Pray in The Shower

Something to think about.

Pray in The Shower

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) 

The first time I heard this verse I was confused. How does one “pray without ceasing?” I took it literally since it did not appear to offer any other interpretation.  For a long time, I did not know how to  pray “without ceasing.”  

I’ve come to realize it is an attitude more than an action. It means to celebrate every victory. To rejoice in the goodness of God. It means to be thankful to God for His continual mercies past, present and future. It means to pray in the shower.  

As I was taking a shower this morning, I was thinking of a friend who is going through some marital issues. Instead of lamenting over his problems I decided to pray for Him and then for others. I have developed this habit. When I am doing things that are repetitive that don’t require much brain power I’ve learned to pray. I pray for everyone usually by name I pray for the nation, pray for my family pray for my friends. I pray for my team. I pray for Israel, I pray for my president even if I don’t like him I pray for our leaders. Do I pray for all of them at once? No, I don’t but as the Lord leads I pray.  What I’ve learned is praying without ceasing is not about praying all the time but praying at every opportunity. 

Pray in the shower, pray at the stop light, pray when walking the dog, pray when driving. You may think you can’t do that. But yes you, can you are always thinking about something, think about praying. All it is, is a shift in focus. Instead of thinking about people and situations think about solutions and how to help others.  What you will quickly realize is you don’t have all the answers but you know who does.  And you know how to pray. 

Praying without ceasing brings you to rejoicing to thankfulness. It brings you to higher levels of faith. Higher levels of victory and higher levels of thankfulness.  You cannot pray unceasingly without arriving at the joy and thankfulness. Next time you’re taking a shower instead of letting your mind focus on your problems or wander aimlessly. Start to pray. Whomever you pray for needs it.

 

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Application

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Application
 
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
 
Many of us are aware of this scripture. We have likely heard sermons preach on it. We have believed it and accepted and understood it. Many of us may even have a good grasp of all of the implications of it. But how many of us are applying it?  
 
The ironic thing about this verse is that it is not a teaching verse it is an action verse. If you are not doing what it says you are missing the whole point. It says, “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” These are all personal, doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, righteousness. Yes they can be taught but the profit to you is when it is personal. When these things have an effect on your life. God did not produce the Scriptures for the other guy He inspired it for you. We need to know the Scripture for reproof, correction, instruction, righteousness in our own lives. So that, I the individual will be complete, prepared for good work. It is intended to be personal. These two verses are meaningless if they are not personal. It is not intended for the other person it is intended for you.  
 
If you do not believe the first part, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” you can forget the rest. If you believe the first part, you must do the rest. To do the rest, you need to know what the Scriptures say. For you to receive profit in all the areas mentioned it is required that you know the word of God. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, ” but if you don’t know the word of God, you can’t profit from it. It is not enough that you know, and like this verse, you must apply it for you to benefit from it. We all want a great life, but how many of us actually do the things that will bring us a great life? This is the primary requirement to a great life, know and apply the inspired word of God to your life.  . 
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A Prophecy

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A Prophecy
 
14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 14:7
 
Christianity recognizes this verse to be the prophetic announcement of the birth of Christ.  I ask this question, Why was it even recorded? Even today if any religious, political, intellectual accomplished person made such a statement. Would anyone listen beyond laughing them into embarrassment? Everyone knows that a virgin cannot give birth to a child. It can’t be done without outside assistance. A virgin cannot become pregnant on her own. Not now or thousands of years ago. 
 
Take it in context he is a leader of Israel making a statement. The statement is beyond anything that anyone has ever seen, heard or conceived, and it is recorded. Why didn’t someone edit this out? It is an outlandish statement. We are aware that not everything Isaiah said was recorded? So why was this? Why did such an outrageous statement survive thousands of years till it came to pass? There are things our living presidents have said in the not too distant past that no one remembers. Things that matter that have affected our lives and we can’t even remember. Still, Isaiah’s prophetic statement about Jesus survived hundreds nay thousands of years.
 
Christians accept this as a one-time occurrence we will not accept or expect this will happen again.  Yet from the benefit of being the receptor of the prophecy, we now accept the occurrence as an actuality. 
 
The fact that the prophecy did not get deleted, lost or embellished is a testimony to the will and power of God. This is one of the most outlandish, improbable statements ever made, and it survived beyond its fulfillment.  Today if anyone made such a claim even after the God caused conception of Jesus we would not accept it.
 
When God intends for something to happen, it will not be forgotten, lost or unknown. 
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Before The Creation of The World

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Before The Creation of The World

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:4 

 

He chose you. 

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Evil To Serve

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Evil To Serve

15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

This is another one of those scriptures written long ago but could have been written for today. Joshua makes a bold and definitive proclamation, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The beginning of this verse seems to mirror the attitude of our society. We are confronted with ideas that are not just opposed to Christianity but portray it as evil. We have people who are championing evil as good and demonizing anyone who points out the folly of their sin. There are people who want to do away with Christianity because they claim our beliefs to be sinful. The forces aligned against Christianity are determined to infiltrate and dilute the gospel of Christ. They want Christianity to become a meaningless symbol.

Some of our elected officials are determined to silence us and force us into obscure isolated closets. Some of our Christian leaders have embraced sin. They have abandoned the truth of the gospel for acceptance and inclusion. Christian Leaders have sold out to society under the veil of forgiveness and empathy. Some of these leaders don’t hold to the doctrine of eternal judgment. Under the guise of love, they have manipulated the gospel to allow for blatant sin to be called just and acceptable before God.

This is where we live this is the reality of our times. The forces aligned against are powerful, relentless and determined. With this current reality in mind, I ask you will you say as Joshua did, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

This verse is no longer an inspiring statement of leadership. It is now a statement of determination, sacrifice, and possibly loss. It will isolate you into a class of people who will be continually persecuted, demonized, humiliated and shunned. To serve the Christian God is no longer a badge of honor it is a battle of life. If you say “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” prepare yourself the battle will come to your door. Being a Christian is not a lifestyle for the weak.

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Permanence

Photo credit: Selden Vestrit / Foter / CC BY-SA

Something to think about.
 
Permanence
 
6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change, Malachi 3:6
 
God said “I do not change.”    There is peace in knowing that the Creator of life does not change. He will always be the same, he will always be dependable, and steadfast. He is honest, without prejudice, lover of man. He will always provide, forgive, sustain, and be holy.  He will always be perfect in justice and righteousness. He will always be the supreme sovereign God and creator. We never have to worry about not knowing where He stands. Because He is perfect He will always be perfect. Because He is the only constant in life we always know where to find Him. In this rock that is our God we find unending security and peace of mind.  Because he is and he will never change we have the knowledge that he will never leave us.
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The War Within

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The War Within
 
 
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
 
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
 
The way this is written it has an ethereal feeling.  Almost like these forces are just outside our ability to fully comprehend. If we interpreted this scripture in this way, it would not be altogether wrong. Some of the forces aligned against us are indeed forces beyond our comprehension. 
 
We live daily battling forces which are real, pressing and present. When your husband leaves you destitute with a family to care for this is not an ethereal reality. When you are unjustly accused and have to battle the results of the accusation it is not otherworldly. When technology makes your product or service obsolete it is not super spiritual.  When you’re battling cancer or some other life-altering disease or sickness it is not a spiritual construct. When your child is strung out with a drug addiction, it is not an exercise in intellectual analytics. We have to confront life situations that are real and personal. We battle forces aligned against us in everyday life. 
 
The battles we fight daily are a result of the war we are engaged in. “Against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The battles we fight are the physical reality of our spiritual war. This war involves everyone there are no civilians there are not “non-Combatants.” There are no conscientious objectors. No one who is exempt.  We have been raised to think that the battles of our lives are the result of some undefined cause. As if they happened just by happenstance. The truth is there are forces with the sole intent of causing harm, and they are successful. 
 
If you choose to battle this wars with intellect, will and force you will be in for a long protracted battle which you are going to lose. The struggle of your life and for your life is for one reason. It is for your choice. It is all about who will you choose. Will you choose God or will you choose self? If you choose God your victory is assured. If you choose self, you will lose. The choice of self leaves you with a war you must fight on your own. Against and an enemy far superior to you in every way. You are simply over matched. If you choose God your enemy and the forces with him are completely over matched. 
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Remain

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Remain
 
I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. Philippians 1:23-25 
 
Recently I heard an evangelist ask, “Why are you here?” She was speaking to believers, in a small setting, not a large crowd. The simplicity of the question and in the setting, it which in made.  Made it particularly piercing. If, as we proclaim we are saved by faith. If all of the people in the room were saved what was our purpose? If salvation is the only goal God has for our lives, why are we still here? Why are we not remove from this life and instantly be transfigured into eternal life? It is not to attain the secular pleasures of the flesh. Paul states it very clearly, “having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Why would we want to remain on this earth once we have attained eternal life through Christ? Which will be so much better than this painful temporal existence? The answer is in his next statement, “Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” We remain for the very same reason as Paul. Because it is better for the rest of the world that we stay. We are the hands’, feet, mouth, and heart of Jesus. We exist to propagate the gospel of Christ to all around us. For those of us who believe in Christ as it says in John 3:16. Our purpose is not for our selves. It is for those who have not yet heard of Christ For those who have not accepted our Lord. We remain to serve our risen Lord by serving those that have not been saved. Your purpose is simple, be the hands and feet of Jesus. That is why we remain. The only reason we remain. 
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Business After Hours Report

I want to thank Tamryn for being our guest speaker at our Business After Hours. On October 31st we were challenged, changed and educated by Tamryn Klintworth. A woman who is totally committed to fulfilling her God-given vision. It was an amazing night. but, that really doesn’t express how she impacted the lives of those in attendance. Allow me to share with you one of the things she did that impacted me.

“Winning Africa for Jesus.’ I don’t know if that is Tamryn’s vision statement or just a tagline. As she was speaking about “Winning Africa for Jesus,” she showed us a map of Africa. She spoke about the crusades in Ethiopia and told us Ethiopia is pivotal in the fight to win Africa. She shared the challenges she has in putting together a crusade. The high cost of the crusades and the increased cost of larger crusades. She told us about her needs, she told us about the souls that would be won. She told us about the ministry teams that are in place to disciple and mentor new converts. Local pastors are excited about being included in the crusades. They are thrilled and prepared to minister to the new converts. We were educated on the needs and challenges that face Africa. The sheer size of Africa is daunting. None of the obstacles she shared appeared to faze her. All she see’s is God’s provision and how He plans to use her to overcome them.

You know what she did not say, she did not say “if.” Never did she say if you don’t help me this won’t get done. “If” was not used as a qualifier. If we give, if God provides, if we believe. ‘If” was left out of the conversation. Once you remove the word “if” everything becomes an action. She is totally focused on bringing about what God has preordained. She actually believes and expects to win Africa for Jesus. Did I mention Africa is huge? She never said her vision was subject to the support of a man. She said she needed money but never insinuated that if we did not provide the support it would not happen. Her dependence for provision is on of God. She is committed beyond her life to accomplish this goal. Her plan is for a generational ministry. One that will continue her vision if she does not complete it. “Winning Africa for Jesus” is not a tagline or a vision statement it’s her life’s mission.

What does that have to do with business? How big is your vision? Is it citywide, is it statewide is it countrywide, is it worldwide? Is it in you? This thin African woman is totally committed to fulfilling her God-given dream. She is not looking back or making excuses. Is your business vision big enough? Are you short-changing yourself by not letting God establish your vision? For me, she has torn down my level of expectation. She’s made me realize God has so much more for me than I had imagined. I have to stop, take a look at what I am doing and ask God to declare the vision for my life. Is there a dream a vision God has given you that you have put away because it was too big? It is too big because God wants us to be completely dependent on Him for its fulfillment. He is allowing us to be a small part of His eternal plan. When your vision is bigger than you are, that’s when you know you have the proper vision.

Tamyrn’s website www.inhisname.org.za

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A Sorrowful Truth

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A Sorrowful Truth
7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
I know it has fallen out of style and is seldom preach on any more but the reality still exists. Those who choose to refuse the Gospel of Christ will face a terrible existence in the life that is to come. I would like you to notice it says “eternal destruction forever separated from the Lord.”  It says eternal destruction, for something to be eternally destroyed it must exist eternally. It says forever separated from God. To be permanently separated from God you must exist eternally. Unlike the current wisdom of humanity, we will not cease to exist. Nor will we be transformed into eternal energy or matter. We will stand before God in our eternal bodies and reap the rewards of our choices. For some it will be to share and experience the unfettered glory of God. For other’s it will be to experience His permanent wrath. It may not be popular or politically correct  to mention such things. But it will be a sorrowful truth to those who refuse to believe.
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