau. I was moved to make a few resolutions. The author A.W. Tozer summarized well my stand. “Tie up the loose ends of your life. Begin to tithe; institute family prayer; pay up your debts as far as possible and make some kind of frank arrangement with every creditor you cannot pay immediately; make restitution as far as you can; set aside time to pray and search the Scriptures; surrender wholly to the will of God. You will be surprised and delighted with the results.” Inspire by LeTourneau example, I decide to give God the ‘first place’ with my time and money. Reading God’s Word became a top priority each morning. I also realize that God did answer prayers. I avoided like pest going into debt. I can say that life was never the same since.

Like Daniel, LeTourneau’s life had a very positive testimony after taking a stand for God. LeTourneau was a known as “God’s businessman”. You could read more about LeTourneau. [1]